Analysts Forecast March Inflation At 16.4%

EFCC Discovers 49m Naira At Kaduna AirportNigeria’s headline inflation for the month of March is expected to fall for the second time in 2017, to 16.4 per cent.

This is according to Lagos-based financial and economic research firm, Financial Derivatives Company.

Earlier in the week, the purchasing manager’s index of the Central Bank, and FBN quest, revealed a modest increase in domestic manufacturing in March, indicating that Nigeria is gradually climbing out of recession.

The National Bureau of Statistics is expected to release the official March inflation data next week.

Inefficiencies, Corruption In Ports Cost Nigeria N1trn Yearly- Report

Ports, Nigeria, Corruption, Delays
The report says without clear legislation, ports governance remains prone to inefficiency and corruption.

A report on the performance of Nigerian Ports has revealed that the country loses over N1 trillion every year to port inefficiencies, process failures and corruption.

The report titled ‘Nigeria: Reforming the Maritime Ports’ which was commissioned by the Centre for International Private Enterprises in collaboration with the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Financial Derivatives Company, was publicly unveiled in Lagos on Friday at the LCCI public-private discussions on port reforms.

The report states that while the efficiency of port operations is a major driver of trade and economic activities across countries, Nigeria’s case has been rather gloomy.

It says over the years, users and operators at the Nigerian Ports have been facing lingering challenges and bottlenecks which include infrastructure shortcomings, policy and regulatory inconsistencies, overlapping functions and duplicity of roles among government agencies operating within ports across the country.

The report also pointed out that a lack of clear legislation, ports governance remains prone to inefficiency and corruption. It added that under such condition, companies in the Nigerian ports have to deal with bureaucratic red tape, constant delays, high costs, harassment, and demands for illegal
charges.

Losing Money And Potential

Estimates from the research show that trillions of Naira in revenue is lost annually within the ports and business community due to inefficiencies and inherent shortcomings.

The report also stated that these inadequacies at the ports diminish their potential to create about 10,000 new jobs annually and about 800,000 jobs on the long run.

Ports, Nigeria, Reforms
Multiplicity of security agencies add to the already high costs of doing business at the Nigerian ports.

The Issues

The Nigeria: Reforming the Maritime Ports report claimed that Nigerian seaports remain the most expensive in the West African sub-region attributing this to the cumbersome documentation requirements and double charges imposed
on importers and exporters.

Using a semi-structured survey, respondents of the study listed the documentation processes, requiring 25-33 different papers from
multiple agencies as the biggest issue contributing to time and cost delays at Nigeria’s seaports.

About one-fourth of the respondents also complained about the duplication of functions of the multiple agencies within the ports while 29% of those surveyed in the report say multiple cargo inspections are the most critical of operational bottlenecks.

port-2
An overview of the issues identified

 

Not All Doom

It is not all doom for the industry according to the report.

It stated that Nigeria’s ports continue to see substantial increment in gross tonnage by 3.3% – Compounded Annual Growth Rate – to 144.2 million tons between 2010 and 2015.

The annual growth rate of 1.8% is expected to rise until 2021 despite the challenges in the sector.

However, these growth projections are premised on the assumption that the nation’s ports will continue to be the preferred means of transporting goods in and out of the ECOWAS sub-region.

 

Call For Immediate Port Reforms

In its recommendations, the report pointed out that authorities should embark on immediate port reforms.

These reforms are expected to lead to faster clearance of goods, shorter waiting times for ships awaiting berth, eliminating redundancies in the functions of the several regulatory government agencies in the ports.

It also called for the adoption of an Integrated Advance Cargo and
customs clearance system, with scanning, sealing and tracking (SST)
capabilities, establishment  of a National Trade Data Centre and implementation of a Single Window Platform.

The report also called for more private sector investment in Nigerian Ports, reduction in the number of government agencies to 6 from 14.

From the policy end of things, report called for the immediate passage of certain legislative bills that will aid port reforms and improve performance.

These bill include the National Transport Bill and the Port and Harbour Bill (PHB).

NBS To Release March Inflation Figures

March InflationThe National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) is expected to release the official inflation figures for the month of March next week.

In a new report released by investment firm, Financial Derivatives Company, the analysts forecast that Nigeria’s headline inflation reading for the month of March will rise to 12.1%.

If the March inflation forecast by FDC comes true, it would be the third consecutive monthly increase in Nigeria’s inflation since the beginning of the year.

Prices of domestic commodities ranging from palm oil to cement are showing signs of the direct impact of acute petrol shortages that had lasted the entire month of March.

Analysts at FDC say although the factors contributing to inflation are temporary, they are becoming more permanent and causing panic among the consumers.

Nigeria’s Economic Growth To Hit 7% in 2013

Nigeria’s economic growth is likely to rebound in 2013 to an average of 7 per cent, that’s according to the Financial Derivatives Company (FDC) monthly economic report.

The nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanded to 6.48 per cent in the third quarter of 2012 over the previous quarter.

According to the report released on Tuesday, the anticipated growth is expected to be driven by improved power supply, new investments in the petroleum sector and increased agricultural productivity amongst other factors.

The report expects that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would consider moving to a more accommodative monetary stance, but it however warned that if the budget impasse between the President and the National Assembly over the increased benchmark of $79 per barrel is not resolved, the CBN may have no alternative but to retain its current Monthly Policy Rate (MPR) at 12 per cent between the first quarter and first half of the year.

The CBN will hold its first monetary policy meeting for the year on Monday, January 21st to Tuesday 22nd.

The FDC however called for direct government intervention in infrastructure, security, environment, public schools and hospitals as well as other areas in which there are evident cases of market failure.