Dear Subscriber,

Santa Claus visits Nigerian State Governors

Nigerian workers are facing the possibility of a bleak holiday season. This is as they are confronted with higher prices and squeezed wallets. They will wake up tomorrow to face higher electricity tariffs and the menace of N340/ltr petrol in February with the added possibility of queues if there is a strike.

The FGN is contemplating a N5,000 stipend to cushion the shock. Labor has been vocal in its resistance of the proposed palliative which it says only benefits a few (40 million of the most vulnerable). However, the FG is effectively playing Santa with the timing of its N18.2bn stimulus package to each state. While it may not sound like a lot, it could be far-reaching in paying contractors and settling salary and pension arrears. The impact on aggregate demand and consumption could be the much-needed shot in the arm many Nigerians need to breathe easy this Christmas.

Positive economic data – just doesn’t feel like it

Official inflation numbers from the NBS indicate a further moderation to 15.99% in October. Many analysts are now scratching their heads at how this could possibly be. The numbers imply that in the face of undeniable anecdotal evidence, prices are, on average, only 15.99% higher than they were one year ago. The embattled Nigerian consumer would beg to differ. For instance, the prices of flour, beans and cooking gas are up by 64.23%, 180% and 163.16% respectively in the past year. Makes you wonder if the inflation basket is in need of some reconfiguration as they seem out of touch with reality.

Making the most of your business’s social media

Today, it’s hard to imagine a business without the Internet. A few years ago, establishing a business on the internet was just a laughable myth as most people preferred to shop directly from stores. The catch at the time was, the opportunity to physically scrutinize and negotiate sales before payment. The reality today is that brick and mortar stores are on the verge of obsolescence. Smartphones and the internet have altered the definition of what a ‘great shopping experience’ is and companies are becoming increasingly conscious of the on-line presence of most of their customers (millennials) and competitors.

The lifestyle section of this digest will provide you with four unique ways that small businesses can harness social media to their advantage.

This edition of the Unity Bank Digest, as usual, provides you with an intriguing lifestyle piece, recent economic news and interesting social stories.

Enjoy your read!