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Nigeria’s inflation rate climbs to 28.92%, marks twelfth straight month of increase




By Sodiq Adelakun


Inflation in Nigeria continued to rise for the twelfth consecutive month in December, with the headline inflation rate reaching 28.92%, up from 28.20% in November.


The National Bureau of Statistics released its consumer price index report on Monday, revealing the ongoing impact of inflation on the country’s economy.


More details to come…

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Inflationary pressures to ease by December – Economist, Yusuf



The Director of the Centre for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf has said the current inflationary pressures might ease by December this year.

Yusuf disclosed this on Sunday in his Half Year Review of 2023.

His review comes amid the effect of fuel subsidy removal and foreign exchange reforms by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

Consequently, the prices of goods and services sharply increased.

The National Bureau of Statistics said Nigeria’s inflation is 22.41 per cent. Nigerians have continued to lament the hike in the prices of goods and services.

Meanwhile, Yusuf said that the effect of fuel subsidy removal and forex reforms would be in the short term.

According to him, the challenges would gradually reduce before the year ends.

Meanwhile, Yusuf said the CBN should implement a sustainable intervention framework to moderate the volatility in the forex market.

“Inflationary pressure is expected to ease before the end of the year.

“It would pave the way for an equilibrium exchange rate which would be more tolerable and sustainable”, he stated.

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World Bank Group inaugurates business ready project



The World Bank Group has begun work to assess the business and investment climate in up to 180 economies under its flagship Business Ready project.

This is contained in a statement issued by the World Bank’s Online Media Briefing Centre, a copy of which was obtained by the Newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja.

The statement said the Business Ready project is a key instrument of the bank’s new strategy to facilitate private investment, generate employment, and improve productivity.

The project is expected to help countries accelerate development in inclusive and sustainable ways as well as improves upon and replaces the World Bank Group’s earlier Doing Business project.

“It reflects a more balanced and transparent approach toward evaluating a country’s business and investment climate.

“This has been shaped by recommendations from experts from within and outside the World Bank Group, including governments, the private sector, and civil society organisations.”

The statement said the first annual Business Ready report, covering 54 economies, would be published in the Spring of 2024.

“Today, the World Bank Group published two key documents: the Business Ready Manual and Guide, specifying the detailed protocols and safeguards it has put in place to ensure the integrity of the assessments.

“Also, the Business Ready Methodology Handbook, detailing the project’s indicators and scoring methodology.

“Data collection on the business environment of the initial 54 economies is being done through extensive consultations with regulatory experts and nationally representative World Bank Enterprise Surveys, collected by competitively selected survey companies.”

The statement quoted Indermit Gill, World Bank Group’s Chief Economist, as saying “the bank is bringing back a fuller and sharper measure of the investment climate of countries.”

Gill, who is also the Bank’s Senior Vice-President for Development Economics, said this was something that is needed in a global economy experiencing slowdown.

“Governments that do more to make their economies business-ready will do better in reviving private investment, creating jobs, and quickening the transition to cleaner energy.”

The statement quoted Norman Loayza, Director, World Bank’s Indicators Group, which leads the project, as saying “the Business Ready project represents a new approach to assessing the business and investment climates.

“The Business Ready approach aims to establish a better balance between the ease of conducting a business and the broader implications for society as a whole.

“It gives a more positive role for governments, advocating for better public services for businesses.”

Loayza said in addition to experts’ assessments, the project includes direct information from entrepreneurs and managers on their experience navigating the economy’s business environment.

The statement said Business Ready focused on 10 topics covering the lifecycle of a firm in the course of starting, operating, or closing or reorganising its activities.

“These include Business Entry, Business Location, Utility Services, Labour, Financial Services, International Trade, Taxation, Dispute Resolution, Market Competition, and Business Insolvency.”

It said over the next three years, the project would grow to cover about 180 economies worldwide annually.

The statement said it would start with 54 economies in 2023-2024, 120 economies in 2024-2025, and reach 180 economies in 2025-2026.

It said the project’s objective was reflected in its name to make each country’s economic environment ready for a dynamic private sector.

“The name highlights the fact that economies exist in different stages of readiness and that governments play a key role in creating a business environment that is conducive for sustainable development.”

The statement said transparency would be a key feature of Business Ready’s safeguards for data integrity.

“All information collected by the project, raw granular data, scores, as well as the calculations used to obtain the scores will be made publicly available on the project website.

“Moreover, all results presented in the reports will be replicable using straightforward toolkits available on the website.”

The statement said the World Bank Group has long been a leader in spurring business-regulatory reforms across the world.

“Its assessments of the business-enabling environment worldwide helped spur nearly 4,000 regulatory reforms in developing and developed economies over the past two decades.

“They also significantly advanced academic research in this area, resulting in 4,000 peer-reviewed research papers and at least 10,000 working papers.”

It said countries, moreover, often use these assessments to shape their development strategies.

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African governments should explore natural capital to finance SDGs – AfDB



Africa must use all its comparative advantages to mobilise the resources it needs to finance its sustainable development ambitions.

The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group made the call in a statement on its website on Tuesday.

The statement reported the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as saying that since 2010, Africa’s official development assistance declined to its lowest level of 34 billion dollars in 2022.

It said the continent’s access to international capital markets remained constrained and costly due to investors’ perceptions of high risk.

However, it said the continent was not short of options as it could draw immense potential of natural capital, including fresh water, forests and extensive mineral deposits to attract investment and accelerate economic growth.

“This is what the Annual Meetings of the AfDB scheduled to take place from May 22 to 26 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, intend to demonstrate,’’ it stated.

According to the statement, about 30per cent of global mineral reserves is in Africa, including 60per cent of world cobalt reserves and 90per cent of platinum-group metals.

It further said the continent contributed substantially to the world’s annual production of six key minerals.

“This includes 80 per cent of platinum, 77 per cent of cobalt, 51 per cent of manganese, 46 per cent of diamonds, 39 per cent of chromium and 22 per cent of gold.

“Africa holds seven per cent of the world’s natural gas and oil reserves, has more than 60 per cent of undeveloped arable land, and is home to 13 per cent of the world’s population.

“Sixty per cent of its people are under 25 years of age, the youngest population in the world.

“About 75 per cent of African countries have maritime access, offering significant opportunities in the blue economy, which has a global potential of an estimated 1.5 trillion dollars if sustainably managed,’’ it said.

The statement said hundreds of internationally listed junior mining companies over the years had mobilised considerable capital by promoting the value of their exploration or extraction licenses for African deposits on markets.

According to the statement, governments have often failed to harness this natural potential to mobilise resources.

It further explained that hundreds of millions of people exploited natural capital in an ad hoc manner; for instance, in the charcoal industry, which relied on an economic model of deforestation.

However, it said some countries were effectively taking advantage of natural capital. Morocco, for example, had established huge solar and wind energy plants.

“ In 2022, British renewable energy company Xlinks announced the construction of a 3800-kilometre submarine cable to allow the UK to take advantage of this energy.

“Egypt harnesses the Nile River and the Suez Canal in various ways.

“The country also has the Benban solar photovoltaic power plant, inaugurated in 2018, contributing to increasing the renewable energy output to 42 per cent of the total by 2035.

“Benban is expected to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by two million tonnes annually.

“When running at full capacity, it will generate 3.8 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, equivalent to 90 per cent of the electricity produced by Aswan High Dam,’’ it said.

The statement said AfDB’s annual meetings would feature discussions of how Africa’s natural capital could be an important financing vehicle for the continent’s climate change adaptation.

It would also feature mitigation actions, Africa’s green growth ambitions, and its private sector investment.

It said the discussions would feature climate change and natural capital experts, African ministers, and Bank governors.

“In addition to discussions about local content and value addition, the dialogue will also focus on trade and regional integration, infrastructure, finance and investment policies; human capital and skills development; and technology upgrading.

“In September 2021, AfDB inaugurated a new initiative to integrate natural capital into development financing in Africa.

“The meetings in Sharm El Sheikh thus provide an opportunity to review this project and its first achievements.

“The meeting also provides a platform for the host country, Egypt, to share its successes in tapping its maritime and freshwater assets,’’ the statement said.

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