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Nigeria: The economy and reform

The Nigerian government has embarked on a reform programme that seeks to improve on the country's dire economic performance and tarnished image. Can benefits reach down to its own people? And can it convince the international community?

Economic report card

Over the course of a few weeks in late March and early April, Nigerians watched spellbound as a series of unprecedented events unfolded.

The former inspector general of the police force, Tafa Balogun, was handcuffed in public and charged on 70 counts of corruption. Two residing cabinet ministers were fired: the housing minister, for the irregular selling of government property in Ikoyi, Lagos; and the education minister, for paying bribes to get his budget through the National Assembly. The latter incident was also part of a scandal that forced the Senate president – the third most important figure in the political hierarchy – to resign.

"In terms of structural reform, the last few weeks have been nothing short of revolutionary, and the repercussions are still reverberating," says Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the finance minister and head of the economic team that is leading the reform programme of president Olusegun Obasanjo's government.

Nigeria: Annual economic forecast
2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008
Real GDP % 5.0

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