01 Sep

Daily Watch – Economy shrinks again, Bleeding Aero closes shop

  • Nigeria’s economic slump deepened in Q2 as a declining oil industry weighed on output. GDP contracted by 2.1 percent in the three months through June from a year earlier, after shrinking 0.4 percent in Q1. Nigeria suffered a revenue squeeze after oil prices slumped by half since mid-2014, and crude exports fell by over 20 percent in the second quarter as militants in the Niger Delta blew up pipelines and reduced output. Crude production fell to 1.69 million barrels per day in Q2, from 2.11 million barrels in the three months through March, with the oil industry contracting by 17.5 percent and the non-oil sector, which includes manufacturing, banking and agriculture, shrinking by 0.4 percent.
  • Nigeria lost about $336.33 million in H1 2016, as oil and gas companies operating in the country flared 112.11 billion SCF of gas, according to data obtained from the NNPC. At the Nigerian Gas Company’s average gas price of $ per $1,000 SCFy, the flaring of 112.11 billion SCF translates to a loss of $336.33 million or ₦105.9 billion at current exchange rates. The NNPC, in its monthly financial and operational report for June, said the country earned $451.24 million or ₦142.14 billion, from gas exports in H1 16, as well as ₦13.528 billion from domestic sales.
  • The CBN has re-instated all banks that were suspended from the foreign exchange market. The regulator’s banking supervision director, Tokunbo Martins, said the decision was reached after a series of meetings with the body of bank CEOs and the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria. “Well, we have had engagements with the body of CEOs and they have been interacting amongst themselves and I am happy to tell you today that the banks that were hitherto banned have been released from the ban, and the reason is because all of the banks after discussions and engagements under the auspices of the body of CEOs and the CIBN have all submitted credible repayment plans which we the CBN found acceptable,” she said.
  • Aero Contractors said it would suspend all scheduled services indefinitely effective today. CEO, Fola Akinkuotu, said the management’s decision formed part of a strategic business realignment aimed at placing the airline on the path to profitability. All direct and contract staff have been placed on indefinite. “This business decision is as a result of the current economic situation in the country, which has forced some other airlines to suspend operations or pull out of Nigeria. “In the case of Aero, the airline has faced grave challenges in the past six months, which impacted its business and by extension the scheduled services operations.”
  • SEC has issued a public warning about an online investment scheme called ‘MMM Federal Republic of Nigeria (nigeria.mmm.net), calling it a “Ponzi scheme that has no tangible business model.” The regulator said the scheme’s proponents have embarked on an aggressive online media campaign to lure the investing public to participate in what it called “mutual aid financial network” with promises of monthly investment returns of 30%. SEC said the online operation was not registered, and returns are paid from the investments of its participants.
  • AfDB President, Akinwumi Adeshina, has said the bank has earmarked $12.5 billion to train the next generation of agriculture entrepreneurs in Nigeria and 24 other African countries by 2025. The funds, according to him, will be disbursed to 10,000 youths in each country through the AfDB’s Empowering Novel Agric-Business-Led Employment for Youth in African Agriculture (ENABLED Youth), aimed at promoting youth entrepreneurship in agriculture and agro-business. According to him, “Feed Africa”, one of the bank’s priorities, aims to transform African agriculture into a globally competitive, inclusive and business-oriented sector.