Economic and Business News

For the Week ending, Friday, 24th February, 2017

1.

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

2.

Nigeria's trade rose to N17.34trn in 2016 – NBS

The National Bureau of Statistics on Saturday night released the merchandise trade statistics for the 2016 fiscal period with the country recording an increase of N1.05trn in trade from N16.29trn in 2015 to N17.34trn in 2016. The NBS in the report said the trade figure for the 2016 period had been experiencing a quarterly increase rising from N3.13trn in the first quarter of this year to N4.15trn in the second quarter.

In the third and fourth quarter of 2016, the report put the trade figure at N4.78trn and N5.29trn respectively. The bureau in the report made available to our correspondent stated that the increase in trade was as a result of a rise of 28.26 per cent in the value of export from N2.43trn in the third quarter to N2.98trn in the fourth quarter.

Punch. Sunday, 5 March 2017

3.

Manufacturing sector's contribution to GDP shrinks by N80bn

The scarcity of foreign exchange as well as the harsh operating environment took its toll on the operations of the manufacturing sector in the 2016 fiscal period with the sector recording a decline of N80bn in its contribution to Gross Domestic Product. An analysis of the GDP figures based on current prices obtained from the National Bureau of Statistics showed that the manufacturing sector's contribution to the economy dropped from N8.97tn as of the end of December 2015 to N8.89tn as of the end of December 2016.

There are 13 sub-sectors that constitute the manufacturing sector. Nine of them recorded increase in economic performance while only four recorded decrease in productivity. The nine sub-sectors with increase in economic performance are oil and refining, which rose from N248.02bn in 2015 to N276.59bn; textile apparel and footwear, which increased from N1.87tn to N2.02tn; and wood and wood products from N259.35bn to N275.1bn

Punch. Sunday, 5 March 2017

4.

NLNG's revenue crashes by N646.6bn

The Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited posted a revenue decline of N646.6bn ($2.12bn at N305/$ official exchange rate) in its 2016 financial year. It was gathered that the fall in the gas company's revenue was largely due to the crash in crude oil prices globally in the year under review.

Crude prices crashed from over $100 per barrel in 2014 to as low as $23 in 2016, a development that threw many oil dependent countries into economic crisis. The NLNG's revenue had continued to fall since 2014. It plunged from $10.79bn in 2014 to $6.84bn in 2015 and further dropped to $4.72bn in 2016.

Punch. Sunday, 5 March 2017

5.

FG removes 10% contribution on mortgages below N5m

The Federal Government on Sunday announced that henceforth, mortgages below N5m would not attract the initial payment of 10 per cent equity from off-takers. It stated that this was part of efforts to ensure the provision of affordable housing to Nigerians, especially the low-income earners.

The Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Mustapha Shehuri, stated this while inaugurating a 125-unit housing estate that was financed by the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria and developed by Messrs LCK Projects Nigeria Limited in Enugu.

Shehuri, according to a statement from the ministry on Sunday, noted that in view of the challenge of housing deficit in Nigeria, the government planned to build mass houses in every state of the federation for public workers and other interested parties over the next three years through the public-private partnership model.

Punch. Monday, 6 March 2017

6.

Scarcity of funds worsens as CBN mops up N373 billion

SCARCITY of funds in the interbank money market intensified last week as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) mopped up N373 billion through sales of treasury bills (TBs). Analysis of development in the interbank money market revealed that the CBN conducted daily secondary market (open market operations, OMO) treasury bills during the week as well as three primary market auctions, in a bid to mop up funds from the market and prevent too much Naira pursuing the available foreign exchange resources and putting pressure on exchange rates.

Analysis revealed that the N470 billion worth of bills offered by the CBN recorded 87 per cent subscription as total subscription stood at N429 billion while the apex bank sold N373 billion. In the secondary market, the total public subscription to the N160 billion worth of bills offered by the CBN, stood at N66 billion while the apex bank sold N63 billion.

However, the N310 billion worth of bills offered by the CBN in the primary market recorded oversubscription, with total public subscription at N363 billion while the apex bank sold N310 billion.

Vanguard. Monday, March 6 2017.

7.

Niger exports 57% of world Shea butter production – Commissioner

The Niger Commissioner for Commerce, Trade and Investment, Mrs Ramatu Yar' adua, says the state is exporting 57 per cent of the Shea Butter produced world-wide. Yar'adua announced this on Tuesday at news conference at the defence of her ministry's 2017 budget proposal at the state House of Assembly in Minna.

According to her, the State has engaged consultants to conduct a shea tree research and come up with a roadmap that will guide the value chain in the production of the product. "This has become more urgent in view of the fact that Niger state is currently producing about 57 per cent of the world's Shea butter that goes into the international market. These consultants are going to be training our women on how to process the Shea nuts, converting that to butter."

Vanguard. Tuesday, 7 March 2017

8.

Aba traders export N1bn worth of goods weekly

Abia State Governor, Okezie Ikpeazu has disclosed that local manufacturers of shoes and leather products in Aba export at least one million shoes to Europe on a weekly basis. The governor made the disclosure during a trade fair showcasing Made-in-Aba products in Abuja, yesterday. The fair was part of efforts by the Federal Government to promote and boost local manufacturing.

Governor Ikpeazu who presided over the opening ceremony of the fair, said there are 15,000 shoemakers in Aba, who produce 300,000 shoes daily while one million of those shoes find their ways to Europe and other parts of the world on a weekly basis. The exports are estimated at about N1 billion weekly

The Sun. Tuesday, 7 March 2017

9.

Customs agents, shippers disagree over NCS policy on vehicle duty

The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and the Shippers' Association Lagos State have disagreed over the one-month grace period given by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) concerning payment of duty on vehicles. Both bodies expressed diverse views in separate interviews with newsmen on Tuesday in Lagos.

The National President of ANLCA, Mr Olayiwola Shittu, advised the Customs Service to make the deadline for duty payment on vehicles an open-ended operation, saying the policy would check smuggling. The President, Shippers Association Lagos State, Mr Jonathan Nicol, described the Customs policy on vehicle duty as outdated and not in conformity with the current situation in world trade.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 7 March 2017

10.

Nigeria reasserts itself as Africa's top oil producer

A combination of external factors should help Nigeria maintain elevated oil production over the shortterm, with the governmenthoping to further enhance output through a long awaited overhaul of the sector's regulatory framework. An exemption from OPEC's decision to cut global production, along with a drop in incidents in the oil-producing Niger Delta, have helped sustain the increased output and allowed Nigeria to overtake Angola as Africa's biggest producer.

The Ministry of Petroleum Resources revealed earlier this month that crude production had reached the 2m-bpd mark. That figure is up from the first eleven months of 2016, when the country averaged 1.85m bpd, according to a December report by the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The Guardian. Wednesday, 8 March 2017

11.

'Manufacturing Expo to boost value-chain activities, access to global markets

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has stated that its upcoming Nigerian Manufacturing and Equipment Expo would boost activities in the value-chain sector as well as improve access of small businesses to new markets. According to MAN President, Frank Jacobs, the event is principally targeted at Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to equip them with information on new processes on ways of boosting their production output, reducing cost, improving product quality and manufacturing for new markets.

Scheduled to hold on the 14th to 16th of March, 2017, at the Landmark event centre in Lagos, the expo is expected to equip and build capacities of small businesses with the requisite skills needed to access new markets across the globe. Speaking during a press conference to announce the forthcoming exhibition, Jacobs explained that the success of the maiden edition is expected to impact positively on this year's edition.

The Guardian. Wednesday 8 March 2017

12.

RECESSION: FG targets N21trn from agric, releases Economic Recovery Plan

The Federal Government, yesterday, released its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, ERGP, with a view to restore macro-economic stability and driving various sectors towards achieving the nation's full economic potentials. The core vision of the plan is sustained inclusive growth through structural economic transformation, with emphasis on improving both public and private sectors' efficiency in order to increase national productivity and achieve sustainable diversification of production.

The document, released yesterday by the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo Udoma, read: "The Plan envisages that by 2020, Nigeria would have made significant progress towards achieving structural economic change with a more diversified and inclusive economy.

"Overall, the Plan is expected to deliver on five key broad outcomes, namely: A stable macro-economic environment, agricultural transformation and food security, sufficiency in energy (power and petroleum products), improved transportation infrastructure and industrialization, focusing on small and medium scale enterprise."

Vanguard. Wednesday, 8 March 2017

13.

NECA urges CBN to devalue naira for economic recovery

The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA) has called on the Federal Government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to devalue the naira for economic recovery. Speaking during a press briefing on Thursday in Lagos, the President of NECA, Mr. Larry Ettah, stated that “evidence from other economies is clear and compelling to the effect that floating exchange rate systems enable economies respond best to declines in the value of their exports and provide a natural adjustment mechanism to preserve foreign exchange (Forex) reserves and change incentives and behavior of economic actors.”

He said Nigeria's attempt at a fixed exchange rate system and administrative controls or rationing of scarce foreign currency has clearly failed and produced Forex market arbitrage and "round-tripping"; corruption, multiple exchange rates and acted as a deterrence to investment.

Tribune. Thursday, 9 March 2017

14.

NCC to enact Internet Industry Code of Practice

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) said it would set up the Internet Industry Code of Practice to protect the right and interest of consumers. The commission made this known in a statement issue, on Friday, in Lagos, that the Internet Code of Practice was to endure a safer and vibrant internet industry.

NCC said that the establishment of the code was part of its Internet Governance functions. "NCC hereby invites all affected and interested parties as well as the general public to a stakeholders consultation on the Established Of Internet Industry Code of Practice.

"As part of its Internet Governance functions; the NCC seeks inputs from stakeholders in the development of a code of practice in support of an open internet," it said.

Daily Sun. Friday, 10 March 2017

15.

CBN boosts forex supply by $170m

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday offered the sum of $100m as wholesale interventions and sold about $70m to meet requests for business and personal travel allowances. The CBN said the move was in a bid to sustain the tempo of foreign exchange supply to the interbank market and ensure liquidity to enable more bank customers and other business people to overcome the difficulty of obtaining forex for their transactions.

The CBN Acting Director, Corporate Communications, Isaac Okorafor, said in a statement that the bank remained resolute in ensuring that it supplied enough forex to genuine customers of Deposit Money Banks and increase liquidity in the market. According to him, the uniqueness of the wholesale forwards is that banks are allowed to use their winnings from auctions to fund matured obligations to meet Letters of Credit remittances, extinguish bills for collection and other forex demands.

Punch. Friday, 10 March 2017

16.

Naira appreciates to N455/$ as External reserves hit $30bn

Hopes of further appreciation of the naira brightened yesterday as the nation's external reserve rose to $30 billion, the highest in 13 months. Consequently, the external reserve has risen by $4.2 billion since the beginning of the year, and by $6.2 billion since October 19th, 2016 when it commenced its upward trend.

Meanwhile, the naira yesterday appreciated to N455 per dollar in the parallel market as the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) injected another $195 million into the foreifn exchange market. The apex bank sold $100 million in wholse forwards, $70 million to meet demand for personal and business travel allowance and $25 million to bureaux de change (BDCs).

Vanguard. Friday, 10 March 2017

Other Economic and Business Indicators

GDP -1.30%
(Q4, 2016)
Inflation Rate
(Year-on-Year change)
18.72%
(January, 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   
(9 March, 2017)
Exchange Rate (CBN)
10 March 2017
USD: 305.8
POUNDS: 371.49
EUROS: 324.52
Exchange Rate (Parallel Market)
13 March 2017
USD: 460.00
POUNDS: 550.00
EUROS: 476.00
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) 11,406.28
(as at December 31, 2016)
Local Debt - FGN only (NGN million) 11,058,204.30
(as at December 31, 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 5,286.6 billion (Quarter 4, 2016)
Crude Oil $49.81 (OPEC Daily Basket, March 10, 2017)

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