The relationship between President Muhammadu Buhari and his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo appears to be continuing to deteriorate despite both men doing everything possible to put on the appearance that nothing has changed. This has been illustrated by the Presidency’s dismissal of 35 members of Osinbajo’s staff without any prior consultation with him. Although his office certainly did have too many staff, the way in which it was done appears to have been another deliberate attempt to marginalise Osinbajo. With his predominantly economy-focused responsibilities having already been removed from him the vice president is left with a largely ceremonial role, unless the president is seriously incapacitated.
Currently, if Osinbajo is no longer the favourite to replace President Buhari in 2023, the most likely alternative is probably being Bola Ahmed Tinubu. However, the 2023 presidential election is still a long way off and Tinubu — the former Lagos State governor, and current national leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) — could face corruption allegations if Buhari decides to stand again, or support an alternative successor.
Pirates have staged two separate attacks within a week — to the west of Nigeria rather than off the Niger Delta —and have kidnapped 13 crew men from a dry bulk carrier and an oil tanker. It is a reminder of the danger to seafarers of the waters of the Gulf of Guinea which remain the world’s piracy hotspot.
Nigeria’s oil production may decline in the near future because of a number of simultaneous factors including: the signing of the new investor unfriendly oil law which will increase the taxes on deep-water producers; the continuing delay in having a new licensing round; the absence of new Final Investment Decisions; and the IOCs’ on-going sell off of, not only their onshore Nigerian assets, but now some of their deep-water ones as well.
The Dangote Refinery has once again pushed back the date of its inauguration from the end of 2020 to 2021. Meanwhile the government has pledged that, once they start operations, it will guarantee feedstock for both the Dangote Refinery and the four state-owned refineries that are hopefully going to be rehabilitated.