NONSO OBIKILI
African. Economist. Plus other things
Subscribe to my blog and monthly Nigeria economic update at nonso2.substack.com

Employment

ECONOMIST
Turgot Centre for Economics and Policy Research
Director

Abuja - Nigeria

Economic Research Southern Africa
Policy Associate

Cape Town - South Africa

Department of Economics - Stellenbosch University
Research Associate

Stellenbosch - South Africa

American University
WARA Residency Fellow

Washington DC - USA

African Heritage Institution
Director of Applied Economics

Enugu - Nigeria

State University of New York at Binghamton
Adjunct Professor

Binghamton University NY - USA

Central Bank of Nigeria
Research Assistant

Abuja - Nigeria

COLUMNIST
Business Day Nigeria
Chief Economist

Lagos - Nigeria

Guardian Nigeria
Contributor

Lagos - NIgeria

CONSULTING
United Nations University - World Institute for Development Economics Research

Helsinki - Finland

National Treasury

Pretoria - South Africa

Sofala Partners

London - United Kingdom

Oxford Analytica

London - United Kingdom

Nextier Advisory

Abuja - Nigeria

Partnership to Engage Reform and Learn (PERL)

Abuja - Nigeria

Good Governance Africa (GGA)

Abuja - Nigeria

WNT Capitas

Lagos - Nigeria

National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN)

Lagos - Nigeria


Research

PUBLICATIONS
Decolonizing with data: Cliometrics in Africa

with Johan Fourie

Handbook of Cliometrics

2019

READ
The impact of political competition on economic growth: evidence from municipalities in South Africa

South African Journal of Economics

2019

READ
State Formation in Precolonial Nigeria

The Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics

2018

READ
Fiscal Policy During Boom and Bust

with Kingsley Moghalu

The Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics

2018

READ
Markups and concentration in South African manufacturing sectors

with Johannes Fedderke and Nicola Viegi

South African Journal of Economics

2017

READ
The trans-Atlantic slave trades and local political fragmentation in Africa

Economic History Review

2016

READ
The impact of the slave trade on literacy in Africa: evidence from the colonial era

Journal of African Economies

2016

READ
A dream deffered: the microfoundations of direct political action in pre- and post-democratization South Africa"

with Biniam Bedasso

Journal of Development Studies

2016

READ
An examination of subnational growth in Nigeria: 1999 - 2012

South African Journal of Economics

2015

READ
Social capital and human capital in the colonies: a study of cocoa farmers in Western Nigeria

Economic History of Developing Regions

2015

READ
The introduction of higher banknotes and the price level in Nigeria

with E. N. Egbuna

International Journal of Economics and Finance

2013

READ
WORKING PAPERS
Emigration and education: the schooling of the left behind in Nigeria

with Biniam Bedasso and Ermias Gebru

Economic Research Southern Africa no. 759

2017

READ
Unfilfilled Expectations and Populist Politics: Examining the Emergence of the EFF in South Africa

Economic Research Southern Africa no. 722

2017

READ
Human capital inequality and electoral outcomes in South Africa

with Biniam Bedasso

UNU-WIDER Working Paper No. 2016/100

2017

READ
Convict Labor and the Costs of Colonial Infrastructure:Evidence from Prisons in British Nigeria 1920-1938

with Belinda Archibong

Columbia University Working Paper Series

2019

READ
WORKS IN PROGRESS
Before Formalization: Attitudes toward Government Taxation and Governance Alternatives in Lagos's Informal Sector

with Adrienne LeBas

Climate yams and precolonial centralization

Tax Appeals and Social Intermediaries in Lagos Nigeria

with Jessica Goetlibb and Adrienne LeBas

Gender and the Transmission of European Social Norms in Africa

with Grieve Chelwa

Trust and Punishment: Long-Term Impacts of Colonial Prisons and Labor Coercion on Trust in Nigeria

with Belinda Archibong

When Women March: The 1929 Aba Women’s Tax Revolt Prisons and Political Participation in Nigeria

with Belinda Archibong


Blog

Do we really import $1.2bn worth of milk every year? Short answer: No


Milk is next on the chopping block. According to the central bank governor: we import $1.2bn worth of milk every year. Milk is something he believes we can produce locally. To quote the governor at the last MPC meeting; “What really does it take to produce milk? Get a cow and give the cow plenty of water to drink and let the cow eat a lot of grass and the cow positioned in a place without roaming around. Let that cow get fat and you can get some milk from it”.

So much to unpack. But the first question is: do we really import $1.2bn worth of milk every year? According to the UN comtrade database: No we don’t. There was one year, 2011, where we topped $1bn worth of dairy imports but in general we don’t.

In 2018 it was $330m (roughly $1.3 per person per year), down from $426m in 2017. Is that really a big deal? No its not. Is a ban on milk importers from FX markets going to magically stimulate the milk sector? Probably not. The story with our cows and milk is not a simple one. In practice all that will happen is that milk will get a bit more expensive. Of course, the ones who will pay for this are the poor who already spend a significant fraction of their income on food. In case you have forgotten, Nigeria has one of the highest rates of stunting and malnutrition in the world.

But what is the real story here? The real story here is that the CBN is under FX pressure again. In the first quarter the current account swung negative. The second quarter data are not out but signs from the downward trend in the foreign reserves suggest that it is negative again. And we know that once the CBN comes under pressure it resorts to the shenanigans known as “demand management”. And of course the poor are the first on the chopping block.

The CBN never looks to limit fuel imports which we spent $12.5bn on in 2018. It never looks to limit cars which we spent $944m on. It never looks to limit raw sugar which we spent $550m on. But once it comes to food that the poor eat then that is fair game. A sad state of affairs really.

Read more

Other Items

Can you have a currency without trust? My week in Harare.

Wed, 17 Jul 2019 08:02:11 GMT

  Read more

Random RUGA stats. What is 63.81 percent?

Sat, 06 Jul 2019 09:37:19 GMT

  Read more

“We have reduced inflation…”. Really?

Tue, 25 Jun 2019 10:32:45 GMT

  Read more

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