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Nigerians Decry High Cost of Living as Rising Fuel Price, Inflation, Unemployment Weigh on Livelihood



petrol Oil

Nigerians Reject High Fuel Price, Demand Change

Nigerians have decried the persistent increase in prices despite the broad-based economic uncertainties that are about to plunge the nation into a second recession in four years.

The Buhari led administration had adjusted the fuel pricing template to reflect market price during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic when oil price plunged below $20 per barrel in April.

However, the rebound in fuel price to $45.2 per barrel as economies gradually reopen means Nigerians will now be paying more for the same fuel consumption. A situation Nigerians have rejected despite been the ones calling for the removal of fuel subsidy.

Again, the timing is also a big issue especially after recent reports from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed the nation’s unemployment rate rose to 27.1 percent with inflation hovering around 12.82 percent and the Naira exchange rate at a four-year low of N440 to a US dollar on the black market.

Other factors like the poor business activities in the manufacturing sector, VAT increase, additional charges imposed on flight tickets and imports at a time when Nigerians are struggling to stay alive forced many Nigerians to call for protests against an inconsiderate government.

Also, the lack of clear policy direction despite the numerous weak economic data continues to hurt economic sentiment and outlook as both foreign and local investors are holding back on new investments that would have helped ease the high unemployment rate and support consumer spending.

On Wednesday Nigerians finally said enough is enough after D.O Abalaka, the lead sales -Ibadan Depot, said Pipelines Product Marketing Company (PPMC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, has adjusted pump price again.

Abalaka said, “Please be informed that a new product price adjustment has been effected on our payment platform”.

“To this end, the price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) is now one hundred and fifty-one naira, fifty-six kobo (N151.56k) per litre.

He added that “This takes effect from September 2, 2020.

The announcement was made a day after the electricity tariff was adjusted to reflect consumption and not the fixed rate adopted previously.

Some of the aggrieved Nigerians have taken to their Twitter handles to call out President Buhari led administration on the persistent increase in prices.

Reno Omokri, a social commentator, said “If anyone had told me that General @MBuhari would increase fuel price to ₦162 and:
* @ObyEzeks
* Mbaka
* Soyinka
* Tinubu
* Oshiomhole

“Would be silent, I would have called them a liar. Alas, those who shut down Nigeria in 2012, have today shut their mouths!.”

Motivated George said “Fuel price is up, Electricity fee is up, Inflation rate is up 13%, Our government still want to use tax to kill us. We are all tired. So, as Nigeria marks her 60th anniversary this October, what would you say to Nigeria if she was a person? Use #OrijinalTalk talk in your reply.”

However, one Adejumo Abayomi, a President Buhari supporter, disagreed. He blamed PDP that sold the nation’s power companies for signing a poor agreement with the buyers.

“They sold DISCOs to themselves, and keep receiving 40% electricity tariff subsidy,” Abayomi stated.

He added that “They closed d deal with condition that will cost us $8b should we cancel d deal. Many of these @OfficialPDPNig men who were active during the signing are now blaming @MBuhari. Are they okay?.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


FG Establishes New Crime Agency, Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency



President Muhammadu Buhari

Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency Established by Government

The Federal Government has approved the creation of a new crime agency called “The Proceeds of Crime Recovery and Management Agency” to better manage the loots recovered from financial criminals by the growing list of anti-graft agencies established by the government.

The new agency was approved on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The president said the new agency seeks to move the fight against corruption to the next level as there is no agency of government that “can give you off-head the number of landed assets, number of immovable assets, the amount in cash that are recovered by the federal government by way of interim forfeiture overweigh of a final forfeigture.”

“So, it is indeed overtime a kind of arrangement that is not uniform and consistent.”

He added: “Next level of transparency, next level of accountability in essence, will have in place an agency of government that is exclusively responsible for anything proceeds of crime.

“A one-stop shop arrangement by which all the assests that are recovered arising from crimes that are indeed vested in the federal government, you have a one-stop arrangenet where you can have an information. As it is for example, the Federal Ministry of Justice is only in a position to account and giving comprehensive account of what
recoveries were made by the ministry.

“But any recovery made by the police, DSS, the Ministry of Justice is not in a position to know. So, for the purpose of decision making and policy, the federal government is not in a position to have a wholistic appreciation.

“So, by the bill that is now presented for the consideration of the council, we’ll have a law that establishes an agency, and secondly, an agency.

“And as you rightly know, Mr President has sanctioned ever since he came on board, that there should be a budget line, a budget item for recovered assets.

“So, if you have a budget item for recovered assets, this agency will now be in a position to provide information to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on demand as to what amount is available for budget purposes, thereby establishing the desired transparency, the desired accountability which has not been available before now.

“So, it is about a memo that seeks to establish a legal framework, that seeks to establish institutional framework, that seeks to further take the fight against corruption to the next level by way of establishing transparency, accountability and making the possibility of forfeiture a proceeds of crime easy through the sanctioning of non-conviction based forfeiture among others.”

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Inflation Rate Increases Further in August to 13.22%




Prices of Goods and Services Jump in Nigeria in August

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose further in the month of August to the highest since April 2018, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

In the report released on Tuesday, the NBS said Consumer Price Index, which measures inflation rate, increase by 13.22 percent in the month under review.

This represents a 0.40 percent points increase from the 12.82 percent posted for the month of July.

On a monthly basis, consumer prices increased by 0.09 percent points from 1.25 per cent achieved in July to 1.34 percent in August 2020.

The report read in part, “The consumer price index, which measures inflation increased by 13.22 percent (year-on-year) in August 2020. This is 0.40 percent points higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (12.82 percent).

“On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.34 percent in August 2020. This is 0.09 per cent higher than the rate recorded in July 2020 (1.25 per cent).”

Rising costs continue to disrupt consumer spending in Africa’s largest economy, especially after President Muhammadu Buhari removed subsidy, up VAT from 5 percent to 7.5 percent and implemented service reflective electricity tariff during a tough period of global pandemic.

Despite majority of Nigerians saying the time is wrong, experts have said it was the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank that compelled the administration to up revenue generation in order to continue to service its debt and embark on necessary capital projects.

With the $3.4 billion loan secured from the IMF in May running out amid falling oil price and weak demand for the commodity, the Buhari led administration once again approached the World Bank for another loan of $1.5 billion to further cushion the negative impacts of COVID-19.

According to the people familiar with the process, the new loan is not receiving much attention from the multilateral financial institution as it insisted that some of the agreement reached with the International Monetary Fund before securing the $3.4 billion have not been implemented.

This, experts said was one of the main reasons the federal government made all the recent adjustments despite economic challenges and limitations.

The food index increase from 15.48 percent in July to 16 percent in the month of August, according to the statistics office.

“This rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, fruits, oils and fats and vegetables,” it added.

The persistent increase in prices bolstered cost of living and plunged consumer spending in Africa’s largest economy due to broad-based layoffs and businesses shutting down operations for a safe haven.

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NNPC Says It Spent N41.98 Billion on Pipeline Repairs in Six Months



pipleline vandalisation

NNPC Spends N41.98 Billion on Pipeline Repairs

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has said it spent a total sum of N41.98 billion on pipeline repairs and management in the first six months of the year.

The corporation stated in its latest monthly oil report, saying “Products theft and vandalism have continued to destroy value and put NNPC at disadvantaged competitive position.”

It explained that a total of 1,067 pipeline points were vandalised between June 2019 and June 2020 with 33 of those vandalised in June 2020. That was 11 percent lower than the 37 points vandalised in the month of May.

The NNPC said, “Mosimi-Ibadan accounted for 33 per cent while ATC-Mosimi and Warri-River Niger recorded 27 per cent of the breaks each; other locations make up for the remaining 13 per cent.

“NNPC in collaboration with the local communities and other stakeholders continuously strive to reduce and eventually eliminate this menace.”

Further break down showed the NNPC spent N5.48 billion on pipeline repairs and management costs in the month of January 2020. In February, March, April, May and June of the same year, the corporation spent N6.74 billion; N7.69 billion; N7.84 billion; N7.99 billion and N6.24 billion, respectively.

The corporation also said the pipelines have aged over the years, therefore, giving rise to frequent failures and consequent operational downtimes.

“In addition, these facilities have aged over the years giving rise to frequent failures and consequent operational downtimes, high maintenance cost and revenue losses,” the NNPC added.

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