21 Mar

Daily Watch – Employment declines for 12th consecutive month, MAN to float power company

  • The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee begins its two-day meeting today with weak domestic growth and rising inflation. This meeting comes soon after data showed that economic growth in Q4 2015, at 2.11 percent, has fallen to its lowest level since Nigeria returned to democratic rule, while inflation rose to a double-digit figure for the first time in almost four years. The meeting is holding in the context of a slowing global economy and the rejection, last week, by Iran of a freeze on oil exports. Iran’s position has affected a recent resurgence in oil prices.
  • The employment level index in the month of February stood at 45 percent, indicating a decline for the twelfth consecutive month. However, the employment index declined at a faster rate when compared with the level in January, 2016. Of the sixteen sub-sectors, twelve recorded declines in terms of jobs created or shed. This is according to the Purchasing Mangers’ Index (PMI) prepared by the Survey Management Division of the CBN. The Manufacturing PMI declined to 45.5 percent in February 2016, from 47.2 percent recorded in January. Out of the 16 manufacturing sub-sectors, 13 including transportation equipment; appliances & components; textile, apparel, leather and footwear; paper products; furniture & related products; fabricated metal products; non-metallic mineral products; petroleum & coal products; printing & related support activities; primary metal; chemical & pharmaceutical products; computer & electronic products and electrical equipment, reported declines. Food, beverage & tobacco products sub-sector reported no change, though plastics & rubber products, and cement recorded expansion.
  • Nigerian manufacturers have set up a power development company that will help reduce the negative impact of the situation on production. The firm is known as MAN Power Development Company Limited and is being managed by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria. Poor electricity supply remains one big challenge facing manufacturers in Nigeria. Data from MAN shows that there were, on the average, five power outages each day in industries zones across the country in the first half of 2015. According to Usman Ibrahim, the chairman, MAN Infrastructure Committee and vice president of MAN in the north-east zone, the government must make gas pricing reasonable to support generating and distribution companies.
  • The value of Nigeria’s exports for 2015 dropped by 40% to about N9.7 trillion. It was N16.3 trillion in 2014. The NBS’s fourth quarter Foreign Trade Statistics report showed that crude oil exports took a significant hit as they dropped by about 41.6% in 2015 to about N6.94 trillion. Total oil sales were about N9.6 trillion down 40.7% when compared to the N16.2 trillion reported in 2014. Non oil exports for the year were about N1.16 trillion. In terms of the composition of Nigeria’s exports, the largest product exported by Nigeria in 2015 was “Mineral products” which accounted for N8.574 trillion or 88.1%. Other products that contributed noticeably to Nigeria’s exports include “Vehicles, aircraft and parts thereof; vessels etc.” and “Prepared Foodstuffs; beverages, spirits and vinegar; tobacco” whose values stood at N681.6 billion or 7.0%, and N167.1 billion or 1.7% respectively, of the total exports of Nigeria for the year.