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Diesel price hits all-time high in Nigeria after Vice President met oil executives

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With continued scarcity of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in Nigeria, the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo yesterday summoned the Group Managing Director (GMD) of the  Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to the Presidential Villa.

Meanwhile, the price of diesel has hit a record height at ₦625 per litre in filling stations. The price jumped from ₦ 430 to ₦545 two days ago. The product was sold for as low as ₦ 420 last week.

The summon came less than 24 hours after President Muhammadu Buhari declared that his deputy is now in charge of the country as he departed for a two-week medical vacation to London,

Sources confirmed that Mr. Mele Kyari, the GMD of the NNPC and some other executives of the company were seen on Monday afternoon coming into the Villa and leaving soon after.

Nigerians have been reacting to the continued scarcity of the essential commodity which became scarce in the first week of February 2022 when the Nigerian government says it found an unsafe quantity of methanol in petrol imported into the country, and cited that as the reason for fuel shortage that has led to hard times for many Nigerians.

It was disclosed that in what was a short meeting, the Vice President asked for an update on how the NNPC intended to quickly resolve the lingering fuel scarcity.

“The NNPC boss gave an impressive report and plan to the VP and was seen leaving the Villa…walking briskly as if he had been given a firm order,” said a reliable source.

Sources added that a sense of urgency to resolve the fuel scarcity was stressed by the Vice President at the meeting, a cue the NNPC executives also took.

“Judging from the look of things, the scarcity would be over very soon,” said another source close to the NNPC executives.

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Farmers lament as wild fire, heat waves cut grain harvest in Tunisia

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Farmers union in Tunisia has forecasted that output will fall well short of government hopes following heat waves and fires that are badly damaging the country’s grain harvest.

Farmers union official Mohamed Rejaibia, pointing to fires that began raging over much of the country last month, said that was no longer possible.

“The grain harvest will not be more than 1.4 million tonnes,” said Rejaibia, a member of the union’s executive office. “Some of it will be lost to fires and some perhaps during collection.”

The North African country has struggled with food importation costs driven higher by the war in Ukraine. That is largely because Ukraine and Russia account for a great amount of the global supply for grains, particularly wheat.

Earlier this month, agriculture minister, Mhamoud Elyess Hamza forecasted the 2022 grain harvest would reach 1.8 million tonnes, that is 10% up from last year’s harvest.

Wild fire has had a devastating effect in Tunisia. According to a statement released by the Tunisian Federation of Insurance Companies (FTUSA), the insurance industry in the country paid fire insurance claims totalling TND25m ($8m) in 2015 and the quantum jumped over the years to TND107m in 2020. That represented an average increase over 30% a year.

Another farmer, Abderraouf Arfaoui, in Krib, revealed that most of his colleagues had to harvest their grains earlier than usual.

“Usually we begin the harvest season in July, but this year we started on June 18… we are afraid of fires. We must watch our land day and night.

“We must harvest without waiting, even if that reduces the quantity and quality of the wheat, and when we finish the harvest we must watch our haystacks, too.”

 According to Thinkhazard, wildfire hazard is classified as high with more than a 50% chance of encountering weather that could support a significant wildfire that is likely to result in both life and property loss in any given year.

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Zimbabwe’s central bank raises key rate to 200%. Will that help its inflation surge?

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Zimbabwe’s economic woes continue as the Southern African country’s central bank said it was raising its key rate to 200 percent.

The decision makes Zimbabwe’s rate the highest in the world as it battles with soaring inflation persist. The rate was last raised to 80% in April from 60%.

The central bank a statement said it had more than doubled the rate in the push to try to contain inflation, which has been further aggravated by the war in Ukraine, expressing “great concern”.

The key rate is the interest rate at which banks can borrow when they fall short of their required reserves. They may borrow from other banks or directly from the Federal Reserve for a very short period of time.

According to thecentral bank governor, John Mangudya,rising inflation has depressed demand and consumer confidence and if left unchecked will wipe out the significant economic gains made over the past two years.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in deep crisis, including a withdrawal of international donors because of unsustainable debt with inflation rate in Zimbabwe averaging 80.42 percent between 2009 and 2022.

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