Nigeria: Tinubu’s contested win signals further pressure on public finances

By David Whitehouse

Posted on Wednesday, 8 March 2023 09:29, updated on Friday, 10 March 2023 18:20
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigeria's newly declared winner of 2023 presidential election, Bola Tinubu pose for photograph in Daura, Nigeria, March 1, 2023. Nigeria's Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

Economists fear the policy settings communicated by Nigerian president-elect Bola Tinubu are likely to aggravate the country’s already strained public finances.

The fact that the election result is contested will make it harder to find lenders willing to brave the uncertainty. “Legal challenges to the election outcome are credit negative because they may delay the formation of a functioning government that can address Nigeria’s pressing credit challenges,” writes Lucie Villa, senior credit officer at Moody’s, in a note.