By Kevin Daly, Aberdeen Asset Management
If you are a young Nigerian, life was already hard enough before the price of oil collapsed and Boko Haram established themselves as a real threat to Africa’s largest oil producer. The country’s now delayed elections are unlikely to improve their lot or that of weary investors.
For years Nigeria’s 170m people have laboured to overcome endemic power shortages, a lack of jobs, crippling corruption and institutions which have persistently failed to serve them. Nigeria’s own statistics agency found that 61 per cent of Nigerians lived on less than a dollar a day in 2010.
Electricity consumption per head of population is around 149 kw-hour (Mexico’s, by comparison, is over 2,000 kw-hours). Former central bank Governor Lamido Sanussi was sacked last year after exposing a multi-billion dollar subsidy racket involving the state oil company. Read more
As African central bank governors go, few have a higher profile than Lamido Sanusi – and few have courted more controversy. Appointed in the midst of a debt crisis in 2009, his bold moves to fix Nigeria’s crisis-stricken banks toppled the chief executives of eight local lenders, and he’s not one to tiptoe around the political elite either.
After years of persistently high inflation, you would think taming the beast would be cause for celebration.
Not in Nigeria – or in the central bank, at any rate. Despite inflation falling to a 5-year low of 8.6 per cent year-on-year in March, the news has simply exacerbated the debate over what to do about interest rates. Read more
Nigeria’s economy grew 6.5 per cent in the third quarter, slightly up from 6.4 per cent in the previous period. Read more
Source: central bank
The March figure for inflation in Nigeria has come in at 12.1 per cent – a rise from February’s 11.9 per cent.
And while the figure announced on Wednesday was ahead of expectations, it’s not too bad: the rolling 12-month average is 10.9 per cent, down a little from 11.0 per cent the month before. But, the forecast for the rest of the year isn’t too good. Read more
Falling inflation wasn’t enough to twist policy makers’ arms in Nigeria on Tuesday. The central bank’s monetary policy committee left its policy rate at 12 per cent for a third consecutive time.
Although Monday’s inflation figure of 11.9 per cent year on year in February surprised the market, it is still above the central bank target of 10 per cent. Read more