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Business News

Inflation rate jumps to 11.98% as border closure drags on

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose year on year to 11.98% in December 2019. According to the NBS, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Oils and fats, Meat, Potatoes, Yam and other tubers, Fish and Vegetables

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Inflation rate jumps to 11.98% as border closure drags on

Nigeria’s inflation rate rose year on year from 11.44% as at the end of 2018 to 11.98% by December 2019. This was disclosed in the latest inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

According to the NBS report, month on month, inflation rose by 11.98% in December, higher than the rate (11.85%) recorded in November 2019 and 11.61% in October. The inflation rate in Nigeria rose for the 4th consecutive month as the spiral effect of border closure continues to drag on the economy.

Food Inflation

Food inflation, a closely watched component of the inflation index, rose by 14.67% in December 2019 compared to 14.48% recorded in November 2019. According to the NBS, the rise in the food index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Meat, Fish, Oils and fats, Potatoes, yam and other tubers.

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index rose by 0.97% in December 2019, down by 0.28% points from 1.25% recorded in November 2019. The average annual rate of change of the Food sub-index for the twelve-month period ending December 2019 was 13.74% from November 2019 (13.65%).

Core Inflation

On the other hand, Core inflation (All items less farm produce), which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce also rose 9.33% in December 2019, up by 0.34% when compared with 8.99% recorded in November 2019.

On a month-on-month basis, the core sub-index increased by 0.81% in December 2019. This was up by 0.02% when compared with 0.79% recorded in November 2019.

Also, the average 12-month annual rate of change of the index was 9.15% for the twelve-month period ending December 2019; this is 0.04 percent points lower than 9.19 percent recorded in November 2019.

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[READ: Pension funds are in trouble as inflation erodes asset values by 100%]

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Rural and Urban Inflation

Similarly, the urban inflation rate increased by 12.62% (year-on-year) in December 2019 from 12.47% recorded in November 2019, while the rural inflation rate increased by 11.41% in December 2019 from 11.30% in November 2019.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose by 0.90% in December 2019, down from 1.07 percent recorded in the previous month, while the rural index also rose by 0.82% in December 2019, down from 0.98 recorded in November 2019.

Inflation spikes on border closure and demand pressure

According to the Bureau, core inflation was triggered by increases in prices of Hospital services, Hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishment, Garments, Repair and hire of footwear, Vehicle spare parts, Passenger transport by air, Shoes and other footwear, Appliances, articles and products for personal care, Clothing materials, other articles of clothing and clothing accessories and Cleaning, Repair and hire of clothing.

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[READ: Understand everything about rise and fall in Inflation rate]

  • Meanwhile, the rise in December may not come as a surprise as Nigerians continue to grapple with the effects of the border closure.
  • Also, the surge in the demand for household items during the Christmas festivity must have piled up pressures on prices. Towards the year-end, Nigerians typically spend on household items such as food, fashion and gift items.
  • Nairametrics had earlier reported that an up thick in inflation is still expected through 2019 on the backdrop of border closure and seasonality.
  • Meanwhile, the latest increase in the inflation rate means the purchasing power of consumers and investors’ returns continue to worsen in the country.
  • Most investors aim to increase their long-term purchasing power. However, Inflation puts this goal at risk because returns on investment must first keep up with the rate of inflation in order to increase real purchasing power.
  • For instance, the rate of interest on most fixed income securities remains the same until maturity, hence, the purchasing power of the interest payments declines as inflation rises.

Samuel is an Analyst with over 5 years experience. Connect with him via his twitter handle

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Business News

FG to distribute 10 million LPG gas cylinders in 1 year

The FG is set to inject up to 10 million gas cylinders into the market to help improve safety and deepen cooking gas utilization.

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The Federal Government has announced plans to inject 5 to 10 million Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) cylinders into the market in the next one year.

This is to help improve safety and deepen LPG (otherwise known as cooking gas) utilization across the country.

This disclosure was made by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, Mr Dayo Adeshina, at a sensitisation workshop on LPG Adoption and Implementation for Industry Stakeholders, on Wednesday in Lagos.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Adeshina said the National LPG Expansion Implementation Plan, domiciled in the Office of the Vice President, was committed to achieving Nigeria’s target of 5 million Metric Tonnes of LPG consumption annually by 2027.

What the Programme Manager for LPG Expansion Implementation Plan is saying

Adeshina said, “The Federal Government is working towards injecting five to 10 million cooking gas cylinders into the market within the next one year. We are starting the cylinder injection under the first phase in 11 pilot states and FCT, with two states from each of the geopolitical zones.

The states are Lagos, Ogun, Bauchi, Gombe, Katsina, Sokoto, Delta, Bayelsa, Ebonyi, Enugu, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory. The cylinders will be injected through the marketers. The marketers will be responsible for the cylinders and the exchange will take place in homes and not in filling stations.

What this means is that going forward, cylinders will not be owned by individuals but by the marketers who will ensure that they are safe for usage.’

Adeshina pointed out that apart from household consumption, the government was trying to increase LPG usage in agriculture, transportation and manufacturing adding that this will enable the country to reduce CO2 emission by about 20% and create millions of jobs for Nigerians.

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He said that the government had also granted waivers on importation of LPG equipment and removed Value Added Tax (VAT) on LPG in addition to investment in infrastructure.

The President of the Nigerian Liquefied Petroleum Gas Association, Mr Nuhu Yakubu, said efforts should be made to ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of cooking gas in the country adding that this would encourage more Nigerians to embrace gas usage in their homes with the attendant benefits to the country.

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Mr Olalere Odusote, Lagos State Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources, said the population of Lagos makes it imperative for residents to adopt cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation adding that the government was targeting the conversion of 45% of about 4 million vehicles in the state to autogas over a four-year period in partnership with marketers.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had in November 2020, announced plans for the conversion of cars to autogas in a bid to have cheaper and cleaner energy especially with the high cost of petrol.
  • The government at different levels are pursuing cleaner energy sources for cooking, transportation and power generation.

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Business

JAMB bans use of email by candidates for UTME, DE registration

JAMB has announced that candidates for the UTME and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.

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The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB) has announced that candidates for the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) and Direct Entry will no longer be required to provide their email addresses at the point of registration.

The new adjustment is to protect candidates from various forms of manipulation and distortion of their personal details by some fraudulent cyber café operators.

The Registrar of JAMB, Prof. Is-haq Oloyede, who made the disclosure while addressing newsmen at the board’s headquarters on Wednesday in Bwari, Abuja, said the change, would take effect from Thursday, April 15, 2021.

What the JAMB Registrar is saying

Oloyede said, “They gain access to profiles of these candidates under the pretense of creating an email address for them. Then they change and block the candidates from receiving messages from the board. They also extort them after they change their passwords.

In view of this, the board has come up with adjustments to our operations. The first decision is that beginning from Thursday, April 15, candidates would no longer be required to provide any email address during registration from this year onwards.

It is by going to these cyber cafes to open emails that these candidates are open to abuse and stealing of their personal data,’’ he said.

He said that the board now had a mobile app that would allow candidates to deal directly with the board with their smartphones or via SMS to ‘55019’ code option.

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The code option, he explained, would allow candidates to check admission status as well as all other verifications via SMS.

He said, “Printing of examination slips, results notification or raising tickets can be done anywhere by using candidates’ registration number only. However, at the close of registration every year, we would need the email addresses of the candidates so we can have access to as many of them as possible.

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At the conclusion of registration, candidates are expected to send their email addresses through the mobile app or text message to the 55019 code twice, for validation. This is to update their profile with JAMB as the email will no longer be used as access to their profile, but rather as a communication tool with candidates.’

While advising candidates to guard their phones with utmost care as it was the weapon for all transactions, Oloyede said that henceforth, all JAMB owned Computer-Based Tests (CBT) centres across the country, would only allow candidates with ATM cards into its centres.

He said that in order to cut down on the activities of fraudsters who hijack candidates to extort money from them, the centres would no longer allow candidates go outside the centres to pay for their e-pins and other cash transactions.

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The JAMB Registrar said, “Only candidates with ATM cards will be allowed into all JAMB owned CBT centres, it can be that of their parents as long as they have the pin for the transaction.

“Those without ATM cards can go to other privately owned CBT centres where they can pay cash to register but we will not take cash or transact outside our centres.’’

What you should know

Meanwhile, in a related development, JAMB had said that the board lost over N10 million in 2020 to activities of fraudsters who penetrated their payment portal for ad-hoc staff.

The JAMB Registrar said that the money, which was meant to pay JAMB ad-hoc staff from the 2020 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME), was hijacked by the suspected fraudsters.

JAMB had a few days ago confirmed the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME/DE examinations after the initial hiccup.

It stated that applicants must provide NIN at the point of registration with the registration by Direct Entry candidates to run concurrently with that of UTME candidates.

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