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Increase in Price of Food is Imminent; Farmers Association Warns

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Agriculture - Investors King

Farmers under the aegis of the Smallholder Women Farmers Organisation in Nigeria (SWOFON) have joined a growing list of associations and experts who have warned of food scarcity in Nigeria.

SWOFON noted during an event in Abuja that Nigerians will likely spend more on food if the federal government failed to address the challenges faced by farmers due to flooding. 

Investors King had reported that a series of ravaging floods destroyed several houses and farmlands across the country. 

According to the National President of SWOFON, Mary Afan, if relevant government agencies failed to give financial aid to farmers and improve security around the country, it could lead to high cost of food which might result in increased hunger for the vulnerable Nigerians. 

“The implication of this massive flooding is that the prices of food will rise higher owing to its unavailability. 

“This will deal a great blow to the over 90 million Nigerians currently leaving below the poverty line and the over 21 million Nigerians currently experiencing acute hunger,” the president noted. 

She noted that small farmers who are women have lost many of their farmlands due to the ravaging floods. She added that members of the association are also short of seeds to plant during the next farming season. 

“While some farmers are gradually returning to their homes as the water recedes to pick up whatever is left of the destruction, others cannot go back home or to their farms. Some have lost the courage to start all over and others have totally lost hope,” she lamented. 

Also speaking at the event, the Director-General of the Budget Office of the Federation, Prof Ben Akabueze admonished the association to seek federal government intervention through the national assembly. 

It could be recalled that the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Farouq had disclosed that about 123,000 farmlands were partially destroyed while about 392,000 farmlands were totally destroyed due to the devastating floods. 

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Economy

Global Growth to Drop Below 2% in 2023, Says Citi

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GDP Growth- Investors King

Citigroup on Wednesday forecast global growth to slow to below 2% next year, echoing similar projections by major financial institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, and J.P. Morgan.

Strategists at the brokerage cited continued challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russia-Ukraine war — which skyrocketed inflation to decades-high levels and triggered aggressive policy tightening — as reasons behind the outlook.

“We see global performance as likely (being) plagued by ‘rolling’ country-level recessions through the year ahead,” said Citi strategists, led by Nathan Sheets.

While the Wall-Street investment bank expects the U.S. economy to grow 1.9% this year, it is seen more than halving to 0.7% in 2023.

It expects year-on-year U.S. inflation at 4.8% next year, with the U.S. Federal Reserve’s terminal rate seen between 5.25% and 5.5%.

Among other geographies, Citi sees the UK and euro area falling into recession by the end of this year, as both economies face the heat of energy constraints on supply and demand front, along with tighter monetary and fiscal policies.

For 2023, Citi projects UK and euro area to contract 1.5% and 0.4%, respectively.

In China, the brokerage expects the government to soften its zero-COVID policy, which is seen driving a 5.6% growth in gross domestic product next year.

Emerging markets, meanwhile, are seen growing 3.7%, with India’s 5.7% growth — slower than this year’s 6.7% prediction — seen leading among major economies.

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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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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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