Inflation rate driven by transport cost, says finance minister – Newstrends
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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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Lanre Shittu Motors to roll out high-tech CNG buses next month

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Lanre Shittu Motors to roll out high-tech CNG buses next month

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lanre Shittu Motors Ltd, Taiwo Shittu, says the company will next month (June) roll out Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses across the country to ease public transportation.

According to him, the move is fallout of the Presidential CNG initiative (Pi-CNG), as part of palliative intervention of the Bola Tinubu administration to provide succour for the masses after fuel subsidy removal.

The LSM MD who spoke recently from Havard Business School, expressed delight at a number of measures taken by the current government towards rejuvenating the various auto assembly plants in the country with specific attention to CNG buses to boost public transportation.

Following a presidential directive that CNG buses must be a priority and preferred mode of transport by the various ministries, departments and agencies, he said the government had shown its determination to encourage the local auto assembly plants.

Taiwo Shittu said during the telephone interview that by June 2024, Lanre Shittu Motors would be deploying large units of the LSM branded CNG buses in airports across the country and for other mass transportation needs.

He disclosed that LSM mulled the idea of CNG vehicles and saw it as the future of the local automotive industry many years ago because of the abundance of natural gas in the country as well as the economic benefits of CNG buses to both operators and commuters.

Taiwo Shittu assured that there are plans to start assembling LSM-branded CNG buses in Lagos using the best technology like in other parts or the world.

Apart from assembling CNG vehicles from start to finish at the LSM plant, he said the company has enough kits capable of converting petroI-powered automobiles to the CNG vehicles.

He assured prospective customers of quality after-sale maintenance of any stock rolled out from the LSM assembly plant.

For over 40 years., LSM through the visionary founder and chairman, Late Alhaji Lanre Shittu, has carved an enviable niche within the automotive industry through its quality products and services.

Taiwo Shittu said introducing the LSM-branded buses was one of the many ways of immortalising him.

He said, “We have taken proactive steps in the past years to offer quality training to our technicians at various stages, levels and categories of auto assembly and after-sale maintenance services.

“Upon graduation and certification, the technicians are also deployed not only in the various LSM offices nationwide, they are also being sought after by other industry stakeholders within the nation’s automotive value chain.”

The management of Lanre Shittu Motors says that all branches of the company are currently fully equipped with state-of-the-art CNG conversion equipment while orders have been activated and running seamlessly.

Meanwhile, the first set of CNG vehicles will be inaugurated during the present administration’s first anniversary on May 29, 2024.

The Federal Government allocated N100 billion from the N500 billion palliative budget to purchase 5,500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 electric buses, and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits.

This funding also supports the expansion of CNG refilling and electric charging stations.

 

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Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

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Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

The Naira yesterday depreciated in the parallel market to N1,515 per dollar from N1,495 per dollar on Wednesday.

Similarly, the Naira depreciated to N1,485.66 per dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, NAFEM
Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N1,485.66 per dollar from N1,462.59 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating N23.07 depreciation for the naira.
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The market recorded an intraday high of N1,510 per dollar and an intraday low of N1,401 per dollar, resulting in a bearing of N109 per dollar.

The volume of dollars traded (turnover) increased by 35.7 percent to $167.55 million from $123.45 million on Wednesday.
Consequently, the margin between the parallel market and NAFEM rates narrowed to N29.34 per dollar from N33.59 per dollar on Wednesday.

Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

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BDCs to reapply for new licence, get 6-month recapitalisation deadline

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CBN Governor, Olayemi Cardoso

BDCs to reapply for new licence, get 6-month recapitalisation deadline

The Central Bank of Nigeria has released new operational guidelines for Bureau De Change, directing existing operators to reapply for new licences and are given a six-month deadline to meet the new minimum capital requirements.

The new guidelines introduce two categories of BDC, Tier 1 and Tier 2, with minimum capital requirements of N2 billion and N500 million respectively.

The new guidelines were released on Wednesday in a circular to all BDC operators and stakeholders in the financial services industry

Among other things, the new guidelines limited the foreign currency holdings of BDCs (Net Open Position, NOP) to 30 per cent of shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses. It also limited total borrowing to 50 per cent of shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses.

Titled, “Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for BDC Operation in Nigeria”, the circular was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, Haruna Mustafa.

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The circular stated: “As part of reforms to re-position the Bureau De Change (BDC) sub-sector to play its envisioned role in the foreign exchange market in Nigeria, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) issued the Draft Operational Guidelines for BDC Operations in Nigeria in February 2024, for stakeholder comments/inputs.

“Following the conclusion of the stakeholder consultations and in the exercise of the powers conferred on it by Section 56 of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, the CBN hereby issues the attached Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines for Bureau De Change Operations in Nigeria 2024 for compliance by all operators and promoters of proposed BDCs in Nigeria.

“The Guidelines, amongst others, introduce new licensing requirements and categories of BDCs as well as revise the permissible activities, financial requirements, corporate governance requirements and AMUCFT/CPF provisions for BDCs.
“All existing BDCs shall; Re-apply for a new license according to any of the Tiers or license category of their choice as provided in the Guidelines;

“Meet the minimum capital requirements for the license category applied for within six (6) months from the effective date of the Guidelines.”

BDCs to reapply for new licence, get 6-month recapitalisation deadline

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