The Nigerian president’s attack on international financial institution HSBC at the weekend has put his country’s investment risk scenario in the spotlight yet again — and raised questions about what his government hopes to gain from its assault on the private sector in recent weeks. HSBC is paying the price for questioning President Muhammadu Buhari’s fitness for a second term, in a recent article. The response was swift and brutal. The presidency accused the company of being a conduit for more than $100m allegedly stolen by former military ruler Sani Abacha in the 1990s. Buhari set his Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to work on the matter and that agency vowed not to rest until HSBC returns the Abacha money to Nigeria. The financial crimes unit also paid a visit to the offices of Standard Chartered Bank at the weekend, on unspecified business. This follows an accusation by Nigeria’s central bank that Standard Chartered was one of four financial institutions that helped cel...

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