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Remittance inflows to Nigeria declined by 28% in 2020 – World Bank

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The World Bank says remittance inflows to Nigeria declined by 28 per cent in 2020 because of COVID-19 pandemic.

The Bank also said remittance flows fell for Sub-Saharan Africa by 12.5 per cent, according to its Migration and Development Brief 33 Phase 11 entitled: “COVID-19 Crisis Through a Migration Lens’’ published on Thursday.

The report said the decline in remittance flows to Nigeria was largely responsible for the fall in remittance flows to Sub-Saharan Africa.

“The decline in flows to Sub-Saharan Africa was almost entirely due to a 28 per cent decline in remittance flows to Nigeria.

“Excluding flows to Nigeria, remittances to Sub-Saharan Africa increased by 2.3 per cent, demonstrating resilience,’’ the report stated.

According to the report, the relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the COVID-19 crisis has also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data.

It stated that given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there was need for better collection of data on remittances.

It emphasised that there was need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel.

The report quoted Dilip Ratha, lead author of the report on migration and remittances, as saying “the resilience of remittance flows is remarkable. Remittances are helping to meet families’ increased need for livelihood support.

“They can no longer be treated as small change.

“The World Bank has been monitoring migration and remittance flows for nearly two decades, and we are working with governments and partners to produce timely data and make remittance flows even more productive.”

With global growth expected to rebound further in 2021 and 2022, however, remittance flows to low- and middle- income countries are expected to increase by 2.6 per cent to 553 billion dollars in 2021 and by 2.2 per cent to 565 billion dollars in 2022.

The report stated that global average cost of sending 200 dollars remained high at 6.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2020, more than double the Sustainable Development Goal target of three per cent.

It stated that Sub-Saharan Africa continued to have the highest average cost (8.2 per cent) adding, supporting the remittance infrastructure and keeping remittances flowing includes efforts to lower fees.

In addition, it stated that the decline in recorded remittance flows in 2020 was smaller than the one during the 2009 global financial crisis (4.8 per cent).

It was also far lower than the fall in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to low- and middle-income countries, which, excluding flows to China fell by over 30 per cent in 2020.

As a result, remittance flows to low- and middle-income countries surpassed the sum of FDI (259 dollars billion) and overseas development assistance (179 dollars billion) in 2020.

The main drivers for the steady flow included fiscal stimulus that resulted in better-than-expected economic conditions in host countries, a shift in flows from cash to digital and from informal to formal channels, and cyclical movements in oil prices and currency exchange rates.

The true size of remittances, which includes formal and informal flows, is believed to be larger than officially reported data, though the extent of the impact of COVID-19 on informal flows is unclear.

“As COVID-19 still devastates families around the world, remittances continue to provide a critical lifeline for the poor and vulnerable,” said Michal Rutkowski, Global Director of the Social Protection and Jobs Global Practice at the World Bank.

“Supportive policy responses, together with national social protection systems, should continue to be inclusive of all communities, including migrants.”

In addition, it stated that the relatively strong performance of remittance flows during the COVID-19 crisis had also highlighted the importance of timely availability of data.

“Given its growing significance as a source of external financing for low- and middle-income countries, there is a need for better collection of data on remittances, in terms of frequency, timely reporting, and granularity by corridor and channel’’.

The World Bank is assisting member states in monitoring the flow of remittances through various channels, the costs and convenience of sending money, and regulations to protect financial integrity that affect remittance flows.

It is working with the G20 countries and the global community to reduce remittance costs and improve financial inclusion for the poor. (NAN)

 

 

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Business & Economy

Tinubu To Present 2024 Supplementary Budget To NASS

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President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
President Bola Tinubu Presenting 2024 Budget Proposal to the Joint Session of National Assembly
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President Bola Tinubu will soon present the 2024 Supplementary Budget to the National Assembly (NASS).

“I submitted the last budget to you,” the President said when he addressed a joint sitting of the National Assembly on Wednesday.

“You expeditiously passed it. We are walking the talk. I will soon bring the Year 2024 (Supplementary) Appropriation Bill. That is just for your information,” the President said in his terse speech at the joint sitting to mark the Silver Jubilee Of Nigeria’s 4th Republic.

In his response, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, said, “Thank you, Mr President, we will be expecting the Supplementary Appropriation Bill of 2024 as soon as possible.”

Also, at the joint sitting which coincided with the first anniversary of the Tinubu administration, the President confirmed ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’ as the “latest national anthem”.

Tinubu said, “You sang out the latest national anthem, ‘Nigeria, we hail thee’. This is our diversity, representing all characters and how we blend to be brothers and sisters.”

The President pleaded with both the Senate and the House of Representatives to continue to collaborate and work together with the administration to build the country on the path of sustained progress and development.

“We have no other choice; it is our nation. No other institution or personality will help us unless we do it ourselves. No amount of aid from foreign countries or any other nation (will fix us), they take care of themselves first. Let us work together as we are doing to build our nation, not only for us but for generations unborn,” he said.

 

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We Have No Magic Wand, Tackling Inflation Will Take Time — Cardoso

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Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
Yemi Cardoso,CBN Governor
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The Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr. Olayemi Cardoso has urged the citizens to be patient over the fight against current inflation and hike in food items in the country.

Cardoso disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the Monetary Policy Committee, MPC, meeting in Abuja.

The CBN governor mentioned that there was no magic needed to solve inflation in Nigeria but rather patience.

Also, Cardoso noted that despite pressure from food inflation, the general inflation rate was “moderating”, pointing out that “the tools the Central Bank is using are working”.

He stated, “I have several times and I will say again, there is no magic wand. These are things that need to take their time.

“I am pleased and confident that we are beginning to get some relief and in another couple of months we will see the more positive outcomes from the Central Bank have been doing.”

He added, “The committee thus reiterated several challenges confronting the effective moderation of food inflation to include rising costs of transportation of farm produce, infrastructure- related constraints along the line of distribution network, security challenges in some food producing areas, and exchange rate pass-through to domestic prices for imported food items.

“The MPC urged that more be done to address the security of farming communities to guarantee improved food production in these areas.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system.”

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also blamed the recent volatility of the country’s foreign exchange market on seasonal demand for dollars.

“Members further observed the recent volatility in the foreign exchange market, attributing this to seasonal demand, a reflection of the interplay between demand and supply in a freely functioning market system,” a communique issued by the committee on Tuesday stated.

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Port Harcourt Refinery Begins Full Operations Next Month

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Port Harcourt Refinery
Port Harcourt Refinery
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The 210,000-barrel-per-day Port Harcourt refinery is expected to commence operations by the end of July, following multiple delays.

National Public Relations Officer of the Independent Marketers Association of Nigeria, Chief Ukadike Chinedu, revealed this new timeline on Monday. He noted that the refinery’s operation would boost economic activities, reduce petroleum product prices, and ensure an adequate supply.

In December last year, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri, announced the mechanical completion and flare start-off of the Port Harcourt refinery, the largest in the region.

The refinery consists of two units: an older plant with a 60,000-barrel-per-day capacity and a newer plant with a 150,000-barrel-per-day capacity. The refinery was shut down in March 2019 for the first phase of repairs after the government enlisted Italy’s Maire Tecnimont as a technical adviser and appointed oil major Eni as a technical adviser.

On March 15, 2024, NNPC Limited’s Group Chief Executive Officer, Mele Kyari, announced that the Port Harcourt refinery would begin operations in about two weeks. He made this statement during a press briefing following his appearance before the Senate Ad hoc committee investigating the various turnaround maintenance projects of the country’s refineries.

“We achieved mechanical completion in December,” Kyari stated. “We now have crude oil stocked in the refinery and are conducting regulatory compliance tests. The Port Harcourt refinery will start within two weeks.”

However, two months later, the refinery had yet to commence operations.

In an interview, IPMAN’s Ukadike emphasized that the work done on the refinery represented a complete overhaul rather than mere rehabilitation. He assured that every effort was being made to meet the July deadline.

Ukadike said, “When we visited, the MD informed us that the refinery was nearly ready and would start production by the end of July. The overhaul is extensive, with all the armoured cables replaced and everything almost brand new. The maintenance turnaround is massive, with work being done day and night. All hands are on deck to meet the target. By the end of July, the refinery should be operational.”

When asked about the government’s previous unfulfilled promises to restart the refinery, Ukadike acknowledged the delays but noted that no reasons were given for missing the last deadline in April

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