The drop in inflation to 9.0 percent y/y in Jan, from 12.0 percent y/y in Dec, was somewhat more significant than expected by the market, precipitating a new leg down in rates at the short end and some initial compression in bond rates. Indeed, T-bill yields fell by around 100 bps in the secondary market after the last CPI figure was released on 18 Feb, temporarily breaking the 10 percent threshold for some of the longest maturities. Meanwhile, bond rates dropped by about 30 bps, with the Jan 22s trading as low as 10.4 percent on 20 Feb. Prior to this, the four bonds on offer at the 13 Feb auction were issued with a sub-11 percent angle (10.67 percent [April 17s], 10.96 percent [June 19s], 10.80 percent [Jan 22s], 10.90 percent [Jul 30s]) as the market positioned for an imminent single-digit CPI print.
Driving by Louis Edet House in Abuja these days, you could see that the Nigeria Police is a troubled institution. Security is tighter, and the security gate personnel no longer feel obliged to be friendly. Once you manage to gain entry, you could hear whispers of agony among different groups of force personnel.
Marley: Movement of Jah people!
Fela: Movement of our People
This should have been filed last month in commemoration of the birthday of Nester Robert (“Bob”) Marley, who was born on February 6, 1945 and died on May 11, 1981. In night clubs Bob Marley’s birthday and the day he exited used to be commemorated with an endless play of his music.
The football league in Nigeria went into the Guinness Book of Records last season for its duration – it didn’t look as if it would end.
The judiciary is seriously troubled. Everyone, including its members, knows it. It isn’t supposed to be so, given the calibre of the individuals of the old bloc who gave all they had to build a legal institution comparable to the best anywhere in the world. The decadence we see is not peculiar with the bench only, it is found also within the bar.
Oil prices oscillated within the $90-110 band in 2012 posing no apparent danger to Nigeria’s budget oil price benchmark of $72 per barrel. Longer term trends – US shale gas and “fracking” technology which dramatically improves North American oil supply; the increase in African countries with significant oil finds; easing off of geo-political tensions in the Middle-East and North African (MENA) region (at least for a season!); and the cessation of new investment in Nigerian upstream sector – all mean that Nigeria’s dependence on oil and gas resources for 85 percent of national revenue may yet come home to roost, sooner or a little later!
Before we digressed to other matters you were going to tell me something about the Robber Barons.”
Since my book on Lagos, with which readers of this column will surely have become familiar, is finally to be unveiled this week in this lagoon-embraced city, I am taking the liberty afforded to me by BusinessDay to include one or two extracts from the book. I was going to talk about ‘my Lagos’ except there is no way I could own it, although it is owned by all Lagosians and not just the super-rich lucky enough to have a spot of land.
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