Monday 22 May 2017
(Bloomberg 05/22/17)
Nigeria’s central bank will keep monetary policy tight as dollar shortages persist, Deputy Governor Joseph Nnanna said before an interest-rate announcement next week. Now is not the time to ease policy, he said in an interview Thursday in the capital, Abuja. Inflation slowed for a third month in April, but at 17.2 percent remains almost double the upper limit of the bank’s 6 percent to 9 percent target. “We are battling with liquidity as it were, so tight monetary policy will be for now,” he said. The Monetary Policy Committee, of which Nnanna is a member, is scheduled to announce its decision on May 23. All but one of 21 economists surveyed by Bloomberg predict...
(The Guardian 05/22/17)
The 82 Nigerian schoolgirls recently released after more than three years in Boko Haram captivity were finally reunited with their families on Saturday in a public display of emotion. Images from the scene showed brightly dressed families rushing through the crowd to hug the girls. One small group sank to their knees, with a woman raising her hands to the heavens as if in church. A beaming father picked his daughter up and swung her around in the air. Some danced. Others wept tears of joy. Chibok schoolgirls are reunited with their families – in pictures View gallery “I am really happy today, I am Christmas and new year, I am very happy and I thank God,” said Godiya Joshua,...
(Voice of America 05/18/17)
Another Nigerian schoolgirl kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists two years ago is free after escaping her captors. A spokesman for President Muhammadu Buhari gave no details Wednesday, but said Nigerian soldiers found her and brought her to the capital. Her escape comes two weeks after Boko Haram freed 82 of the girls in a prisoner swap with the government. They are expected to be reunited with their families in the coming days. The Islamist group kidnapped 276 girls from their...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Thousands of farmers in northern Nigeria contracted to grow tomatoes for a set price are shunning the crop this season after pests destroyed much of last year’s produce, leaving the processing factory set up by Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, short of raw materials. Established to process 1,200 metric tons of tomatoes each day and produce 400,000 tons of paste annually, the Dangote Farms Ltd. factory, just outside the northern city of Kano, was designed to meet Nigeria’s domestic needs...
(Bloomberg 05/18/17)
Steinhoff International Holdings NV plans to list its African assets separately as the acquisitive retailer seeks a new prize for shareholders following this year’s failed merger talks with Shoprite Holdings Ltd. The company said Wednesday it will seek to list businesses including clothing retailer Pepkor and furniture chain JD Group Ltd. on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, about 18 months after moving its primary listing to Frankfurt from the South African commercial hub. The new business could be worth as much...
(Bloomberg 05/17/17)
Nigeria’s inflation slowed for the third consecutive month in April as gasoline prices declined. The inflation rate in Africa’s most-populous nation fell to 17.2 percent from 17.3 percent in March, the Abuja-based National Bureau of Statistics said in an emailed statement Tuesday. The median of 16 economist estimates in a Bloomberg survey was for the rate to decrease to 16.9 percent. Prices rose 1.6 percent in the month, while food prices climbed at a slower pace in March. Inflation accelerated every month for more than a year until January, partly because import prices increased due to dollar
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
Nigeria’s lawmakers approved to boost spending by 21 percent this year to help the West African economy recover from its worst slump in 25 years. The Senate, led by its President Bukola Saraki, agreed on Thursday in the capital, Abuja, to increase spending this year to 7.4 trillion naira ($23 billion). That compares to a budget of 7.3 trillion naira that President Muhammadu Buhari proposed on Dec. 14. The House of Representatives, the National Assembly’s lower chamber, approved it earlier...
(Bloomberg 05/12/17)
Nigerian banks struggling to raise capital buffers may find their regulator is a lot more tolerant than in the past, according to Moody’s Investors Services. The Central Bank of Nigeria is able to identify stresses in the industry much earlier than during a banking crisis in 2009, when the government had to take over bad debts and recapitalize lenders, Akintunde Majekodunmi, a banking analyst at Moody’s Investors Service, said in interview in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, on Wednesday. That gives...
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
On days when Dayo Fabajo’s bosses can’t afford to pay the 1,250 naira ($4) wage she earns for a 12-hour shift packing biscuits, they send her home early. Sometimes on her way out, she walks past pockets of stragglers lingering at the factory gates, a glaring reminder she’s easily replaceable. “Nobody complains,” Fabajo, 25, said after her entire shift was canceled one day in April. She gestured at an abandoned factory across the pothole-ridden road that until recently manufactured kitchen utensils. “It’s easy for managers to recruit workers. People here are looking for jobs.” Fabajo’s predicament shows how the wheels of commerce ground
(Bloomberg 05/11/17)
On days when Dayo Fabajo’s bosses can’t afford to pay the 1,250 naira ($4) wage she earns for a 12-hour shift packing biscuits, they send her home early. Sometimes on her way out, she walks past pockets of stragglers lingering at the factory gates, a glaring reminder she’s easily replaceable. “Nobody complains,” Fabajo, 25, said after her entire shift was canceled one day in April. She gestured at an abandoned factory across the pothole-ridden road that until recently manufactured kitchen...
(Bloomberg 05/10/17)
Ecobank Transnational Inc., Africa’s most geographically diverse lender, is betting that Nigeria’s plans for a digital revolution will increase the number of its customers in the country more than fivefold over the next five years. The bank is closing branches in the continent’s most populous nation to cut costs while using improving access to the internet to add clients through mobile-phone applications, Ecobank Nigeria Chief Executive Officer Charles Kie said in an interview in Lagos. The Lome, Togo-based lender still...
(Fox News 05/10/17)
After five years of no major attacks on merchant vessels, piracy around the Horn of Africa seemed to be on hiatus. Acts of piracy in those treacherous waters have fallen sharply since 2012, according to statistics released by the United States Navy. The Navy credits aggressive patrolling by international forces and increased vigilance by the commercial shipping industry for the decrease. However, in the past month, Somali pirates have intercepted five ships, raising concerns that piracy has returned to the...
(Bloomberg 05/09/17)
Nigeria is seeking $5.2 billion from the World Bank to expand electricity generation and help the economy recover from its first contraction in 25 years. The bank’s private-sector lending arm, the International Finance Corporation, may invest about $1.3 billion in power projects and electricity distribution companies. Its political-risk insurer, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency, could provide equity and debt of $1.4 billion for gas and solar power programs, according to Power, Works and Housing Minister Babatunde Fashola. That’s in addition...
(Bloomberg 05/05/17)
The Nigerian central bank’s creation of a market-driven foreign-currency window has given hope of revival to manufacturers faced with closure or shrinking capacity by easing their raw material imports, an industry group said. “The recent pronouncement of the central bank comes as a relief,” Segun Ajayi-Kadir, director-general of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, said in a May 3 interview in Lagos, the commercial capital. “If the intervention is sustained, there’s no doubt that we will have continued improvement in sourcing...
(Voice of America 05/05/17)
As Africa grapples with a severe drought, and famine threatens millions of people, experts at the World Economic Forum on Africa this week in the South African city of Durban say food security needs to be a major part of discussions on advancing the continent economically. The annual World Economic Forum in Switzerland is usually a high-powered event, but at this week’s Africa meeting of the international organization, the continent’s big players are welcoming the humble farmer, now known as...
(Bloomberg 05/03/17)
Nigeria may lift a ban that’s prohibiting the importers of certain goods from accessing foreign currency on the country’s interbank market, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said. The West African nation’s government will consider “policy-driven restrictions” to promote local manufacturing of 41 items such as rice and toothpicks, Osinbajo said in an emailed copy of a speech on Tuesday. Ending the ban could be the latest easing of foreign-currency trading restrictions by the Central Bank of Nigeria after it removed a...
(Bloomberg 05/03/17)
Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari will preside over Wednesday’s weekly cabinet meeting after having been absent from the previous two, Abuja-based Daily Trust newspaper reports, citing an official document showing the president’s schedule. The presidency said April 28 that he is resting and working from home. The 74-year-old leader stayed in the U.K. for more than seven weeks earlier this year to receive treatment for an undisclosed ailment, triggering speculation about the severity of his condition. He returned to Nigeria on...
(Bloomberg 05/03/17)
Rob Shuter used his first quarterly report as chief executive officer of MTN Group Ltd. to commit the wireless operator to major investments in its biggest markets of Nigeria, South Africa and Iran. The spending plan “is expected to support further market share gains,” Shuter said in a statement on Wednesday. Africa’s largest carrier will also strive to take advantage of the continent’s relatively low data use and increase the range of services, he said. “While we still have work...
(Voice of America 05/03/17)
African military expenditures have finally slowed down after more than a decade of steady increases, according to a new report on global defense spending. The main reason, the report found, is a drop in oil prices. “The sharp decreases in oil prices has affected quite a number of African countries, namely South Sudan and Angola. This has kind of driven almost the entire regional trend,” said Nan Tian, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s (SIPRI) Arms and...
(Bloomberg 05/02/17)
Foreign investors are warming to the foreign-exchange window that Nigeria opened last week to ease a severe shortage of dollars, according to the head of the trading platform overseeing it. The naira’s depreciation in the window to almost the same level as the black-market rate means the new market is already “nearing equilibrium,” according to Bola Onadele, the chief executive officer of Lagos-based FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange. The central bank is ready to supply dollars to bond and stock investors,...

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