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Inflation: Soaring food prices, diminishing purchasing power push Nigerians to brink

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…Adverse climatic conditions, fuel hike, others remain cause of food inflation — AFAN Chairman

By Sodiq Adelakun

Nigeria is in the grip of a severe economic crisis after inflation rates rose to an alarming 26.72 percent following the latest statistics released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Monday.

This has exacerbated the country’s economic woes, posing significant challenges for both the government and its citizens.

With prices skyrocketing and purchasing power diminishing, Nigeria is facing an uphill battle to stabilise its economy and alleviate the burden on its struggling population.

The impact of this inflation surge is being felt by ordinary Nigerians, who are finding it increasingly difficult to afford three square meals and other basic necessities.

Despite the government’s efforts to provide palliatives to cushion the effects of economic hardship, the headline inflation rate rose to 26.72 percent in September from 25.80 percent in August 2023.

This relentless increase in inflation is being driven primarily by food inflation, which has reached a staggering 30.64 percent. As a result, many families are struggling to put food on the table.

The NBS has identified several factors contributing to the soaring food inflation.

The situation is dire, and urgent action is needed to address the root causes of this economic crisis. The government must take bold steps to stabilise the economy and provide relief to its citizens.

The prices of oil and fat, bread and cereals, potatoes, yam and other tubers, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, and milk, cheese, and eggs have all experienced significant increases.

These price hikes have been attributed to various factors, including supply chain disruptions, rising production costs, and the depreciation of the national currency.

The Nigerian government has implemented various measures to address the economic crisis and mitigate the impact on its citizens. However, these efforts have not been sufficient to curb the rising inflation. The government’s palliatives, aimed at providing relief to vulnerable populations, have fallen short in the face of skyrocketing prices.

As a result, many Nigerians are left struggling to make ends meet, with their purchasing power diminishing rapidly.

Stabilising Nigeria’s economy and alleviating the burden on its struggling population will require a multi-faceted approach.

Additionally, there is a need for targeted social welfare programs that provide direct support to the most vulnerable segments of society.

Nigeria’s deepening economic crisis, characterised by soaring inflation rates, has pushed the country to the brink. The burden falls heavily on the shoulders of ordinary Nigerians, who are struggling to afford basic necessities.

According to the bureau, the decline in food inflation on a Month-on-Month basis was caused by a fall in the rate of increase in the average prices of potatoes, yam and other tubers, bread and cereals, fruits, and fish.

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending September 2023 over the previous twelve-month average was 25.65 per cent, which was a 6.29 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in September 2022 (19.36 per cent),” it said.

With an already struggling Nigerian economy, the development indicates more misery for Africa’s largest economy, with over 200 million people.

Rising inflation, debt management and a forex crisis are headaches for the barely four-months-old administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun and the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Olayemi Cardoso, certainly have a lot of work to do on the country’s economy to halt an impending poverty crisis.

In an interview with Nigerian NewsDirect, the Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Lagos State Chapter and South-West Zone, Dr Femi Oke identified food inflation as a global issue as far as Nigeria is concerned.

Dr Oke highlighted that the increase in fuel prices is also contributing to food insecurity.

He emphasised that despite the transportation costs involved, farmers are still determined to bring their produce to market.

Additionally, Dr Oke mentioned that farmers face challenges such as adverse climatic conditions, including flooding.

When pointing out the challenges faced by farmers, he said: “The climatic condition, Flooding is also one of the problems faced by farmers.

“The climate change also affects farmers, when crops are destroyed, everything will be gone.

“The challenges are so enormous, the losses of harvest are also there. With those issues, prices of commodities.”

He appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for introducing food security into his government and for the advancement of name from federal ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to Ministry of Agriculture and Food security.

“We decided to bring a blueprint by introducing technology, mechanism, area of banditry is one of the areas that must be tackled, farmers should create hub.

“Former President was able to sign a bill on the foundation for the farmers, so that farmers don’t go to the commercial bank to annex money.

“Extension officers must be strengthened, have training for farmers in the bank, they must act like parastatals.”

 

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35,496 suspects arrested, 1,907 rescued from kidnappers in one year — IGP

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The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Kayode Adeolu Egbetokun, Ph.D., NPM, says the Nigeria Police Force in the past one year has arrested  35,496 suspects and rescued 1,907 people from kidnappers.

He disclosed this on Thursday during the monthly Conference with Senior Police Officers, which coincided with a significant milestone in the current administration, its 365 days in office.

The IGP, while addressing senior officers and members of the press, highlighted the progress made and the challenges faced over the past year since he assumed office as the 22nd Indigenous Inspector-General of Police taking time to reflect, evaluate, and plan for the future.

The IGP noted that during the past twelve months, the Force has faced considerable challenges, including terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, and armed robbery.

In a statement made available by Force Public Relations Officer, ACP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, he said, “Despite these threats, the Nigeria Police Force has remained resilient and dedicated to its mandate.” The IGP commended officers for their hard work and dedication, emphasising the positive results achieved through capacity building, service improvements, and strengthened relationships with sister services and the public.

Reflecting on the year’s accomplishments, the IGP acknowledged the vital achievements of his administration in one year including “the presentation of a total of N9.85 billion to families of deceased officers under the Group Life Assurance Scheme and the IGP Family Welfare Scheme, the declaration of April 7 as National Police Day by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the promotion of inaugural Police Commendation and Awards Ceremony, the promotion of 33,867 officers based on merit, competence, and available vacancies.”

“Also is the advancement of infrastructural development which will culminate in the commissioning of some projects such as the Nigeria Police Resource Centre, the International Conference Centre, the Nigeria Police Force National Cybercrime Centre (NPF-NCCC), the Force Intelligence Building, the Force Public Relations School, the Police Intelligence School located in Share, Kwara State, Evidence/Exhibits Storage facilities, and newly acquired operational assets including vehicles, APCs, Drones, Gun trucks etc.

“In the past one year, the Nigeria Police Force has arrested 35,496 suspects for their participation in various crimes, rescued 1,907 kidnapped victims, and recovered 2,750 firearms, 22,569 ammunition, and 1,540 vehicles nationwide, while the Legal/Prosecutions Section has successfully prosecuted 29,052 criminal cases, securing 16,200 convictions.”

The conference also focused on the upcoming gubernatorial elections in Edo and Ondo States, with the IGP outlining security plans to support the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in ensuring smooth elections.

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OML58: NNPC Ltd, TotalEnergies announce $550m investment deal on Ubeta project

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By Esther Agbo and Opeyemi Abdulsalam

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited signed an agreement with TotalEnergies for the final investment decision (FID) on the Ubeta Field Development Project.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed on Thursday in Abuja.

This project is expected to have a significant impact on Nigeria’s energy sector and contribute to the country’s efforts to develop its oil and gas resources.

Speaking at the event, Mele Kyari, group chief executive officer (GCEO) of NNPC, said on stream, the Ubeta project will produce about 350 million standard cubic feet (MMScf) per day of gas and 10,000 barrels per day of associated liquids.

This, Kyari said, is an opportunity to tap into the vast gas reserves and contribute towards securing gas supply to Nigeria’s liquified natural gas (LNG).

Kyari said, “I’m very convinced that many more projects will come alongside this as we progress.”

“And maybe not the right moment to make those announcements, but I know that a number of projects have been enabled by the executive order of Mr. President.

“No doubt, this project will create opportunities, jobs, and everything that you can imagine, including making our energy investment much more productive.

“I know for sure that the engagements with our other partners will ensure delivery of gas sufficient to keep our train 1 to 7 active and at full capacity, and also realise our ambitions for train 7.”

While appreciating the support from stakeholders, Kyari highlighted the continuous support of President Bola Tinubu’s administration in facilitating a conducive operational environment, which he said is a major driver of the deal.

He also said the presidential executive order was instrumental to achieving the milestone and the impact of the policy is being seen.

Also speaking at the event the Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, delivered a keynote address at the Final Investment Decision (FID) Ceremony for the OML58 Ubeta Field Development Project.

The Ubeta Project is projected to produce 350 million standard cubic feet per day (MMScf/d) of gas at its peak. This initiative is a testament to TotalEnergies’ commitment to Nigeria and plays a crucial role in ensuring a stable gas supply for Nigeria LNG.

Minister Ekpo emphasised the project’s alignment with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s strategic objectives and the Presidential Executive Orders of March 2024. These directives aim to transform Nigeria into a major gas hub, providing cleaner energy, creating jobs, and fostering economic growth.

The Decade of Gas Initiative has laid the groundwork for ambitious projects like Ubeta, focusing on leveraging Nigeria’s abundant gas resources to drive industrialisation, reduce environmental impact, and offer affordable energy to millions of Nigerians.

The Ubeta Field Development Project is a prime example of investments that bring technological advancements, foster local content, and generate sustainable economic benefits.

Minister Ekpo commended TotalEnergies for their continued partnership and investment in Nigeria, acknowledging their role in boosting gas production capabilities.

He said, “I want to take this opportunity to commend TotalEnergies for their continued partnership and investment in Nigeria. Your efforts not only boost our gas production capabilities but also contribute to our shared goals of energy security and economic prosperity.

“We value your commitment to employing innovative technologies and practices that ensure the efficiency and safety of your operations.”

He also highlighted the effectiveness of Nigeria’s policies in creating a conducive environment for investment in the gas sector, attributing the project’s fruition to supportive government policies and regulatory frameworks.

Looking ahead, Minister Ekpo urged for continued collaboration to harness Nigeria’s vast gas potential.

He stressed that the success of the Ubeta Project would be measured not only by gas production volumes but also by its positive impact on the economy, communities, and environment.

In conclusion, Minister Ekpo congratulated all contributors to the project, praising their dedication and hard work.

He called for ongoing cooperation to ensure the successful implementation and operation of the Ubeta Field Development Project, setting a benchmark for future projects in Nigeria’s gas sector.

The event concluded with a call for continued efforts to leverage Nigeria’s gas resources for the nation’s economic and environmental benefit.

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Federal High Court affirms Bayero’s deposition as Emir of Kano

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…Upholds validity of Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024

The ruling of the Federal High Court sitting in Kano presided over by Justice A.M. Liman today has brought to an end, the argument on the deposition of former Emir Aminu Ado Bayero as the court ruled that the new Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains valid.

According to the ruling, all five Emirates of Gaya, Rano, Karaye, Kano and Bichi remained abolished.

While delivering the ruling, Justice A.M. Liman held that the Kano Emirate Repeal Law 2024 remains the law and its validity is intact but actions taken after assenting the law when an order from the court was issued are voided.

Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf has assented to the new law and reinstated the 14th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi as the 16th Emir of one united Kan at the same time (23rd May, 2024 by 5.10pm).

“Law is still the law, but actions carried out in the execution of the law are set aside.”

Justice Liman also granted a stay of proceeding and transferred the case to his learned brother of court three, Justice Amobeda. This bars all parties from taking any step to enforce the ruling till after determination of the appeal.

By this decision of the Federal High Court, the five former Emirs including that of Kano with 8 Local Government areas remained deposed and the defunct Emirates remained abolished.

It is therefore ascertained that the 16th Emir of Kano Muhammadu Sanusi II remains on throne and Aminu Ado Bayero remains deposed while the legal tussle continues.

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