Opinion

The Economic Task Ahead as Buhari Inaugurates New FEC Tomorrow

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to officially inaugurate a new Federal Executive Council tomorrow –Wednesday, November 11, 2015.

Before the commencement of the inaugural session of the council, the ministers-designate will take their oaths of office in the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa.

According to the presidency, the swearing-in ceremony will begin promptly at 10:00 Hours and the ministers-designate are expected to be seated in the Council Chambers by 09:30 Hours at the latest.

Macroeconomic Challenges Weigh on Companies Scorecards

The year 2015 has been characterized by a cocktail of macroeconomic challenges which trailed the decline in crude oil prices, and the political and policy uncertainties that shaped direction of the economy so far in 2015. This is reflected in the trend of key macroeconomic indicators such as the slowing economic growth (Real GDP growth slowed to a 10-year low of 2.4% in Q2:2015), the steadily rising inflation (31-month high at 9.4% in October 2015), weak fiscal spending, hawkish monetary policy and foreign exchange constraints.

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.

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