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.

NIPC Meets Diplomats Over Foreign Direct Investment

InvestmentThe Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission says the current security challenge in the country would not affect the drive of the commission to attract more investors into the country.

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Ms Saratu Umar, disclosed this in Abuja during an interactive session with members of the diplomatic community.

She said that rather than witnessing decline in the level of investments coming into the country, statistics have shown that for the second year running, Nigeria still remained the preferred investment destination in the continent of Africa.

She said that the commission would work with the diplomatic community to attract fresh investments into the country in key sectors of the economy.

This, according to her, would help promote enterprise, reduce unemployment and improve the well being of Nigeria in the face of declining oil prices.

The Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission is a Federal Government Agency in Nigeria, established to encourage, promote, and coordinate investments in Nigeria.

The Agency provides services for the grant of business entry permits, licenses, authorizations and incentives in a One-Stop-Shop environment. The services are provided in a co-ordinated, streamlined, efficient and transparent manner to meet the needs of investors.

N5000 note: Obasanjo is a good farmer but a bad economist – Sanusi

The governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Sanusi Lamido on Tuesday reacted to a statement credited to a former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, who said that the planned introduction of the N5000 note will increase inflation in the country.

Mr Obasanjo had on Thursday said the introduction of the N5000 note would kill production and affect small businesses negatively.

The former president, who disclosed this at a roundtable advocacy forum organised by the Institute of Directors, in Lagos, said the way, Mr Sanusi, was fighting inflation by removing money from circulation was improper.

However, speaking at the sixth annual conference of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, Mr Sanusi said Mr Obasanjo had introduced more high denomination in Nigeria than any other Head of State.

“General Obasanjo did N20; he did N100, N200, N500 and N1000. He has introduced more higher denomination than any Head of States,” Mr Sanusi said.

The CBN governor said that during the period Mr Obasanjo was introducing high denomination inflation in Nigeria was actually low.

“General Obasanjo did N100 in 1999; then he did N200 in 2000; he did N500 I think two years later; and did N1000. In that period, inflation was coming down because it was accompanied by very tight monetary and fiscal policies during his reforms.

“For somebody who have gone through that to come and stand up and say ‘introducing a higher denomination causes inflation’ I don’t know if somebody wrote his speech. I’m trying to see him or if he was misquoted.

“If he actually said that then he must be the single most important determinant of inflation in our history given the number of notes that he introduced,” he said

Mr Sanusi said printing higher denomination without increasing the money supply in the economy will not increase inflation. “This is simple economics,” he said.

He said that the cost of printing and minting all denomination of currency in 2009 was N47 billion and that by 2011 the CBN brought this cost down to N32 billion.

He said that by 2014 the cost would further be reduced to N25 billion thereby saving about 50 percent of the total cost of printing and minting all denomination of currency.

Mr Sanusi said the N5000 note would not cost more than N3 billion to print.

Nigeria’s growth expected to slow this year: statistics

Nigeria’s economy is expected to expand at a slower rate this year than in 2011, data showed on Tuesday, due to disruptions to oil production and ongoing weakness in developed countries that buy crude from Africa’s largest producer.

Nigeria’s economy is expected to grow 6.5 percent year-on-year in 2012, down from 7.4 percent in 2011, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said on Tuesday.

“The projected lower economic growth in 2012 could be partially attributed to external shocks from existing growth concerns in the US, Euro-area, and China,” the NBS said in its 2012-2015 economic outlook report.

“Lower economic growth could also result from possible lower domestic crude oil production due to supply disruptions, which have recently been on the increase.”

GDP growth was expected to average 8 percent in 2013, 7.43 percent in 2014 and 7.25 percent in 2015.

Inflation was expected to average 13.6 percent this year, up from 10.6 percent recorded in 2011, the data showed.

“Inflation is expected to trend up mostly due to the lingering effects of the partial removal of the fuel subsidy on food and non-food prices as a result of higher transportation costs,” the NBS documents said.

It predicted inflation could rise even more sharply if the government fully removed costly fuel import subsidies.

The NBS said its projections were calculated using the Bayesian vector autoregressive approach, which takes into consideration prior economic performance between 1996-2011.