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Nigeria

Yearbook 2016

Nigeria. According to countryaah, the country struggled with a failing economy in 2016 and went into a recession. The main reason was attributed to low oil prices, the country's most important export commodity. The oil cartel OPEC's decision to lower production quotas at the end of the year was considered to be able to benefit Nigeria.

2016 Nigeria

On June 20, the central bank decided to introduce a floating exchange rate for the first time in the country's history. Nairan fell almost 30% against the US dollar the same day. The previously fixed exchange rate had led to a parallel currency market and a shortage of foreign currency which created a commodity shortage. In May, the government abolished the subsidies on gasoline. It triggered brief protests.

During the year, the country went into recession since GDP shrank by 0.4% in the first quarter and just over 2% in the second, which was the third. At the same time, inflation rose to 16% in June, the highest level in eleven years.

President Muhammadu Buhari received some criticism for how he and the government handled the crisis. When his wife Aisha also stated in a BBC interview that she was not sure she would support him in a possible 2019 election campaign, he made a criticized comment that she belonged in the kitchen.

In August, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) estimated that South Africa has reclaimed the place as Africa's largest economy. Nigeria's oil production was hit by sabotage and attacks on pipelines and other facilities in the Niger Delta. Several groups, such as previously unknown Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), stated that the purpose was to ensure that more of the oil revenues fall into the region.

Two planes in the president's fleet were advertised for sale as part of Buhari's savings target. Dozens of politicians, judges, civil servants and former military were investigated for suspicions of corruption and embezzlement. Among the suspects was the finance minister under Buhari's representative Goodluck Jonathan.

Security forces reported continued success in the fight against Boko Haram. Despite reports of a weakening of the jihadist group, there were a number of bloody attacks on army camps, aid missions, villages and civilians. Some details claimed that Abubakar Shekau was replaced as leader, something he resigned. In May, Nigeria hosted an international meeting to coordinate the fight against the group. The security situation was most pressing in the state of Borno, especially outside the cities. The UN and aid organizations warned that tens of thousands of people, mainly children, were at risk of malnutrition and starvation. In October, 21 girls were kidnapped by Boko Haram in 2014 in the city of Chibok. The International Red Cross Committee and the Swiss Government acted as intermediaries.

In August, a new mass vaccination campaign against polio began after two cases were discovered in the former Boko Haram-controlled area.

In central Nigeria, a series of clashes between livestock groups and farmers demanded hundreds of dead. The battle concerns scarce land resources in the drought-affected area.

The security forces were criticized for assault and other abuses in several cases. According to the human rights group Amnesty International, at least 150 people have been killed in the state of Anambra since 2015 at rallies to raise the Biafra issue. Hundreds of others were arrested. In 2017, the 50th anniversary of the Biafra War erupted.

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