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Jul 20, 2018 27 tweets 13 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
President Obasanjo once called maintaining Nigeria Airways (NAL) irresponsible. Six years later, one of his successors, despite a petition from former NAL employees appealing for ₦45 billion in severance pay, is shopping the world for an investor for a proposed national carrier.
Between a ferocious fight over revenue sharing, and ignoring the obvious on Boko Haram, bad ideas seem to die slowly, such that it has almost obscured the recognition Nigeria’s music industry got from the world’s largest music label.
The latest #BokoHaram attacks don't suggest a resurgence of the group so much as they demonstrate its resilience, capacity for strategic hibernation and stealth.

They also indicate that the financing with which it procures weapons and its recruitment remain largely uninhibited.
While @DefenceInfoNG has made gains in the North-East, its successes have been qualified by a comparative lack of involvement by other security sector actors.

The disruption of #BokoHaram's financing and recruitment is fundamentally the purview of intelligence & covert assets.
One of the major difficulties in tracking #BokoHaram’s financing is that it is funded largely by activities in a vast, unmapped informal economic domain that covers everything from the sale of illegally obtained petrol to cattle rustling and ransoms from kidnappings.
The deficits in terms of securing #Nigeria’s notoriously porous borders also represent a vulnerability.

The #Sahel is awash with an assortment of criminal activities, including weapons traffickers.

The existence of trans-border black markets has been a boon to #BokoHaram.
Until these fundamental issues are frontally addressed, @DefenceInfoNG’s role in the North East will increasingly resemble a Sisyphean task.
These moves over #FAAC and @NNPCgroup are skirting around the real issue - the need to restructure the Nigerian federal state, how the finances of #Nigeria are run, and how its sub-national units operate.
The fact that monthly gatherings in #Abuja to share #FAAC allocations have been around for so long should not distract from the anomaly of the situation. #Nigeria urgently needs to restructure.
The current manner in which #Nigeria is run is not sustainable financially or politically, and as recent internecine conflicts prove, even the security architecture is creaking.
We hope that a collapse will not become the prerequisite to this restructuring, and that @AsoRock will have the presence of mind to do what needs to be done before it is too late.
Tentatively named #NigeriaAir, according to @AsoRock's investor document, the initial startup capital of the proposed carrier, much of which will be provided by @AsoRock, is likely to be about $150 to 300 million, invested in tranches through the first few years of operation.
#NigeriaAir is expected to be carrying over 4 million passengers annually, and have a fleet of 30 modern aircraft operating out of hubs in #Abuja and #Lagos within 5 years.
@AsoRock’s projections are very optimistic considering its chequered track record and the lack of a proper public debate on the issue in #Nigeria.
#NigeriaAirways, once a poster air service in the post-colonial period, operated for 45 years until it was closed in 2003 after many loss making years characterised by inconsistent scheduling, poor customer service, government interference and employee strife.
@AsoRock is yet to fully resolve the long standing legacy issues, for example, pensions benefits of #NigeriaAirways.
A successor airline, first structured as a PPP with @VirginAtlantic, later renamed #AirNigeria, which ran from 2005 to 2012 collapsed amid concerns by the private investors about @AsoRock’s persistent inability to meet its commitments under the PPP.
Perhaps more importantly, this latest venture will be going up against the grain of modern airline economics.
To use just one African example, @flysaa's woes are emblematic of the struggles of traditional flag carriers around the world, contending with low-cost rivals and a spike in oil prices, which puts pressure on those with the highest labour and other non-fuel costs.
Despite @flysaa being consistently rated among the best airlines in the world in terms of customer experience, #SouthAfrica's taxpayers have forked out more than 30 billion rand (₦796.5 billion) since 2012 to keep it in the air.
While the airline industry is set to grow, #Africa is the weakest region with airlines struggling to improve the percentage of seats filled from the world’s lowest level of 61.5% in 2018, compared with 81.7% globally, according to @IATA despite recent strong passenger growth.
The process for setting up #NigeriaAir is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018 but with less than 6 months to go, no big investors, local or foreign have expressed any interest in the venture and for good reason...
the corroding fuselage of many of #NigeriaAirways and #AirNigeria’s once proud aircraft, which can still be seen from the window of an arriving jet into @LOSairport, are a potent reminder of where this new venture could potentially land.
#Nigeria's music industry has grown in acceptance locally and internationally over the last decade, dominating airwaves across #Africa and entering the mainstream in #Europe and #America.
Monetising this has remained a problem.

Very few of the typical streams of income found around the world are available in #Nigeria.

As per @PwC_Nigeria, music revenue mostly from sales of ringtones - grew 9% in 2016, to reach $39M and are expected to rise to $73M by 2021.
We see this move as an acknowledgement of the potential of the industry to grow exponentially in terms of revenue once the monetisation problem is solved.
@UMG might be further encouraged by #Nigeria’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector contributing 0.29% to real GDP in the first quarter of this year alone, according to @nigerianstat. It still has to do its homework properly.

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More from @sbmintelligence

Sep 28, 2018
There was cheery news that regulators had seen the error of their ways regarding indiscriminate use of iron fist tactics.

This step forward was blunted by events such as leap backwards in Osun, a problematic strike action, and a return to bad old habits by a bus company.
On 25 September, @cenbank governor, Godwin Emefiele, said that he was optimistic the regulator would resolve the dispute in a way that will ensure that “everybody will be happy.”

We think this is a belated attempt at reassuring waning investor sentiment towards the country.
A day earlier, @SBGroup, one of four banks @cenbank alleged helped @MTNNG illegally repatriate $8.1 billion, said the regulator may review a decision to penalise its West African unit.
Read 27 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
Aso Rock picked on the bankers of the opposition in a busy week that also saw it acting coy on personal civil liberties and rolling the carpet for two of the EU’s most powerful leaders. All these occurred while cocoa simply could not find its way to the country’s main ports.
@officialEFCC’s interest in @ZenithBank’s transactions involving @riversstategov signals a willingness on the part of @MBuhari's administration to focus on the latter given its pre-eminence in the political architecture of the opposition @OfficialPDPNig.
@riversstategov has emerged as the hub and financial nerve centre of @OfficialPDPNig – a position that has seen its governor, @Gov_Wike, as one of the most important figures within the party's ranks, if not its most influential kingmaker.
Read 19 tweets
Jun 29, 2018
Plateau’s bloody week holds important long-term consequences for the rest of the country, as does our global poverty profile, the President taking a swipe at restructuring advocates, and the finance ministry’s chest thumping while not saying much.
The #Plateau incident underscores the simmering nature of multiple low and medium intensity conflicts occurring across #Nigeria, a historically certain prelude to a total breakdown of law and order.
Inter-communal distrust has continued to escalate with cyclical patterns of strife in conflict areas.

The pervasive loss of confidence in @AsoRock as a neutral arbiter is a key factor in this escalation as it encourages communities to adopt vigilantism with catastrophic results
Read 20 tweets
Jun 6, 2018
Yesterday, a rare joint session of both houses of @nassnigeria met and issued resolutions that has set it on a collision course with @AsoRock, and holds important political and economic consequences for #Nigeria as it stares down the barrel of #election2019.
The tension between the 2 most important arms of the FG, both controlled by @OfficialAPCNg, has endured through the tenure of @MBuhari's administration and is consequential for the party, for the wider political state of the country and in driving economic policy.
Federal lawmakers, in passing a vote of confidence in the principal officers of @NGRSenate and @HouseNGR, condemned the “systematic harassment and humiliation by @AsoRock of perceived political opponents, people with contrary opinions including legislators and the judiciary,”
Read 24 tweets
Jun 1, 2018
The needle shifted a little further into the red zone with concerns over an expanded security vote chest, an import rate hike bound to affect fuel prices, talk of water colonies, and the CBN’s continued fixation on forex.
The glue that holds up the inefficient political system in #Nigeria, and skews it against both the will of the people and a level playing field for better candidates to emerge, is the existence of slush funds that warp campaign funding.
Security votes rank high up in upholding this system.

When the existence of the security votes is taken along with the abysmal security situation across the country, the irony is not lost on observers.
Read 17 tweets
Mar 12, 2018
The Egmont Group, an international body of 155 Financial Intelligence Units that provides a platform for the secure exchange of expertise and financial intelligence, meets from today, March 12, 2018, until Thursday, March 15.
A deadline to Nigeria to separate its National Financial Intelligence Unit from the EFCC lapsed yesterday, without Nigeria enacting a law that would have done so. The likely outcome of the Egmont Group’s meeting will be Nigeria’s expulsion from the group.
In July 2017, @EGFIU lost patience with #Nigeria and suspended the NFIU because of @officialEFCC's habit of leaking sensitive financial intelligence to the media.

@officialEFCC had also refused to cooperate in efforts to grant the NFIU operational independence.
Read 19 tweets

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