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BusinessDay 14 Feb 2018

BusinessDay 14 Feb

BusinessDay Economic Outlook 2018 charts path for sustained economic recovery ISAAC ANYAOGU, DIPO OLADEHINDE & CYNTHIA EGBOBOH, Abuja BusinessDay, West Africa’s most authoritative business daily, is holding its annual Nigeria Economic Outlook, Friday, February 16, at the Wheatbaker Hotel Ikoyi, Lagos, to critically look at how the economy has fared in 2017 and chart a pros- See BusinessDay Market and Commodities Monitor on page 4 perous path for 2018, by bringing together those who manage the economy as well as those who feel the effect of their policies to talk about the issues that matter. While Nigeria’s economy exited its first recession in 25 years, in the second quarter of 2017, analysts say the recovery is still fragile as other sectors, including manufacturing, are still in recession. Some analysts have already expressed concern that the negative growth presently being recorded by the non-oil sector could drag the nation’s economy into another recession if oil prices drop. The economy emerged from a difficult recession in the second quarter of 2017, and then expanded further by 1.40 percent in the third quarter, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). Fourth quarter GDP figures are expected on February 27. This year’s BusinessDay economic outlook, with the broad theme, “Navigating from Recovery to Growth,” will have top CEOs, investors, decision makers and government officials; including speakers such as Okechukwu Enelamah, minister of Industry, Trade and Investment; Patience Oniha, director general, Debt Management Office (DMO) and Yemi Kale, Statistician General, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) as special guests. Other personalities expected at the event includes Austin Continues on page 42 NEWS YOU CAN TRUST I **WEDNESDAY 14 FEBRUARY 2018 I VOL. 14, NO 545 I N300 @ g Shoprite hit by difficult operating environment, regulatory harassment Downsizes some stores, closes others ODINAKA ANUDU Questions are being raised again about the viability of Nigeria as an investment destination as a harsh business environment, mostly governmentmade, is threatening to drive out Shoprite, a South African retailer that is creating jobs and boosting the sales of made-in- Nigeria products. The concerns about Shoprite’s struggles is heightened by the exit from Nigeria of OLX, the buying and selling website. OLX, which has been operating in the country since 2012, had an online classified site, which offered Nigerians a platform to buy and sell second-hand items. The site had more than a million second-hand items posted on it in 2016, but still struggled to remain profitable in the country’s difficult operating environment forcing it to pull. Similarly, Shoprite has created much excitement in the Nigerian retail market space since it opened its first store in the country in 2005, but the retailer is already downsizing some of its stores across the country as a preparation to possibly quit if SON demands N3 per package sold government at various levels fail to act fast, BusinessDay gathers. Apart from constant harassment by state, local and Federal Government officials in the name of bogus and multiple taxes and levies, the Standards Continues on page 4 L-R: Chuka Uroko, property editor, BusinessDay; Kofoworola Awobamise, permanent secretary, Lagos State ministry of information and strategy; Idowu Ajanaku, special adviser, information and strategy; Kehinde Bamigbetan, commissioner for information and strategy; Anthony Osae-Brown, editor, BusinessDay; Toro Oladapo, director, public affairs, and Deji Balogun, director, social media, during the visit of the commissioner and the management team of the ministry to BusinessDay, yesterday in Lagos . Pic by Pius Okeosisi Contractors fret over government debts as elections draw near DIPO OLADEHINDE Contractors are threading carefully with the government as election uncertainties cloud payments for executed contracts. The Federal Government previously promised to raise a N2.7 trillion bond to pay off backlog of debts owed to contractors, but the clash between the executive and legislature has delayed an approval. “The executive would need approval of the National Assembly, which could be a bottleneck; also, to increase our debt profile to N2.7 trillion will be a huge burden on the country’s balance sheet,” Johnson Chukwu, CEO, Cowry Assets Management Limited, said. Already, in the proposed 2018 budget, the Federal Government is planning to increase the country’s debt profile by borrowing N1.699 trillion, of which 50 percent will be sourced externally. This government debt burden Continues on page 42 CBN seeks proscription of ‘shell banks’ in Nigeria P. 43

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