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Sep 28, 2018 27 tweets 11 min read Twitter logo Read on Twitter
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.
Serious countries do not publicly drag one of their biggest private sector employers - the company supports 500,000 direct and indirect Nigerian jobs - in the mud.
@BusinessDayNg reported that at least 3 big deals involving foreign investors have been put on hold and some Nigerian companies may already be finding it difficult to raise foreign capital in the wake of @MTNGroup’s travails.
It might be speculation at this point, but it is understandable if some within @MTNNG would push for the telco to re-evaluate its position in what is its biggest market and a source of 1⁄3 of its annual profit.
The primary lesson @AsoRock might have to learn (and possibly relearn) is that when it comes to foreign capital, nothing is set in stone, or cement.
From @NLCHeadquarters’s perspective, the strike action comes perfectly timed to apply maximum pressure on @AsoRock just months to an election year.
For a government that prides itself on its populist instincts and its ability to effect crowd-pleasing measures, the strike action and the prospects of a backlash by the unions carries unavoidable electoral and political significance.
The danger is that @AsoRock will be prodded into taking a populist, yet imprudent decision, that defuses working class rage at the expense of sound economics.
The fundamentals of #Nigeria's economy at this time, given the indebtedness of states, and their inability to fulfil their obligations to civil servants in their employ, simply cannot sustain an upward review of the minimum wage.
The current wage bill is simply unsustainable, an increase would be disastrous.

Diminishing resources means that the capacity to fund high profile investments to, e.g to radically address #Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit or any other deficiency has been severely depleted.
The cost of governance has exceeded any reasonable threshold and most of #Nigeria’s states are now effectively bankrupt.

The danger is the political elites are willing to secure short term political gains while endangering Nigeria’s future through a return to debt peonage.
At this point, the burden of sustaining the bubble of heedless rent-seeking patronage has been placed on the next generation.

Their future has been mortgaged.
The kidnap incident with @GIGMotors is another indicator of a mounting escalation in insecurity on federal highways.

Highway banditry is raising the risk profile of interstate travel, and has the potential to inflict severe losses on the transport industry, and on trade.
Without a clear identification of highway banditry as a specific manifestation of violent crime and strategic investments in securing interstate motorways, #Nigeria’s highways will become increasingly unsafe with a corresponding impact on the internal economy.
The interstate transport industry is a critical facilitator of the internal exchange of goods and services and any disruptions due to insecurity will have adverse effects on rural and urban economies.
Securing these highways will require political will, and collaboration between @AsoRock and state authorities, @PoliceNG, and the transport industry.

In addition to pre-emptive and preventive measures, protocols in the event that such incidents take place must be developed.
The fact that @GIGMotors, one of the most trusted interstate transport services in #Nigeria, only issued a public statement a full 10 days after the abductions was an egregious dereliction of the company’s duty of care to its customers and to their families.
Adequate regulatory oversight is required to bring transport operators into alignment with their obligations to their clients.
In 2007, observers from @EUCouncil described the elections as "the worst they had ever seen anywhere in the world".

An embarrassed Umaru Yar'Adua committed to making #Nigeria's elections better, and in 2010, @IwuProf, who had overseen that farce, was replaced by @Prof_AJega.
Under @Prof_AJega's watch, @inecnigeria incrementally improved on elections, culminating in #elections2015, which met the "continental and regional principles of democratic elections" according to @UN.
Yesterday's statement by @CDDWestAfrica was very detailed, and contained accounts of incidents in which #OsunDecides2018 was violated, and every media organisation present described irregularities.
Foreign observer groups concurred with @CDDWestAfrica, and even an early @inecnigeria statement expressed concern, although the organiser later claimed that all issues had been resolved.
While Nigerian politicians have always made efforts to subvert the electoral process, following the sham in 2007, the process had generally improved.
Since the expiration of @Prof_AJega's term of office however, we have seen a steady deterioration in the gains recorded under him, and the brazen violations of electoral norms as seen in #Ekiti in July, and in yesterday's #OsunRerun are a huge step backwards.
@inecnigeria has no safety net left to improve on its processes before #elections2019.

That is a huge worry.

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More from @sbmintelligence

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
Jul 20, 2018
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.
Read 27 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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