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Kano Will Lose Status Without Igbo, Others – Ganduje

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Kano State Governor, Dr
  • Kano Will Lose Status Without Igbo, Others

The Kano State Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje, on Wednesday said Kano would not have risen to become a commercial nerve centre to reckon with without the presence of the Igbo and other ethnic nationalities.

He also blamed the elite for the ongoing agitations by some sections of the country to secede.

Ganduje made the comments when the Abia State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, visited him over the death of Danmasanin Kano, Alhaji Maitama Sule.

On the elite, he said, “Sometimes, you can have knowledge without wisdom; that is the basis of what is happening to our present elite. That is why we have these ethnic agitations. It has no wisdom.

“Your coming to Kano to console us tells a lot across the divide. It speaks much about the national integration we are trying to achieve.”

He said that knowledge without wisdom was the cause of the present agitation, stressing that most Nigerians involved in the agitation had knowledge but lacked wisdom.

Ganduje said, “It pains us that some people are calling for separation. When the ejection order or migration order was given, we in Kano said no; that nobody was going anywhere. Here in Kano, we discussed with our youths and we discussed with the people and we discussed with those, who are being referred to as non-indigenes.

“We have abolished that boundary in Kano as everybody residing in Kano is an indigene of Kano State. You can only say that you are an indigene of Kano with primordial claims elsewhere. But as far as we are concerned, you and your children are indigenes of the state.”

He said Kano’s accommodating nature was historical.

“Kano being the commercial nerve-centre of the North, Kano being the commercial nerve-centre of some West African countries, could not have attained that status without other nationalities or without other parts of the country, especially the Igbo. So, if that is our pride, why do we have to break our backbone of commerce?

“We need to maintain our status. And to maintain our status, we need people from all over the country to be with us. America is great because people from different cultures, people with different comparative advantages were put together; everybody came with his talent, with his own initiation, with his own wisdom. That is what made America to be great. You can hardly be great with homogeneity; heterogeneity is the way to development all over the world,” he argued.

In his remarks, Ikpeazu said the unity of Nigeria was not questionable.

He said, “My position is that the unity of Nigeria is not questionable. ‘I spent the entire seven years at the University of Maiduguri from age 16 and I took my Masters degree from there. I have also worked in Lagos in the West. I have seen the entire states in Nigeria and I have seen the rainbow that beautifies the country.

“I have seen the importance of unity in diversity and all I can say is that the only thing we need in Nigeria is to go by the paradigm or by the idiom that says that if you have a dirty hair, you don’t cut it off, you wash it. If there are issues to discuss, let us sit down to talk about them. I do not think that to break the egg would give us the end we desire.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

Goldman Sachs Urges Bold Rate Hike as Naira Weakens and Inflation Soars

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Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN)

As Nigeria grapples with soaring inflation and a faltering naira, Goldman Sachs is calling for a substantial increase in interest rates to stabilize the economy and restore investor confidence.

The global investment bank’s recommendation comes ahead of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) key monetary policy decision, set to be announced on Tuesday.

Goldman Sachs economists, including Andrew Matheny, argue that incremental rate adjustments will not be sufficient to address the country’s deepening economic challenges.

“Another 50 or 100 basis points is certainly not going to move the needle in the eyes of an investor,” Matheny stated. “Nigeria needs a bold, decisive move to curb inflation and regain investor trust.”

The CBN, under the leadership of Governor Olayemi Cardoso, is anticipated to raise interest rates by 75 basis points to 27% in its upcoming meeting.

This would mark a continuation of the aggressive tightening campaign that began in May 2022, which has seen rates increase by 14.75 percentage points.

Despite this, inflation has remained stubbornly high, highlighting the need for more substantial measures.

The current economic landscape is marked by severe challenges. The naira’s depreciation has led to higher import costs, fueling inflation and eroding consumer purchasing power.

The CBN has attempted to ease the currency’s scarcity by selling dollars to local foreign exchange bureaus, but these efforts have yet to stabilize the naira significantly.

“Developments since the last meeting have definitely been hawkish,” noted Matheny. “The naira has weakened further, exacerbating inflationary pressures. The CBN’s policy needs to reflect this reality more aggressively.”

In response to the persistent inflation and naira weakness, analysts are urging the central bank to implement a more coherent strategy to manage the currency and inflation.

James Marshall of Promeritum Investment Management LLP suggested that the CBN should actively participate in the foreign exchange market to mitigate the naira’s volatility and restore market confidence.

“The central bank needs to be a more consistent and active participant in the forex market,” Marshall said. “A clear strategy to address the naira’s weakness is crucial for stabilizing the economy.”

The CBN’s decision will come as the country faces a critical period. With inflation expected to slow due to favorable comparisons with the previous year and new measures to reduce food costs, including a temporary import duty waiver on wheat and corn, there is hope that the economic situation may improve.

However, analysts anticipate that the CBN will need to implement one final rate hike to solidify inflation’s slowdown and restore positive real rates.

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Currency Drop Spurs Discount Dilemma in Cairo’s Markets

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Egyptian pound

Under Cairo’s scorching sun, the bustling streets reveal an unexpected twist in dramatic price drops on big-ticket items like cars and appliances.

Following March’s significant currency devaluation, prices for these goods have plunged, leaving consumers hesitant to make purchases amid hopes for even better deals.

Mohamed Yassin, a furniture store vendor, said “People just inquire about prices. They’re afraid to buy in case prices drop further.” This cautious consumer behavior is posing challenges for Egypt’s consumer-driven economy.

In March, Egyptian authorities devalued the pound by nearly 40% to stabilize an economy teetering on the edge. While such moves often lead to inflation spikes, Egypt’s case has been unusual.

Unlike other nations like Nigeria or Argentina, where costs soared post-devaluation, Egypt is witnessing falling prices for high-value items.

Previously inflated prices were driven by a black market in foreign currency, where importers secured dollars at exorbitant rates, passing costs onto consumers.

Now, with the pound stabilizing and foreign currency more accessible, retailers are struggling to sell inventory at pre-devaluation prices.

Despite price reductions, the overall consumer market remains sluggish. The automotive sector has seen a near 75% drop in sales compared to pre-crisis levels.

Major brands like Hyundai and Volkswagen have slashed prices by about a quarter, yet buyers remain cautious.

The economic strain is not limited to luxury items. Everyday expenses continue to rise, albeit more slowly, with anticipated hikes in electricity and fuel prices adding to the pressure.

Experts highlight a period of adjustment as both consumers and traders navigate the volatile exchange-rate environment. Mohamed Abu Basha, head of research at EFG Hermes, explains, “The market is taking time to absorb recent fluctuations.”

Meanwhile, businesses face declining sales, impacting their ability to manage operating costs. Yassin’s store has offered discounts of up to 50% yet remains quiet. “We’ve tried everything, but everyone is waiting,” he laments.

The devaluation has spurred a shift in economic dynamics. Inflation has eased, but the pace varies across sectors. Clothing and transportation costs are up, while food prices fluctuate.

With the phasing out of fuel subsidies and potential electricity price increases, Egyptians are bracing for further financial strain. The recent 300% rise in subsidized bread prices adds another layer of concern.

The situation underscores the balancing act between maintaining consumer confidence and attracting foreign investment.

Economists suggest potential stimulus measures, such as lowering interest rates or increasing public spending, to boost demand.

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Economy

MPC Meeting on July 22-23 to Tackle Inflation as Rates Set to Rise Again

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Interbank rate

The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is set to convene on July 22-23, 2024, amid soaring inflation and economic challenges in Nigeria.

Led by Olayemi Cardoso, the committee has already increased interest rates three times this year, raising them by 750 basis points to 26.25 percent.

Nigeria’s annual inflation rate climbed to 34.19 percent in June, driven by rising food prices. Despite these pressures, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) projects that inflation will moderate to around 21.40 percent by year-end.

Market analysts expect a further rate hike as the committee seeks to rein in inflation. Nabila Mohammed from Chapel Hill Denham anticipates a 50–75 basis point increase.

Similarly, Coronation Research forecasts a potential rise of 50 to 100 basis points, given the recent uptick in inflation.

The food inflation rate reached 40.87 percent in June, exacerbated by security issues in key agricultural regions.

Essential commodities such as millet, garri, and yams have seen significant price hikes, impacting household budgets and savings.

As the MPC meets, the National Bureau of Statistics is set to release data on selected food prices for June, providing further insights into the inflationary trends affecting Nigerians.

The upcoming MPC meeting will be crucial in determining the trajectory of Nigeria’s monetary policy as the government grapples with economic instability.

The focus remains on balancing inflation control with economic growth to ensure stability in Africa’s largest economy.

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