Friday, March 5

Tag: International Monetary Fund

Dangote Refinery Can Bail Nigeria Out Of Economic Recession – IMF
Business

Dangote Refinery Can Bail Nigeria Out Of Economic Recession – IMF

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, the global financial watchdog, is projecting that Nigeria’s Dangote Refinery would provide an elixir for the country’s economy when it is completed and start production by 2022. In its latest report on Nigeria’s economy, the Fund raised the hope that the start of production from the refinery, solely owned by Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote could help Nigeria improve its Current Account balance. It said Dangote Refinery has “the potential to catalyze more domestic crude oil production and boost GDP growth.” “On the upside, the Dangote refinery, if commencing production in 2022 as planned, could meet the full demand for domestic consumption of refined petroleum products—which are almost all imported at present—thereby improving the CA ba...
Despite Loans, Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Conditions Deteriorated ― IMF
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Despite Loans, Nigeria’s Socio-Economic Conditions Deteriorated ― IMF

International Monetary Fund (IMF) has concluded that despite the $3.5 billion loan it gave Nigeria to cushion the effects of COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, socio-economic conditions have worsened. In a report published, on Monday, on the Article IV Consultation for 2020, which ended on January 27, the Board noted that “Nigeria’s economy has been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a sharp drop in oil prices and capital outflows, real GDP is estimated to have contracted by 3.2 per cent in 2020 amidst the pandemic-related lockdown. “In April 2020, Nigeria received IMF emergency financial assistance of $3.5 billion under the Rapid Financing Instrument to help cushion the impact of the pandemic. In a report published, on Monday, on the Article IV Consultation for 2020, ...
India Enters First Recession In 73 Years
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India Enters First Recession In 73 Years

India’s economy contracted 7.5 percent between July and September, performing the poorest among major advanced and emerging economies and entering a technical recession for the first time since independence, official data showed Friday. Although the figures were an improvement on the record 23.9-percent contraction recorded last quarter, they indicate that Asia’s third-largest economy is in for a tough fight as it attempts to revive demand and create jobs even as coronavirus infections climb. The two successive quarters of contraction mean that the country has now entered a “technical recession” for the first time since 1947. The International Monetary Fund has meanwhile predicted that India’s economy would contract by 10.3 percent this year, the biggest slump for any major emer...
Nigerians Will Pay Higher Electricity Tariffs – FG Promises IMF
Politics

Nigerians Will Pay Higher Electricity Tariffs – FG Promises IMF

Nigerians will pay much higher tariff for power in 2021, going by promises made by the Federal Government to the International Monetary Fund while seeking the $3.4bn emergency financial assistance recently approved for Nigeria. The Executive Board of the IMF approved the Rapid Financing Instrument, which the Federal Government plans to use to address the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, on April 28. A Letter of Intent, jointly signed by the Finance Minister, Zainab Ahmed, and the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, and addressed to the IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, indicated that the Federal Government made a number of promises to the fund in order to secure the financial assistance. One of the promises, or commitments, whic...
Fuel Subsidy Will Not Return, FG Assures IMF
Politics

Fuel Subsidy Will Not Return, FG Assures IMF

The Federal Government has pledged that it will ensure that fuel subsidy, which was recently removed, does not re-emerge. The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the pledge in a letter to the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, Mrs Kristalina Georgieva. The sharp drop in crude oil prices on the back of the spread of coronavirus saw the landing cost of petrol hitting a record low, wiping off subsidy on the product. The pump price of petrol, which is still being regulated by the government, was reduced to N125 per litre from N145 per litre on March 18, 2020. The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency further announced on March 31 a price band of N123.50-...
Nigeria To Repay IMF $3.4bn In 5 Years
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Nigeria To Repay IMF $3.4bn In 5 Years

A day after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted Nigeria’s request for a $3.4 billion emergency fund, the federal government has said that it is a flexible loan, which will be repaid in five years at one per cent interest. Prior to the new twist, Nigerians were inundated with reports that the money was a drawdown on Nigeria’s savings with the IMF without any conditions attached. But yesterday, the government admitted that the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) was approved for the country on Tuesday, with strings attached. Speaking on a Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) programme, which LEADERSHIP monitored in Abuja yesterday, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, explained that the $3.4 billion facility was granted at one per cent inte...
IMF Lists Unpopular Policies CBN Must Reverse
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IMF Lists Unpopular Policies CBN Must Reverse

The IMF wants the CBN to end some of its harshest policies including lifting the forex ban on 41 items. The International Monetary Fund, IMF on Tuesday approved a sum of $3.4 billion via a Rapid Financial Instrument to Nigeria. The loans come at a period when countries across the world are battling with the Covid-19 pandemic and the crash in crude oil prices. While the loans do not necessarily come with strings, the IMF did reveal in its press release acknowledging that Nigeria was on the path to unifying its exchange rata and moving towards a flexible exchange rate regime. As Nigerians get acquainted with the terms of the deal, the IMF released more reports shedding more light into what the country might expect to happen in the coming weeks and month should they have their way. O...
Nigeria To Lose Over $26 Billion From Oil Exports – IMF
Politics

Nigeria To Lose Over $26 Billion From Oil Exports – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected that the present global health crisis could make Nigeria lose more than $26 billion from crude oil sales. In a statement issued on Thursday night, the international lender also said it expects the country’s economy to contract by about 3.4 percent in 2020, a 6-percentage point drop compared to pre-COVID-19 projections. Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has crude oil as its main export commodity, representing around 90 percent of its exports. Since prices of the commodity crashed few months ago, the country has recorded shortfall in revenue and few weeks ago, Nigerian cargoes carrying oil were looking for buyers. “The sharp fall in international oil prices, together with reduced global demand for oil, is worsening the coun...
IMF May Approve Nigeria’s $3.4 Billion Loan Today
Politics

IMF May Approve Nigeria’s $3.4 Billion Loan Today

There are indications that the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund may approve the $ 3 . 4bn loan sought by Nigeria on Tuesday ( today ) . Although the Minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed , had on April 6 , while announcing that Nigeria had applied for the loan , said the funds were expected within six to 12 weeks , Reuters and Bloomberg reported that the IMF would meet over the request today . The reports quoted unofficial sources in the IMF. If approved, the loan would be among the largest allocations by the IMF to an African country in response to the COVID - 19 pandemic . It is expected that the IMF Executive Board would approve the loan having already approved similar requests for several countries . According to the IMF, about 102 coun...
Nigeria Heading Into Worst Recession In 30 Years –IMF
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Nigeria Heading Into Worst Recession In 30 Years –IMF

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday said that Nigeria could be heading for its worst recession in three decades. The economic downturn is one of the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic predicted by experts around the world. According to the IMF, Nigeria’s economy will drop by 3.4 per cent in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The international organisation made the projection in its April 2020 World Economic Outlook report released on Tuesday in Washington, United States. IMF Chief Economist and Director of Research Department, Gita Gopinath, said, “For the first time since the Great Depression, both the advanced economies and emerging and developing economies are in a recession. “For 2020, growth in advanced economies is projected at -6 per cent. Emerging...
Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Gets New IMF Appointment
Politics

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala Gets New IMF Appointment

Nigeria’s former finance minister, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, was on Friday named a member of the External Advisory Group constituted by the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva. The group of prominent individuals from around the world are to serve as the IMF chief’s special advisers that would provide insights to enhance the fund’s ability to serve its membership. They consist mainly of high-level technocrats and policy experts with private sector experience. The new external advisory group, inaugurated on Friday in Washington DC, is to also provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues. The issues include responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to the novel coronavirus and its...
5 Businesses That Are Thriving During Covid-19 Pandemic
Business

5 Businesses That Are Thriving During Covid-19 Pandemic

The Coronavirus Pandemic has hit the world economy like a ton of bricks. Countless businesses across various industries have practically shutdown or are operating at fraction of their full capacity as a result of the restrictions on movement imposed by governments around the world to curtail the spread of the virulent COVID-19. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), through its Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, on March 27 confirmed that the global economy has already slipped into a recession. Also, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) cut its GDP growth forecast for global economy for the year 2020 to 2.4%, the lowest rate since the 2008-2009 financial crisis. At the national levels, the United States, United Kingdom, Italy, France and Malaysia are j...
Global Economy In Recession Worse Than 2009 – IMF
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Global Economy In Recession Worse Than 2009 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), has said it is now clear the world economy is in a recession and recovery may only be in 2021. The IMF Managing Director Ms Kristalina Georgieva gave the indication yesterday at a call conference press briefing of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC). “We have reassessed the prospect for growth for 2020 and 2021. It is now clear that we have entered a recession – as bad as or worse than in 2009,” she said. “We do project recovery in 2021-in fact there may be a sizeable rebound, but only if we succeed with containing the virus – everywhere – and prevent liquidity problems from becoming a solvency issue” she explained further. The IMF is also worried about the long-lasting impact of the sudden stop of the world economy bec...
W/Bank, IMF grant IDA countries debt relief
News

W/Bank, IMF grant IDA countries debt relief

The World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund, IMF, have suspended debt payments by their poor debtor countries. The debt relief as announced in a statement, yesterday, was specifically for  the International Development Association, IDA, countries, to mitigate the effect of the coronavirus pandemic on the economies of the affected countries. IDA is the part of the World Bank that helps the world’s poorest countries.  It complements the World Bank’s original lending arm, the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, IBRD. The statement said, “The coronavirus outbreak is likely to have severe economic and social consequences for IDA countries. “They are home to a quarter of the world’s population and two-thirds of the world’s population living in extreme ...
Buhari Alone Can’t Be Blamed For Nigeria’s Debt – Lai Muhammed
Politics

Buhari Alone Can’t Be Blamed For Nigeria’s Debt – Lai Muhammed

Amidst growing criticism of the country’s debt profile, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said on Monday the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), alone could not be blamed for the country’s debt stock. He said the debt stock was “a cumulative figure of borrowings by successive governments over many years”. Speaking at a media briefing to present the Buhari government’s major achievements, Mohammed, however, said there was yet no cause for alarm over the country’s $83bn (about N25.5tn) debt. According to him, the country still operates within its debt ceiling of 25 per cent in the total public debt stock to Gross Domestic Product. Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who headed one of the previous governments (1999 – 200...
Despite Nigeria Border Closure, Benin Republic Maintains Strong Economy – IMF
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Despite Nigeria Border Closure, Benin Republic Maintains Strong Economy – IMF

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has disclosed that the Republic of Benin has maintained a strong economic performance despite Nigeria’s closure of the land border connecting the two countries. Nigeria on the 19 September 2019, had abruptly halted import and export activities on the border as one of its strategies of stopping smuggling, trafficking and other criminal activities. Luc Eyraud, Deputy Division Chief in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs who led the IMF team in its latest visit to Benin in a press release said the Beninese economic Real GDP is expected to grow by 6.4 per cent in 2019, mostly driven by the agriculture and transport sectors. “Growth should accelerate in 2020 and remain sustained over the medium term, buttressed by vigorous cotton production, construction,...
End Border Closure In National Interest, Falana Advises Buhari
Politics

End Border Closure In National Interest, Falana Advises Buhari

Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Femi Falana, has advised the Federal Government to end the closure of the land borders into the country. He said it would be in the national interest for the government to call off the border closure. Rather than continue to close the land borders, Falana advised the Federal Government to “urgently dialogue with Nigeria’s neighbouring countries to jointly fight the menace of smuggling, which necessitated the border closure by Nigeria.” The lawyer gave the advice in a statement on Thursday while delivering a paper on “Rule of Law, Good Governance and Economic Development” at the annual conference of the ECOWAS Court of Justice in Accra, Ghana. He urged the Federal Government to reject the endorsement of its border closur...
Don’t Panic; No Nigerian Bank Is Distressed – Godwin Emefiele
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Don’t Panic; No Nigerian Bank Is Distressed – Godwin Emefiele

As CBN comes hard on telcos extorting banks, customers with USSD Amaechi Ogbonna, and Juliana Taiwo Obalonye, Washington DC Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, allayed fears over speculated distress syndrome in Nigeria’s banking industry following seven banks failures to scale its recent stress tests.Emefiele who made the clarification at a briefing to roundoff the 2019 annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank in Washington DC, said the Nigerian banking industry still stands on a sound footing hence the widespread speculations about insolvency should be ignored by the banking community.The governor said “First, I will reiterate that the strategic health of the Nigerian banking industry remains very strong. The ...
Zainab Ahmed Reveals Why IMF Supports Nigeria’s Border Closure
Politics

Zainab Ahmed Reveals Why IMF Supports Nigeria’s Border Closure

The Minister of Finance, Mrs . Zainab Ahmed, says the International Monetary Fund supports Nigeria’s closure of its land borders because it understands that the action is not punitive . Addressing newsmen in Washington on Sunday, Ahmed explained that the measure was intended to restore Nigeria’ s relationship with its neighbours , based on commitments made. She said that President Muhammadu Buhari did not want to approve the closure because he was mindful of the adverse effect it would have on the economies of neighbours . According to her, there were several engagements between Nigeria and the neighbouring countries toward securing compliance to the rules , “ but things got worse ” . “ Of course, there will be economic impact on the side of our neighbours due to the border clo...
IMF Says Border Closure Negatively Impacting Benin, Niger Republics
News

IMF Says Border Closure Negatively Impacting Benin, Niger Republics

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the sustained closure of the Nigerian land borders is hurting economies of Benin Republic and Niger Republic. Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director, African Department (IMF) stated this at a press briefing during the launch of Economic outlook for sub-Saharan Africa at the ongoing World Bank/IMF annual meetings in Washington DC. “On the border closure in Nigeria which has been impacting Benin and Niger, our understanding is that the border has been closed, reflecting concerns about smuggling that’s been taking place, illegal trade, not the legal trade that you want to facilitate” he sisd. IMF is also optimistic the borders would soon open. “So we’re very hopeful that, you know, discussions will resolve the challenges that this illegal trade...
FG Mulls New Tax On Coke, Bigi, Other Soft Drinks
Politics

FG Mulls New Tax On Coke, Bigi, Other Soft Drinks

Zainab Ahmed, the minister of finance, says the federal government is considering introducing excise duty on carbonated drinks. The minister made this known while addressing journalists on the sidelines of the ongoing annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group. Excise duty is a levy placed on the manufacture and sale of locally produced goods. Information provided on the Nigeria Customs Service website shows that excise is currently placed on non-alcoholic beverages, fruit juices, beer, stout and alcoholic beverages. According to Ahmed, the government is working on maximising existing revenue streams while trying to identify new revenue streams. “Our objective is to be able to harness the existing revenue streams that we have by ensuring that...
IMF Faults Forex Restrictions On 43 Items As Hurting Investments
News

IMF Faults Forex Restrictions On 43 Items As Hurting Investments

The foreign exchange restrictions placed on 43 items by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday drew criticism from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The policy is holding back Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) into the local economy, IMF’s Divisional Chief, Research Department, Oya Celasun, told a news conference on the World Economic Outlook at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. Besides, the IMF chief said Nigeria requires a tight monetary policy and the unification of its exchange rates to achieve the desired growth. His position contradicted that of CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele who had always insisted that the apex bank acted in the best interest of the local economy. He said the decision to restrict forex access and shut the official foreig...
IMF Says Nigerian Government Dependent On Expensive Borrowing
News

IMF Says Nigerian Government Dependent On Expensive Borrowing

The International Monetary Fund has said that Nigeria’s “over-Optimistic” revenue assumptions has made the government dependent on expensive borrowing from the Central Bank of Nigeria. The IMF stated that plans to increase Value Added Tax and minimum wage would also halt the current deceleration of the country’s inflation rate. A statement by the IMF said, “Over-optimistic revenue projections have led to higher financing needs than initially envisaged, resulting in over-reliance on the expensive borrowing from the central bank to finance the deficit. “Inflation will likely pick up in 2020 following rising minimum wages and a higher VAT rate, despite a tight monetary policy.” In the spending plan for 2020 released by President Muhammadu Buhari, the government intends to incr...
Buhari Accuses World Bank, IMF, Others Of Publishing Inaccurate Data
Politics

Buhari Accuses World Bank, IMF, Others Of Publishing Inaccurate Data

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday met with the newly constituted Presidential Economic Advisory Council (ECA). Mr Buhari played host to the ECA when the members of the council visited him at the presidential villa in Abuja. The body was constituted last month with the mandate to advise the president on matters relating to the economy. After the gathering, the president accused the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund of publishing inaccurate statistical data about the country. Buhari also said he has mandated his economic advisory team with the new task of having proper statistics gathering mechanisms. Both the World Bank and the IMF have in recent times lamented the debt profile of Nigeria in relation to GDP. The World Poverty Clock also described Nig...
Zimbabwe Quadruples Electricity Prices Amid Blackouts
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Zimbabwe Quadruples Electricity Prices Amid Blackouts

The country is experiencing its worst economic crisis in a decade, recalling days of hyperinflation under Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe has raised its average electricity tariff by 320 percent to ramp up power supplies at a time of daily blackouts but the move will likely anger consumers already grappling with soaring inflation and stagnant wages. The southern African country is experiencing its worst economic crisis in 10 years, seen in triple-digit inflation, 18-hour power cuts and shortages of US dollars, medicines and fuel that have evoked the dark days of the 2008 hyperinflation under late President Robert Mugabe. Wednesday's was the second increase in the price of electricity inside three months and follows sharp rises in fuel and basic goods prices in the last week. Salaries ...
Kristalina Georgieva named as new head of IMF
News

Kristalina Georgieva named as new head of IMF

Kristalina Georgieva has been named as the new managing director of the International Monetary Fund, after Christine Lagarde left to become the head of the European Central Bank (ECB). The Bulgarian economist who was previously a chief executive of the World Bank, is now the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the Bretton Wood institution since its inception in 1944. She is expected to start her five-year tenure on October 1, 2019. IMF's statement read "The selection of Ms. Georgieva by the 24-member Executive Board representing the IMF’s 189 member countries brings to a conclusion the selection process initiated by the Executive Board on July 26, 2019 (see Press Release No. 19/302). Following interviews with Ms. Georgieva, Executive Directors selected her for the po...
Chad Lifts Ban On Social Media Usage After More Than A Year
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Chad Lifts Ban On Social Media Usage After More Than A Year

Chad lifted a more than a year-long ban on social media including Facebook and Twitter that the government said had been necessary for security reasons. This announcement was officilly made by president Idriss Deby at a conference about digital technology in the capital, N’Djamena. While he said he’d instructed Internet service providers to suspend the restrictions immediately, he appealed “to everyone’s sense of responsibility so that these means of communication are an instrument of development and not a source of division.” The access to social media had been blocked since March last year. Chad’s parliament adopted a new electoral code in June ahead of legislative elections that have been postponed three times already as the cash-strapped government tries to mobilise funds ...
US Warns Nigeria, African Countries Over Debt Burden
News

US Warns Nigeria, African Countries Over Debt Burden

United States of America, USA top Africa diplomat, Tibor Nagy, on Monday warned African countries to be mindful of their debt burden. Nagy, who spoke in Pretoria, South Africa, warned that African countries owing amount they cannot pay back, not to expect being bailed out by western-sponsored debt relief. Nagy, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, said “The International Monetary Fund and World Bank began the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative in 1996 to help the world’s poorest countries clear billions of dollars worth of unsustainable debt. “But Africa is facing another potential debt crisis today, with around 40 percent of low-income countries in the region now in debt distress or at high risk of it, according to an IMF report released a yea...
IMF Ranks Nigeria Second Worst In The World In Use Of Sovereign Wealth Fund
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IMF Ranks Nigeria Second Worst In The World In Use Of Sovereign Wealth Fund

The International Monetary Fund has ranked Nigeria as the second worst country in the world in the use of sovereign wealth funds. According to the Fiscal Monitor report released on Wednesday, Qatar was the only country worse than Nigeria on the index. The Bretton Wood institution said the index was compiled using the corporate governance and transparency scores of the sovereign wealth funds and the size of assets as a percentage of 2016 GDP of the countries considered.
IMF Lauds Nigeria’s Strong Recovery In Foreign Exchange Reserves
News

IMF Lauds Nigeria’s Strong Recovery In Foreign Exchange Reserves

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday welcomed Nigeria’s exit from economic recession and lauded its strong recovery in foreign exchange reserves. IMF said this in a report released on Wednesday in Washington DC by its Executive Board after the conclusion of Article IV Consultation with Nigeria. According to the report, the Executive Directors of IMF welcomed Nigeria’s exit from recession and the strong recovery in foreign exchange reserves, helped by rising oil prices and new foreign exchange measures. They commended the progress in implementing the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, including the convergence in foreign exchange windows, tight monetary policy and improvements in tax administration. IMF, however, said that though, the Nigerian economy has exited re...
IMF Advises Nigeria To Increase Monetary Policy Rate, Excise Tax
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IMF Advises Nigeria To Increase Monetary Policy Rate, Excise Tax

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has advised that Nigeria increase excise tax and monetary policy rate as parts of efforts being made to strengthen the economy. The lender said Nigeria needed more ambitious tax policy measures, including through reforming the value-added tax, increasing excise, and rationalising tax incentives. Nigeria’s economy, which slipped into its worst recession in 25 years, exited with a 0.83 GDP growth in 2017. The monetary policy committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria has kept MPR, which determines the interest rate, at 14 percent since 2016 to help the economy combat inflation. The committee has been unable to meet in 2018 because of the senate’s refusal to confirm appointees for the committee, which can not form a quorum at present. “Direct...
Nigerians Getting Poorer, IMF Tells Federal Government
Uncategorized

Nigerians Getting Poorer, IMF Tells Federal Government

The International Monetary Fund, IMF has warned Nigeria that delay to implement reforms, incoherent policies, security issues, and tensions ahead of the 2019 general elections could have a negative impact on the nation’s economy as it could lead to a reverse of recent surge in capital inflow into the country. Further delays in policy action including pre-election pressures can only make the inevitable adjustment of the economy more difficult and costlier, IMF said in the report on Nigeria published by news agencies. The Fund also warned that Nigeria's people are getting poorer despite the country's slow recovery from recession while warning that "Comprehensive and coherent" economic policies "remain urgent and must not be delayed by approaching elections and recovering oil prices," in ...
Why Nigeria Must Stop Borrowing To Fund Budget – Senate Committee
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Why Nigeria Must Stop Borrowing To Fund Budget – Senate Committee

Nigeria needs to lower its debt profile in order to make financial resources available for priority projects, the Senate committee on Local and Foreign Debts has posited. During a courtesy visit to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday, Chairman of the committee, Shehu Sani, said the country’s borrowing which was heightened during the period of recession, needs to be cut. The lawmaker said the borrowings that followed the period of recession was justified as the country needed to invest massively in infrastructure, agriculture, mining and manufacturing, with multiplier implication of increasing employment and reflating the economy. He, however, maintained the need to check excessive borrowing. “The country took up more borrowings, and gradually Nigeria’s total debt stock...
Nigeria’s Economy Grew 1.92 Pct In Q4 2017
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Nigeria’s Economy Grew 1.92 Pct In Q4 2017

Nigeria’s economy grew 1.92 percent in the last quarter of 2017 compared with a 1.73 percent contraction in the same period of the previous year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Tuesday. The OPEC member’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.83 percent in 2017 as a whole after shrinking by 1.58 percent in 2016, its first annual contraction in 25 years. Oil production rose to 1.91 million barrels a day (mbpd) in the last quarter of 2017 compared with 1.76 mbpd in the same period of 2016, the statistics office said. The recession in 2016 was largely caused by low crude oil prices and militant attacks on energy facilities in the Niger Delta. Crude sales make up two-thirds of government revenue. Africa’s biggest economy returned to growth in the second quarter of 2017 b...
IMF Warns Nigeria Over Rising Debt Profile, Calls For Urgent Diversification
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IMF Warns Nigeria Over Rising Debt Profile, Calls For Urgent Diversification

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cautioned that Nigeria should carefully manage its debt profile as it could be worse if nothing is done to cushion it. The International body has also called on Nigeria and other oil dependent economies in Africa to urgently diversify. This was contained in IMF 2017 Economic Outlook released on Thursday, which claimed that public debt rose above 50 per-cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 22 sub-Saharan African countries at the end of 2016 and that there was the possibility for a rise as high as 60 per cent in countries like Nigeria, Gabon and Angola which had always depended on oil. The report entitled, “Fiscal Adjustment and Economic Diversification,” was presented by IMF Senior Resident Representative and Mission Chief for Nigeria (Africa ...
Egypt, IMF Reach Agreement On $2 Billion Loan Instalment
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Egypt, IMF Reach Agreement On $2 Billion Loan Instalment

Egypt has reached a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund for an instalment of about $2 billion more from a three-year, $12 billion loan programme, the IMF said in a statement on Friday. The payment, which is still subject to IMF executive board approval, will bring total disbursements under the program to about $6 billion. Egypt is pushing through an ambitious economic reform package as part of the loan deal. An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Subir Lall visited Cairo from October 25 to November 9, to hold discussions with the Egyptian authorities on the country ongoing economic programme. The staff-level agreement on the second review reaffirms the authorities’ commitment to their reform programme supported by the IMF. According to the state...
Federal Govt Signs Agreement For Lagos-Abidjan Highway
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Federal Govt Signs Agreement For Lagos-Abidjan Highway

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works and housing, says the federal government has signed financial agreement for the execution of Lagos-Abidjan highway. NAN reports that Olusegun Ogunkayode, senior information officer in the ministry, disclosed this in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday. According to the statement, Fashola made this known at the ninth steering committee and experts meeting of the Lagos-Abidjan Corridor Highway Development Programme. The minister said the signing of the financial agreement was a demonstration of the federal government’s commitment to the realisation of the project. Fashola said road development was crucial to the economic growth of any nation, adding that the meeting was important considering the need for West African countries to join the...
Senate Backs Fed Govt’s Plan To Tax Rich Nigerians More
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Senate Backs Fed Govt’s Plan To Tax Rich Nigerians More

The Senate has thrown its weight behind the position of the Federal Government that rich Nigerians should pay more taxes. According to the upper legislative chamber, people who earn higher must pay taxes on luxury goods. Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided over Tuesday’s legislative business, said the rich must pay more taxes, while poor Nigerians should pay less. He said with more money in government’s confers, more Nigerians would be lifted out of poverty. His words, “In other countries of the world, governments make deliberate efforts to get their people out of poverty. This is the practice all over the world. Nigeria should not be different. We need to provide for our people and get them out of poverty. “There are so many ways we can achieve this. Governme...
World Bank, IMF, Oxfam Urge Nigeria To Invest In Human Capital
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World Bank, IMF, Oxfam Urge Nigeria To Invest In Human Capital

The World Bank has urged Nigeria to faithfully build and invest in critical infrastructure that would wholly support its growth aspirations. The bank’s Group President, Jim Yong Kim, in his opening remarks at the 2017 yearly meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)-World Bank Group, said Nigeria needed to build resilience, like others, against the overlapping challenges it faced today, including climate change, conflict, forced displacements, famine and disease. According to him, most of these challenges could be tackled with deliberate efforts to raise human capacity, which calls for key investment in education. “Nigeria should think ahead. It should invest in what will grow the economy, shifting its priority. In fact, this is true of the rest of African economies,” he sa...
Ukraine’s Controversial Law Reforms Open To Revision: Justice Minister
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Ukraine’s Controversial Law Reforms Open To Revision: Justice Minister

Ukrainian Justice Minister Pavlo Petrenko said on Thursday he was open to amending law reforms amid concerns they aided corruption and could lead to the end of probes into the shooting of protesters in the run-up up to the 2014 revolution. The eastern European nation, which is in a dispute with Russia over its annexation of Crimea, passed amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code last week that anti-corruption groups say severely limits the time investigators have to solve a crime and present a case in court. Petrenko said he had yet to go through the final text of the lengthy reforms, but he said that he was aware of the concerns. "If there (are) some positions which make problems for the investigations process for old cases or for new cases I will give proposals to the parliament and ...
IMF Warns Nigeria, Others On Dangers Of Foreign Loans
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IMF Warns Nigeria, Others On Dangers Of Foreign Loans

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, yesterday, warned Nigeria and other low income countries against the dangers of reliance on foreign borrowings. Data by the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics, NBS, indicates the country’s increased exposure to foreign loans, which rose by 40 percent to $15.047 billion as at September 2017 from $10.718 billion in 2015. Financial Counsellor and Director, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, IMF, Tobias Andrian, gave this warning while speaking at a press briefing on the Global Financial Stability Report released at the World Bank/IMF Annual Meetings in Washington D.C. He warned that greater reliance on foreign borrowing may at some point become a vulnerability to the economies of Nigeria and other low income countries. Andrian noted that portf...
IMF Raises Concerns Over Weakness In Nigerian Banks
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IMF Raises Concerns Over Weakness In Nigerian Banks

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday expressed concerns over weaknesses in Nigerian banks and said that the situation might weigh on economic growth in the medium term. The IMF stated this in its World Economic Outlook report, which was released at its headquarters in Washington DC, United States. In the report, the IMF maintained that the Nigerian economy would grow by 0.8 per cent this year, after emerging from recession. The Economic Counsellor and Director of Research, IMF, Maurice Obstfeld, spoke at a press briefing at the Fund’s headquarters shortly after the release of the report. Obstfeld said policy implementation and market segmentation in a foreign exchange market that remained dependent on the Central Bank of Nigeria’s interventions would have some impact on t...
NZ First Leader Welcomes Politically Driven Drop In NZ$
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NZ First Leader Welcomes Politically Driven Drop In NZ$

The leader of the small nationalist party that will decide New Zealand's next government said on Tuesday that exporters should welcome a recent fall in the local dollar following an inconclusive general election. The New Zealand dollar, or kiwi, fell to its lowest levels since late May on Monday after a final tally of votes at the weekend showed the opposition Labour-Green bloc gaining ground over the ruling National Party, although the latter still has the largest number of seats. The final tally led to market speculation that New Zealand First, whose support is needed by both parties to gain enough seats to govern under the country's proportional representation system, would be more comfortable joining forces with the center-left Labour-Green bloc, prompting investors to sell New Zeala...
Angola’s Lourenco Kicks Off With Tough Economic Warning
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Angola’s Lourenco Kicks Off With Tough Economic Warning

Angola’s first new president in almost four decades vowed to rebuild an economy devastated by falling oil prices and fight corruption at his inauguration on Tuesday. João Lourenço told thousands of supporters in Luanda he would also tackle gaping inequality in Africa’s second largest oil producer – though analysts have already raised doubts about his ability to make far-reaching change. “No one is so rich and powerful that they cannot be punished and no one is so poor that they cannot be protected,” he said to loud applause. In a 45-minute speech, Lourenço said he would strive to bring in reforms covering gender equality, the freedom of the press, private enterprise and public health. Former president Jose Eduardo dos Santos remains head of the ruling MPLA party, giving the vet...
Sukkuk Bond: Promotion Of Religious Financial Policy Violates Constitution – CAN
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Sukkuk Bond: Promotion Of Religious Financial Policy Violates Constitution – CAN

The Christian Association of Nigeria has opposed the floating of the Sukkuk Islamic bond by the Federal Government, insisting that it is part of the ‘agenda’ to Islamise the country through the back door. It queried the introduction of Islamic financing into the country, saying it is in violation of Section 10 of the Constitution. The CAN, in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja by its General Secretary, Rev. Musa Asake, demanded the abrogation of the laws and framework behind the bond and threatened to seek legal redress if this is not done. The group said the FG was trying to sell the nation to Arab countries through the Sukkuk bond, arguing that the government is pursuing an ‘Islamisation agenda.’ According to the Christian body, Nigeria is a secular state and the government is e...
Informal Economy Not Enough To Handle Africa’s Workforce Explosion – IMF
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Informal Economy Not Enough To Handle Africa’s Workforce Explosion – IMF

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. 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. “By 2035, sub-Saharan Africa will have more working-age people than the rest of the world’s regions combined,” Reuters quoted the IMF to have written in a blog post. “This growing workforce will have to be met with jobs.” This has major implications for the region’s economy, it...
Russia Sanctions: What You Need To Know
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Russia Sanctions: What You Need To Know

US President Donald Trump approved fresh sanctions on Russia Wednesday after Congress showed overwhelming bipartisan support for the new measures. Congress passed the bill last week in response to Russia's interference in the 2016 US election, as well as its human rights violations, annexation of Crimea and military operations in eastern Ukraine. The bill's passage drew ire from Moscow -- which responded by stripping 755 staff members and two properties from US missions in the country -- all but crushing any hope for the reset in US-Russian relations that Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin had called for. Here's what you need to know. The bill refers to sanctions on Russia, Iran and North Korea, and it substantially reduces the President's power to waive or ease certain san...
Nigerian Economy To Grow Faster Than South Africa’s In 2018 – IMF
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Nigerian Economy To Grow Faster Than South Africa’s In 2018 – IMF

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects that Nigeria’s economy will grow at a faster pace than the South African economy in the 2018 fiscal year. According to its World Economic Outlook (WEO) for July 2017, the IMF said Nigeria will grow at 1.9 percent in 2018, while South Africa will only climb by 1.2 percent. In 2016, the Nigerian economy contracted by 1.6 percent, while South Africa expanded by 0.3 percent. Projections for 2017 put South Africa’s growth at 1 percent, while Nigeria is expected to muster just 0.8 percent. The Bretton Woods institution — which held global growth projections at 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018 — said growth was marked down in South Africa, due to elevated political uncertainty. “In Sub-Saharan Africa, the outlook remains challe...
IMF Downgrades US, UK Growth
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IMF Downgrades US, UK Growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has lowered its forecasts for US and UK economic growth this year, following “weaker-than-expected activity” in the first three months. The IMF says it now expects the UK to grow by 1.7% this year, compared with the 2% it was previously forecasting. The US will now grow 2.1%, as against the 2.3% it was predicting in April. Its prediction that the global economy will grow by 3.5% in 2017, and 3.6% in 2018, is unchanged. In its latest World Economic Outlook, the IMF said the “pick-up in global growth” that it had anticipated in its previous survey in April “remains on track”. However, it added: “The unchanged global growth projections mask somewhat different contributions at the country level.” A UK Treasury spokesperson said the IMF fo...
Mongolia Votes In First-Ever Presidential Runoff
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Mongolia Votes In First-Ever Presidential Runoff

Mongolians voted on Friday in the country’s first-ever presidential runoff after the first round of elections failed to produce a clear winner following campaigns tainted by corruption allegations. The presidential race went into a runoff after none of the three candidates won a majority in last month’s election in the resource-rich country. A populist former martial arts star, Khaltmaa Battulga of the opposition Democratic Party won the most votes, but fell short of the required majority. Voters regard Battulga as a resource nationalist who is suspicious of southern neighbour China. He faces the candidate of the ruling Mongolian People’s Party (MPP), Miyeegombo Enkhbold, who came second. Enkhbold has stood behind the current government, pledging to stay the course for econo...