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Fuel Scarcity, High FX Rate Spike Inflation in Nigeria

Rising cost of living amid forex scarcity pushed inflation to a new record high of 21.09 percent in October 2022

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Nigerian Breweries - Investors King

Nigerian government statistical agency, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals increase in the price of fuel, scarcity of foreign exchange, added with disruption in food supply chain pushed headline inflation in the country to a new record high of 21.09 per cent in October 2022.

This is 0.32 per cent higher than 20.77 per cent reported in September, meaning the cost of living is skyrocketing in the west African Nation.

NBS stated that among others, “Likely factors responsible for the increase in annual inflation rate (year-on-year basis), are: disruption in the supply of food products; increase in cost of importation due to the persistent currency depreciation; and a general increase in the cost of production, such as increase in energy cost.”

While inflation has been on the increase year-on-year, the statistics body revealed that there had been a decline in headline inflation month-on-month in the last three months due to a decline in the changes in the food index. It concluded this might be predicated on the current situation of the nation’s harvesting season.

Explained to the public during its ‘Consumer Price Index October 2022’ report, the NBS stated that “In October 2022, on a year–on–year basis, the headline inflation rate was 21.09 per cent.” This was 5.09 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in October 2021, which was 15.99 per cent.

It confirms that “This shows that the general price level for the headline inflation rate increased in October 2022 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., October 2021) by 5.09 per cent. On a month-on-month basis, the Headline inflation rate for October 2022 was 1.24 per cent, this was 0.11 per cent lower than the rate recorded in September 2022 (1.36 per cent). This means that in October 2022 the general price level for the headline inflation rate (month–on–month basis) declined by 0.11 per cent.”

The statistical office also exposed that urban inflation rate had risen to 21.63 per cent while rural inflation was now 20.57 per cent.

NBS went further to reveal that increases in the prices of bread, cereals, potatoes, yams, other tubers, oil and fat pushed food inflation to 23.72 per cent in October.

Its report highlights flood-ridden Kogi as the worst hit, with inflation hitting 25.15 per cent in the month in the Confluence state.

The nation’s statistics body said, “In October 2022, all items inflation rate on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kogi (25.15 per cent), Bauchi (23.45 per cent), Ondo (23.45 per cent), while Plateau (19.02 per cent), Borno (19.31 per cent) and Nasarawa (19.39 per cent) recorded the slowest rise in headline, repeating years.

In October, fuel scarcity hit different parts of the nation, with filling stations selling petrol above the government-approved price of N180-N185/litre. Such affected the price of transportation as public transport workers transferred this increase in cost to commuters, leading to weeks of protests in the commercial city of Lagos.

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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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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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Abuja to Kaduna Train Service to Resume on Monday, November 28, 2022

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Lagos-Ibadan Train Services - Investors King

Barring any last-minute change, Abuja to Kaduna train service is expected to resume operation on Monday, November 28, 2022.

This is coming after eight months when operation along the route was suspended due to a deadly terrorist attack on the train. 

It could be recalled that the attack which happened at night led to the death of no less than eight people while 168 passengers were kidnapped. 

Early this month, the minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo disclosed during a presidential briefing that Abuja to Kaduna train service will resume operation before the end of this month, Investors King learnt. 

Mu’azu noted that following the release of the last badge of those that were held hostage, the ministry has been putting security measures in place to forestall any future occurrence of such a sad experience.

Sources confirmed that contractors were at the Idu rail station to install the tracker and cameras which will enhance security along the train corridor. 

Speaking in the same line, the Managing Director of the Nigeria Railway Corporation, Fidet Okhiria disclosed that the government has set up a high-level committee that will fine-tune a way to ensure adequate security for both the train passengers and the facilities. 

“Government has set up a committee to ensure maximum security for both train passengers and facilities during operation. We believe proper security measures should be put in place and until then, the Federal Government won’t approve the functioning of the train station,” Okhira stated in September. 

Meanwhile, the federal government has stated that millions of Nigerians will soon prefer to travel by train as the government is committed to connecting virtually all states in Nigeria to the train services. 

The ministers of transportation who disclosed this during a working visit to the train station in Lagos State noted that the ministry has a number of ongoing rail projects which include Lagos to Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, and Kaduna to Kano.

He revealed that at the completion of the rail projects, it will be much easier for Nigeria to commute from one state to another. 

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