MPC Advocates for Robust Fiscal Policy to Attract Investment
The Central Bank of Nigeria-led Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) reiterated the importance of a robust fiscal policy to the economy on Monday.
At the Central Bank of Nigeria communique No. 131 of the 274th Monetary Policy Committee meeting held on Monday 20th July 2020, the MPC said the nation needs a robust fiscal strategy to attract private investment and capital, to finance the huge infrastructure deficit in Nigeria, and strengthen the existing initiatives by the federal government and the CBN in this direction.
In the communique released on Monday, the committee said the drop in global growth output alongside global demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic is hurting commodity-dependent economies, especially the ones in the emerging markets like Nigeria, Angola, Libya, Iraq, Venezuela, etc.
The Committee noted, with concern, the IMF’s further downgrade of global economic contraction to -4.9 per cent from -3.0 per cent in 2020. The downward revision was based primarily on the amplified negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on many advanced and emerging market economies, as they witnessed extended lockdown periods and restrictions on economic activities.
The MPC said “Global output growth weakened further, as a result of the persistent headwinds from the COVID-19 pandemic. These headwinds comprised: persisting decline in global aggregate demand and supply; disruptions in global supply chain and trade; rising sovereign and corporate debts; heightened financial market vulnerabilities; low prices of crude oil and other commodities; and rising unemployment.”
The committee, however, “recognized the supportive developmental roles of the CBN towards addressing some of these structural issues. The MPC specifically expressed optimism on the future impact of N50 billion Household and SME facility, out of which N49.195 billion has been disbursed, to over 92,000 beneficiaries. The N100 billion healthcare and N1.0 trillion manufacturing and agricultural interventions to support the rebound in growth from the impacts of the pandemic on the economy.
The Monetary Policy Committee agreed to leave the benchmark interest rate unchanged at 12.5 percent to better assess the impacts of the 100 basis-points rate cut on the economy at large.
COVID-19 Vaccine: Crude Oil Extends Gain to $48 Per Barrel on Wednesday
Oil prices rose further on Wednesday as hope for an effective COVID-19 vaccine and the news that the United States of America’s President-elect, Joe Biden has begun transition to the White House bolstered crude oil demand.
Brent crude oil, a Nigerian type of oil, gained 1.63 percent or 78 cents to $48.64 per barrel at 11:50 am Nigerian time on Wednesday.
The United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil rose by 1.36 percent or 61 cents to $45.52 per barrel.
OPEC Basket surged the most in terms of gain, adding 3.16 percent or $1.37 to $44.75 per barrel.
This was after AstraZeneca, Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech announced the positive results of their trials.
Moderna and Pfizer had claimed over 90 percent effective rate in trials while AstraZeneca said its COVID-19 vaccine was 70 percent effective in trials but could hit 90 percent going forward.
“The possibility of having a vaccine next year increases the odds that we’re going to see demand return in the new year,” said Phil Flynn, senior analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago.
Also, the decision of President-elect Joe Biden to bring Janet Yellen, the former Chair of Federal Reserve, back as a Treasury Secretary of the United States is fueling demand and strong confidence across global financial markets.
“President-elect Biden’s cabinet choices, particularly Janet Yellen’s Treasury Secretary position, are adding to upside momentum across a broad space of asset classes,” said Jim Ritterbusch of Ritterbusch and Associates.
Seyi Makinde Proposes N266.6 Billion Budget for Oyo State in 2021
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has presented the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly on Monday.
The proposed budget titled “Budget of Continued Consolidation” was said to be prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of Oyo state.
Governor Makinde disclosed this via his official Twitter handle @seyiamakinde.
According to the governor, the proposed recurrent expenditure stood at N136,262,990,009.41 while the proposed capital expenditure was N130,381,283,295.63. Bringing the total proposed budget to N266,6444,273,305.04.
The administration aimed to implement at least 70 percent of the proposed budget if approved.
He said “The total budgeted sum is ₦266,644,273,305.04. The Recurrent Expenditure is ₦136,262,990,009.41 while the Capital Expenditure is ₦130,381,283,295.63. We are again, aiming for at least 70% implementation of the budget.”
He added that “It was my honour to present the Oyo State Budget Proposal for the 2021 Fiscal Year to the Oyo State House of Assembly, today. This Budget of Continued Consolidation was prepared with input from stakeholders in all seven geopolitical zones of our state.”
World Bank Expects Nigeria’s Per Capita Income to Dip to 40 Years Low in 2020
The World Bank has raised concern about Nigeria’s rising debt service cost, saying it could incapacitate the nation from necessary infrastructure development and growth.
The multilateral financial institution said the nation’s per capita income could plunge to 40 years low in 2020.
According to Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri, Country Director for World Bank in Nigeria, the decline in global oil prices had impacted government finances, remittances from the diaspora and the balance of payments.
Chaudhuri, who spoke during the 26th Nigerian Economic Summit organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group and the Federal Government, said while the nation’s debt is between 20 to 30 percent, rising debt service remains the bane of its numerous financial issues and growth.
“Nigeria’s problem is that the debt service takes a big part of the government revenue,” he said.
He said, “Crisis like this is often what it takes to bring a nation together to have that consensus within the political, business, government, military, civil society to say, ‘We have to do something that departs from business as usual.’
“And for Nigeria, this is a critical juncture. With the contraction in GDP that could happen this year, Nigeria’s per capita income could be around what it was in 1980 – four decades ago.”
Nigeria’s per capita income stood at $847.40 in 1980, according to data from the World Bank. It rose to $3,222.69 in 2014 before falling to $2,229.9 in 2019.
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