Nigeria’s GDP grew by 2.38% in the last quarter of 2018 from 1.81% in Q3, a report from the NBS showed on Tuesday. Compared with Q4 2017, the growth represents an increase of 0.27%. The country ended the year 2018 with an annual growth rate of 1.93% from 0.82% in 2017 and -1.58% in 2016. The report showed that the oil sector had a real GDP growth rate of -1.62% in Q4 of 2018 as the average daily oil production that period dropped to 1.91 million barrels per day (mbpd) from 1.94 mbpd in Q3 2018 and 1.95 mbpd in Q4 2017. The oil sector contributed 7.06% to real GDP in Q4 2018 while the non-oil sector, the real driver of the growth, contributed 92.94% to real GDP in the same period. The contribution of the non-oil sector was an increase compared to the 92.65% seen in Q4 2017, while it grew by 2.70% in real terms during the Q4 of 2018 witnessing an annual growth rate of 2.00%, a boost from 0.47% seen in 2017, according to NBS. The 1.93% growth rate figure aligns with the projection of the World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund, which had projected that the economy will grow by 1.9% in 2018.

The FG will support a $3 billion investment fund from Nigerians in the diaspora, particularly from the United States. The President’s special adviser on diaspora affairs, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, said that the the investment funding will focus on the agriculture, power, mining and transportation sectors, which are expected to improve the country’s economy. Nigeria is seeking investments to diversify its economy from oil, which currently accounts for about two-thirds of government revenue and more than 90 percent of foreign income. The government’s focus is primarily on non-oil investments, with mining and agriculture among the top priorities, Dabiri said. However, there are no specifics as she did not say when the fund would be set up.

Investors in the country’s stock market gained ₦253.7 billion on Tuesday as the market capitalisation of equities listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange rose above the ₦12 trillion mark. Equities listed on the NSE extended their gaining streak to the eighth consecutive day ― the longest since July 2017 ― as investors stepped up their bets on a market-pleasing outcome. Analysts at Afrinvest Securities said the appetite of investors was beginning to increase towards cheap assets. An analyst at Exotix Capital, Olabisi Ayodeji, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that the February 16 election was tipped to be a close contest between the two strongest candidates, President Muhammadu Buhari and Atiku Abubakar, a former vice-president promising to pursue more market-friendly policies. Ayodeji said investors might be positioning for an Atiku win. Citigroup Incorporated analysts also said Nigeria’s stock market might rally if Buhari lost the election. They said Buhari had fallen short on meeting pledges to rejuvenate and diversify the oil-dependent economy and had mixed success in quelling rampant corruption in four years in office. Research by Bloomberg showed that even after their recent gains, Nigerian stocks were trading at lower valuations to frontier market peers: 7.6 times estimated earnings, compared with more than 11 times for members of the MSCI Frontier Markets Index.

The CBN has set new rules for banks planning to establish correspondent banking relationships with foreign lenders. This is in effort to prevent money laundering in the country. The regulator, in the Anti-Money Laundering/ Combating the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) Policy and Procedure Manual released Monday insisted that it will guard against establishing correspondent banking relationships with high risk foreign banks such as shell banks, with correspondent banks that have historically allowed their institutions to be used for Money Laundering / Financing Terrorism (ML/FT). The regulator said that all banking products that are used to convert cash to a monetary instrument and electronic products that permit rapid value movement such as electronic transfers, forex transactions followed by payment into an account in another jurisdiction can be abused by criminals.