Is the new 5000 Naira note a good or bad thing? Some at the lower end of the income scale say a 5000 Naira note is superfluous since many Nigerians do not have enough money to make frequent use of it. Others argue that as Nigeria has a rapidly expanding middle class and upper class, the note will be of use to the higher income strata and will reduce bank costs of handling smaller denominations.
Nice articles from the Economist about Nigeria’s strong but volatile banking sector….and banking in developing countries in general (Chinese and Western banks flocking to Africa).
The Nigerian finance minister and other economists think so. They are predicting 10% economic growth per year in the next year(s), and think Nigeria’s economic growth could exceed that of China.
Nigeria set for 10% economic growth: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Africa/Africa-Monitor/2010/0914/Nigeria-poised-for-big-growth-aims-to-be-the-next-BRIC-country
Africa’s richest man says (in a CNN interview) that “Nigeria is really the best place to invest.It is the best kept secret actually in terms of investment”.
Guide to doing business in Johannesburg: http://www.economist.com/blogs/multimedia/2010/09/doing_business_johannesburg
Nigeria’s stock exchange: http://blogs.ft.com/beyond-brics/2010/08/23/do-not-publish-nigeria-stock-exchange/
I would appreciate the input of the economic, investment and finance people out there. In this era of economic doom and gloom, African economies resisted the global recession and handled it quite well.
Going forward, many analysts highlight Africa as a region for future economic investment and return. Nigeria and South Africa especially have a market with over 200 million people between them. South Africa’s confidence has been boosted by its successful hosting of the World Cup, and Nigeria is as always, an energy (oil) giant.
*Africa’s economic growth is forecast to be 4.75% in 2010
*In 2011, half of the world’s 10 fastest growing economies are expected to be in Africa.
*Nigeria’s economy grew by over 7% in the first half of 2010, and is predicted to grow by 10% next year.
Goldman Sachs’ global head of economic research Jim O’Neill said of Nigeria: “If it were to show the same increase in its growth-environment score over the next decade, many investors will look back and say why the hell didn’t I invest in Nigeria”.
At a time when most economic news tends to be doom and gloom about jobs (or lack thereof!), unemployment, poor housing and stock markets….some good economic news from west Africa – Nigeria precisely.
Nigeria’s economy is predicted to record 10% (yes TEN PERCENT) growth by the end of 2011 or early 2012 – at a time when the world is still reeling from the worst recession in living memory. The Nigerian economy grew by more than 7% in the first half of 2010.
Nigeria’s Finance Minister Olusegun Aganga (a former Managing Director at Goldman Sachs) claims that he is being contacted by investors across the world. He said:
“There’s no week that I don’t see two, three, four major investors from other parts of the world. Brazil, Germany even China, all these other countries. All of them bringing or wanting to come and invest in the country”.
Nice to hear some good news from Africa. This is the sort of coverage I want to see – and less about civil wars, diseased kids and poverty.
For you economists out there this might be interesting reading. Despite the global recession, many African economies have held up quite well. So will Africa become the next “BRIC” emerging economic force? (BRIC is the acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China – the emerging economies that could challenge the world’s developed economies). The debate started when South Africa (confident after its successful hosting of the World Cup) suggested it could join the BRIC emerging economies.
So will Africa be the next BRIC? The case FOR it is at the link below by Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala – World Bank Managing-Director (and Nigeria’s former Finance Minister). She is quite optimistic and outlines some very impressive stats:
*Africa is a trillion dollar economy that has grown faster than Brazil and India between 2000 and 2010 in nominal dollar terms, and is projected by the IMF to grow faster than Brazil between 2010 and 2015.
*Africa’s foreign exchange reserves increased by over 300% between 2001 and 2008.
As you might imagine, the case “against” is from a Western newspaper – the Financial Times.
Very sobering article about the impact of the global recession on the American middle classes. The stats are downright frightening:
• Approximately 21 percent of all children in the United States are living below the poverty line in 2010 - the highest rate in 20 years.
• 61 percent of Americans “always or usually” live paycheck to paycheck, which was up from 49 percent in 2008 and 43 percent in 2007.
• 36 percent of Americans say that they don’t contribute anything to retirement savings.
• 43 percent of Americans have less than $10,000 saved up for retirement.
• Over 1.4 million Americans filed for personal bankruptcy in 2009, which represented a 32 percent increase over 2008.
• For the first time in U.S. history, banks own a greater share of residential housing net worth in the United States than all individual Americans put together.
• The bottom 50 percent of income earners in the United States now collectively own less than 1 percent of the nation’s wealth.
• The average time needed to find a job has risen to a record 35.2 weeks.
• More than 40 million Americans are on food stamps, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that number will go up to 43 million Americans in 2011.
• Despite the financial crisis, the number of millionaires in the United States rose a whopping 16 percent to 7.8 million in 2009.
• The top 10 percent of Americans now earn around 50 percent of our national income.
If these stats emerged from an African country, we’d hear nothing about poverty and starving kids.
More tales of corruption. This is a “Four Corners” documentary by Australia’s ABC network allegedly that an Australian currency company (called Securency) was involved in bribing foreign countries (including Nigeria) and providing them with prostitutes. Apparently bribes were paid to facilitate a deal with the Central Bank of Nigeria. Full documentary at the link above, and preview video below.
For a man who is supposed to be Africa’s richest man, you don’t hear much of Aliko Dangote. In a country where many people’s riches are tied to the oil industry, Dangote made his fortune in myriad industries. His Dangote Group of companies is a formidable conglomerate with operations across Africa and interests in sugar, flour milling, salt processing, cement manufacturing, textiles, real estate, and oil and gas.
In 2008 Forbes magazine estimated his fortune at $2.5 billion US dollars (others estimate his fortune at $5 billion). Either way, he is stupendously wealthy!
Some interesting links below about Aliko Dangote’s background and business empire: