Top News Update 26/06/2017
1. CBN sustains financial inclusion engagements in Lagos
2. Forex rate convergence imminent
3. High interest rate crippling economic growth –OPS
4. Forex Supply Hits $7.136bn in Four Months
5. FG loses N131.8bn as oil production drops again
6. Only 2 NNPC companies profitable –BudgIT
7. Auto plants may shut down due to poor sales
8. Over 90 foreign investors Attend Nigeria’s 4 in 1 Intn’l expo
9. NB Plc targets 60% local content by 2020
10. Nigeria to strengthen trade, economic cooperation with Tunisia
CBN Sustains Financial Inclusion Engagements In Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), at the weekend, engaged entrepreneurs and residents in Lagos on its various intervention programmes meant to stimulate the economy and boost people’s living standards. With the theme: “Promoting financial stability and economic development,” the bank reiterated its determination on enlightening the public about their rights and privileges with respect to customer relationship with commercial banks. The event came on the heels of a similar forum the apex bank had with Ogun State farmers and Small and Medium scale Enterprises (SME) operators in Abeokuta, also in efforts to bring more people into the formal financial sector relationship.
Forex Rate Convergence Imminent
The steady appreciation of the naira in the Nigeria Autonomous Foreign Exchange (NAFEX) window, also known as Investors & Exporters window will persist this week, with the NAFEX rate falling to N360 per dollar. Meanwhile, volume of transactions in the NAFEX window reached $2.5 billion last week from $2.2 billion two weeks ago. Since it was introduced on April 24 by the Financial Market Dealers Quote (FMDQ) as a reference rate for transactions in the window, the NAFEX rate had been on the downward trend. From a high of N379 per dollar on Friday, April 29, the NAFEX rate declined steadily to N362.16 per dollar at the close of business last week.
High Interest Rate Crippling Economic Growth –OPS
Nigeria’s Organised Private Sector (OPS) has implored monetary authorities to take acceptable measures in reflating the economy through monetary easing and reduction of the high interest rate, which it said are currently stifling economic growth in the country. The Nigerian Employers Consultative Association (NECA), at the quarterly meeting of its Governing Council in Lagos, said it is accepted practice in economic management in most jurisdictions that the correct posture in a recession is a reflationary fiscal policy and monetary easing, including reducing interest rates. The President of NECA, Mr. Larry Ettah, lamented that rather than following the ideal, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has maintained tight monetary policy and raised interest rates.
Forex Supply Hits $7.136bn In Four Months
Since the Central Bank of Nigeria commenced its aggressive interventions in the interbank and bureau de change segment of the foreign exchange market, the Bank, as of Friday last week, had pumped a total of $7.136 billion into the market. According to figures compiled by THISDAY, between February 21 and June 21, 2017, the CBN intervened in the market by selling the greenback to authorised dealers in 32 sessions.
FG Loses N131.8bn As Oil Production Drops Again
The total volume of crude oil produced in Nigeria has been reducing since January this year, leading to a cumulative loss of about N131.8bn, an analysis of various reports from the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has shown. After increasing to 1.84 million barrels per day in January this year, from 1.58mb/d that was recorded in December 2016, the country’s crude production commenced a descent and closed at 1.82mb/d and 1.59mb/d in February and March 2017, respectively. Figures in four financial and operations monthly reports of the NNPC from January to April 2017 showed that Nigeria’s total volume of crude and condensate lifting and utilisation dropped by 3.55 million barrels between January and March this year.
Only 2 NNPC Companies Profitable –BudgIT
A recent report by Budgit, a research and business intelligence firm, has revealed that only two of the 11 subsidiaries of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, were actually profitable in 2016 financial year. In a review of the NNPC 2016 Report, BudgIT, identified the NNPC Retail and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC), as the only two subsidiaries that consistently made profits during the year. This was as it reported that the NNPC actually recorded a loss of about N197.49 billion in 2016, with the only profit of N274 million recorded in May. While the NNPC Retail recorded a net surplus of about N7.48 billion, the NGC earned about N39.03 billion.
Auto Plants May Shut Down Due To Poor Sales
Automotive plants set up under the Federal Government’s policy on industrialisation are on the verge of shutting down owing to an unfavourable operating environment and low demand for brand new vehicles. According to industry operators, most of the plants are operating 95 per cent below installed capacity. The Guardian’s visits to some of these companies confirmed this.While the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) says 29 million Nigerians are already jobless as unemployment rate rises to 14.2 per in the fourth quarter of 2016, stakeholders lament that half of the jobs created through the policy have been lost and may have added significantly to the 3.67 million Nigerians whom NBS said became jobless in the last one year.
Over 90 Foreign Investors Attend Nigeria’s 4 In 1 Intn’l Expo
Over 90 foreign companies from 10 countries are participating in this year’s Nigeria’s 4 in 1 International Trade Expo, which holds in Lagos from July 13 to 15, 2017. According to the organiser, Elan Expo, it is the second edition of the International Trade Fair attended by 70 companies from across the globe last year. The organiser who said it would boost the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) into Nigeria explained that the country was chosen due to the high demand of investors who consider the country as an emerging market despite the present economic challenges in the country. The General Manager of Elan Expo, Nihat Suer Ay, noted that over 50 per cent of the investors who participated at the maiden edition have registered for this year’s event.
NB Plc Targets 60% Local Content By 2020
The Nigerian Breweries (NB) Plc said it is making plans to increase sourcing of raw materials like sorghum, food grade starch and others locally from 57 to 60 per cent by 2020. Mr. Patrick Olowookere, Corporate Communications and Brand Public Relations Manager, made the disclosure to newsmen during a facility tour in Ado Awaiye in Iseyin area of Oyo State recently. Olowookere said the company was always looking at ways to partner with local farmers and processors to develop agricultural value chains that would strengthen the economy and save foreign exchange. According to him, through these partnerships, many farmers have been impacted, especially through its out-grower schemes in sorghum production.
Nigeria To Strengthen Trade, Economic Cooperation With Tunisia
Minister of Foreign Affairs Geoffrey Onyeama, has expressed Nigeria’s desire to further strengthen and expand cooperation with Tunisia especially in the area of trade and investment. This was contained in a statement released by the minister’s media aide, Sarah Sanda in Abuja, Sunday. The Minister who spoke when he visited Tunisian President, Béji Essebsi, at the Carthage Palace in Tunis on the invitation of his Tunisian counterpart, Khémaies Jhinaoui, said it was the first time in over 30 years that a high level Nigerian official had visited Tunisia. The Minister expressed Nigeria’s desire to further develop trade exchanges and to benefit from the investment opportunities available in both countries.