Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn into office on May 29, 2015, following his pivotal victory in the country’s March 2015 elections. Buhari’s electoral success represented a defining moment in Nigerian political history since, for the first time, an opposition party candidate transitioned to power through peaceful, democratic elections. In advance of his inauguration, Buhari established a set of commitments for his first 100 days in office, which include: boosting economic growth and employment, tackling rampant government fraud, and strengthening the country’s security institutions to contend with Boko Haram and other destabilizing threats. However, as Buhari and his government come into power, several factors—such as a growing fiscal crisis, opaque governance systems, and persistent, dynamic security risks—have the potential to undermine his ability to deliver on these promises.
On June 8, the Africa Growth Initiative at Brookings hosted a discussion on the opportunities and challenges facing Nigeria’s recently inaugurated President Buhari and his newly elected government. A panel of Nigeria experts provided an assessment of the historic nature of Nigeria’s latest political transition, as well as the implications of this shift in power for the country’s development, governance, and security priorities.