Access to finance has been considered to be one of the important factors in influencing firms’ real activities and in promoting aggregates. However, literature on the relationship between finance and firm-level productivity is almost non-existent for African countries. This paper fills this gap by using cross-sectional firm-level data to estimate the effect of access to finance on labour productivity, total factor productivity (TFP), and the stochastic frontier trans-log model. This study also estimates an instrumental variable model – two-stage least square estimator to address potential endogeneity bias between access to credit and firms’ productivity. The results obtained show that the lack of access to finance, especially overdraft facilities negatively affects the productivity of firms in Africa. Also, smaller firms and sole-proprietorships are mostly affected because they have less access to finance. This study suggests that the development of a balanced financial system should be of topmost priority to policy makers. This ensures that more finance is channelled towards those firms whose productivity depends heavily on the availability of finance irrespective of their characteristics. This would result in firms increasing their investments in productivity-enhancing activities, which would benefit long-term economic growth.
Recently released report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) indicates price increase of selected food items for the month of February 2017, relative to January 2017. Specifically, prices of the selected 24 food items ranged from N47.42 N1, 812 in January to N42.90 N1, 955.10 in February 2017. Average price of all selected items increased month-on-month by 2.7 percent to N540.05. Non-seasonal agriculture factors such as rising cost of crop production, imported products, and transportation continue to drive domestic food prices higher as domestic food supply contracts. This is also reflective of the high food inflation rate in February (18.53 percent) relative to 17.82 percent recorded in January 2017. Strengthening Nigerias crude oil production, supporting local agricultural production, and improving forex policies to straighten the naira remain critical in improving food supply and reducing inflation.
Nigerias Bonny light price declined by 7.1 percent from $40.19 per barrel on March 24, 2016 to $37.32 per barrel on April 1, 20162. OPEC weekly basket price also decreased by 3 percent from $35.81 per barrel to $34.74 per barrel within the same period3. The remerged downward trend in crude oil price is traceable to concerns over the likely failure of the oil production freeze deal between Saudi Arabia and Iran4. The outcome of the oil production freeze meeting which is scheduled to hold on April 17, 2016, will give further direction for oil supply regulation.