Election Uncertainty as Nigerian Construction Stymied by Oil Prices

Political uncertainty over Nigeria's election on Saturday and economic turmoil from low oil prices have delivered a double blow that has slashed revenues and triggered layoffs for businesses across Africa's biggest economy.
Industry sources that while some consumer goods firms are less exposed to Abuja's troubles, others like construction firms heavily dependent on government cash are facing frozen projects, unpaid bills and mass redundancies, putting badly needed infrastructure development on ice.
The fall in world oil prices to $55 a barrel, half what they were in June, could not have come at a worse time for Africa's biggest producer. The run-up to an election is traditionally when government finances come under huge pressure from election spending on advertising and patronage.
Standard and Poor's ratings agency downgraded Nigeria to B+ from BB- last week. The naira has fallen 20 percent since being devalued in November.



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