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Buhari sworn in as President of Nigeria

Friday, May 29, 2015 - 02:07

Muhammadu Buhari is sworn in as President of Nigeria, in the country's first democratic handover of power from a sitting leader to a rival. As Grace Pascoe reports he faces a number of challenges, including a slowing economy that's been hit hard by weak oil prices.

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An historic moment for Nigeria. The inauguration of Muhammadu Buhari marks the country's first ever democratic transfer of power from one political party to another. And it marks a remarkable turnaround for the 72 year old general - who's gone from military dictator in the mid-1980's to born again democrat, elected in a landslide viutory at the ballot box in March. David Stubbs from JPMorgan says it's a step in the right direction. SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JP MORGAN, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, DAVID STUBBS, SAYING: "Ultimately this election brought into power someone who's calling card is security and this is obviously a very hopeful development for Nigeria because of the security situation which really has damaged business confidence and retarded investment into the country." As President of the continent's biggest crude-producing nation, Buhari will have his work cut out. He inherits a host of problems, including a weakened currency - and the challenges of a collapse in the price of oil which has hammered state revenues and economic growth. (SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) JP MORGAN, GLOBAL MARKET STRATEGIST, DAVID STUBBS, SAYING: "I think what we need to see now from this new government is improved internal security and measures to move the economy away from its dependence from oil but that is a difficult task, if you can pull it off I think the future is bright for Nigeria." Darren Sinden of Admiral Markets agrees there is much to be done. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) ADMIRAL MARKETS, MARKET COMMENTATOR, DARREN SINDEN "It could be a fantastic economy, but there is a legacy of poor governance, bribery is endemic and there is obviously a massive division in the country along religious and tribal lines and whoever is in the upper echelons of running that country and the oil assets has got a really tough job on their hands." But despite the challenges, many of Nigeria's 170 million people who are hungry for change and development, hope the country has turned a corner. And the dozens of other African countries, represented at the ceremony by heads of state will be hoping so too, as they stand to gain, if Buhari is able to breathe new life into the economy.

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Buhari sworn in as President of Nigeria

Friday, May 29, 2015 - 02:07