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High Interest Rate Will Hurt New Job Creation, Exacerbate Unemployment – Manufacturers Tells FG

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the recently increased interest rate would drag on new job creation and subsequently lead to job loss amid Nigeria’s already worrisome unemployment rate.

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the recently increased interest rate would drag on new job creation and subsequently lead to job loss amid Nigeria’s already worrisome unemployment rate.

In a statement signed by the Director-General of MAN Segun Ajayi-Kadir, manufacturers disclosed that the increase in the Monetary Policy Rate and the Cash Reserve Ratio portended worrisome negative consequences for the manufacturing sector.

MAN noted that the increase in MPR from 14 percent to 15.5 percent would rub off negatively on other rates and dash the hope for a single-digit lending rate for the productive sector of the economy.

It further said that the recent development would lead to an increase in the cost of borrowing by manufacturers, further beyond the double-digit rate, which would disincentivize new investments in the sector.

The statement read in part, “The observed continuous contractionary monetary policy posture without complementary fiscal support may not effectively reduce the prevailing inflationary pressure on the economy.

“This is not unconnected with the fact that the current increase in consumer price index as reported by NBS is not largely driven by the monetary phenomenon, as self-inflicted weak foreign exchange rate management can be linked to the pressure.”

MAN disclosed that the rate hike would cause increased factor costs which will inflate the price of  products, stating that it was hopeful that the CBN would creatively go beyond the conventional monetary management system because global economic dynamics were changing and conventional measures might no longer be effective.

The statement further read, “It is important that the monetary authority strategically set in motion mechanism for holistic balancing of the real interest rate, which is critical to investment and not just following leading economies to adjust Interest rate without considering domestic peculiarities.”

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Economy

Experts Urge Swift Government Action on Nigeria’s Untapped N3 Trillion Logistics Sector

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GIG Logistics- Investors King

Experts at the Courier and Logistics Management Institute conference in Lagos have emphasized the critical importance of the overlooked logistics, courier, and transport sector in Nigeria, valued at over N3 trillion.

During the event themed “Logistics Solutions and National Infrastructure Development,” the CLMI Executive Chairman, Prof. Simon Emeje, highlighted the urgent need for the federal government to prioritize this sector, which remains relatively untapped on a global scale.

Emeje underscored the sector’s significance, stating, “Any country that does not pay attention to logistics, courier, and the transport sector cannot survive.

The government must not ignore this sector because it is the bedrock of any economy.”

The logistics, courier, transport, and management industry boasts an average asset worth over N3 trillion, offering substantial potential for job creation.

Emeje emphasized that commerce is crippled without effective logistics, illustrating the importance of the sector in facilitating trade, enhancing the supply chain, creating jobs, and propelling economic growth.

Despite its undeniable importance, the Nigerian logistics sector faces hindrances such as infrastructural deficits and weak government policies, preventing it from reaching its full potential.

Emeje called for immediate attention to address these challenges and unlock the sector’s capacity to create millions of employment opportunities for Nigerian youth.

Former Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, urged the institute to draft a comprehensive proposal for government adoption, offering assistance in facilitating engagement.

Both Shittu and Prof. Emeje called on the Federal Government to establish a dedicated ministry to foster an enabling environment for Courier and Logistics Management, drawing parallels to the recognition given to the entertainment industry.

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Economy

President Tinubu Seeks Senate Approval for $8.6 Billion and €100 Million Borrowing Plan

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President Bola Tinubu’s administration has formally requested the approval of the Nigerian Senate for a borrowing plan totaling $8.6 billion and €100 million.

The request was presented to the Senate through a letter read during the plenary by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio.

According to the letter, the proposed funds are integral to the federal government’s 2022-2024 external borrowing plan, previously sanctioned by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.

Tinubu clarified that the projects earmarked for funding through this loan cut across diverse sectors, emphasizing their selection based on rigorous economic evaluations and their anticipated contributions to national development.

The letter highlighted, “The projects and programs in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the socio-economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.”

The specified sectors earmarked for development include infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation, along with financial management reforms.

The borrowing plan’s comprehensive approach aims to address critical needs and propel the nation’s progress.

President Tinubu emphasized the urgency of the Senate’s approval, stating, “Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government to deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”

This appeal follows previous successful requests, including the National Assembly’s approval of an over $800 million loan for the National Social Safety Network Programme in August.

Also, the assembly greenlighted the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act of N819 million to provide palliatives to Nigerians, mitigating the impact of fuel subsidy removal.

As the deliberations unfold, the Senate’s decision on this substantial borrowing plan will play a pivotal role in shaping Nigeria’s economic trajectory.

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Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Construction Set for 2024

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Nigeria’s Gas Minister, Ekperikpe Ekpo, announced the scheduled commencement of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline construction in 2024.

The revelation came during a meeting with a delegation from Morocco, led by Ambassador Moha Ou Ali Tagma, on Monday in Abuja.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, a colossal undertaking covering 5,600 kilometers and traversing 13 African countries, is poised to transform the energy landscape of the region.

Spanning nations from Nigeria to Morocco and reaching Europe, the pipeline aims to facilitate gas transportation, enhance economic integration, combat desertification, and contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions.

Ekpo, expressing Nigeria’s readiness for the project, stated, “I believe by 2024, we will conclude on it.”

He emphasized the importance of natural gas in the context of climate change, highlighting its role in ensuring low carbon emissions and fostering prosperity.

The pipeline, originating at Brass Island in Nigeria and reaching the northern region of Morocco, will interlink with the existing Maghreb European Pipeline, connecting Algeria to Spain.

Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), underscored the commitment to a consistent gas supply and the provision of necessary infrastructure.

Despite the ambitious vision, some analysts have raised concerns about the viability of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline. Notably, the project has encountered delays, with a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016 and 2018, followed by another in 2022.

Analysts, including oil and gas expert Dan D Kunle, have stressed the need for comprehensive studies to assess economic impact, financial returns, and agreements with transit countries.

While challenges and skepticism persist, Kyari has expressed confidence in securing funding for the project.

However, alternative perspectives suggest exploring investments in LNG plants, regasification facilities in Moroccan ports, and LNG vessel carriers for a more flexible and globally accessible energy solution.

As Nigeria and Morocco navigate this ambitious venture, meticulous planning and strategic considerations will be crucial for ensuring its success.

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