ABUJA—THE election of Mr. Donald Trump of the Republican Party as the 45th President of the United States of America, yesterday, provoked an avalanche of questions from local and foreign experts.
There were uncertainties over how his presidency will affect the country’s economy, crude oil price, Nigeria’s main revenue earner; her nationals in the US, aid to developing countries, including Nigeria and, of course, international politics.
Contrary to pre-election opinion awarding victory to the Democratic Party Candidate, Hillary Clinton, the President-elect secured 276 Electoral College votes against Clinton’s 218, to emerge victorious.
Trump’s victory elicited words of salutation from President Muhammadu Buhari, who said he looked forward to working with Trump, who would be sworn-in on January 20, 2017.
Other Nigerians, who spoke on Trump’s election, yesterday, included Senate President, Bukola Saraki; Aare Afe Babaloa, SAN; Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, Professor Bolaji Akinyemi, Ambassador Dapo Fafowora, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and Chief Guy Ikokwu, among others.
I look forward to working with Trump – Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari,while congratulating Mr. Trump on his victory, yesterday, said he would work with the U.S. President-elect.
A statement by Presidential Spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, said: “On behalf of the Government and people of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulates President-elect Donald Trump on his victory in the United States presidential election.
“President Buhari also congratulates American citizens on the outcome of the election, which was keenly observed by all true lovers of democracy and those who believe in the will of the people.
“The President looks forward to working together with President-elect Trump to strengthen the already established friendly relations between both countries, including cooperation on many shared foreign policy priorities, such as the fight against terrorism, peace and security, economic growth, democracy and good governance.
“As Mr Trump prepares to assume the position of the President of the United States, President Buhari extends his good wishes to him on the onerous task of leading the world’s strongest economy”, the statement added.
We’ll work together— Saraki
In his own reaction, Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki said yesterday that he will work with the President-Elect of the United States of America, USA, Mr. Donald Trump.
In a statement he personally signed, Saraki who congratulated Donald Trump over his victory, said: “I look forward to working with President-Elect Trump to continue the strong US-Nigeria relationship and to address our mutual interest in defeating global terror networks, rooting out corruption and strengthening the institutions of governance.”
“Mr. Trump’s years of being a private sector leader can be invaluable to Nigeria as we work to restructure and diversify our economy. It is important for the private sector here to have a larger role in expanding our economic base, creating jobs and fostering entrepreneurship. In these areas, I am sure he will be able to serve as a strong partner.”
Surprise, lesson for Nigeria – Ikokwu
Chief Guy Ikokwu said Trump’s victory took Nigeria and the rest of the world by surprise because, apart from being an outsider in the race, he is not a public servant, politician or among those in the corridors of power. “It shows that sovereignty belongs to the people and not public officials. Nigeria has a lesson to to learn.’’
To benefit from Trump’s presidency, he said Nigeria must strive for meritocracy, ensure job creation, diversify our economy, restructure the polity and give the zones fiscal autonomy so that “we will be able to make tremendous progress and end squalor.”
A lesson for Nigerians — Fafowora
Ambassador Oladapo Fafowora, former Nigerian Ambassador to the UN, however, said Trump’s victory was a lesson to Nigerians and Africans to remain in and contribute to the development of their countries.
Fafowora said Africans needed to reduce their reliance on world economic powers, adding that “there is nothing in his background to suggest he has any durable interest in Africa. I think it is a lesson for Nigerians; people should stay here and make contributions in developing our country.
US may cut aid to developing nations – Industrialist
An industrialist, Chief Tomi Akingbogun, said, yesterday, that there might be less foreign aid from the American government to developing nations like Nigeria, given Trump’s victory.
Speaking in Abuja, Akingbogun said with Trump’s triumph, developing nations in the world might witness less support from the new government in terms of grants, considering the conservative orientation of the Republicans.
He said the policies and programmes of the new government might not be favourable to Nigerians and other immigrants, based on the campaign speeches of the President-elect.
“America might play a lesser role in assisting developing countries by coming to the help of needy nations. That means we in Africa will be on our own; that means there might be less foreign aid from the new government. If that happens, it is an opportunity for Nigerians, who have become very successful in America to return home and support the rebuilding of the economy.”
He said Nigerians have contributed to the building of the American economy over the years, noting that it was time for them to return and help salvage the nation from recession.
It will affect Nigeria positively — Security expert
A security consultant, Ibrahim Garba, said Trump’s election will affect Nigerian professionals positively.
Decrying the attitude of Nigerians, who project the image of the country in bad light, he said Nigerians needed to change their business orientation to reflect positive ideas in the new era.
“This would affect Nigeria because things would be more competitive; Trump is a man who knows about your money; he does not throw money around. For you to do any business in America you have to be serious. From a business perspective, if Nigerians know what they are bringing to the table and it’s of value, Donald Trump will approve it.”
Trump: Victory for America’s ugly side
International relations experts have described the victory of U.S. President-elect, Donald Trump, as a surprise that will bring uncertainty to international politics.
The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja, yesterday, that Trump does not have experience and expertise in international affairs.
Bolaji Akinyemi, a professor of political science, described Trump’s victory as a worrisome development.
Professor Akinyemi, a former Minister of Foreign Affairs, said: “It brings uncertainty into international politics because the world now has to deal with a man, who is inexperienced, does not understand the complexities of international politics and has no respect for anyone who is not white or American. I think that is dangerous.”
Be prepared, says Gambari
Former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, expressed optimism that U.S. laws and institutions would protect Nigerians and Africans in the U.S., stressing, however, that “clearly, we should be prepared.”
He also advised the leadership of Nigeria and Africa to promote policies in the interest of their citizens. Gambari said such interests would encourage development and reduce the flow of African citizens to western countries.
“As Africans, we have survived slavery, colonialism and apartheid. I think the strength of the African people will enable us to survive any negative consequences arising from this result.”
OPEC’s job has just got tougher – Yergin
Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. oil historian, Daniel Yergin, said OPEC’s job of trying to prop up oil prices just got harder with the election of Trump.
Yergin told the media that the 14-country oil producing cartel may have to battle a sourer outlook for the global economy and weaker demand for crude.
He said: “Buckle up your seat belts for a more turbulent and uncertain global economy ahead.”
Yergin, who is also Vice Chairman of IHS Markit Think Tank, said “the outcome of the U.S. election has added to the challenges of oil exporters because it will lead to weaker economic growth in an already fragile global economy. And that means additional pressure on oil demand.”
Oil prices fell almost four per cent early, yesterday, but recovered slightly to trade at around $46 per barrel later in the day.
Stock market falls by N65 billion
Trump’s election appeared to have had immediate impact in Nigeria as transactions in the Nigerian Stock market declined further, with investors losing another N65bn at the close of trading, yesterday.
The development tallied with trading results from other advanced markets that reacted negatively to the results of the US presidential election.
Though the equities market has been on a downward trend in the past three weeks, some market operators argued that the losses were as a result of the outcome of the election.
At the end of trading session, the market capitalisation declined from N9.076 trillion to N9.011 trillion, representing 0.76 per cent decline.
Also, the All Share Index, ASI, slumped by 0.76 per cent to close at 26,173.69 from 26,364.27 points. Sectoral analysis showed that the Oil and Gas sector closed the day higher to top gainers’ chart with a gain of 0.1 per cent on account of price appreciation in Oando Plc, which returned 0.9 per cent. Conversely, the financial services sector trailed with a negative daily return of 2.5 per cent, on account of sell-offs in companies like Access Bank Plc, which fell by 4.6 per cent, Guaranty Trust Bank (-3.5 per cent) and Zenith International Bank Plc 2.8 per cent.. The consumer goods sector followed with a loss of 0.3 per cent underscored by profit-booking in PZ Cusson Plc which fell by 8.4 per cent, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc five per cent and Nascon Allied Industries Plc 4.9 per cent, while the industrial goods sector traded flat.
According to analysts at United Capital Plc, sentiment is expected to remain mixed in today’s trading session, “albeit with a bearish undertone as bullish triggers remain scarce.”