Monday, December 30, 2019 / 12:48 PM / Ottoabasi Abasiekong for WebTV / Header Image Credit: EcoGraphics
As the year 2019 begins to wind down and the expectations for the year 2020 increase, we bring you the top 20 stories that captured key developments in the economic, business and market space in Nigeria.
1. GDP Growth of 2.28%
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), in its Q3, 2019 report for the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate, stated that Africa's largest economy grew at +2.28%.
The implication was that the economy had recovered from an earlier recession (2016-2017), but needed a robust growth above +3% to be ahead of the pace of the national population growth rate of +2.6%.
One major takeaway is that the growth is driven by the oil sector, and it underscored the need for the deepening of the non-oil sector to serve as a key driver of growth, i.e. agriculture, mining, Information and Communications Technology, ICT and manufacturing.
2.NESG 25th Summit
The Nigeria Economic Summit Group the leading policy think-tank group in the country, marked its 25th anniversary with President Muhammadu Buhari the special guest of honour in attendance.
It focused on the theme "Nigeria In 2050: Shifting Gears" and brought together policymakers, business leaders and key stakeholders across key sectors of the Nigerian economy, to discuss the prospects for its competitiveness globally by 2050.
3.Appointment of Presidential Economic Advisory Committee
President Muhammadu Buhari appointed the Economic Advisory Committee (EAC) to advise on policies and the direction the economy should take.
Dr. Doyin Salami chairs the eight-man committee and directly reports to the President.
Other members of the committee include;
The appointment of an EAC was a major decision of President Muhammadu Buhari, who had come under criticism for not having a sound economic policy team in place. Read More
4. Finance Bill 2019-VAT Raised To 7.5%
The Federal Government presented for the first time the Finance Bill alongside the 2020 Budget, which made provisions for the increase of the nationâ€™s Value Added Tax to 7.5%.
The Bill got a speedy passage from the National Assembly and was signed into law by the President. Read More
5. Reappointment of CBN Governor Mr. Godwin Emefiele
The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, was reappointed by President Muhammadu Buhari to serve another five-year term (2019-2024).
Unveiling his second-term agenda, Mr. Godwin Emefiele assured Nigerians that the CBN would support the nation's economic growth & stability, deepen financial inclusion, improve the credit bureau service, enhance digital financial services, support MSME growth and ensure cyber-security in the banking industry amongst others.
6. Access Bank and Diamond Bank Merger
Access Bank and Diamond Bank achieved one of the biggest bank mergers in the decade (2010-2020), to become a well repositioned Access Bank that will expand its services across Africa and the globe.
The merger will expand the Access Bank customer base to 27 million and improve the delivery of its financial services through its digital channels. Read More
7. NAICOM Recapitalization Roadmap 2020 For the Nigerian Insurance Industry
The National Insurance Commission, NAICOM poised to build a vibrant and dynamic insurance industry in Nigeria, rolled out the recapitalization plan for companies which are due by June 2020.
The breakdown for the recapitalization of Insurance Companies below;
Table 1 Recapitalisation Size for Insurance Companies in Nigeria
Class of Business
Minimum Paid-Up Share Capital From 2007
Minimum Paid-Up Share Capital From 2019
Life Insurance Business
General Insurance Business
According to Coronation Research, the plan, if well implemented, will reposition the industry to be a viable one contributing to the growth of the Nigerian economy. Read More
8. CBN Reviews Fees on ATM, Card Maintenance & Electronic Transfers
The Central Bank of Nigeria announced a review of fees on ATM, Card Maintenance and electronic transfers. The new revised fees are contained in the latest Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions just released by the CBN.
According to the regulator, the new charges show that electronic transfer below N5,000 by customers will attract a fee of N10. For electronic transfers between N5,000 and N50,000, the applicable fee charged would be N25.
Also, the CBN reduced charges on cash withdrawal through other bank ATMs to "a maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month" from "N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month". Read More
9. MTN, Airtel Major Telcos List on NSE
The top two leading telecommunications firms in Nigeria MTN and Airtel both listed respectively at the Nigeria stock exchange boosting the telecommunications index in the exchange.
It was a welcome development as both companies helped to lift the market capitalization of the NSE.
MTN carried out a formal Listing by introduction on the Premium Board of the exchange, While Airtel Africa listed on the Mainboard of the Nigeria stock exchange
Watch Video of MTN Listing
Watch Video of Airtel Africa Listing
10. Ekiti and Osun States visit the NSE
The Ekiti and Osun state governments respectively visited the Nigeria stock exchange to engage market stakeholders to give them insight into their economic strategies and plans, and opportunities for investments.
Watch Video of Ekiti Facts Behind The State's Presentation
11. FMDQ Emerged As a Full-Fledged Securities Exchange
The FMDQ OTC Exchange achieved in the year the transition into a full-fledged securities exchange. Read More
12. FMDQ Launched Financial Centre for Sustainability
The FMDQ Securities Exchange launched the Financial Centre for Stability in Lagos, Nigeria, which offers a market-side approach to developing a financing model for Nigeria's sustainable development.
Lagos State Governor Mr Babajide Sanwoolu launched the FC4S. Read More
13. NASD 2019 Stakeholders Forum
The NASD OTC Exchange responsible for the unlisted securities hosted a strategic stakeholder forum to chart a pathway for the development of the market.
It was an opportunity to explore how technology will be deployed to deepen market activities in the exchange.
14. SEC Nigeria Launches Fintech Roadmap For The Nigerian Capital Market
The Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC at the 2019 Nigeria Fintech Week, launched the Roadmap that will guide the regulation of Fintech for the Nigerian Capital Market Community.
The launch had in attendance the Acting Director-General of the Securities and Exchange Commission Ms. Mary Uduk and the President of the Fintech Association of Nigeria Dr. Segun Aina.
15. Nigeria Moved Up 13 places in the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business Ranking
Nigeria moved up 13 places from 146 to 131 in the World Bank 2020 Ease of Doing Business Ranking global index.
The improvement attested to the ongoing reforms carried out by the Federal Government to improve the business environment. Read More
16. Nigeria Signed Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCTA Agreement
Nigeria signed the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement, AFCTA, that integrated the country into a wider regional market.
The Agreement is the second largest in the World in terms of participation covering 54 African countries.
Late Ambassador Chiedu Osakwe, former Chief Trade Negotiator for Nigeria, played an instrumental role in actualizing the AFCTA treaty ratification. Read More
17. FG Announced Border Closure Till Further Notice
One of the key business decisions taken by the Federal Government this year was the closure of the Borders to neighbouring countries.
It had huge socio-economic implications for countries like Benin, Niger and Ghana while the International Monetary Fund called for a review of the policy.
The Foreign Minister Mr. Geoffrey Onyema listed the following as conditions for reopening the border which includes;
18. Nigeria-South Africa Diplomatic Row
Africa's two largest economies Nigeria and South Africa experienced diplomatic tensions in their relationship as a result of the spate of Xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans in the Rainbow nation.
For the first time, there were reprisal attacks on South African brands in Nigeria and the Federal Government boycotted the 2019 World Economic Forum, Africa, in South Africa.
After a series of engagements, the Presidents of Nigeria and South Africa met in October 2019 to strengthen the Bi-National Commission of both nations, pledging to promote a cordial relationship between the two nations. Read More
Energy and Petroleum Sector
19. Nigeria Signed 2019 Petroleum Sharing Contract Bill Into Law
President Muhammadu Buhari, in the year, signed the Petroleum Sharing Contract (PSC) Bill 2019, which would reposition the Oil & Gas sector in the country. Read More
. Nigeria-Siemens Signed Agreement To Boost Power Sector
The Federal Government of Nigeria and German Company Siemens AG signed a power sector roadmap agreement, which should see about 7,000mw of electricity generated in 2021, 11,000mw generated by 2023 and 25,000mw by 2025. Read More