On the African continent, peaceful transitions of power through free and fair elections are a true rarity. Despite the odds, General Muhammadu Buhari delivered an impressive victory over incumbent president Goodluck Jonathan in last month’s presidential election in Nigeria and is set to take office next month.
While Buhari’s coalition party, All Progressives Congress (APC), won a majority of the seats in the National Assembly, last month’s elections are certainly not the final word in Nigeria’s electoral process.
On Saturday, April 11, Nigerians returned to the polls to vote for both State governors and State Houses of Assembly. These were local elections, and the saying that “all politics is local” certainly holds true in Nigeria. During the country’s local elections, the APC once again defied the odds, and gained control of a majority of the country’s governorships. Read more
By Charles Okeahalam, AGH Capital
Nigeria is facing a number of difficulties, most notably the absence of security in the north-east of the country where Boko Haram has killed thousands of people. Linked to this atrocity is the equally atrocious low level of civil, social and economic governance. Poor governance is correlated with social instability. It is also influenced by economic inefficiency. Therefore, only a simple or naïve analysis could attempt to wish away cause and effect.
Presidential and state governorship elections which were scheduled to take place in February have now been postponed to March and April respectively. As the elections approach we need to ask: what is the state of the Nigerian economy and what do we have to do to improve it? These are important questions that need to be addressed following the presidential election. Read more
Goodluck Jonathan, Nigeria’s president, presented his country’s 2012 budget on Tuesday and while on the surface there are some positive numbers, dig a bit deeper and the picture gets murkier. Read more
By Nasir el-Rufai, former minister of Federal Capital Territory and former director of the Bureau of Public Enterprises
Nigeria, a nation of over 150 million people, generated only 2,000 megawatts of electricity this week. Ethnic, religious and political crises have claimed thousands of lives and displaced countless more. Maternal mortality is among the highest in the world. Not a single university in the country appears among the top 5,000 universities in the world. Infrastructure, where it exists is broken and neglected.
Yet, this year, government will spend more to subsidize petrol (about USD 5 billion) than on roads, education, health and power combined. This prioritization is symptomatic of the political economy of today’s Nigeria. Read more
By Bismarck Rewane, Managing director of Financial Derivatives Company
As the losers lick their wounds and winners share the spoils, Nigerians are waiting in nervous anticipation for the impact of the 2011 elections on the economy and quality of their lives.
President Goodluck Jonathan’s new administration has an opportunity to implement an economic reform agenda that will be transformational in overhauling the structure of the Nigerian economy whilst positioning it for accelerated and sustainable growth. Read more
By Atedo N A Peterside, President/Founder of ANAP Foundation, Chairman of Stanbic IBTC Bank PLC and Chairman of Cadbury Nigeria PLC.
Notwithstanding his deft management of the constitutional crisis that erupted following the incapacitation of his predecessor, the jury was still out on President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GEJ) after he became President following the death of Umaru Yar’ Adua in May 2010.
What a difference a year makes; a landslide victory at the Party Primary of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) was followed by credible general elections and an emphatic personal triumph in the Presidential elections. It is clear now that there is more to GEJ than good luck. This time, he is the architect of his own destiny. Read more
Nigeria is on the verge of takeoff. So said Jeffrey Sachs, the development economist and advisor to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon after a visit this week that coincided with the swearing in of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Sachs is not alone. Many foreign investors eyeing African growth see the continent’s most populous nation, with its market of over 150m people, its oil and gas supplies, human resources and vast unmet demand for goods and services as the greatest opportunity. Read more