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Civil service will shape post-election Nigeria future

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Subject

The role of Nigeria's civil service.

Significance

The civil service is the backbone of the Nigerian state and has proven vital in holding the country together -- a role likely to be tested by highly competitive polls in February. However, this legacy has created a set of institutions powerfully protective of its privileges, resulting in high transaction costs for firms, but also positive effects for businesses benefitting from public servants' consumption.

Impacts

  • Though the electoral commission's capacity is much improved, any disruptions (real or perceived) could spark protests and a disputed poll.
  • Neighbouring states' doubts about the Nigerian army's command structures (and corruption) will hamper regional efforts to combat Boko Haram.
  • Planned cuts to the capital budget will help accommodate a 5.9% rise in recurrent expenditure, including civil servants' salaries.
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