- The CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele, has mandated commercial banks to lower their risk rating for SMEs or lose CRR refunds. Emefiele said that the CBN needed the support of the commercial banks to lower the risk acceptance level for SMEs, and warned that if they refused, the regulator would take the money the banks should have got through the CRR and lend it directly to the SMEs. The CRR is a portion of banks’ deposits kept with the CBN as reserves, at zero interest rate. The MPC’s decision to harmonise the CRR on public and private sector deposits at 20 per cent from 25 per cent, is expected to add over N2 trillion to banks’ available deposit and enhance ready-cash for lending.
- Nigeria’s inflation rate for November, 2015 is 9.73% according to the National Bureau of Statistics. This is up from October’s 9.3%, a 0.43% rise. November’s Inflation rate is the second highest of the year to date, with September being the highest. According to the NBS, the hike in November inflation rate was due to “higher prices within the Food and Non-Alcoholic Beverages division as well as increases in the Transportation division as a result of shortages in Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) coupled with the knock-on effect impacting transportation of people and goods across the country.” Meanwhile, NBS data shows that the average price of petrol across the country rose by 23% to N115.35 when compared with N93.48 in October. This release tallies with SBM Intelligence’s report on the true cost of petrol in Nigeria, and gives impetus to those who believe that the petrol subsidy should be removed.
- The Minister of Agriculture, Audu Ogbeh, has confirmed that the Federal Government is owing fertilizer suppliers roughly N42 billion. Ogbeh, who announced this figure at a meeting with the House of Representatives’ Committee on Rural Development, blamed the huge debt profile on the failure of states to meet their 25 per cent counterpart funding for fertiliser subsidy scheme. Ogbeh said the FG was working out ways in ensuring that the suppliers were paid.
- New tariffs payable by power consumers across the country will be made public this week, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said. NERC said the new tariffs would be fair to the consumers, adding that the Federal Government had together with the 11 power distribution companies had made useful inputs into the new rates. The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that Nigerians should be ready to pay more for electricity, but noted that the increase in tariff would lead to better electricity supply.