Robert Dowden had presciently anticipated Nigeria’s presidential electionsas the most important African event of the decade. Last week’s elections saw the tenacious opposition candidate former general Muhammadu Buhari triumph over incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. This was Buhari’s fourth consecutive attempt for the presidency. He had a short spell as military head of state in 1984/85. Nigerian elections are usually characterized by vote-rigging; inevitability of incumbents winning as they violence and state’s petro-resources to capture the electoral process; and losers resort to violence. Last week’s elections broke the old traditions as observers judged them as exceptionally peaceful, free, fair and credible. Nigeria’s electoral commission introduced smartcards as innovative means of identifying voters - an innovation which singularly reduced the space for vote rigging.
Nigeria’s new leader says the nation has put a one-party state behind it and embraced democracy with his election. Former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari said now is the time “to heal wounds” after a hard-fought contest left emotions running high. He said in his acceptance speech that his election is a victory for Nigerians and shows their belief in a better future. Previous president Goodluck Jonathan conceded defeat in a televised address to the nation last night, opening the way for a peaceful and unprecedented transition of power in Africa’s richest and most populous state. Mr Jonathan’s concession defused tensions and fears of post-election violence. About 1,000 people died and 65,000 were made homeless in riots in the Muslim north after Mr Buhari lost to Mr Jonathan in 2011.
Celebrations erupted across northern Nigeria after Muhammadu Buhari clinched victory in presidential elections, ending a 16-year monopoly on power held by the ruling Peoples Democratic Party. Thousands of jubilant youths spilled into streets of Kano, Maiduguri, Yola and other cities, shouting, honking horns and chanting Buhari’s name. Some carried brooms, the symbol of Buhari’s All Progressives Congress party and an emblem of it’s campaign for change. Buhari, a Muslim northerner and former military ruler, won 52.4 percent of votes cast and a majority in 19 of the 36 states, including all the predominately Muslim northern ones.
Retired General Muhammadu Buhari has won Nigeria’s presidential election but fears “tricks” from the government, his spokesman says.
Nigerian stocks gained for an eighth day and bonds extended a rally as former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari took the lead with half of the country’s states reporting results from the March 28-29 general elections. Four shares climbed for every one that fell on the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index, taking the gauge to its highest level since March 10, and paring losses this quarter to 9.3%. Yields on $500 million of Nigerian dollar bonds due July 2023 fell for a ninth day to the lowest level since December 10. “The fact that the voting is behind us now in itself is positive, even though we’re still waiting for results,” Yvonne Mhango, a Johannesburg-based economist at Renaissance Capital, said by phone.
In a cliffhanger of a Nigerian election, early returns from half the states showed President Goodluck Jonathan and former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari almost even. The US and Britain warned of “disturbing indications” that the tally could be subject to political interference. Counting stopped just before midnight with Mr Jonathan winning nine states and the tiny Federal Capital Territory to Mr Buhari’s nine states. But Mr Buhari won many more votes - 8.5 million to Mr Jonathan’s 6.48. Another 18 states - including Lagos which has the biggest number of voters of any state - still have to send results to the counting centre in Abuja, electoral commissioner Attahiru Jega announced.
Nigerian equities rose to a two-week high as isolated incidents of violence spurred investors to take advantage of the cheapest stocks in Africa before final results from presidential and legislative elections are tallied. The advance extended gains over the past seven days to 4.8 percent, taking the Nigerian Stock Exchange All Share Index to its best level since March 16. The measure is still down almost 12 percent this quarter, the most among 24 African gauges tracked by Bloomberg. It is trading at 9.3 times estimated earnings, the lowest on the continent after Zimbabwe. Investors encouraged by the lack of violence are taking “early positions” should prices rise, Ayodeji Ebo, head of research at Afrinvest West Africa Ltd. in Lagos, said by phone. “They’re cautious, they’re not being very aggressive. But they’re trying to increase their exposure, knowing that if there’s no post-election violence the only direction for the market will be upwards.”
Nigerians are waiting in hope and fear for results of the tightest and most bitterly contested presidential election in the nation’s turbulent history. Collation of results starts at noon local time and winner could be named later today or tomorrow, electoral officials say. One radio station played the song written by entertainment star 2Face Idibia in Nigeria’s colloquial English: “Vote not fight; Election no be war!”
Oil giant Total gas completed the sale of its stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 in Nigeria for $569million. Along with its exit from OML 24 and OML 18, it brings the French company's share of sale proceeds from these three onshore Nigerian blocks to more than $1billion. Patrick de La Chevardière, chief financial officer at Total, said: “The sale of these non-operated onshore blocks in Nigeria is yet another example of our strategy of dynamic portfolio management, achieved at attractive valuations".
Shell has completed the sale of its OML (Oil Mining Lease) 29 and the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) in the Eastern Niger Delta for $1.7billion. The subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, said its interests have been assigned to Aiteo Eastern E&P company limited. The divestment is part of the strategic review of SPDC’s onshore portfolio and is in line with the federal government of Nigeria’s aim of developing the country’s upstream oil and gas business.
Oil major Shell has completed the sale of its stake in a Nigerian oil field for $737million. The company is nearing the completion of a strategic asset review in the West African country.
Aberdeenshire-based Eland Oil and Gas, a production, development and exploration company operating in west Africa, with a principal focus on Nigeria, said today it was benefiting from a share of 3,100 barrels of oil per day from the Opuama field. Total output from the Nigerian asset includes 1,395 barrels a day for Eland's joint-venture, Elcrest Exploration and Production.
Barclays energy analyst Miswin Mahesh sees a “huge risk” of oil production in Nigeria being disrupted by political instability arising from elections scheduled for March 28. The vote is set to be the most closely contested since the end of military rule in 1999.
Nigeria’s government revenue fell 15% in January as falling oil prices eroded the income of Africa’s biggest crude producer. Revenue fell to 416.1 billion naira ($2.1 billion) in January compared with 490 billion naira a month earlier, Accountant-General Jonah Otunla said. The volume of oil exports declined 33 percent in November and December, resulting in $159.88 million of lost revenue, Otunla said.
Economic growth in Nigeria, Africa’s biggest crude producer, is projected to slow to 5.5% this year after oil prices plunged, the statistics office said. Gross domestic product growth is set to decelerate from an estimated 6.2% last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said in a report on its website. The economy is forecast to expand 5.8% in 2016 and 5.8% in 2017.
Oil major Shell has appointed a new managing director to lead its operations in Nigeria. Osagie Okunbor will lead the company's subsidiary after its current head, Mutiu Sunmonu, announced his retirement. Mr Okunbor has also been named the country chair of Shell companies in Nigeria.
Oil giant Total said it has completed the flare out of the Ofon field in Nigeria. The company said the associated gas is now being compressed, evacuated to shore and monetized via Nigeria LNG. The Ofon field is 65km from land and in water depths of 40 metres.
The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) has agreed a £55million settlement with the Bodo community. Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary has made the payment in respect of two operational spills in 2008. The SPDC said the compensation will provide an individual payment for those affected who agree to the settlement payment totalling £35million.
Nigeria’s two oil unions are set to meet with government officials for talks today as an indefinite strike aimed at curbing local fuel supply and exports entered a third day in Africa’s biggest crude producer. The impact of the strike has been restricted to domestic fuel supply with oil lifting and export terminal operations unaffected at the moment, Francis Johnson, president of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, or Pengassan, said from Lagos, the commercial capital. Union leaders will hold talks with the authorities today in Abuja, the capital, he said.
Nigeria’s two oil unions began an indefinite strike that they say will curb exports from the West African nation responsible for pumping more than a quarter of the continent’s crude. “You will soon begin to see shutdowns of our oil flow,” Emmanuel Ojugbana, a spokesman of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, said. Ohi Alegbe, an Abuja-based spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and the Oil Ministry, declined to comment on exports. Any reduction in pumping would coincide with a collapse in the price of Nigeria’s biggest source of revenue.
Internationally based Sea Trucks has landed a contract for a development in Nigeria. The deal will see the offshore support firm provide subsea installation work in the Okwok Field.