- The FG has announced plans to release ₦100 billion for capital projects in a few days’ time, having earlier released ₦322 billion for the same purpose. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said, “We have also pledged to keep capital budget spending to a minimum of 30 per cent. We have already made capital releases of ₦332 billion which is more than the entire amount released last year, with another ₦100 billion set to be released in the next few days. The funds are for power, works, housing, transportation, defence and agriculture.” Osinbajo said the government had been able to save close to ₦1.4 trillion in fuel subsidy payment since May when it deregulated the downstream petroleum sector and pegged the pump price of petrol at ₦145 per litre.
- At the same event, the Vice President said that FPIs coming into the Nigerian economy via the capital market declined by 85.5 percent from $621 million in Q1 of 2015, had declined to $90.3 million by Q1 2016. FDI also took a plunge of 56 percent of from $395 million in Q1 2015 to $175 million by Q1 of 2016. “Inflation is at 16.5%. Depreciation of the naira, increase in importation costs due to scarcity of FX. GDP declined from 6.3% in 2014 to 2.15% in 2015 and -0.36% in Q1 2016,” Osinbajo said. After stating the problems with the economy, Osinbajo highlighted steps the government is taking to revive it. Including a ₦90 billion intervention to pay worker salaries, and capital spending being allocated a minimum of 30% in the budget.
- Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, has warned commercial banks against violating labour laws in the ongoing retrenchment of workers in the banking sector. Ngige said the FG would not tolerate flagrant disobedience of labour laws by any financial institution. Ngige reminded the banks that the country was a signatory to ILO conventions, which were against unfair labour practices.
- Nigeria has delayed the publication of key economic statistics, including GDP data that are expected to officially confirm the economy is in recession. The outgoing head of the NBS, Yemi Kale, said second-quarter GDP data will “now be released 31 August”, along with figures on trade and employment. The figures are typically released by the NBS in the third week of August. The IMF last month sharply slashed its growth forecast for Africa’s largest economy, saying it would contract by 1.8 percent this year, down from its estimate in April of 2.3 percent growth for the year. The slowdown was triggered by tumbling crude prices and is heaping pressure on the government of Buhari.