Economic and Business News

For the Week ending, Friday, 11th August, 2017

1

Amaechi begins monthly monitor of rail project

The federal government has resolved on month-by-month inspection of Lagos-Ibadan rail project to ensure its completion in December 2018. The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, who inspected the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge railway praised the contractors on the current pace of work.

Ameachi gave the assurance that the project would be completed end of 2018 during an on the spot inspection on the project on Friday in Lagos.

"On monthly basis, we try to review the performance of contractors so as ensure that we meet our target of laying this tars by 2018 December.

The Punch. Sunday, 10th September, 2017

2

Trouble looms for Nigeria as China plans to ban petrol, diesel vehicles

China, world's biggest car market, plans to ban the production and sale of diesel and petrol vehicles, further threatening the future profitability of oil - Nigeria's major revenue source. The development is coming two months after the UK, like Germany, France, India, Norway and Netherlands, revealed plans to ban fuel-run cars, as part of efforts to reduce air pollution.

The ban will lead to a reduction of oil demand in China, as the country is currently the world's second-largest oil consumer after the United States, US.

China wants electric battery cars and plug-in hybrids to account for at least one-fifth of its vehicle sales by 2025.

Vanguard. Monday, 11th September, 2017

3

Poor electricity supply may persist as Discos reject 1000mw daily

Over 8,391.06mw lost in eight days

It may take a longer time for the country to overcome its electricity supply challenges as the distribution companies (Discos) reject generated energy from power plants.

A review of the power sector load summary from 13th to 20th August, 2017 by The Guardian showed that an average of 1,000 megawatts (mw) is rejected daily by the Discos, even as electricity consumers continue to groan in darkness. Specifically, the 11 Discos collectively rejected 8, 391.06mw within eight days.

Experts say that the continuous electricity load rejection could worsen the epileptic power supply and cause more economic loss to the country.

The Guardian. Monday, 11th September, 2017

4

FG, states borrow N7.51tn under Buhari

The Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari and the 36 states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory have borrowed N7.51tn in the last two years, statistics have revealed.

As of June 30, 2015, just a month after the present crop of leaders took over the leadership of the country, Nigeria's total debt stood at N12.12tn.

However, as of June 2017, the nation's total debt had climbed to N19.63tn, according to the latest debt statistics obtained from the Debt Management Office.

The debt stock data released by the DMO revealed that the total public debt stock (external and domestic debt stock of the Federal Government and sub-nationals) as of the end of June was N19.63tn (about $64.19bn at N305.9/$1), made up of external debt stock of N4.6tn (about $15.05bn) and domestic debt stock of N15.03tn (about $49.15bn).

The Punch. Monday, 11th September, 2017

5

Dearth of artisans: Lafarge launches skill acquisition training programme for youths

Lafarge Africa Plc, leading building solutions provider in Nigeria, recently launched the Cement Professionals Training Programme CPTP, for youths from the areas where its cement manufacturing plants are located as beneficiaries. The initiative is to address the dearth of artisans in the building and construction industry of the nation.

The target of CPTP is to train in the next 15 years, youths from Ogun, Gombe and Cross River States in mechanical, electrical, instrumentation, automation technology, cement manufacturing process and entrepreneurship. During the training programme, trainees will be rotated through all Lafarge plant locations in Nigeria.

The programme was borne out of the need for Lafarge to reposition its flagship technical training programme aimed at empowering youths in host communities, creating jobs and building critical skills.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

6

FG'll address challenges facing broadband service providers - Shittu

The Minister of Communications, Mr. Adebayo Shittu, has said that the Federal Government is poised to support and create enabling environment for telecommunications industry, especially broadband service providers.

The minister said this when broadband telecom operators paid him a courtesy visit, according to a statement issued by the Assistant Chief Information Officer in the ministry, Pauline Sule.

Shittu who identified with the challenges the operators were facing said that relevant steps would be taken to address the challenges, adding that Information and Communications Technology was critical to the government and the citizens.

The Punch. Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

7

BoI funds Aba leather industry to improve output

The Bank of Industry (BoI) has commenced making funds available to leather manufacturers in Aba to improve their quality and productivity.

This was the outcome of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between BoI-Investment and Trust Company (BoI-ITC), a subsidiary of the BoI, and DAI- Market Development in the Niger Delta to drive leather production in Nigeria.

In a statement, the Managing Director of BoI-ITC, Mrs Betsy Obaseki, said that the bank is granting artisans in finished leather goods at the cluster, access to N500, 000 working capital loan and N10 million for purchasing of equipment.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

8

Nigeria to get India's $4bn technology transfer

The governments of Nigeria and India have rekindled their bilateral relationship at the third Indo-Africa ICT Expo in Lagos, with an agreement that "Nigeria will get a huge technology transfer of over $4bn from India."

Over 3,000 delegates from across Africa and India witnessed the inauguration of the technology conference, in which the Indian government said it was seeking stronger ties with Nigeria in particular, and had therefore offered its assistance in all areas of technology.

The Co-chairman of India's Telecom Equipment and Services Export Promotion Council, Sanjay Nayak, said India remained the ideal partner for Africa, "as it shares the same vision and mission for technology growth."

The Punch. Tuesday, 12th September, 2017

9

Nigeria oil'll no longer be profitable soon - Osinbajo

Akure-VICE President Yemi Osinbajo, yesterday in Ondo State declared that the country's oil will no longer be profitable in no distant future. He spoke during the Second National Council on Niger Delta, NCND, meeting held in Akure.

Painting a gloomy future of oil in the Niger Delta area of the country, the Vice President said; "Many countries are getting alternatives to oil, the development which would make the resource unprofitable in a few years.

Osinbajo pointed out that the United States of America, USA, which is the largest importer of Nigeria’s crude oil, would no longer need the commodity because of alternatives for oil already discovered.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

10

Buhari commissions $150 million feed mill in Kaduna

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday commissioned a new poultry feed mill worth $150 million in Kaduna State. Located at Chikpiri Gabas village in Gwagwada area of the state, the President said the mill would not only add value to the diversification programme of his administration but will also assist in creating new jobs for the nation's teaming youth.

President Buhari urged foreign and local investors to take advantage of the huge incentives, including favourable business environment being created by government.

Specifically, he urged them to invest in areas that would complement the employment generation initiative of the Federal Government.

The Guardian. Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

11

Stakeholders flay FG over idle $100m cabotage fund

Piqued by the death of indigenous shipping companies due to lack of funds and unfavourable policies, maritime stakeholders have queried the Federal Government's wisdom in warehousing over $100m in the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund, thereby defeating the purpose for which it was set up.

Speaking in Lagos on Tuesday at a breakfast meeting for public relations officers of maritime and related organisations, the Public Relations Officer, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Dr. Kayode Farinto, said the problem was due to lack of patriotism.

"Our indigenous ships will continue to die because of the fact that we are not saying the truth. The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund takes care of assisting our indigenous ship owners with funds. The CVFF holds nothing less than N70bn in an escrow account. What happens to that fund?" Farinto asked.

The Punch. Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

12

NSE's indices slide further by 0.5 %

Despite price gains that outweighed losses, equity transactions on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), sustained the slide yesterday, resulting in a further decline in indices by 0.5 per cent

Although the 35 less-capitalised stocks appreciated in price yesterday, but they were not able to push the indices even as 21 highly capitalised ones constituted the losers' chart.

The Guardian. Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

13

Private firms to finance Nigeria's refineries' rehabilitation – NNPC

he Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Wednesday, stated that the rehabilitation of the country's three refineries would be financed by private investors and companies.

The NNPC, in a statement in Abuja, signed by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said already, it has received over 28 Expressions of Interest for the financing of the rehabilitation project and that the goal was to get more by the end of the year.

According to the the statement, Chief Operating Officer, Refineries and Petrochemicals, Mr. Anibor Kragha, disclosed this during the inauguration of eight committees by the NNPC, charged with returning the refineries to their nameplate capacities by the year 2019.

Vanguard. Wednesday, 13th September, 2017

14

FG, NLNG, Julius Berger sign N120bn Bonny road pact

The Federal Government and Julius Berger Plc on Wednesday signed a N120bn agreement for the construction of the Bonny Road in Bayelsa State.

While the Federal Government will provide N60bn for the project, the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas will provide the balance.

At the signing ceremony, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the construction of the road would make a positive impact on the value chain.

The Punch. Thursday, 14th September, 2017

15

Kachikwu says Nigeria's exemption from further crude cuts inevitable

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Wednesday said Nigeria would get more crude-cut exemption from the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC).

Nigeria has been exempted twice, the first time for six months and the second time for nine months, from the OPEC decision to cut crude production to shore up prices of the product.

Kachikwu, who made this known at a media interaction in Abuja, said that at the expiration of Nigeria's crude-cut exemption in March, 2018, further exemption was inevitable.

The Guardian. Thursday, 14th September, 2017

16

CBN to borrow N917bn via TBs in fourth quarter

The Central Bank of Nigeria is planning to borrow N917.14bn worth of Treasury bills between September 14 and November 30, a CBN debt calendar for the fourth quarter has shown.

The Central bank is aiming to auction N209.85bn in 91-day bills, N197.89bn in 182-day and N509.39bn in 364-day debt, according to a Reuters report.

The CBN sells Treasury bills twice a month to help fund the government's budget deficit and support commercial banks in managing liquidity.

The Punch. Thursday, 14th September, 2017

17

Naira depreciates to N360.2/$ in NAFEX

The Naira, yesterday, depreciated further to N360.2 per dollar in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

Data from the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) showed that the indicative exchange rate for the I&E window, known as Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) rose to N360.2 per dollar, yesterday, from N359.4 per dollar on Monday. Hence the naira has depreciated by N1.7 this week in the I&E window.

The Naira, however, remained stable at N367 per dollar in the parallel market, yesterday.

Vanguard. Thursday, 14th September, 2017

18

Morocco's admittance into ECOWAS'll kill Nigeria's productive sector - MAN

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has opposed the planned admission of Morocco into the Economic Community of West African States.

The Association warned the Federal Government against supporting the plan at its 45th Annual General Meeting held in Lagos on Thursday, stating that it would have a disastrous effect on the nation's manufacturers.

The President, MAN, Mr. Frank Jacobs, said the admission of Morocco into ECOWAS would be equivalent to signing the Economic Partnership Agreement through the back door.

The Punch. Friday, 15th September, 2017

19

Many Free Trade Zones now smuggling routes -Ali

The Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali, (retd.) has sounded a note of warning to those engaged in activities going in the Export Processing Zones in the country, saying that the zones have become routes for smugglers.

He said this in Lagos on Wednesday during an interactive session with Manufacturers at the 2017 edition of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria's Annual General Meeting.

Free Trade Zones are special economic zones where goods may land, be handled, manufactured and re-exported without the intervention of Customs. Within these zones, trade barriers and Customs duties, which prevail in the rest of the country, are minimal or non-functional.

The Punch. Friday, 15th September, 2017

20

'Nigeria spends $3.3bn on importation of steel products'

Nigeria spends $3.3bn annually on importation of steel products, the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has said.

Fayemi stated this in Abuja on Thursday at the meeting of the National Council on Mining and Mineral Resources.

He said with the signing of a Modified Concession Agreement between the Federal Government and Global Infrastructure Nigeria Limited, Nigeria was on the threshold of import substitution in the steel sector to stop the bleeding of the country through the importation of steel products.

The Punch. Friday, 15th September, 2017

21

Nigeria's transmission network gets N540b boost

Nigeria's transmission network will soon receive a boost as the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited (NDPHC) has embarked on an investment of over $1.5 billion (N540 billion) in relevant infrastructure.

The investment is expected to tackle the transmission inadequacies in the power sector.The development comes as Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, says the production of electricity from power plants across Nigeria has reached 7,001 megawatts (mw) from the 2,069mw recorded in 2015.

The Executive Secretary of the Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Dr. Joy Ogaji, had told The Guardian that even though the generation companies (Gencos) have power generation capacity of 12,500 megawatts (mw) per day and with expansion capacity of doubling it, the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and the distribution companies (Discos) have ill-equipped infrastructure to evacuate and distribute the generated power.

The Guardian. Friday, 15th September, 2017

22

Why investors back out of PPP contracts - Oyinloye

The Managing Director, The Infrastructure Bank, Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, on Thursday called for more coordination of policies among different agencies of government in order to make Public-Private Partnerships bankable.

He said this in Abuja at the Public-Private Dialogue on Infrastructure Financing in Nigeria.

The dialogue was organised by the Ministry of Budget and National Planning in collaboration with the Nigeria Infrastructure Public Private Partnership Summit Group.

The Punch. Friday, 15th September, 2017

23

NSE market capitalisation rises further by N70 billion

Trading on the equities sector of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), continued in an upbeat yesterday, as major highly capitalised stocks recorded further price appreciation causing investors' wealth to rise further by N70billion.

Specifically, at the close of transactions yesterday, the market capitalisation of listed equities rose by N70billion or 0.6 per cent from N12.223 trillion recorded on Wednesday to N12.293 trillion. Also, the All-share index increased by 195.7 points from 35,464.34 to 35,660.04.

Market analysts noted that while the equities market remains dominated by participants booking profits, the improvement in market activities suggests a likely near term rebound in performance.Nestle topped the gainers chart with 15.00 kobo to close at N1,205.00 per share, while Dangote Cement followed with 4.99 kobo to close at N213.99 per share.

The Guardian. Friday, 15th September, 2017

24

Inflation drops seventh consecutive months to 16.01%

The National Bureau of Statistics on Friday released the Consumer Price Index report which measures inflation with the rate dropping year-on-year from 16.05 per cent in July to 16.01 per cent in August. The bureau in the report which was made available to our correspondent said this is the seventh consecutive months that the index would be declining since January this year.

On a month-on-month basis, the NBS report said the headline index increased by 0.97 per cent in August 2017, representing a 0.24 per cent points decline over the rate of 1.21 percent recorded in June.

The Punch. Friday, 15th September, 2017

Other Economic and Business Indicators

GDP 0.55%
(Q2, 2017)
Inflation Rate
(Year-on-Year change)
16.01%
(August, 2017)
Unemployment Rate 14.2%
(Q4, 2016)
Underemployment Rate 21.0%
(Q4, 2016)
Monetary Policy Rate 14%
(July, 2017)
Inter-Bank Call Rate 12.28%
(July, 2017)
Prime Lending Rate 17.65%
(July, 2017)
Maximum Lending Rate 30.94%
(July, 2017)
External Reserve USD 31,811,620,611        
(29 August, 2017)
Exchange Rate (CBN)
15 September, 2017
USD: 305.95
POUNDS: 415.38
EUROS: 365.70
Exchange Rate (Parallel Market)
31 August 2017
USD: 369.00
POUNDS: 480.00
EUROS: 438.00
Liquidity Ratio 30%
Treasury Bill Rate (91 Days) 13.35%
(16, August 2017)
Demand Deposits at Banks
(NGN million)
8,883,822.34
(July, 2017)
Credit to Government (Net)
(NGN million)
4,987,790.39
(July, 2017)
Credit to Private Sector
(NGN million)
22,172,372.60
(July, 2017)
Currency in Circulation
(Million Naira)
1,769,750.47
(July, 2017)
Bank Reserves
(Million Naira)
3,446,384.83
(July, 2017)
External Debt: FGN + States
(USD million)
13,807.59
(as at March 31, 2017)
Local Debt: FGN only
(NGN million)
11,971,336.53
(as at March 31, 2017)
Nigeria's Merchandise Trade N5,697.5 billion (Quarter 2, 2017)
Crude Oil $53.64 (OPEC Daily Basket, 15 September, 2017)

Source: CBN, NBS and DMO
Compiled by: Research Department, NACCIMA
18 September, 2017