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Poverty More Endemic in North-West Nigeria – Report



  • Poverty More Endemic in North-West Nigeria – Report

The United Nations Development Programme’s Multidimensional Poverty Index has indicated that poverty is more endemic in the North-West region of Nigeria, in spite of the fact that the ongoing terror war being waged by the Boko Haram group has largely been restricted to the North-East region.

Statistics obtained from the report showed that states in the North-West had lower multi-dimensional poverty indices.

Five states scored least in the MDI – Sokoto, Jigawa, Yobe, Kebbi and Gombe – three are in the North-West. Extending the list to 10 states with the least performance on the poverty indices brings in another two states in the North-West, Kano and Katsina.

This means that out of the 10 states where poverty is more entrenched, five are in the North-West of the country. It is only Kaduna from that region that escaped being listed among the 10 states with the highest poverty indices.

To measure poverty in the country, the UNDP looked at four sectors of health, education, standard of living and unemployment.

Under health, the report looked at nutrition and child mortality. Under education, it considered year of schooling and school attendance in the states.

For standard of living, the report looked at lighting, use of water, sanitation, type of floor the people live in, type of cooking fuel and assets owned by households, while unemployment was considered as a one-item sector.

According to the UNDP, the Multidimensional Poverty Index is a measure of acute poverty developed by Oxford and the Human Development Initiative in collaboration with the UNDP’s Human Development Report Office.

The global body stated, “The MPI presents the number of people who are multi-dimensionally poor and the deprivations such people face at the household level. It is the share of the population that is multi-dimensionally poor adjusted by the intensity of deprivation.

“Poverty is not merely the impoverished state in which a person actually lives in, but a lack of real opportunities due to social and other constraints and circumstances that inhibit living a valuable and dignified life.

“The concept of poverty goes beyond absence of or low income to inadequate amenities, but include health and nutrition; low education and skills; inadequate livelihoods; poor housing conditions; lack of jobs and social exclusion, as well as lack of participation in household decisions.”

According to the report, the South-West performed better than all the other geopolitical zones in the country. All the states in the region were among the best 10 performers in the Multidimensional Poverty Index.

Osun outperformed all other states with an MPI of 0.062038. Anambra was like an interloper among the South-West states, coming second in performance with an MPI of 0.091454, becoming the second state least ridden with multidimensional poverty.

Lagos, Ogun and Ekiti came third, fourth and fifth, with MPI values of 0.1023; 0.115106 and 0.115275, respectively.

Delta and Edo states stepped into the mix as they stole into the sixth and eighth positions with the MPI values of 0.117001 and 0.144214, respectively.

Ondo and Oyo completed the run of the South-West among the top performers, occupying the seventh and ninth positions with the MPI values of 0.120314 and 0.152048, respectively.

Enugu State completed the list of the top 10 performers with an MPI value of 0.159753. This made it the second state of the South-East to enter the fray.

Other states of the South-East can be classified as middle table performers, except for Ebonyi State that tended towards the bottom in the 24th position, with an MPI value of 0.248383.

Abia and Imo states came in the 13th and 14th positions with the MPI values of 0.164706 and 0.164752, respectively.

Cross River occupied the 11th position with an MPI value of 0.159753.

However, the performance of Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states shows that multidimensional poverty can be endemic in oil rich states – perhaps in line with the international phenomenon known as resource-rich resource-curse curves of the world.

Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states came in the 20th, 21st and 23rd positions, respectively.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme



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Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

A total of 611,231 meters have been deployed as at January 31, 2021 under the Meter Asset Provider initiative since its full operation despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other extraneous factors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC disclosed this in a consultation paper on the review of the MAP Regulations.

The proposed review of the MAP scheme is coming nearly four months after the Federal Government launched a new initiative called National Mass Metering Programme aimed at distributing six million meters to consumers free of charge.

“The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the MYTO 2020 Service-Based Tariff resulted in the approval of the NMMP, a policy of the Federal Government anchored on the provision of long-term low interest financing to the Discos,” NERC said.

The commission had in March 2018 approved the MAP Regulations with the aim of fast-tracking the closure of the metering gap in the sector through the engagement of third-party investors (called meter asset providers) for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of meters.

It set a target of providing meters to all customers within three years, and directed the Discos and the approved MAPs to commence the rollout of meters not later than May 1, 2019.

But in February 2020, NERC said several constraints, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, had led to limited success in meter rollout.

NERC, in the consultation paper, highlighted three proposed options for metering implementation going forward.

The first option is to allow the implementation of both the NMMP and MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently; the second is to continue with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers).

The third option is to wind down the MAP framework and allow the Discos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the World Bank), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

“Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of 10 working days,” NERC said.

The regulator said such customers would be refunded by the Discos through energy credits, adding that there would be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge.

“Where meters have already been deployed under the meter service charge option, Discos shall make one-off repayment to affected customers and associated MAPs. Such meters shall be recognised in the rate base of the Discos,” it added.

NERC urged stakeholders to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21 days of the publication of the consultation paper.

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Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed



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Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed

Nigeria is moving in the right direction economically but its movement is not fast, the United Nations stated on Thursday.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, said this during a meeting at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja.

She said the challenges in Nigeria were huge, its population large but described the country’s economy as great with lots of opportunities.

The UN scribe stated that after traveling by train and through various roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, she discovered that the roads were motorable, although there were ongoing repairs on some of them.

Mohammed said, “This is a country that is diverse in nature, ethnicity, religious backgrounds and opportunities. But these are its strengths, not weaknesses.

“And I think the narrative for Nigeria has to change to one that is very much the reality.”

Speaking on her trips across parts of Nigeria, she said, “What I saw along the way is really a country that is growing, that is moving in the right direction economically. Is it fast enough? No. Is it in the right direction? Yes it is.

“And the challenges still remain with security, our social cohesion and social contract between government and the people. But I know that people are working on these issues.”

She said the UN recognised the reforms in Nigeria and other nations, adding that the common global agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mohammad commended Nigeria’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as she expressed hope that the arrival of vaccines would be the beginning of the end of COVID-19.

On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, told his guest that the Federal Government was working hard to make Nigeria the entrepreneurial hub of Africa.

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N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN



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N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN

Nigeria spent a total of N10.7tn on fuel subsidy in the last 10 years, the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, has said.

Oyebanji, who was the guest speaker at the 18th Aret Adams Lecture on Thursday, said N750bn was spent on subsidy in 2019.

He highlighted the need for a transition to a market-driven environment through policy-backed legislative and commercial frameworks, enabling the sustainability of the downstream petroleum sector.

“Total deregulation is more than just the removal of price subsidies; it is aimed at improving business operations, increasing the investments in the oil and gas sector value chain, resulting in the growth in the nation’s downstream petroleum sector as a whole,” he said.

The managing director of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc) said steps had been taken, “but larger and faster leaps are now required.”

According to him, deregulation requires the creation of a competitive market environment, and will guarantee the supply of products at commercial and market prices.

“It requires unrestricted and profitable investments in infrastructure, earning reasonable returns to investors. It requires a strong regulator to enable transparency and fair competition among players, and not to regulate prices,” Oyebanji said.

He noted that MOMAN had recently called for a national debate by stakeholders to share pragmatic and realistic initiatives to ease the impact of the subsidy removal on society – especially on the most vulnerable.

He said, “A shift from crude oil production to crude oil full value realisation through deliberate investment in domestic refining and refined products distribution, creates the opportunity to transform the dynamics of the downstream sector from one of ‘net importer’ to one of ‘net exporter’, spurring the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Effective reforms and regulations are key drivers for the growth within the refining sector. Non-functional refineries cost Nigeria over $13bn in 2019. If the NNPC refineries were operating at optimal capacity, Nigeria would have imported only 40 per cent of what it consumed in 2019.”

Full deregulation of the downstream sector remains the most glaring boost to potential investors in this space, according to Oyebanji.

He said, “As crude oil prices will fluctuate depending on the prevailing exchange rates, it will be astute to trade in naira to avoid inevitable price swings.

“There needs to be a balance between ensuring the sustainable growth of the crude oil value chain (upstream through downstream) and providing value for the Nigerian consumer and the Nigerian economy.”

He said the philosophy should be for the government to put the legislative and commercial framework in place and let the market develop by itself.

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