By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A recently released report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said Niger’s overall macroeconomic performance has remained satisfactory in 2016 despite the security and humanitarian shocks, the unfavourable commodity prices, and the reduction of trade flows to neighbouring countries.
An IMF team to Niger led by Mr Anta Gueye visited Niamey from October 24 to November 7, 2016 to conduct the 2017 Article IV consultation and discuss a successor Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement that could support Niger’s medium-term economic and financial program.
At the end of the mission, Mr Gueye said the Nigerien authorities and the IMF team reached a staff-level agreement on a medium-term program (2017-2020) that could be supported by a successor ECF.
According him, the new program builds on lessons of the current ECF arrangement.
He said in the report that while the 2012-2016 ECF-supported program helped maintain macroeconomic stability despite a series of substantial adverse exogenous shocks and implementation slippages, allocations for health and education were crowded out by priority security expenses, which constrained the achievement of broader development objectives.
“The new program aims at preserving macroeconomic stability and at achieving the development objectives of the Economic Development Document,” he explained in the report obtained by Business Post.
He added that in view of the elevated security spending needs and the persisting shocks to government revenue, policies under the new program focus on domestic revenue mobilization, by broadening the tax base, and on strengthened budget management, to provide the needed fiscal space and ensure debt sustainability.
The program, Mr Gueye explained, also includes a strong agenda for structural reforms to strengthen public financial management, support the diversification of the economy and enhance resilience, while reflecting limited capacity.
He said the country’s growth is projected to increase to 4.5 percent in 2016 from 3.5 percent in 2015, helped by a strong 2016/17 crop year and despite continued weakness in the oil and mining sectors. Inflation would be contained at 1.6 percent in 2016.
“Budget execution has been impacted by lower-than-targeted revenue collection partly due to unfavourable developments in commodity sectors and continued economic problems in neighbouring countries.
“At end-June 2016, most fiscal targets other than for government revenue were however met. Progress was made in implementing structural reforms, albeit with delays.
“In response to a larger shortfall of revenue collection in the second half of 2016, the authorities curtailed commitments on non-priority expenditures for the last quarter of 2016. This measure enacted by the inter-ministerial budget regulation committee will help avoid the accumulation of payments arrears and the resort to domestic financing,” the report said.
“The economic outlook for the medium-term is favourable, but remains subject to substantial external and domestic risks. Real GDP growth is projected to increase to 5.2 percent in 2017, driven by agriculture and an expected pick-up in oil production. Inflation is expected to remain contained below 2 percent.
“Real GDP growth is expected to average 6.0 percent during 2018- 2021, mainly as a result of the expansion of the extractive industries sector and an increase in public and private investments. Inflation is expected to remain below the 3 percent WAEMU convergence criterion.
“Key risks include negative externalities of regional conflicts, vulnerability to natural disasters, and the economic turmoil in the sub-region.
“The Article IV discussions focused on preventing and managing natural disasters, harnessing the demographic dividend, and dealing with the gender issue in Niger.
“The mission met with President Issoufou Mahamadou and Prime Minister Brigi Rafini. The mission held also working sessions with the Minister of Finance, Mr, Massoudou Hassoumi, other Ministers in charge of Planning, Petroleum, Mines, the Minister Delegate for Budget, the National Director of the BCEAO, as well as other senior government officials. The staff also met with representatives of civil society, the private sector, and the donor community,” the report said.
NNPC’ll Earn More Revenue—Kyari
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is set to earn more revenue for the country as the federal government has positioned it to become the most capitalised company in Africa, says the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company, Mr Mele Kyari.
This will happen as the central government has commenced full implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) in earnest.
Mr Kyari made this assertion while addressing staff in a town hall meeting at the weekend said the PIA had put “all money-making options on the table; it is up to us to take advantage of it”.
Highlighting the significance of the PIA to the NNPC and by extension the Nigerian economy, Mr Kyari said the new legislation has raised shareholders’ expectations on the company, even as it has given it wide room to make progress.
He said as a result of the new legislation, NNPC Limited would not only shed some of its toxic liabilities but will be the largest and most capitalised company in the whole of Africa and, potentially, the most profitable on the entire continent.
The CEO charged employees of the organisation to ensure that the company becomes a commercially viable entity and a multi-billion-dollar company that will continuously deliver value to its shareholders–the over two hundred million Nigerians.
Business Post had reported that President Muhammadu Buhari recently instituted the board of NNPC Limited led by Mrs Margery Chuba Okadigbo, Chairman, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, Chief Executive Officer, Mr Umar I. Ajiya, Chief Financial Officer, Mr Tajudeen Umar (North East), Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North Central), Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North West), Mr Henry Obih (South East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South), and Mr Pius Akinyelure (South West).
Others included Mr Nasir Sani Gwarzo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources and Mr Aliyu Ahmed, Permanent Secretary, Minister, Finance, Budget and National Planning.
The President charged the board members to enforce the reforms put forward by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) 2021, which seeks to reposition the Nigerian petroleum industry to a commercially viable and competitive industry in line with global business dynamics and best practices.
“The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited is mandated to focus on profitability and continuous value creation beyond the simple fulfilment of legal and regulatory requirements.
“NNPC Limited is expected to operate at par with its industry peers across the world while acting as Enabler Company that will foster the development of other sectors of our economy,” he said.
Gains in NDEP, Nipco Push NASD Exchange 0.25% Higher
By Adedapo Adesanya
The week ended in the positive territory on the floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange following a 0.25 per cent rise on Friday, January 14.
The favourable outcome came on the back of gains recorded by the duo of Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc and Nipco Plc.
NDEP Plc appreciated by N2.5 or 1.1 per cent during the session to close at N238.00 per unit as against N235.50 per unit it finished at the preceding session, while Nipco Plc improved by N6 or 8.7 per cent to close at N69.00 per unit compared with N63.00 per unit it closed at the previous session.
As a result of the good performances put up by the two stocks, the NASD unlisted security index (NSI) moved up by 1.86 points to 750.02 points from 748.16 points, while market capitalisation gained N1.58 billion to wrap the day at N635.10 billion in contrast to N633.52 billion it closed on Thursday.
There was no price loser during the trading day, through the trading volume slid by 36.9 per cent as a total of 207,618 units of shares exchanged hands compared with 329,347 units transacted on Thursday.
But the trading value rose by 15.6 per cent to N10.7 million from the previous day’s value of N9.3 million, while the number of deals depreciated by 36.4 per cent as only seven deals were carried out compared to the 11 deals executed at the previous session.
Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc remained as the most active stock by volume (year-to-date) as it has traded 1.02 million units of its shares for N19.9 million. Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc was in second place for transacting 40,804 units of its stocks valued at N4.8 million, while NDEP Plc was in third place with 28,289 units valued at N6.7 million.
Also, CSCS Plc ended the session as the most traded stock by value with a turnover of 1.0 million units exchanged at N19.9 million, NDEP Plc trailed with 28,289 units worth N6.7 million, while Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc has exchanged 40,804 units worth for N4.8 million.
28.7% Drop in I&E Turnover Strengthens Naira to N416.00/$1
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira closed the week stronger against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday, January 14.
At the I&E window, the local currency appreciated by 0.06 per cent or 50 kobo to trade at N416.00/$1 as against N416.50/$1 it closed on Thursday.
The strengthening of the local currency happened on the back of a 28.7 per cent or $49.59 million fall in turnover at the market segment as data obtained by Business Post from the FMDQ Securities Exchange showed that transactions worth $123.4 million were carried out compared with the $172.99 million recorded at the previous session.
However, at the interbank window of the market, the Naira recorded a flat outcome against the United States Dollar, closing at N414.79/$1, the same rate of the preceding day.
In the same vein, the domestic currency closed flat against the Pound Sterling on Friday at N565.57/£1 and against the Euro, the exchange rate of the indigenous currency remained intact at N475.22/€1.
Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, six of the 10 digital currencies tracked by the newspaper across several trading platforms appreciated in value.
The highest gainer was Cardano (ADA) as it moved higher by 7.4 per cent to trade at N783.58, Tron (TRX) made a 3.8 per cent gain to sell at N40.46, Litecoin (LTC) improved by 3.5 per cent to trade at N82,485.74, Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 1.8 per cent to sell at N450, Binance Coin (BNB) rose by 0.7 per cent to trade at N205,719.75, while Dogecoin (DOGE) grew by 0.2 per cent to trade at N105.12.
However, Dash (DASH) went down by 1.6 per cent to sell for N80,050.10, Ethereum (ETH) depreciated by 0.5 per cent to sell at N1,896,100.03, the United States Dollar Tether moved down by 0.3 per cent to trade at N783.58, while Bitcoin (BTC) declined by 0.2 per cent to quote at N24,576,842.26.
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