Concerns mount as inflation rate jumps to 13.71 per cent – Newstrends
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Concerns mount as inflation rate jumps to 13.71 per cent

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There are fears that the Nigerians’ living conditions may not fare better in the coming months following the continued rise in inflation rate. The inflation rate rose to 13.71 per cent in September, which is 0.49 per cent higher than 13.22 per cent recorded in August 2020.

The latest inflation figure was released on Thursday by the National Bureau of Statistics in its Consumer Price Index report.

The rate has been on a steady rise this year. For instance, the inflation rate stood at 12.82 per cent in July, compared to 12.56 per cent in June 2020.

The September figure is noted as the highest level since March 2018 when it hit a record high of 13.34 per cent.

According to the NBS new report, “The consumer price index which measures inflation increased by 13.71 per cent (year-on-year) in September 2020. This is 0.49 per cent points higher than the rate recorded in August 2020 (13.22) per cent.”

Details of the report showed that increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yielded the headline index.

On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 1.48 per cent in September 2020, which is 0.14 higher than the August 2020 (1.34) figure.

The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period, ending September 2020 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period is 12.44 per cent, showing 0.21 percentage point from 12.23 in August 2020.

The urban inflation rate increased by 14.31 per cent (year-on-year) from 13.83 per cent recorded in August 2020, while the rural inflation rate increased by 13.14 per cent from 12.65 in August 2020.

The urban index rose by 1.56 per cent in September 2020, on a month-on-month basis. This was up by 0.14 from 1.42 per cent in August 2020.

The rural index also rose by 1.40 per cent in September 2020, up by 0.13 from 1.27 in August 2020.

The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 13.07 per cent in September 2020.

This is higher than the 12.85 per cent in August 2020, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in September 2020 is 11.86 per cent compared to the 11.66 per cent of August 2020.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has expressed worry at the continued uptrend in headline inflation and urged the government to address issues around the disruption of agriculture value chain including insecurity problem.

Its President, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said at a recent press briefing on the state of the economy that intense inflationary pressures would exert negative impact on households purchasing power, investment, production cost and business operations.

She noted the currency devaluation and the increase in value added tax rate as likely factors responsible for the higher inflation trend early this year, adding that the COVID-19 pandemic that paralysed the economy compounded the situation in the later months.

Mabogunje urged “the government to stem rising consumer prices through measures aimed at bridging supply gaps and reducing transportation costs. Similarly, there is a need to address the security concerns in the country, especially in the major food-producing areas.”

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Govt paying N600bn for fuel subsidy monthly — Rainoil CEO

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Govt paying N600bn for fuel subsidy monthly — Rainoil CEO

The CEO of Rainoil Limited, Gabriel Ogbechie, has claimed that the federal government resumed the payment of the controversial fuel subsidy following the devaluation of the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

Ogbechie made this statement on Tuesday during the Stanbic IBTC Energy and Infrastructure Breakfast Session held in Lagos.

He pointed out that with Nigeria’s daily fuel usage at 40 million liters and the foreign exchange rate at N1,300, the government’s subsidy per liter of fuel falls between N400 and N500, culminating in a monthly total of approximately N600 billion.

He said; “When Mr. President came in May last year, one of the things he said was that Subsidy is gone. And  truly, the subsidy was gone, because immediately the price of fuel moved from 200 to 500 per liter. At that point truly, subsidy was gone.

“During that period, Dollar was exchanging for N460, but a few weeks later, the government devalued the exchange rate. And Dollar moved to about N750. At that point, subsidy was beginning to come back.

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“The moment the two markets officially closed, officially the market went to about N1,300. At that point, that conversation was out of the window. Subsidy was fully back on petrol. If you want to know where petrol should be, just look at where diesel is. Diesel is about N1,300 and petrol is still selling for N600.

Furthermore, he said that NNPC being the only petrol importer in the country implies that there is an ongoing subsidy, as prices had to be fixed.

Earlier yesterday, the former governor of Kaduna State, Nasir El Rufai, said the federal government is spending more on petrol subsidy than before.

In addition, the Special Adviser to the President on Energy, Mrs. Olu Veŕheijen, said that the Federal Government reserves the right to pay fuel subsidy intermittently to cushion hardship in the country.

“The subsidy was removed on May 29. However, the government has the prerogative to maintain price stability to address social unrest. They reserve the right to intervene.

“If the government feels that it cannot continue to allow prices to fluctuate due to high inflation and exchange rates, the government reserves the right to intervene intermittently and that does not negate the fact that subsidy has been removed,” she said.

Govt paying N600bn for fuel subsidy monthly — Rainoil CEO

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Breaking: Dangote brings diesel price down to N1000/litre

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Breaking: Dangote brings diesel price down to N1000/litre

Dangote Petroleum Refinery has announced a further reduction in the price of diesel.

When it commenced operation a few weeks ago, Dangote Petroleum Refinery pegged the price of diesel as N1,200.

While rolling out the products, the refinery supplied at a substantially reduced price of N1,200 per litre three weeks ago, representing over 30 percent reduction from the previous market price of about N1,600 per litre.

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However, on Tuesday, a further reduction of N200 was noticed in the price, with the product now pegged at N1,000.

This significant reduction in the price of diesel, at Dangote Petroleum Refinery, is expected to positively affect all the spheres of the economy and ultimately reduce the high inflation rate in the country.

The President of Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had during the Eid-el-Fitr celebration said if the cost price of diesel comes down, the inflation rate will be substantially reduced.

Dangote spoke when he visited President Bola Tinubu in his residence in Lagos State to celebrate the end of the Ramadan fast with him.

Breaking: Dangote brings diesel price down to N1000/litre

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Naira records five-month highest gain, sells below N1000/$ at parallel market

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Naira records five-month highest gain, sells below N1000/$ at parallel market

The naira continued its positive showing against the United States dollar on Monday, selling below N1000/$ in some segments of the parallel market.

Newstrends reports that the Federal Government, groups and some individuals have mounted a spirited campaign for those hoarding the dollars to push them out as naira continues to appreciate.

On Monday, the naira was offered in some parts of Lagos and Abuja between N995 and N1,050 per dollar in the parallel market. It was N1,230/$ on Friday.
The latest gain, being over five-month highs, came in the wake of the Iranian attack on Israel and a rise in the crude oil price.
Goldman Sachs, American investment bank economists, had earlier predicted that the naira’s bullish momentum on the foreign exchange market would likely cause it to trade for less than N1,000 per US dollar in the coming months.
According to a report by Nairametrics, the group claimed that the rally in Nigerian currency helped recover from large losses after two devaluations since last June by being bolstered by capital inflows and successive interest rate hikes.
In March, Goldman Sachs projected that the Naira would appreciate to N1,200 per dollar in 2024.

At the official foreign exchange market, the rate was put at N1,136/$ in contrast with N1,205/$ last Friday.

The top bank has implemented several policy initiatives in recent months to bring stability to the foreign exchange market.
The CBN increased interest rates to 24.75% at the most recent meeting of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which helped it recover losses from the two devaluations that occurred since June of last year.
Further gains for the naira result from the CBN’s ongoing intervention, which involves selling foreign exchange to Bureau De Change operators at a revised rate.
The market anticipates higher inflows of US dollars from the sale of foreign currency bonds in the second quarter as disclosed by Finance Minister Wale Edun.

The Federal Government has just offered high-yield short-term debt products at a premium to entice overseas capital into the economy.

The Middle East’s geopolitical unrest and
Notwithstanding a drop in Nigeria’s production volume, crude oil prices have risen beyond $90.

Nigerian grades of oil are trading at a premium to the ICE Brent benchmark.

The Middle East’s geopolitical unrest and the anticipation of an Iranian government strike on Israel caused oil prices to soar.

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