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Nigeria’s Inflation Rate Jumps To Highest In 4 Years



Nigeria's Inflation Rate Jumps To Highest In 4 Years

Nigeria’s consumer price index, which determines the prices of goods and services, has risen to 18.17% from 17.33% recorded in February 2021. This is according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

The increment represents 0.82% points higher than the February figures.

Inflation, in double digits since 2016, reached 18.17% percent, driven by several factors including the dip in the prices of oil, Nigeria’s main export, and weakened naira.

The latest inflation reading was the highest since the 17.78 percent in February 2017.

Food prices, which make up the bulk of the inflation basket, rose 22.95 percent in March, a jump from 21.79 percent in February.

Staples including bread, cereals, potatoes, fruits, and oil drove the increase in the food price index, the NBS said in its report.

Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce rose to 12.67% from 12.38% recorded in February 2021.

Bismarck Rewane, managing director at Lagos-based Financial Derivatives, told Al-Jazeera that the “stagflation crisis” would take a long time to resolve, with inflation eating up economic gains to the point where any government stimulus might be too weak to generate jobs.

Inflation by states

In March 2021, all items inflation on year on year basis was highest in Kogi (24.51%), Bauchi (22.24%), and Sokoto (20.70%), while Imo (16.08%), Kwara (15.34%), and Cross River (14.45%) recorded the slowest rise in headline Year on Year inflation.

In terms of food inflation, on a year on year basis was highest in Kogi (29.71%), Sokoto (27.02%), and Ebonyi (26.59%), while Abuja (20.10%), Kebbi (19.98%), and Bauchi (18.61%) recorded the slowest rise .in year on year inflation.


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Emefiele Seeks PPP Model to Improve Healthcare Infrastructure



Emefiele Seeks PPP Model to Improve Healthcare Infrastructure

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has urged stakeholders in the public and private sectors to collaborate to build a more healthy and robust healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria.

The CBN Governor, Mr Godwin Emefiele, made the call at a movie launch titled: “UNMASKED”, a feature documentary on leadership, trust and the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria.

The movie was produced and directed by Mr Femi Odugbemi, a Nigerian documentary filmmaker, and co-produced by Ms Kadaria Ahmed, a renowned journalist, media entrepreneur and television host, on Friday in Lagos.

According to Emefiele, addressing the public health crisis along with the downturn in the economy required strong coordination.

He said the measures and interventions put in place by the CBN and private sector to improve government’s capacity response to the COVID-19 crisis was not enough to build a sustainable healthcare infrastructure.

READ ALSO: 40,000 Beneficiaries To Access Free Healthcare In Kaduna

Emefiele was represented by Mr Osita Nwanisobi, acting Director, Corporate Communications.

“Let me thank the organisers of this event for their efforts in calling our attention to the need to build a more healthy and robust healthcare infrastructure that can cater to the vast majority of Nigerians.

“This work will require the collaborative efforts of both public and private sector stakeholders,” he said.

Emefiele said a study by the World Health Organisation revealed that only four per cent of Nigerians had access to healthcare insurance.

He said that besides food, healthcare expenses was a significant component of the average Nigeria’s personal expenditure.

According to him, out-of-pocket expenses on healthcare amounted to close to 76 per cent of total healthcare expenditure.

He said at such level of health spending, individuals particularly those in the rural communities might be denied access to healthcare services.

READ ALSO: Gov. Obaseki Decries Corruption In State Healthcare System

Emefiele said that one key aspect which would address this was improving access to healthcare for all Nigerians.

He said: “A key factor that has impeded access to healthcare for Nigerians is the prevailing cost of healthcare services.”

The CBN Czar also advocated expansion of the insurance net to capture the pool of Nigerians not covered by the existing health insurance schemes.

According to him, this can help to reduce the high out of pocket expenses on healthcare services by Nigerians.

He said that it would help to increase the pool of funds that could be invested in building our healthcare infrastructure and in improving the existing welfare package of our healthcare workers.

Emefiele said that the private sector had a significant role to play in this regard, given the decline in government revenues as occasioned by the drop in commodity prices.

The CBN governor also called for support for research and development in healthcare.

Given the challenges our nation faced as a result of the pandemic, it is indeed vital that all stakeholders work to building the capacity of our researchers and institutions to address domestic healthcare challenges.

” Strengthening collaboration and partnerships between researchers, public as well as private sector stakeholders across the country is crucial in enabling Nigeria to build a more robust and proactive healthcare infrastructure system,” Emefiele said.

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Naira 4 Dollar Scheme: CBN To Continue Forex Promo



Naira 4 Dollar Scheme: CBN To Continue Forex Promo

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has promised to indefinitely continue its Naira 4 Dollar Scheme, an incentive programme aimed at boosting dollar remittances into the country’s economy.

The initiative, which rewards recipients with 5 naira for every $1 they receive through licensed international money transfer operators and commercial banks, was scheduled to end on Saturday, May 8, 2021. But going by the apex bank’s pledge, the programme runs indefinitely.

“We hereby announce the continuation of the scheme until further notice,” CBN stated in a statement addressed to members of the public.

Newsrand understands that following a sharp decline in oil earnings which was due to the raging COVID-19 pandemic, the financial sector regulator devalued the naira thrice, a development that has led to a dollar crunch in the country.

Amongst other things, the incentive programme was introduced to encourage recipients of dollars to use formal banking channels and help the central bank capture such inflows to boost the stability of the local currency, which has been under pressure after oil prices plunged last year.

“In the light of this, the CBN shall, through commercial banks pay to remittance recipients the incentive of N5 for every $1 remitted by sender and collected by designated beneficiary. This incentive is to be paid to recipients whether they prefer to collect the USD as cash across the counter in the bank or transfer same into their domiciliary account,” a memo in which CBN disclosed the floating of the Naira 4 Dollar Scheme, read partly.

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FG To Nigerians: Brace Up For Petrol Price Hike



FG To Nigerians: Brace Up For Petrol Price Hike

In light of the current economic situation in the country, the Federal Government has insisted that Nigerians should brace up for an increment in the pump price of petro.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, addressed journalists on the sidelines of a graduation and awards ceremony organised by the Offshore Technology Institute, University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State, where he made this known.

According to the minister, the Federal Government would soon scrap the current subsidy regime for Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), which he said was only “benefiting certain businessmen in the country.”

Sylva added, “It is very unfortunate that if (there is) an increment in fuel pump price, (it) would have an impact on the marketplace and we are not happy about that. The President especially does not want to do it, but the economic realities are staring us in the face.

“Can we continue to support the subsidy, which is not necessarily benefiting the ordinary person, but is benefiting certain individuals who are businessmen in the country? I don’t want to identify the people that are benefiting.

“Subsidy is not directly benefitting Nigerians; the biggest contact with Nigerians is kerosene consumption used by local persons for cooking; as for diesel, it is used to transport food items and so on. But these have been deregulated for a long time now.”

According to him, PMS, which he said is not the preferred fuel of the common man, continues to defy deregulation. He added that, because PMS proponents are the most vocal, they continue to kick against deregulation “but we are going to get there.”

Sylvia added, “Right now, we are still in discussion with stakeholders, so we have decided to go on with subsidy for some time until we are able to conclude our discussions with the stakeholders and announce the policy direction.”

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