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152 Million Nigerians Live on Less Than $2/day –AfDB

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  • 152 Million Nigerians Live on Less Than $2/day –AfDB

About 152 million Nigerians live on less than $2 a day, representing about 80 per cent of the country’s estimated 190 million population, the African Development Bank has said.

According to the AfDB, which stated this in its 2018 Nigeria Economic Outlook, the level of poverty in the country is unacceptably high.

The Nigeria Economic Outlook is part of larger report, the African Economic Outlook, published by the bank on an annual basis.

The report stated, “Nigeria still faces significant challenges, including foreign exchange shortages, disruptions in fuel supply, power shortages and insecurity in some parts of the country.

“Revenue mobilisation efforts are insufficient; at five per cent, Value Added Tax rates are among the lowest in the world, and revenue administration is inefficient.

“Poverty is unacceptably high; nearly 80 per cent of Nigeria’s 190 million people live on less than $2 a day.”

The report noted that recovery in oil prices and production would help drive growth and provide fiscal space as the government pursued important structural reforms to diversify the economy.

According to the AfDB, faithful implementation of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (2017–20) holds the promise of weaning the nation off its dependence on oil.

The plan focuses on six priority sectors: agriculture; manufacturing; solid minerals, including iron, gold, and coal; services, including Information and Communications Technology, financial services, tourism, and creative industries; construction and real estate; and oil and gas.

The government had produced specific programmes for each sector and defined broader growth policy enablers to drive the plan, the report stated.

“The outlook beyond is positive, with growth projected at 2.1 per cent in 2018 and 2.5 per cent in 2019. This outlook is anchored on higher oil prices and production, as well as stronger agricultural performance.

“Oil prices rebounded to an average of $52 per barrel (Brent crude) in 2017 and are projected to reach $54 in 2018, up from $43 per barrel in 2016.

“Oil production also increased from 1.45 million barrels per day in the first quarter of 2017 to 2.03 million in the third quarter of 2017 following de-escalation of hostilities in the delta region and is expected to remain at the same level in 2018 and 2019, in tandem with the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries production restrictions.”

The AfDB noted that fiscal policy remained expansionary in 2017 as in 2016. Although total spending as a percentage of the GDP declined from 13 per cent in 2014 to 10.3 per cent in 2017, revenues declined more sharply, from 11.4 per cent to 5.6 per cent.

It said, “The budget deficit was estimated at 4.8 per cent in 2017, up from 4.7 per cent in 2016, and is projected to improve to 4.3 per cent in 2018 and 4.1 per cent in 2019, as revenue performance improves.

“At 14 per cent, unemployment remained high in 2017, the same as in 2016, and is expected to decline only slightly in 2018, to 13.5 per cent, as recovery eases production constraints in manufacturing and agriculture.

“Monetary policy continued to contract in 2017 and is expected to remain so in 2018; the policy rate has been kept at 14 per cent since July 2016 to support the naira and control inflation. Inflation has remained stubbornly high and in the double digits.”

The report added that foreign currency liquidity had improved following the introduction of administrative measures by the Central Bank since early 2017.

The measures, it stated, included a trading window for portfolio investors at market-determined rates, and the introduction of the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Rate Fixing, which allowed commercial banks to quote forex rates that were close to parallel market rates.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents

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President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.

Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.

He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.

“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.

“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.

“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.

“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”

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Economy

Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS

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Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.

“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.

“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.

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Economy

Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey

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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.

The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.

He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”

Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.

“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.

“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”

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