This article discusses how economic reforms, as a reaction to the effects of the global financial crises, have intensified popular unrests and redefined the composition, interests, and socio-economic and political attitudes of Nigeria’s increasingly complex social strata. We relied basically on secondary data to analyze some of the fundamental domestic and international issues facing the country in the course of implementing reforms and their accompanying social, economic and political problems. It was discovered that the past and present economic reform policies failed to guarantee the dividends of democracy and worsened the socio-economic situation of the citizenry. The people, as a result of the untold hardship and unfulfilled expectation meted out by the reform became apathetic with loss of confidence in government and resolved to avoid the state and now found solace in socio-economic and political menace for their survival. Successive governments, through various policies, though with little success, have responded to these challenges and been forced to undertake more active socio-economic and political reforms or face an even greater loss of its authority. The paper then suggested the need for concrete transformative empowerment policy agenda to really meet these challenges.
Key words: Nigerian state, global financial crises, reform, social strata, democracy, empowerment, policy agenda.