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January Inflation Drops By .03% – NBS

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Nigerias’ Headline inflation dropped to 15.60 in January 2021, a 0.03 per cent reduction in what was recorded in December last year (15.63).

The figure was also 0.87 per cent lower than the rate recorded in January 2021 (16.47).

Recall that December’s figure was a rise from an eight-month decline of the nation’s Consumer Price Index (CPI).

The rise was attributed to the December festivities which fuelled more consumer spending.

The Statistician General of the Federation, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), Dr. Simon Harry, who brief the press on Thursday said the new figure was influenced by increases in prices of bread and cereals, food products like potatoes, yam and other tubers, soft drinks, oils and fats and fruits.

He added that on a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 1.62 per cent in January 2022, which was down by 0.57 per cent from 2.19 per cent recorded in December 2021.

He said: “The ‘all items less farm produce’ or Core inflation, which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.87 per cent in January 2022. This was higher by 2.02 per cent when compared to 11.85 per cent, the rate recorded in January 2021.

“The highest increases were recorded in prices of electricity, liquid fuel, wine, tobacco, spirit, solid fuels, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing, shoes and other footwear, other services in respect of personal transport equipment, other services not elsewhere classified and pharmaceutical products.”

He added that the urban inflation rate stood at 16.17 per cent year-on-year in January 2022 the same as the December 2021 figure of 16.17%, while rural inflation was 15.06% and 15.11% in January 2022 and December 2021 respectively.

The NBS Boss further said all items inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Abuja with 18.59% followed by Kogi with 18.28% and Bauchi, 17.61%, while Kwara recorded the lowest with 12.94% followed by Niger with 14.10% and Oyo, 14.19%.

On a year-on year basis for food inflammation, Kogi recorded highest with 22.61% followed by Enugu with 19.84% and Akwa-Ibom (19.67%), while Sokoto had 14.18%, Bauchi (14.63%) and Kaduna (15.01%) as the lowest in January 2022.

On allegations that the bureau is not getting its facts right while doling out figures, he said: “We followed the methodology as prescribed by the United Nations Statistics division and that is the methodology NBS follows; and by implication, every country in the world follows.

“So, if you have any methodology contrary to the one we use, do well and come to us and we will do some comparison and see if we can get to a point of convergence, otherwise, I can assure you that the best methodology is what we follow in computing the inflation rate, poverty rate, unemployment, GDP and trade balance.”

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Business & Economy

ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisation re-elects Dr. Ezra, as president

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Dr. Ezra Yakusak - MD/CEO NEPC
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Dr. Ezra Yakusak, the Executive Director/CEO of Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), has been reelected as the President of ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organisations (TPOs) Network in Accra Ghana.

Dr. Yakusat, will serve another One-year tenure and will lead 15 other member ECOWAS countries in driving trade within the sub-region.

His re-election is also in line with Article 11 of the ECOWAS TPO Network. The ECOWAS Trade Promotion Organization is a network of all Trade Promotion Organizations in West Africa established by the decisions of Council of Ministers at the Ordinary Session.

Nigeria became the pioneer president in April 2021. Dr. Yakusat, became the president following the expiration of the tenure of Mr. Awolowo as ED/ CEO of NEPC.

A statement by the council said the re-election of Dr. Ezra was at the end of 2nd Annual General Meeting of the Network held at Alisa hotel, Accra, Ghana from 19th – 20th May, 2022.

He was re-elected along with the vice president, Mr. Ben Guy Mbangue from Cote’ D’ivoire.

The duo constitute the Executive Bureau of the Network and the tenure expires after one year. All members present unanimously re-elected the President and Vice President respectively.

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Business & Economy

World Bank projects Nigeria’s Diaspora remittances to increase in 2022

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World Bank has projected Nigeria’s Diaspora remittance inflow to increase to $29bn in 2022 because of higher food prices and the continued adoption of official bank channels.

The bank said, migrants from the country are likely to send more money home to help with the hike in the prices of staples.

A report titled, ‘Migration and Development Brief (May 2022): A War in a Pandemic: Implications of the Ukraine crisis and COVID-19 on the global governance of migration and remittance flows,’ the bank stated that remittance flows to low and middle-income countries are expected to increase by 4.2 per cent to $630bn in 2022.

It said: “With risks weighted to the downside, there are several factors that support a view for continued—though more moderate—7.1 per cent gain inflows to Sub-Saharan Africa in 2022.

“Momentum for the use of official channels in Nigeria should sustain an uptrend in the year, within flows reaching $21bn.

“Though economic activity is likely to ease in the United States and Europe, fundamentals remain positive for continued gains in remittance flows to the remainder of Africa, as the influence of ‘altruistic’ motivations that were demonstrated in Africa and South Asia during the peak pandemic years will likely carry over to the period of sharp increases in staple food prices.”

The global bank further said remittance inflow to Sub-Saharan Africa was $49bn in 2021, with Nigerian contributing $19.2bn to the total inflow, adding that the use of informal channels to transfer money to the region caused a 28 per cent reduction in inflows in 2020.

“In 2022, remittance inflows are projected to grow by 7.1 per cent driven by continued shift to the use of official channels in Nigeria and higher food prices – migrants will likely send more money to home countries that are now suffering extraordinary increases in prices of staples,” the bank said.

The World Bank stated that the Naira-4-Dollar policy, which was an attempt to return remittance to formal channels, of the Central Bank of Nigeria helped boost inflows by 11.2 per cent in 2021, adding that the stabilisation of the naira against the dollar within a range of 410-415 per dollar over the last year also contributed to the pickup in recorded inflows.

It noted that the increased stability of the Naira and increased use of the e-Naira would help boost the nation’s chances of achieving $21bn in remittance for 2022.

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Double trouble for Ahmed Idris: arrested by EFCC, suspended by Minister

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Ahmed Idris - Account General of the Federation
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The Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris has been directed to proceed on indefinite suspension over alleged laundering of N80 billion.

Idris, was suspended on Wednesday by Zainab Ahmed, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

In a letter dated May 18, 2022, the minister said the suspension “without pay” was to allow for “proper and unhindered investigation” in line with public service rules.

Ahmed Idris, was on Monday arrested by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC). over alleged diversion and laundering of N80 billion.

Wilson Uwajaren, Head of Media and Public Information of the EFCC, stated that verified intelligence reports showed that Idris raked off the funds through bogus consultancies and other illegal activities using proxies, family members and close associates.

Uwujaren added that the funds were laundered through real estate investments in Kano and in Abuja.

According to EFCC, Idris was arrested after he failed to honour invitations by the Commission to respond to issues connected to the fraudulent acts.

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