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Inflation rate rises to 15.70% in Nigeria as sustained fuel scarcity bites harder

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Nigeria’s official data source, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the rate of increase in the price of goods and services, rose to 15.70 percent in February 2022, amid soaring fuel prices and scarcity.

The latest CPI, according to the NBS “is 1.63 percent points lower compared to the rate recorded in February 2021 (17.33) percent but the highest since October 2021 (15.99%).

This means that the headline inflation rate slowed down in February when compared to the same month in the previous year”.

According to the report, increases were recorded in all classifications of individual consumption according to purpose (COICOP) divisions that yielded the headline index.

The simple meaning of inflation is a “sustained upward movement in the overall price level of goods and services in an economy. Holding all else constant, this corresponds with a loss of purchasing power for a currency utilized within the economy”.

That is, your ₦500 now behaves like ₦450, by virtue of what could be purchased with it.

The report further says  “On month-on-month basis, the headline index increased to 1.63 percent in February 2022, this is 0.16 percent rate higher than the rate recorded in January 2022 (1.47) percent,”

“Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the Headline index. On month-on-month basis, the Headline index increased to 1.63 percent in February 2022, this is 0.16 percent rate higher than the rate recorded in January 2022 (1.47) percent”

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the twelve months period ending February 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous twelve months period was 16.73 percent, showing 0.14 percent point from 16.87 percent recorded in January 2022.

The urban inflation rate increased to 16.25 percent (year-on-year) in February 2022 from 17.92 percent recorded in February 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased to 15.18 percent in February 2022 from 16.77 percent in February 2021.

Nigeria’s current inflation rate is not unconnected with the recent fuel scarcity that has hit the country Nigeria’s statistician-general, Simon Harry, hinted last month  “As you are bringing your commodities to the market for sale, you will be thinking of adding some amount on the selling costs so that you will be able to recover the costs of transportation”

“So that gives us a negative signal that is capable of affecting not just inflation rate, but also other macro-economic variables such as the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and even the unemployment rate.

“I can, however, assure you that certainly, it is not the best for the economy and if we must maintain a stable macroeconomic environment, this kind of crisis certainly is not the best for it is not needed.”

In 2021, Nigeria’s inflation rate was projected to reach 16 percent. In January 2021, the inflation rate in urban areas of Nigeria grew by 17 percent compared to the previous months, while the rural inflation rate experienced an increase of 15.9 percent. In 2020, Nigeria recorded one of the highest inflation rates worldwide.

 

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World Bank predicts Mozambique economy growing at 5.7% on average

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The World Bank has predicted that the economic growth in Mozambique is expected to accelerate in the medium term averaging 5.7% between 2022 and 2024, as a result of demand recovery and economy benefits from the start of liquefied natural gas production this year.

In a report released Thursday, the World Bank said the start of LNG production at the offshore Coral Project and the expected resumption of other LNG projects would help spur the southeast African nation’s growth in the intervening year.

The World Bank said a three-year extended credit facility arrangement agreed by Mozambique with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and budget support from other partners would further help to strengthen its economic recovery.

The IMF’s executive board had, in May, approved a $456 million program for the country, the first since the global lender suspended support to Mozambique six years ago.

However, the World Bank warned that risks remained for Mozambique’s growth, especially from rising import prices due to the conflict in Ukraine, a possible surge in COVID infection waves, and insurgency in the north.

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Nigeria, Algeria, Niger to revive Saharan gas pipeline talks

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The governments of Nigeria, Algeria and Niger Republic have held talks to revive a gas pipeline project across the Sahara which had been put on hold for over 40 years, with the potential opportunity for Europe to diversify its gas sources as the world faces a short fall as a result of the Russian-Ukraine war.

The three countries, represented by their various Petroleum Ministers, met in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital on Wednesday and resolved to set up a task force to revive the project and designated an entity to update the feasibility study.

A statement by Niger’s Oil Ministry after the two-day meeting stated that the Trans-Saharan gas pipeline project estimated at $13 billion, could send up to 30 billion cubic metres a year of supplies to Europe.

The statement added that the energy ministers of the three countries will meet again in Algiers at the end of July to “validate the proposals of the newly installed task force.”

“The pipeline should allow Europe to diversify its sources of natural gas supply but also allow several African states to access this high value energy source,” the statement said.

“With a length of 4,128 kilometres (2,565 miles), the pipeline would start in Warri, Nigeria, and end in Hassi R’Mel, Algeria, where it would connect to existing pipelines that run to Europe,” it said.

The gas pipeline idea was first proposed more than 40 years ago with an agreement signed between the three countries in 2009, but progress stalled stalled following a lack of follow through by the countries.

Earlier this month, Nigeria also took steps to revive another gas pipeline project that would pass through West Africa, Morocco to Europe.

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