Economic and Business News

For the Week ending, Friday, 10th March, 2017

1.

NECA canvasses floating exchange rate

LAGOS-NIGERIAN Employers' Consultative Association, NECA, weekend, called for the adoption of floating exchange rate, saying attempts to fix it and impose administrative controls or rationing had failed.

NECA President, Mr. Larry Ettah, who made the call in a statement in Lagos, contended that evidence from other economies was clear and compelling to the effect that floating exchange rate systems enabled economies respond best to declines in the value of their exports.

He argued that this would also provide a natural adjustment mechanism to preserve foreign exchange reserves and change incentives and behaviour of economic actors

Vanguard . Monday, 13 March 2017

2.

Fidelity Bank reiterates support for SMEs, rewards19 customers

The move would see the bank execute detailed educative sessions with businesses and entrepreneurs to help them grow their export businesses as way of diversifying and solving the foreign exchange challenges in the country.

Meanwhile, Fidelity Bank, at the weekend, rewarded 19 customers in its ongoing "Get Alert in Millions" promo, as seven persons won N16 million cumulatively, while 12 others got refrigerator or generating set each as consolation prize.

The bank's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Nnamdi Okonkwo, while pledging the support for SMEs, at start of the programme in Owerri and Onitsha, in Imo and Anambra states respectively, said the lender would use such intervention to boost growth of South East economic zones.

The Guardian. Monday, 13 March 2017

3.

Inflation rate drops to 17.78% – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released the Consumer Price Index which measures inflation rate with the index dropping from 18.72 per cent in January to 17.78 per cent in February.

The drop in the inflation rate by 0.94 percentage points according to the NBS report is the first time in 15 months that the country would see a reduction in inflation rate

Punch. Tuesday, 14 March 2017

4.

SEC reduces cost of raising capital.

THE Securities and Ex change Commission, SEC, yesterday, released a draft rule seeking reduction in cost of primary equity and fixed income issues by various trade groups in the capital market, including the Nigerian Stock Exchange, NSE, and the Commission.

In the draft rule, titled: "Exposure of Proposed New Rule and Sundry Amendment to the Rules and Regulations of the Commission", SEC stated that the total cost of issue should not exceed 2.833 per cent and 2.293 per cent of the total gross proceeds of the issue for equity and bonds respectively, this excluding underwriting commission and registrars' fees.

A breakdown of the new cost structure indicates that on equity, any N500 million to be raised by an issuer would attract 0.275 per cent fee from SEC as against 0.30 per cent previously charged; next N500 million will attract 0.225 per cent fees, while balance above N1 billion will attract 0.15 per cent commission

Vanguard. Wednesday, 15 March 2017

5.

OPEC agreement already yielding results in Nigeria

Higher oil prices and a long-term plan for production are spearheading Nigeria's efforts to get its hydrocarbons sector back on track, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has told Oxford Business Group (OBG).

Commenting in a wide-ranging interview with the global research and consultancy firm, Kachikwu said that the agreement made in December by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and non-OPEC producers to cut production with a view to stabilising prices was already yielding results for the country.

"The resurge in prices is a fundamental driver behind Nigeria's push for investment as international oil companies are planning new projects in the country," he told OBG. "Since the agreement was made, external confidence in the country is higher, while the business environment here is improving.

The Guardian. Wednesday, 15 March 2017

6.

Buhari directs CBN, finance ministry to hasten actions on refunds to states

President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday directed the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to act with dispatch in releasing the second tranche of the London-Paris Club refunds to states.

A statement by the president's Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, said Buhari gave the directive when he addressed the meeting of the National Economic Council in Abuja.

The council is made up of State Governors and chaired by the Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo.

The president expressed the hope that the early release of the refunds by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, would ease the financial hardships being experienced by the states.

Vanguard. Thursday, 16 March 2017

7.

NDE seeks collaboration to boost youth employment

The increasing youth unemployment can be tackled speedily when critical stakeholders increase the level of collaboration between them, the Acting Director General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), Kunle Obayan has said.

Speaking at the 38th edition of the Kaduna Trade Fair in Kaduna, Obanya explained that now is the time for Nigerians not only to encourage the growth of local business initiatives as a tool for boosting the economy and create jobs for youths, but also be active participants in job creation efforts.

While calling for collaboration between public and private sectors, Obanya insisted that government alone could no longer effectively shoulder the burden of employment creation within the globalisation context

The Guardian. Thursday, 16 March 2017

8.

FG cuts fertiliser price by half.

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the payment of the outstanding N22bn that is meant for dealers of agricultural inputs, popularly known as agro-dealers, in order to ensure the seamless distribution of fertilisers at an approved rate of N5,500 for 50kg.

Earlier this year, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, announced that the Federal Government was working out measures that would lead to the crash in the price of fertiliser by 50 per cent.

Farmers across the country have often complained of the high cost of fertiliser, stating that a 50kg bag is currently being sold for N10,000 to N12,000, adding that accessing the commodity was also another serious challenge.

Punch. Thursday, 16 March 2017

9.

Nigeria's oil production declines, active rigs rise

Nigeria, which again lost its Africa's top oil producer status to Angola in January, has recorded further decline in its crude oil production, a new report from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries has indicated.

OPEC, in its Monthly Oil Market Report for March 2017, put crude oil production from Nigeria at 1.526 million barrels per day in February, down from 1.533 million bpd in the previous month, based on direct communication.

Production from its southern African counterpart, Angola, stood at 1.649 million bpd in February, up from the 1.615 million bpd recorded in January.

Punch. Thursday 16 March 2017

10.

Customs suspend import duty payment on old vehicles.

The Nigeria Customs Service on Wednesday announced the suspension of the implementation of the payment of import duties on old vehicles.

The suspension is in compliance with an earlier directive by the Senate that the policy, which has generated controversies, should be suspended.

A statement by the Acting Public Relations Officer, NCS, Mr. Joseph Attah, stated that suspension of the policy would remain until the service got the support of the lawmakers in carrying out the exercise

Punch. Thursday, 16 March 2017

11.

BoI offers women entrepreneurs N13bn loans

The Bank of Industry has said its loan exposure to enterprises owned and promoted by women has hit N13bn, noting that plans are underway to improve access of related businesses to developmental financing.

It said this in a statement, adding that this was in furtherance of efforts to support the diversification programme of the Federal Government and create employment through empowerment of women entrepreneurs

The statement quoted the Managing Director, BoI, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, as saying this at an event tagged 'Be bold for change', to commemorate the 2017 International Women's Day.

Punch. Friday, 17 March 2017

12.

NSE maintains positive trend, records 0.92% appreciation

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the index grew by 235.08 points or 0.92 per cent to close at 25,653.16 compared with 25,418.08 posted on Thursday.

Also, the market capitalisation inched N82 billion or 0.93 per cent to close at N8.878 trillion against N8.796 trillion on Thursday due to price growth of some stocks.

Dangote Cement recorded the highest price growth to lead the gainers' table with a gain of N6 to close at N166 per share.

It was trailed by Beta Glass which garnered N2 to close at N42.16 and Lafarge Africa rose by N1.50 to close at N36 per share.

The Guardian. Friday, 17 March 2017

13.

CBN injects fresh $100m into forex market

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday said it would on Friday release the sum of $100m to authorised dealers to meet the requests of genuine customers in the interbank segment of the foreign exchange market.

The release of the forex, according to the apex bank, followed bids from authorised dealers for the amount.

The CBN Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr Isaac Okoroafor, while confirming the release in a statement said no intervention was made on Thursday in the market.

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Punch. Friday, 17 March 2017

14.

Naira appreciates by N13 to N445/$

The naira yesterday recorded its biggest appreciation against the dollar in the parallel market in three weeks, gaining N13 to close at N445 per dollar.

Vanguard investigations revealed that the sharp appreciation of the naira was due to decline in demand prompted by the sustained injection of dollar by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) into the foreign exchange market.

Confirming this development, a bureaux de change chief executive, who spoke to Vanguard on condition of anonymity said: "The market is paralysed. There is no demand at the moment. We have collected dollars from the CBN, but people are not coming to buy like before. So people are keeping their dollars. But we expect the situation to change by tomorrow."

Vanguard. Friday, 17 March 2017

Other Economic and Business Indicators

GDP -1.30%
(Q4, 2016)
Inflation Rate
(Year-on-Year change)
17.78%
(March, 2017)
Unemployment Rate 13.9%
(Q3, 2016)
Underemployment Rate 19.7%
(Q3, 2016)
Monetary Policy Rate 14%
(December, 2016)
Inter-Bank Call Rate 10.39%
(December, 2016)
Prime Lending Rate 17.09%
(December, 2016)
Maximum Lending Rate 28.55%
(December, 2016)
External Reserve USD 30,038,995,233    
(3 March, 2017)
Exchange Rate (CBN)
17 March 2017
USD: 307
POUNDS: 379.42
EUROS: 329.50
Exchange Rate (Parallel Market)
20 March 2017
USD: 445.00
POUNDS: 530.00
EUROS: 465.00
Liquidity Ratio 30%
Treasury Bill Rate (91 Days) 13.65%
(1 March, 2017)
Currency in Circulation (Million Naira) 2,179,174
(December, 2016)
Banks Reserves(Million Naira) 3,318,344.71
(December, 2016)
External Debt - FGN + States (USD million) 11,261.89
(as at June 30, 2016)
Local Debt - FGN only (NGN million) 10,606,334.22
(as at June 30, 2016)
Bank Credit to to Private Sector (NGN million) 22,374,718.08
(December, 2016)
Demand Deposits at Banks (NGN million) 9,699,750.76
(December, 2016)
Nigeria's Merchandise Trade 4,721.9 billion (Quarter 3, 2016)
Crude Oil $49.70 (OPEC Daily Basket, March 16, 2017)

Source: CBN, NBS and DMO
Compiled by: Research Department, NACCIMA
20 March, 2017