Omolola Dede Adeyanju
The Monetary Policy Committee of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) raised the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) to 18.5 per cent in May 2023 from 18 per cent that was fixed at the 290th meeting of the committee held in March, 2023.
The rate was raised by 50 basis points, while the Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and the Liquidity Ratio (LR) were maintained at 32.5 per cent and 30 per cent respectively.
According to the Governor of Central Bank,Mr Godwin Emefiele, the decision is to curtail the rising inflation in Nigeria, the rate which stood at 22.22 per cent as released by National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in April 2023. This MPR increase is the 7th in a trend and the inflation rate continues to rise despite the increases.
According to a statement signed by the Director General, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Segun Ajayi-Kadiri mni, “This is a clear indication that the policy tightening is not effective in curbing the inflationary pressures and more needed to be done. For implications on the economy in general and the manufacturing sector in particular, it is evident that the continuous and consistent increase in MPR is not yielding the desired growth in the economy.
“The Nigerian economy remains fragile and bedeviled with numerous challenges that inhibit growth. Therefore, the monetary authority needs to pay closer attention to rethink the policy mix, bearing in mind the parlous state of the economy, especially the effect of a high MPR on the manufacturing sector and the economy.
“The increase will compound the imminent recession in the manufacturing sector and negatively impact its operations in so many ways, including: Increase in the cost of borrowing that will further discourage investments in the sector; High cost of production which will lead to higher commodity prices and inventory of unsold manufactured products; Decline in capacity utilization owing to high interest rate and reduction in sales; Reduction in the output of the sector which will further reduce the national productivity and per capita income; Reduction in manufacturing employment, thereby fueling insecurity and social vices; Decline in Government revenue as a result of low productivity of the manufacturing sector and the resulting low taxes; Reduction in inflow of investment owing to increase in cost of borrowing for manufacturing investment; High product prices owing to rising factor costs, which will in turn render the sector less uncompetitive.”
The DG further expressed the position of the association, saying, “The increase in MPR from 18 per cent to 18.5 per cent will certainly lead to an increase in lending rates and worsen the uncompetitiveness of the manufacturing sector. The Association has been clamoring for single-digit lending rates to allow manufacturers access needed funds to boost the performance of the sector. This increase, like the previous ones, is evidence that the CBN is either unperturbed about the plight of the productive sector or is unable to fathom out a more creative policy mix that would reflate the sector.
“We are persuaded that monetary authority is oblivious of the fact that the failure of its tightening policy to address the inflationary pressure is because the hike in inflation is largely caused by a combination of familiar challenges, including low output which is attributed to instability of macroeconomic variables, inconsistent and lackluster fiscal policy regime, incoherent industrial policies, challenging and expensive operating environment, exploitative regulation, external shocks and poor exchange rate management. Therefore, there is a need to address the identified root causes of inflation and refrain from intensifying policy choices that hamper the performance of the real sectors of the economy.
“The interrelationship among macroeconomic variables is essential in policy formulation, as the movements of interest rate, inflation rate and exchange rate have direct impact on investment, employment and output of any economy.
“According to the conventional monetary framework that was adopted by the CBN, increase in MPR should increase interest rate and by extension attract financial investment. However, it will also increase the cost of borrowing, crowd out more investments in the real sector and lower the output of the manufacturing sector.”
He however resolved, “it is necessary for government to think outside the conventional monetary policy framework and take pragmatic steps to quell the inflationary pressure and reposition the economy.
“In the light of the aforementioned, we recommend that: As the cost of lending from the Commercial Banks is expected to increase with the increase in MPR, it is important that priority attention should be given to improving the size of the available special funding windows and making them accessible to the industries at liberal conditionality.
“The Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning and the Central Bank of Nigeria should collaborate to develop an implementable, non-contradictory and well-synthesized monetary and fiscal policy that support domestic manufacturing and the productive sector in general. By doing this, the supply of goods and local production will increase relative to current demand thereby improving aggregate output. Immediate and concrete action should be taken to address the manufacturers’ forex needs in order to support and sustain production. There is no doubt that prioritizing allocation of forex to the manufacturing sector to procure raw materials, machines and spare parts that are not available locally is the way to go. Implement strategies to encourage local raw material development and procurement, enhance infrastructure development, obviate prohibitive electricity tariffs, and increase productivity in key industries like manufacturing.
“Also Tackle smuggling and insecurity by stepping up capacity building and providing sufficient security equipment and technology for monitoring and intelligence gathering.”
FG to deploy 100 electric buses
President Bola Tinubu has said Nigeria is taking a significant step towards a sustainable and eco-friendly future by introducing a pioneering initiative to deploy a fleet of 100 electric buses.
The President spoke at a high-level meeting with stakeholders and investors on the Nigeria Carbon Market and Electric Buses Rollout Programme on Saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on the margins of the COP28 climate summit.
President Tinubu explained that the strategic initiative is aimed at significantly reducing Nigeria’s carbon footprint and modernizing the country’s transportation systems as part of a larger effort to position Nigeria and Africa as the pioneering frontier of green manufacturing and industrialization with a focus on natural gas as a transition fuel alongside other renewable energy sources.
To spearhead this transformative plan, the President announced the appointment of the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mr. Zacch Adedeji, and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change (NCCC), Mr. Dahiru Salisu, to co-chair the Nigeria Carbon Market Activation Plan.
”This initiative stands as a testament to our dedication to environmental stewardship as clearly exemplified through our collaboration with the Africa Carbon Market Initiative. Our visionary plan is a strategic guidepost, directing Nigeria towards becoming an investment-friendly destination for carbon market investments.
”We recognize the imperative of fostering an environment that not only attracts investment but also upholds standardized and sustainable industrial practices. As a manifestation of our forward-thinking approach, we are actively looking to implement robust, enabling policies and frameworks that will serve as the catalyst for the burgeoning growth of the carbon market within our national borders.
”In further driving my commitment, I have recently approved an Inter-governmental Committee on Carbon Markets to be chaired by the Executive Chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service and the Director-General of the National Council on Climate Change to drive this visionary plan,” the President stated.
The President assured prospective investors that this initiative transcends being a mere pilot project.
”It is a concrete manifestation of our unwavering dedication to a carbon-neutral future. I assure you; this is only the commencement of our ambitious plans, with many more impactful initiatives on the horizon,” he said.
President Tinubu, while acknowledging the pressing need for a comprehensive global collaboration on climate-related challenges, called on global partners to join hands in accelerating collective efforts towards a net-zero future.
”As we unveil our initiatives, I challenge other nations to emulate our strides in mapping out their sustainable futures with a clear understanding that Africa is a beacon of innovative solutions to climate-related challenges.
”In this pursuit, we acknowledge the pressing need for comprehensive global collaboration, and we reiterate our commitment to being an active participant in international efforts.
”Nigeria’s plans for a greener and cleaner economy can serve as an inspirational narrative for nations worldwide. Our comprehensive approach, rooted in visionary leadership and pragmatic action supported by our technical partners, is poised to become a blueprint for countries aspiring to also develop and catalyze their markets for sustainable growth,” the President concluded.
In his remarks, FIRS Chairman, Mr. Zacch Adedeji acknowledged the visionary leadership of President Tinubu as the guiding force behind Nigeria’s commitment to harnessing its vast carbon potential.
At COP28, Sanwo-Olu seeks funding to address supply of clean water in Lagos
Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanwo-Olu has sought global support for funding in Lagos state to be able to provide clean water.
The Governor speaking at a side meeting with the theme: “Valuing Water: A Lifeline in Climate Transition”, organised by Business and Philanthropy Climate Forum and Sustainable Market Initiative at the ongoing 28th session of Conference of Parties (COP28) at Dubai Exhibition Centre pitched a sustainable funding proposal in order to raise private and philanthropic funding in addressing inadequate water infrastructure and supply shortages in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Lagos, with 22 million population, has a daily demand of 700 million gallons of portable water, but said the State could hardly supply 210 million gallons per day due to shortage of infrastructure.
The Governor said, although provision of clean water had been generally considered a social service, it was an essential element of economic necessity, given its importance to keeping humans healthy.
Lagos, he said, is challenged by increasing demand for clean water. Sanwo-Olu said the inadequacy of supply infrastructure could raise disease vulnerability in underserved communities, pointing out that the State, despite being surrounded by abundant water bodies, could only manage to utilise 40 per cent of its installed water facilities.
He said: “Lagos has an investment of about $2.8 billion in water infrastructure, but there is a burden on the huge population, as we need to create an ecosystem where we can have access to basic needs in the 21st century. Given our meagre resources, it is really a challenge but we certainly cannot continue to give excuses. This gap is being felt by underserved communities and the risk to the public is high.”
“We have continued to allocate resources to this sector from our budget, but the intervention is hardly enough to serve the needs of the residents. Four years ago, I gave a commitment of $100 million, but this is like a drop, given the number of investments required to fully explore the potential in the sector. We have huge infrastructure that is not being utilised, making us to operate at less than 40 per cent of the installed capacity.”
“Out of the $1.7 trillion needed globally to address the gap in clean water adequacy, Lagos requires less one per cent of the funds to provide safe water. It is my belief that this conversation would lead to sustainable solution that would meet the needs of millions of people that want water adequacy. Our goal is making committed partners believe in economic viability of their investments.”
Sanwo-Olu listed the country’s energy crisis as another factor slowing down the provision of clean water, stressing that irregular power supply rendered resources allocated to the sector inefficient.
The Governor called for equity in global investment towards accelerating water adequacy, noting that humans, regardless of their gender and geographical location, need equal access to clean water.
With 65 per cent of its population made up of young people of under 30, Sanwo-Olu told the funders that Lagos remained an African asset on which viable investments could be made.
The side meeting, which was moderated by the Secretary General of Insurance Development Forum, Ms. Ekhosuehi Iyahen, had seven other panelists, including Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of WaterAid, Tim Wainright, Chief Sustainability Officer of PepsiCo, and CEO of Dalmia Cement in India, Mahendra Singh.
Others are Chief Operating Officer of Water.org, Vedika Bhandarkar, Managing Partner of AquaForAll, Josien Sluijs, Assistant Director General of Food and Agriculture Organisation at UN, Maximo Torero, and former CEO of Mars, Incorporated, Grant Reid.
COP28: Gov Eno joins President Tinubu in Dubai
Akwa Ibom State Governor, His Excellency Pastor Umo Eno, is part of the delegation led by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu GCFR at the ongoing COP28 climate conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE).
Delegates from nearly 200 countries, leaders in business and finance, and representatives of civil society are gathering in Dubai from November 30 to December 12 for the COP28 climate conference, aiming to fast-track the transition to a clean-energy future.
COP28 stands for the 28th meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), occurring annually.
Also in the President’s entourage are the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources (Gas), Rt. Hon. Ekperikpe Ekpo, President/Chief Executive of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari and the newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Finance, Mr. Okokon Ekanem Udo, among others.
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