Boots on the Ground: Investing in Nigeria

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I had initially planned to visit Nigeria in December, but postponed my trip until February due to concerns about Ebola. On my way to San Francisco International Airport, I contemplated the wisdom of my decision, having substituted greater political risk in light of the February 14th elections, for Ebola risk. As I pondered that dilemma, an email came in from our broker in Nigeria stating that the elections had been postponed until April—ostensibly to give the government time to defeat Islamist group Boko Haram.

It seemed suspect to say the least that the government believed it could defeat an insurgency that has festered for years, in a matter of weeks with the same army. But at the very least, the political boiling point had been kicked down the road a few weeks and my return trip would no longer coincide with the eve of the elections.

I highly recommend that those going to Nigeria arrive on a Sunday. What can easily be a 3 hour trip to Victoria Island – the commercial hub 19 miles from the airport – might take as little as 30 minutes on a Sunday. Also, the hustle factor at the airport on Sunday will be less, which, when experienced at its full strength, can overwhelm even the hardiest of travelers.

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