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Nigeria’s Economy’ll Hit $1.85tn By 2029, IMF Predicts

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The International Monetary Fund has predicted that Nigeria’s economy will reach $1.85tn by 2029, in Purchasing Power Parity terms.

This forecast suggests a significant growth trajectory for the country’s economy over the next five years.

According to the IMF data obtained by PUNCH Online, Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product in PPP terms has been steadily increasing, from $1.36tn in 2023 to $1.852tn in 2029.

GDP is the most commonly used single measure of a country’s overall economic activity. PPP is a theory that relates changes in exchange rates to changes in price levels between countries, allowing for more accurate international comparisons of economic data.

The data shows a consistent growth trend, with a notable increase of 5.5 per cent expected in 2029.

The Fund also predicted Nigeria’s share of global GDP based on PPP to reach 0.78 per cent by 2029.

This represents a slight increase from 0.77 per cent in 2023, indicating a steady growth trajectory for the country’s economy.

The data suggests that Nigeria’s economy is gradually expanding, albeit slowly, and is expected to continue this trend over the next five years.

The country’s share of global GDP has remained relatively stable, fluctuating between 0.775 per cent and 0.778 per cent from 2024 to 2028.

Economists believe that this positive outlook is a testament to the country’s efforts to diversify its economy, invest in infrastructure, and promote foreign investment.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, has faced significant challenges in recent years, including a recession in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and a decline in oil prices.

Economist Shadrach Israel in an interview with our correspondent stated, “The IMF reports indicated that the government’s reforms and initiatives have contributed to the country’s economic growth.”

The trend of Nigeria’s GDP in PPP terms over the past few years indicates a steady recovery and growth. In 2024, the country’s GDP in PPP terms stood at $1.44tn, increasing to $1.51tn in 2025, and $1.587tn in 2026. The growth continued in 2027, with a GDP (PPP) of $1.67tn, and $1.759tn in 2028.

“The IMF’s prediction of Nigeria’s economic growth is a positive sign for the country’s future, indicating a potential for increased economic prosperity and development,” Israel noted.

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N280 Billion Final Approval For Bodo-Bonny Road Project ~ FG

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The Federal Government has approved a final N280 billion for Julius Berger Nigeria PLC to complete the Bodo-Bonny road project in Rivers State.

This announcement was made by the Honourable Minister of Works, David Umahi, during his inspection visit to the project site on Wednesday, as reported on the Ministry’s website.

Minister Umahi set December 2024 as the deadline for the project’s completion and urged the contractor to strictly adhere to this timeline, with the goal of resolving the longstanding transportation challenges in Bodo-Bonny once and for all.

“The Federal Government has approved the total and final sum of N280 billion for the completion of Bodo-Bonny road project

“This was revealed by the Honourable Minister of Works, His Excellency, Sen. Engr. Nweze David Umahi CON during his inspection visit to the project site this 19th June 2024. He warned that the contractor handling the project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, must work round the clock to beat the project delivery timeline of December 2024,” the statement read in part.

Engr. Umahi strictly advised Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. that, regardless of any unexpected challenges or difficulties, the cost of the project will not be increased beyond the approved amount. He insisted that the project must be completed to a high standard.

The Works Minister highlighted the urgency by noting that the project has been ongoing for 11 years and must be finished within this year, setting December 15, 2024, as the deadline for completion.

The statement also revealed that Umahi praised the perseverance of the Bodo-Bonny Peace Committee and the cooperation and integrity of Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) in funding the project.

NLNG representative Dienye Godson, on behalf of the company, expressed gratitude to the President and his team for their determination to complete the project.

He noted that NLNG is pleased with the progress and will now review its internal processes to provide as much support as possible to the government.

In response, the project manager from Julius Berger Nigeria Plc. assured that they will continue their efforts without hesitation and will expedite the re-mobilization of the project to demonstrate their full commitment.

He acknowledged the Minister of Works’ statement and emphasized the need for everyone involved to work together diligently as partners to ensure the project’s success.

Back story

The contractor handling the Bodo-Bonny road project, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc., had abandoned the 35.7-kilometer project, which includes 13 bridges: three main bridges, nine mini bridges, and one bridge over a pipeline.

This road is set to be the first to connect oil-rich Bonny Island to mainland Rivers State. The abandonment occurred because Julius Berger was seeking additional funds for the project.

In 2021, Julius Berger requested a review of the contract, but the Federal Government maintained that this was against the original agreement signed in 2017 by the three parties: the Federal Government, Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG), and Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.

The Federal Government’s refusal to accept the contractor’s request for a variation led to the abandonment of the Bodo-Bonny road project.

In December 2023, the Federal Government directed Julius Berger to return to the site and complete the project, faulting the company for seeking a project variation despite the agreement. However, Julius Berger did not comply and refused to return until their request for an upward variation was eventually approved by the Federal Government in June 2024.

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Olusegun Alebiosu Appointment Validated as New Managing Director, of First Bank

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First Bank of Nigeria Limited has appointed Olusegun Alebiosu as its substantive Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer.  

Mr. Alebiosu has been serving as the Acting Managing Director of the bank since April 2024, when the former MD, Adesola Adeduntan resigned his position as the MD/CEO of the bank. 

The bank also announced the appointment of Ini Ebong as the Deputy Managing Director. Ini was the bank’s Executive Director in charge of Treasury and International Banking since January 2022.  

The bank also announced the appointment of Omotunde Alao-Olaifa, the CFO of Leadway Holdings as a non-executive Director.  

First Bank of Nigeria Limited, a subsidiary of FBN Holdings has undergone significant leadership changes since March 2024, when its MD resigned.  Olusegun Alebiosu Appointed as The New Managing Director, of First Bank

Before Acting as the MD of the bank, Olusegun Alebiosu was an Executive Director with the bank, serving as the Chief Risk Officer and the Executive Compliance Officer of the bank since January 2022. He has been the Chief Risk Officer (CRO) of First Bank since 2016.  

Before joining First Bank as the CRO in 2016, he was the CRO at Coronation Merchant Bank. He was also the Chief Credit Risk Officer at the African Development Bank Group and was the Deputy Chief Credit Risk Officer at UBA. His professional career commenced in 1991 with Oceanic Bank Plc (now Ecobank Plc).  

He is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management. Alebiosu then obtained a Master’s Degree in International Law and Diplomacy from the University of Lagos.  

Alebiosu obtained a Master’s Degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.  

 Management changes in 2024  

In 2024, First Bank of Nigeria and its parent company, FBN Holdings underwent significant leadership changes, starting from January when Femi Otedola was appointed as Chairman of FBN Holdings. 

After Otedola’s appointment as FBN Holdings chairman, on March 20, the group announced the appointment of new Non-Executive Directors (NEDs), including three new NEDs for First Bank of Nigeria. The new NEDs for First Bank were Remilekun Odunlami, Anil Dua, and Fatima Ibrahim Ali.  

Then on April 20, 2024, the CEO of First Bank of Nigeria, Adesola Adeduntan resigned after nine years in charge of the bank, and the following day, April 21, Olusegun Alebiosu was appointed as the Acting Managing Director of the bank.  

On May 9, 2024, Tunde Hassan-Odukale completed his tenure as the Chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, with Ebenezer Olufowose replacing him.  

The appointment of Alao-Olaifa as a NED brings the total number of NEDs in First Bank to nine.  

FBN Holdings posted a 2.65% loss in the NGX today, as its share price declined to N22.00, with its market capitalization closing at N790 billion.  

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India Fines Binance $2.25m for Violating Anti-Money Laundering Rules Amid Global Scrutiny

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India’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) has imposed a fine of 188.2 million rupees ($2.25 million) on Binance, the world’s largest crypto exchange, for operating in the country in violation of local anti-money laundering regulations.

The FIU’s action comes amidst ongoing legal battles for similar charges in Nigeria, including allegations of tax evasion by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS).

In India, virtual digital asset service providers such as crypto exchanges must register with the FIU as reporting entities and comply with stringent anti-money laundering laws. Binance had registered with the FIU in May to resume operations in compliance after the watchdog issued show-cause notices to nine offshore exchanges breaching local rules.

However, despite its registration, Binance allegedly violated three sections of India’s Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) 2002. The FIU issued a notice on December 28, 2023, requiring Binance to explain its non-compliance despite being a registered entity.

“After reviewing Binance’s submissions, the Director of FIU-IND found the charges substantiated based on available evidence,” stated the FIU. Consequently, on June 19, 2024, the FIU imposed a penalty of Rs. 18,82,00,000 under Section 13 of the PMLA.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, authorities have accused Binance of influencing foreign exchange rates, leading to increased scrutiny of crypto trading platforms. Earlier in the year, two senior Binance executives were detained over tax evasion allegations by the FIRS. Although one executive was discharged recently, the FIRS has amended charges against them with Binance as the sole defendant.

Separately, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) is prosecuting Binance and its executives for alleged money laundering and foreign exchange contraventions in Nigeria.

These legal challenges highlight growing regulatory pressures on global crypto exchanges, signaling heightened oversight in major markets like India and Nigeria.

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