LAGOS, March 10 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s parliament is
considering a bill to create a sovereign wealth fund aimed at
better managing the OPEC member’s windfall oil savings, billions
of dollars of which have been frittered away in recent years.
Following are some questions and answers about the plans:
WHEN WILL THE FUND BE ESTABLISHED?
Parliament held a public hearing on the bill this week,
including submissions from the central bank and senators on
suggested improvements, such as greater clarity on eligible
asset classes in which the fund can invest.
LAGOS (Reuters) – Greater domestic investment in Nigeria’s stock market would boost its stability and insulate it from bouts of capital flight by foreign investors, the chief executive of Fidelity Bank (FIDELIT.LG: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said.
Prices on Africa’s third biggest equities market rose 12 percent in the first two weeks of January but nervousness about the political upheaval in north Africa and caution over Nigeria’s April election have since all but erased those gains.
LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria wants to establish itself as the African hub for Islamic banking and is working on a regulatory framework to try to emulate the success of the industry in Malaysia, Central Bank Governor Lamido Sanusi said.
Nigeria is home to the largest Muslim population in sub-Saharan Africa, with around half of its 150 million people members of the Islamic faith. It is also home to one of Africa’s fastest growing consumer and corporate banking sectors.
LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s central bank will keep tightening monetary policy in a “steady and stable” manner as government spending and the resolution of a banking crisis add to inflationary risks, Governor Lamido Sanusi said Monday.
Nigeria’s monetary policy committee raised its benchmark interest rate by 25 basis points to 6.5 percent at its last meeting in January and took aggressive measures to tighten liquidity as it seeks to get inflation down to single digits.
LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria’s banking sector could see 20-25 percent loan growth over the next three to five years as demand for both consumer and infrastructure finance increases, the chief executive of Stanbic IBTC (IBTC.LG: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) said.
Chris Newson, head of the Nigerian unit of South Africa’s Standard Bank (SBKJ.J: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), said growth would be driven by Nigeria’s significant infrastructure finance needs as well as the emergence of small businesses and a growing middle class.
LAGOS (Reuters) – Africa offers plenty of scope for private equity investments, with at least another decade of strong growth expected from consumer goods, broadband internet and financial services, the co-head of one of the continent’s top private equity groups said.
Africa has already produced years of explosive growth in cell phones and banking, but new sectors such as TV over internet, insurance and real estate are set to form part of the next wave, according to Washington-based Emerging Capital Partners (ECP).
LAGOS, March 4 (Reuters) – Nigeria has completed a new
74-million-strong voter register it hopes will help ensure
credible elections next month, but insecurity and the partiality
of the courts remain challenges to a free and fair vote.
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) said
late on Thursday it had finalised a new electoral roll of
73,528,040 voters, a strong turnout in a population of around
150 million people, half of whom are under 18.
LAGOS, March 1 (Reuters) – Nigerian President Goodluck
Jonathan is seen as the front-runner in April elections but the
ruling party will face a tougher battle maintaining its strong
parliamentary majority and regional dominance.
Preparations so far for the general elections give grounds
for cautious optimism that the polls could be more credible and
less violent than previous votes in Africa’s most populous
nation, although the toughest challenges still lie ahead.
LAGOS, Feb 21 (Reuters) – Nigeria’s central bank governor on
Monday criticised calls from the IMF for greater exchange rate
flexibility, saying he did not believe the naira NGN=D1 was
overvalued and that the advice was based on flawed logic.
After ending consultations with Nigeria 10 days ago, the
International Monetary Fund noted in a statement on Thursday
that forex reserves had been falling and said speculation
against the naira could become “intense”. [ID:nLDE71G1O1]
LAGOS (Reuters) – Nigeria wants U.N. backing for military intervention in Ivory Coast to prevent it slipping into a civil war that could destabilize the West African region, Foreign Minister Odein Ajumogobia said on Monday.
West African bloc ECOWAS, which has threatened the use of force in Ivory Coast to push incumbent Laurent Gbagbo from power, needs “unequivocal international support” through a U.N. Security Council resolution, Ajumogobia said.