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Economy

Nigeria’s GDP to Record 2.44% Growth in Q4 2018—FSDH

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GDP Nigeria growth

By Dipo Olowookere

A Lagos-based investment firm, FSDH Research, has projected that the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Nigeria will increase by 2.44 percent or N19.05 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In the third quarter of this year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), grew by 1.81 percent.

In its report, FSDH Research said though the Q3 2018 GDP figures showed that the Nigerian economy gathered more momentum than in Q2 2018 and in the corresponding period of Q3 2017, the real GDP growth rate still remains sluggish, lower than the population growth rate in the country of about 2.75 percent (according to the figure from the International Monetary Fund).

It said the three largest sectors of the economy, which account for 56 percent of the total GDP, recorded positive growth rates in Q3 2018, while the other dominant sectors of the economy which contracted during the quarter recorded lower contractions than were recorded in Q2 2018.

‘Financial Institutions and Insurance’ is the only sector among the top ten biggest sectors that moved from growth in Q2 2018 to contraction in Q3 2018. The Q3 GDP numbers show that additional policies are required for the Nigerian economy to achieve and sustain strong growth that could create jobs.

The driver of the GDP growth rate in Q3 was the Non-Oil sector of the economy which expanded by 2.32 percent in Q3, higher than 2.05 percent in Q2 2018.

‘Information and Communication’ was the largest contributor to the GDP growth rate in Q3 2018 and despite the double-digit growth rate recorded in ‘Information and Communication,’ the World Economic Forum (WEF) rates Nigeria low in its Information and Communication Technology adoption in The Global Competitiveness Report 2018.

FSDH Research said it believes this is an indication of huge untapped opportunities within the sector, pointing out that policies are needed that could create an enabling environment for this sector to thrive.

The Oil sector of the Nigerian economy entered a recession in Q3 2018 following two consecutive quarters of contraction. FSDH Research notes, however, that the contraction in the sector moderated in Q3 2018 compared with the contraction recorded in Q2 2018.

Anecdotal evidence shows that Nigeria was not able to sell some of its crude oil in Q3 2018. Subsequently, crude oil production was reduced in addition to other technical challenges the industry faced. Nigerian economic managers need to engage in high-level international negotiations with crude oil buyers on a global scale to guarantee a market for Nigerian crude oil.

The fact that the Real Estate sector is still in economic depression is of concern to FSDH Research. Real Estate is a labour-intensive sector, which provides job opportunities for different categories of labour: unskilled, semi-skilled and highly skilled. Strong economic activities that propel growth in the Real Estate sector could employ many unemployed Nigerians, which would help to address the high unemployment level in the country.

In addition, the sector has a multiplier effect on other sectors of the economy such as manufacturing (cement production) and construction. Improved activities in the Real Estate sector could improve the standard of living through the provision of quality and affordable housing for Nigerians, which in itself should increase labour productivity.

FSDH Research recommends additional measures to stimulate economic activities in Nigeria, including the immediate abolition of additional income taxes that some state governments in Nigeria charge on employees of companies who obtain mortgage loans below market rates; the tax is a major hindrance to the growth of the real estate sector in Nigeria. Government at all levels should provide long-term guarantees for civil servants to access mortgage loans at low interest rates. Longterm funds, specifically for the development of affordable housing units, can be sourced from international development corporations.

It also suggested that government could donate land free of charge for such housing developments and that state governments should also reduce the time and costs involved in property registration.

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Dollar Shortages Strike Again…Nigeria Indexes in Crosshairs

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dollar shortages

By Lukman Otunuga

Despite oil prices surging to multi-year highs, Nigeria has failed to cash in.

The destructive combination of sub-optimal oil production, poor infrastructure, and fuel subsidies have drained oil revenues that account for roughly 90% of foreign exchange earnings.

Lower oil revenues and falling foreign exchange reserves are forcing Nigeria to ration dollars. The negative impacts continue to be reflected across the economy and local currency. But now the dollar shortages have attracted the attention of MSCI Inc. which is considering downgrading the MSCI Nigeria indexes to the status of a standalone market from frontier markets.

It is worth keeping in mind that a developed market is the highest ranking, followed by emerging markets, frontier markets, and then finally standalone markets at the bottom.

Given the difficulty in repatriating funds from Nigeria, this has placed the MSCI Nigeria Indexes in the crosshairs. Such a negative development may hit sentiment toward the county’s assets at a crucial period where economic growth remains fragile.

To add insult to injury, the NGX All Share Index has gained roughly 20% this year in local currency terms. A blockbuster performance when compared to the MSCI Emerging market Index which is down roughly -19%.

In other news, the Naira was trading around N419 versus the dollar on the official spot rate and has weakened only 1.3% year-to-date. However, on the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segment of the FX, the Naira ended Thursday at N620 versus the dollar and N602 on the black market. Nigeria still faces the issue of multiple exchanges but this will be a discussion for another time.

Lukman Otunuga is a Senior Research Analyst at FXTM

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Economy

Binance, Cristiano Ronaldo to Release Exclusive NFTs

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Binance Cristiano Ronaldo

By Adedapo Adesanya

Binance, the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider, has announced the signing of an exclusive and multi-year NFT partnership with football icon, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Through this partnership, Binance will launch a global campaign aiming to give Ronaldo’s fans an introduction to Web3 with a compelling entry point into the world of NFTs.

The company disclosed that over the course of the agreement, Cristiano Ronaldo and Binance will create a series of collections for sale exclusively on the Binance NFT platform.

The first collection of the exclusive NFTs will be released later this year and will feature designs created in collaboration with Ronaldo.

Speaking on the deal, Binance founder and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Changpeng “CZ” Zhao said, “Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the world’s best footballers, and has transcended sport to become an icon in multiple industries.

“He has amassed one of the world’s most dedicated fan bases through his authenticity, talent, and charity work.”

“We are thrilled to provide his fans with exclusive engagement opportunities to connect with Ronaldo and own a piece of iconic sports history,” he added.

“My relationship with the fans is very important to me, so the idea of bringing unprecedented experiences and access through this NFT platform is something that I wanted to be a part of,” said Ronaldo.

“I know the fans are going to enjoy the collection as much as I do.”

The Cristiano Ronaldo NFT collections will be available exclusively on Binance NFT at www.Binance.com/en/nft/home.

Binance is the world’s leading blockchain ecosystem and cryptocurrency infrastructure provider with a financial product suite that includes the largest digital asset exchange by volume.

The Binance platform is dedicated to increasing the freedom of money for users, and features an unmatched portfolio of crypto products and offerings, including trading and finance, education, data and research, social good, investment and incubation, decentralization and infrastructure solutions, and more.

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Economy

Cellulant Wins Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year 

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Cellulant

By Adedapo Adesanya

Cellulant, Africa’s leading payments company, has been awarded the Payment Platform Solutions Provider of the Year in Nigeria at the 13th Beacon of ICT Awards 2022.

This award is a recognition of Cellulant’s work in providing a payments platform that focuses on driving merchant business and digital payments for local, regional and global merchants in the continent.

It was also lauded for digitising both online and offline payments.

The award was presented to Cellulant Nigeria by Communication Week Media Limited, the publishers of Nigeria Communications Week.

The annual event, which recognises leading players in the ICT sector in Nigeria whose outstanding achievements contribute to the industry’s growth, was themed Impact of Blockchain Technology in a Digitalized Nigeria. 

Renowned businesses such as Emirates, GIG logistics, Coldstone, Bolt, Dominos and Ethiopian Airlines to name a few, have partnered with Cellulant to use their Tingg digital payments solution as a single collection gateway in Nigeria.

Cellulant simplified their product, unifying their offering into Tingg — a digital payments platform that addresses the complex needs of managing different payment channels for a business.

This has made it easy for businesses to conveniently and affordably accept payments from a single integration.

Customers can make payments for goods and services using locally relevant payment options.

Founded in 2003, Cellulant has more than 18 years of experience providing locally-relevant payment solutions for businesses and their consumers. Its evolution over the years, from a digital content business to mobile banking and now to payments, has allowed the company to build an expansive network, strong relationships and partnerships.

Cellulant provides a unified, single-contract, and single API payments platform – named Tingg- that makes it easy for businesses to receive and make payments; while allowing anyone to pay from their mobile money, local and international cards or directly from their bank.

Today, Cellulant has an office presence in 18 countries, including Nigeria, with a payments platform connecting thousands of businesses with 257 payment options across 35 countries. The platform powers payments for 200 million consumers on a single inclusive network for interoperability across Africa.

Speaking on the recognition, Mr Opeyemi Fowler, Cellulant’s Head of Enterprise Sales stated “the digital payments landscape in Nigeria and Africa is evolving rapidly with differing payment channels such as card, mobile money, bank transfer and cash – with volatile currency fluctuations and no single settlement framework.

“This is creating a highly fragmented landscape for businesses whose customers increasingly request to pay for their purchases using digital payment options. Every day, our job at Cellulant is to work with our customers and partners to solve this fragmentation in payments.”

“This award is a testament to our work in providing a payments platform that is transforming the way people do business in Nigeria and beyond; and a reflection of the hard work done by our people.”

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