Connect with us


Russia-Ukraine Crisis: Africa Faces High Risk of Food Insecurity – ECA

War between Russia and Ukraine will have a major impact on food insecurity in Africa



Agriculture - Investors King

The United Nations Economic Commission of Africa (UNECA) has revealed that the war between Russia and Ukraine will have a major impact on food insecurity in Africa, as the two countries provide 30 percent of the world’s wheat and barley needs.

During the 54th session of the ECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, the Director, Sub-Regional Office for Southern (SRO-SA) Planning and Economic Development, Eunice G. Kamwendo disclosed that the continent faces a high risk of food insecurity because Russia and Ukraine are major global suppliers of agricultural commodities such as maize, wheat, oils and fertilizers to Africa.

“The two countries, combined, provide 30 percent of the world’s wheat and barley needs; supply nearly one-fifth of maize globally, and account for over half of the global market share in sunflower oil, among other commodities.

“According to estimates by the African Development Bank, the region’s GDP contracted by as much as 6.3 percent in 2020, compared to a 2.1 percent recession for the rest of Africa”, she said.

She further stated that African countries are most affected by the pandemic and the combined impact of the COVID-19 and the Ukraine crisis are likely to further aggravate liquidity issues constraining recovery. She added that as a region, Southern Africa contracted the most out of all the sub-regions in Africa due to Covid-19.

With the disruption of supplies arising from the war in Ukraine, Africa is facing a shortage of at least 30 million metric tonnes of food, especially wheat, maize, and soybeans imported from  Ukraine and Russia.

Before the war in Ukraine, countries in East, West, Middle, and Southern Africa, including Angola, Cameroon, Kenya, and Nigeria, were already grappling with soaring food prices due to extreme climate and weather events, such as floods, landslides, and droughts, and the Covid-19 pandemic, which disrupted production efforts and global supply chains.

Since Russia’s invasion, global food prices have reached another level. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s Food Price Index, global prices of food increased by  12.6 percent from February to March.

Investors King recalls that Human Rights Watch (HRW), in its April publication, had earlier said that many countries in East, West, Middle, and Southern Africa rely on Russia and Ukraine for a significant percentage of their wheat, fertilizer, or vegetable oils imports. However, the war disrupted global commodity markets and trade flows to Africa, increasing already high food prices in these regions.

“Even countries that import little from the two countries are indirectly impacted by higher world prices for key commodities,” HRW noted.

In addition, senior researcher on poverty and inequality at HRW, Lena Simet said: “Many countries in Africa were already in a food crisis. Rising prices are compounding the plight of millions of people thrown into poverty by the Covid-19 pandemic, requiring urgent action by governments and the international community.”

According to the March Food Prices Watch released by the National Bureau of Statistics, the average price of one bottle of Groundnut oil stood at N994.62 in March 2022, an increase of 46.00 percent from N681.23 in March 2021.

Also, the prepackaged wheat flour (golden penny 2kg) increased year on year (YoY) from N766.11 to N1,021.66 (35.99 percent increase) and from N1,021.66 to N1,041.82 on Month on Month (MoM) basis, a 1.97 percent increase. Imported high-quality rice (loose) sold at N544.21 in March 2021 and at N607.68 in March 2022 (YoY), an increase of 11.66 percent. It increased by 2.16% from N594.80 in February 2022  to N607.68 in March 20222.

Under the global and African human rights laws everyone has the right to sufficient and adequate food. To protect this right, governments are obligated to enact policies and initiate programmes to ensure that everyone can afford safe and nutritious food.

In view of this, Ghanaian investment banker and Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Ken Ofori-Atta has called for the nation’s partnership with the African Development Bank for the development of the continent.

Ofor-Atta added that the plan is to provide certified seeds of climate-adapted varieties to 20 million African farmers, which would see a rapid production of 38 million tonnes of food across Africa over the next two years.

Continue Reading


Inflation and Forex Mismanagement Drive Petrol Truck Prices from N7M to N25M



Petrol Importation -

The Chairman of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria in the Satellite Depot branch, Akin Akinrinade, has raised an alarm over the rising cost of petrol trucks in Nigeria.

According to Akinrinade, the cost of a petrol truck has surged from N7 million in May to an astonishing N25 million at present, attributed to inflation induced by poorly managed foreign exchange rates.

Akinrinade pointed out that the forex mismanagement has significantly impacted the landing cost of premium motor spirit (PMS), commonly known as petrol, consequently leading to a surge in pump prices.

The unstable business environment, coupled with the astronomical rise in expenses, has created challenges for marketers in the downstream oil sector.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), highlighted in October 2023 that foreign exchange challenges have hindered private companies from importing petroleum products.

As a result, the NNPCL has become the exclusive importer of petrol.

The decision to limit private entities from importing fuel comes after President Bola Tinubu’s initiatives aimed at deregulating the fuel market.

Initially, the plan was to allow private companies to import fuel starting June 2023, aligning with efforts to balance the market after removing petrol subsidies.

The ripple effects of the soaring petrol costs are already evident, with commercial transporters increasing fares, and private car owners seeking fuel-saving alternatives.

As Christmas approaches, the surge in demand for interstate travel is expected to further elevate costs, posing financial challenges for many Nigerians amidst stagnant income levels.

Continue Reading


Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption




The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.

The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.

The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.

The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.

This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.

Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.

The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.

Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.

Continue Reading


Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion



power project

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.

Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.

During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.

He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.

Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.

The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.

Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.

The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.

The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.

Continue Reading