The role of Nigeria's civil service.
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.
- 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.