The victory of President Muhammadu Buhari at the just-concluded polls may create stability in the nation’s economy, particularly the oil and gas sector, but challenges confronting the industry may remain.
Analysis by global think-tank, Wood Mackenzie, and other stakeholders in Nigeria, expect limited changes in the direction of the nation’s economy and the oil and gas sector.
Indeed, the stakeholders insisted that expected reforms that would drive investment, economic growth, and job creation might remain a mirage for the next four years.
Director, sub-Saharan Africa Research at Wood Mackenzie, Gail Anderson, said: “A second term means stability within key state bodies, such as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), and the Ministry of Petroleum Resources. Of course, the President could take the opportunity to re-shuffle personnel, although we expect little change in direction.”
Anderson equally expressed pessimism over economic growth, as the tight control of the monetary policy will continue.
“In his first term, Buhari presided over collapsing oil prices, production outages, and a depreciating currency. The economic climate now is better than it was in 2015, but we expect no change in his economic approach, which is about tight control over Nigeria’s monetary policy and its main revenue earner, oil and gas,” she noted.
The analysis comes as stakeholders rated the administration poor in economic performance.
An earlier report by Bloomberg Economics had noted that, “If President Muhammadu Buhari wins another four-year term; it will probably mean more political interference in Nigeria’s economy and slower growth.”
With $200 billion stranded investment because of failure by successive governments to pass the Petroleum Industry Bill, stakeholders expressed doubt over anticipated reform in the sector, as the President, who doubles as the Minister of Petroleum Resources, earlier turned down the document, which would have tackled critical challenges in the sector.