09 Nov

Daily Watch – Nigeria-EU trade plunges 29 percent, Sokoto asks for more money

  • The NBS on Monday released the capital importation report for the third quarter of 2016 with the country recording an increase of 74.84 percent in investment inflow from $1.04 billion in the second quarter to $1.82 billion. The NBS said that compared with the relative inflow in the third quarter of 2015, the capital imported into the country represents a decline of 33.7 percent. An analysis of the report shows that during Q3, portfolio investment rose by 172.84 percent from $337.3 million in Q2 to $920.32 million. In the same vein, the report showed that foreign direct investment rose by 84.8 percent from $184.3 million in Q2 to $340.64 million in Q3 while other investment rose by 7.8 percent from $520.6 million to $561.6 million. It said, “In the third quarter of 2016, portfolio investment was the largest component of imported capital and accounted for $920.32 million. Although portfolio equity declined by 28.12 percent relative to the previous quarter, this is outweighed by large increases in other types of portfolio investments. Bonds increased from zero in the second quarter, to $369 million in the third, and money market instruments increased from $57.5 million to $350.2 million over the same period, an increase of 509.03 percent. This is the first quarter since 2007 second quarter in which equity was not the largest part of portfolio investment. At $201.12 million, this type of portfolio investment remains considerably subdued relative to previous highs of $4.9 billion in the first quarter of 2013 and $3.87 billion in the second quarter of 2014.” The report explained that the highest amount of investment inflow for the third quarter of this year was recorded in the month of August when $894 million was brought into the country by investors – the highest since July 2015.
  • The naira fell briefly to a new low against the dollar on the official market on Tuesday but rebounded after the CBN pumped $1.5 million into the market to stabilise the battered currency, traders said. The currency weakened to a record low of ₦375.50 to the dollar at 1014 GMT, according to Thomson Reuters data. The central bank later sold around $1.5 million to some commercial lenders, helping the naira to close at the previous day’s rate of ₦305, traders said. The naira had briefly touched a rate of 365 on Aug. 18 but quickly reversed its losses to close at ₦324 per dollar at the official window. An official at trading platform FMDQ confirmed a single trade worth $10,000 had been made at a rate of ₦376.63 early on Tuesday but gave no further details.
  • The volume of trade between the EU and Nigeria declined by 26.7 percent to €29 billion in 2015, as a result of the persistent fall of commodity prices, especially oil and gas. This was disclosed by the EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Michel Arrion while addressing a press conference for the upcoming fifth EU-Nigeria business forum in Lagos. According to Arrion, “In 2014, Nigeria’s total trade with the EU, which accounted for 31 percent of Nigeria’s total trade, stood at €39 billion. EU investment stock in Nigeria grew from €23.8 billion in 2013 to €25.3 billion in 2014. However, with the fall in oil prices, EU-Nigeria trade declined by 26.7 percent to €29 billion in 2015. Nigerian exports to EU declined by 35 percent while imports declined by 7 percent over the period. Unfortunately, about 97 percent of the exports to the EU are oil and gas.” He called for strengthening the EU-Nigeria business relations through the identification of opportunities in the global textile value chain; exposing Nigerian SMEs to opportunities in the EU market through the Enterprise Europe Network and exploring the financing options available for power sector funding and diversifying the country’s energy mix.
  • An international rating agency, the Sovereign Wealth Funds (SWFs) has reclassified Nigeria among countries that are grouped in the third category of the funds’ assessment, a drop from the second group the country occupied in the past six years. Nigeria is said to have lost some marginal growth marks between 2015 and 2016 as to be reclassified in the current rating of the body, contained in its report made available to an online newspaper, Ripples Nigeria. A special study commission of SWFs and carried out by a Washington-based Peterson Institute for International Economics, assessed 60 funds and nine government pension funds and scored them on governance, structure, transparency, accountability and behaviour. Nigeria increased its score from 58 percentage points to 76 percent along with countries in the third group, measuring in the third scoreboard, along with Equatorial Guinea and Libya. “The little improvement on the part of Nigeria is simply because it was able to sustain some level of transparency and growth in its pension reform and fund management in related areas as published in 2013,” said the report.
  • The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has said that domestic airlines operating in the country recorded 7,722 cases of delayed flights in the third quarter of 2016. This is contained in a document issued by the NCAA’s Consumer Protection Department which was obtained on Monday by the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos. The document indicated that 13,097 flights were operated by eight domestic airlines during the period under review, while 253 flights were cancelled. It said the airlines in operation were Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View and Overland. Arik, which operated 4,882 flights, topped the chart of delayed and cancelled flights with 2, 824 and 128 respectively. This was closely followed by Air Peace, which recorded 1,383 delayed flights and 16 cancellations out of its 2,754 flight operations. Dana Air operated 1,665 flights with 1,160 incidences of delayed flights and one cancellation. The airlines had attributed the delays and cancellations to the lingering scarcity of aviation fuel in the country.
  • The Sokoto House of Assembly on Tuesday received a letter from Governor Aminu Tambuwal requesting for a second warrant to vire ₦2.4 billion in the 2016 budget. Tambuwal, in the letter read by the Speaker, Salihu Maidaji drew the attention of the assembly to the ongoing development projects and services in the state. The letter read, “Therefore, there is the need for the modifications in the budgetary provisions in order to ensure sustainability of the projects and services in the state. Further to that, all the affected votes of charge will be harmonised in the state’s budget outlay to ensure prudence in the management of the resources. In the light of the foregoing, I forward to the house, the 2016 second virement warrant request involving ₦1.130 billion for capital projects and ₦1.290 billion for recurrent expenditure.” The governor indicated that the virement for capital, recurrent expenditures and heads as well as subheads of all relevant agencies.