Nigeria is facing existential questions that run even deeper than its current economic recession. The downturn, confirmed in data released on August 31, presents an opportunity for Africa’s biggest economy to change course. It’s time to wean Nigeria from oil, propping up new growth poles in agriculture, light manufacturing and technology.
The Nigerian economy contracted by about 2.1 percent in the second quarter, while inflation soared to 17.1 percent in July. The decline can be seen in other measures, too. International airlines have pulled out, Nigeria’s second largest commercial air fleet has shut down, industries are closing and 4.5 million people lost their jobs in a year.