By Dipo Olowookere
The journey of Nigeria’s exit from recession seems to have started following the marginal rise in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In the second quarter of the year, Nigeria, which prides itself as the largest economy in Africa, suffered a 6.10 per cent slip in GDP and this was mainly caused by the lockdown in the period.
The federal government, as part of efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19, imposed lockdown in Lagos, Ogun and Abuja, the key economic hubs of the nation, on March 30.
This was eased in June and economic activities started to pick up in September/October and data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicated that in the third quarter of the year, the economy declined by 3.62 per cent and this officially pushed Nigeria into the second recession in fours. The first was in 2016 after declines in the GDP in the year’s first and second quarters. Nigeria exited a year.
When Nigeria entered another recession last year, the federal government assured that it would be shortlived and this was corroborated by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The major reason given was that several interventions had been put in place to put life into the economy and get it back on its feet as quickly as possible.
On Thursday, the NBS released the GDP numbers for the fourth quarter of 2020 as well as for the full year.
The data showed that Nigeria’s economy grew by 0.11 per cent in Q4 but contracted for the full year by 1.92 per cent.
“Nigeria’s GDP grew by 0.11 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2020, representing the first positive quarterly growth in the last three quarters,” the agency said in the report.
Continuing, it noted that, “Though weak, the positive growth reflects the gradual return of economic activities following the easing of restricted movements and limited local and international commercial activities in the preceding quarters.
“As a result, while the Q4 2020 growth rate was lower than the growth rate recorded the previous year by –2.44 per cent, it was higher by 3.74 per cent compared to Q3 2020.
“On a quarter on quarter basis, real GDP growth was 9.68 per cent indicating a second positive consecutive quarter on quarter real growth rate in 2020 after two negative quarters.
“Overall, in 2020, the annual growth of real GDP was estimated at –1.92 per cent, a decline of –4.20 per cent points when compared to the 2.27 per cent recorded in 2019.”
The stats office noted that last year, the oil sector grew at –8.89 per cent compared to 4.59 per cent in 2019 and contributed 5.87 per cent to total real GDP in Q4 2020, down from the corresponding period of 2019 and the preceding quarter, where it contributed 7.32 per cent and 8.73 per cent respectively.
It was revealed that the non-oil sector grew by 1.69 per cent in Q4 2020, slower than the 2.26 per cent in the same period of 2019, contributing 94.13 per cent to the nation’s GDP in Q4 2020, higher than the 92.68 per cent in the same period of 2019. It also contributed 91.84 per cent to real GDP in FY 2020, higher than 91.22 per cent in FY 2019.
Investors Gain N1.09bn as NASD Share Price Rises 9.1%
By Adedapo Adesanya
The unlisted securities market closed the last trading session of the week on a positive note after it appreciated by 0.18 per cent on the back of growth in the share price of NASD Plc.
Business Post reports that the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the bulls’ territory on Friday after it closed flat on Thursday.
NASD Plc was the major driver of the return of the bourse to the green region as its value went up during the session by N2.45 or 9.1 per cent to close at N26.99 per unit in contrast to N24.54 per unit it closed at the previous session.
As a result of this, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.32 points to 745.44 points from 744.12 points, while the market capitalisation gained N1.09 billion to wrap the day at N615.86 billion in contrast to the previous day’s N614.77 billion.
On the activity chart, there was an improvement as the trading volume surged by 34,985.6 per cent because of the 2.3 million units of shares exchanged by market participants compared with the 6,688 units transacted at the previous session.
In the same vein, the trading value rose by 17,680.6 per cent to N63.4 million from the previous day’s N356,563.60, while the number of deals witnessed a 100 per cent rise as investors carried out 12 deals compared to the six deals executed at the previous session.
At the close of trades, Food Concepts Plc was the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 11.4 billion units of its shares worth N14.4 billion, Lighthouse Financial Service Plc followed with 1.1 billion units valued at N546.2 million, while Geo Fluids Plc was in third place with 1.0 billion units worth N700.1 million.
Food Concepts Plc was also the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with 11.4 billion units worth N14.4 billion, trailed by Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc with 456.4 million units valued at N9.2 billion, VFD Group Plc with 10.4 million units valued at N3.5 billion.
Naira Trades N414.73/$1 as Cryptos Bleed Heavily
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira appreciated against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window of the foreign exchange (forex) market by 0.02 per cent or 7 kobo on Friday, December 4.
Data showed that the local currency was sold for N414.73/$1 at the investors’ window yesterday compared with the N414.80/$1 it traded on Thursday.
At the final trading session of the week, the turnover was $103.01 million as against $139.67 million achieved at the preceding session, indicating a $36.66 million or 26.62 per cent decline.
Also, the exchange rate of the Naira to the United States currency recorded a movement on Friday, though downward as the Nigerian currency depreciated by 4 kobo as it closed at N411.74/$1 versus the preceding day’s N411.70/$1.
The local currency, however, appreciated by N2.17 against the British Pound Sterling to settle at N546.26/£1 compared to N548.43/£1 it traded at the previous trading session and 57 kobo against the Euro to trade at N465.68/€1 compared to the preceding day’s N466.25/€1.
At the cryptocurrency market, investors counted a heavy loss as the new variant of the coronavirus called Omicron and hawkish comments by the US Federal Reserve that it could raise interest rates have raised serious concerns, causing cryptos to bleed heavily.
The heaviest loss was suffered by Dash (DASH), which plunged by 35.3 per cent to sell for N66,595.85. Ripple (XRP) depreciated 30.6 per cent to trade at N381.85, while Litecoin (LTC) sold for N66,595.85 after declining by 24.1 per cent.
Dogecoin (DOGE) went down by 22.7 per cent to sell at N90.29, Cardano (ADA) depreciated by 20.8 per cent to N652.82, Bitcoin (BTC) depleted by 16.9 per cent to quote at N26,800,504.20, Ethereum (ETH) equally saw a 16.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N2,100,100.39, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 12.9 per cent depreciation to trade at N218,577.24, Tron (TRX) went down by 12.7 per cent to trade at N48.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) recorded a 0.1 per cent marginal loss to sell for N554.76.
Crude Mixed as Market Remains Unsettled by Omicron Jitters
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude prices closed mixed on Friday, December 3 after erasing earlier big gains on growing worries that rising coronavirus cases and a new variant could reduce global oil demand.
Brent crude gained 21 cents or 0.3 per cent to trade at $69.88 per barrel while on the other hand, the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude lost 24 cents or 0.36 per cent to sell at $66.26 per barrel.
Both benchmarks declined for a sixth week in a row for the first time since November 2018.
Oil prices had witnessed one of the most troubled weeks as the market reeled from the fear brought about by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus with speculations that it could spark new lockdowns and dent fuel demand.
The World Health Organization (WHO) urged countries to vaccinate their people to fight the virus, saying travel curbs were not the answer.
Even with this, the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) surprised the market on Thursday when it stuck to its plans to add 400,000 barrels per day supply in January.
However, it said it will continue to monitor the market and this could make it change course if demand suffered from measures to contain the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.
The alliance said they could meet again before their next scheduled meeting on January 4.
Analysts noted that with the coronavirus cases rising, the US jobs report for November also didn’t help demand outlook even as the unemployment rate plunged to a 21-month low of 4.2 per cent, suggesting the country’s labour market was rapidly tightening.
US employment growth slowed considerably in November amid job losses at retailers and in local government education.
Meanwhile, in Vienna, diplomats attempting to restore the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers face substantial challenges that need urgent solutions, the top European envoy said Friday. Talks are set to resume next week.
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