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Nigeria Facing Energy Dilemma, Says Kachikwu

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  • Nigeria Facing Energy Dilemma, Says Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, has said that the country is facing an energy dilemma that needs to be addressed to boost economic development.

Kachikwu stated this on Tuesday at the on-going annual conference and exhibition of the Nigerian Association of Petroleum Explorationists in Lagos.

“The imperative for our (oil and gas) industry is really not to remain extractive. We have in the last 60 years extracted hydrocarbons and sent it offshore. Part of the fiscal policies stance and the petroleum policy, gas policy, etc, is to ensure that that changes significantly,” said the minister, who was represented his Special Adviser on Fiscal Strategy, Dr Tim Okon.

He noted that the ministry’s Seven Big Wins initiative was aimed at focusing on economic development, and not the collection and division of rents.

He said, “Our task is not only to extract but also to process and to create activities that lead to economic development. The essential reforms in the oil and gas industry must be anchored on getting our people back to work.

“Our economy lacks the essential engine for growth. We are in an energy trilemma: We export energy in a primary form, we import petroleum products, and we have a power crisis. That is called the energy trilemma. So, we must deal with this. We are working so that we get results.”

Kachikwu said the government was committed to doing a lot to transform the economy for the benefit of Nigerians, noting that “natural resources take hundreds of years to form and usually require very little years to extract and dispose of.”

The Chief Executive Officer, Seplat Petroleum Development Company Plc, Mr Austin Avuru, in his keynote speech, noted that the country fell into a recession in 2016 on the back of oil price crash and production decline.

He warned that the economy would slip back into a recession if oil price and production drop again.

Avuru said, “With prices going back up, confidence is rising and more projects are being sanctioned. We are now seeing a paradigm shift and attempting, as a country, to then use of our gas resources not as just a rental revenue agent but as an enabler for business and for bigger economic growth.

“The truth is that an economy is as large as how much energy it consumes. So, when we produce 8.9 billion standard cubic feet of gas a day, and only nine per cent of it is consumed domestically, it says a lot about what our economy looks like.”

According to him, the countries with the highest Gross Domestic Product per capital are also the largest energy consumer per capital, and that is what it should be.

Avuru said, “So, as a country, our aspiration, beyond just increasing our oil and gas production, should actually be to maximise our domestic energy consumption; that is what will expand the economy, not just receiving $25bn-$30bn every year from oil revenue from abroad. That is not what will grow our economy.”

Meanwhile, the West African crude differentials were steady on Tuesday as Angolan state oil company, Sonangol, finalised its term allocations and traders awaited Nigerian loading programmes.

About 20 to 24 cargoes of Nigerian crude were still available, traders said, slightly more than thought on Monday, according to Reuters.

Qua Iboe, Nigeria’s largest crude oil grade, was last being offered at around dated Brent plus $1.70 a barrel, a trader said, in line with indications reported on Friday. Total was heard to be holding some Qua cargoes.

There was still no sign of Nigerian schedules or official selling prices. One trader said a public holiday in Nigeria on Tuesday might have delayed their emergence.

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

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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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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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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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