Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari is to resume office today (13 March) after spending 51 days on sick leave in the UK. The leader returned to Nigeria on 10 March, ending rumours he was too ill to travel back home.

However, some have speculated Buhari is not fit enough to resume office, after the 74-year-old leader said he needed more rest and medical tests upon his return.

"I am feeling much better now, there may, however, be need to have further follow-ups within some weeks," Buhari said.

Before leaving the country on 20 January, Buhari appointed Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as acting head of state.

Osinbajo has been praised for the leadeship skills he demonstrated during Buhari's absence, fuelling speculations he could have replaced Buhari if the latter had became incapacitated.

Nigerians had become increasingly concerned with the president's health and called on Buhari to personally dismiss allegations of ill health.

Buhari's stay in the UK was shrouded in mystery. The fact that top officials – including the president of the senate, Bukola Saraki – travelled to London to visit the head of state further fanned suspicions that the leadership was concealing his true condition.

Now that the leader is back home, what do Nigerians expect from him?

Economy and corruption on top of agenda

Some analysts and organisations in Nigeria have suggested Buhari focuses on restoring the country's crippled economy.

During Buhari's absence, Nigerians took to the streets of Abuja and Lagos to protest, among others, against unemployment, rising costs of foods and medicines, access to education and lack of services including electricity.

Nigeria, Africa's most popolous nation, is experiencing economic recession. The country, one of Africa's biggest oil producers, is also witnessing a drop in oil production due to renewed violence at the hands of militants groups in the country's Niger Delta region.

"The challenges facing the country remain the same. The economy is at the top of it. The government needs to tackle the economy and see how to get it out of recession. Within that framework, we believe that with the suffering of Nigerians, policies need to be deployed quickly to ensure that it is reduced, that inflation is controlled," Peter Ozo-Eson, general secretary of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), told the Punch newspaper.

Others have urged the head of state to continue his fight against widespread corruption in the country. Buhari, who took office in 2015, promised to end corruption that hinders Nigeria's development.

"He [Buhari] should increase the battle against corruption and make it more potent. He should work towards the re-denomination of the naira as a way to administratively deal with corruption in one swoop and to free the naira from both local and international currency war and manipulations," Ebenezer Oyetakin, executive secretary of the Anti-corruption Network, said.

Buhari won't resume office 'in a dramatic way'

In spite of the fact the leader is facing pressing issues, it is unlikely he will start working at full capacity any time soon.

His spokesperson Garba Shehu told journalists the leader was not going to resume office "in a dramatic way."

"He has been away from the country for nearly two months, so he needs to get into the temperature of the place," he said.

Furthermore, the leader is expected to go back to London to undergo further medical tests.

"His [Buhari's] ill-health will clearly limit his activity. I think the priority now for the government would be to demonstrate that there are no cracks in the system and that it's going to be business as usual going forward," Adedayo Ademuwagun, a Lagos-based analyst at Songhai Advisory, told IBTimes UK.

"That has worked fairly well so far, but there are still doubts about who will really be running the country given the president's condition. The vice president will remain busy, but even his authority will be checked by the president's allies and this dynamic will likely continue until the next presidential election in 2019. That election presents the best chance for Nigeria to press reset and reposition itself for long-term reforms," he concluded.

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