As 2022 draws to a close, Nigerians are already looking forward to what the new year 2023 holds. Here we take a look at some major events that are likely to define Nigeria in the new year.
Redesigned Naira banknotes
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) redesigned the N200, N500 and N1000 denominations of Naira in 2022 to phase out the old notes from circulation in 2023. The main bank set the deadline for January 31.
This is even when the CBN took the cashless policy in the country by leaps and bounds by announcing withdrawal limits for natural and legal persons. According to the CBN, as of January 9, 2023, the amounts that individuals and corporate organizations could withdraw per week will not exceed N500,000 and N5 million for individual and corporate accounts, respectively.
The redesign of the Naira notes and cash withdrawal limits created uproar in the country and many have said that the policies will undoubtedly have an impact on the 2023 general election and on businesses in the country in the future.
While the Senate has urged the main bank to urgently extend the withdrawal date for old notes from 31 Jan 2023 to 31 June, the redesign of Naira and CBN cash withdrawal limits will definitely continue to make waves in 2023. .
2023 general election
General Elections will be the biggest turning point in Nigeria in 2023. Federal and State Elections will be held.
The presidential election will be held on February 25, 2023 to elect the president and vice president. The incumbent president, Muhammadu Buhari, is not eligible to run as he has a limited term.
The President of Nigeria is elected through a modified two-round system. To be elected in the first round, a candidate must receive a majority of the vote and more than 25% of the vote in at least 24 of the 36 states. If no candidate exceeds this threshold, a runoff will be held between the leading candidate and the next candidate receiving a plurality of votes in the greatest number of states.
Based on polls released so far on the 2023 presidential election, a repeat is likely. Even the electoral management body, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has expressed its preparation for a second round.
The leading candidates for the election are Peter Obi of the Labor Party, Atiku Abubakar of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Bola Tinubu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Rabiu Kwankwaso of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP).
Meanwhile, on the same date the elections to the Senate and the House of Representatives will also be held. The 109 members of the Senate are elected from 109 single-seat constituencies, three in each state and one for the Federal Capital Territory, by an absolute majority. The 360 members of the House of Representatives are also elected by simple majority in single-member constituencies.
Meanwhile, state elections to elect governors and members of the State Assemblies will take place two weeks after the federal elections on March 11.
In addition to general elections, gubernatorial elections would be held differently for Bayelsa and Kogi states.
Immediately after the elections, it would be the creation of courts of electoral petitions.
Chatham House Interview by Peter Obi, Atiku, Kwankwaso
Ahead of the 2023 election, Labor Party presidential candidate Peter Obi will speak at Chatham House about the 2023 election and political developments in the country.
People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate Alhaji Atiku Abubakar and also New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) presidential candidate Dr. Rabiu Kwankwaso will also take turns speaking at Chatham House.
All Progressive Congress (APC) presidential candidate Mr Bola Tinubu had his turn at Chatham House in a series of meetings ahead of the 2023 general election.
In addition, the Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, is scheduled to speak at Chatham House.
These events will take place in January 2023.
Delivery/Inauguration of the New Government
By May 2023, after the General Elections, all heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies will have completed their delivery notes. The winners of the elections will take office on May 29, 2023, the date before Democracy Day.
New governments are inaugurated in Nigeria on May 29 every four years since the country’s restoration of democracy in 1999.
National Population Census
For the first time in more than 15 years, Nigeria will conduct a National Population Census in 2023.
The 2023 census is expected to be a detailed enumeration of the Nigerian population which will be the fifth national census in the country since its independence. It will be the first national census conducted since the 2006 census.
More than N190 billion has been allocated for the financial year.
The Executive Chairman of the National Population Commission (NPC), Alhaji Nasir Kwarra, has expressed the commitment of the NPC to conduct a qualitative, credible and reliable digital population and housing census by 2023.
The population and housing census scheduled for 2023, to be carried out in April 2023, will also measure the country’s level of development.
No matter who wins the 2023 presidential election, Nigeria will celebrate Independence Day for the first time in 8 years without President Muhammadu Buhari leading the charge.
Nigeria became a British protectorate in 1901. However, the country gained independence in 1960 and since then the country has celebrated Independence Day every year on October 1, the day Nigeria declared independence.
Salary increase for public servants
Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige recently revealed that the Federal Government will rule on pay increases for civil servants in 2023.
Ngige hinted that the government would adjust workers’ wages to cushion the effect of the rising cost of living in the country.
The minister said that the Presidential Salary Commission had already embarked on a review of workers’ salaries in the country. According to him, the committee is expected to present a salary adjustment in 2023.
Asked whether a timetable has been set for the implementation of the new wage increase, Ngige said: “As we enter the new year, the government will make some pronouncements in that direction.”
Elimination of the fuel subsidy
The federal government has designated 2023 as the year for the elimination of fuel subsidies. The government had planned to remove fuel subsidy payments in 2022, but put the plan on hold when the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) threatened a nationwide protest on February 1, 2022.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Ms. Zainab Ahmed, had revealed that the FG only made provisions for the fuel subsidy in the 2022 Budget from January to June. According to her, all fuel subsidy payments would normally have ceased from July 2022.
Announcing a new date for the full elimination of fuel subsidy payments, Ahmed said the federal government will eliminate the payments by June 2023.
Fuel subsidy payments swallowed up N2.565 trillion between January and August 2022. In the medium-term spending framework, the federal government proposed to spend N3.3 trillion on fuel subsidy payments between January and June 2023.
In recommending the removal of fuel subsidy payments, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) stressed that Nigeria can conserve funds for critical investments in health, education and infrastructure, etc.
The conversation about payments will take center stage as Nigerians enter the new year.
Coronation of King Carlos III
After reigning for 70 years, Queen Elizabeth II, the UK’s longest-serving monarch, died in Scotland at the age of 96 in 2022. Queen Elizabeth II’s passing was felt around the world.
The queen ascended the throne in 1952 after the death of her father, King George VI, and reigned for significant periods.
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles assumed the kingship. Prince Charles was proclaimed King Charles III during an elaborate ceremony at St. James’s Palace in London.
King Charles III would be officially crowned king on Saturday May 6, 2023 at Westminster Abbey. The Ceremony will see the Majesty of him King Carlos III crowned together with the Queen Consort
Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne in February 1952, but was not crowned until June 1953.
Major Tech Events of 2023
Nigerians are tech savvy and would be looking forward to some big tech events in 2023.
Mobile World Congress (MWC), Gulf Information Technology Exhibition (GITEX), International Consumer Electronics Show, Web Summit, Africa Tech Summit and Social Media Week are some of the major tech events Nigerians look forward to every year. 2023 will not be the exception.
Some other tech events Nigerians are looking forward to this year are eNigeria Conference, Smart Cities West Africa, Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Google I/O and Google Developer Day.