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Business News

Facts behind CBN’s retained MPR

It is no longer news that the Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria left the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, unchanged at 13.5 per cent, as announced by the Governor, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele.

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MPR, CBN, GTBank, CBN disagrees with IMF, says land border closure boosting local production, Border closure: Emefiele says Benin, others must engage Nigeria before borders are reopened , bvn 2.0, CBN reveals banks’ foreign assets rise to N14.19 trillion in 2019

It is no longer news that the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, left the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, unchanged at 13.5 per cent, as announced by the Governor, CBN, Mr. Godwin Emefiele. But, below are the details of the apex bank’s decisions.

MPC’s decisions:

.Retained the MPR at 13.5 per cent
.Retained the asymmetric corridor of +200/-500 basis points around the MPR
.Retained the CRR at 22.5 per cent
.Retained the Liquidity Ratio at 30 per cent.

Why MPC retains rates:

The decline in output growth in the second quarter of 2019, partly attributable to the delay in implementation of the 2019 budget.
The broad slowdown across key economies and the response of major central banks to revise their policy rates downwards.
Low consumer, mortgage and corporate credit, aggregate demand, output growth, and high unemployment.

[READ ALSO: Why CBN may de-risk Nigeria’s financial sector(Opens in a new browser tab)]

CBN’s thumb’s up: On price developments, the Committee commended the progressive moderation in consumer prices and urged the Bank to sustain its intervention in the real sector of the economy to reduce the output gap.

The MPC noted the improvements in the financial soundness indicators and urged the Management of the Bank to sustain its regulatory surveillance to ensure continued financial system stability.

The Committee, particularly noted the growth in the size of industry loans from N15.4 trillion in June to N16.23 trillion in September 2019.

[READ MORE: Why Emefiele wants banks restricted from access to bonds and treasury bills(Opens in a new browser tab)]

The MPC further noted the increased supply of micro credit to key Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and efforts through the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) Microfinance Bank to extend the reach of its credit facilities across the country.

The Committee commended the introduction of the Global Standing Instruction (GSI) initiative aimed at de-risking credit in the industry by committing bank customers to repay their loans to banks.

The recent proposed increase in Value Added Tax(VAT) from 5% to 7.2% would improve fiscal revenue and reduce the government’s deficit financing.

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[READ MORE: Nigeria received $5.82 billion capital inflows in Q2 2019, down by -31.41%]

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The bond market experienced increased activities reflecting the global preference for fixed income.

Market Capitalization grew by 15.37% to N13.62 trillion on September 13, 2019, from N11.72 trillion at end-December 2018. This increase was attributed to the listing of 2.75 billion ordinary shares by Airtel Africa in July 2019.

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Improved performance and resilience of the banking sector, evidenced by the continued moderation in the ratio of Non-Performing Loans (NPLs) from 11.2 to 9.4 per cent in May and August 2019, respectively.

Central Bank of Nigeria, MPR, MPC, Rates, Monetary, policy, Emefiele, Treasury Bills, CBN acts tough again, gives banks 72 hours ultimatum to resolve customers’ complaints, CBN, NECA calls for CBN

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Expectations:

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The growth in credit to the private sector remained significantly low, relative to the absorptive capacity of the economy.

The MPC underscored the need to grow consumer, mortgage and corporate credit to drive aggregate demand and ensure a reduction in unemployment and increase in output growth.

Management of the Banks should fast-track the development of the credit scoring system, to 7 promote increase.

[READ MORE: DMO discloses FG’s plan to auction N100bn bonds]

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Federal Government should build fiscal buffers through freeing up of national assets, by way of privatization, thereby improving fiscal liquidity.

National Assembly should exercise restraint in increasing the crude oil benchmark in the country, considering the uncertainty in the global oil market.

State Governments should reactivate their respective public works programs that can gainfully employ youths to curb high unemployment and high insecurity

Global Economic Developments:

Output growth across major advanced economies remained subdued, confronted by legacy headwinds, including the subsisting trade war between the US and China, regional hostilities in the Middle-East, rising debt levels, growing uncertainties around BREXIT and increasing political tensions between the US and Iran, including fragilities in the financial markets.

In the EMDEs, output growth remained broadly mixed with some economies performing stronger than others. 2 Consequently, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) revised its projected global growth forecast to 3.2 per cent in 2019 from 3.6 per cent.

Price developments continued to soften across the major advanced and EMDEs as aggregate demand continually weaken, resulting in softening monetary policy by major central banks to address downward trending prices and to strengthen aggregate demand.

[READ MORE: What the CBN’s “BIG BANG” strategy to help the economy really means]

Domestic Economic Developments:

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 1.94 per cent in the second quarter of 2019, compared with 2.10 and 1.50 per cent in the preceding and corresponding quarters, respectively. This mediocre growth, we believe, is consistent with global trends of dampening output growth and was driven mainly by the oil sector, which grew by 5.15 per cent while the non-oil sector grew by 1.64 per cent.

At 57.7 and 58.0 index points, the Manufacturing and Non-Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMI) grew moderately for the 30th and 29th consecutive months, respectively, in September 2019.

The headwinds to the growth prospects remain high unemployment, rising public debt and heightening insecurity across the country.

The Committee noted the continued moderation in headline inflation (year-on-year) to 11.02 per cent in August 2019 from 11.08 per cent in July 2019, driven by decline in the food and core components to 13.17 and 8.68 per cent in August 2019 from 13.39 and 8.80 per cent in July 2019, respectively. The development in the food and core components of inflation was partly due to improved agricultural production in the current harvest season, supported by the Bank’s sustained intervention in the agricultural sector as well as the continued stability in the foreign exchange market.

[READ MORE: ER Podcast: Buhari’s economic team Vs Osinbajo’s NEC; The battle of the Executive]

Upward pressure imposed on prices due to rising insecurity in the food producing areas of the country, increased liquidity injection from FAAC disbursements and late budget cycles. It also highlighted the imperative to address the economy’s infrastructural deficits, such as power supply, upgrade of transport and production infrastructure as a means of reducing cost-push inflation.

The broad money supply (M3) grew by 5.65 per cent in August 2019, compared with the level at end of December 2018, annualized to 8.48 per cent, but remaining below the 2019 indicative benchmark of 16.08 per cent. The growth was largely driven by the increase in Net Domestic Credit (NDC), which grew by 24.36 per cent in August 2019 from the level at end of December 2018. The growth in NDC was accounted for by the 4 significant increase in credit to Government, which grew by 94.33 per cent while credit to the private sector grew by 9.36 per cent in August 2019.

In the review period, money market rates oscillated within the standing facilities corridor due to prevailing liquidity conditions in the banking system. The monthly weighted average Inter-bank Call and Open Buyback (OBB) rates increased to 8.00 and 13.37 per cent in August 2019 from 6.52 and 11.01 per cent in July 2019, respectively.

On the domestic economy, output growth in 2019 is expected to peak at 2.1 per cent (IMF), 2.2 per cent (World Bank) and 2.27 per cent (CBN). These forecasts remain underpinned by expectations of favourable oil prices which would lead to higher external reserves, stable exchange rate, moderate inflationary pressure as government increases capital expenditure, including enhanced flow of credit to the private sector to stimulate investment, sustained CBN interventions in the real sector, effective implementation of the Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP), build-up of fiscal buffers, as well as improved security in the country.

Staff projections indicate that real GDP in Q3 and Q4 2019 would average 2.11 and 2.34 per cent, respectively, driven primarily by the non-oil sector. This optimism in growth prospects is anchored on the new momentum of rising credit to the private sector.

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Abiola has spent about 14 years in journalism. His career has covered some top local print media like TELL Magazine, Broad Street Journal, The Point Newspaper.The Bloomberg MEI alumni has interviewed some of the most influential figures of the IMF, G-20 Summit, Pre-G20 Central Bank Governors and Finance Ministers, Critical Communication World Conference.The multiple award winner is variously trained in business and markets journalism at Lagos Business School, and Pan-Atlantic University. You may contact him via email - [email protected]

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Tech News

Deezer accepts payment in Naira amid stiff competitions with Spotify, Youtube music, Apple music.

Deezer has gained quite a reputation in Nigeria, as it slashes its subscription fee and now accepts payment in Naira.

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Deezer slashes subscription fee and now accepts payment in Naira amid stiff competitions with Spotify, Youtube music, Apple music.

Deezer, the French music streaming platform that has gained quite a reputation in Nigeria has slashed its subscription fee and now accepts payment in Naira.

This is coming a few weeks after Spotify launched in Nigeria and 38 other new markets in Africa.

The competition in the Nigerian music streaming space is getting hotter by the day. More music streaming platforms are entering the Nigerian market with better payment methods and cheaper pricing, thereby forcing existing players to slash their prices so as to hold on to their customer base

Launched in 2007, Deezer currently connects over 16 million monthly active users around the world to 73 million tracks.

Before now, Deezer’s subscription was rated at $4.99 (₦1,800) for premium customers and the family plan for ₦2,700.

This number has been slashed in half. The music platform now charges ₦900 ($2.36) for Deezer Premium, ₦1,400 for Deezer HiFi and ₦1,400 ($3.67) for Deezer Family Plan.

Other streaming players in Nigeria like Apple Music, Spotify, Youtube music, Boom Play, Audiomack and Soundcloud have also slashed their prices.

For YouTube Music, the monthly individual subscription costs ₦900 while a family plan costs ₦1400 ($3.67).

Spotify Premium cost ₦900 per month in Nigeria. The Premium Family plan goes for ₦1,400 for up to 6 family members.

Apple music charges ₦450 per month for students, ₦900 per month for Individual plan while the Family plan goes for ₦1,400 for up to 6 family members.

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Energy

NERC issues order to DisCos on replacement of faulty, obsolete meters

NERC has issued a directive to DisCos on the structured replacement of faulty and obsolete meters for their customers.

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Electricity, Buhari moves against Discos and agents that collect money for prepaid meters

The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has issued a directive to the electricity distribution companies (DisCos) on the structured replacement of faulty and obsolete meters for their customers with effect from March 4, 2021.

This is to remove the bottlenecks that had previously impeded the rapid deployment of meters to unmetered customers and the receipt of complaints from metered customers in fourth-quarter 2020, that they had been served meter replacement notices by DisCos when all stakeholders were preparing for the National Mass Metering Programme (NMMP).

The directive from NERC is contained in Order No. NERC/246/2021, Titled, “In the matter of the order on structured replacement of faulty and obsolete end-user customer meter in Nigerian Electricity Supply Industry (NESI),” issued on March 4, 2021.

The commission noted that over 7 million customers are currently unmetered as indicated by the customer enumeration data. It also estimates that an additional 3 million meters are currently obsolete and due for replacement.

NERC pointed out that the existence of unmetered customers contributes to the threat affecting the financial viability of the NESI as unmetered customers expressed their displeasure with the estimated billing methodology.

The statement from NERC partly reads, “The Commission notes that over 7 million customers are currently unmetered as indicated by customer enumeration data. It is also estimated that an additional 3 million meters are currently obsolete and due for replacement.

“The existence of a large population of unmetered customers contributed to threats affecting the financial viability of NESI as unmetered end-use customers expressed deep dissatisfaction with the estimated billing methodology.

“The revenue assurance objectives of DisCos have also been challenged by being unable to properly account for the utilisation of electricity by end-use customers”.

Following the review from both the metered and unmetered customers, NERC issued the following order;

  1. DisCos shall grant priority to the metering of unmetered customers under the National Mass Metering Program.
  2. DisCos may replace faulty/obsolete meters under the National Mass Metering Program but these replacements must be done in strict compliance with the Metering Code and other regulatory instruments of the Commission.
  3. DisCos shall inspect meters of metered end-use customers and the replacement notice shall contain the following –
  • The date of the inspection
  • Name, designation and signature of the officer that inspected the meter.
  • The fault identified in the meter.
  • The date for the installation of the replacement meter
  1. The Commission shall be copied on all replacement notices issued to end-use customers for the purpose of conducting random reviews of the replacement
  2. New meters must be installed upon the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter and under no circumstances shall the customer be placed on estimated billing on account of the DisCo’s failure to install a replacement meter after the removal of the faulty/obsolete meter.
  3. The customer and DisCo representative shall jointly note the units on the meter being replaced and the customer must be credited with these units within 48 hours after the installation of the meter.
  4. Customers shall only be billed for loss of revenue where the DisCo establishes meter tampering, by-pass or unauthorised access as contained in NERC Order/REG/ 41/2017 on Unauthorised Access, Meter Tampering and Bypass.
  5. Activation tokens shall be issued to customers immediately after replacement of the faulty/obsolete meter.
  6. DisCos shall file monthly returns with the Commission on the replacement of faulty/obsolete meters along with their proposal for the decommissioned meters.

This Order may be cited as the Order on the Structured Replacement of Faulty/Obsolete Meters of End-Use Customers.”

What you should know

  • NERC was mandated in the Electricity Power Sector Reform Act to maximize access to electricity services, by promoting and facilitating customer connections to distribution systems in both rural and urban areas and establish appropriate consumer rights and obligations regarding the provision and use of electricity services.
  • Meters serve as a revenue assurance tool for NESI service providers and a resource management tool for consumers that receive services with the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) Regulations coming into force on April 3, 2018.

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