30 Mar

The tragedy in Benue – Zaki Biam through the eyes of people there

Fifty. That is the minimum number of people residents say were killed in an attack on the evening of Monday, 20 March, 2017 by gunmen on the yam market in Zaki Biam, Benue State. Samuel Ortom, the governor of Benue State, has said that the number of dead is less than twenty.

At about 3 pm on that day, the gunmen, amongst whom was a woman, stormed the market in a pick-up truck, four Toyota Corolla vehicles and about twelve motorcycles, and began shooting at the hundreds

................   read more

24 Mar

The week ahead – Death, debt and dearth

Benue State was thrown into mourning on Sunday following the killing of a final year Geography student of the State University, Makurdi, allegedly by herdsmen. Hundreds of protesting students took to the streets demanding the arrest and prosecution of those behind the killing. The following day, more than twenty people were killed in an attack on Zaki Biam’s yam market. And the day after in Jato-Aka, at least one person was killed as the community intercepted a truck

................   read more

22 Mar

Daily Watch – Argentina takes Nigerian crude, Government revenues fall

No fewer than 313 mining companies have been sanctioned by the federal government over non-fulfilment of environmental obligations. Salim Salaam, a director of compliance at the mines and steel development ministry said the mining operators were issued sanction letters on March 20 for failing to conduct Environmental Impact Assessment, Environmental Protection and Rehabilitation Programme and the Community Development Agreement. Salaam said four of the mining

................   read more

17 Mar

The week ahead – There will be more drama

Nigeria’s inflation rate bucked the trend in February to fall to 17.78 percent, its lowest level in 15 months. This was driven by a slower rise in general price levels, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. Inflation had risen to 18.72 percent in January, its 12th monthly rise and its highest level in more than 11 years, as Africa’s biggest economy grapples with an economic recession, a currency crisis and dollar shortages, brought on by low

................   read more

13 Mar

How much does your pot of jollof cost? The SBM Jollof Index

The SBM Jollof index is a composite index that tracks the prices of the main ingredients used to prepare a pot one of Nigeria’s primary delicacies – Jollof rice. This meal was chosen because it is a delicacy in every part of the country. We believe that this index gives a bird eye’s picture of national inflationary trends.

An SBM tally of these prices since the second half of 2016 has showed a quarter by quarter increase in the average national index– from

................   read more

10 Mar

The week ahead – The returning President has some unhappiness to deal with

President Muhammadu Buhari returned to Nigeria this morning from the UK where he had been receiving medical treatment for an undisclosed ailment over the last six weeks. The President left Nigeria on January 19 for what was announced as an annual vacation, to last ten days. The vacation was extended indefinitely when the President sent a letter to the National Assembly asking for more time to attend to medical issues as suggested by his doctors.

The CBN intervened for

................   read more

03 Mar

The week ahead – Questions, answers, then more questions

The newly confirmed Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has condemned a disregard for court rulings, saying it is an act of impunity that is threatening the independence of the judiciary. Mr. Onnoghen made this point on March 1 at the Senate during his screening for confirmation as the substantive CJN, having been so recommended by the National Judicial Council, NJC, and nominated for the position by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo. Fielding questions from the

................   read more

02 Mar

Could Jihadis confront each other in the Sahel?

In what is sure to have significant security and counter-terrorism implications on three continents, al-Mourabitoun, AQIM (AL Qaeda in the Maghreb), Ansar Dine, Macina Liberation Front have announced that they have all joined together to create a new but unified al-Qaeda Trans-Sahelian franchise.

While some, or all of the groups have been operating in concordance at least since late 2015, this public declaration changes the game in some ways, and is significant in that

................   read more

27 Feb

The dollar rain – a look at the FX situation

Last week saw a rare sell-off in the FX parallel market. After recording all time lows the previous week, the naira strengthened to between ₦440 and ₦460 per US dollar following the release of new foreign exchange policy guidelines by the Central Bank of Nigeria, and subsequent market intervention.

The question at this point is which market reflects the true value of the naira. Is it an under-supplied interbank market into which CBN intervenes to repeatedly to cushion

................   read more

24 Feb

The week ahead – The dollar rain soothes a looming crisis

The naira recorded further gains against the United States dollar on the parallel market on Wednesday, reversing losses it made earlier in the week. Specifically, the naira rose to ₦505/dollar on February 22, up from ₦512/dollar on Tuesday, as the Central Bank of Nigeria started increasing dollar supply on the official market. The regulator had on February 20 introduced a new forex policy action aimed at boost forex supply to enable commercial lenders to meet the

................   read more