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Economy

Tinubu to Nigerians: I’ll make inflation go down like exchange rate

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President Bola Tinubu has asked Nigerians not to lose faith in his administration over the skyrocketing inflation assailing the nation’s economy, assuring citizens that he and his team are working to “bring it down” like he did when the naira dipped drastically against the dollar.

Tinubu gave the assurance at the State House in Abuja while hosting members of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC), particularly those in the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) and Independent Campaign Council (ICC) to Iftar Wednesday evening.

The Nigerian leader said it was evident that the economy was already “looking much better” than it was “a year ago” when “borrowing was higher,” implicitly taking a jab at his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, whose eight-year rule was characterised by taking heavy loans from other nations.

“The economy is looking much better,” Mr Tinubu said Wednesday evening. “Yes, we have challenges of inflation, but we will bring it down. When the exchange rate was going haywire, it looked like we were asleep, but we worked on it diligently, and it is going down; it is getting better.”

The president stressed that he was committed to restoring the lost dignity of Nigeria among its international counterparts.

“Borrowing was higher a year ago, but today, we are reengineering the financial landscape, and our revenue is expanding. And we are taking up our sovereignty and earning our respect back in the comity of nations,” Mr Tinubu added in the statement released by his media aide, Ajuri Ngelale.

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The naira, which in February traded as high as N1825 to one dollar, has appreciated in value, trading at N1250 against the dollar as of Thursday afternoon, according to Aboki Forex, a website that publishes the official and parallel rates of the naira against dollar and other currencies.

But despite the naira’s gain in the international market, prices of goods and services have yet to come down, adversely affecting the purchasing power of citizens.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the inflation rate reached a record high of 31 per cent in March, up from 29.9 per cent in February.

At his inauguration in May 2023, Mr Tinubu scrapped the fuel subsidy, a move that caused inflation and distress to the economy, as the price of fuel rose sharply from N145 to N617.

 

Economy

Naira falls to N1,561.98/$1, lowest level since March 2024

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The naira has experienced a notable depreciation on the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) window, falling to N1,561.98/$1

The naira has experienced a notable depreciation on the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) window, falling to N1,561.98/$1 on Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

According to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange, this represents a 2% decline from the N1,532.58/$1 recorded the previous day.

This marks the third consecutive depreciation of the naira, occurring despite stronger external reserves and rising foreign exchange turnover.

The currency’s value has now reached its lowest level since March 18, 2024, when it stood at N1,597.25/$1.

The recent depreciation brings the naira perilously close to the N1,600 mark, occurring less than three weeks after it crossed the N1,500 threshold.

This trend raises concerns about the currency’s stability and the broader economic implications for Nigeria.

 

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Economy

Senator proposes gold reserve bill to help CBN curb inflation, stabilise naira

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Senator proposes gold reserve bill to help CBN curb inflation, stabilise naira

A bill proposing the use of gold by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to curb inflation and stabilise the naira has passed second reading in the senate.

Natasha Akpoti-Uduaghan, a senator of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) representing Kogi Central, proposed the ‘Gold Reserve Bill’ to formalise the bank’s role in the gold industry.

The bill proposes a series of policies that would designate the bank as the off-taker of all gold produced in the country.

The senator proposed setting up a gold reserve authority which will ensure the regular supply of gold to the CBN for the maintenance and management of the Nigerian gold reserve.

The bill said the CBN governor will chair the gold reserve management committee.

Part of the bill said the objectives of the CBN will be to “ensure the stability of the national economy by using gold reserves as a financial anchor, providing a secure foundation for currency value and overall
economic health”.

It also said CBN will manage Nigeria’s gold reserves to mitigate inflation and deflation risks, thereby contributing to stable currency values and price levels in the country.

Another objective, according to the bill, is CBN will utilise the “gold reserves to support and stabilize the national currency in the foreign exchange market, ensuring a favorable position in international trade and finance”.

In the draft, the lawmaker proposed that CBN shall ensure, at “all material times and from time to time,” that its external assets consisting of gold coins or bullion are not less than 30 percent of its total
external reserve.

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Also, the bill seeks to exempt the importation of plant, machinery, equipment and accessories specifically and exclusively for gold mining operations from customs and import duties.

Since taking office in May 2023, President Bola Tinubu has sought to transform Nigeria’s mining industry to attract investors.

On June 23, Dele Alake, minister of solid minerals development, presented refined gold bars to the president, saying the first transaction of the commodity added $5 million to Nigeria’s external reserves.

Alake said the refined gold will be sold to the CBN to bolster foreign reserves.

Source: The Cable

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Tinubu meets NLC, TUC leaders Thursday over new minimum wage

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FG declares Tue, Wed Sallah holidays, Tinubu arrives Lagos

President Bola Tinubu will on Thursday, July 11, meet organised labour comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) of Nigeria as part of consultation before sending a bill on a new national minimum wage to the National Assembly.

President of TUC, Comrade Festus Osifo confirmed this to reporters on Wednesday.

“The president has invited the organised labour (NLC, TUC) for a consultation tomorrow (Thursday 11th July,” he said in a short text message.

On Tuesday, the Labour leader told reporters at the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) Women Commission’s maiden Annual Convention in Abuja that organised labour was hopeful of a better deal

He said Labour expects that “what will be submitted to the National Assembly will be a minimum wage that will cater for the poorest of the poor.”

Progress on a new national minimum wage appeared to have stalled after President Tinubu said he needed to consult with stakeholders before sending the bill for enactment.

In his June 12 broadcast, the President said an executive bill would be sent to the National Assembly to formalise the new minimum wage agreement.

It followed the conclusion of negotiations by the Tripartite Committee and the submission of the report on June 10.

While the government and the Organised Private Sector agreed on N62,000, labour demanded N250,000.

Osifo said some level of “internal work” was ongoing before the bill would be submitted in “earnest.”

He said: “The minimum wage negotiations cannot be dead.

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“The 2019 minimum wage (that has expired) took about two years to see the light of day. We started the negotiations in 2017.

“We promised you when we started in January that we would ensure this one is fast-tracked to avoid the conundrum that we were in 2019, which took two years.”

Source: The Nation

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Economy

It’s shameful we’re still generating 4.5GW of electricity — Tinubu

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Tinubu wants direct elections into ECOWAS parliament

President Bola Tinubu has described as shameful, the fact that Nigeria despite its size was still generating 4.5GW of electricity.

President Tinubu who expressed his displeasure when he inaugurated a 31-member Presidential Economic Coordination Council at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa Abuja underscored the need for innovative solutions to the country’s economic challenges, noting the importance of public-private partnerships in driving economic reforms.

According to him, ‘’We have the challenge of energy security in Nigeria. We need to work together to improve our oil and gas sector, and we must also increase electricity generation and distribution throughout the country. ‘We are determined to do that with your cooperation, collaboration, and recommendations. As a nation, it is so shameful that we are still generating 4.5GW of electricity.

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‘’We must increase our oil production to two (2) million barrels per day within the next few months and we are determined to remove all entry barriers to investments in the energy sector while enhancing competitiveness,’’ the President stated.

President Tinubu announced measures, which will run concurrently with the National Construction and Household Support Programme, to stabilize the economy, enhance job creation, and foster economic security. The measures under the Economic Stabilization Programme are energy security initiative which includes power, oil and gas.

This is aimed at increasing on-grid electricity to be delivered to homes and businesses from about 4.5 gigawatts to 6 gigawatts in six months; increase oil production to 2 million barrels per day within the next 12 months; and remove barriers to entry for investments into the sector to enhance competitiveness.

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He said that the agriculture and food security under the Economic Stabilization Programme, is aimed at increasing staple crops grown by small-holder farmers from 127 million MT in 2023 to 135 million MT this year. It is also to bolster production by partnering larger-scale commercial farmers; support qualified farmers with satellite imagery for land use planning, crop rotation, and monitoring of agricultural expansion.

The President further explained that the health and social welfare sector shall make essential medicines available at lower cost for 80-90 million Nigerians and expand healthcare insurance coverage for 1 million vulnerable people via a Vulnerable Group Fund in collaboration with state governments;

It will also redeploy 20,000 healthcare workers to provide services to 10-12 million patients in areas where they are most urgently needed; power up 4,800 primary healthcare centres (PHCs), second-tier, and third tier hospitals using renewable energy sources.

On the fiscal measures, he said, “some of the interventions to improve access to finance for the housing sector, MSMEs, and the manufacturing sector are: “Youth-owned enterprises: Support for new and existing youth-owned enterprises across all 36 states of the Federation, creating 7,400 MSMEs within the next 6-12 months; MSME support: A six hundred and fifty billion naira (N650 billion) facility will provide lower-cost short-term facilities to youth-owned businesses, manufacturers and MSMEs across various industries; food processing, pharmaceutical, agriculture, and wholesale and retail trade. This financing will be based on their current and future receivables, company rating, and market demand for products;

“A Manufacturing Stabilization Fund will rejuvenate up to two hundred and fifty companies and deliver lower cost (9.0%-11.0%) long-term facilities to large, medium-scale, and light manufacturers that produce finished goods for domestic and export markets. Sub-national Matching Fund: A Grow Nigeria Development Fund consisting of a single-digit interest rate loan portfolio with the Bank of Industry and a matching fund agreement with sub-national governments to grow MSMEs;

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“Expanding the Bank of Industry’s Rural Development Programme: A fund to support rural economies in developing 300 new MSMEs for each state, including the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), resulting in 11,100 new rural-based MSMEs across the Federation;

“Mortgage Finance Acceleration Facility: A facility that delivers affordable housing for all segments impacted by the cost-of-living challenge. This will support the construction of an additional 25,000 housing units.These fiscal measures will improve access to finance for MSMEs and, in the process, create 4.7 million direct and indirect jobs over a six to 12-month period.”

Source: Vanguard

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Economy

Tinubu announces injection of N2trn into economy for stabilisation, inaugurates council

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Tinubu appeals to governors’ for unity of purpose to ‘make Nigeria greater’

PRESIDENT Bola Tinubu on Thursday said his administration seeks to inject N2 trillion into the economy in the next six months.

President Tinubu stated this when he inaugurated his Presidential Economic Coordination Council, PECC, drawn from different sectors of society and the economy.

The President at the inauguration, presented the outcomes of his review of the accelerated stabilization and advancement plan.

Briefing State House correspondents after the inauguration, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, gave a breakdown of the areas to benefit the emergency funding to include Health, Agriculture, Energy/Power and other areas.

According to him, “The President has just inaugurated the Presidential economic Coordination Council and that is a body that is made up of the President’s Economic Management Team, the Legislature, represented by the leaders of the National Assembly; the Senate President and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, as well as very importantly, the sub-nationals, represented by the chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, and, of course, the elite of the private sector.

“They were presented with the outcomes of Mr. President’s review of the accelerated stabilization and advancement plan and that was an emergency plan to cover the next six months, which Mr. President had directed that a combination of his own Economic Management Team and the sub nationals, the governor’s level, and the private sector put together for his consideration.

“The song of that very important exercise is that a N2 trillion package involving N350 billion funding for Health and Social Welfare; N500 billion funding for Agriculture and Food Security; N500 billion for the Energy and Power sector and general business support of about N650 billion.

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“In addition to a range of policy measures and tax measures, there is a range of executive orders which Mr. President has signed and which are being gazetted to ease the cost of doing business at this particular time”, he said.

Also speaking, the Chairman of Heir Holding and founder of Elumelu Foundation, Mr. Tony Elumelu said it was time to put food on the table at an affordable price.

Elumelu, who expressed appreciation to the President for appointing him a member of the Council, said that President Tinubu called for an improvement of daily oil production.

He said with the full participation of the private sector in the Tinubu’s government, things would improve for better and more jobs created.

On his part, President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote said that the Council will sit down and advise the government on the kind of policies to implement for the good of the people.

He said that the private sector will invest heavily on the economy in order to create jobs, adding that the economy could be turned around within months.

Recall that President Tinubu announced the constitution of the Council, which he personally chairs, in a statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, of March 27, 2024.

Other membership of the PECC are Vice President Kashim Shettima, Vice-Chairman; President of the Nigerian Senate; Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum; Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria; Ministers of Agriculture and Food Security; Aviation and Aerospace Development and Budget and Economic Planning.

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Others include Ministers of Communications, Innovation and Digital Economy; Industry, Trade and Investment; Labour and Employment; Marine and Blue Economy; Power; State, Petroleum Resources; State, Gas; Ministers of Transportation and Works.

The PECC, which also comprises 13 key members of the organized private sector, joining for a period not exceeding one year, subject to the President’s directive include Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, Ms. Amina Maina, Mr. Begun Ajayi-Kadir, Mrs. Funke Okpeke and Dr. Doyin Salami.

Other PECC members from the private sector are Mr. Patrick Okigbo, Mr. Kola Adesina, Mr. Segun Agbaje, Mr. Chidi Ajaere, Mr. Abdulkadir Aliu and Mr. Rasheed Sarumi.

Source: Vanguard

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Nigeria’s economy can experience turnaround in few months — Dangote

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Dangote Cement Plc, the multinational cement giant, majority owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, maintained strong momentum

The Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has promised that the private sector will “invest heavily” in job-creating initiatives.

He added that Nigeria’s economy can be turned around “within a few months” as the “issues are not that bad.”

The business mogul expressed optimism after President Bola Tinubu inaugurated a 31-member Presidential Economic Coordination Council at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, on Thursday.

Thursday’s inauguration comes three months after the President established the committee on March 27, 2024.

The committee comprises Tinubu, Vice President Kashima Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, the Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State, and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Yemi Cardoso.

The PECC also comprises 13 persons drawn from the organised private sector, including the Chairman of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote; UBA Chairman, Mr. Tony Elumelu; BUA Founder, Abdulsamad Rabiu, among others, who would serve on the Council for one year.

Speaking, Dangote said, “The private sector and the public sector will actually work together to make sure that we better a lot of our people…we are going to sit down and advise the government on the issue kind of policies that government should roll out.

“Most of these things, we have them. They have already been discussed over and over. It is a matter of implementation. I think the choice of people who are on the PECC is good enough to advise the government on how to implement it.

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“Our own from the private sector is to…invest heavily and create jobs. The government doesn’t really create jobs; what they do is to give us the right policies. I keep saying our issues are not that bad, this economy can be turned around within a few months and I, think we are on that way. I thank the President for inaugurating this Council. We will start working immediately, and I can assure you that you will see a lot of changes coming.”

Meanwhile, Tinubu said his administration is determined to, in the next few months, increase crude oil production to two million barrels per day and generate more electricity for Nigerians.

He described Nigeria’s current power generation and crude oil production as’ shameful’.

Tinubu told the private sector players, “As a nation, it is so shameful that we have about 4.5 gigawatts. We must increase our oil production too to 2 million barrels per day within the next few months. Remove all barriers hindering investments into the sector to enhance competitiveness. We’ve had a challenge thrown at us and all of us will have to be careful.

Despite being Africa’s largest oil producer, Nigeria has recently struggled to meet its OPEC production quotas.

The government has blamed challenges such as pipeline vandalism, oil theft, and operational inefficiencies for the persistent shortfalls.

For instance, in May 2024, crude oil production averaged only 1.25 million barrels per day, well below its OPEC+ quota and the government’s target of 1.7 million bpd for budgetary purposes.

Similarly, Nigeria’s power generation capacity has remained critically low—4.5 gigawatts- which is inadequate for the industrial needs of its over 200 million citizens. This has contributed to frequent power outages and stifling economic productivity.

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Nonetheless, Tinubu says his administration is “determined” to partner with the private sector to overcome these hurdles.

“In the face of it, we have the change of energy security; we need to work together to include power, oil and gas to increase our own grid’s electricity. We are determined to do that with your cooperation, collaboration and recommendation,” he said.

The President also emphasised food security, describing it as “essential.” He reminisced on his policies from months ago, saying, “I have declared a state of emergency on food security and we must increase our staple crops by smallholder farmers; we are going to improve on mechanization.”

Citing the Sokoto-Badagry road announced at the last Federal Executive Council meeting on June 25, Tinubu expressed hope that part of his administration’s infrastructural development is “within reach.”

“If you look at the Sokoto-Badagry road, there are about 36 areas dams that we can tap electricity from and generate additional electricity, and help agriculture and create arable farmland.

“I am ready to listen to you in all of that. You have seen us from close quarters, but we are one. We feel the market pinches differently, including the price of food and all of that.

“I believe Bismarck Rewane will be able to make additional suggestions on what we are lacking and what we should do to stabilise this economy. The manufacturing stabilisation fund, MSMEs too, and other fiscal measures have been narrated; I just want to say thank you for responding to this call,” he said.

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