Nigeria has a population of over 200 million people, but the country has failed to use that latent power to keep up with other countries. The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) published a study in 2020 that illustrated the issues. It discovered that 82.9 million Nigerians (40.1 percent) lived in poverty. Dissecting the statistics even more shows that economic inequality is most spread to rural locations. With a poverty rate of 40.1 percent, rural areas had 52.1 percent, while urban areas had 18.04 percent. In addition, the National Bureau of Statistics reported, 55.6% of the working-age population was either unemployed (13.1 million) or working in jobs that did not match their skills and qualifications (11.3 million). This implies that people who wanted to work but couldn't find jobs were very much open to engaging in crime and other vices.
Besides the permeable nature of Nigeria's territorial boundaries, systemic deprivation and deeply embedded imbalances have made it easier for atrocities and illegality to happen in Nigeria's northern region. Since 2017, the northern region has had to deal with threats of Boko Haram uprisings, raids, hostage-taking, and armed conflict between Fulani herdsmen and farmers. This is in addition to burglary, street crime, and abductions, which were problems in other regions of the country. As the violent attacks, instability, and vulnerability kept growing, food insecurity also became rampant as many farmers were forced to abandon their farms and flee for safety. Because successive administrations haven't done enough to tackle joblessness, massive impoverishment, and the deficit of infrastructural facilities, Nigeria has experienced more threats to its political stability, territorial integrity, and sovereignty across the country. This is now a negative spiral: economic problems create political instability and conflict which further entrenches economic problems.
Over the last five years or so, there were a lot of unknowns when it came to foreign direct investment and the ease of doing business in the country. Giant corporations like Amazon, Twitter, and Google's all chose to invest in South Africa and Ghana instead of Nigeria, while other brands like Shoprite sold the company's stakes in its Nigerian division.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the Nigerian economy went into its steepest decline in twenty years. However, in 2021, the country witnessed an upturn as emergency shutdowns were lifted, which forced the government to come up with ways to deal with the industrial downturn and gain stability in the global economy. During the pandemic many Nigerians doubted the statistics which the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in the Ministry of Health publicly disclosed. Many Nigerians believed that the NCDC didn't show what truly happened. Instead, they saw it as a way for exploitative elites to get more money from the state treasury.
While the administration and kind-hearted people assisted during the emergency shutdowns, many claimed that the relief packages were distributed in favour of people who supported the political party in power. This resulted in widespread anger and disenchantment, especially from among the poor, marginalized, and low-income communities who thought the curfew made them even hungrier because they couldn't get food. This situation made a few more march through the streets to create disruption and chaos.
One key measure of how well President Buhari performs now will be how well he can regain public's confidence before his tenure runs out in 2023. For the sake of reversing the country's direction, Nigeria must upgrade government schools, drastically reduce the disparity in income, and get young people actively involved in the industrial sector. The State must end electric power outages so that more people can work, set up businesses, and gain more revenue for the government and themselves without draining profits on purchasing diesel and/or fuel to power electricity generating sets. It is also important for municipal authorities to implement empowerment programs to help the marginalized and economically disadvantaged in their respective jurisdictions.