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FG to Borrow $1.5 Billion, €995 Million From World Bank, BNDES and Deutsche Bank of Germany

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The Federal Government will yet again borrow another $1.5 billion and €995 million external loans following the Senate approval on Tuesday.

Senator Clifford Ordia, the Chairman of the committee on Local and Foreign Debts, presented the request for new loans at the plenary.

The committee recommended that “the Senate do approve the external borrowing of the sum of $1,500,000,000 and €995,000,000” from the World Bank, Export-Import Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Deutsche Bank of Germany.

The Senate led by its President Ahmad Lawan approved the request for new loans.

Speaking on the loans, Senator Ordia said these were low-interest rates loans with a reasonable moratorium and payback period.

According to him, $750 million of the $1.5 billion to be sourced from the World Bank has a grace period of five years, 25 years tenor and an interest rate of 2.45 percent per annum while the balance of $750 also has similar terms with an interest rate of 2.5 percent per annum.

On the GIP component of the loan, Ordia said: “The Committee found that a total of six indigenous assembly plants, one in each geo-political zone have been identified and will be rehabilitated and retooled to assemble completely knocked down (CKD) mechanisation farm machinery and equipment to be imported from Brazil.

“The Committee observed the CKD mechanisation farm machinery and equipment to be imported from Brazil will be specifically adapted for local conditions with job creation opportunities for citizens.

“The Committee observed the loan is intended to be used to deliver technological package to the small holder farmers for a fee through the establishment of service centers in each of the 774 Local Governments of the Federation.

“The Committee further observed that the service centers will be owned and run by private business entities who will be supported to acquire various mechanization tools through favourable borrowing rates from participating commercial banks.”

On the SFTAS aspect of the loan, Chairman of the Committee said: “The Committee observed that there is an ongoing program called States Fiscal Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) program facility in the sum of $750,000,000 funded by the World Bank currently running in all the States of the Federation and the FCT.

“The Committee notes that the said financing was approved by the National Assembly in June 2020 as part of the $1,500,000,000 Development Policy Financing to part finance FGN 2020 revised budget deficit.

“The Committee found that in October 2020, following the continuous economic disruptions occasioned by the pandemic and in view of the need to consolidate on and sustain the gains of the program and to increase States fiscal capacity to respond to the COVID-19 crises, the above program was restructured and expanded.

“The Committee found that the objective of the restructuring is to support States to introduce measures to further mitigate fiscal shocks by introducing COVID-19 responsive Disbursement Linked Indicators (DLI) at State Level, to match the fiscal measures at the Federal level and reallocating the undisbursed balance of the program funds towards the new DLI’s.

“The Committee notes that it is based on the above restructuring, the additional financing in the sum of $750,000,000 is now required for the Covid-19 response of Nigeria and same has now been tagged Nigeria SFTAS Additional Financing for Covid-19 response program for result (PforR).”

On the COVID-19 Action recovery and economic stimulus program (CARES), Ordia said: “The Committee notes that the Project Development Objectives (PDO) of the program (CARES) is to expand access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor vulnerable households and firms.”

 

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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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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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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