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The “EndSARS” protests and the problem of police reform in Nigeria

The protest is more than a clamour for an end to police brutality, but rather to growing frustration about the state of the economy.

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#EndSARS: Analyzing the economic prospects of another lockdown

Youths across the country, mobilized through various social media platforms have taken to the streets in the past few days to protest against the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which has long been accused of unlawful arrests, torture and extrajudicial killings. The Federal Government after a few days of protests was forced to announce that the squad has been disbanded. This, however, did not bring an end to the protests as the
protesters claimed that similar announcements had been made in the past without any effective reform measures.

The protesters demands now appear to have widened to include calls for reforms across the country’s entire police system and they have come up with a 5 point agenda which include; Immediate release of all arrested protesters, Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensations for their families, setting up of an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reported police misconduct within a
period of 10 days, carrying out psychological evaluation and retaining of all disbanded SARS operatives before they can be deployed and an increase police salary and adequate compensation. On Tuesday, the police announced a new unit tagged the Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) which effectively would take over the duties of the defunct SARS. Shortly after this announcement, social media was awash with a new hashtag #EndSWAT.

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is the primary law enforcement agency in Nigeria under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police. Prior to 1930, there were regional police forces that were merged to form the NPF. The NPF over time has experienced endemic problems with recruiting, training, inefficiency, and indiscipline leading to widespread corruption which has resulted in a low level of public confidence. Public perception of the Nigerian police are largely negative. There have been several calls and efforts geared towards a reform of the police force over the years but these have not led to any significant improvement in police service delivery. Recently, state governments began to clamour for a devolution of the police force to allow for the establishment of State Police. A Police Reform Bill was proposed as an Act of the National Assembly on 30th May 2018 and was passed by the Senate on 17th April 2019. It was signed into law by the President this year. Insecurity remains one of the biggest challenges facing Nigeria today and the NPF is central to responding to these challenges.

That said, the protests in our view point to more than a clamour for an end to police brutality but rather to a growing frustration among the Nigerian youth about the state of the economy. The protesters who typically are youths below the age of 30 are a part of the Nigerian population that have never seen the system work. From erratic power supply, widespread unemployment, poor healthcare, poor educational system characterised by
incessant strikes, one can understand the growing frustrations in the minds of these young people. In our view, the Nigerian Government needs to see this as a strong signal to not only address the poor state of the economy but to priortise the issues concerning the young people in the country.


CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    October 18, 2020 at 4:59 pm

    Waste of time protests

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Columnists

Nigerian women need over 50% representation in government by 2023

In Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.

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Women are taking part in the governance and nation-building of their countries. In October 2019, the global participation rate of women at the national level was 24.5% compared to 8% in 2013 which is quite reassuring. However, in Nigeria, there is still a need for Nigerian women to have up to 50% representation in government.

The reason more women are needed in governance is that they have the expertise to aid in achieving a stronger and vibrant democracy. According to Mr Ban Ki-moon, the former Secretary-General of the United Nation, “When we empower women, we empower communities and nations and the entire human communities.”

A good number of women in Nigeria have made a significant impact on governance and nation-building. Historically, once women come together, they can make things happen because they understand their issues and can articulate them from a point of succinct comprehension.

Mrs. Fumilayo Ramson-Kuti was an activist and a political campaigner – 30 years ago, when there was a tax levy on women in Egba land, she coordinated a women’s union group after a long tussle with the colonial administration and traditional rulers.

Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is another prominent woman in the global space. She served as Nigeria’s Finance Minister and also as Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs Minister. Currently, she is on the verge of becoming the first female and the first African Director-General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

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Asides from these two, a lot of women are making waves in society – not only in politics but also in managerial positions and businesses.

Factors that hinder women’s participation in politics

 In 2016, there was a study by McKinsey that revealed that only 5% of women are CEOs of companies, 22% cabinet members, while 24% are elected to official positions in Africa.

More so, in the last election 2019 in Nigeria, there were up to 3000 women candidates across all the parties. However, only 64 women were elected and appointed into political offices. Looking at the figures, there is a clear indication that it is very low and needs to be addressed as the 2023 election approaches.

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Here are the major challenges affecting women’s involvement in politics in Nigeria.

  • Godfathers: In politics, godfatherism is a very big role. For women who are not able to build that network, it becomes a very big issue for them. To avert that, women are advised to create their own network in politics – support one another and assist each other in climbing the ladder, especially for those who are already in government.
  • Raising funds: Election campaigns are very expensive to participate in.
  • Religious factor/Traditional factors: A lot of people still feel women should be seen and not heard, because they are under a man and should be submissive. Cultural & religious barriers still exists, and it prohibits women from fully contributing to governance. The emergence of women as leaders does not need to subjugate their cultural and religious identities. Men & Women need to understand that it is only through joint decision-making and cooperation, that the society can thrive.

Here are what women can do to thrive in politics

For women to have 50% representation in government, here are what is needed.

  • Those already elected must see themselves as a springboard and position themselves strategically, so they can increase the number of women in political offices. It is also important for women to leverage technology and use social media to enable them to build a community of women leaders/activists.
  • Having already announced the date for 2023 election, it is imperative that women start preparing themselves ahead of the election and strategize on how to get more women elected to the government.
  • Finally, having a skill is very crucial for women who want to be community leaders.

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Columnists

Trump or Biden? How the US Presidential election will impact the stock market

A Trump victory will see a stock market bump, as traders buy shares to cover their Put options.

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US stocks are falling and volatility is going to increase as the US election head to a close on November 3rd. However, this is a systematic fall, meaning every stock in every sector is falling. Every sector save for a few healthcare stocks is down – irrespective of earnings. Why would Amazon stocks fall, even as demand is up?  This is a big market “tell” that the market sell-off has nothing to do with fundamentals.

Image 1 shows the Standard & Poor 500 index stocks categorized by sectors and industries.

Another key indicator that shows the market’s hand is the “VIX” – the trading symbol for the CBOE Volatility Index – that measures the implied volatility of the S&P 500 index. The VIX is muted, it’s up slightly – but nowhere near the levels seen in March and July of this year. What this tells us is that the market is less fearful. In other words, this is a planned sale by institutional investors not driven really by COVID-19 or stimulus fears.

Image 2

Why are all sectors in the market falling? The answer is simple; Investors are hedging against a Joe Biden victory in November.

Joe Biden‘s tax plan calls for an across the board tax hike on income, including Capital Gains taxes. This means if you filed as a single, bought the US Stocks in 2016 by buying the Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Investor (VTSMX), your return in 2019 would have been 52.2%. This return would have triggered a capital gains tax of 20%, if your income exceeded $441.451 as a single filer.

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Image 3

Donald Trump on the other hand will tax long-term capital gain at 39.6$% on income above $1m. The maths is simple, investors that have made money in the stock market under the Trump tax cuts have an incentive to sell their stocks today or buy a Put option – to take in cash today and wait.

If Biden wins, they pay Capital gains taxes at the lower 20%; if Trump wins, they already have banked on their cash.

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Can you see the opportunity?

If Trump wins, these investors have to buy back those shares. Thus, a Trump victory and the Republican Party retaining the Senate will see a stock market bump, as traders buy shares to cover their Put options.

This is a simple play – if you think Trump will win, buy the market and go bullish.

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Columnists

October PMI reveals rebound in economic activities

Manufacturing PMI has remained below 50 index points for the past six consecutive months.

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Manufacturing: Activity levels pick up albeit readings still below water

According to the Purchasing Managers Index (PMI) data released by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for the month of October, activity levels in the manufacturing and nonmanufacturing sectors strengthened even as readings remained below 50 index points. Specifically, the manufacturing PMI expanded to 49.4 in October from 46.9 in September, indicating slower contraction compared to the prior five months. Similarly, the nonmanufacturing PMI strengthened to 46.8 in October from 41.9 in September, halting two months of consecutive contraction in the index. That said, we note that Manufacturing PMI has remained below 50 index points for the past six consecutive months while NonManfacturing PMI has been below 50 index points for the past seven consecutive months.

Across the key indices in the manufacturing PMI, save for Supplier delivery time (-1.7) which recorded some deterioration, the remaining four indices in the manufacturing sector improved in October; Raw materials/WIP Inventory (+3.2), New orders (+4.8), Production level (+2.7) and Employment level (+1.9). We think the deterioration in Supplier delivery time reflects the impact of the nationwide unrest and peaceful protests on logistics and distribution channels of manufacturing firms. Furthermore, we note that while Employment
level and Raw material inventories improved in October, they remain below the 50-point mark which reflects weak labour employment and FX illiquidity challenges impacting ability to import critical raw materials. The data further revealed that, of the 14 surveyed subsectors in the manufacturing sector, six (compared to four in September) reported growth while 8 (compared to ten in September) contracted.

For non-manufacturing PMI, all four of the key metrics recorded improvement albeit they all remained below the 50-point mark. Across all the indices; Business Activity (+5.0), Level of new orders (+8.3), Employment level (+2.6) and Inventory level (+3.2) showed decent improvements. We think the decent recovery in Non-manufacturing PMI was driven by sustained recovery in activities of service-based organisations in the face of reduced covid19 restrictions.


CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

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