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Nigeria climbs to fourth position on World Bank’s list of most indebted nations

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Nigeria has moved into the fourth position of World Bank’s list of countries with the highest debts, according to the Bank’s financisl report released on Monday.

Going by the World Bank Fiscal Year 2022 audited financial statements for International Development Association (IDA), Nigeria now owes a debt stock of $13bn as at June 30, 2022.

The country also moved up one spot from the fifth position it was rated as of June 30, 2021, with an IDA debt stock of $11.7bn.

The global bank also revealed in its audited financial statements that Nigeria has accumulated about $1.3bn IDA debt within a fiscal year, adding that the debt is different from the outstanding loan of $486m from the World Bank’s International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

What this means is that Nigeria now has the highest IDA debt in Africa, and is only bettered by the likes India with $19.7bn debt, Bangladesh, $18bn
and Pakistan, $15.8bn, all from the Asian bloc.

The Washington-based international Financial Institution also disclosed that Nigeria’s debt which may be considered sustainable for now, is fast growing into a state of vulnerability and could become costly.

“Nigeria’s debt remains sustainable, albeit vulnerable and costly, especially due to large and growing financing from the Central Bank of Nigeria,” it said.

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Niger Republic to stop oil exportation to Mali if…

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Diplomatic issues surrounding the West African country, Mali, are yet to be over as one of its neighbours, Niger has temporarily stopped issuing authorizations for oil products to it.

Niger insisted that it would not supply to Mali if the products are meant for the United Nations peacekeeping mission there.

The government of Niger in a statement said it would also revoke authorisations that had already been issued, but did not specify any reasons for the suspension.

Until the last military incursion in Mali, the two countries have enjoined cordial relations. They share a border of 828 km (520 m) in length that runs from the tripoint with Burkina Faso in the west to the tripoint with Algeria in the east.

According to national statistics, Mali mainly imports oil products from Ivory Coast and Senegal via Togo.

While reacting to the development, Mali’s industry and commerce minister, Mohamed Ould Mahmoud, told journalists the impact of Niger’s move would be minimal.

“This could have an impact on regions in the north…but even their imports from Algeria are more important,” Mahmoud said.

In the bid to boost national stocks amid a global rise in fuel prices caused by the war in Ukraine, Nigerien government banned refined fuel exports in June.

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Nigeria’s central bank raises lending rate to 15.50% to counter inflation. Smart move?

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Amidst the continued inflation rate in Nigeria, the country’s central bank hiked its main lending rate by 150 basis points to 15.50%.

Nigeria’s apex bank made the position on Tuesday.  The rate is at the highest level yet and more than forecast, forging ahead with efforts to rein in inflation and ease pressure on the currency.

According to the latest report by Nigeria’s official data source, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), the country’s inflation rose for a seventh straight month in August to 20.52% from 19.64% in July.

The rise in the interest rate is the third in a row. That according to analysts means the central bank has delivered a total 400 basis-point increase this year, it’s most hawkish in a single cycle.

The central bank governor, Godwin Emefele said in a news conference “the MPC noted that a tight policy stance would help consolidate the impact of the last two policy rate hikes, which is already reflected in the slowing growth rate of the money supply.

“It also felt that an aggressive rate hike would slow capital outflows and likely attract capital inflows and appreciate the naira currency,” Emefiele added.

Like in other African countries, the ongoing war in Ukraine to a large degree has compounded Nigeria’s economic woes, hiking prices of imported food and inputs for fertilizers, as well as increasing oil price volatility and uncertainty around capital flows, but more disturbing on its monetary life is the industrial scale of oil theft which has greatly disrupt the country’s access to foreign exchange.

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