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President Buhari Authorises Release of Food Reserves Amongst Other Plans to Cushion inflation Effect

President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the National Food Security Council (NFSC) to release reserves to cater to the needs of the citizens.

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Agriculture

As Nigeria’s inflation rate continues to surge, President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the National Food Security Council (NFSC) to release reserves to cater to the needs of the citizens.

Nigeria’s finance minister Mrs. Zainab Ahmed made the announcement during the presentation of the 2022 National Budget to the house of reps.

She also said the government has mapped out plans to alleviate the plight of the citizens in this unfriendly economic period. The minister disclosed that the federal government has set out plans to decongest ports to facilitate trade and remove roadblocks.

She also said the government has introduced very large scanners that will aid in the rapid clearing process which will effectively contribute to decongesting the ports.

In her words, “From the monetary side, what the CBN is doing to manage inflation is monetary tightening by mopping up liquidity. On the side of the government, President Muhammadu Buhari has authorized the National Food Security Council to release reserves. We held a meeting yesterday evening on how some support will be provided.

“One of the means is releasing stocks from the strategic reserves; we are also looking at how to support inputs like fertilizer production as well as inputs such as feeds.

“The committee will be meeting in the next couple of days to provide recommendations to the president that will be announced for implementation.”

Mrs. Zainab added that there will be an extension of the rail line from Lagos to Abuja to Apapa so that containers can be taken out of the Apapa ports to other locations for inspection.

Investors King understands that the annual inflation rate in Nigeria surged to 20.52 percent in August of 2022, from 19.64 in the previous month.

In September, a report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed that Nigeria’s CPI rose by 20.77% year-on-year in September 2022.

On the other hand, the food inflation rate in September 2022 was at 23.34% on a year-on-year basis, from 23.12% recorded in August.

The high inflation rate has been attributed to the continuous depreciation of the naira against the US dollar, with the USD being traded at ₦763 in the Black Market today, Thursday, October 27, 2022, coupled with sustained supply chain disruptions and the global energy crisis.

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Economy

Fourth Mainland Bridge: Lagos State Shortlists Three Companies, Budgets $2.5 Billion

The shortlisted bidders are Mota-Engil (Nigeria and Africa) CCCC and CRBC Consort; CGGC-CGC joint venture; and CCECC and CRCCIG Consortium.

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Agege Pen Cinema Bridge

Lagos state government has shortlisted three multinational companies as bidders for the construction of a $2.5 billion fourth mainland bridge.

The shortlisted bidders are Mota-Engil (Nigeria and Africa) CCCC and CRBC Consort; CGGC-CGC joint venture; and CCECC and CRCCIG Consortium.

According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), Ope George, the Fourth Mainland Bridge was a proposed PPP transport infrastructure development that includes the construction and operation of a greenfield tolled road and bridge with a design speed of 120kph, including the development of adjacent real estates.

It could be recalled that Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, earlier announced that construction on the fourth mainland bridge will begin as soon as a preferred bidder is announced.

Investors King understands that the construction of the fourth mainland bridge will be strategic in easing traffic in the most populous state in Nigeria. It is estimated that Lagos state has a population of almost 20 million.

Besides, after completion, the bridge has the potential to open a new phase of investment opportunities to Lagos state. Already, Lagos has the largest economy in Nigeria and one of the largest in Africa.

The idea of a fourth mainland bridge to complement and ease traffic on the third mainland bridge which was built by the former military president, Ibrahim Babangida was conceptualised during the administration of former governor Bola Tinubu. 

Although construction was planned to commence in 2017, nothing significant towards the commencement of the bridge was done until now.

George added that the bridge is expected to become the second longest in Africa featuring three toll plazas, nine interchanges, a 4.5km lagoon bridge, and an eco-friendly environment.

“The fourth mainland bridge which will span about 34 kilometres is projected to start from Abraham Adesanya in Ajah, on the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe corridor and transverse the north-west towards the lagoon shoreline of the Lagos-Ibadan expressway via Owutu/Isawo in Ikorodu,” he said.

He concluded that the preferred bidder would be announced before the end of the year.

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Economy

Abuja – Kaduna Train Service Postponed by Few Days to Sort Ticketing; Minister for Transportation

Resumption for Abuja to Kaduna train has been postponed due to the need to sort out ticketing

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Lagos-Ibadan Train Services - Investors King

The resumption date of the Abuja to Kaduna train has been postponed due to the need to sort out ticketing, the Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo disclosed this during a visit to the Rigasa train station ahead of the resumption.

According to the minister, the need to ensure that more security measures are put in place and booking tickets are sorted out necessitates the postponement.

The minister added that although he could not give a definite date for the resumption of the rail service, the resumption would however not be more than a week.

He disclosed that the ministry is 90 percent ready to commence operation along the route. 

“The federal government has introduced a new system of purchasing tickets. It is the beginning of security checks that will enable the government to ascertain who boards the train at every point in time.” the minister stated. 

Investors King earlier reported that Abuja to Kaduna train service will resume on Monday. 

The earlier scheduled date for the resumption follows the minister’s statement at the presidential briefing that the train service along the Abuja to Kaduna route will resume operation before the end of this month. 

It would be recalled that Abuja to Kaduna train service was suspended following the attack on the train on 28th March 2022 when terrorists planted explosives that derailed the train.

The attack led to the death of no less than nine passengers while 60 were abducted. 

They were however released in batches after spending several months with the terrorists. 

Muazu had on several occasions disclosed that service along the route will not resume until all those held in captivity have been released and better security measures put in place to prevent a recurrence. 

While fielding questions from journalists yesterday, the minister disclosed that the number of daily trips would be reduced, and the use of National Identity Number would be strictly requested as part of strategies to secure passengers.

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Economy

CBN Governor, Emefiele Projects Inflation Rate Will Drop Below 15% in 2023

CBN expects inflation to moderate in 2023

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Nigeria's Inflation Rate - Investors King

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefiele has projected that Nigeria’s inflation rate will fall below 15 percent in 2023.

Emefiele disclosed this in a keynote address delivered at the annual Bankers Dinner Night of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria.

According to the CBN governor, 2023 portrays a positive economic outlook for the country while the apex bank will continue to implement policies to curtail inflation. 

The CBN Governor also called on Nigerians to embrace the new naira notes, stressing that the decision to redesign the higher denomination notes is for a purpose that is in the overall interest of the country.

He added that the redesign policy will help control currency circulation and drive a cashless economy. 

“This policy will quicken the attainment of a cashless economy as it is complemented by increased minting of our eNaira. It will curtail currency outside the banking system and, as monetary policy becomes more efficacious, help to rein in inflation,” he noted

Emefiele also used the occasion to underscore the efforts of the central bank to maintain the stability of the exchange rates in 2022. He identifies oil theft as one of the major factors preventing the country from building a robust external reserve. 

While he acknowledged that the narrative might be the same for some time, he added that the forthcoming general election which has overheated the marketplace is another factor that is driving the exchange rate. 

Investors King understands that naira has greatly suffered against dollar and other strong foreign currencies including pounds and euro. 

In October, a Bloomberg report rated Nigeria’s currency as one of the worst-performing currency in the world. 

Meanwhile, the CBN has insisted on January 31st, 2023 as the deadline to phase out the current naira notes. 

The CBN governor reiterated the bank’s decision at the same venue of the annual Bankers Dinner Night of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria held in Lagos. 

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