The Federal Inland Revenue Service, on behalf of Nigeria’s federal government, has been locked in a legal tussle with the Rivers and Lagos state governments over the collection of value-added tax. In the last few minutes, a VAT collection Bill, similar to the aforementioned two states, has passed the second reading in the Ogun State House of Assembly. It is going to become a law.

The return to civilian rule in 1999 gave some states, starting with Lagos, the courage to challenge the FG on various parts of tax collection. After Lagos lost on a technicality at the Supreme Court…


This thread is quite prescient. Nigeria has collapsed (I’ve been saying this for years now), and it’s a matter of time before the shit truly hits the fan.

The thing is when most people hear state collapse, they think of Iraq or Somalia, without realising that both countries have oases of relative stability, Iraqi Kurdistan and Somaliland which are both de facto countries, and may well become de jure one day.

The Nigeria of today, especially the North, is a country of turmoil with oases of relative stability. In how many rural areas in the country do we have rule…


Nyesom Wike is pushing ahead with his VAT move despite the FIRS appealing a recent judgement that gave Rivers the right to collect VAT. In return, the FIRS is attempting to bribe legislators to move VAT to the Federal only list in our flawed constitution.

I like both moves. Nigeria needs them. Desperately. We dealt with this topic extensively in @sbmintelligence’s last two newsletters which you can read here and here. I encourage you to read, and to subscribe.

While the VAT decision by the Federal High Court is important, it is also important to state that not all VAT…


The current decade ushered in not-so-new problems which will affect the future of our country. Nigeria’s security challenges are multifaceted and have in the last few years, spread across its states and geopolitical zones, with potentially dire consequences for its neighbours. Nigeria is also susceptible to changes on the global stage, so let’s start there.

War as it was known before the 1990s was mainly organised violence between conventional (state) actors, or at worst, between state actors and rebels who in the main took on the appearance of state actors, thus civil wars. The rise of first the Vietcong in…


Nigeria’s national basketball team just lost their first game at the Tokyo Olympics to a very good Australian team. But the real victory is that they got to Tokyo at all. I was privy to a debate about D’Tigers two weeks ago, and the funding problems they have faced. I found it interesting to hear that most attempts to answer a question that was asked about sports funding dwelt just on the US and the UK, proof that too many Nigerians, at least from the South, can’t really think beyond both countries.

There are other countries that have been successful…


Someone asked the following question: “In 1945 Germany was in ruins, defeated by the victorious USSR. 75 years later though, and Germans are now considerably better off than Russians and German provincial towns are considerably wealthier than their Russian counterparts. Why is this?”

Piotr Szafranski from Warsaw gave the brilliant answer below:

Many obvious factors are mentioned in other answers. I wanted to point out to a one still relevant today — local rule.

Germany, as pretty much any advanced country, is quite decentralized. …


Four years ago now, I wrote this piece about the thing of collective guilt, and what it leads to. I think it’s more relevant now as Nigeria falls to pieces because of the bad leadership of Buhari.

I’ll talk, first in general terms, and then about the one that worries me.

Nigeria is heading towards an implosion. I think that sometime in October last year, we passed the point where it was not inevitable. However, I think that the worst effects of it can still be mitigated, if of course, we manage to maintain our exact current position until Buhari…


I think we’ve spent way too much time talking about Nnamdi Kanu. Let’s be honest, the man was bad for ndi Igbo. His methods won us less friends, and his vitriol enabled the worst of us to pass off as the face of ndi Igbo. He has met a predictable end as he is not going to come out of that dungeon, especially when you consider that he is a proven flight risk. …


There is a major argument on Twitter Nigeria and my brother, Ose Anenih weighed in on it today. Earlier, Amara Nwankpa and Victor Asemota gave their takes.

To be honest, I’m not quite sure if I agree with those who say that the “I told you so” gang should let it go. Given the suffering in Nigeria, people need to be reminded of their hubris from six years ago. This is me speaking as someone who also made the wrong choice back then.

I’ve reflected on it a whole lot.

I don’t entirely subscribe to the ethnic agenda part of…


The fact that the government, both FG and states, don’t think that the JUSUN strike is an issue, is alarming. The implications are too many and too grievous.

I’m quoting word for word from today’s SBM newsletter.

In the first instance, the primary function of government is not merely to secure the lives and property of its constituents, but also to ensure the fair and quick adjudication of disputes between people, groups and entities. This fundamental remit is what the Nigerian state continues to fail abysmally to deliver for its people.

The result is three-fold: some resort to self-help, others…

Cheta Nwanze

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