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Nigeria Decides: Dangote, Okonjo-Iweala Impressed with Voter Turnout

Analysts say credible polls will spur economic growth and insist a poor outcome will be dangerous.

Africa’s richest man and President of the Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the Director General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala have said the turnout in Saturday’s presidential election was the highest he’d seen in more than two decades.
“The turnout is very, very impressive,” Dangote told Channels TV after voting in the commercial hub, Lagos.
“I’ve been voting since 1999 when we returned to democracy and this time around I’ve seen much more than the usual times,” Bloomberg quoted him to have added.
On her part, Okonjo-Iweala, who tweeted after casting her ballot, noted that the turnout was unbelievable, adding that it was the largest she had ever seen.
“The INEC officers finally arrived. My husband and I have just voted. The turnout is unbelievable, the largest I have ever seen in all the years I have voted in the village. Young and very old all are here,” she Tweeted.
Meanwhile, analysts yesterday said the outcome of the 2023 general election was critical for the growth of the Nigerian economy.
The presidential election which took place on February 25 is yet to be concluded with some reports of irregularities.
The analysts, in separate interviews with THISDAY said the success of the electoral process would be positive for the country, adding that its failure could spell doom for the country particularly in terms of foreign capital inflows.
This, they pointed out, would also give both local and foreign investors confidence in the governance process in Nigeria.
They also warned that the lack of a peaceful transition could cost the economy a lot.
Managing Director/Chief Executive, SD&D Capital Management Limited, Mr. Idakolo Gbolade, said a successful election would, “engender great hope for the future, because we can achieve great economic feat in a peaceful environment”.
He said, “The success of the electoral process will also bring about stability in Nigeria bond future, stock markets and bring about strong assurance in our international commitments.
“The failure or lack of confidence in the process will greatly hurt the economy and increase inflationary pressures along with investor apathy in Nigeria.
“It could lead to civil unrest that will have huge economic consequences and loss of investment.”
On his part, the President Association of Capital Market Academics of Nigeria, Prof. Uche Uwaleke, said, “If the outcome of the election is largely seen as credible by Nigerians and international observers, then it holds a lot of promise for the Nigerian economy especially in terms of foreign investments and global ratings.
“Otherwise, it spells doom for the economy in view of the social unrest and unimaginable crisis that may stoke.”
On his part, Wealth Management and Business Development Consultant, Mr. Ibrahim Shelleng, said the investment community is earnestly awaiting the outcome of the election.
He told THISDAY that, “I think the world is awaiting the results of these elections to see the direction the country will take.
“A win for the APC will likely be a continuation of existing policies with the government maintaining its grip on factors of production and controlling the economy.”
Shelleng added: “We are also likely to see continued borrowing and increased taxation to fund the government. A PDP or LP victory would probably see a shift towards more privatisation and expansionary policies to boost growth.
“More importantly, a new government provides the country an opportunity to reposition itself and address the multiple socio-economic problems that plague the country.
“Regardless of the outcome, it is vitally important that the incoming president is able to galvanise the populace and steer a clear path to economic recovery.”

James Emejo in Abuja

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