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Nigeria: Security challenges ahead

The largely peaceful outcome of Nigeria’s March 2015 presidential election – in which incumbent Goodluck Jonathan accepted his defeat by former president Muhammadu Buhari – has averted the immediate risk of widespread post-election ethnic or sectarian violence. While this is likely to boost investor confidence, companies in Nigeria are nonetheless exposed to profound serious risks. Regional flashpoints of violence during the election are likely to remain in focus in the mid- to long-term. Boko Haram continues to pose a security threat across the north-east of the country, despite being substantially weakened by a Multinational Joint Task Force since February 2015.

In the oil-rich Niger Delta, both national and subsequent gubernatorial elections were marred by localised violence, especially in Rivers State, underscoring continued risks of political violence. In addition, a 2009 amnesty deal with militant groups is scheduled to run out later this year, raising the stakes for a return of large-scale violence which plagued the delta during the early 2000s.