Photograph — Brookings Institute

Nigeria’s central bank devalued the local currency on Friday, selling dollars to deposit money banks at the rate of ₦380 to one dollar in the country. The development is said to be part of efforts by the apex bank to establish a uniform rate between the official and the parallel market rates for bureau de change operators.

A single exchange rate system was re-introduced, effectively bringing an end to the multiple exchange rate policy used in determining the value of the local currency since June 2016. Read more here.

In other news, Nigeria plans to cut its $28 billion (₦10.6 trillion) record budget for the year by at least $4.90 billion (₦1.5 trillion), finance minister Zainab Ahmed said last week, as the government reacts to the economic fallout of the coronavirus outbreak.

Ahmed said there would be a cut in the 2020 budget, in which the spending plan was drafted using crude production of 2.18 million barrels a day at a price of $57 per barrel. The budget benchmark has now been lowered by over 45 percent, she adds. More details here.

Below is the Ventures Africa Weekly Economic Index, for the week ending 20th of March, 2020. This economic index gives you a glimpse into other recent activities in Nigeria’s economy as well as changes and prices that could affect the economy:

Nigerian Stock Exchange

Data released by the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as of March 20, 2020, showed that the NSE All-Share Index and Market Capitalization both depreciated by 2.35 percent to close the week at 22,198.43 and N11.568 trillion respectively. Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NSE Banking, NSE Insurance, and NSE Oil/Gas while NSE ASeM Index closed flat.

Top price gainers and decliners in the week under review:

Top five price gainers

Cadbury Nigeria Plc.

NPF Microfinance Bank Plc.

United Capital Plc.

Caverton Offshore Support Grp Plc.

Union Bank Nig. Plc.

Top five price decliners

WAPIC Insurance Plc.

United Bank of Africa Plc.

May & Baker Nigeria Plc.

Dangote Cement Plc.

Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc.

How did the Naira fare?

Nigeria's-Inflation-rate
Picture credit:  PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images

The Nigerian currency depreciated against the dollar at the close of last week, trading at 370 Naira per dollar, a rise from the 369 per dollar recorded a week before.

How did the price of oil fare?

Brent oil prices continued its downward trend at the close of last week, seeing out the week on the 20th of March, 2020 at $30.23 per barrel, a decrease from $36.13 a week earlier. Major oil and gas companies across the world are implementing spending cuts for the rest of the year, in reaction to the plunge in oil prices triggered by the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent price war between top producers Russia and Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, oil dropped to the lowest level since 2003 in the early hours of Monday driven by dimming prospects for a deal between OPEC and Texas to cut production and a political delay in Washington over an economic rescue package. Brent futures fell around 4 percent to near $26 a barrel.

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