post-election Nigeria

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

Another emerging market has seen the kinder face of the ratings agencies. This time it is Nigeria’s turn – its credit rating outlook has been upgraded to positive, from stable, by Standard and Poor’s on Thursday.

Nigeria is currently rated ‘B+/B’ by S&P, which is three steps away from the minimum investment grade. But, according to the ratings agency, its new positive outlook means there is now “at least a one-in-three likelihood of an upgrade if Nigeria’s reform initiatives support economic growth, build stronger buffers against Nigeria’s dependence on petroleum revenue and reduce pressure on the exchange rate”. 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

Nigeria’s resolve to maintain currency stability and push ahead with economic reforms to combat inflation (as seen in the unexpected 275 basis points rate rise to 12 per cent on October 10) have been rewarded – just a little.

The country’s outlook is now stable, according to ratings agency Fitch (who had put the country on negative watch in Oct 2010) – but reliance on oil revenues and its relatively weak foreign reserves could still haul it back down. Read more

Nasir el-RufaiBy 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

Bismark RewaneBy 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

Supporters wave posters and banner in support of the presidential candidate of Congress for Progressive Change, retired General Mohammadu Buhari, during the presidential campaign rally of the leading opposition retired General Mohammadu Buhari in Kaduna on March 2, 2011.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