11 November 2016

Nigeria: What Trump Win Holds for Nigeria's Economy - Experts

Photo: The Guardian

Experts are reacting to what a Trump presidency holds on the Nigerian economy.

Rislanudeen Muhammad, the former acting managing director/CEO, Unity Bank and CEO, Safmur Investments Limited said the, "United States is the biggest trading partner and most important diplomatic partner to Nigeria. That friendship was clearly demonstrated by the US on the eve Nigeria's election last year when most pundits thought we were going to disintegrate. We surely need to consolidate on that during the presidency of Donald Trump and beyond.

"The US has the largest economy in the world with Gross Domestic Product of USD17.95 trillion as at 2015 or 28.95% of global nominal GDP and second largest according to purchasing power parity."

According to him, the "United States is the largest foreign investor in Nigeria with foreign direct investment on petroleum/mining and whole/trade sectors. The United States' exports include wheat, vehicles, machinery etc. while imports include cocoa and rubber among others," he said.

He noted that "there is already a subsisting trade and investment framework for mutual benefit of both countries.

"The US/Nigeria national commission primarily focuses on high level discussions on critical areas like good governance, transparency and integrity, energy, investment, regional security, Niger Delta, agriculture and food security among others," he added.

But Mr. Basil Jev, a Canada-based economic expert said "we should not expect anything different from the way Nigeria fared under Obama or any of the past US presidents, or any other leader of the developed world.

"We are not that helpless! No force on earth can aid or stop us towards becoming a 'thinking nation', where we sincerely thinking through what is best for the common good, the best strategy, and with all honesty and commitment, go out and execute," he said.

He noted that "looking at the bigger picture, GOP or Democrats are flip sides of the same coin. In the end, the forces that shape the country called USA remain unchanged. Their prime focus will remain world dominance and economic subjugation of most nations while focusing on access to critical resources. And damn you if you stand in their way."

He noted that "Trump's victory speech already indicates nothing much is going to change, especially for developing nations like Nigeria. We can make predictions and be hopeful, but like the election results have shown us in recent times across the world, we could be far off!"

Mr. David Unongo, a public affairs commentator based in Abuja said the first concern here is security coordination. Donald Trump is an isolationist and has said he will pull the United States out of NATO. If NATO is in his crosshairs, what is the future of the current US-Nigeria military security arrangement and what is the future of tens of millions of dollars the US has earmarked for the North-east? You do not have a country with resources the US has, nor the counter-terrorism experience to help us drive Boko Haram into extinction. This is going to be a major challenge for Buhari's foreign policy team," he noted.

"Second, where Obama made US the world's largest producer of oil, Trump will go hyper-overdrive on oil production, especially since he now has the house and the senate. Our strategy of trying to encourage OPEC to constrain supply in order to raise prices will become increasingly futile.

"Also, with the role that the US plays in funding the IMF and the World Bank, if Nigeria is hinging her development on obtaining a loan from these organisations, we should expect not to be successful. At the very best, we should expect the loan to come with such onerous conditions as to make any responsible leadership think deeply about the consequences and implications of accepting a loan," he noted.

"Third, when you consider that Trump road into power vowing to rip international trade agreements that his support base feels are responsible for their negative economic outcomes, even though Nigeria has assiduously refused to leverage AGOA as a wealth creation vehicle when Donald Trump finds out what AGOA is, he is likely to kill it. This will remove the most favourable bilateral agreement with the largest market in the world," he said.

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