FDC BI-MONTHLY ECONOMIC & BUSINESS UPDATE – JANUARY 28, 2020

Dear Subscriber,

Is it Nigeria’s debt or its debt service that is the problem??

In 2019, Nigeria’s total debt was approx. $85.39bn of which $26.94bn is external. The country’s debit service is rising at a time when total factor productivity growth has fallen to –0.4%. The FGN in its 2020 budget is determined to reduce the debt service which is consuming more than 60% of its independent revenue. This is why the President submitted a request to the National Assembly for an additional $22.72 billion external borrowing. The president has said that the new borrowings are for specific projects and therefore they are unlikely to increase debt service at the expense of productivity.

MPC resumes tightening by raising CRR by 5% – But is it enough to do the trick??

The Monetary Policy Committee at its first meeting in 2020 voted to reduce excess liquidity in the market by increasing the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) by 500pbs to 27.5% and maintained status quo on all other parameters. This move was made to curtail inflationary pressures in the economy and increase the general level of interest rates. The hike in the CRR could mean an additional N1.4trillion of banking sector debits. The real impact is not only the liquidity but the fact that it is sterilized at 0% return. This amount, which is approx. 5.17% of money supply will hopefully help in curbing price inflation which is now becoming a policymaker’s nightmare.

The menace of cybercrime in Nigeria

The threat of cybercrime continues to rise – not only in Nigeria but globally. It destroys the reputation of a country, making the business environment difficult for start-ups and SMEs while discouraging foreign investment into the economy. The growing wave of cybercrime in Nigeria does not come as a surprise, considering the high level of poverty and unemployment.

With the country venturing into a cashless society, the threat of cybercrime becomes all the more prevalent. This threat poses a great risk which can only be curbed through the strict enforcement of cybercrime laws on one hand and proper poverty reduction and eradication schemes.

In this edition of the FDC bi-monthly publication, the FDC Think-Tank analyzes these issues and their implications on businesses and the economy at large.

Enjoy your read!