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The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist - Politics - Nairaland

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The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by MXrep: 12:46pm On Mar 05, 2017
The president has been ill for six weeks, but the country still needs governing


From the print edition | Middle East and Africa
Mar 4th 2017 | LAGOS
SITTING on the pavement outside the Lagos state government secretariat, Empero flicks through newspapers, looking for jobs. “We are smiling and we are dying,” says the 36-year-old, a town planner by trade. Nigerians are known for their dramatic turn of phrase. But recent events may justify such rhetoric. The economy shrank by 1.5% in 2016. Inflation has more than doubled to 18.7% in 12 months. Meanwhile, the president, Muhammadu Buhari, has been out of the country since January 19th, receiving treatment for an undisclosed illness. There could hardly be a worse time for the 74-year-old former military dictator to be incapacitated. But much of the blame for Nigeria’s current economic troubles can be laid at his door.

Mr Buhari was elected in March 2015 promising to defeat Boko Haram, the jihadist group terrorising the country’s north-east, and to tackle endemic corruption. He had on his side a wave of hope; he was the first Nigerian opposition leader to oust an incumbent peacefully at the ballot box, despite his authoritarian past.

On national security he has made progress: Boko Haram, now splintered into two factions, no longer controls any big towns. But it is far from defeated, as the government has claimed repeatedly in the past couple of years. With many farmers still unable to return safely to their fields, hunger stalks the region: 450,000 children are severely malnourished. Elsewhere, clashes between Muslim Fulani herdsmen and largely Christian farmers in southern Kaduna, in Nigeria’s fractious Middle Belt, have killed at least 200 people since December. Oil production has not fully recovered after money-hungry militants attacked pipelines and rigs in the Niger Delta last year. When it comes to corruption, a number of bigwigs have been arrested and bags of seized money paraded before the media. Yet there have been no high-profile convictions yet. The state may be led by a former strongman, but it is still fundamentally weak.


It is the troubled economy, though, that looms largest now in Africa’s most populous country. Mr Buhari was inaugurated soon after the collapse of global oil prices. But instead of accepting reality (exports and government revenues are dominated by the black stuff), he reverted to policies he implemented when last in power in the 1980s, namely propping up the currency. This has led to shortages of foreign exchange, squeezing imports. The central bank released the naira from its peg of 197-199 to the dollar in June 2016, but panicked when it plunged, pinning it again at around 305. Exchange controls are still draconian. Consequently, many foreign investors have left, rather than wait interminably to repatriate profits. “The country is almost uninvestable,” says one. Importers that can’t get hold of dollars have been crippled. “To take a bad situation and make it worse clearly takes a bit of trying,” says Manji Cheto, an analyst at Teneo Intelligence, part of an American consultancy.

By February 20th the naira had sunk to 520 on the black market. It has since recovered by around 13% after the central bank released dollars and allowed posh Nigerians to buy them cheaply to pay for school fees abroad. The reprieve is likely to be temporary, though. Most analysts agree that the naira should float freely. Egypt, which devalued the pound in November in return for a $12bn IMF bail-out, is an oft-cited example. After falling sharply it found a floor before rebounding as the best performing currency in the world this year. However, Nigerian officials worry that the inevitable inflationary spike could lead to unrest, particularly if they are forced to raise subsidised petrol prices. It is also anathema to Mr Buhari, who is thought to blame an IMF-advised devaluation for the coup that ejected him from power in 1985. “They all know what needs to happen,” says a Western official of the nominally independent central bank’s leadership. “But somehow they don’t dare to [do it].”

The IMF predicts Nigeria’s economy will expand by 0.8% this year. That would lag far behind population growth of around 2.6%. But the government will tout any recovery as a victory. “That’s the real danger, that they will take that as validation their policies are working,” says Nonso Obikili, an economist. Meanwhile, Nigeria continues to take out expensive domestic and foreign loans. While debt remains relatively low as a proportion of GDP, at around 15%, servicing it is eating up a third of government revenues. After a $1bn Eurobond issue was almost eight times oversubscribed last month, it plans to issue another $500m one this year. Officials have also said that they want to borrow at least $1bn from the World Bank. That remains contingent on reform.

If Mr Buhari remains in London much longer, his absence could provide a window for Nigeria’s technocratic vice-president Yemi Osinbajo to push through a proper devaluation. Mr Osinbajo, currently in charge, has proved an energetic antidote to his ponderous boss, visiting the Delta for peace talks and announcing measures intended to boost Nigeria’s position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, in which it currently ranks a lowly 169 out of 190.

Mr Buhari called the governor of Kano during a prayer meeting on February 23rd to say he was feeling better, the first time Nigerians had heard from their president since he left the country. But the state of his health is still unclear (aides have said only that he needs more rest). Mr Osinbajo’s appointment as acting president has followed constitutional protocol. In 2010, by contrast, it took three months for Goodluck Jonathan, a southerner, to be cleared to rule while Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, the northern president, lay dying in Saudi Arabia. There are ghosts of that power struggle in rumours that Mr Buhari’s closest allies are manoeuvring to try to keep the presidency with a northerner should their boss die or be forced by ill health to step down. That could split the ruling All Progressives Congress into three or four factions, destabilising policy-making. Nigeria’s best chance of reform in the short run, then, is probably for the president to rest up in London a while longer.

This article appeared in the Middle East and Africa section of the print edition under the headline "A nation holds its breath"
http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21717787-president-has-been-ill-six-weeks-country-still-needs
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by hucienda: 12:49pm On Mar 05, 2017
The Economist. You too? cheesy

One can only imagine the pressure cranking on Mamman Daura and co in London and the propagandists struggling to hold the fort and narrative in Nigeria.

One doesn't need to be told it's tough these days in the Buhari Media Centre. grin

The "It's Jonathan" excuse has been over-used and now rings hollow - and time has exposed them as frauds not knowing what to do with power as their is no cogent plan in place.

Eedris Abdulkareem released 'Nigeria Jaga Jaga!' at the wrong time - 13 years earlier.

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by MXrep: 12:51pm On Mar 05, 2017
SITTING on the pavement outside the Lagos state government secretariat, Empero flicks through newspapers, looking for jobs. “We are smiling and we are dying,” says the 36-year-old, a town planner by trade.

grin grin grin grin You sure say that Empero guy no be Sarrki or Omenka??

There could hardly be a worse time for the 74-year-old former military dictator to be incapacitated. But much of the blame for Nigeria’s current economic troubles can be laid at his door.


grin grin grin Unlike the zombies blaming GEJ or 16 years of PDP or ......................

The IMF predicts Nigeria’s economy will expand by 0.8% this year. That would lag far behind population growth of around 2.6%. But the government will tout any recovery as a victory. “That’s the real danger, that they will take that as validation their policies are working,” says Nonso Obikili, an economist.

grin grin grin grin A very sharp IPOB yoot reminding the zombies in advance before they celebrate an infinitesimal economic growth that is far below population growth

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by EdCure: 12:51pm On Mar 05, 2017
Nigeria is being run by Nigerians. We never actually had good leaders anyway!

Leadership vacuum and insensitivity is not alien to Nigeria. That's why we are the most resilient people on earth.

No one is missing Buhari.

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by vayne(m): 12:52pm On Mar 05, 2017
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by vayne(m): 12:52pm On Mar 05, 2017
Autopilot cry

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by TippyTop(m): 1:02pm On Mar 05, 2017
There could hardly be a worse time for the 74-year-old former military dictator to be incapacitated. But much of the blame for Nigeria’s current economic troubles can be laid at his door.

1 Like

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by TippyTop(m): 1:05pm On Mar 05, 2017
Would have been better if Buhari continued his cow herding business, I mean same policy of 1980 was brought back in 2015,

But instead of accepting reality (exports and government revenues are dominated by the black stuff), he reverted to policies he implemented when last in power in the 1980s

1 Like

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by LasGidiOwner: 1:05pm On Mar 05, 2017
Buhari is a disastrous bigot. His bigotry and cluelessness ruined the Nigerian economy..

4 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by Jabioro: 1:07pm On Mar 05, 2017
Like this like that.. let them hold on to the power. in as much as the man at center is in oblivion ...the Nigerians I know we begin to voice out.. count down had started.
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by LugarT: 1:18pm On Mar 05, 2017
Mr Osinbajo, currently in charge, has proved an energetic antidote to his ponderous boss, visiting the Delta for peace talks and announcing measures intended to boost Nigeria’s position in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings, in which it currently ranks a lowly 169 out of 190.

shocked angry shocked sad grin sad these guys killed chill men!

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by SonOfEl(m): 1:26pm On Mar 05, 2017
Buhari is not being missed.

Thank you economist for reminding Zombies not to tout 0.8% growth projection (if it ever occurs) as a victory.

2 Likes 1 Share

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by Larryfest(m): 1:27pm On Mar 05, 2017
EdCure:
Nigeria is being run by Nigerians.
We never actually had good leaders anyway!

Leadership vacuum and insensitivity is not alien to Nigeria. That's why we are the most resilient people on earth.

No one is missing Buhari.
I tell you bro no one is missing him even those here on NL supporting him are doing so hypothetically..

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by drss2(m): 1:40pm On Mar 05, 2017
now every body can see dat buari's "blame GEJ syndrome" for recession was notin but plain stupidity. dis govt is d most irresponsible regime eva since d mistake of 1914. buari dullard's APC govt care less about governance cos they wia more interested in grabing power.
imagine if d dullard was not elected in 2015, high ranking zombies would have lebeled him d best leader nigeria never had.

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by TheFreeOne: 1:49pm On Mar 05, 2017
Nigeria’s best chance of reform in the short run, then, is probably for the president to rest up in London a while longer.

Me I don already give the man 2yr needed rest. He should take care of his health and forget leading Nigeria.

A man with such ponderous mindset won't help the state of our economy, insecurity, fulani militia terrorists attacks, IPOB agitation and tensions in the ND but will only worsen it.

1 Like

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by EmeeNaka: 2:08pm On Mar 05, 2017
Buhari is the worst Nigeria leader since 1960. He is worse than Book haram

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Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by MXrep: 1:06am On Mar 06, 2017
i expected FP, mod why
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by SalamRushdie: 1:42am On Mar 06, 2017
Only a career fool won't know that Buhari alone is responsible for the recession Nigeria is currently in and even the way his playing hide and seek with his illness is costing our fragile economy millions of losses in dollars daily ..how many investors will be willing to inject much needed FDI into an economy where the leader is playing hide and seek with the true state of his health....Buhari alone is responsible for the culture of corruption in Nigeria and yes you can take that to the bank

1 Like

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by sorom4: 1:51am On Mar 06, 2017
BMC Squad come and defend your 250k job

3 Likes

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by BeardedMeat: 2:38am On Mar 06, 2017
I am jobless. I need a BMC job. Can somebody help?
Cc: Modaft, omenkalives, jesuslovesyou, sarriki, etc
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by ikorodureporta: 2:57am On Mar 06, 2017
cheesy

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by juman(m): 3:16am On Mar 06, 2017
LasGidiOwner:
Buhari is a disastrous bigot. His bigotry and cluelessness ruined the Nigerian economy..

You are right.
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by juman(m): 3:22am On Mar 06, 2017
Apc government has no clear direction.
A government that is groping and wandering in darkness.

Apc government lacks the capacity to lead nigeria well

1 Like

Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by DelGardo: 4:46am On Mar 06, 2017
Wailers are rejoicing without reading. FYI the Economist believes that the way out of the economic situation is to devalue the Naira.

So please don't come back to wail if the dollar starts trading at N800 - N1,000 and inflation rises to 40%.

Yeye analysis, pathetic solution by the Economist.

We have seen how they turned the Egyptian economy from bad to worse with their delusional theories.

We don't need portfolio investors at this time. When we overcome real investors shall come. Ride on PMB/Osinbajo
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by juman(m): 5:29am On Mar 06, 2017
SonOfEl:
Buhari is not being missed.

Thank you economist for reminding Zombies not to tout 0.8% growth projection (if it ever occurs) as a victory.

Nobody missing him.

He is not a good president.
Re: The Mysterious Illness Of Muhammadu Buhari. Who’s Running Nigeria?-the Economist by NeedGiftcards(m): 7:10am On Mar 06, 2017
His active VP

.
Meanwhile, If you have Amazon and iTunes gift cards for sale..I'm interested. Check my signature to contact me

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