09 Mar

Daily Watch – GDP growth rate hits 16-year low, NNPC broken up

  • Nigeria’s GDP growth rate has fallen to a 16-year low of 2.815 percent – the lowest since the return of democracy in 1999. According to the World Bank, Nigeria’s GDP growth rate for 1999 stood at 0.47 percent and peaked in 2004 at 33.7 percent, growing at an average of six percent from 2005 to 2013. However, the NBS GDP report released on Tuesday shows that the GDP growth rate sunk to its lowest since the beginning of the fourth republic – lower than World Bank projections for 2015. According to the report, the fourth quarter GDP grew by 2.11 percent, lower than every other quarter in the 2015 – and it is the lowest from 2013 to 2015. More than 75 percent of all the major economic sectors experienced a decline in the fourth quarter of 2015. Since Nigeria returned to civilian rule, the GDP growth by year, according to the World Bank and the NBS has been: 2000 (5.32%) 2001 (4.41) 2002 (3.78) 2003 (10.35) 2004 (33.74) 2005 (3.44) 2006 (8.21) 2007 (6.83) 2008 (6.27) 2009 (6.93) 2010 (7.84), 2014 (6.23), 2015 (2.82).
  • The Minister of State for petroleum and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Ibe Kachikwu, has unbundled the organisation into five business and two services components. The units are upstream, downstream, gas and power, refineries, ventures, corporate planning and services, and finance and accounts. Kachikwu explained that the distribution of subsidiary companies of the corporation would further be restructured into direct management of the divisions. He announced the heads of the units as Bello Rabiu (upstream), Henry Ikem-Onih (downstream), Saudu Mohammed (gas & power), and Babatunde Adeniran (ventures). Others are Anibor Kragha (refineries), Isiaka Abdulrazaq (finance & services), and Isa Inuwa (corporate services).
  • President Muhammadu Buhari and his South African counterpart, Jacob Zuma will address a joint session of National Assembly today at 3 in the afternoon. Zuma, who is in Nigeria on 3-day working visit, is also expected to address the South Africa-Nigeria Business Forum. Over 120 South African companies are currently doing business in Nigeria in various sectors, including telecommunications, aviation, tourism, banking, property, retail, entertainment and fast food.
  • Procter and Gamble (P&G) has established Nigeria as its export hub for Africa. According to George Nasser, Vice President Procter and Gamble Nigeria, “We have started exporting to West Africa, and use some of that Foreign Exchange earned to get around dollar shortage in Nigeria.” Nasser also mentioned that P&G was encouraging their major suppliers to come and invest in Nigeria.
  • The NCC has announced plans to set a cost based pricing for the fixed transmission service. The cost based pricing would ensure competition in transmission capacity market in the telecommunications industry. Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Danbatta, noted that access to affordable fixed and mobile broadband in Nigeria was only possible with healthy competition among operators irrespective of their size.