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Insufficient power, major constraint to business —CBN

Insufficient supply of electricity is the major constraint to business activities across the country, the Central Bank of Nigeria has said.

According to the CBN, the latest survey conducted by it on businesses in the fourth quarter of 2017 showed that 62.6 per cent of the surveyed firms identified inadequate supply of electricity as a major constraint to their activities.

In the Business Expectations Survey Report for Q4 2017, the CBN stated that the surveyed firms confirmed poor power supply as a key problem, adding that other concerns highlighted by the respondents included unfavourable economic climate and unclear laws.

The bank further noted that insufficient demand, high interest rate and competition were some other constraints to business activities in the fourth quarter of 2017.

“The surveyed firms identified power supply (62.6 per cent), high interest rate (58.6 per cent), financial problems (56.8 per cent), unfavourable economic climate (46.1 per cent), unclear economic laws (42.7 per cent), insufficient demand (42.6 per cent) and competition (41 per cent) as the major factors constraining business activities in the current quarter,” the report stated.

On exchange rate issues, the bank stated that majority of the respondent firms expected the naira to appreciate in the current and next quarters as the confidence indices stood at 1.1 and 39.2 points, respectively.

It added that respondent firms expected the inflation rate to rise in the current quarter but fall in the next quarter, with confidence indices of 9.5 and -9.8 points for the first and second quarters of 2018, respectively.

On some other highlights of the report, the bank stated that respondent firms expressed more optimism on the macro economy in the reviewed quarter when compared with the level recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2016.

It stated that respondents’ outlook on the volume of total order, liquidity positions (financial conditions) in the last quarter of 2017 improved in relation to that of the corresponding quarter of 2016.