Milk is next on the chopping block. According to the central bank governor: we import $1.2bn worth of milk every year. Milk is something he believes we can produce locally. To quote the governor at the last MPC meeting; “What really does it take to produce milk? Get a cow…


I visited Zimbabwe for the first time recently. For an economist, Zimbabwe is an exciting place to visit as it is sort of an economic basket case. No doubt a lot of factors played a role in the collapse of the Zimbabwean economy that started at the turn of the…


There has been a lot of talk about RUGA recently. Apparently there may be a National Livestock Plan driven by the Vice President’s office which is different from the RUGA initiative which was pushed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. …


First of all, I’m not a hater. But I do get irked by something. One of which is the narrative that keeps getting repeated on inflation by the monetary authorities. Paraphrasing: “through concerted efforts of monetary policy we have reduced inflation from 18% to 11%”. Any time I hear that…


A couple of weeks ago I wrote something on my thoughts about how our local historically yam based food industry was really competing against a global cereals based food industry. The rice and wheat based products, I argued, were slowly replacing yams in our diets.

I thought this was an…


We haven’t had a census since 2006, and many argue that census was … not great. The last census before that was in 1991 and many argue that census was …. also not great. And before that we had a census in 1973 but that was so bad it was…


Nigeria, and Africa in general, has slowly become a net importer of food. Not that domestic production has not grown but consumption has grown faster than production. There are probably many factors behind this but one that I’ve been thinking about is the impact of urbanization and the competition between…


My column last Monday was on CBN bills. You can read it here. An interesting thing I didn’t mention was how the use of CBN bills has evolved over time.

First thing you notice is the explosion sometime in 2016. NIFEX window anyone? Second thing is the continued growth to unprecedented levels. I know, there is an inflation and exchange rate story there but even you look at the inflation adjusted levels the story is the same.


My article in Business Day yesterday was about the recently released state-level unemployment data. The article was driven by the maps below and shows the change in the percent of people in each state who stopped being fully employed. Technically this is the change in unemployment plus the change in underemployment. You can think of this as a measure of full time job creation.

Purple means that state managed to reduce unemployment and underemployment. Green means unemployment and underemployment got worse.

Looks like a nationwide bloodbath (or green bath?). Only Lagos, and to a lesser extent Nasarawa, Ondo, Enugu, Imo, and Rivers, managed to create enough full-time jobs to reduce unemployment and underemployment. The rest got worse. The Adamawa-Taraba-Benue axis which suffered a lot from the herdsmen crisis got a lot worse. Makes for sad viewing. You can read the full article here.


New working paper with my colleague Prof. Johan Fourie.

Abstract:

“Our understanding of Africa’s economic past — the causes and consequences of precolonial polities, the slave trade, state formation, the Scramble for Africa, European settlement, and independence — has improved markedly over the last two decades. Much of this is the result of the cliometric turn in African economic history, what some have called a `renaissance’. Whilst acknowledging that cliometrics is not new to African history, this chapter examines the major recent contributions, noting their methodological advances and dividing them into four broad themes: persistence of deep traits, slavery, colonialism and independence. We conclude with a brief bibliometric exercise, noting the lack of Africans working at the frontier of African cliometrics.”

Forthcoming in the handbook of cliometrics. Working paper version here.

Nonso Obikili

Economist, African, and some other things | Director at @TurgotCentre | Monthly Nigeria Economic Update at http://nonso2.substack.com

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