Nigeria elections postponed by a week

Elections have been postponed before in Nigeria, in 2011 and 2015. On both occasions, tensions were running higher and there was more at stake in our view: those elections pitted Southern against Northern candidates, unlike this time round, where both incumbent Buhari and challenger Atiku are from the North. Furthermore, despite much uncertainty and significant violence the results of both of those elections were ultimately accepted. This context is important when interpreting this delay.

Nevertheless, the move does raise tensions in a situation where the Chief Justice is under investigation, the oil-producing Delta militants have pledged their preference for Atiku, and Atiku has made clear his intention to change the central bank governor, pursue reform of the multiple FX regimes and federal-state relations. In the short-term, there will also be an economic cost from a longer period of lost output.

Obviously, events are fluid and we will update our interpretation as they develop. In our recent detailed report we laid out our views across Nigeria equities, local and US$ credit.




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