Many of our clients are wondering why we have not reached them on possible areas to invest in Nigeria in 2011. Well, we waited to see the outcome of a gubernatorial rerun in one of the states whose election served as a litmus test to the newly inaugurated electoral body.
2011 is an election year in Nigeria and activities in this direction would commence with voters registration exercise, parties primaries, then campaigns for the elections slated for April, 2011. Reports emanating from various quarters indicate that this election would be like no other since the commencement of the fourth republic.
Some northern elements within the ruling party is insisting on keeping the presidency in the North based on a zoning policy while the Niger Delta people in the party is of the opinion that their candidate already in the saddle of leadership as the president should continue in office. The other political parties looking to wrest power from the incumbent government seek candidates with credible credentials rather than states of origin. In the states, while some governors seek second term in office, there are aspirants cross carpeting to parties with the best chances of their running against the incumbents and clinching the positions.
Politics in Nigeria has become a do or die affair as becoming a public office holder provides access to personal aggrandizement. In these circumstances, violence, kidnapping and political assassinations may be expected. Political campaigns come with so much money in circulation for electioneering. Therefore, in the first quarter leading up to the second quarter of the year, not much should be expected in the form of government spending. The economy would foot-drag during this period as business people and investors watch the political situation from the sideline.
Nevertheless, forget about these uncertainties, even with the elections, the economy is expected to grow at the rate of 5.8% this year. The new government would still be confronted with the old problems of infrastructure especially power, roads, hospitals and housing. Other issues the new administration would contend with are that of rising food prices and personal security. Investors may look in these directions.
Nigeria remains one of the countries to beat in terms of return on investment in sub Saharan Africa. With its huge market potential of over 150 million people, its educated workforce and gaping infrastructure needs, it is an attractive market to be ignored this year, 2011. Little wonder the hospitality sector has become a beehive…and various international franchises setting up in the cities.
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