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World Bank Forecasts 3.4% Growth for Nigeria in 2022

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World Bank

By Adedapo Adesanya

Nigeria’s economy has been forecast to grow by 3.4 per cent this year by the World Bank in its latest outlook for global economies. This is in comparison to 3.6 per cent recorded in 2021.

The global lender noted that the growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which Nigeria falls into, has weakened this year as domestic price pressures, partly induced by supply disruptions owing to the war in Ukraine, are reducing food affordability and real incomes, especially in low-income countries (LICs).

Generally, the region rebounded last year by 4.2 per cent in 2021 but the silver lining is that limited direct trade and financial linkages with Europe and Central Asia have helped contain some of the negative effects of the war in Ukraine on SSA.

In the report published on Tuesday, it was revealed that the sharp deceleration of global growth and war-related shortages of food and fuel are creating substantial headwinds for the region, even more so in countries reliant on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania).

In many SSA countries, increasing living costs have also tempered gains from looser social restrictions and higher commodity export prices.

The global lender noted that growth in the three largest SSA economies—Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa—was an estimated 3.8 per cent in 2021 supported by the 4.9 per cent rebound in South Africa.

For this year, growth in SSA is expected at 3.7 per cent in 2022 and 3.8 per cent in 2023 – on par with January projections.

Yet, excluding the three largest economies, growth was downgraded by 0.4 percentage points both in 2022 and 2023.

Although, elevated commodity prices would underpin recoveries in extractive sectors, in many countries rising inflation would erode real incomes, depress demand, and deepen poverty.

Growth momentum carried on in Angola and Nigeria, where high oil prices, the stabilization of oil production, and recovery in non-resource sectors supported activity in the first half of this year. Nevertheless, persistently high domestic inflation, power cuts, and shortages of food and fuel have been weighing on recoveries.

In South Africa, growth has moderated substantially amid policy tightening, high and rising unemployment, and recurring power shortages.

The World Bank also painted that infrastructure damage to the country’s main port following severe floods has also exacerbated supply chain disruptions related to the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China.

Elsewhere in the region, the boost from a waning of the pandemic and a gradual rebound in tourism is being muted by rapidly rising living costs and weakening domestic demand.

In some countries, debt distress, policy uncertainty, social unrest, and violence still hamper recoveries, especially in fragile and conflict-affected LICs.

For 2022, growth in LICs was revised down by almost a full percentage point this year as food price inflation and food shortages are expected to take a particularly severe toll on vulnerable populations, further worsening food insecurity in those countries.

The growth slowdown in SSA could also intensify pandemic-induced losses in per capita incomes. The region is now expected to remain the only Emerging Market and Developing Economy (EMDE) region where per capita incomes will not return to their 2019 levels even in 2023.

In about 45 per cent of the region’s economies and in half of its fragile and conflict-affected countries, per capita incomes are forecast to remain below pre-pandemic levels next year.

Surging food and fuel import bills could also reverse recent progress in poverty alleviation across the region, especially in countries where vulnerable populations are sizable (Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria), and dependence on imported food is high (Benin, Comoros, The Gambia and Mozambique).

Looking at the risks, the outlook is predominantly to the downside with prolonged disruption to global trade in cereals and fertilizer due to the war in Ukraine set to significantly worsen affordability and availability of staple foods across the region.

In addition, insecurity and violence pose a threat to the outlook, especially in LICs, while rapid increases in living costs risk escalating social unrest.

A faster-than-expected slowdown of the global economy, which could be triggered by the accelerated policy tightening in advanced economies and the global resurgence of the COVID-19, would hurt many SSA commodity exporters.

The Washington-based bank warned that persistent domestic inflation could speed up monetary policy tightening, escalating stagflation risks across the region.

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

NGX All-Share Index Outperforms Inflation Over Three Years

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All-Share Index

The 3-year trailing performance of the All-Share Index (ASI) of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited surpasses the average inflation during the same period.

The annual inflation measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) released in September by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) was 20.52 per cent in August 2022.

Meanwhile, the NGX ASI, a market capitalisation weighted index of all companies listed on the NGX’s platform, had a year-to-date performance of 15.68 per cent during the same period. This could be misleading about the market performance until you view it through a longer-term lens.

British Economist, Benjamin Graham, made a quote popularly used by Warren Buffett, the Fund Manager of Berkshire Hathaway Inc and widely regarded as the best living investor: “Markets are a voting machine in the short term, and a weighing machine in the long run.” On a 3-year trailing basis, the NGX ASI has outperformed the CPI average in the same period, ensuring that investors with a longer-term hold on their investments remain in the positive region.

Analysis of data of closing prices gathered from the NGX’s website showed that the index has a 3-year moving average of 22.97 per cent, compared to an inflation average of 15.72 per cent.

The year 2022 has been a slow year for global stocks due to volatility resulting from the hiking of interest rates by central banks in the United States and Europe amidst inflationary pressures.

The NGX ASI’s 15.62% YTD return is a significant positive performance compared to the US S&P 500, which has plunged by 22.46% or the FTSE 100, which has declined by 7.68%, according to Google Finance. The local bourse has exhibited resilience and insulated investors from negative return on investment over three years.

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Economy

Laolu Martins Was Minority Shareholder of Bukka Hut—Management

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Bukka Hut Laolu Martins

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The management of an online restaurant in Nigeria, Bukka Hut, has clarified that one of its late directors, Mr Laolu Martins, was a minority shareholder in the company.

On Wednesday, it was reported that the deceased breathed his last in Lagos. He was said to have co-founded the firm with Mr Rasheed Jaiyeola, who is the Chief Executive Officer.

The deceased was reportedly invited to join the firm by Mr Jaiyeola, who jointly owns majority shares of the company with his wife and sister.

Mr Jaiyeola and Mr Martins were co-owners of the Nigerian International Securities Limited (NISL) before the former resigned from his position as director to focus on Bukka Hut in 2016.

According to the statement from the organisation, Mr Jaiyeola established Bukka Hut but only invited the deceased and two others to invest in the eatery when it was established.

“To clarify, Rasheed Jaiyeola is the founder/CEO of Bukka Hut, a proudly Nigerian brand he built from inception in August 2011 from one outlet to 24 outlets comprising of restaurants, lounges and suya and grill spots, and a learning facility, BH Academy, as at today. He jointly owns the majority shares of the company with his wife and sister.

“Bukka Hut is not a one-man business as there are two other shareholders/directors, but they are not involved in the daily management of the business.

“Rasheed and the late Olaolu Martins were co-owners of Nigerian International Securities Lid (NISL), and naturally, Laolu was one of the three people he invited to invest in Bukka Hut when he founded it in 2011; Rasheed resigned from NISL as a director in 2016 to focus solely on building Bukka Hut while Olaolu remained the MD/CEO of NISL and its related businesses,” the statement explained.

Mr Martins was reported to have died from suicide, but fresh information revealed that he slumped at Lenox Mall after a cardiac arrest and was taken to a hospital in Lekki, where he passed on.

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Economy

Usman Laments Nigeria, Saudi Arabia Trade Volume of $5m

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trade volume of $5m

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The president of the newly-establishment Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Mr Ibrahim Usman, has lamented the low trade volume between both countries despite their historical relationship.

Mr Usman expressed this frustration when he visited the Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, at his office in Abuja.

He said at the moment, the trade volume between Nigeria and Saudi Arabia is about $5 million, promising to deepen the relations between the two countries.

“And whereas many Saudi investors are looking out for profitable investment windows in friendly countries like Nigeria, our businesses have been unable to capitalise on such opportunities due to lack of an organised, reliable, safe and very secure private sector platform like a chamber of commerce,” he said.

Mr Usman said a 60-member inter-ministerial delegation from Saudi Arabia will be in Nigeria next week for the second session of the Nigeria-Saudi Arabia Joint Commission, which will further create opportunities for the chamber to set up trade missions.

On his part, Mr Mohammed praised his guest for his effort to establish the organisation after over 10 years of trial, saying he has proven himself as a man of vision and deep conviction.

“Clearly from your presentation, it’s clear that the major objective is to change the narrative and ensure that the relations between Saudi Arabia and Nigeria should not be seen just from the narrow prism of Hajj and Umrah pilgrimage, but from the prism of two very important nations of the world creating a bridge through better cooperation for the two countries and their citizens,” the Minister said.

Mr Mohammed described the chamber as a clearing house for proposals from business people from the two countries in order to open new vistas for trade opportunities.

He said the absence of such a chamber has led to the decline in the volume of trade and also bred trust deficit between business people from the two countries.

“The absence of this vehicle has led to loss of businesses between the two countries and it has also aggravated the trust deficit between them,” he said.

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