Opinion

2016 Budget: Is Nigeria Open for Business?

One cliché that is habitually used by governments around the world is the phrase, “we are open for business.” Meanwhile, the distinguishing factors that separate those overusing this phrase from the others are the efficacy of their economic policies and budgetary performance.

Recently, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, also alluded to this saying when he presented the proposed 2016 budget, tagged, ‘The Budget of Change,’  to a joint session of the National Assembly on Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015.

Post MPC Note: Back in the Tightening Cycle... MPC hike MPR by 100bps

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at the conclusion of its 2nd meeting for the year decided to tighten its policy stance on key rates in the system. The Committee admitted that the sustained pressure in the domestic economy - as reflected in the sharp jump in inflation rate to 11.4%, rising unemployment rate (10.4%) and slowing GDP growth (2.8%) - is driven by structural weakness in the system. As against a dovish stance increasingly communicated by committee members in recent statements, the Committee surprisingly reverted to a hawkish stance by taking the following decision;
 

Easing Cycle Over but Committee to Hold-Off on Tightening

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will be meeting next week (21st and 22nd March, 2016) - for the 2nd time in the year - since its last meeting in January 2016 to review developments in the domestic and global fronts as well as take key policy decisions. This meeting is coming against the backdrop of renewed optimism in the global economy, albeit tepid; sustained sub-optimal domestic economic performance and elevated headwinds on potential real economic growth and consumer purchasing power.

Euro Zone PMIs, Asian and African Central Banks on Steady Course

As central bank rhetoric turns more dovish, investors will search for further hints of easing in a week with few data releases to indicate whether years of loose monetary policy are having any material effect.

The European Central Bank chopped interest rates again and bolstered its asset purchase programme earlier this month. Surveys on Tuesday will give the first hints since then of any inflationary pressures building in the euro zone.

Nigeria’s Economy Suffers Stagflation

Recent macroeconomic numbers have been reflecting the bleak economic picture that characterizes Nigeria’s investment landscape. The economy has been experiencing moments of stagflation (low economic growth and high inflation rate) with a plethora of issues ranging from high unemployment, weakening consumer spending, poor monetary and fiscal responses and waning financial market sentiments.

Corporate Governance: A Veritable Tool for Africa’s Renaissance

Can Africa overcome her developmental challenges in the current century?  This is a question every African who is sufficiently enlightened to understand our shared humanity should be bothered about.  Yet it is a question that few business leaders and even fewer political leaders charged with governance at various levels seldom ruminate upon.

According to Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist at the World Bank, Africa is the region with the highest poverty rate, and its rate of poverty decline is too slow.

National Assembly Readies 2016 Budget for Passage

This week saw more news flow regarding the status of the 2016 budget, NNPC restructuring plans and the CBN’s short to mid-term monetary policy objectives. The Joint National Assembly Committee on Appropriation on Tuesday assured that the budget would be passed on the 17th of March after earlier controversies regarding the authenticity of the document submitted by the Presidency led to the breach of the initial deadline of 26th February, leaving the current fiscal year without appropriations.

A Year on From Nigerian Election Victory, Buhari's Reforms Founder

Almost a year after winning an election on promises to fix Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari's grand vision of reform is fading, with power centralised in his increasingly remote presidency and the bureaucracy in disarray.

After axing almost 50 top civil servants and 40 ambassadors and shaking up ministries in a bid to excise endemic graft, the 73-year-old former military ruler has even started cancelling some weekly cabinet meetings.

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