13 Dec

Review: Assessing our predictions for 2016, and how they fared

2016 has been an eventful year across the world and in Nigeria is particular. As we put finishing touches to our review of 2016 and our forecast of 2017, due for release this Friday at noon, we did a review of our key 2016 predictions from last year and how these have panned out as the year unfolded.

A year ago, we forecast that the following were likely to happen in 2016:

 

 

What we said What happened
Consistent and sustainable efforts at resettling 2.5 million people displaced across Nigeria. Spot on
Boko Haram will be dislodged from all their bases in the North-East. Spot on
More Boko Haram attacks, most of them hit and run, will originate from Chad and the Diffa region of Niger Republic. Largely right, but most of Boko Haram’s attacks originated from within Nigeria.
There will be an escalation of the conflict in the Middle Belt. Spot on, more, and bigger attacks happened over 2016, Agatu, Ukpabi-Nimbo, etc.
The Shi’a problem will escalate, but will not get to become a full-blown insurgency. Spot on
There will be a renewal of militancy in the Niger Delta which will lead to an increase in piracy off of the Gulf of Guinea, and kidnapping in South-Eastern Nigeria. Spot on
The economy will affect the police, leading to a worse security situation. Spot on
Crude oil prices will not rise, and Iran’s re-entry into the market will mean a reduction in Nigeria’s earnings. Crude prices did rise eventually, but Nigeria’s earnings went down for other reasons.
The FG will end fuel subsidies and increase taxation. This will lead to a backlash from Nigerians. The FG did announce the end of subsidies before Q1 was over, but by the end of the year, the subsidies were back.
The Naira will be devalued officially. It will fall at least 20% in Q1. Spot on on all counts. Eventually a “managed” float of the Naira happened, but it turned out to be a devaluation, not a float, and we ended the year with six exchange rates.
State revenues will take a hit, and the states will find it harder to borrow from the capital market. Spot on
More states will owe more salaries, and will eventually be forced to reduce their work forces. While more states are owing salaries, over 80% of the states as at last count, the political fall out in Imo, the first state to attempt to downsize its workforce, and that government’s eventual back-pedalling means that others have not followed suit.
The states will come into conflict with organised labour. 2016 will be a year of industrial action. Spot on. However, the lack of support for the unions due to distrust within the populace muted their impact.
Lagos, Abuja, Jos, Bauchi, Gombe and Kano will absorb more migrants, and become more crowded. Spot on. The IDP problem, increasing numbers of migrants to the big cities shows a brewing crisis.
President Buhari’s popularity will take a big hit in all the geopolitical zones except the North-West. Spot on
Summary Spot on – 11 Largely right – 2 Wrong – 1

SBM Intelligence’s forecast for 2017 will be published at noon WAT on Friday, December 16, 2016.