Macroeconomic Report & Economic Updates

February 13, 2017

Nigeria Economic Update (Issue 5)

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.

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Infrastructure Financing In Nigeria:

Similar to most sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries, Nigeria has a huge infrastructure deficit which considerably limits efforts towards achieving inclusive growth, sustainable development, and poverty reduction. With infrastructure stock estimated at 20-25 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Nigerias infrastructure stock is still significantly lower than the recommended international benchmark of 70 per cent of GDP. The 2014 National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIMP) estimates that a total of US$ 3 trillion of investments, or US$100 billion annually, is required over the next 30 years to bridge Nigerias infrastructure gap. In particular, the Plan estimates that Nigeria will have to spend an annual average of US$ 33 billion infrastructure investments for the period 2014 -2018. This means that Nigeria will have to more than double its spending on infrastructure from the current 2-3 per cent of GDP to around 7 per cent to make appreciable progress in infrastructure development over the next three decades.

Africa Economic Update (Issue 3)

Available data shows that headline inflation rates increased and remained high in most countries in the region in February 2017. Specifically, inflation rate increased in Egypt (30.2), Burundi (20.9 percent), Kenya (10.28), and Ethiopia (8.5 percent), while it eased in Nigeria (17.78 percent), Ghana (13.2 percent), South Africa (6.3 percent), and Namibia (7.8 percent). Seychelles (-0.6 percent) remained in deflation while Sudan (32.86 percent) and Tunisia (4.6 percent) had unchanged inflation rates within the review period. Increased cost of food continued to plague the region as food component of inflation remained the major driver of inflation. Drought in East Africa continues to compound price pressure in the region. Inflation rates in Burundi6, Kenya and Ethiopia increased by 8, 3.29, and 2.4 percentage points respectively, signifying the three highest price increase in the review period