Nigerian president’s intention to run for second term affects the economy

Yesterday, Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari declared his intention to re-run for the office of the president in the 2019 presidential election thereby ending months of speculations. This was made known through a twitter post by the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Bashir Ahmad.

The stock market, which opened on a negative note after Lafarge Africa announced a surprise 2017 loss, fell further after president Buhari’s declaration. The equity market also fell by about 40,000 points.

Nigerians are hopeful that this announcement will not have a further negative effect on the economy, because pressure in the investors and exporters window can lead to foreign investors pulling out their money out of the country. If this happens, it would have a negative effect on the spending power of residents of the country. This is because the Naira would depreciate against other currencies.

Some Nigerians are also not happy about the president’s intention to re-run for the 2019 election because of his several instances of ill health.

Nigerians are worried about President Buhari coming back as president because of his age and the state of his health. Since he became president, the 75 year old has travelled to the United Kingdom (UK) for treatment on two occasions. In 2016 he spent 13 days out of office on his first medical trip and in 2017 he spent 103 days. Since his return from the second trip in August 2017,  the president had not travelled to the UK. After announcing his second term ambition, however, the president jetted out of Nigeria to the UK for an official visit.