Africa News blog
African business, politics and lifestyle
The list published by Nigeria’s central bank of those who owe money to the banks it has just bailed out makes clear that the situation has already gone well beyond just being a banking crisis.
The list cuts across the business elite and Nigeria’s regions and also includes many politically powerful figures. (And it doesn’t even appear that all those who could have been named as directors of the debtor companies have been identified).
It raises a question as to whether so many of the great and good are simply unable to pay their debts and if so what that means for business in Nigeria as a whole? If they could pay up, then why haven’t they?
It also raises a question as to how those ‘named and shamed’ will react, particularly those with major political sway, in a country where behind the scenes manipulation is a way of life.
Nigeria’s revenues from oil exports have reached unprecedented levels as global crude prices rally, yet the majority of its 140 million population remain mired in poverty. Africa’s top oil producer set up an “excess crude account” five years ago to save windfall oil earnings and try to help promote long-term economic stability.
But infighting among the three tiers of government — federal, state and local — on how the revenues should be shared out has seen them squandered.