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FG Transfers 21% Shares in the Mint to CBN

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  • FG Transfers 21% Shares in the Mint to CBN

The Federal Government has transferred its 21 per cent shares in the Nigerian Security Printing and Minting Company to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who is the Chairman of the National Council on Privatisation, on Tuesday witnessed the signing of the transfer instrument, which was co-signed by the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, and the Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, Alex Okoh.

The signing took place at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

The 21 per cent shares transferred to the CBN translates to 12.69 billion shares in the minting firm.

Osinbajo, who noted that over 140 publicly-owned companies had been privatised in the past 30 years, said the Federal Government divested its 21 per cent public interest in the NSPMC to give room for synergy that could come from the public and private sectors coming together.

According to him the Federal Government’s divestment of its interests in the NSPMC would help to bring experts on board to run the company.

He also noted that the CBN and its technical partner, De La Rue, the private company in the deal, would bring in innovative edge to the NSPMC.

He said, “Security printing has taken new dimensions, it is no longer what it used to be. As a matter of fact, there are those who think that today there is more of technology than merely security printing.

“If you look at some of the cards that are being printed today, that the chips are not just security, they are actually technological assets.

“So, there are new assets and new dimensions, and there are new ideas, and it’s just the private sector that can really be at the cutting edge of technology and innovation.”

Osinbajo added that the government would stick to its regulatory and incentivising roles in business, while allowing the private sector to bear the risks.

“Government should stick to its regulatory role and its incentivising role and allow the private sector to do business, allow the private sector to take the risk where possible,” the Vice-President added.

Emefiele stated that the NSPMC was producing all the currencies needed in the country and had the capacity to produce for other countries of the Economic Community of West African States.

He said, “The capacity of the mint has increased, and it now produces all the currency that is needed in the country. The mint’s capacity has been expanded to where it has idle capacity that can produce for other ECOWAS countries.

“We intend to embark on aggressive marketing to see to it that not only does it produces for itself, but also produces for other important stakeholders that may require its services in the area of currency printing.”

The apex bank governor added, “In the area of security documents, we are working assiduously given the fact that the mint in the past produced passports, visas and other very sensitive security documents.

“Our next phase is to see to it that the NSPMC eventually begins the printing of the digital Nigerian passport.”

Okoh also said the transaction would contribute “a net sum of over N17bn to the treasury.”

He stated that the CBN’s strategic investment in the company was a success.

Okoh added that the Federal Government was handing over to the CBN a company with tremendous potential to achieve significant growth.

He stated, “Following the expiration of the strategic investment period, the CBN indicated its strong intention to acquire the company on an arm’s length basis, noting the sensitive nature of the security printing and minting services rendered by the company, which include immigration and electoral materials.

“Accordingly, after a careful consideration of the pertinent issues, the bureau made a proposal to the NCP to formalise the sale of 21 per cent of the Federal Government’s interest in the company to the CBN, whilst the government would retain an equity holding of 10.1 per cent.”

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.

Economy

Nigeria’s Growth Forecast Lowered to 3% for 2025, Higher than Most Emerging Markets

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IMF global - Investors King

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has projected a 3% growth rate for Nigeria in 2025, slightly down from the 3.1% forecasted for 2024.

Despite this slight decline, Nigeria’s projected growth remains higher than that of many emerging markets as detailed in the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released on Tuesday.

In comparison, South Africa’s economy is expected to grow by 1.2% in 2025, up from 0.9% this year. Brazil’s growth is projected at 2.4% from 2.1% in 2024, and Mexico’s growth forecast stands at 1.6% for 2025, down from 2.2% in 2024.

However, India is anticipated to see a robust growth of 6.5% in 2025, although this is slightly lower than the 7% forecast for 2024.

The IMF’s projections come as Nigeria undertakes significant monetary reforms. The Central Bank of Nigeria has been working on clearing the foreign exchange backlog, and the federal government recently removed petrol subsidies.

These reforms aim to stabilize the economy, but the country continues to grapple with high inflation and increasing poverty levels, which pose challenges to sustained economic growth.

Sub-Saharan Africa as a whole is expected to see an improvement in growth, with projections of 4.1% in 2025, up from 3.7% in 2024. This regional outlook indicates a modest recovery as economies adjust to global economic conditions.

The IMF report underscores the need for cautious monetary policy. It recommends that central banks in emerging markets avoid easing their monetary stances too early to manage inflation risks and sustain economic growth.

In cases where inflation risks have materialized, central banks are advised to remain open to further tightening of monetary policy.

“Central banks should refrain from easing too early and should be prepared for further tightening if necessary,” the report stated. “Where inflation data encouragingly signal a durable return to price stability, monetary policy easing should proceed gradually to allow for necessary fiscal consolidation.”

The IMF also highlighted the importance of avoiding fiscal slippages, noting that fiscal policies may need to be significantly tighter than previously anticipated in some countries to ensure economic stability.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Inflation Rises to 34.19% in June Amid Rising Costs

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Food Inflation - Investors King

Nigeria’s headline inflation rate surged to 34.19% in June 2024, a significant increase from the 33.95% recorded in May.

This rise highlights the continuing pressures on the nation’s economy as the cost of living continues to climb.

On a year-on-year basis, the June 2024 inflation rate was 11.40 percentage points higher than the 22.79% recorded in June 2023.

This substantial increase shows the persistent challenges faced by consumers and businesses alike in coping with escalating prices.

The month-on-month inflation rate for June 2024 was 2.31%, slightly up from 2.14% in May 2024. This indicates that the pace at which prices are rising continues to accelerate, compounding the economic strain on households and enterprises.

A closer examination of the divisional contributions to the inflation index reveals that food and non-alcoholic beverages were the primary drivers, contributing 17.71% to the year-on-year increase.

Housing, water, electricity, gas, and other fuels followed, adding 5.72% to the inflationary pressures.

Other significant contributors included clothing and footwear (2.62%), transport (2.23%), and furnishings, household equipment, and maintenance (1.72%).

Sectors such as education, health, and miscellaneous goods and services also played notable roles, contributing 1.35%, 1.03%, and 0.57% respectively.

The rural and urban inflation rates also exhibited marked increases. Urban inflation reached 36.55% in June 2024, a rise of 12.23 percentage points from the 24.33% recorded in June 2023.

On a month-on-month basis, urban inflation was 2.46% in June, slightly higher than the 2.35% in May 2024. The twelve-month average for urban inflation stood at 32.08%, up 9.70 percentage points from June 2023’s 22.38%.

Rural inflation was similarly impacted, with a year-on-year rate of 32.09% in June 2024, an increase of 10.71 percentage points from June 2023’s 21.37%.

The month-on-month rural inflation rate rose to 2.17% in June, up from 1.94% in May 2024. The twelve-month average for rural inflation reached 28.15%, compared to 20.76% in June 2023.

The rising inflation rates pose significant challenges for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) as it grapples with balancing monetary policy to rein in inflation while supporting economic growth.

The ongoing pressures from high food prices and energy costs necessitate urgent policy interventions to stabilize the economy and protect the purchasing power of Nigerians.

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Economy

Inflation to Climb Again in June, but at a Reduced Pace, Predicts Meristem

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Nigeria's Inflation Rate - Investors King

As Nigeria awaits the release of the National Bureau of Statistics’ report on June 2024 inflation, economic analysts project that while inflation will continue its upward trajectory, the pace of increase will moderate.

This comes after inflation rose to a 28-year high of 33.95% in May, up from 33.69% in April.

Meristem, a leading financial services company, has forecasted that June’s headline inflation will rise to 34.01%, a slight increase from May’s figure.

The firm attributes this persistent inflationary pressure to ongoing structural challenges in agriculture, high transportation costs, and the continuous depreciation of the naira.

Experts have highlighted several factors contributing to the inflationary trend. Insecurity in food-producing regions and high transportation costs have disrupted supply chains, while the depreciation of the naira has increased importation costs.

In May, food inflation grew at a slower pace, reaching 40.66%, but challenges in the agricultural sector, such as the infestation of tomato leaves, have led to higher prices for staples like tomatoes and yams.

Meristem predicts that food inflation will persist in June, driven by these lingering challenges. Increased demand during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration and rising importation costs are also expected to keep food prices elevated.

Core inflation, which excludes volatile items like food and energy, was at 27.04% in May. Meristem projects it to rise to 27.30% in June.

The firm notes that higher transportation costs and the depreciation of the naira will continue to push core inflation up.

However, they also anticipate a month-on-month moderation in the core index due to a relatively stable naira exchange rate during June, compared to a more significant depreciation in May.

Cowry Assets Management Limited has projected an even higher headline inflation figure of 34.25% for June, citing similar concerns.

The firm notes that over the past year, food prices in Nigeria have soared due to supply chain disruptions, currency depreciation, and climate change impacts on agriculture.

This has made basic staples increasingly unaffordable for many Nigerians, stretching household budgets.

As inflation continues to rise, analysts believe the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) will likely hike the benchmark lending rate again.

The CBN’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) has raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) by 650 basis points this year, bringing it to 26.25% as of May 2024.

At a recent BusinessDay CEO Forum, CBN Governor Dr. Olayemi Cardoso emphasized the MPC’s commitment to tackling inflation, stating that while the country needs growth, controlling inflation is paramount.

“The MPC is not oblivious to the fact that the country does need growth. If these hikes hadn’t been done at the time, the naira would have almost tipped over, so it helped to stabilize the naira. Interest rates are not set by the CBN governor but by the MPC committee composed of independent-minded people. These are people not given to emotion but to data. The MPC clarified that the major issue is taming inflation, and they would do what is necessary to tame it,” Cardoso said.

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