The Nigerian economy has been busy in the past week, from the foreign trade report, to the guidelines on currency swap deal with the People’s Republic of China, etc. Nairametrics presents a review of the Nigerian economy in the past week and what to expect this new week.
1. Foreign Trade Report
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Wednesday released the Foreign Trade in Goods Statistics for the first quarter of 2018. The report reveals that Nigeria’s total foreign trade was ₦7,211.61 billion for the first Q1 2018, and grew by 19.74% from Q4 2017 and 35.07% year on year. Total import value stood at ₦2,518.26 billion, growing by 19.22% from Q4 2017 and 8.04% year on year. Total exports was ₦4,693.34 billion with a growth of 20.02% from last quarter and by 56.01% year on year.
2. Guidelines for Nigeria-China Currency Swap Deal
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Thursday released guidelines for the recently signed bilateral currency swap between Nigeria and China.
The new swap agreement will see both nations make available liquidity, in their respective currencies, for the facilitation and promotion of trade and investment, through the purchase, sale and subsequent repurchase and resale of Chinese Yuan against the Naira, and vice versa.
The CBN will conduct a bi-weekly Renminbi bidding session and sales are applicable to only trade-backed transactions.
3. Federal Government Rakes in N30B from VAIDS
During the week, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) said that the Voluntary Assets and Income Declaration Scheme (VAIDS) policy has raked in about ₦30 billion from previous tax defaulters.
FIRS disclosed that through the VAIDS amnesty window, the number of Nigerians paying taxes has increased from 14 million to 19 million. It also noted that it collected 90% of the amount, while states collected the balance of 10%.
4. Customs Generates N100.1B in May
The Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) on Thursday disclosed that it reached a milestone in May 2018, by generating the highest ever monthly revenue with the sum of N100.1 billion. NSC added that it believes the feat will continue since the blocking of leakages will continue at its current high rate. However, NSC also requested for the upward salary review for officers and men of the service who are working hard to raise revenue generation.
5. FG Approves Review of Tax Policies
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the National Tax Policy Implementation Committee on Nigeria’s Tax Law Reform. The new policies will, among others, entail VAT exemption for life insurance, public transportation, residential buildings, etc., while taxes on SMEs will now be reduced from 20% to 15%.
The five proposed amendment bills are Companies Income Tax Act (Amendment) Bill, Value Added Tax Act (Amendment) Bill, Customs, Excise, Tariff ETC (Consolidation) Act (Amendment) Bill, Personal Income Tax Act (Amendment) Bill, and Industrial Development (Income Tax Relief) Act (Amendment) Bill.
6. FG Generates 7.8b from Privatisation of Public Assets
The sum of $7.8 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was attracted by the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) through the sale of 53 public enterprises in the last 18 years. The agency has privatised, commercialised, or concessioned a total of 142 public enterprises since 2019 till date. BPE further said That some assets are on the card for privatisation which include privatisation of Afam power plant, re-privatisation of Yola Disco, concessioning of “B” Terminal of Old Warri Port, re-concesion of Lagos Trade Fair, Partial commercialisation of the six River Basin Development Authorities, etc.
7. Foreign Reserves Drop
The nation’s external reserves stood at $47,472,550,210 on Monday, June 4, 2018, but fell to $47,452,170,010 on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 and further dropped to $47,436,780,844 on Wednesday and currently stand at that figure.
Expectations this week
NBS is expected to release the Sectoral Distribution of VAT in Q1 2018 on Monday. Also, on Wednesday, NBS will release the Automotive Gas Oil (Diesel) Price Watch for May.
Other reports expected to be released by NBS on Wednesday include Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) Price Watch for May 2018, National Household Kerosene Price Watch for May 2018, Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch for May 2018, Premium Motor Spirit (Petrol) Price Watch for May 2018, Consumer Price Index (CPI), and Inflation Report for May 2018.
Also, the last report that will be released by NBS will be the Selected Food Prices for May 2018 on Friday.
Lastly and most importantly, President Muhammadu Buhari may sign the N8.6 trillion 2018 budget any moment from now – which may be this week. The budget was presented to the National Assembly on November 7, 2017, but it was increased and the sum of N9.12 trillion was approved by both chambers last month.