Two years after Nigeria exited the recession, Jim Ovia, Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc believes the country is on a growth trajectory due to Nigeria’s ease of doing business index and the inflation rate.
Speaking at the Deloitte in Dialogue Nigeria Economic Outlook 2019, held at the Civic Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, Ovia commended the Federal Government and its economic team for pulling Nigeria through the recession and restoring growth within the country.
In his address to the participants of the event, the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed and her counterpart in Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma, as well as the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enalamah and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele were commended for their role in the revamping of the economy.
While he praised them for Nigeria’s remarkable improvement on the ease of doing business index, Ovia suggested that the goal now should be single digit, which he believes will further improve the standing of Nigeria on the index.
“The target for the ease of doing business for Nigeria in 2019 in terms of ranking, should be single digit.
“We are no longer in recession and we have been able to manage the rate of inflation. The outlook for the nation shows that we are now on a growth trajectory,” he said.
Nigeria’s ease of doing business performance
Despite Ovia’s praises for the economic team, Nairametrics understands Nigeria dropped a spot on the World Bank Ease of Doing Business ranking for 2018, declining to 146 from 145 the country occupied since exiting recession in 2016.
Nigeria’s performance had improved in 2017 after the country climbed 24 places from its 169 position to 145 of the 190 countries tracked by the global financial institution.
Factors that boost Nigeria’s position in 2017
According to the World Bank, who tracked 314 reforms by 128 governments across the world, ease of doing business in Nigeria was enabled by the reduction of time needed to register a company at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and introducing an online platform to pay stamp duty – this reform applies to Kano and Lagos States.
Spanner in the works
Ovia might have praised the Federal Government’s economic team for lifting Nigeria’s economy out of the recession, but Nigerians are not really out of it just yet, and the Brookings Institution, a Washington based economic research group, made this known in its report, ‘The start of a new poverty narrative.’
The report placed Nigeria ahead of India, as the world’s poverty capital, with the largest number of extremely poor, with about 86.9 million Nigerians living in abject poverty as of May 2018. It was disclosed that extreme poverty is growing by six people every minute in Nigeria.
Nairametrics learnt if Nigeria is unable to change its current trajectory, it will be home to 110 million people living in extreme poverty by the year 2030.
The Brookings Institution research also corroborates African Development Bank’s observation in February 2018, that 152 million Nigerians, representing almost 80 per cent of the country’s estimated 193.3 million population are allegedly living on less than $2 per day, that is, N724 per day.
Also, according to a Quartz Africa report, the human capital spending rate in Nigeria is the worst globally for the second year running. In the Commitment to Reducing Inequality (CRI) index compiled by Development Finance International (DFI) and Oxfam, Nigeria was ranked 157 out of 157 nations.
It should be noted that the CRI index ranks the commitment of national governments to reducing the gap between the rich and the poor citizens. the ranking is determined by three factors considered critical to reducing the gap; social spending, tax policies and labour rights.
So, Nigeria might be out of recession, but the citizens are yet to be impacted by the economic growth.
Job listings spike up by 183% in April –Jobberman
Jobberman released figures showing a 183% increase in job listings on its platform in April 2020, thanks to its #UnityInAdversity campaign.
Notable job placement website, Jobberman, has released figures showing that there was a 183% increase in job listings on its platform in the month of April 2020.
This increase, according to Jobberman, is a result of the #UnityInAdversity campaign which allowed companies to post job listings and access Jobberman’s database of over 2.2 million professionals across Nigeria for free, rather than paying the usual fees. This was the company’s way of showing support to businesses and individuals, amid the economic challenges which resulted from the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the release from Jobberman, this campaign came at a cost to the company since it was trading off its revenue by offering for free, the same services which formed its major source of income.
“At the beginning of March, Jobberman Nigeria saw a 70 percent decrease in job listings due to the reduced economic activity caused by the enforced lockdown and many companies shutting down recruitment budgets to cut costs. Jobseeker sign-ups also decreased by 17 percent. Jobberman took the bold step to put employers’ and job seekers’ needs first” the statement read.
The campaign, which is billed to run till June 30, has paid off greatly as data for April’s job listings alone was more than that of the entire Q1 2020 period. See a breakdown of the job listings below:
- Almost a fifth of the positions (18.79%) were listed in the tech sector
- Banking, finance, and insurance accounted for 9.27%
- Education and training had 6.78 percent
- IT & Software positions accounted for 11.69%
- Sales had 13.32%.
Note that with the increase in job listings, job seeker sign-ups also increased by 39% in April alone.
Speaking about the campaign, the CEO of Jobberman Nigeria, Hilda Kragha said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has made the process of connecting talent to opportunities more complicated and we are fully aware of the strain businesses and individuals in Nigeria are facing. We plan to be here for the next 10 years so making this small sacrifice to help our users navigate these difficult times is something that we think is definitely worth doing”.
Kragha also noted that the campaign has encouraged healthy competition as candidates strive to show themselves qualified for the position.
“We have found that soft skills such as emotional intelligence, business etiquette, time management, which are often overlooked and underestimated in Nigeria, can make a big difference. We know the power of soft skills and we are committed to empowering individuals with the training and soft skills they need to succeed in the workplace” she explained further.
Sequel to this, the company also launched a free soft skills training programme to help job seekers (between age 18 and 30 years) acquire the needed soft skills and better their chances of gaining employment.
Gold prices rise, as President Trump decides on China today
Gold prices jumped on Friday as China and America’s drift deepened over further moves by China to impose security laws on Hong Kong
Gold prices jumped on Friday as China and America’s drift deepened over further moves by China to impose security laws on Hong Kong, lifting the allure of safe havens amid market uncertainties.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser cautioned the Chinese lately that Hong Kong, which has enjoyed special privileges, may now be treated like China when it comes to financial matters and trade.
Trump, who had earlier vowed a tough action on China, will hold a news conference today to announce what measures his administration will take.
Spot gold gained about 0.1% at $1,719.63 per ounce, and U.S. gold futures rose 0.4% to $1,734.60.
The friendship between the Americans and Chinese had weakened, since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
President Trump and President Jinping of China have accused each other as a result of issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why do Investors buy Gold? Global Investors most often buy the safe-haven asset in times of uncertainty and use it to hedge against cash (inflationary macros).
“The possible U.S. response could range from a tearing up of the Phase 1 trade deal and fresh tariffs on China, to milder travel or financial sanctions on Chinese officials,” said Shane Oliver, chief economist at Australian wealth manager AMP to Reuters News.
“It is seen as a major threat to the rally we’ve had and the recovery,” “If it’s at the relatively mild end, then I don’t think it would derail the recovery bull market, but if it’s at the more extreme end with tariffs and harsh treatment of Hong Kong, then I think it gets more problematic,” Oliver added.
AfDB board denies asking Adesina to step down, as Obasanjo says the bank risks being hijacked
“The Bureau of the board of governors informs the public that it has not taken any decision. Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign.”
The Bureau of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has denied media reports making the rounds that AfDB’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, has been asked to step down pending the completion of the probe and determination of allegations against him.
The bank’s top governing board members said that they have not asked Adesina to step down from his position as president, even as the board continues to review the fallout of complaints by some whistleblower. The statement from the Chairman of the bank’s board of governors, Niale Kaba, said:
“The Bureau of the board of governors informs the public that it has not taken any decision. Everyone must allow the Bureau to do its work and allow due process to reign. All governors will be carried along in resolving the issue.’’
Kaba also stressed that there was no governance crisis at AfDB as was being speculated in certain quarters. He confirmed that the Bureau of the Board of Governors of AfDB met on Tuesday, May 26, after the request by the U.S Secretary calling for an independent probe. The essence of the meeting was to take a closer look at the allegations by the whistleblowers against Akinwumi Adesina, said allegations which had already been investigated by the ethics committee of the bank.
Kaba further disclosed that even though no decision has been taken yet, the bureau assures that it is treating the case with the utmost seriousness that it deserves.
Adesina, who maintains his innocence of those allegations, had stated that a fair, transparent, and just process will vindicate him.
In a related development, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo had thrown his weight behind Adesina and kicked against the demand by the United States of America for a fresh, independent probe of the AfDB President who had earlier been cleared by the ethics committee of the bank.
In his letter to 12 former African Presidents, Obasanjo said that Africa must stand up and not allow its institutions to be unduly controlled by non-African countries.
Obasanjo said that the bank has witnessed tremendous growth under Adesina’s leadership and has doubled its capital base since he took over.