30 Nov

Daily Watch – Nigerians more interested in entertainment than education, NBS to survey SMEs

  • Nigeria lost 130 million barrels of crude oil worth about ₦3 trillion or almost half of the 2016 budget, using estimates of $50 per barrel and an exchange rate of ₦470/$ between January and October 2016, according to BusinessDay. The paper quotes Shina Bankole, general manager of security, Chevron Nigeria Limited, as stating this in a speech on addressing the burden of securing Nigerian oil and gas installations at the plenary session of an oil and gas health and safety conference in Lagos. “As at today, 58 incidents of sabotage have been recorded in the Niger Delta wherein assets and facilities belonging to oil and gas companies have been vandalised, and about 130 million barrels of crude have been lost due to inability of oil and gas companies to produce, as a result of attacks,” Bankole said. He further said that, “No fewer than 32 militants groups have emerged in the Niger Delta in the last one year alone.” As a result of the upsurge of militancy, Bankole said that facilities have been vandalised, crude production has been shut-in, personnel have been abducted and environment have been subjected to degradation.
  • Lagos governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Tuesday, presented the 2017 budget proposal of ₦813 billion to the House of Assembly, assuring that the budget would be judiciously implemented to continue the state’s infrastructural renewal and enhance its tourism and investment potential. Ambode, who tagged the budget “The Golden Jubilee Budget” as it coincides with the State’s 50th Anniversary, said it would focus on physical infrastructure, while social sectors especially health, education, youth and social development would get adequate attention. “In the course of the 2017 Financial Year, we shall carry out fundamental reforms on all our modes of transportation – Roads, Water and the Walkways. In this wise, a Public Transport Infrastructure Bond will be issued in the course of the year,” he said. “The state government will embark on the urbanisation of the Marina axis, waterways channelization, establishment of more parks and gardens as well as the Community Sports Centres and Stadiums in different locations across the State.” The 2017 budget will be a ₦150 billion increase from 2016 and is the biggest for any Nigerian state ever. Giving the key components of the budget, Governor Ambode said recurrent expenditure would gulp ₦300.535 billion while ₦512.464 billion would be dedicated to capital expenditure, representing a Capital/Recurrent ratio of 63 percent to 37 percent.
  • The NBS will do a census of businesses, industries and agricultural farmlands next year to help capture the country’s comprehensive gross domestic product. The exercise would be a follow up to the rebasing of the Nigerian economy conducted in 2014, the Statistician-General, Yemi Kale, said. The 2014 rebasing exercise put Nigeria’s economy as Africa’s largest with a GDP of $510 billion, against South Africa’s $384.3 billion. But it did not capture small businesses and industries that constitute about 20 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. The current economic challenges saw South Africa’s economy briefly overtake Nigeria in dollar adjusted terms although October estimates from the IMF still put Nigeria slightly ahead. Kale who said he expected Nigeria’s GDP to be slightly more than South Africa’s, disclosed that the census of businesses and industries would enable the statistics agency to capture the small businesses. “I don’t think Nigeria’s GDP is comprehensive enough. We will conduct a formal sector study of small businesses, industries and agricultural farmlands, crops, fisheries and their locations,” he said. “The census has not been conducted over the last 30 years. It would enable the Bureau capture about 20 percent of the country’s GDP left out during the 2014 rebasing of the Nigerian economy.”
  • The FG says it is working to establish a special bank which will make funds available for Nigerians breaking new grounds in the field of science, technology and innovation. Science and Technology minister, Ogbonnaya Onu, said a bill for the establishment of the National Research and Innovation Council would soon be presented to Federal Executive Council and thereafter to the National Assembly for passage. In his words, “The fund is not for agencies under the Ministry of Science and Technology alone. It is for all research institutes in all ministries, laboratories in universities and for young creative Nigerians in science and engineering.”
  • Nigerian smartphone users are less interested in health, education, travel, weather or news apps and increasingly downloading more entertainment mobile applications including social media, video, music and gaming apps, a new survey carried out by Mobile Ecosystem Forum (MEF) in association with Etisalat Nigeria has revealed. Indian consumers are however leading the take up of education on mobile, downloading more informative and educative mobile applications than other countries. The study among Nigerian telecoms consumers identifies apps, music and video as the biggest drivers for the increase in mobile data spending. A third of Nigerian mobile media users have paid to increase their data packages in the last six months in order to access these services. The mobile apps market in Nigeria has witnessed exponential growth over the years on the back of rising smartphone, tablet and wearable device ownership due to the lower costs of devices and significant improvement in broadband internet services, which in turn is driving the growth of mobile applications in emerging markets and opening up a wider and eager audience for app developers. “The growth of the mobile ecosystem from the more established areas like entertainment and messaging to the slow uptake of health, reading, transport and foods apps, along with the gradual uptake of mobile commerce and banking is quite encouraging and demonstrates the continued rise of the mobile economy in Nigeria,” said Rimma Perelmuter, CEO, MEF. Rimma Perelmuter explained that while the report shows strong growth in data consumption with 34 percent purchasing additional data, it also highlights that nearly three-quarters of respondents are still held back from downloading popular services such as apps that need the input of personal data like name, contact details and location due to a lack of trust.