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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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Nigeria’s Dangote Sugar Refinery issues commercial papers worth N42.79 billion at rates of 25%, 23%

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Nigeria’s Dangote Sugar Refinery has declared the issuance of its N42.79 billion Series 4 and 5 commercial papers, offered at 25% and 23%, respectively, were successfully issued. The company’s N150 billion commercial paper issuance program included issuing the papers.

The 181-day Series 4 and the 265-day Series 5 were issued for a total of N12.93 billion and N29.86 billion, respectively. The notification released by the company states that institutional and individual investors, along with pension and non-pension asset managers, participated in the CP issuance.

Dangote Sugar Refinery has issued N39.39 billion in 266-day Series 1 notes at a 17.08% discount rate as part of its N150 billion commercial paper program. Furthermore, at a 19.84% discount rate, the corporation has issued N6.15 billion in 184-day Series 2 notes.

At a discount rate of 21.30%, the business issued 254-day Series 3 notes for N53.47 billion. Therefore, Dangote Sugar has raised N141.8 billion through its Series 1 to 5 CPs. The letter to the group states that the corporation plans to diversify its funding sources through the issuance of commercial papers. The money raised will go toward meeting finance needs and sustaining short-term operating capital.

According to Dangote Sugar’s Q1 2024 financial reports, interest costs on commercial papers totalled N543.2 million, while interest costs on bank loans came to N21.48 million. This suggests that commercial papers rather than bank loans are the company’s primary source of funding.

These commercial papers’ high discount rates are a reflection of Nigeria’s high-interest monetary environment at the moment. The CBN increased Nigeria’s benchmark interest rate by 750 basis points to 26.25% in 2024, which had an impact on manufacturers’ capacity to finance working capital.

In essence, the CBN’s decision has caused banks to significantly raise their lending rates. For instance, UBA’s loan rates to the manufacturing sector ranged from 28.50% to 32.00% as of May 17, 2024. Due to this increase, businesses are now looking for alternate sources of funding, and debt securities like bonds and commercial papers are one such choice.

However, treasury bills (NT-bills) and OMO bills issued by the CBN are vying with commercial papers for investors’ attention in the market for short-term debt securities. Furthermore, the CBN’s yield rates on NT notes and OMO bills in 2024 have shown to be extremely competitive. For instance, the June 5, 2024, 182-day and 364-day NT bills have respective discount rates of 17.5% and 20.67%.

Companies have been obliged to implement rather high interest rates for these CPs to compete favourably. Series 3, 4, and 5 CPs from Dangote Sugar are available at discounts of 21.30%, 23%, and 25%, respectively. It has also forced other issuers to adopt high interest rates. Series 1 and Series 2 CPs were issued by Coronation Group with respective discount rates of 19.83% and 21.81%.

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Nigeria’s inflation increases to a record 28-year high in May

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According to official figures released on Saturday, Nigeria’s annual inflation reached a record 28-year high of 33.95% in May, exacerbating the hardships that have stoked popular ire against President Bola Tinubu’s economic reforms.

Inflation increased for the eighteenth consecutive month, up from 33.69% in the previous month.

Tinubu’s measures, which primarily cut energy and gasoline subsidies and devalued the naira twice in a single year, have increased price pressure.
Labour unions, who asked for a new minimum wage through an industrial strike that was called off after two days, have maintained that the reforms disproportionately affect the poor and have left millions of people facing the biggest cost-of-living crisis in decades.

The National Bureau of Statistics data indicated that in May, food and non-alcoholic beverages remained the main drivers of inflation.

The majority of Nigeria’s inflation was driven up by food prices, which increased to 40.66% from 40.53% in the previous month. Analysts say the major causes of Nigeria’s inflation are rising food prices and a declining value of the naira.

The report read, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95% relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent. Looking at the movement, the May 2024 headline inflation rate showed an increase of 0.26 per cent compared to the April 2024 headline inflation rate.

“On a year-on-year basis, the headline inflation rate was 11.54 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023, which was 22.41 per cent. This shows that the headline inflation rate (year-on-year basis) increased in May 2024 when compared to the same month in the preceding year (i.e., May 2023).

For the third time this year, the central bank increased interest rates in May in reaction to the ongoing increase in inflation. Rates will remain high for as long as it takes to reduce inflation, according to Governor Olayemi Cardoso.

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