African. Economist. Plus other things
Education. PhD Economics. SUNY Binghamton

Download CV

Employment History

Policy Associate
Economic Research Southern Africa
July 2013 - Date
Cape Town, RSA

Chief Economist
Business Day Newspaper
Jan 2019 - Date
Abuja, Nigeria

Research Associate
Stellenbosch University
April 2016 - Date
Stellenbosch, RSA

The Guardian Nigeria
Aug 2016 - Dec 2018
Abuja, NG

WARA - Residency Fellow
American University
August 2018 - September 2018
Washington DC, USA

Director of Applied Economics
African Heritage Institution
Aug 2016 - Nov 2016
Enugu, NG

State Univeristy of New York at Binghamton
Jan 2010 - May 2013
Binghamton NY, USA

Teaching Assistant
State University of New York at Binghamton
Aug 2009 - Dec 2009
Binghamton NY, USA

Research Assistant
Central Bank of Nigeria, Microfinance Division
Aug 2006 - Aug 2007
Abuja, NG



National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria

United Nations University - WIDER

National Treasury - South Africa

Mathers and Savant

WNT Capitas

Nextier Advisory


"State Formation in Precolonial Nigeria". . Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics. Forthcoming

"Fiscal Policy During Boom and Bust". with Kingsley Moghalu. Oxford Handbook of Nigerian Politics. Forthcoming

"Markups and concentration in South African manufacturing sectors". with Johannes Fedderke and Nicola Viegi. South African Journal of Economics. 2017

"The trans-Atlantic slave trades and local political fragmentation in Africa". - . Economic History Review. 2016. 69(4):1157-1177

"A dream deffered: the microfoundations of direct political action in pre- and post-democratization South Africa". with Biniam Bedasso. Journal of Development Studies. 2016. 52(1):130 - 146

"An examination of subnational growth in Nigeria: 1999 - 2012". - . South African Journal of Economics. 2015. 83(3):335 - 357

"Social capital and human capital in the colonies: a study of cocoa farmers in Western Nigeria". - . Economic History of Developing Regions. 2015. 30(1):1 - 22

"The introduction of higher banknotes and the price level in Nigeria". with E. N. Egbuna. International Journal of Economics and Finance. 2013

Research.Working Papers

"Emigration and education: the schooling of the left behind in Nigeria". with Biniam Bedasso and Ermias Gebru Economic Research Southern Africa no. 722

"Human capital inequality and electoral outcomes in South Africa". with Biniam Bedasso UNU-WIDER Working Paper No. 2016/100

Research.Works in Progress

Climate, yams, and precolonial centralization

Before Formalization: Attitudes toward Government, Taxation, and Governance Alternatives in Lagos's Informal Sector with Adrienne LeBas

Tax Appeals and Social Intermediaries in Lagos Nigeria with Adrienne LeBas and Jessica Goetlibb

Colonialists, Taxation and Punishment: Prisons and Labor Coercion in British Colonial West Africa with Belinda Archibong

Decolonizing with data: Cliometrics in Africa with Johan Fourie

Convict Labor and the Costs of Colonial Infrastructure:Evidence from Prisons in British Nigeria, 1920-1938 with Belinda Archibong


"Bi-monthly column". Guardian Nigeria newspaper.

"The trans-Atlantic slave trade and local political fragmentation in Africa". AEHN. September 2016

"Long-term effects of slave exporting in West Africa". Oxford University Press. March 2016

"Buy Naija to Grow the Naira: probably pointless but potentially dangerous". Premium Times. 24th Febraury 2016

"Naira devaluation and the Nigerian economy: focusing on the big picture". Premium Times. 20th February 2016

"Myths about devaluation". Premium Times. 15th Februaru 2016

"Removing the autonomy of the CBN: a really bad idea". Business Day. 8th June 2012

"Who really benefits from fuel subsidies". Business Day. 5th December 2011


How many people are there in Kano?

Sat, 08 Jun 2019 07:28:55 GMT

We haven’t had a census since 2006, and many argue that census was … not great. The last census before that was in 1991 and many argue that census was …. also not great. And before that we had a census in 1973 but that was so bad it was cancelled. And before then we had a census in 1963 and that was so bad academics have agreed that you just can’t use it for any serious research.

So, how many people are there in Kano? And more generally, how many people are there in Nigeria? Short answer: we don’t know.

Why am I pointing out Kano in particular? Last month the NBS released State GDP for a couple of states. And if we combine that with the “official” population numbers put out by the National Population Commission (latest is 2016) then we get some very interesting statistics.

It turns out, Kano is the poorest state of the bunch published so far, although there are still 15 states pending most notably the north eastern states. Kano, with a GDP per capita of $504 is on average poorer than Zamfara and Bauchi. A very interesting outcome.

In fact, according to the data, if Kano was a country it would be the 11th poorest in the world with GDP per capita lower than Afghanistan, Chad and Niger Republic, and only marginally higher than Somalia and Central African Republic. Not saying its true but its very interesting.

The elephant in the room is of course the population and its not just Kano. We have no idea how many we are and we have no idea how the population is distributed across the country. And if we don’t know then how can we plan?

Just to be clear, this isn’t some “the south is more than the north” or “the north is more than the south” argument. Its just a “we really don’t know” argument. And how, in 2019, can we still not know?

Read on Medium

More blog items

Back to Top