LBS EXECUTIVE BREAKFAST SESSION – MARCH 2023 – PART A [Re: Maintaining Sanity in Pandemonium]

Dear Subscriber,

February 25 Election – Soap Opera or Thriller

If Nigerian politics was a movie, it would have been a box office soap opera or a horror movie. The title of the movie would have been “Sanity in Pandemonium”. Some have likened the state of affairs to the Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock’s movie called “Speed”.

In reality, it is being suggested that the country could slowly slip into crisis. This is because of the similarity between the unfolding drama and June 12, 1993.

The presidential elections have come and gone, but the issues of credibility and transparency are haunting INEC.

In 1993, the election outcome was more important than the process, but in 2023, the process is more important than the outcome. Harold Wilson did say that “seven days is a long time in politics.”

Between the governorship elections and the eventual swearing-in on May 29, there are likely to be many twists and turns, and hopefully, Nigeria will come out a stronger nation and economy than these tense moments seem to indicate.

No naira, no dollar, no nothing!!!

The economy is limping with a GDP growth of 3.1%, and Nigerians are battling with no new or old naira notes, fuel scarcity, extortion by POS operators etc. Headline inflation is projected to decline marginally to 20.96% in February due to the squeeze of the naira cash crunch. Also, average oil production and revenue are up to 1.17mbpd and $10.67bn in Q4, respectively. In a perverse development, the naira has strengthened in the forex market (N765/$) as voters sell their election spoils.

What Next? – Election Tribunal?

The high-tension gubernatorial elections will take place on March 18. All eyes are set on Lagos with the high probability of violence and disruptions in the uptown neighbourhoods. The stock market is adopting a wait-and-see attitude. Also, the MPC will meet on March 20/21 and will likely leave rates unchanged on the expected slowdown in inflation and uptick in Q4’2022 GDP growth.

In this edition of the LBS Breakfast session, Mr Bismarck Rewane and the FDC Think Tank deeply dive into the 2023 elections, the Nigerian economy’s current state, and the implications on your livelihood. It’s a two-part document, with the first highlighting Nigeria’s ideological and political scene. In contrast, the second dissects the markets and provides an outlook for the next few weeks.

Enjoy your read…