August 31, 2017
CSEA ANNUAL REPORT
Export and its Components: In 2015 and 2016Q1, overall export earnings declined significantly to a record low of less than $3000 million in 2016Q1, as against the peak of above $10,000 million in 2008
The Naira continued to depreciate in the review week. At the parallel market, naira exchanged for N498/$ on January 27, 2017 and N500/$ on February 3, 2017. Despite the weekly sales of forex to BDCs and the significant improvements in the external reserves, the naira has continued to lose value to other currencies. The pressure on the naira has been triggered by escalating scarcity of forex in the spot market, likely due to forex hoarding. However, in the preceding week, the CBN sold $660 million in forwards contract in an attempt to manage liquidity and stabilize the naira. In the face of growing speculation in the parallel market, the monetary authority should institute mechanisms that would discourage excessive forex hoarding among licensed BDC operators. An initiative that monitors transaction dealings in the parallel market would go a long way in detecting erring BDC operators.
Recently released survey report by the CBN shows an improvement in the availability of secured and unsecured banks credit and loans to households, corporate and small businesses in 2017Q3, and an optimistic outlook in 2017Q4. Among other indices, availability of overall secured and unsecured lending to households improved from -6.2 and -19.2 to -0.9 and -15.0 index points respectively; although still in the negative territory. Index for availability of credit to small businesses improved from -20.1 to -6.7. Lenders and respondents noted that anticipation of a brighter economic outlook, favorable liquidity positions, market share objectives and higher appetite for risk were major factors behind the increase.
The study conducts a cost-effectiveness analysis on two education interventions in Nigeria: Education Assistance program and the Home Grown School Feeding and Health Program with the aim of increasing school enrollment.