Economic News Update

Economic News Update: 19th January, 2017

news-brief

FG Will Not Increase Pump Price Of Petrol – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has advised Nigerians not to engage in any panic buying of petroleum products. NNPC’s spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, stated this in a statement late yesterday to dismiss the report of a likely increase in the price of the products.

He said the corporation had a 1.3billion litres stock of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 38 days. “This plea comes on the heels of reports that some motorists have begun panic buying of petrol, following rumours that the government is about to increase the pump price of the white product from N145 per litre,” the statement read.

Read More

Dangote shuts tomato paste plant over dollar scarcity

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has shut his new tomato paste plant in Kano due to a shortage of dollars needed to import raw materials, a senior executive has said.

This is the second of such closures in months, in a blow to the Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy. President Muhammadu Buhari frequently speaks of ending Nigeria’s dependency on oil exports by boosting food production, repeating his mantra: “We must produce what we eat.”

Read More

More forex crisis as Senate okays N305 to $1 for budget

The Senate yesterday retained the foreign exchange rate of N305 to the dollar for the 2017 budget. This was part of the key decisions by the upper legislative chamber while passing the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

Adopting the recommendations of its Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriation and National Planning on the document, the Senate however, raised the proposed oil benchmark of $42.50 in 2017 budget to $44.5 per barrel.

Read More

ABCON: BDCs not parallel market operators

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) yesterday defended Bureaux De Change (BDCs) licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) saying they operate within set rules and are not part of parallel market operators.

Its President, Aminu Gwadabe, in a statement, distanced ABCON members from the activities of BDC parallel market operators, which he said have constituted major setback to naira’s stability. He insisted that the CBN-licensed BDCs are not parallel market operators as misconstrued by a large section of the public and even top government officials.

Read More

N’Assembly approves MTEF, raises oil benchmark to $44.5

The two chambers of the National Assembly on Wednesday finally approved the revised version of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Senate approved all the critical projections in the MTEF/FSP as proposed by the executive, except the oil benchmark, which was increased to $44.5 a barrel from the proposed $42.5.

Read More

Bitcoin, other virtual currencies not legal tender in Nigeria –CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has ruled out transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies by any bank in the country. The apex bank, in a circular to all banks on Tuesday,  signed by  its Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kelvin Amugo, said the move was necessitated by money laundering and terrorism financing risks inherent in operations of virtual currencies.

Amugo added: “The emergence of Virtual Currencies (VCs) has attracted investments in payments infrastructure that provides new methods of transmitting value over the internet.

Read More

Experts insist policy option, timing fail Nigeria’s economy

Professionals in the financial industry have insisted that policy choices and timing, particularly in the fiscal and monetary space, have failed the country.This was in response to the assertion by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria’s efforts to save the naira crumbled, resulting to aggravated economic issues.

The country was affirmed recessed in August 2016, two years after its major revenue earner- crude oil, lost value in the international commodity market. Thereafter, Nigeria has been flickering between monetary and fiscal policies that many believe have not helped economic activities.

Read More

BoI approves NAFDAC number for lending to SMEs

 THE Bank of Industry, BoI, has beckoned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators whose products have met quality certification by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to come for loan to expand their operations and create employments.

Recall that four years ago, specifically in 2014, BoI earmarked over N300 billion loan facility for viable firms in the over 17 million SMEs in the country.

Read More

‘LIRS recorded N25bn revenue in December’

The Lagos Inland Revenue Service, on Wednesday, said it raked N25bn into the stake government’s coffers in December 2016, despite the biting economic recession in the country.

The Executive Chairman, LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, said the agency was targeting N30bn revenue this month and the subsequent ones in the year.

Read More

NERC Deadline: Local Meter Manufacturers Seek FOREX Window

The latest deadline by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to issue meters to power consumers across the country is coming with mixed reactions. To consumers it is a long expected relief that will shed the burden of paying for electricity not consumed.

In the deadline, NERC also issued a stern warning that all DISCOs, which fail to meter electricity customers in their networks by 28 February 2017, will face sanction. So from 1 March 2017, NERC will begin to penalise the defaulting DISCOs.

Read More

Fuel scarcity imminent over marketers’ unpaid N660bn debt

Fuel queues may return to retail outlets across the country anytime soon, following the Federal Government’s inability to settle marketers N660 billion debt. The said N600 billion debt is being owed the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) by the Federal Government for imported fuel and interest differentials on bank loans sourced for petrol imports

DAPPMA’s Executive Secretary, Mr . Olufemi Adewole ,said the development has forced members of his association to suspend further import of petrol, a situation which he said has led to long queues of tankers at the Apapa and Ibafon depots.

Read More

Stakeholders prescribe options for capital market recovery

For the nation’s capital market to make some reasonable level of recovery in 2017, stakeholders have charged directors of listed firms to streamline their business operations through backward integration strategies.

Quoted firms were encouraged to seek viable local content opportunities and indigenous production of commodities to solve problems emanating from inflationary pressures for guaranteed return on investment.

Read More

Why kerosene, diesel are scarce, by DAPPMA

Why  is kerosene and diesel scarce?They are scarce because of the high exchange rate, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has said.

In an interview, DAPPMA Executive Secretary  Mr. Olufemi Adewole said: ‘’There is shortage of foreign exchange (forex)for marketers to import petroleum products, including kerosene hence the product is scarce and expensive. The winter period also contributed to the challenge because prices of petroleum products usually rise during this period.

Read More

NIMASA to commence disbursement of N30.7bn Cabotage Fund

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has promised to disburse $100m (N30.7bn Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund. The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, made the promise during a forum organised by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

He said the fund came into being with the promulgation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, adding that the fund was part of the two per cent deductions from every contract awarded in the industry.

Read More

FG eyes  pension funds to finance infrastructure

The Federal Government has disclosed it will tap into the nation’s huge pension fund to finance infrastructure in the country. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this at the Word Economic Forum (WEF) holding in Davos, Switzerland.

According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari administration is “committed to investing more in infrastructure,” than in previous times, adding that the government was working on how to tap into Nigeria’s huge pension fund to finance infrastructure in the country. To do this, he stated that “we have to first derisk such financing models for infrastructure.”

Read More

Cashew farmers target $650m export income

 CASHEW farmers   in Nigeria are working on a four-year plan to earn $650 million annual income from cashew exports. The country earned $253 million in 2015 and to achieve their new target, the farmers intend to cultivate more land and boost exports to about 500,000 metric tonnes a year to raise annual earnings to $650 million.

Tola Fasheru, President of the Nigerian Cashew Association, told Bloomberg in an interview, that with about 160,000 hectares (395,000 acres) of land producing about 150,000 tonnes a year, farmers are seeking to bring an additional 340,000 hectares into cultivation to achieve industry targets.

Read More

UBA explains strong delegation at World Economic Forum in Davos

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has said the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF), offers the Bank a platform to build engagement with international institutions. UBA CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, speaking on the WEF, said: “It is critical that UBA join world business and political leaders to discuss issues central to the progress of our world, and with specific relevance to the continent of Africa.

UBA is the natural partner for those seeking access to Africa’s business opportunities – we look forward to engaging with the world’s business community – to show that Africa is open to business and that UBA is ready to partner.”

Read More

Pension assets rise to N6.02tn

Despite the impact of recession on the Nigerian economy, the total funds under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to N6.02tn at the end of November 2016.

This was disclosed in the update on the assets under management obtained by our correspondent from the National Pension Commission on Wednesday. According to the commission, the funds rose from N4.6tn at the end of the 2014 financial period to N5.3tn in 2015.

Read More

United Capital, Societe Generale, Orange, others support African SMEs with €77m 

United Capital Plc, a leading African investment banking group, has partnered with global financial and corporate institutions to set up a Franco-African Investment Fund (FFA), with investible funds of 77 million euro. The aim of the fund is to accelerate the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial African and French small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with development projects on both continents.

It is the first cross border investment fund dedicated to the development of African and French SMEs, and will have a lifespan of 10 years.Beyond financial performance, particular attention will be paid to the positive impact of the Fund’s investments in terms of governance, transparency, job creation, and respect for social and environmental values.

Read More

Comment here

Economic News Update

Economic News Update: 19th January, 2017

news-brief

FG Will Not Increase Pump Price Of Petrol – NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has advised Nigerians not to engage in any panic buying of petroleum products. NNPC’s spokesman, Ndu Ughamadu, stated this in a statement late yesterday to dismiss the report of a likely increase in the price of the products.

He said the corporation had a 1.3billion litres stock of premium motor spirit (PMS), otherwise called petrol, which is sufficient to serve the nation for more than 38 days. “This plea comes on the heels of reports that some motorists have begun panic buying of petrol, following rumours that the government is about to increase the pump price of the white product from N145 per litre,” the statement read.

Read More

Dangote shuts tomato paste plant over dollar scarcity

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has shut his new tomato paste plant in Kano due to a shortage of dollars needed to import raw materials, a senior executive has said.

This is the second of such closures in months, in a blow to the Federal Government’s drive to diversify the economy. President Muhammadu Buhari frequently speaks of ending Nigeria’s dependency on oil exports by boosting food production, repeating his mantra: “We must produce what we eat.”

Read More

More forex crisis as Senate okays N305 to $1 for budget

The Senate yesterday retained the foreign exchange rate of N305 to the dollar for the 2017 budget. This was part of the key decisions by the upper legislative chamber while passing the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP).

Adopting the recommendations of its Joint Committee on Finance, Appropriation and National Planning on the document, the Senate however, raised the proposed oil benchmark of $42.50 in 2017 budget to $44.5 per barrel.

Read More

ABCON: BDCs not parallel market operators

The Association of Bureaux De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) yesterday defended Bureaux De Change (BDCs) licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) saying they operate within set rules and are not part of parallel market operators.

Its President, Aminu Gwadabe, in a statement, distanced ABCON members from the activities of BDC parallel market operators, which he said have constituted major setback to naira’s stability. He insisted that the CBN-licensed BDCs are not parallel market operators as misconstrued by a large section of the public and even top government officials.

Read More

N’Assembly approves MTEF, raises oil benchmark to $44.5

The two chambers of the National Assembly on Wednesday finally approved the revised version of the 2017-2019 Medium Term Expenditure Framework and Fiscal Strategy Paper.

The Senate approved all the critical projections in the MTEF/FSP as proposed by the executive, except the oil benchmark, which was increased to $44.5 a barrel from the proposed $42.5.

Read More

Bitcoin, other virtual currencies not legal tender in Nigeria –CBN

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has ruled out transactions in bitcoin and other virtual currencies by any bank in the country. The apex bank, in a circular to all banks on Tuesday,  signed by  its Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Kelvin Amugo, said the move was necessitated by money laundering and terrorism financing risks inherent in operations of virtual currencies.

Amugo added: “The emergence of Virtual Currencies (VCs) has attracted investments in payments infrastructure that provides new methods of transmitting value over the internet.

Read More

Experts insist policy option, timing fail Nigeria’s economy

Professionals in the financial industry have insisted that policy choices and timing, particularly in the fiscal and monetary space, have failed the country.This was in response to the assertion by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that Nigeria’s efforts to save the naira crumbled, resulting to aggravated economic issues.

The country was affirmed recessed in August 2016, two years after its major revenue earner- crude oil, lost value in the international commodity market. Thereafter, Nigeria has been flickering between monetary and fiscal policies that many believe have not helped economic activities.

Read More

BoI approves NAFDAC number for lending to SMEs

 THE Bank of Industry, BoI, has beckoned Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operators whose products have met quality certification by National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, to come for loan to expand their operations and create employments.

Recall that four years ago, specifically in 2014, BoI earmarked over N300 billion loan facility for viable firms in the over 17 million SMEs in the country.

Read More

‘LIRS recorded N25bn revenue in December’

The Lagos Inland Revenue Service, on Wednesday, said it raked N25bn into the stake government’s coffers in December 2016, despite the biting economic recession in the country.

The Executive Chairman, LIRS, Mr. Ayodele Subair, said the agency was targeting N30bn revenue this month and the subsequent ones in the year.

Read More

NERC Deadline: Local Meter Manufacturers Seek FOREX Window

The latest deadline by the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), to electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) to issue meters to power consumers across the country is coming with mixed reactions. To consumers it is a long expected relief that will shed the burden of paying for electricity not consumed.

In the deadline, NERC also issued a stern warning that all DISCOs, which fail to meter electricity customers in their networks by 28 February 2017, will face sanction. So from 1 March 2017, NERC will begin to penalise the defaulting DISCOs.

Read More

Fuel scarcity imminent over marketers’ unpaid N660bn debt

Fuel queues may return to retail outlets across the country anytime soon, following the Federal Government’s inability to settle marketers N660 billion debt. The said N600 billion debt is being owed the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) by the Federal Government for imported fuel and interest differentials on bank loans sourced for petrol imports

DAPPMA’s Executive Secretary, Mr . Olufemi Adewole ,said the development has forced members of his association to suspend further import of petrol, a situation which he said has led to long queues of tankers at the Apapa and Ibafon depots.

Read More

Stakeholders prescribe options for capital market recovery

For the nation’s capital market to make some reasonable level of recovery in 2017, stakeholders have charged directors of listed firms to streamline their business operations through backward integration strategies.

Quoted firms were encouraged to seek viable local content opportunities and indigenous production of commodities to solve problems emanating from inflationary pressures for guaranteed return on investment.

Read More

Why kerosene, diesel are scarce, by DAPPMA

Why  is kerosene and diesel scarce?They are scarce because of the high exchange rate, the Depot and Petroleum Products Marketers Association (DAPPMA) has said.

In an interview, DAPPMA Executive Secretary  Mr. Olufemi Adewole said: ‘’There is shortage of foreign exchange (forex)for marketers to import petroleum products, including kerosene hence the product is scarce and expensive. The winter period also contributed to the challenge because prices of petroleum products usually rise during this period.

Read More

NIMASA to commence disbursement of N30.7bn Cabotage Fund

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency has promised to disburse $100m (N30.7bn Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund. The Director-General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, made the promise during a forum organised by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.

He said the fund came into being with the promulgation of the Coastal and Inland Shipping (Cabotage) Act 2003, adding that the fund was part of the two per cent deductions from every contract awarded in the industry.

Read More

FG eyes  pension funds to finance infrastructure

The Federal Government has disclosed it will tap into the nation’s huge pension fund to finance infrastructure in the country. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, disclosed this at the Word Economic Forum (WEF) holding in Davos, Switzerland.

According to him, the Muhammadu Buhari administration is “committed to investing more in infrastructure,” than in previous times, adding that the government was working on how to tap into Nigeria’s huge pension fund to finance infrastructure in the country. To do this, he stated that “we have to first derisk such financing models for infrastructure.”

Read More

Cashew farmers target $650m export income

 CASHEW farmers   in Nigeria are working on a four-year plan to earn $650 million annual income from cashew exports. The country earned $253 million in 2015 and to achieve their new target, the farmers intend to cultivate more land and boost exports to about 500,000 metric tonnes a year to raise annual earnings to $650 million.

Tola Fasheru, President of the Nigerian Cashew Association, told Bloomberg in an interview, that with about 160,000 hectares (395,000 acres) of land producing about 150,000 tonnes a year, farmers are seeking to bring an additional 340,000 hectares into cultivation to achieve industry targets.

Read More

UBA explains strong delegation at World Economic Forum in Davos

The United Bank for Africa (UBA) has said the ongoing World Economic Forum (WEF), offers the Bank a platform to build engagement with international institutions. UBA CEO, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, speaking on the WEF, said: “It is critical that UBA join world business and political leaders to discuss issues central to the progress of our world, and with specific relevance to the continent of Africa.

UBA is the natural partner for those seeking access to Africa’s business opportunities – we look forward to engaging with the world’s business community – to show that Africa is open to business and that UBA is ready to partner.”

Read More

Pension assets rise to N6.02tn

Despite the impact of recession on the Nigerian economy, the total funds under the Contributory Pension Scheme rose to N6.02tn at the end of November 2016.

This was disclosed in the update on the assets under management obtained by our correspondent from the National Pension Commission on Wednesday. According to the commission, the funds rose from N4.6tn at the end of the 2014 financial period to N5.3tn in 2015.

Read More

United Capital, Societe Generale, Orange, others support African SMEs with €77m 

United Capital Plc, a leading African investment banking group, has partnered with global financial and corporate institutions to set up a Franco-African Investment Fund (FFA), with investible funds of 77 million euro. The aim of the fund is to accelerate the growth of innovative and entrepreneurial African and French small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) with development projects on both continents.

It is the first cross border investment fund dedicated to the development of African and French SMEs, and will have a lifespan of 10 years.Beyond financial performance, particular attention will be paid to the positive impact of the Fund’s investments in terms of governance, transparency, job creation, and respect for social and environmental values.

Read More

Comment here