GDP: Nigerian Government Promises To Sustain Growth Seen In Non-oil Sector

nigeria-q3-gdp-reportThe Nigerian government has attributed the growth in the non-oil sector indicated in the third Quarter GDP figures to the economic policies of Buhari’s administration even as the nation’s economy is still in recession.

A report released on Monday by the National Bureau of Statistics, (NBS) showed a 0.03% growth in the non-oil sector, contributing 91.81% to the nation’s GDP.
It also showed that the Nigerian economy was still in recession, with growth in Gross Domestic Product contracting by -2.24% in the third quarter as compared to the decline of -2.07% experienced in the second quarter.

Giving the government’s position on the released report, the Vice President’s office said the over-riding impact of the oil and gas sector, where vandalism and sabotage of critical installations negatively affected production output, explains the persistence of the recession.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Mr Laolu Akande, said that efforts to resolve the Niger Delta situation were continuing, as the Federal Government has opened several channels of communication with all relevant groups in the Niger Delta.

In further reaction to the NBS’ reports, spokesman for the Economic Management Team headed by the Vice President, Dr. Adeyemi Dipeolu, said: “The slight deterioration in national economic performance owes largely to the continued poor performance of the oil and gas sector which worsened to -22.01% in the third quarter as compared to -17.48% in the second quarter of 2016. The immediate cause of this, as is now generally recognised, is the steep decline in oil and gas production in the third quarter of 2016 due to acts of vandalism and sabotage of oil export facilities.

“Remote causes include the continued outsized influence of the oil and gas sector on the rest of the economy as typified by its contribution to government revenue and foreign exchange earnings, which continue to be important motors of economic activity. Moreover, due to time lags, it is still too early for policy interventions of the Federal Government to begin to impact fully on economic activity”.

More Economic Policies

He, however, pointed out there are however some ‘green shoots’ of economic recovery beginning to emerge.

According to him, on-going consultations to bring lasting peace to the Niger Delta have enabled an increase in oil and gas production which if sustained at current prices, will bring a measure of relief to the economy.

Non-oil sector contributed 91.81% tot he nation GDP

He said that the “growth in the non-oil economy although still weak at 0.03% showed a return to positive territory after two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

“This was partly due to the continued good performance of agriculture and the solid minerals, two sectors prioritised by the Federal Government. Agriculture grew by 4.54% in the quarter under consideration of which growth in crop production at nearly 5% was at its highest since the first quarter of 2014. Growth in the solid mineral sector averaged about 7%.

“The financial sector rebounded quite strongly in the period under review growing by 2.85% from a negative growth of -13.24% in the second quarter”.

On the chances of economic stability expected by most Nigerians that are facing harsh inflation, Dr. Dipeolu said that the recently approved first tranche of $600 million to be borrowed from the African Development Bank would also provide some relief in budgetary terms and supplement capital inflows.

“Indeed, there was a slight uptick of capital inflows into the economy in the third quarter of 2016. Overall capital inflows in the third quarter of 2016 increased by 74.84% over the second quarter,” he explained.

As indicated in the report, the performance of the manufacturing sector continued to be of concern given its key role in value addition and job creation in the economy.

But the spokesman for the economic team said it is expected, however, that with greater local sourcing of raw materials, expected improvements in infrastructure, especially power and reductions in the cost of doing business, the manufacturing sector would soon experience a sustained improvement in its contribution to the national economy.

September Inflation, Inflation, NBS
Cost of goods has doubled, as Nigerians face the harsh realities of the recession

He pointed out that while inflation is still high at 18.3% on a year-on-year basis it has begun to level out on a month-on-month basis and should enable the deployment of more policy tools to support growth and employment.

The report showed that growth of headline inflation slowed down appreciably from 13.8% in May to as low as 1.70% in September.

Explaining the report further, he said: “The year to date growth is about -1.58% and is set to improve given some of the points mentioned earlier especially regarding agriculture, oil and gas, and power supply. In addition, there have also been reductions in the rate of contraction of household and government consumption expenditure. Household consumption expenditure fell for instance by -3.25% in the third quarter of 2016 as compared to -6.0% recorded in the second quarter.

“The ratio of investment to GDP also showed a notable improvement rising by 7.6% in the third quarter of 2016 as compared to a contraction of -7.4% in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“The Strategic Implementation Plan for the implementation of the 2016 Budget of Change prioritised capital expenditures for power, roads and rail as well as social investments. In addition to creating jobs and promoting social inclusion, these expenditures will also provide a stimulus by putting money in the hands of people. The usual economic activity that takes place in the Yuletide season will also likely have a positive impact on the wholesale and retail trade sector”.

He said more economic policies would be unveiled in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan that would be adopted before the end of the year, assuring Nigerians that it would lend further momentum to on-going efforts to revitalise and reposition the economy.

Nigeria Assures Investors Of Business Environment Improvement

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo

The Nigerian government has reassured local manufacturers, business owners and foreign investors that the present administration remains focused on improving the business environment.

It expresses strong belief that such environment will accelerate Nigeria’s economic growth and job creation through active private sector participation in the economy.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave the assurance at a forum on Job Creation, Skills and Employment at the ongoing 22nd Nigerian Economic Summit in Abuja.

Professor Osinbajo said that the present administration was seriously tackling issues relating to local production, employment generation and all that would be needed to re-energise the economy that is in recession.

“We are talking practically to everyone, talking to big investors, talking to big businesses, small businesses, to youth groups that are interested in technology, talking to farmers, talking to market women and men. There is a great deal of enthusiasm. Everybody knows that this country has tremendous potential and there is so much that can be done.

“We are engaging every one of our agencies that are responsible for facilitating trade, facilitating business, they have to be up to scratch, they’ve got to encourage business. It is our business to make sure that we promote enterprise because the way to create employment is not by direct employment by government, it is by private sector being encouraged to create these opportunities, so that is our focus.

“I want to assure everyone that the government is very focused on improving the environment for doing business, increase the opportunities so that we can employ the vast majority of our young people who need employment, encourage big businesses, encourage small businesses, encourage cottage industries, that is our focus and it will remain our focus,” the Vice President stated.

A spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo pointed out that though there might be challenges with the present duty waivers and tax regimes, the Federal Government was working hard to correct the wrongs with the view to encouraging the growth of small businesses and attracting foreign investments.

The Vice President said government’s emphasis on agriculture and agro-businesses was premised on its agenda on diversification and self-reliance in food production for domestic consumption.

Professor Osinbajo said the enormity of the challenge with tax holidays and waivers could not be addressed by a ‘one size, fits-all’ tax holidays initiative, stressing that there were areas that the government would revisit and revise.

He said the Presidential Enabling Business Council, a special initiative of the Federal Government established by the President, in collaboration with the private sector, was looking at incentives and issues related to waivers.

The Vice President, who had spoken extensively on the administration’s economic policies on Day 1 of the Nigerian Economic Summit, also emphasised what government was doing to support funding of small businesses.

“There are complications around funding and that is why in the short term, intervention funds are what we think might work.

“We are looking at intervention funds in agriculture. We have the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme. We are resuscitating the Bank of Agriculture, and recapitalising it.

“We expect that the Bank of Agriculture and a few other banks will be able to provide some cheap funds for agriculture, we are already seeing that in the anchor borrowers’ programme.

“We also think that intervention fund in setting up areas like health, before we are able to get the overall monetary environment right, is necessary,” the Vice President told the gathering.

Earlier at the opening of the summit on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari said Nigeria had no other choice at the moment than to diversify its economy to break its reliance on oil.

He said: “I am so delighted that you have chosen as your theme Made-in-Nigeria, which lies at the heart of so many of the efforts we are making to lead us through these troubled times and to lay a firm foundation for the future.

“We need to diversify the economy so that we never again have to rely on one commodity to survive as a country, so that we can produce the food we eat, make our own textiles, produce most of the things we use and create the right environment for our young people to be able to innovate and create jobs through technology”.

The President added that there was apparently no other way to steer Nigeria out of its present economic predicament without building a strong economic foundation on Made-in-Nigeria goods and services.

N-Power Jobs Scheme For Unemployed Graduates, Others Enter Assessment Phase

N-power, Job PortalAbout a million Nigerian undergraduates, who have applied online for the N-Power programme of the Buhari presidency, would now be assessed in order to pick the final 500,000 for the two-year volunteer positions, a government official said on Monday.

The Federal Government had earlier released a schedule for the next phase of the N-Power Programme, which is the job creation and empowerment initiative of its Social Investment Programme.

Under the next phase of the programme, candidates will be assessed in phases based on their specific chosen programmes before the final selection.

Applicants are to log in and fill in their phone numbers and surnames as contained in their original application, using their personal profile, which the government said had been created for every applicant.

The government said all candidates would be notified by SMS of their assessment the day before.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said all assessments would include some personal questions and other questions testing basic knowledge of English, General Knowledge and Quantitative Reasoning.

“Applicants should also note that they will be tested on other programme-specific questions depending on the programme they applied for.

“Applicants are to note also that they can take their tests on a smart-phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer provided that the devices have internet connection.

“Successful applicants will be selected to participate in the N-Power programme,” the statement read.

Mr Akande pointed out that applicants could only gain access to their profile for assessment as represented in the schedule which breaks down applicants in batches by the first letter in their surnames.

Based on the schedule, applicants for the N-Power Teach programme would be first in line, starting on Tuesday September 20, 2016 and applicants whose surnames fall between the alphabets V-Z are expected to log in and take their assessments on the stipulated date.

A schedule for each programme’s assessment released by the government is represented below.

Programme Test Days
N-Power Teach 20th September – 28th September 2016
N-Power Agro 29th September – 1st October 2016
N-Power Health 2nd October – 3rd October 2016
N-Power Community Education 4th October – 6th October 2016
N-Power Creative 7th October – 9th October 2016
N-Power Tech (Software) 10th October – 12th October 2016
N-Power Tech (Hardware) 13th October 2016 – 14th October 2016
N-Power Build 15th October – 18th October 2016

20th September 2016 V, W, X, Y, Z
21st September 2016 P, Q, R, T, U
22nd September 2016 Aa – Al
23rd September 2016 Am – Az, B
24th September 2016 O
25th September 2016 M,N
26th September 2016 F, G, H, I
27th September 2016 C, D, E
28th September 2016 J, K, L, S

29th September 2016 A, B, C, D, F, G
30th September 2016 E, H, I, J, K, L, M, N
1st October 2016 O – Z

2nd October 2016 A – I
3rd October 2016 J – Z

4th October 2016 A – G
5th October 2016 H – N, P – T
6th October 2016 O, U, Z

7th October 2016 A – E
8th October 2016 F – N
9th October 2016 O – Z

10th October 2016 A – H
11th October 2016 I – R
12th October 2016 S – Z

13th October 2016 A – J
14th October 2016 K – Z

15th October 2016 A – B
16th October 2016 C – I
17th October 2016 J – S
18th October 2016 T – Z

Nigeria Approves High Level Commission On Ease Of Doing Business

Yemi Osinbajo Nigeria VP on Ease Of Doing BusinessPresident Muhammadu Buhari has approved the formation of a Presidential Commission on ease of doing business in Nigeria, Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, said on Monday.

A statement by a spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said Professor Osinbajo announced the approval of the commission while presiding over the first Quarterly Consultation between the presidency and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday afternoon.

Professor Osinbajo said: “The commission will have a secretariat to be headed by a private sector professional”.

He explained that the chair would lead the secretariat of the Presidential Commission that would now pay even greater attention and focus to the issues of doing business in Nigeria.

At the consultation, MAN raised among many concerns, their worries about cases of multiple taxation. In response, the Vice President promised to follow-up on the matter.

Professor Osinbajo said: “One of the key issues the presidential commission which I am heading would be looking at is the case of multiple taxation. This is also an issue that the Ministry of Trade and Investment is also actively engaged with”.

Economic Sabotage

At the end of the meeting, the President of MAN, Dr. Udemba Jacobs while speaking with reporters expressed concern about the acts of vandalism regarding the nation’s oil and gas installations in Niger Delta, describing such as economic sabotage.

“The association is happy about what the Federal Government is doing, but we are concerned about what is happening in the Niger Delta area which is a kind of sabotaging the economic activities of government and therefore we want to call on them to lay down their arms in the interest of the country,” Dr Jacobs appealed.

He called on the militants to join hands with the government and move the Nigeria forward.

The MAN President stated that diversification of the economy was the best way to go now, given what is happening in internationally.

He said the association was “keying” into the government policy in terms of diversification of the economy by doing their best to increase the capacity of production.

There have been resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, with attacks on oil and gas installations.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that have forced some companies to shut down production.

National Economic Council’s Retreat Holds On Monday

Yemi-OsinbajoThe National Economic Council (NEC) retreat is expected to hold on Monday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

President Muhammadu Buhari will be addressing the members during the opening ceremony of the retreat.

The Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajor, who is chairman of the forum, is expected to preside over the event that will commence by 9:00am local time at the Old Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa.

Thirty-six state governors will be attending.

The Central Bank Governor and the Budget and Planning Minister are among those expected at the forum.

A spokesman for the Vice President, Laolu Akande, said that the objective of the National Economic Council Retreat was to provide a forum for in-depth discussions by NEC members of the policy actions that the States and the Federal Government could consider in order to stimulate local production, cut costs and enhance public revenues among other measures to stimulate the economy.

Contrary to suggestions, the Retreat is not an emergency national economic conference.

The idea was mooted at the last regular NEC meeting in January, where members requested an intensive session to review economic trends and evolve strategies to cope.