Economic and Business News

For the week ending, Friday 30th January 2017

1.

Widen Forex sources, ABCON tells CBN

The President of the Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria, Alhaji Aminu Gwadabe, has called on the CBN to widen sources of forex to members of the association.

Gwadabe on Monday said that for the CBN to improve access to Forex for BDCs, it should register more International Money Transfer Organisations and make BDCs to access export proceeds.

He said that the apex bank should allow the application of BDCs rates for foreign investors' inflow at the point of entry and exit.

Punch. Monday, 23 January 2017

2.

Bol floats N1bn solar energy fund for MSMEs

To address the lingering epileptic power supply from the grid system, the Bank of Industry (Bol), at the weekend, launched a N1 billion solar Energy Fund for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Acting Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Bol, Mr. Waheed Olagunju, stated at the inauguration of the N1 billion solar energy fund that, for Nigeria to achieve sustainable and inclusive development, there is an urgent need to substantially increase the supply of modern and affordable energy services from sources that are affordable, accessible and environmentally friendly.

He explained that the projects will be implemented in collaboration with eight (8) competent solar energy project developers who have been carefully selected through a competitive and transparent process, adding that, will be responsible for implementing the solar projects by providing MSMEs with solar solutions using appropriate business models.

The Sun. Monday, 23 January 2017

3.

FG accesses $67m World Bank loan to develop Hadejia Dam

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Water Resources, Sen. Ubale Shittu, on Sunday said the Federal Government has accessed a $67m World Bank loan to rehabilitate Hadejia Valley Dam in Jigawa.

Shittu told the News Agency of Nigeria in Dutse that $60m would be used to rehabilitate and expand the dam by 1,000 hectares.

He said that the remaining $7m dollars would be spent on dredging of the river from Tiga Dam in Kano State to Koli in Kirikasama Local Government Area of Jigawa.

Punch. Sunday, 22 January 2017

4.

Abuja airport's runway rehabilitation may exceed six weeks

Experts in the aviation industry on Sunday said the rehabilitation of the runway and taxi ways of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja might exceed the six-week period scheduled for the exercise judging by the statement of the contractor assigned to handle the project.

According to the Aviation Round Table, a body of industry professionals, the Federal Government must compel the contractor, Julius Berger Plc, to issue a performance guarantee that it will deliver the project on schedule to avoid prolonging the hardship it will bring.

It also noted that about 1.2 kilometres of the NAIA runway had not been available for flight operations due to the poor state of the facility.

Punch. Monday, 23 January 2017

5.

FG inaugurates steering committee on recapitalisation of Bank of Industry (BoI)

The Federal Government, last week, inaugurated the National Council on Privatisation (NCP) Steering Committee on the restructuring and recapitalisation of the Bank of Industry (BoI) and the Project Delivery Team to revitalise the operations of the Bank of Agriculture (BoA).

Inaugurating the Steering Committee and Project Delivery Team on behalf of the Vice President, Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, who chairs the committee, informed that the approach was to make the BoA more responsive to its mandate of serving as a veritable platform for providing loans to MSMEs, rural farmers, cooperatives and agro-allied industries, among others.

The Sun. Monday, 23 January 2017

 

6.

Energy crunch worsens as output drops to 2,200mw

Prices of kerosene, diesel, petrol, gas remain high

Nigerians' economic hardship has taken a turn for the worse as electricity supply dropped from the 4,883.9 mega watts (mw) it recorded in the last one month to 2,200mw as at January 21, 2017.

This is far below the country's installed capacity of 11,165.40mw and network operational capability of 5,500mw.

The Guardian. Monday, 23 January 2017

7.

IMO AIR inaugurated, maiden flight lands at Sam Mbakwe airport

A maiden flight of Imo Air owned by the Imo State Government, on Tuesday, January 24, landed at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport, Owerri with the first set of passengers.

A release issued by Chief Press Secretary to the Governor Rochas Okorocha, Sam Onwuemeodo, said that the governor led members of the state executive council and thousands of residents of the state to the airport to celebrate the feat.

The 140-Seater plane, with Imo Air written boldly on the body, landed at the Sam Mbakwe Cargo Airport at exactly 11.42 pm, is being operated for the State by DANA Airline.

Governor Okorocha claimed the state was yet to get the requisite license to operate full blown airline.

The Sun. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

8.

Osinbajo blames govt agencies for hampering ease of doing business

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has taken a swipe at some Federal Government agencies directly involved in promoting business enterprises in the country, accusing them of being a hinderance to doing business with ease in the country.

He particularly claimed the agencies were disconnected from government’s plans to recover the economy.

Osinbajo accused them of deliberately deploying bureaucratic bottlenecks to stifle the growth of small scale enterprises and in the process hamper job creation and the desired industrialisation.

The Sun. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

9.

DISCOs monthly revenue shortfalls rise to N25bn in 2016

ELECTRICITY Distribution Companies, DISCOs' remittances to Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET, dropped to about 35 percent in 2016 from an average of 65 percent in 2015, with monthly revenue shortfalls rising to N25 billion in 2016 as against N9 billion in 2015.

According to a report by Proshare, a Nigerian financial information service firm, "The revenue shortfall of the DISCOs has triggered systemic risk in the sector since the generation companies, GENCOs, who rely on the DISCOs for revenue, have largely been stifled.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

10.

Manufacturers urge CBN to release N50bn textile intervention fund

Lagos – The Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) has urged the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to expedite the release of the pending N50 billion intervention fund to Cotton, Textile and Garment manufacturers.

The Association's President, Mrs Grace Adereti, made the appeal in an interview on Tuesday in Lagos.

She added that the release of the funds would stimulate the nation's economy.

The CBN had in 2016 floated a N50 billion intervention fund as working capital, debt takeover and long-term loan to the Cotton, Textile and Garment (CTG) value chain.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

11.

Telecoms subscribers hit 154.5m in Dec - NCC

Active users of telecommunications services in the country increased to 154,529,780 in December 2016, the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has said.

The telecommunications industry regulator made this known in its Monthly Subscriber/Operator Data on Tuesday in Lagos.

It said that the active telecommunications service customers increased by 580,330 on the figure in November, which stood at 153,949,450.

Punch. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

12.

Internet users decline by 536,346 subscribers in December

Lagos - The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has said that the number of internet users in Nigeria's telecommunications networks drifted to 91,910,341 in December 2016.

The telecommunications industry umpire made the disclosure in its Monthly Internet Subscribers Data for November, obtained yesterday in Lagos.

The data indicated that internet users on both Global System for Mobile communications, GSM and Code Division Multiple Access, CDMA, networks dropped by 536,346 in December as against 92,446,687 users recorded in December.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

13.

CBN leaves lending rate unchanged at 14%

The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday left the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged at 14 per cent.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele who announced the decision of the committee at the end of a two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in Abuja explained that all the ten members that attended the meeting agreed to maintain the current monetary policy stance.

Apart from the MPR which was retained at 14 per cent, the governor said the committee also voted to retain the Cash Reserves Ratio at 22.5 per cent.

Punch. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

14.

GE Proposes Investment in Nigeria's Three Refineries

General Electric, GE, a US multinational company, Tuesday in Abuja, proposed to invest in the nation's three refineries located in Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna.

GE, in a presentation to NNPC GMD, Dr. Maikanti Baru and his team stated that the company's teams of partners, including its consortium involving the Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) partners, off-takers, traders and some financiers would be engaged in the initiative.

GE, which Headquarters is in Boston, Massachusetts, is worth 493 billion dollars in asset and its business focus areas include oil and gas, power, water supply, aviation, healthcare, transportation and capital.

Vanguard. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

15.

Buhari pays N72b to China for Lagos-Ibadan railway

President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has released N72 billion counterpart funding for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan modernisation railway project.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi made this known at the quarterly Presidential Business Forum which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Monday.

The Lagos-Ibadan rail project which was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation would cost about 1.5 billion dollars (N458bn).

Vanguard. Tuesday, 24 January 2017

16.

Nigeria ratifies WTO's Trade Facilitation Agreement

Nigeria on Friday in Davos, Switzerland, ratified the Trade Facilitation Agreement of the World Trade Organisation, making it the 107th WTO member to do so.

The country's instrument of acceptance was submitted to the WTO by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enelamah, a statement from the ministry said.

Enelamah handed over the instrument at a meeting with the WTO Director-General, Roberto AzevÃdo, on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Punch. Friday, 20 January 2017

17.

Osinbajo inaugurates MSMEs clinics, booklet to boost business activities

Inaugurating the Clinics at the Presidential conference hall, Abuja on Tuesday, Osinbajo said the they were part of government strategic commitments aimed at improving the business environment across the country.

He revealed that the clinics would be inaugurated across the states of the federation, beginning with Abia on Thursday.

"Working very closely with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment we came up with the idea of MSMEs Clinics as an important building block not as a silver bullet, but as an important block in finding a solution.

The Guardian. Wednesday, 25 January 2017

18.

Government, General Electric hold talks on rail lines concessioning

The Federal Government and the president of United States (U.S.)-based energy/transportation company, General Electric, Mr. Jeffrey Immelt, yesterday held preliminary discussions to fine-tune full concession of Nigeria's narrow gauge rail line to the firm.

Although The Guardian learnt that the agreement for the contract would not be signed until other interested local and foreign bidders come forward to state their terms, there are however indications that GE might be favoured in the open bid.

The Guardian. Wednesday, 25 January 2017

19.

CBN sold $1.1bn to importers in Nov 2016

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), yesterday, said that it sold $1.1billion to 4,328 firms in November with Crown Flour Mills and five fuel importers receiving the largest share.

The apex bank which revealed this in its report on foreign exchange utilisation for the month of November 2016 on its website, indicated that 20 firms received the largest share of $322.79 million, led by Crown Flour Mills which got $52.5 million through Access Bank and Coronation Merchant Bank for importation of Russian wheat.

The company was followed by five others which received $111.2 million for fuel importation. The companies are MRS Oil and Gas ($36.9 million), NIPCO Trading Company (N32.2 million), Forte Oil Plc ($13.2 million), Rahamaniyya Oil & Gas ($10.8 million), and OandO marketing Plc ($8.7 million), and A.A RANO NIG LTD ($14, 25 million).

Vanguard. Thursday, 26 January 2017

20.

Five banks dominate CBN's $1.1b forex disbursements

  • Apex bank seeks bid for special auction

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said its foreign exchange utilisation records for banks showed a disbursement of $1.1 billion in November 2016.

However, of the 4,328 transactions in the period under review, five banks dominated the deals with 2,892, representing about 67 per cent of the total activity.

The development showed that CBN, despite its quest to increase reserves' profile, sustained its forex market interventions, as a way to moderate Naira depreciation that is induced by demand pressure.

It also showed that while all the bank's are participating in the forex market transactions, the bulk of the deals are mostly traded by few banks, particularly the big ones.

The banks with highest utilisation were First Bank of Nigeria, with 1,039 deals; Zenith Bank, 706; Stanbic IBTC, 397; Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria, 389; and First City Monument Bank, 361.

Guardian. Thursday, 26 January 2017

21.

We won't change forex policy, says CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria on Thursday stated that no amount of criticism and blackmail from "self-centred individuals" would make it change its current flexible foreign exchange rate policy.

The apex bank said this in a statement titled: 'Nigeria's current economic situation: Our case', signed by its Acting Director, Corporate Communications Department, Mr. Isaac Okorafor.

The bank said while it was not opposed to the fact that Nigerians had the right to express their views, majority of such views had become attacks on its policy rather than proffering solutions.

The statement read in part, "The Central Bank of Nigeria has observed with great concern the continued and unwarranted attack on its policies by a group of Nigerians, whose real interests, findings have shown, are anything near altruistic, but rather self-serving and unpatriotic.

Punch. Friday, 27 January 2017

Other Economic and Business Indicators

GDP -2.22%
(Q2, 2016)
Inflation Rate
(Year-on-Year change)
18.55%
(December, 2016)
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 27,888,503,123   
(26 January 2017)
Exchange Rate (CBN)
27 January 2017
USD: 305.25
POUNDS: 382.72
EUROS: 326.46
Exchange Rate (Parallel Market)
27 January 2017
USD: 498.00
POUNDS: 610.00
EUROS: 525.00
Liquidity Ratio 30%
Treasury Bill Rate (91 Days) 13.90%
(18 January, 2016)
Currency in Circulation (Million Naira) 1,825,664.51
(October, 2016)
Banks Reserves(Million Naira) 4,415,126.62
(October, 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) 23,069,635.07
(October, 2016)
Demand Deposits at Banks (NGN million) 8,501,818.92
(October, 2016)
Nigeria's Merchandise Trade 3,942.0 billion (Quarter 2, 2016)
Crude Oil $52.88 (OPEC Daily Basket, January 27, 2017)

Source: CBN, NBS and DMO
Compiled by: Research Department, NACCIMA
30 January, 2017