Home Opinion Key issues to Nigeria's presidential election, by Simon Ateba

Key issues to Nigeria’s presidential election, by Simon Ateba Updated for 2021

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Updated: February 27, 2021


Nigerians are electing a new President on February 16 and here is what you need to know. Although there are more than 30 presidential candidates, many see the election as a direct contest between President Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar.

But this is key to election. Unemployment is officially at over 23 percent. That is, more than 20 million Nigerians cannot find a job. And these are just the official figures.

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The real figures are said to be double the government data. But unemployment is that high mainly because of corruption and lack of electricity. Companies have been shutting down for decades in Nigeria because of poor business environment, corruption and lack of electricity. This is because doing business in Nigeria is extremely expensive as companies have to rely on own generators and diesel and paying kickbacks and so on.

This is even made worse with the collapse of the educational system. The graduates seem not to be prepared for the world that is coming and have to grapple with the flood of inventions and gadgets from the United States and elsewhere. When you add insecurity and Boko Haram terrorism to the mix, you understand why Muhammadu Buhari, who was seen as a man of integrity was elected in 2015 to clean the mess and bolster the Nigerian economy.

But now, four years after, Buhari has failed to fight corruption, restore electricity, create a better business environment or increase funding for research and universities.

As a result, there is confusion. Should we re-elect him or should we give a chance to Atiku Abubakar, a former Vice President who contributed to the current chaos? Or should we choose any of the other guys with little chance of winning? That’s the issue!

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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