Opinion

A Call to Action: Refinancing Domestic Short-Term Debt with Cheaper Dollar Sources

In what could be considered a strategy to address Nigeria’s rising debt servicing cost brought about by high domestic interest rate environment and sizeable increase in fiscal deficit over the years, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday this week approved a restructuring plan for public debt by way of refinancing maturing Treasury Bills obligations with cheaper and longer term external debt.

Informal Economy not Enough to Handle Africa's Workforce Explosion

Unemployment in Nigeria, sub-Saharan Africa's largest economy, is running at more than 14 percent and climbing; in South Africa, the second largest economy, it is over 27 percent. For youth in both places, it is far more, Reuters reports.

This may seem bad enough, but according to International Monetary Fund calculations the sub-Saharan Africa region's jobs travails are in danger of reaching uncharted territory in less than two decades.

That is, unless the economies can create jobs for their burgeoning, young population.

Work Visas versus Protectionism: The Winners and Losers

As global business takes stock of Brexit and headline-grabbing US policy decisions, working visas are ripe for reform. Some countries are already benefiting, as Erika Morphy reports.

At the beginning of May, Indian IT giant Infosys announced that over the next several years it would open four tech hubs in the US, hiring some 10,000 Americans in the process. It was a startling concession from the company, which has long been accused of job-stealing by the US. Through it all, Infosys had never blinked, much less revealed country-specific hiring plans.

Economic Recovery Still Fragile

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) held its fourth meeting for the year on the 24th and 25th July, 2017 and much in line with our expectation, status quo was maintained on all key rates as the committee noted that the recent gains recorded in the economic landscape remain fragile and could be disrupted if adequate fiscal and monetary policies are not implemented to complement the recovery. Consequently:

Monetary Policy Still Dilly-Dallying

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be convening for its 4th meeting (24th & 25th July) in 2017 to review recent happenings in the global and domestic space since its last meeting in May 2017. The first meeting in the second half of the year is coming against the backdrop of a remarkable improvement in domestic macroeconomic variables although recent developments on the global front offer mixed signals.

As High Base Effect Thins Out, will Headline Inflation Trend Higher Again?

Nigeria’s Headline inflation rate has trended lower since peaking in January at 18.7%. However, the moderation is largely on account of high base effect from 2016 which has offset a steep increase in Month on Month growth of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) observed since February. Month on month CPI growth averaged 1.7% from February to May (relative to an average of 1.0% in July 2016 to January 2017) due to sharp rising food prices attributable to seasonality effect.

Economy on the Path to Recovery as Purchasing Managers’ Index Expands

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently released Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) survey report for the month of June and expectedly, the recent improvements in business and investment sentiment were evident in the responses of business managers to the survey. Following the improvements in FX market liquidity which trailed the launch of the Investors’ & Exporters’ (I&E) FX window, activities in the manufacturing sector have strengthened as the manufacturing PMI expanded for the third consecutive month, rising to 52.9 in June relative to 52.5 in May.

Can Development Minerals Avoid Abuses and Fuel African Growth?

On a continent better known for enriching colonisers and corporations by exporting its gold, copper and diamonds, so-called "development minerals" - ranging from limestone to granite - could help Africa fuel its own economic growth.

The sector, estimated by the United Nations to employ at least 8 million Africans, could create millions more jobs across the continent - many for young people and women - to meet a fast growing need for housing and infrastructure, mining experts say.

Ease of Doing Business Reform Initiatives: Positive Fillip to Cyclical Growth Challenges

One of the high points of President Buhari’s administration is the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (“PEBEC” or “the Council”), a dedicated council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, with the sole focus of removing bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria. Since the inauguration of the Council in June 2016, it has introduced a number of structural reform initiatives to make it easier to start and grow business in the country, particularly for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

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