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World Bank Says Inflation Will Push 2.8 Million Nigerians Into Poverty

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Last Updated on November 22, 2023 by Fellow Press

Rising inflation and low economic growth in Nigeria will push a further 2.8 million people into poverty by 2023’s end, the World Bank has disclosed.

This is based on a report titled, ‘Macro Poverty Outlook: Country-by-country Analysis and Projections for the Developing World,’ released recently. The Washington-based bank said, “By the end of 2023, the rise in inflation and low economic growth will have contributed to an increase of 2.8 million people in poverty (y-o-y), a 0.4 percentage points bump to 37.5 per cent of the population.”

It noted that Nigeria’s high inflation reached a17 17-year high of 24.1 percent (y-o-y) in July 2023, partly reflecting surging food prices and the temporary impact of the removal of the fuel subsidy. It stated that a cumulative 725 basis points hike in the monetary policy rate since May 2022 has had little effect on reining in inflation due to clogged transmission channels, also weakened by direct credit allocation by the central bank, and the continued monetization of the fiscal deficit.

The global bank further declared that federal fiscal deficit has risen to 63 per cent higher between January and May 2023 than in the same period in 2022, due to increasing interest payments, higher capital spending ahead of the elections, and the continuous large cost of the fuel subsidy.

The impact of this is set to spike public debt to 45 per cent of GDP and keep debt service above total revenue in 2023. It said. “The fiscal financing need and the devaluation of the naira are expected to push the public debt to 45 per cent of GDP and keep the debt service above total revenues in 2023.

“The current account balance (CAB) recorded a surplus of 2.2 per cent of GDP in Q1 2023, driven by lower imports and income outflows. However, the small CAB surpluses and capital flows since 2022 have been insufficient to increase foreign reserves, as oil export FX flows to CBN contracted, likely as a result of the direct crude sale-direct fuel purchase arrangements.”

The Bretton Woods Institution further predicted that future economic growth in the country will depend on the continued implementation of macro-fiscal and inclusive structural reforms. It stated the current reforms of the government will boost economic growth to an average of 3.4 per cent in 2023-2025.

It also expects inflation to begin to moderate by 2024.

The World Bank added, “The share of Nigerians living below the international poverty line is expected to peak in 2024 at 38.8 per cent before beginning a gradual decline, as inflation cools down and economic growth picks up. Targeted measures, including cash transfers, could mitigate short-term adjustment costs to the poor and vulnerable and mitigate their risk of falling into intergenerational poverty traps.”

Earlier in June, the bank disclosed that inflation pushed an estimated four million people into poverty between January and May 2023. Inflation has since risen to 27.33 per cent as of October 2023.

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Accept FG offer above N60,000 as new minimum wage, Opeyemi Bamidele to labour

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The Senate Leader, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, APC, Ekiti Central has pleaded with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and the Trade Union Congress, TUC
to accept whatever the federal government offered them above N60,000 as the new minimum wage.

Bamidele urged the NLC and TUC to toe the path of dialogue and peace in the negotiation of a new minimum wage, which the President had promised to send a bill to the National Assembly for this purpose.

The Senate Leader has reiterated the need for Nigerians to demonstrate more patriotic spirit and oneness in their daily activities as the nation journeys through its socio-political trajectory towards the promised land.

He made the call in an Eid-el-Kabir message by his Directorate of Media and Public Affairs on Sunday, just as he highlighted some achievements of the administration of President BolaTinubu.

Bamidele said, “The federal government has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”has conceded to N60,000, which translates to a 100 percent increase. But both NLC and TUC turned down this offer, leading to a two-day industrial action.

“The federal government has promised to make more concessions in this respect. As the federal government reveals its new offer, I plead with the organised labour to accept it in the national interest. The economy will remain in this condition. Collectively, we are taking multi-pronged measures to reverse disturbing economic indicators.”

While identifying with all Muslim faithful nationwide, Bamidele who noted that Nigerians, regardless of religion and tribes, should team up with and rally support for the Tinubu administration to safely steer the ship of the nation into a successful end, emphasised that no nation could travel the journey of national rebirth alone without the unwavering support of its citizens not minding their political, cultural and social backgrounds and orientations.

He assured that the current administration would leave no stone unturned in alleviating the economic hardship being faced by the majority of Nigerians and re-offer them a sense of pride in their home country.

In the spirit of the season, the Senate Leader urged all Muslims to emulate love and good neighbourliness exemplified by Prophet Mohammed (SWAT) during his time and how he related very well with people of other faiths and nationalities.

Bamidele who appealed that the ongoing reengineering efforts of the Tinubu Administration could only yield democratic dividends in an atmosphere devoid of insecurity, but where lives and property are protected, said: “Just to mention a few among ongoing projects like the 700 kilometres Lagos-Calabar Coastal Highway, the establishment of N50 Billion Pulako Initiative and annual recruitment of 30,000 new police personnel are Key Performance Indicators of this government.

“Only recently, this government declared a state of emergency in agriculture and launched the National Agricultural Development Fund with N100 billion, in addition to the Dry Season Farming Initiative and the Green Imperative Programme to ensure food security across the land.

“All these and other components of the 8-point Renewed Hope Agenda require the patriotic support and prayers for their deliverables to multiply at the doorsteps of Nigerians in the remaining three years of the first term of this government.”

He further urged the Muslim faithful to use the season of Eid el-Kabir to pray for the leaders of the country for divine wisdom and understanding that can match the enormous tasks of leading the country especially at a time when economic realities are not favourable around the world.

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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria

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The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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