If you’re looking for clues over whether Goodluck Jonathan is going to break party policy by running again for the Nigerian presidency, then his decision to suspend the highly-respected governor of the country’s central bank is a good place to start.
Booting out Lamido Sanusi is the latest in a string of attempts by Jonathan to assert power ahead of a vote in early 2015, which together suggest that the much-criticised leader will run again for the presidency. In doing so he would break an unwritten rule. Continue reading »
If Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president, showed his ruthless side by removing central bank governor Lamido Sanusi on Thursday, ostensibly for “financial recklessness” (most observers think it was for blowing the whistle on misplaced oil funds), he showed a cannier side by subsequently nominating Godwin Emefiele (left) of Zenith Bank as the new governor.
Emefiele may be unable to do much in the interim about the fall in the naira, but his reputation for prudent financial management may well prove to be an asset. Continue reading »
Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan showed his teeth on Thursday, suspended central bank governor Lamido Sanusi with immediate effect, with his spokesman citing “various acts of financial recklessness and misconduct”.
Sanusi, a well-respected central banker internationally, had clashed with the government in recent days over oil subsidies, exposing huge shortfalls in oil revenues. And while the governor was due to leave office later this year, that’s clearly too long for Jonathan to have a government critic running the central bank. Continue reading »
Nigeria has been beloved of investors lately, the accessible face of an irresistible rising demographic in sub-Saharan Africa. But it faces challenges, and none more so than the paucity of its infrastructure.
A new report this week by Ecobank spells out just how big that infrastructure gap is, and how it is replicated widely almost everywhere in mid-Africa. And it does so at a vital moment, as Nigeria is about to move to the second stage in its privatisation programme, involving the completion and sale of 10 national integrated power projects (NPPs), with a target of the end of March. Continue reading »
It would be exaggerated to call Davos the “money Oscars”, as Jon Stewart did on the Daily Show. But this year, WEF participants did like to think of countries as winners or losers, especially among emerging markets. In this last roundup, beyondbrics summarises who, to paraphrase the FT, “was hot – and who decidedly not.”
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Maritime piracy has fallen to its lowest level for six years, according to figures released on Wednesday by the International Maritime Bureau (IMB). Overall, the number of actual and attempted attacks is down 40 per cent since Somali piracy peaked in 2011.
But there there are new reasons to be concerned. Piracy is spreading in west Africa and beyond. The number of armed robberies around the coast of Indonesia is at its highest level for 10 years. Continue reading »
Nigeria looks set to become Africa’s biggest economy in the medium term, and with its large population and growing consumer spending power, the west African country is top of the list for many investors looking to tap African growth. But 2014 will ask searching questions about the country’s political climate. Continue reading »
You tell a lot by a country’s electricity supply – in fact, some people prefer it to GDP when it comes to assessing China. So how is Africa doing?
A new Afrobarometer survey of 34 African countries – What people want from government – has named the best and worst countries in terms of power supply in Africa. Continue reading »
Africa is at the forefront of bringing financial services to the “unbanked” and new opportunities to seasoned investors. In Monday’s FT special report on Africa Banking and Finance, our correspondents examine the continent’s enormous potential and challenges, writes Justin Cash.
Africa editor Javier Blas looks at the growth of sharia-compliant investments across the continent, whilst Anousha Sakoui assesses bright new prospects for M&A activity. Continue reading »
By Charles Okeahalam of AGH Capital
Tom Hank’s portrayal of Captain Richard Phillips’ encounter with the pirate Abduwali Muse aboard the MV Maersk Alabama has focused public attention on an issue threatening an industry that, according to the International Maritime Organization (IMO), handles more than 90 per cent of global trade. Continue reading »
Are fixed exchange rates bad for growth? Much of the economic literature suggests no causal relation between a country’s exchange rate regime and economic growth. But the IMF has produced a paper suggesting that sub-Saharan Africa may be different.
Manuk Ghazanchyan and Janet Stotsky, the authors, perform a random effects model and find that non-oil exporting nations that claimed to have a flexible exchange rate had significantly higher GDP per capita growth from 1999 to 2011. Continue reading »
Back in September, to much fanfare, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan officially handed over share certificates and licenses to the handful of energy consortiums who successfully bid $2.5bn for ownership of ten distribution companies and five power generation plants.
But investors are starting to grumble about breakdowns in communication, procedural confusion and the government’s failure to properly think through how the new system will work. Continue reading »
Investors in Nigeria’s oil sector have been having a tough time of it as commercial-scale theft and sabotage have hurt operations and the country sits in regulatory limbo. Now there’s some bad news on taxation.
International oil companies have been lobbying hard to have the fiscal terms proposed in the now-famous draft Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) diluted, but it doesn’t look like those efforts have paid off. The government hasn’t got any intention of compromising on its proposed tax regime, the minister of petroleum resources said, despite complaints that production could slump by 25 per cent if the legislation is passed in its current form. Continue reading »
With all the talk of the rise of the African consumer, you might be forgiven for thinking that it’s simply a matter of showing up and opening up shop.
Well here’s a reality check: Woolworths of South Africa is closing its three stores in Nigeria, just a couple of years after opening. Continue reading »
It’s already been a record year for African bonds, despite the emerging market sell-off, and the list of 2013 issuers has just got longer. Nigeria’s largest lender, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB), is the latest entity to tap yield-hungry international investors, launching a 5-year $400m eurobond at a yield of 6.13 per cent.
GTB is taking advantage of a bright period for emerging market debt. Borrowing costs soared and issues plummeted after the US Federal Reserve hinted in May that it would begin cutting back its bond buying programme, which has stimulated the purchase of EM assets. But since then it has delayed “tapering”, causing a slew of issuers to come to market while prices are still decent. Continue reading »