Opinion

Lending to the Real Sector

The first 9 months of this year have been characterized by macroeconomic headwinds. Added to this, the banking industry faced hawkish regulations that generally constrained banks' capacity to create risk assets and trade within a fully functional foreign exchange market. Furthermore, the directive by the President on the full implementation of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) tightened liquidity in the financial system and inevitably jerked up interbank money market rates -- having reached year highs of over 100.0%.

Fitch: Nigerian Insurance Fundamentals Intact despite Weakening Economy

Fitch Ratings says in a new report that the Nigerian insurance industry will continue to expand, despite recent economic headwinds and significant structural challenges, Reuters reports.

The industry has experienced declining growth rates in recent years, albeit from a high base. However, a number of leading insurers have maintained strong premium and balance sheet growth over the past three years.

Africa Slowdown Should Not Stop Infrastructure Plans -World Bank

Africa should press ahead with plans to develop its transport and energy networks despite a recent slowdown in GDP growth because better infrastructure is key to long term development, the head of the World Bank said on Friday.

To that end, governments need to maintain macro-economic stability to attract capital that remains willing to commit to the continent even though investment in emerging markets is at its lowest level in around 35 years, said Jim Yong Kim.

Diminishing Real Return Mounting Pressure on Investment

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) released its September 2015 Consumer Price Index (CPI) report during the week. In this report, Y-o-Y headline inflation inched further higher to 9.4% to reach its 31-month high (since February 2013). After staying flat at 9.2% Y-o-Y between June and July, the 0.1% M-o-M rise in September inflation marked the 8th successive increase in inflation so far in 2015.

Economic Slowdown Prompts Scrutiny of African Data

A dip in the fortunes of many African economies has raised doubts about the accuracy of the heady statistics that lured hordes of investors during the "Africa Rising" boom years.

According to Reuters, Sub-Saharan Africa has achieved annual growth of more than five percent over the last decade, and foreign investment has more than quadrupled over the same period, as a commodities boom and an increase in consumer spending drove bumper returns.

Why FG Budgeting Plans are Changing Under Buhari’s Administration

In order to achieve the socio-economic goals of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration, amidst dwindling oil revenues on the one hand, and the vast number of Nigerians who live in poverty, on the other, there is a need to change the way budgeting is done.

“The greatest challenge to us is controlling ballooning recurrent expenditure and freeing up resources for growth-related capital expenditure,” according to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Africa's GDP Growth to Slow to 3.7% this Year –World Bank

Economic growth is set to slow in Sub-Saharan Africa to 3.7 percent this year, its weakest pace since 2009, mainly due to the drop in commodity prices, the World Bank said on Monday.

According to Reuters, the region's economy, which grew 4.6 percent last year, will strengthen only marginally in the next two years, it predicted.

"Growth in the region is projected to pick up to 4.4 percent in 2016, and further strengthen to 4.8 percent in 2017," it said in a bi-annual report titled Africa's Pulse.

World Poverty Rate to Fall Below 10% for the First Time

For the first time ever, the number of people living in extreme poverty is set to fall to below 10% of the global population in 2015, the World Bank said.

"This is the best story in the world today -- these projections show us that we are the first generation in human history that can end extreme poverty," Jim Yong Kim, World Bank's president, said.

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