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Nigeria set for historic election result

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 01:57

Opposition contender Muhammadu Buhari in the lead as counting continues in Nigeria's presidential election. With memories of post-election violence in 2011 still fresh, there are hopes for a peaceful outcome this time around. Kirsty Basset reports.

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A shock result in Nigeria's presidential race was looking likely after the votes of all but two states were counted. And the strain was showing - (upsot) A ruling party official disrupted a count, saying he had no confidence in the result which put opposition candidate Muhammadu Buhari over 3 million votes ahead of President Goodluck Jonathan. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAGOS RESIDENT, OWOYEMI KASSAN, SAYING: "Buhari is leading and we are very sure that.... Nigerians are very sure that Buhari will be the next president of this country." It's not the first time the two leaders have taken each other on. Buhari, from the mostly Muslim north, lost to Jonathan from the largely Christian south, in 2011. Three days of bloodletting followed, in which 800 people were killed. Some are nervous another disputed outcome could trigger unrest. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LAGOS RESIDENT, OLUWA SEUN, SAYING: "Most people are still waiting back for the results to be released so that they know if there will be chaos or not." The new President faces many big challenges - in particular an oil-dependent economy which has seen its fortunes slide. Jeremy Stretch is Head of FX at CIBC. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) HEAD OF FX AT CIBC, JEREMY STRETCH SAYING: "If we aren't going to see any substantive reversal in the oil price in the very early period, then I think it's going to be very difficult for the economy to bounce back very quickly and very aggressively, irrespective of the election result." Diversification is needed, says Renaissance Capital's Chief Economist, Charles Robertson. (SOUNDBITE)(ENGLISH) CHIEF ECONOMIST AT RENAISSANCE CAPITAL, CHARLES ROBERTSON SAYING: "It's going to have to really balance the budget to try and broaden its tax base without being so dependent on the oil sector to provide the revenues, and that's tough. So there's been talk of raising VAT from 5 per cent to 10 per cent, possibly removing the fuel subsidy, there's lots of items like that being discussed by investors." Fitch cut the credit outlook of Africa's biggest economy to negative on Monday, citing political uncertainty.

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Nigeria set for historic election result

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 - 01:57