Reuters - Video

Edition: US | UK | IN | CN | JP

Video

Youth weigh cost of Nigeria vote

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 02:21

Africa's largest economy goes to the polls at the weekend. David Pollard looks at the challenges Nigeria is facing and the opportunities it offers.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

Baby Muhamud's Nigerian. But now lives in a refugee camp in Chad. He's looked after by Hawa. (SOUNDBITE) (Hausa) HAWA NASURU, NIGERIAN REFUGEE, SAYING: "When Boko Haram attacked our village we ran into the bush. The mother of this boy was shot dead but the boy was not." Thousands have fled Boko Haram. Thousands others killed in six years of insurgency aimed at creating an Islamic caliphate in north-east Nigeria. This month's push to drive the militants back is claiming some success. But these women wait for better news - they're mothers of over 200 schoolgirls the militants kidnapped nearly a year ago - still missing. Security is a top headline issue in this weekend's presidential election. Although another is felt just as keenly, says political analyst, Onyebuchi Emenka. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLITICAL ANALYST, ONYEBUCHI EMENKA, SAYING: "Our economy is in shambles our Naira is ... has gone down. We still run a mono economy that is dependent 98 percent on crude oil sales, so once the price of crude oil tumbles in the world market, we are in trouble.'' On top of that, he says, is a failure to diversify. (SOUNDBITE) (English) POLITICAL ANALYST, ONYEBUCHI EMENKA, SAYING: ''We have neglected agriculture, we have neglected solid minerals, we have neglected human empowerment, we simply sell oil." Incumbent Goodluck Jonathan may suffer through a perception that Nigeria was ill-prepared for energy price shocks because of the revenues lost to corruption under his administration. His rival, former military ruler, Muhummadu Buhari, is seen as a graft fighter - a strongman image that also helps in the debate over Boko Haram. In a country that's been ranked as the worst globally for young people to prosper, both are courting the potentially decisive vote of its youth - in what's tipped to be the closest ballot since the end of military rule in 1999. A knife-edge poll that says 'investors, beware', according to JP Morgan strategist, Kerry Craig. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) KERRY CRAIG, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, JP MORGAN, SAYING: ''Investors need to bear in mind that there will a lot of volatility in the near term, particularly civil unrest around the timing of an election and how that can play out. Investors need to have a strong stomach for that kind of thing. But the growth outlook for these economies is so much stronger than perhaps you see in many developed markets, that they can deliver very good results over the long-term.'' For the candidates, then, a clear set of challenges. An oil-dependent currency that's collapsed against the dollar over the last year. How to restore foreign investor confidence - and that of its own next generation. That's not even counting the tiniest among them.

Press CTRL+C (Windows), CMD+C (Mac), or long-press the URL below on your mobile device to copy the code

Youth weigh cost of Nigeria vote

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 02:21