Economy

An image of a man standing in a dark rrom with no electricity

Rolling Blackouts, Heatwave and Tales from Dead Bulbs

One day in the last week of February, for example, the light went off and came back, surging each time at different frequencies, four times in less than 10 minutes. It was as if someone somewhere was testing the supply or that in my confused state, I never quite saw the light come on before it went off again. That was late evening, after work. I’m not counting how many other times this erratic supply may have occurred after I went to bed that night. But the evidence was waiting the next day

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an image symbolically representing the rising cost of living in Nigeria

Cost of living crisis: A personal story

Portion control was a frequent point of argument in my house. It’s a problem with men, of course, but it’s worse with African women brought up to believe that the proof of spousal care is in the size of the husband’s weight, measured by the amount of food on his plate. It’s considered taboo in many places, especially in the South of Nigeria, for example, for a man’s plate of soup to have only one piece of meat or fish. Or for his dough, famously called swallow, to appear miserly…the cost of living crisis is finally driving the point home!

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a crystal ball with the cityscape of Nigeria, and 2024 written in the crystal.

What You Might Expect in 2024

In 2023, we had four years’ worth of politics in one year. Apart from a number of senior lawyers in particular who also made four years’ worth of money in one year, swathes of the political elite are broke, exhausted, and stranded. In 2024, they would be desperate for rehabilitation. Otherwise, their teeming supporters will dissipate, and their misery will be complete. Before June, some top politicians who had been discreetly reaching out to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for favours, would be obliged to take their fate in their own hands and pursue their ambition more openly and less shamelessly. By the end of the year, the scramble for presidential favours would leave an already fragmented opposition in a shambles

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president of nigeria, bola ahmed tinubu and indian Prime minister, narendra modi seated on a backdrop of the g20 india logo

Begging for a seat at the table

Nigeria is not even among the eight countries currently participating in AfCFTA’s Guided Trade Initiative (GTI), a platform that is supposed to boost the region’s trade policy framework. How can Nigeria, which ought to be in the forefront of turning this state of affairs around, but which is sadly one of the laggards in AfCFTA commitments, covet a table at the G-20? And on what terms when, like most of the continent, Nigeria is still largely a market for primary commodities with the inherent disadvantages?

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image of mele kyari in the backdrop of a gas filling station with cars queued up, and the inscription 'no gas'

Gas Car Rigmarole, Questions Tinubu Can’t Ignore

As surely as big money never fails to follow big talk in conspiracies that often end in heart-breaking scandals, the Central Bank offered N250 billion to “support” the NNPC’s gas car value chain. All of this was nearly three years ago. As you read this piece, no one is sure how many of the estimated 12million registered cars in Nigeria are gas-powered or how many of the estimated 6.7million of registered commercial vehicles out of the 12m are on gas…Was the CBN’s N250 billion gas value chain support fund disbursed? If so, how much and what is left of it? Who were the beneficiaries, and what have they done with the money? I tried in vain to get the answers. Perhaps the bank or the Ministry of Petroleum Resources can help

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Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the Dangote Refinery

Dangote Refinery Challenges Global Narrative

Aliko Dangote was dealt a bad hand in a failed transaction. Later, he vowed revenge. Not in a pound of flesh, but by venturing to make his own success where he had been ambushed. At issue was the decision of the government of Umaru Musa Yar’Adua in 2007 to reverse the sale of the Port Harcourt and Kaduna Refineries (two of Nigeria’s moribund refineries) to Blue Star, the Dangote-led consortium. Blue Star had paid about $670 million for the plants in the twilight of the Obasanjo administration and gone away thinking it was a done deal. It wasn’t.

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