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FG’ll Start Scheme to Support Power Distributors – Fashola

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The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola
  • FG’ll Start Scheme to Support Power Distributors – Fashola

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said the Federal Government will start supporting electricity distribution companies by the end of this year as part of efforts to achieve incremental power supply in the country.

Fashola stated this on Monday in Lagos during the inauguration of the new 2x60MVA, 132/33KV transmission substation at Odogunyan in Ikorodu.

He said the transmission sector of the power value chain had been one of the beneficiaries of President Muhammadu Buhari’s charge of project completion and inauguration.

The minister stated, “Over the last few weeks and months, whether it is in Sokoto or Lagos or Asaba or Umahia, and recently in Apo in Abuja, we have been very busy completing one transmission project or expanding one transmission project here and there, and we are not done yet; we have only just started.

“I can tell you that in the course of this year, the TCN has no less than 90 projects of substation completion, substation expansion and re-conducting of old lines in order to expand the grid capacity.”

He said the administration had increased the grid capacity from 5,000 megawatts in 2015 to over 7,000MW.

The minister noted that the new substation in Odogunyan had increased the transmission capacity of the TCN in the Lagos region by 120MVA.

“We have built here enough capacity and some redundancies for Ikeja Electric to provide power to end-users. This is a big handshake between the TCN and Ikeja Electric,” Fashola added.

He said communities in Odogunyan, Agodo, Cantonment, Fakale, Ita Elewa, Odonla, Odokekere, Agbede and Ogijo as well as industries would benefit from the new substation.

Fashola stated, “Slowly but surely, this will translate into jobs. What it will do is that it will improve the quality, stability and the quantity of power that these communities are experiencing and will experience, and this is consistent with the first leg of our power road map, which is to give you incremental power.

“Towards the end of the year, our distribution expansion programme should have kicked in, and that is where we will be supporting the distribution companies to improve their capacities in the last mile that comes to your homes, farms, shops and schools.”

He said the Rural Electrification Agency had completed 131 rural electrification projects nationwide, adding, “We are getting the Discos now to start connecting those assets to their grid.”

Fashola noted that when he took office as minister, there were 805 containers where all the equipment needed to complete some of the transmission projects across the country were stored.

He added, “Those containers were in your ports for 10 years. You know why the containers were in the ports? Because your government did not pay the contractors; they did not pay the clearing agents and the shipping companies.

“The Buhari government provided a budget in 2016 and 2017 and budgeted for the payment of those long-standing debts and today, we have recovered over 502 containers from the ports. Those containers have gone to construction sites.”

The Odogunyan substation is part of the contract awarded to Laga Cepower in 2009 by the TCN. The contract had four projects, namely, Ayobo 2x60MVA, 132/33Kv new substation, 132Kv D/C Bay Extension in Ikeja West, 132Kv D/C Transmission Lines and Odogunyan 2x60MVA, 132/33Kv new substation. Three were successfully inaugurated in May 2015.

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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South Africa’s Inflation Rate Holds Steady in May

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South Africa's economy - Investors King

South Africa’s inflation rate remained unchanged in May, increasing the likelihood that the central bank will maintain current borrowing costs.

According to a statement released by Statistics South Africa on Wednesday, consumer prices rose by 5.2% year-on-year, the same rate as in April.

The consistent inflation rate is expected to influence the decision of the six-member monetary policy committee (MPC), which is set to meet in mid-July. The current benchmark rate stands at 8.25%, a 15-year high, and has been held steady for six consecutive meetings.

Central Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago has repeatedly emphasized the need for inflation to fall firmly within the 3% to 6% target range before considering any reduction in borrowing costs.

“We will continue to deliver on our mandate, irrespective of how our post-election politics plays out,” Kganyago stated earlier this month in Soweto. “The only impact is what kind of policies any coalition will propose. If the policies are not sustainable, we might not have investment.”

While money markets are assigning a slim chance of a 25-basis point rate cut in July, they are fully pricing in a reduction by November.

Bloomberg Africa economist Yvonne Mhango anticipates the rate-cutting cycle to begin in the fourth quarter, supported by a sharp drop in gasoline prices in June and a rally in the rand.

The rand has appreciated more than 3% since Friday, following the ANC’s agreement to a power-sharing deal with business-friendly opposition parties and the re-election of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

In May, the annual inflation rates for four of the twelve product groups remained stable, including food and non-alcoholic beverages.

However, transport, alcoholic beverages and tobacco, and recreation and culture saw higher rates. Food prices increased by 4.3% in May, slightly down from 4.4% in April, while transport costs rose by 6.3%, up from 5.7% and marking the highest rate for this category since October 2023.

The central bank’s cautious stance on monetary policy reflects its ongoing concerns about inflation.

Governor Kganyago has consistently voiced worries that the inflation rate is not decreasing as quickly as desired. The MPC’s upcoming decision will hinge on sustained inflationary pressures and the need to balance economic stability with fostering growth.

As South Africa navigates its economic challenges, the steady inflation rate in May provides a measure of predictability for policymakers and investors alike.

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Ghana Reports Strong 4.7% GDP Growth in First Quarter of 2024

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Ghana one cedi - Investors King

Ghana’s economy showed impressive growth in the first quarter of 2024 with the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) expanding by 4.7% compared to the same period last year, according to Government Statistician Samuel Kobina Annim.

This represents an increase from the 3.8% growth recorded in the previous quarter and should provide a much-needed boost to the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) as the nation approaches the presidential elections scheduled for December 7.

The positive economic data comes amidst a challenging backdrop of fiscal consolidation efforts under a $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue program.

The government has been working to control debt through reduced spending and restructuring nearly all of its $44 billion debt.

This includes ongoing negotiations with private creditors to reorganize $13 billion worth of bonds.

The latest GDP figures are seen as a vindication of the NPP’s economic policies, which have been under fire from the main opposition party, the National Democratic Congress (NDC).

The opposition has criticized the government’s handling of the economy, particularly its fiscal policies and the terms of the IMF program, arguing that they have imposed undue hardship on ordinary Ghanaians.

However, the 4.7% growth rate suggests that the measures taken to stabilize the economy are beginning to yield positive results.

Analysts believe that the stronger-than-expected economic performance will bolster the NPP’s position as the country gears up for the presidential elections.

“The growth we are seeing is a testament to the resilience of the Ghanaian economy and the effectiveness of the government’s policies,” Annim stated at a press briefing in Accra. “Despite the constraints imposed by the debt restructuring and IMF program, we are seeing significant progress.”

The IMF program, which is designed to restore macroeconomic stability, has necessitated tough fiscal adjustments.

These include cutting government expenditure and implementing structural reforms aimed at boosting economic efficiency and growth.

The government’s commitment to these reforms has been crucial in securing the confidence of international lenders and investors.

In addition to the IMF support, the government has also been focused on diversifying the economy, reducing its reliance on commodities, and fostering sectors such as manufacturing, services, and technology.

These efforts have contributed to the robust growth figures reported for the first quarter.

Economic growth in Ghana has been uneven in recent years, with periods of rapid expansion often followed by slowdowns.

The current administration has emphasized sustainable and inclusive growth, seeking to ensure that the benefits of economic progress are widely shared across all segments of the population.

The next few months will be critical as the government continues its efforts to stabilize the economy while preparing for the upcoming elections.

The positive GDP growth figures provide a strong foundation, but challenges remain, including managing inflation, creating jobs, and ensuring the stability of the financial sector.

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World Bank Commits Over $15 Billion to Support Nigeria’s Economic Reforms

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world bank - Investors King

The World Bank has pledged over $15 billion in technical advisory and financial support to help the country achieve sustainable economic prosperity.

This commitment, announced in a feature article titled “Turning The Corner: Nigeria’s Ongoing Path of Economic Reforms,” underscores the international lender’s confidence in Nigeria’s recent bold reforms aimed at stabilizing and growing its economy.

The World Bank’s support will be channeled into key sectors such as reliable power and clean energy, girls’ education and women’s economic empowerment, climate adaptation and resilience, water and sanitation, and governance reforms.

The bank lauded Nigeria’s government for its courageous steps in implementing much-needed reforms, highlighting the unification of multiple official exchange rates, which has led to a market-determined official rate, and the phasing out of the costly gasoline subsidy.

“These reforms are crucial for Nigeria’s long-term economic health,” the World Bank stated. “The supply of foreign exchange has improved, benefiting businesses and consumers, while the gap between official and parallel market exchange rates has narrowed, enhancing transparency and curbing corrupt practices.”

The removal of the gasoline subsidy, which had cost the country over 8.6 trillion naira (US$22.2 billion) from 2019 to 2022, was particularly noted for its potential to redirect fiscal resources toward more impactful public investments.

The World Bank pointed out that the subsidy primarily benefited wealthier consumers and fostered black market activities, rather than aiding the poor.

The bank’s article emphasized that Nigeria is at a turning point, with macro-fiscal reforms expected to channel more resources into sectors critical for improving citizens’ lives.

The World Bank’s support is designed to sustain these reforms and expand social protection for the poor and vulnerable, aiming to put the economy back on a sustainable growth path.

In addition to this substantial support, the World Bank recently approved a $2.25 billion loan to Nigeria at a one percent interest rate to finance further fiscal reforms.

This includes $1.5 billion for the Nigeria Reforms for Economic Stabilization to Enable Transformation (RESET) Development Policy Financing, and $750 million for the NG Accelerating Resource Mobilization Reforms Programme-for-Results (ARMOR).

“The future can be bright, and Nigeria can rise and serve as an example for the region on how macro-fiscal and governance reforms, along with continued investments in public goods, can accelerate growth and improve the lives of its citizens,” the World Bank concluded.

With this robust backing from the World Bank, Nigeria is well-positioned to tackle its economic challenges and embark on a path to sustained prosperity and development.

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