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SBM Intelligence @sbmintelligence
, 21 tweets, 10 min read Read on Twitter
In a week where the North East got yet another military commander, we got a better look at overburdened infrastructure.

Elsewhere, as MTN gears up to enter the banks’ turf, concern over Nigeria's food import practices conjures a picture of a recently painted but creaking house.
The @MTNGroup's announcement is a positive for #Nigeria's economy as it substantiates previous comments by MTN that it has no plans to exit Nigeria despite its spat with @cenbank over alleged illegal fund repatriation.
The announcement ties into @MTNGroup’s strategy to become the biggest provider of mobile financial services in #Africa.

The telecoms-led drive to provide mobile money services will introduce a new interesting chapter in #Nigeria’s financial services sector.
With voice revenues shrinking and data revenues growing much slower than hoped for, it is imperative for the telcos to pivot into this space where their competitive advantages can deliver cheaper banking services to Nigerians.
Nigerian banks and fintech either have to evolve or face an even higher casualty rate.

We hope that @cenbank will hold firm and not succumb to the already rising voices playing the patriotism card to cause a rollback of the PSB policy that seeks to open this space.
The latest reshuffle in @HQNigerianArmy's hierarchy which has seen a 5th commander at the helm of what is arguably #Nigeria’s primary security threat in a little over 24 months hints at a substantial breakdown in the leadership effort in addressing the #BokoHaram crisis.
Maj-Gen Abba Dikko who took over from Maj-Gen Rogers Nicholas in July lasted barely four months in the role.

Since Dikko assumed command in July, @HQNigerianArmy suffered a series of reversals in which dozens of troops have been killed in action.
These casualties have come during offensives by #ISWAP, the faction of insurgents led by Abu Musab al Barnawi. In the last 2 months, #ISWAP has executed 2 aid workers it kidnapped.
Additionally, there have been rumblings of discontent from the frontlines.

Troops have complained about a lack of supplies and logistical difficulties in addition to an already onerous operational environment.

A combination of these factors rendered Dikko’s position untenable.
But there remain considerable institutional debilities hampering the counterinsurgency effort, chief among them, resolving the logistical paralysis that starves troops at the front and lifting their morale.
Whether the new #LafiyaDole commander will be able to resolve them and reinvigorate the campaign remains to be seen.
On the surface, reducing food imports appear to be good news but at closer inspection, the facts become clearer.

Every indication shows what has really happened – the imports have simply left the formal sector and ballooned the informal smuggling sector.
Over the past few years, @cenbank has restricted rice importers from accessing the official FX market and @AsoRock increased customs duties on the commodity from 10% to 60% hoping the measures will drive local production.
The effect was that import dropped from 1.24 million MT in 2014 to an all-time low of 23,197MT in 2017.

But, rice imports from #Thailand to #Benin rose from 805,765 MT in 2015, 1.81million MT in 2017 while exports from Thailand to #Cameroun rose from 449,297 MT to 749,008 MT.
Considering that in the entire West African region, only Nigerians eat parboiled rice in huge volumes and with a population of 180 million people, it does not take a genius to deduce the final destination of the imports.
It is no surprise that many who seek to trade in West Africa prefer ports in #Togo, #Ghana & #Benin when goods can be cleared in 48 hours in those places whereas it takes weeks in #Nigeria, even when the ultimate destination of these trade items are the Nigerian market.
Clearly, @AsoRock, doesn't have the answers to the issues at the port – in fact, things have worsened to never before seen levels.
The latest @WorldBank Trading Across Borders survey, which measures the time and expense involved with importing and exporting goods, ranked #Nigeria 182nd out of 190 countries, below the war-torn countries of #Syria & #Afghanistan!
It should be an emergency that we lose 5% of GDP to a fixable problem.

The main issue has been a lack of political will and failure to place a priority of the country’s gateways.
Rather than celebrate revenues from the ports and use @nigerianports to fight political battles, @AsoRock will do well to focus on fixing this problem.
We also ask this – will @AsoRock wait until the trailers parked on the bridges in #Lagos cause them to collapse and cause a loss of lives before it acts?
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