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CBN Poised To Slow Down Rate Hikes 

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Dr. Olayemi Cardoso, has said the bank will soon be able to slow down increases in the benchmark interest rate.

 

Cardoso said this in Lagos at the launch of a book titled “The Power of One Man: How the Soludo-Engineered Consolidation Transformed Nigerian Banks to Global Players”, authored by Ray Echebiri.

 

The CBN Governor, represented by the CBN’s Deputy Governor of Financial Stability, Phillip Ikeazor, said it was important to keep the rates up to curtail the risk of hyperinflation and its consequences.

 

He said, “Once you do not tame and control inflation and you get into hyperinflation, it takes you several years to get out of it. There is still a South American country that still has significant oil reserves but they are in hyperinflation and I think everyone is aware of what is happening in that economy.

 

“We have another country in East Africa which is also in hyperinflation. We know how hard they are struggling to get out of that.

 

“For us as a Central Bank, we are focusing on our core mandate of price stability, maintaining a stable exchange rate, and, of course, economic growth. But it is a question of sequencing.

 

“It is very important that we do not enter hyperinflation. Once you enter hyperinflation, the transmission of monetary economic tools will become completely ineffective. It is important that we avoid that”.

 

On how long the rate hikes will be maintained, the regulator said, “That will be as long as we can control and can reverse galloping inflation. Once we can do that, then we maintain.

 

“We are all aware that in the Western world, we did have rate hikes to be able to control theirs and they maintained it for a very long time. It is only now that they have stopped rate hikes but they have not even started dropping the rates as we speak.

 

“It is important that we tighten and hold on for a little while and in no distant future, we will be able to slow down on the rate hikes”.

 

Cardoso had in May stated that the apex bank would sustain interest rate hikes until inflation was tamed.

 

In a Financial Times report, Cardoso noted that there was “every indication” that MPC would “do whatever is necessary” to rein in inflation.

 

“They will continue to do what has to be done to ensure that inflation comes down. Let’s face it: for a long period of time, the CBN did not embrace orthodox monetary policies.

 

“We want to go back to using an orthodox method, and it will take us to where we want to go”, he stated.

 

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to 33.69 per cent in April.

 

In May, the Monetary Policy Committee of the CBN increased the benchmark lending rate by 150 basis points to 26.25 per cent from 24.75 per cent.

 

Meanwhile, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had advocated for appropriate fiscal and monetary policy synergy that would help revolutionise the banking industry and achieve economic stability.

 

“To sustain this growth, there must be appropriate consultations between fiscal and monetary authorities”, he said.

 

Obasanjo, who was represented by former Cross River State Governor, Donald Duke, also hailed the courage of Anambra State Governor and former CBN Governor, Professor Chukwuma Soludo, in executing the 2005 banking sector consolidation, saying, “The consolidation initiated by Soludo was a courageous and necessary move. It has significantly contributed to the stability and growth of our banking sector”.

 

Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also lauded Soludo’s efforts but highlighted the current economic challenges.

 

He urged the CBN to take decisive actions to stabilise the economy, particularly in managing interest rates and inflation, to alleviate the pressures faced by the private sector.

 

“The private sector is currently experiencing tough times due to various economic challenges. The CBN must take swift and effective measures to stabilise the economy. Learning from the past reforms can guide us through these turbulent times”, Sanwo-Olu said.

 

In his remarks, Soludo recounted the challenges faced during the 2005 consolidation, but expressed pride in the achievement and urged the current CBN leadership to remain resolute in their efforts to recapitalise the banks to keep pace with the expanding economy.

 

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Enugu To Resume Coal Mining Operations December

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In a bid to restore its prominence as the leading coal mining state in the former Eastern Region of Nigeria, the Enugu State Government has issued December as deadline for the commencement of mining operations.
The decision came after the meeting of the government representatives and other mining stakeholders in the state, over the weekend.
In a communique issued at the end of a meeting between the state’s Mineral Resources and Environmental Management Committee (MIREMCO) and mineral title holders in the state, the parties resolved to initiate further stakeholders engagement to identify additional challenges in the sector and recommend solutions which would help foster more inclusive and effective mining in the state.
The Chairman of MIREMCO and Special Adviser to the Enugu State Governor on Solid Minerals, Engr. Samuel Okoro, said the communique  emphasised the need to sensitise host communities on the objectives of MIREMCO and how they could assist in ensuring smooth business operations through cooperation between them and the miners, thereby reducing disruptions.
“To uphold transparency and  accountability and also ensure that all mineral title holders in the state comply with the regulatory requirements, it was agreed that the committee would make a demand through the Mining Cadastre Office (MCO) for the directories of all mineral titles in Enugu State.
“In its efforts to eradicate mineral titles in activeness and stimulate economic growth in the sector, the committee reiterated its commitment to ensuring that all the titles became operational before the end of 2024.
“The tilte holders are urged to commence operations promptly, with MIREMCO pledging to providing support and addressing any challenges that may arise to facilitate this process.
“The tilte holders are urged to commence operations promptly, with MIREMCO pledging to providing support and addressing any challenges that may arise to facilitate this process”, Okoro said.
He  thanked the Governor of the state, Dr.  Peter Mbah, and the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, for giving them the opportunity to make their impact in the sector, promising to ensure full compliance with all relevant regulations and standards.
“We are grateful to the Governor of Enugu State, Dr. Peter Mbah, and the leadership of the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development, headed by the Honourable Minister, Dr. Dele Alake.
“We commend his visionary leadership and dedication to the ministry, and we pledge our commitment to ensuring that his leadership leaves an excellent legacy for the sector”, Okoro said.
He also urged the mineral title holders to do their best and make a difference, stressing that the committee stands ready to collaborate closely with them to achieve maximum results.
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Africa To Empower Marginalised Communities Through Natural Resources

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The Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr. Dele Alake, says the African is determined to empower its marginalised communities through its natural resources.
Alake described Africa as endowed with natural resources, capable of driving its sustainable economic growth, particularly with the critical minerals needed for the global energy transition.
He stated this yesterday in Abuja at a press briefing against the backdrop of the forthcoming 2024 African Natural Resources & Energy Investment Summit (AFNIS).
He said equitable distribution of resources and targeted investments in local communities were key to empowering those historically underserved.
Alake said the move would reduce inequality, promote social stability, and ensure inclusive growth across the continent.
“By channeling investments into rural areas and marginalised communities, we can create opportunities for sustainable livelihoods, improve access to essential services, and foster an environment, where every individual has the chance to thrive”, he stated.
According to him, the three-day summit,  being hosted by Nigeria from July 16th would be ending on Thursday, July 18th and is aimed at exploring strategies for utilising fossil fuel revenues to fund Africa’s transition to a greener future.
“AFNIS 2024 is not merely a gathering of minds, but a convergence of visionaries committed to transforming Africa’s natural resource landscape.
“Our discussions and decisions will resonate across the continent, influencing policies, shaping industries, and setting the course for a sustainable future”,  he said.
The Minister said the summit was also aimed at bolstering the continent’s efforts toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while fostering the development of cleaner, more accessible, and reliable energy sources.
He stated that the summit will provide a platform for government officials, the private sector and industry experts from across the continent to chart ways for the sustainable development of its natural resources.
He further said the 2024 theme, “Natural Resources for Economic Development”, underscored the significant role that Africa’s natural resources play in driving economic prosperity.
Alake continued that the economic growth of the region would have multiplier effects, including alleviating poverty and creating job opportunities for its people.
“By fostering economic growth, we can alleviate poverty, create job opportunities and ensure prosperity for small businesses and all .
“The responsible exploitation of our resources will generate revenues that can be reinvested into our economies, enhancing infrastructure, healthcare, and education.
“This cycle of growth will elevate the living standards of our people and position Africa as a formidable player in the global economy”, he said.
The Minister also said the summit would deliberate on leveraging Africa’s natural resources to address crucial issues such as quality education, gender equality, clean water and sanitation.
He added that other issues to tackle also include provision of affordable and clean energy, and proactive climate action.
Alake explained that the summit would be the third edition and would be hosted in partnership with Core International Mining Company.
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SMEs, Major Player In Most Economies – Traditional Ruler 

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The Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom, HM King Leslie N. Eke, has said Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are major players in most economies, particularly in developing countries.
King Eke, who is the Eze Gbakagbaka of Evo Kingdom, said this while chatting  with newsmen at his palace in Woji in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Eke recalled that SMEs account for the majority of businesses worldwide and are important contributors to job creation and global economic development.
According to him, SMEs represent about 90 percent of businesses and more than 50 percent of employment worldwide, which, he said, should form part of the reasons government at all levels are meant to give it the required attention.
“SMEs contribute up to 40 percent of national income in emerging economies. These numbers are significantly higher when informal SMEs are included”, he said.
He noted that access to finance has been a key constraint to SMEs growth,  hence the need by concerned authorities to up their games.
In his words, “access to finance should rank  the second most cited obstacle facing SMEs growth .
“SMEs are less likely to be able to obtain bank loans than large firms. They rely on internal funds, or cash from friends and family, to launch and initially run their enterprises”, he said.
He also revealed that SMEs growth will go a long way in reviving the ailing economic sector, if all players play in accordance with the rule, doing the needful to support the enterprises.
King Onunwor
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