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One day the FG’s biggest lender, the next day a fugitive
Sometimes, change happens so quickly, it could feel like whiplash. In May, we were talking about Godwin Emefiele’s strange decision to seek the Presidential ticket of the APC. As strange as it sounds, Nigeria’s sitting Central Bank Governor figured that a run for the Presidency was the next logical career step. I understand it, given that one often has to be bold in this career business. Months later, no one is quite clear on where Emefiele is, and if you believe the rumors, he might be MIA.
Curiously, Emefiele has gotten here through unbelievable loyalty to Buharinomics. Under Emefiele’s leadership, the government’s borrowing from the CBN–the experts call this Ways and Means Advances–has ballooned. While the constitution caps these loans at around 5% of the government’s revenue and also puts all sorts of provisions around how those advances work. But Emefiele threw caution to the wind and basically “printed” money for the Federal Government, worsening Nigeria’s inflation. Now it appears the chickens have come home to roost. I’ll be taking guesses on how all of this plays out?
Welcome to 2023!
2022 was a truly wild year for the global economy, and tech startups weren’t left out of the downturn. There was a lot of talk about layoffs, funding dry runs., and work culture in Nigeria. This year, we learned that the idea that crypto prices don’t answer the realities of the global economy is kind of rubbish. Yet, the first sets of predictions for 2023 suggest that things are only going to get more difficult. With Coinbase laying off 950 employees this week, we already have the first signs that 2023 is picking up right where 2022 left off.
Closer to home, two sources told me that one of Nigeria’s pioneer digital lenders also laid off some members of its team, letting go of its design team. According to one source, the layoffs came on the back of the company’s need to move closer to profitability. It is unclear if the company is planning more layoffs
Yet, we must take some encouragement where we can, and this week, two startups–Relead and Jetseed–announced that they raised funding. While it’s common for startups to delay announcing these raises months after they actually receive them, it still points to the fact that people are continuing to work on important problems and that they’re finding people to back said ideas. You know times are tricky when I’m taking encouragement from funding rounds.
That said, that’s how we’re kicking off the year, with signs of rocky times ahead, but continuing to be optimistic nonetheless. And onto some personal news….
I shared in the last newsletter of 2022 that I was moving on from Lemonade Finance, where I was content and PR manager for 16 months. It was a fun ride, and in the first week of this year, I joined TechCabal as Newsroom Editor. It feels a bit like coming full circle, considering that TechCabal was where I began any sort of serious journalism career.
A few people have already asked me if my new career move will affect the newsletter. The short answer is that it won’t and that’ll continue to receive Notadeepdive in your inbox on Fridays and Sundays. We missed a few Sundays last year, but that’s something I’m trying to fix, so here’s to not missing any Sunday newsletters this year.
I’m looking forward to a better newsletter this year, and don’t forget to email me if you’ve got scoops or story ideas. As always, I’ll take a 2-week break sometime in August, and the usual breaks during public holidays. Don’t forget to leave a comment, we’re trying to do more of that this year.
What I’ve been reading
I really enjoyed this series on Nigeria’s greatest footballers of all time
This Bloomberg article argues that record funding raised by African startups in 2022 may mask the challenges ahead
This piece on Bola Tinubu, the frontrunner in Nigeria’s Presidential elections by the Financial Times
See you on Sunday!
Glad to see you're back.
Happy new year!
Wishing you all the very best in your new job.
Hopefully 2023 will be a better and great year than 2022!