Nigeria – dubbed the “giant of Africa” – faces massive socio-economic problems, despite its wealth of resources, population and economic importance. The security situation is volatile in much of the country, and massive inflation is leading to a tense social situation.

President Tinubu, who was elected to office in February 2023 after controversial but largely peaceful elections, has initiated economic reforms, which have not yet had the desired effect. Nigeria’s public finances are heavily dependent on the price of crude oil, and thus on the world market. Empty coffers leave little room for the new government to introduce much-needed social compensatory measures. Unrest in the country’s marginalized northeast, sparked by violent Islamist extremists, is keeping the government and the civilian population at bay, as is the bloody farmer-nomad conflict in the eastern part of the country. Tens of thousands of people have lost their lives in both regions. Corruption and clientelistic structures weaken the development of this regionally important country and undermine its potential in terms of resources, population and economic power. Broad sections of the population are not able to participate in the rapid economic growth. More than 88 million people live in extreme poverty.

Despite all the challenges, Nigeria is one of the most important countries in Africa. With a population of more than 220 million, it is not only by far the most populous country, but also of enormous economic importance. Nigeria's foreign and security policy therefore is a natural focal point: the happenings in Nigeria have an impact and repercussions on large parts of the region and the entire continent, and also play an important role in global policy-making.

The work of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) focuses on Nigeria’s political system and supports the development of transparent and democratic institutions and processes, as well as the involvement of civil society and youth in political decision-making. Another focus of the work is to improve the socio-economic conditions of broad sections of the population by promoting socially just and climate-friendly economic development, in close cooperation with the trade union umbrella organisations. In addition, FES Nigeria works in the area of peace and security, including the security sector reform.

FES opened its office in Nigeria in 1976 and is well connected to civil society. Trade unions are important partners in the project work. FES also cooperates with civil society organisations, governmental institutions and universities. FES Nigeria is represented in Abuja and Lagos and works in a network with other offices in the region on topics such as “Just Transition”.

Find out more about our work in Nigeria on the website of the country project.


Anosike, Juliana; Okotie, Henry; Treydte, Klaus-Peter

Nigeria vor den Wahlen

ein Marathon mit Risiken
Berlin, 2015

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Election security: Stakeholders' perspectives

Abuja, 2015

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Olurode, 'Lai; Wali, Mohammed Ahmad

Citizenship and electoral reforms in Africa

Lai Olurode & M. Ahmad Wali. - Abuja : Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, 2014. - V, 24 S. = 8,8 MB PDF-File. - (Discussion paper
Abuja, 2015

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Get to know ECOWAS

training programme 2011/2012 ; regional approaches to improving security policy and electoral processes in West Africa
Abuja, 2014

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A la decouverte de la CEDEAO

programme de formation 2011/2012 ; approches regionales pour ameliorer la politique securitaire et les processus electoraux en Afrique de l'Ouest
Abuja, 2014

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Africa Department

Contact in Germany

Thomas Claes

Hiroshimastraße 17
10785 Berlin

+49 30-269 35-74 35


Contact in Nigeria

Nigeria Office

Lennart Oestergaard
P.M.B. 5142
WAN Abuja

+234 805 0475866


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