Opinion

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.

Ahead of FY: 2015 Earnings Season… A Focus on Dividend Strategy

After depreciating 17.2% YtD in 2015, the Nigerian equities All Share Index is down 13.8% so far in 2016. The overhanging macroeconomic challenges that persisted all through 2015 lingered on in 2016 as investors’ sentiment on equities continue to wane. Full year corporate earnings are expected to remain pressured across sectors as observed in Q3:2015 where performance scorecards were broadly unimpressive.

Nigeria’s Mounting Debt Burden Vs Contracting Capital Inflows

The Debt Management Office (DMO) noted in a publication this week that Nigeria’s total debt (external and domestic) rose 12.1% Y-o-Y or N1.4tn to N12.6tn (US$65.4bn) in 2015, relative to N11.2tn (US$67.7bn) in 2014. Federal Government (FG) debt worth N10.1tn (US$52.2bn) accounted for 79.8% while State Governments debt (N2.5tn or US$13.2bn) accounted for 20.2% of the total debt. External debt amounted to N2.1tn (US$10.7bn) representing 16.8% of total debt stock.

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