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Inflation rate driven by transport cost, says finance minister

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The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, has said the inflation rate in Nigeria is largely driven by the cost of transportation.

The country has seen an increase in transport costs in recent months largely on the back of the hikes in the pump price of petrol, used by many commercial transporters to power their vehicles.

In what is the latest in a series of petrol price hikes since July, fuel marketers on Friday raised the pump price of the product following an increase in the ex-depot price.

Ahmed, who spoke on Friday at a virtual consultation and stakeholder engagement to discuss the economic and fiscal policy drivers underpinning the Finance Bill 2020, said the draft bill sought to reduce transportation cost in the country.

The average transport fare paid by commuters for bus journey within a city increased by 12.70 per cent month-on-month and 48.02 per cent year-on-year to N278.88 in August, the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics showed.

Ahmed said the bill contained ‘some interesting new proposals,’ citing ‘fiscal relief for mass transit…which is designed to provide support to mass transit by reviewing the duties regime’ as an example.

The minister said, “The essence why this is being done is we recognise transportation as one of the major cost drivers in the economy.

“If you look at the rate at which our inflation is going, and you disaggregate the components, you will find that inflation is largely driven by transport cost.

“So, the essence here is to reduce transportation cost so that businesses will have ease and pass benefits to eventual consumers.”

The nation’s inflation rate rose to 13.71 per cent in September from 13.22 per cent a month earlier, according to the NBS.

Analysts at Financial Derivatives Company Limited, led by foremost economist Bismarck Rewane, said last week that headline inflation was projected to rise to 14.5 per cent in October from 13.71 per cent in September.

“This means that inflation will be rising for the 14th consecutive month. It would also be the highest level in 33 months. Food inflation will be the most affected as it is estimated to climb to 17.05 per cent. Other sub-indices are also expected to move in the same direction,” they said.

The Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele, said recently that the rising inflation in the country and the contraction of the economy had created a dilemma for policymaking and foreboded the need to strengthen the productive base of the economy.

-Punch

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FG targets 1.4mbpd domestic refining before 2027

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Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva

The Federal Government has disclosed plans to actualise 1.4 million barrels per day, mbpd, domestic refining of crude oil in the next five years.

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Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11% in Q1 – NBS report

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The National Bureau of Statistics has said the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 3.11 per cent in the first quarter of 2022.

The NBS said this on Monday in its new Gross Domestic Product Report, showing the sixth consecutive quarter of positive growth.

It stated the first quarter 2022 growth rate further represented gradual economic stability due to strong growth posted by the non-oil sector.

Part of the report read, “The Q1 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51% growth rate recorded in Q1 2021 by 2.60% points and lower than 3.98% recorded in Q4 2021 by 0.88% points. “Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66% in Q1 2022 compared to Q4 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.

“In the quarter under review, aggregate GDP stood at N45,317,823.33 million in nominal terms.

“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021, which recorded aggregate GDP of N40,014,482.74 million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25%.

“The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25% growth recorded in the first quarter of 2021 and higher compared to the 13.11% growth recorded in the preceding quarter.”

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Reps summon NPA, terminal operators over huge debt owed FG

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The House of Representatives Public Accounts Committee has summoned the leadership of the Nigerian Ports Authority and seaport terminal operators over $852.094 million and N1.897 billion and other funds owed the Federal Government.

According to the committee, N269.410 million of the N1.8 billion has been recovered while the balance of N1.6 billion “invoices processed on the encumbered areas remains unpaid.”

It added, “The sum of $504,663,452.37 is volume change on fix lease lease fee payment by APMT arising from clauses in the concession agreement between NPA and APMT out of the total sum of $852,093,730.77.

“Bills raised on encumbered areas which remain unpaid is $19,169,459.00. The following has been paid GMT-$54,707,700.08, unpaid penalties – $11,922,642.68 and unpaid VAT-$28,693,707.07”.

“$92,533,518.72 has been recovered; leaving unpaid lease and throughput fee in the sum of $139,970,637.71 (made up of $113,982,486.82 and $5,988,150.89) respectively.

The committee directed the NPA management to reconcile their records with the office of the AuGF and provide evidence of remitting the recovered N269.51m and $92.534m to the government.

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