by Bosun Awoniyi
LAGOS Nigeria (Xinhua) -- Each year
comes with its defining moments and events that make it
memorable. The year 2018 was no exception. For Nigeria, it was a
mishmash of the good, the bad and the ugly.
outgoing year is not one of the best for Africa’s most populous
nation that is facing a tough fight against terrorism.
President Muhammadu Buhari, at a recent gathering,
acknowledged that 2018 was a mixed year of mindless bloodletting
and the recovery of the economy from recession, among other
He said 2018 would go down as a year of mixed blessings for
On the pleasant side, Buhari said, Nigeria’s economy has made
significant progress since coming out from recession, as the
government implements its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.
Experts say economic prospects for Nigeria remain positive
despite slow recovery.
Agricultural production has improved markedly, contributing
to a surplus in the country’s trade balance.
Infrastructural deficit has been greatly reduced, with
significant improvement in roads, railways, aviation and power
Meanwhile, Nigeria has not relented in the fight against
corruption, while the business environment has been improved
through institutional reforms.
The country’s anti-graft body secured more than 300
convictions between January and late December, a major surge
from the previous year’s total of 189 convictions.
The convicted this year included former governor of Taraba
State Jolly Nyame and serving senator and former governor of
Plateau State Joshua Dariye.
Nyame and Dariye are currently serving time at Kuje Prison.
On the downside, many Nigerians were killed in violent
clashes between neighbors, in floods, fires, road accidents, and
More than 2,000 persons have died since January in violence
that swept through the country’s central states.
Boko Haram militants have waged a decade-long war in
Nigeria’s north, using calculated attacks that have killed
thousands, including security personnel, and displaced millions
According to Nigeria’s relief agency, more than 30,000
Nigerians have fled their homes in affected states, placing a
heavier burden on the military and security agencies, who should
be countering the Boko Haram insurgency in the north.
In addition, interior minister Abdulrahman Dambazau said,
persistent attacks on residents of the northwest state of
Zamfara by bandits will affect food security in the country.
Since those affected by the killings are largely agrarian
rural dwellers, the activities of the bandits will have a
serious impact on agriculture and food security, the minister
Hundreds of people have been killed in attacks linked to
cattle-rustling gangs in Nigeria’s northwest Zamfara state this
Cattle raiding has become rampant recently in Nigeria, with
the northern part of the most populous African country being the