- Electricity supply in Nigeria dropped from the 4.883.9mw to 2,200MW at the end of last week. Over 450MW of electricity has been trapped at the Afam V Power Station in Rivers State following a fire incident, in which TCN protection and control equipment were destroyed last week. Nerus Ekezie, the Head, Programmes and Membership, Institute of Directors’ Centre for Corporate Governance, said that inadequate electricity would lead to high cost of production, increase in prices of goods and reduced purchasing power of consumers. Asides, the prices of some petroleum products, such as cooking gas, kerosene and diesel, recorded a significant increase, forcing Nigerians to spend a huge chunk of their earnings on the essential commodities.
- The Punch is reporting that the recession is forcing multinational and indigenous firms to cut down on expenses such as rent, giving rise to a high number of vacant grade ‘A’ office buildings across the country. The paper says that occupancy rate of luxury office complexes is as low as 30 percent. Along Kingsway Road, Ikoyi, Lagos alone, there were more than five luxury office complexes, all with less than 50 per cent occupancy rate. Before the recession, there was a strong demand for grade ‘A’ office space with rents going as high as $800 (₦253,600) to $1,000 (₦317,000) per square metre in such buildings. In recent times, prices have crashed by 50 percent from about $100,000 per annum in some of the buildings to $50,000, yet the spaces remain unoccupied. For smaller and upcoming businesses, co-working and office sharing are gradually becoming the norm.
- The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee will hold its first meeting for the year today and tomorrow to review developments in the economy and probably set a new direction for growth this year. Analysts have forecast that the committee would leave key economic variables, including the MPR and CRR unchanged in view of the critical state of the economy. According to them, there is a need for the MPC to lower the benchmark interest rate and adjust the CRR in order to enhance the capability of the Deposit Money Banks to create credit in the economy, but most agreed that these policy adjustments might not happen. They argued that the MPC had not historically shown that it was in favour of such policy adjustments in a recession. The MPR was retained at 14 percent by the MPC at its 253rd meeting in November last year. It predicated its decision on the need to mitigate the fragile macroeconomic conditions and the strong headwinds confronting the economy, particularly the implications of the twin deficits of current account and budget deficits.
- The NBS Petroleum Products Statistics publication for Q4 2016 shows that Nigeria spent ₦2.57 trillion naira importing petroleum products in the country in 2016. Petrol cost the most with 18.8 billion litres imported at a cost of ₦2.01 trillion. 4.8 billion litres of diesel were imported at a cost of ₦505.8 billion naira, while kerosene cost ₦70.7 billion naira for 713.79 million litres. May 2016, which was the month deregulation of petrol was implemented, saw the highest volume of petrol imported into the country. 2.02 billion litres of petrol were imported into the country at a cost of ₦249.88 billion.