The Economic Intelligence Unit, the research and analysis division of the Economist Group, publishers of the Economist newspaper, has predicted victory for incumbent President Bola Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petitions Tribubal (PEPT).
The tribunal is expected to deliver a judgment on Peter Obi and Abubakar Abubakar’s bid to upturn Tinubu’s presidential election’s victory. But the EIU, which had earlier projected Tinubu would win the poll, said it “does not expect it (Tinubu’s election) to be overturned.
It added, “Mr. Tinubu prioritised winning the Muslim north, and calls for secession from the Christian-majority south will grow louder.” The report also stated that ‘Tinubu has shrugged off low popularity to begin a campaign of market reform on a scale and intensity that is virtually unparalleled in Nigerian history.’
It said, “He has deregulated the foreign-exchange market and petrol pricing -reforms that will deliver a stronger economy in the medium to long run but that mean short-term pain for consumers.
“The capacity to shield households from rising prices is limited owing to a tiny fiscal footprint. In a country already grappling with multiple security crises that are fuelled by high unemployment (a third of the workforce in 2020, the most recent official data) and widespread poverty, the potential for mass unrest is a major risk to both the smooth implementation of reforms and the ability of the government to survive its first term.
“Inflation when Mr. Tinubu came to power in May was 22.6 per cent and will rise sharply over 2023 and into 2024. As the president’s low level of political capital erodes, EIU expects his reform agenda to lose momentum.”
The EIU is equally of the view that Peter Obi, backed by unions, “will undoubtedly build the party’s (Labour Party) profile and become a more formidable force ahead of the next election, in 2027.”
The EIU, founded in 1946, publishes economic intelligence and insights about political forces and industry developments in various countries of the world.