Terror resurgence and economic woes threaten Nigerian president’s re-election hopes
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Since Alejo Fred lost his job as an engineer two years ago, he has been earning a living by salvaging sellable items from trash.
“There was a robust, private-sector-driven construction industry,” he said. “But this is all gone in a cloud of economic uncertainty.”
As Africa’s most populous country approaches a critical general election Feb. 16, Mr. Fred and an increasing number of other Nigerian voters are voicing disappointment with President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired military general who is promising that a second term would be an improvement on the first.
Mr. Buhari rode to power in 2015 on promises to turn around the country’s moribund economy, tackle corruption and defeat the brutal Boko Haram, the Islamic State affiliate that was wreaking havoc in the northeast.
But low oil prices sparked a recession in 2016, dashing the president’s hopes of fulfilling many of his campaign pledges. Almost 10 million people have lost jobs since the recession struck, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. The unemployment rate now stands at more than 23 percent. Half of Nigeria’s 180 million people live in extreme poverty.
Source: Washington Times