Buhari’s final vote tally in the 36 states and FCT was 15.19 million as against that of his main challenger, Atiku Abubakar who had 11.26 million votes.
As Buhari is officially declared winner of the election, we put together a short list of five implications of a Buhari victory.
Increased state role in economy:
Buhari believes in the government playing a bigger role in the economy whether its creating wealth or providing adequate jobs.
Buhari is likely to continue pushing for an increased state role in the economy within the next four years. He’s unlikely to privatise redundant state assets and may continue to demonise private capital.
His welfarist ideologies may also mean he fights to keep the country’s artificial retail petrol price.
Muted stock rally:
The stock market was down 0.7 percent at close of trading Tuesday, wiping out over N80 billion of shareholders money, as it became clearer that Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was set for a second four year term in power.
The year to date return is now 3 percent.
Irrespective of the winner, analysts expect the stock market to do better in the second half of the year as foreign portfolio investors return in the aftermath of the elections and bid cheap Nigerian stocks higher.
Wall Street bankers like Citi Group said last month that a victory for Atiku, considered pro-market by investors, could trigger a significant rally.
Multiple exchange rate:
Buhari has often made it clear that he doesn’t support currency devaluation or floatation. In fact, he once likened devaluation to “killing the naira.” With his re-election, it’s unlikely his views on monetary economics change.
This means investors should expect a continuation of the multiple exchange rate practice which has deterred foreign investment. The rates in Nigeria range from the Central Bank of Nigeria quoted N306/$ to the parallel market’s N360/$.
The CBN maybe independent but critics say the apex bank certainly studied the body language of Buhari in his first term when it initially decided against a devaluation or floatation in favour of capital controls.
Slow pace of economic reforms:
Buhari earned the nickname “Baba Go Slow” for good reasons like his delay to appoint cabinet ministers until after six months into his administration.
A victory for the 76-year-old would mean the pace of reforms in Nigeria will be predictably slow which would be inimical to economic growth.
Buhari has been frail and will likely be sick again in the next four years. He was often on medical trips during his first term, spending a good number of months in a London hospital treating an undisclosed ailment.
As age catches up with the 76-year-old, medical trips may become a mainstay during his second term.