Inflation is a rise in the price levels in relation to goods available leading to endless fall in an economy’s purchasing power over a period of time. It measures the proportion of the rate at which the normal price level of goods and services rise over time in an economy. Nigeria has been experiencing increased levels of inflation since the pandemic broke.
The world is currently fighting COVID-19 that has greatly affected many countries and the world at large, that has measures put in place to suppress the virus. Not only did these measures help curb the spread of the novel virus, but it has also reduced the performance of many economies, businesses and health systems of countries. Currently, more than 3,000,000 people got infected worldwide, with almost over 220,414 people dead. 44 people died in Nigeria from the virus with 255 recoveries. This has had a drastic effect on Nigeria’s economy, which saw its peak in March when the first case was recorded. In March, the CPI recorded a 0.84% rise in month-on-month inflation rate in Nigeria, which was a 0.5% increase from the previous month.
The inflation rate in Nigeria has continually been on an increase from month-on-month and year-on-year rates and several financial experts in Nigeria express their concerns about it and are calling for the currency’s stabilization. A majority of forex traders are particularly unaware about the state of the currency at a given period of time, especially beginners who rely on their brokers to update them on events plaguing the markets. The issues with FX broker comparison is that some brokers are more analytical than others when it comes to delivering information to their customers. While some brokers would prefer analyzing news before delivering it to a beginner trader, others just send out the news to their clients, without ensuring that the implications of the news are fully understood.
The average change in the percentage in both rural and urban areas in CPI of one year, ending in March 2020, over the CPI for the previous year till March 2019 was 11.62%. This shows a 0.08 increase rate of over 11.54% recorded in February 2020 for the same average.
In March 2020, the inflation rate in urban regions increased by 12.93% YoY; which was a 0.08 increase rate from 12.85% YoY change recorded in February 2020. With regards to the MoM rate, urban regions list increased by 0.88%, which is a 0.06 increase rate point from 0.82% recorded in earlier months.
This MoM development is generally caused by the prices of food to other consumer goods. Additionally, in March 2020, the inflation rate in the rural areas also increased by 0.03%, highlighting 11.64% from 11.61% in February 2020, which significantly contributed to the index prices of food. Simultaneously, there was a 0.80% increase in indices, at an additional 0.04 rate point from the 0.76% increase recorded earlier that month.
Statistics show that there was a rise in food prices that were brought about by an increase in costs of Potatoes, sweet potato, yams, fish, oils and fats, meat, fruits, bread and oats, and vegetables. There is currently volatility in the prices of all agricultural products, with the inflation rate steady at 9.98%, which is a 0.25% increase compared to the 9.73% recorded in March.
The highest inflation levels in Nigeria were recorded in bicycle prices, passenger transportation by sea and rates increased, medical services, medication, health services in general, and Major family equipment whether electronic or not. The most recent report suggests a quick rise in the prices of all products and services in the country, which was caused by the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and the continuation of the pandemic. It is worth noting that the most recent inflation rate implies that the buying capacity of customers has decreased.
On Tuesday morning, Nigeria’s Consumer Prices Index, also known as inflation massively increased in August 2020, by 13.22% as per information delivered by the National Bureau of Statistics. This indicates the twelfth continuous rise since September 2019 and the most noteworthy in 28 months reported by a business examination shows that information from the NBS August 2020 expansion.
Land Racketeering: Group Wants FCT Administration To Intervene
A group; the Housing Development Advocacy Network, has called on the Federal Capital Territory administration to provide details of existing approved layouts in the territory, in order to prevent land racketeering in the capital city.
The group noted that land racketeering was on the rise in the FCT and that the government needed to be aware of this to avoid losing investments.
Regardless of the high number of fake and political developers and land racketeers, there are also many genuine investors who wish to invest in the FCT, but are at risk from land racketeers, the group noted.
Executive Director of the advocacy group, Festus Adebayo, who made the call while speaking to journalists, further called on the FCT Minister to declare a state of emergency on land racketeering.
“The master plan of the FCT is in disarray. It requires surgical operation and the FCT minister must declare a state of emergency on the FCT urban planning system.
“So much damage has been done. The system is no more going in line with those who saw the vision of the FCT and gave the master plan.
“Firstly, there is no detailed information on existing approved layouts, resulting in fake layouts overlapping it.
“This information, if made public, would enable investors to know the right information that would save them from falling victim to land racketeers.” he said.
According to him, if there was inadequate information about the existing layout, the public would no longer fall victim to sharp practices resulting in demolition all the time in some areas.
“Some officials in government are supporting the business of those who are engaging in land racketeering and destroying the FCT master plan for selfish reasons, which is why the real estate sector in the nation’s capital is at a risk”, he explained.
Adebayo further explained that even with the suspension of the issuance of building plan approvals to area council plots, people were still erecting substandard buildings and the government was grossly losing revenue.
“Normally, before a demolition exercise is carried out, there has to be an order from the FCT urban and regional planning tribunal. However, the demolition is now at the discretion of the task force.
“Most demolitions are supposed to be followed by implementing a use or activity on the reclaimed land. However, nothing is done after demolition, hence after some time, the illegal activity gradually creeps back again. Other areas have been marked for action and nothing is being done about them. Almost 70 per cent of area council plots do not have building plan approvals”, he said.
Naira Redesign: CBN Recovers N1.9trn In Two Months
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) said it recovered N1.9 trillion worth of currency in two months outside of the banking system following its naira notes redesign and cash swap policy.
CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, disclosed this, last Sunday, as part of his updates following a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.
Emefiele noted that the apex bank had been able to reduce the currency outside the banking system to N900 billion from a whopping N2.7 trillion following the announcement of new naira notes.
President Buhari in November 2022 had launched the new naira notes of N200, N500, and N1,000 denominations, which are aimed at combating counterfeiting, improving the effectiveness of monetary policy tools on inflation, as well as mopping excess liquidity.
Emefiele said, “Ladies and gentlemen, available data at the CBN has shown that in 2015, currency in circulation was only N1.4 trillion.
“As of October 2022, currency in circulation had risen to N3.23 trillion out of which only N500 billion was within the banking industry and N2.7 trillion held permanently in people’s homes.
“Ordinarily, when the CBN releases currency into circulation, it is meant to be used and after effluxion of time, it returns to the CBN thereby keeping the volume of currency in circulation under the firm control of the CBN.
“So far and since the commencement of this programme, we have collected about N1.9 trillion.”
The CBN Governor also added that the initiative recorded over 75 per cent success rate, out of the N2.7 trillion held outside the banking system.
Emefiele noted that Nigerians in the rural areas, villages, the aged and vulnerable had had the opportunity to swap their old notes; leveraging the naira swap initiative as well as the CBN senior staff nationwide sensitisation team exercise.
The CBN Governor also announced the extension of the deadline by 10 days to February 10, 2023, to allow for the remaining old notes in the economy to be returned to the banks.
“A 10-day extension of the deadline from January 31, 2023, to February 10, 2023 is to allow for the collection of more old notes legitimately held by Nigerians and achieve more success in cash swap in our rural communities after which all old notes outside the CBN lose their legal tender status.” the CBN boss said.
Contributory Pension Assets Rise To N14.9trn
The total assets of the Contributory Pension Scheme has risen by N1.56 trillionn as at the end of December, 2022, according to figures obtained from the National Pension Commission (PenCom).
PenCom, in its latest “Report on pension industry portfolio for the period ended 31 December 2022″ disclosed that the funds, which ended December 31, 2021, at N13.42 trillion, rose to N14.99 trillion by the end of December 2022.
It added that Contributors in the scheme rose slightly by 333,002 from 9,529,127 as at the end of 2021 to 9,862,129 in the corresponding period of 2022.
In the figures, the sum of N9.64 trillion or 64.33 per cent of the assets was invested in the Federal Government of Nigeria’s securities, N1.66 trillion was invested in corporate debt securities, N1.98 trillion was invested in money market securities, and N82.8 billion in mutual funds among other investment portfolios.
According to the 2022 third quarter report of the pension industry, the Director-General, PenCom, Aisha Dahir-Umar, said despite the overwhelming head-winds in the global economic climate and the country’s challenging macroeconomic environment, the pension fund assets under her management increased.
She said this laudable performance in the growth points to the fact that the pension industry will continue to deliver value and benefit to its stakeholders and the nation’s economy.
During the period under review, the Director-General, said PenCom steadily pursued increased diversification of pension fund portfolios by ramping up efforts aimed at ensuring sustained investment of pension fund in alternative asset classes and structured infrastructure projects that meet the stringent requirements as enshrined in the regulation for the investment of pension fund assets.
She said PenCom’s efforts at diversifying investments of pension funds and hedging against inflation had gradually begun to yield results.
According to her, efforts were on going to ensure that the annualised average rates of return of pension funds across Retirement Savings Account (RSA) and legacy funds were above headline inflation rates.
“Perhaps, the most significant achievement recorded in the third quarter of 2022 was the successful issuance of guidelines on accessing RSA.
“Balance towards payment of equity contribution for residential mortgage. The guidelines give effect to Section 89(2) of the Pension Reform Act 2014, which allows eligible RSA holders to apply a percentage of the balances in their Retirement Savings Accounts for payment of equity contribution towards residential mortgage for employees of the public, private and the informal sectors”, she said.
Dahir-Umar noted that the achievement in the Nigerian pension industry could not have been possible without the right people, strategy, culture and governance structures that supported the delivery of consistent and sustained value for all its stakeholders.
By: Corlins Walter
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