- The CBN kept its key interest rate unchanged at a record 13 percent, while defying calls to devalue the Naira despite a plunge in oil revenue. The Cash Reserve Ratio was reduced to 25 percent from 31 percent. The move by the apex bank to stay its course is being seen by analysts as “merely kicking the can down the road”. CBN Governor Emefiele said that the import ban would help to create jobs and boost local industries, but Razia Khan, Regional Head of Economics, Africa at Standard Chartered Bank says that Nigeria, which has had substantial experience with similar import-substitution policies in the past rarely succeeded in creating a vibrant, competitive industrial sector with the capability of creating the level of employment growth that Nigeria demands.
N780 billion could be released into the banking sector, following the reduction in Cash Reserve Ration to 25 percent from 31 percent. But analysts are concerned that this flow of funds could find its way into fixed income investments, rather than being lent to the economy, denying it the much needed funding it needs to grow out of the slowdown. Central Bank governor, Godwin Emefiele charged banks to invest in critical sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing for the much needed growth to occur.
- A recently released report is showing that Nigeria is the third worst, globally in tax payment compliance. The study measured the ease of paying taxes across economies by assessing the time required for a company to: prepare, file and pay taxes, the number of taxes that it has to pay, the method of payment and the total tax liability. It found that it takes the Nigerian taxpayer an average of 908 hours to comply, followed by Bolivia about 1,025 hours, and the worst being Brazil- about 2,600 hours. In comparison, it taxes taxpayers in South Africa 200 compliance hours, 224 hours in Ghana, and 202 in Kenya.