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It’d be Shameful for Nigeria to Witness Another Recession—Reps

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House of Reps

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The House of Representatives has said it would be a shame for Nigeria to record another economic recession in four years.

In the second quarter of 2016, just over a year into the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, the nation slipped into an economic crisis.

The major driver of this was the incessant attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which significantly reduced the volume of crude produced by the country.

It took the intervention of the Vice President, Mr Yemi Osinbajo, who held talks with leaders of the region, to bring things back to normal and a year later, Nigeria was out of recession.

In the second quarter of 2020, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which measures economic activities, declined by 6.1 per cent.

One of the major reasons for the loss was due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced the government to shut down the economy. In addition, the decline in the price of crude oil at the international market contributed to the economic crisis, which reduced earnings of the government.

It is already being projected that Nigeria will suffer another decline in GDP and then drag the nation into the second recession under the administration of Mr Buhari.

On Thursday, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was before the House Committee on Capital Market to defend their budget estimate for the 2021 fiscal year.

During the event, Chairman of the committee, Mr Babangida Ibrahim, stated that more efforts must be put in place to ensure financial projections are realised because according to him, “it would be a shame for the nation to go back to recession.”

While calling for a realistic budget that can be achieved on behalf of Nigerians, the lawmaker assured SEC that the committee was committed to ensuring that it succeeds and that depending on the economic realities of the year 2021, SEC could come back to the committee for an upward review of its estimates if the year turns out more favourable, business-wise.

The committee also called for better government policies to boost market confidence and participation.

In a presentation, the Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, admitted that the COVID-19 pandemic adversely affected its efforts under the 2020 appropriation as its revenue was directly generated from market participation, not from government coffers.

He said as a direct result of the pandemic, markets had to shut down, a development that caused huge revenue losses for many months.

Mr Yuguda told the committee that as of November 2020, the commission’s 2020 budget revenue achievements stood at 70 per cent of its projection, while securities registration is at 84 per cent achievement for the same period.

He said the 2021 budget proposal was drafted under difficult conditions as a result of the lockdown, which caused serious operational revenue and manpower shortfall.

The DG revealed that SEC has been running on a deficit as a result of the capital market meltdown of 2008/2009 as many companies lost confidence in the capital market. The market had been steadily reviving before the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a huge blow to it, he added.

SEC, he said, has not been able to recruit staff for a long time due to these financial shortfalls and that it is looking for other ways of generating revenue such as the regulation of digital trading, international collaborations, commodities exchanges and the strengthening of its training institute to be of international standard to generate funds, especially continentally.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

JUST IN: CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate to 13%

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killing interest rate

By Dipo Olowookere

For the first time in two years, the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) has been raised by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to 13.0 per cent from 11.5 per cent.

Mr Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the CBN, who announced this development on Tuesday in Abuja, explained that the decision to increase the benchmark interest rate was taken at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting held yesterday and today.

While addressing financial reporters this afternoon, Mr Emefiele said members of the committee were unanimous with the decision to hike the rates as it was the best thing to do after holding them for about two years.

According to the central bank chief, one of the reasons for raising the rate is to control liquidity ahead of the 2023 general elections as politicians would be expected to flood the system with cash in a bid to woo voters.

However, the other parameters were left unchanged by members at the gathering as the Asymmetric corridor remained around the MPR at +100/-700bps, the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) at 27.5 per cent and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) at 30.0 per cent.

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Economy

Nigeria’s GDP Grows by 3.11% in Q1, What Next?

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GDP

By Lukman Otunuga

There are two ways one could interpret Nigeria’s latest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figure of 3.11% in Q1 of 2022.

The optimists will say the country’s economy grew for the sixth consecutive quarter in Q1 while pessimists may highlight how economic growth slowed for the third consecutive quarter.

Either way, Nigeria’s economy continues to display resilience against external and domestic risks. With the improvement in the non-oil sector driving growth, this may brighten the growth outlook. But could these be signs of Nigeria breaking away from the chains of oil reliance to derive growth from sustainable sources? It may be too early to come to any meaningful conclusion. However, the report is encouraging and illustrates progress made by the country in reclaiming stability post-Covid-19.

With economic conditions somewhat improving, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is unlikely to raise interest rates this week. Given how Africa’s largest economy has been able to maintain growth in the past six quarters on the back of loose monetary policies by the CBN, a rate hike could disrupt Nigeria’s economic recovery.

As the global war against inflation rages on, central banks are stepping up.

However, the CBN is likely to remain on the sidelines for now. Nevertheless, inflation is still a cause for concern with consumer prices accelerating for the third straight month to 16.82% in April 2022.

With the general elections around the corner, pre-election spending could translate to rising price pressures. On top of this, the widening policy divergence between the Federal Reserve and the CBN could punish the Naira.

It’s worth keeping in mind that the dollar remains heavily supported by aggressive Fed rate hike bets and is likely to remain strong for the rest of 2022. A powerful dollar is bad news for emerging market currencies including the Naira which continues to depreciate in both the official and unofficial markets.

Lukman Otunuga is the Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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Economy

NGX All Share Index Weakens Further by 0.13%

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All-Share Index

By Dipo Olowookere

The bearish sentiment on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited continued on Monday as the bourse further depreciated by 0.13 per cent.

Sustained profit-taking especially in the industrial goods sector contributed to the decline suffered during the session as the All Share Index (ASI) slumped by 68.45 points to close at 52,911.51 points compared with the previous session’s 52,979.96 points.

As for the market capitalisation, it depreciated by N37 billion amid sell-offs in 24 stocks to settle at N28.525 trillion as against last Friday’s closing value of N28.562 trillion.

On the first trading day of this week, the insurance sector depleted by 2.32 per cent, the industrial goods sector fell by 0.09 per cent, while the energy, banking and consumer goods counters increased by 0.28 per cent, 0.10 per cent and 0.05 per cent respectively.

Presco led the losers’ chart yesterday with a price decline of 10.00 per cent to trade at N180.00, Global Spectrum Energy Services lost 9.97 per cent to finish at N3.07, Neimeth fell by 9.66 per cent to N1.59, UAC Nigeria depreciated by 8.33 per cent to N13.20, while NEM Insurance retreated by 7.74 per cent to N4.05.

The gainers’ log had 22 members on Monday, with Conoil leading after its value improved by 9.95 per cent to N34.25. MRS Oil gained 9.93 per cent to quote at N14.95, McNichols appreciated by 9.86 per cent to N2.34, Academy Press increased its price by 9.76 per cent to N1.35, while NPF Microfinance Bank expanded by 8.02 per cent to N2.02.

On the activity chart, a total of 263.3 million stocks worth N3.6 billion exchanged hands in 4,856 deals during the session compared with 436.6 million stocks worth N3.2 billion bought and sold in 4,716 deals in the preceding session. This implied that the volume of trades depreciated by 39.68 per cent, while the value of trades and the number of deals increased by 10.15 per cent and 2.97 per cent respectively.

Jaiz Bank closed the day as the most active stock with the sale of 114.0 million units valued at N101.8 million, GTCO transacted 12.9 million shares for N302.8 million, Transcorp exchanged 12.8 million stocks worth N16.7 million, Access Holdings traded 11.7 million equities valued at N115.7 million, while Zenith Bank sold 8.6 million shares for N207.0 million.

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