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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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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed, signs exploration deal with Morocco’s energy ministry

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Israel-based oil and gas firm, NewMed has signed a deal with Morocco’s energy and mining ministry and Adarco Energy for offshore natural gas exploration and production in Morocco.

NewMed made the announcement on Tuesday adding that it will collaborate with Adarco, and each will have a 37.5% stake in the Boujdour Atlantique licence.

NewMed CEO Yossi Abu said, “for a long time now we have recognised a huge potential in Morocco for collaborations in both the natural gas and renewable energy sectors.”

According to the deal, the remainder of 25% is granted to Morocco’s National Office of Hydrocarbons and Mines, in accordance with the Hydrocarbon Law of Morocco.

NewMed is the main stakeholder in Israel’s huge Leviathan offshore gas field and is looking to merge with Capricorn Energy to create a gas producer focused on Israel and Egypt.

Statista reports that in 2020, approximately 23.3 billion Moroccan dirhams (MAD) of gas and fuel oils were imported into Morocco. This was equivalent to 2.6 billion U.S. dollars and represented a decrease from the previous year when roughly 38.8 billion MAD (4.3 billion U.S. dollars) of oils were imported into the country.

Overall, Spain was the main trade partner in Morocco in terms of gas and fuel oil imports.

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Nigeria’s oil company, NNPC, signs separate gas pipeline deals with Ghana, Guinea, others

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Nigeria’s oil company, the NNPC have signed separate deals with the national oil companies of Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone in furtherance of the planned Nigeria-Morocco Gas pipeline project.

The Group Chief Executive Officer of the NNPC, Mele Kyari; highlighted the roles played by the participating countries to make the planned commencement of the project to fruition.

“Today, we will be attaining another feat by signing five MoUs with the national oil companies and relevant entities from Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

“From inception of the project to this stage, concerted efforts have been made by the governments of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Morocco, which led to the very commendable achievements recorded thus far.

“As the strategic vision of our great leaders gains momentum, I would like to express our appreciation to His Royal Majesty, King Mohammed VI of Morocco and His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria for entrusting NNPC Limited with this strategic project,” he stated.

He added: “NNPC Limited will facilitate the continuous supply of gas and provide other enablers such as the required land for the first compressor station to be deployed in Nigeria, which is among the 13 stations earmarked along the pipeline route.”

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

Nigeria and Morocco signed MoU for the gas pipeline in September which would link Nigeria to Morocco as well as supply West Africa and Europe.

The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline mega-project had been first discussed during the official visit of King Mohammed VI of Morocco in December 2016 to President Buhari in Abuja.

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