In 2020, our readers were interested in contrasting topics and our top ten most popular articles for the year reflects this distinction.
We published over 250 business stories you won't find anywhere else on topics ranging from Nigeria's hotels, schools, banks, farms, airlines, startups, fashion, telecoms, logistics, etc. We also discussed some of their survival tactics amidst a pandemic-ridden year.
Although Covid-19 showed it was indeed a big theme for the year, other events that affected people personally took a chunk of our reader's attention. For instance, the NCC's directive on National Identification Number and the reactions of the Central Bank of Nigeria to dollar scarcity were quite popular.
We could tell that business and wealth were a big issue on readers' minds too, as our Dangote pieces topped the list back to back.
The full list appears below.
1. NIN registration for SIM: Why the NCC's policy is a terrible idea
Arguably one of the most unbelievable stories this year was the Nigerian Communications Commission's (NCC) directive for all SIM cards without an associated National Identification Number (NIN) to be deactivated from December 30. The NCC has, however, retracted the directive following the publication of our article on why it was a bad idea in the first place.
Read the full article here: NIN registration for SIM: Why the NCC's policy is a terrible idea
2. Dangote's distribution dilemma
In this article, one of our financial journalist broke down how Africa's richest man would transport his refined crude oil to buyers. As he puts it: Nigerians have to deal with the consequences of faulty pipelines or live life with more menacing tankers on the streets.
Read the full article here: Dangote's distribution dilemma
3. Hell or high water: transporting crude oil to the Dangote refinery
This was the first part of the Dangote distribution series. It was a deep dive into how Nigeria's crude oil majorly sourced from the oil fields in the Niger Delta would get to Dangote's refinery being built in the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ). We learn of the four ways of transporting crude oil to refineries: railways, trucks, pipelines, and ships and conclude with the most probable route the refinery would take to get its most important raw material.
Read the full article here: Hell or high water: transporting crude oil to the Dangote refinery
4. Refining Nigeria's oil: Dangote's hard fix
This was a first for us in two ways. It was our first deep dive on Dangote and what he was up to with his refinery, as well as Osato Guobadia's first-ever article for Stears. If you are looking to understand what Dangote's entry into the refinery business means for Nigeria, this is your go-to piece.
Read the full article here: Refining Nigeria's oil: Dangote's hard fix
5. The impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria's economy
By all means, one of the most provocative events of the year, Covid-19 brought out the worst of most economies worldwide. Our economic Columnist who is also part of our Writer's Network wrote this piece in March and describes how the pandemic placed economies in a state of emergency just like their health sectors. As she explains, most recessions are caused by demand, supply or financial shocks, but the COVID-19 pandemic delivered all three in a single package.
Read the full article here: The impact of COVID-19 on Nigeria's economy
6. Emefiele vs the parallel market
When Nigeria's Central Bank Governor told journalists that "The parallel market is a shallow market" and proceeded to call-off market analysts, our Editor-in-Chief, responded with a clear message in this article: "Nigeria's parallel market can't be shallow".
Read the full article here: Emefiele vs the parallel market.
7. Bitcoin explained: Nigerians move beyond fiat currency
In a year where Nigeria became Bitcoin's second-largest market, we provide an educational piece on the importance of this cryptocurrency. This article looks at the relationship between Bitcoin, the legal tender, and its main uses in Nigeria.
Read the full article here: Bitcoin explained: Nigerians move beyond fiat currency
8. Live Monitoring: Covid-19 Cases in Nigeria
Again it would be hard to remember 2020 and not think of Covid-19. This article is a daily compilation of cases, test centres and geographical spread of the disease in the country. Our data scientist put together a series of live-data visualisations which will help you track the spread of the virus in Nigeria since the first case on February 27 2020. Are we flattening or growing the curve?
Read the full article here: Live Monitoring: Covid-19 Cases in Nigeria
9. Help! The heroic story behind the #EndSARS hotline
Arguably one of the most surprising yet uplifting events of the year, was how Nigerian youths marched on the streets all over the world to declare an end to police brutality. We told the #EndSARS stories from the historical standpoint, the governance angles and even the implications of getting the police force right. In this piece, Gbemisola Alonge spotlights an angle to the protest that was behind the scenes. She tells a beautiful story of the unity that created the #EndSARS helpline and how it eventually saved protesters' lives.
Read the full article here: Help! The heroic story behind the #EndSARS hotline
10. A tasty trillion: Nigeria's attractive food delivery business
With an economy trying to survive through limited movement caused by the pandemic and a ban on motorcycles, food delivery is fast rising. Here, Abubakar Idris offers insights into the food and drink business worth roughly ₦1.1 trillion in Nigeria's biggest city. This piece provides ample proof that food delivery is no longer seen as a mere convenience, but it is now a regular thing we do.
Read the full article here: A tasty trillion: Nigeria's attractive food delivery business
Looking forward to creating equally exciting content in 2021.
Happy New Year!