KPMG has listed global pressure points and external shocks, fiscal unsustainability, exchange rate market, credit and reactive policy environment as factors that would determine the success of the Nigerian economy in 2020.
The multinational professional services firm disclosed this at the America Business Council’s second economic update on Wednesday in Lagos.
Speaking at the forum, the Associate Director, Strategy and Economics, Management Consulting, KPMG Nigeria, Olusegun Zaccheaus, explained that the the global developments in 2020 portends significant risks for the Sub-Saharan countries.
Others factors are investment for growth, productivity, technology and digital disruption, socio-economic pressure and consumer pressure points.
While providing an update on the Nigerian economy, it was stated that it currently stands on a slippery slope of recovery. According to KPMG, the Nigerian economy which recorded a growth rate of 6.21% in the first quarter of 2014, has continued to witness very slippery growth recovery since the 2016 recession.
Debt crisis amidst weak revenue
On Nigeria’s debt issue, KPMG stated that the nation’s revenue relative to GDP has been declining, with debt service ratio to revenue accelerating since 2016.
Following this, it was further disclosed that the 2020 budget revenues targets are ambitious, and this made the Federal Government push strongly for revenues across all fronts through the introduction of the 2019 Finance Bill.
Meanwhile, it was stated that the increase of VAT by 50% by the Federal Government might potentially affect sales negatively in major sectors of the Nigerian economy, as consumers are highly sensitive to price changes.
CBN’s Intervention fails to ease vulnerabilities
While addressing the Central Bank’s efforts to stabilise the Naira, it was disclosed that the currency has not depreciated, thanks to forex intervention by the CBN which amounted to $39 billion since August 2018.
Although KPMG noted that some progress had been recorded, and these include stabilizing the foreign exchange market, improved liquidity in the market and rise in portfolio investments.
However, key underlying issues still persist. Some key issues highlighted at the forum include foreign exchange supply gap, depletion in reserves used to defend naira, expensive OMO instruments in a bid to attract foreign portfolios and overvaluation of the Nigerian Naira which indicates that exports are becoming more expensive and less competitive.
It was emphasized that the huge gap between the foreign exchange supply and demand led to price distortions and increased demand in the parallel market which contributed to a wide gap between the official and parallel rates.
Nigeria’s multiple exchange rate systems
On the controversy surrounding multiple exchange rate system, KPMG disclosed that Nigeria may already be operating a multiple exchange rate system which more or less conforms with the criteria listed by IMF for determining a multiple exchange rate system.
According to KPMG, a review of the criteria for establishing multiple exchange rate practices by the IMF disclosed that Nigeria’s current exchange rate system has at least three characteristics that meet the definition of multiple exchange rate practices. The three criteria currently satisfied by Nigeria include multiple foreign exchange markets, different rate for different transactions and foreign exchange auctions.
While concluding on this, it was stated that Multiple exchange rates practice inhibits economic growth and the continued application of the multiple exchange rates practice may have unintended consequences in the long run.
Volatile Policy environment driving skilled talents to other climes
KMPG stated that the Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous (VUCA) policy environment has negative impact on the overall growth in the economy. Following this, social wheel pressure is spinning and this has resulted in a growing flux of skilled talent to other climes like Canada, U.K, Australia and the United States.
In conclusion, it was disclosed that the CBN policy focus areas are expected to shape 2020 monetary and market developments. However, KPMG warned that to successfully navigate the downturn and thrive in the subsequent upturn, organisations need to adopt a Proactive Strategic Posture.
According to the tax firm, an organisation that takes a proactive strategic posture has greater chances of surviving the turbulent time and take opportunity of the upside of recovery while minimising the risks in the downturn.
First cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Ayala, to arrive Europe
The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.
The first export cargo of Nigeria’s newest crude grade, Anyala, is reported to be on its way to Northwest Europe.
According to a report from S&P Global Platts, while quoting trading and shipping sources, the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the Cressier refinery in Switzerland through the SPSE pipeline.
It reported that Data Intelligence firm, Kpler, said the Aframax Minerva Clara loaded a 700,000 barrel stem of Anyala crude from the Abigail-Joseph floating production, storage, and offloading vessel on January 10 with the tanker on its way to the Fos-sur-Mer terminal, located at France’s Mediterranean port of Marseille.
The report also said that trading house Vitol had chartered this tanker, as it has a stake in indigenous producer FIRST E&P, which is the operator of the Anyala West oil fields, located in the shallow waters of the Niger Delta.
This is as a market source said the cargo is likely to travel from Fos-sur-Mer to the 68,000 b/d Cressier refinery in Switzerland, which is operated by Varo Energy, through the SPSE pipeline.
Varo Energy is a joint venture between Vitol, private equity fund, the Carlyle Group, and private investment fund Reggeborgh.
What you should know
- The new crude is from Nigeria’s shallow-water Anyala West oil fields in the Niger Delta, which struck first oil in November. Anyala is the country’s newest oil development since the start-up of the giant Egina field in late-2018.
- Anyala has been labeled a medium sweet crude grade, similar in quality to Nigeria’s flagship crude Bonny Light and when refined, Anyala will produce a high yield of middle distillates, making it attractive to both simple and complex refineries.
- It is also reported that a second cargo will load in March, with some Asian refiners already showing buying interest.
Donald Trump and Joe Biden clash over plans to lift travel ban on UK, EU, Brazil
Joe Biden’s incoming administration has dismissed plans by President Donald Trump to lift the coronavirus-related travel bans for non-American citizens.
The incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden has dismissed plans by the outgoing President, Donald Trump to lift the coronavirus-related travel bans for non-American citizens arriving from the European Union, the U.K. and Brazil, which means the curbs will stay in effect.
This follows the announcement from Trump in the White House on Monday that the bans could be lifted because of the administration’s last week’s decision to require international travellers to present either the results of a negative recent coronavirus test or evidence that they had already recovered from the disease. The change would go into effect starting Jan. 26, six days after Biden takes office.
However, the announcement by Donald Trump was rejected as Joe Biden’s Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, in a tweet post, disclosed that the incoming administration plans to block the outgoing US President’s move according to a report from Bloomberg.
What Joe Biden’s spokeswoman is saying
- Psaki in her statement, tweeted, “On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.’’
She said that with the worsening pandemic and more contagious variant emerging globally, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel.
What President Donald Trump has said
Trump, in a White House announcement, had pointed out that the international travel restrictions could be eased safely.
- Trump in a proclamation said, “This action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from Covid-19 while enabling travel to resume safely. Under his plan, travel bans would remain in place for China and Iran, the White House said, citing their “lack of cooperation” with the U.S. in fighting the virus.’’
The recent decision by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to require a negative Covid-19 test for people arriving in the U.S. from other countries was not directly linked to the travel ban but was seen as a way to impose safety restrictions that would allow for a resumption of travel.
Despite the surge in Covid-19 infections, experts conclude that allowing people into this country from other nations wouldn’t pose a significant risk, especially with new testing requirements.
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Donald Trump had initially announced the restrictions on March 11 in the early days of the pandemic on nearly all non-US citizens who had travelled to 28 EU countries, China and Iran, as part of the bid to curb the spread of the virus.
- Brazil was later included in the travel ban on May 25 and applies to any foreign nationals who had been in any of those nations within the previous 14 days.
Tizeti rolls out high-speed 4G LTE in Edo with N4000/month broadband service
Tizeti is rolling out its 4G LTE network in Edo State, with monthly fixed broadband costs pegged at four thousand Naira ($8).
As part of its commitment to ensuring access to affordable broadband connectivity in Africa’s underserved populations, Tizeti, West Africa’s pioneer solar-based internet service provider is rolling out its 4G LTE network in Edo State, with monthly fixed broadband costs pegged at four thousand Naira ($8). With this move, millions of people in Edo State previously outside the broadband envelope can now take advantage of high-speed broadband internet from Tizeti.
Announcing the rollout of its new low-cost unlimited 4G services in Edo, the Chief Executive Officer of Tizeti, Kendall Ananyi, said that this 4G broadband internet will empower more Nigerians in Edo State, stimulate economic activities and provide unlimited access to affordable and reliable broadband services as well as complement the Edo State Government’s efforts in driving investment promotion and building a robust technology ecosystem in the state.
“Rolling out 4G LTE broadband internet in Edo at the cheapest fixed broadband prices in Nigeria, and possibly Africa, is a strategic decision for us. We have been building brand-new, solar-powered, 4G-capable towers in Edo, starting with Benin City, which leverages Edo State’s expansive fiber-network built by some of our partners, MainOne and Facebook. Edo State has a large population of vibrant, young people and a high number of higher institutions, which provides a foundation for a robust and thriving ecosystem to enable digital leadership. And the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, is implementing reforms in investment promotion and determination to build a robust technology ecosystem in the state, with an agenda that prioritizes Information Communication Technology (ICT)-compliant pedagogy in primary schools, improves digital skills for students and graduates and revamps technical education to increase productivity. This has created a perfect environment for us to roll out our low-cost broadband service, starting in Edo State, but with plans to expand across the country over the next few months,” Ananyi said.
Corroborating Ananyi, Tizeti’s Chief Operating Officer, Ifeanyi Okonkwo, states, “The launch in Edo State is personal to us as founders of Tizeti because we are alumni of the University of Benin. At 4,000 Naira monthly costs with a one-off installation cost of 4,000 Naira, we believe the plan is affordable, especially to undergraduate students. This provides a huge opportunity for people in Edo to benefit from unlimited broadband internet for use in online learning, eCommerce and entertainment, especially interactive games, video consumption, and music”.
Interested users in Edo State can pre-sign up at https://wifi.com.ng/edostate/; installations are expected to commence in Benin City on April 1st, 2021.
For many countries in Africa, there is still a huge digital divide. This boundary between connected and unconnected translates into clear consequences for employment, education, family and social life, and access to information. According to the World Wide Web Foundation, ensuring fast internet in Africa will enable billions more to come online, and to take advantage of the life-changing socio-economic opportunities that access to the Internet provides. Companies like Tizeti are playing a significant role in addressing the digital infrastructure deficits in Africa with innovative technology and capabilities, to improve development outcomes for millions of people.
Tizeti currently has 1.7 million unique users, with broadband services which include a new Skype-like personal and business enterprise communications service — WiFiCall.ng, and access to video streaming sites and services.
Tizeti is a fast-growing Wireless Internet service provider in Lagos, Nigeria, delivering high-speed unlimited Wi-Fi Internet access to residential and business customers using wide-area Wi-Fi. Its services are available in Lagos, Ogun, and Rivers State. It is also expanding rapidly to other African countries as it has been successfully launched in Accra and Tema, Ghana.