25 Jan

Daily Watch – CBN retains MPR at 14%, Debate into 2017 Budget begins

  • The CBN has retained the MPR at 14 percent. According to the regulator, the need to watch and re-assess the challenges that confronted the economy in 2016 and the opportunities for recovery in 2017 informed its decision against calls by some stakeholders for a cut in the rates to engender credit as a means of spurring national growth. Accordingly, it maintained all the policy rates at their subsisting levels: MPR at 14 percent; CRR at 22.5 percent; and Liquidity Ratio at 30.00 percent. The CBN retained the asymmetric corridor at +200 and -500 basis points around the MPR.
  • The National Assembly has started the debate on the general principles of the 2017 appropriation bill. Both chambers of the assembly had last week passed the MTEF and Fiscal Strategy Paper for 2017 to 2019, paving the way for the full consideration of the bill. Leading the debate, Senate Leader, Ahmed Lawan said the budget was designed to stimulate and attract private sector capital and spending. He added that the budget was designed to take Nigeria out of recession, create sustainable, inclusive growth and prosperity for all Nigerians, in line with the change agenda of the present administration.
  • The FG is reviewing the rules guiding the removal of shipwrecks from Nigerian waterways. The new rules are expected to ease the modalities of clearing a shipwreck for ship owners. NIMASA has started reviewing the existing procedures and galvanise it for a more efficient ways of combating shipwreck on the nation’s coastline.
  • Citing the need to cut debt and make its biggest overseas acquisition profitable, India’s largest mobile-phone operator, Bharti Airtel is considering mergers or stake sales at some of its Africa operations. Bharti chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal, said that some of the firm’s businesses in 15 African nations would be affected. This could result in job cuts at various levels and shrinking of businesses in countries of operations on the continent including Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia.