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NBS: Inflation crashed to 15.13% in January

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The Consumer Price Index (CPI) which measures inflation rate crashed to 15.13% in January 2018 from December’s rate of 15.37%, National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said.
The latest trend down is 0.24 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in December (15.37 per cent).
NBS stated that the rate recorded made it the twelfth consecutive disinflation (slowdown in the inflation rate though still positive) in headline year-on-year inflation since January 2017, according to NBS, is the 12th consecutive time.
However, the bureau noted that the month under review was still characterized by food price pressure driven mostly by increases in prices of imported food in general.
Other food items that recorded increase in prices during the period under review are, bread and cereals, milk, cheese and eggs, vegetables, fish, coffee tea and cocoa, meat, potatoes, yam and other tubers, and oil and fats.
“Increases were recorded in all COICOP divisions that yield the Headline Index. On a month-on-month basis, the headline index increased by 0.80 per cent in January 2018, 0.21 per cent points higher from the rate of 0.59 per cent recorded in December 2017.
“The percentage change in the average composite CPI for the 12-month period ending January 2018 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12-month period was 16.22 per cent, showing 0.28 per cent point lower from 16.50 per cent recorded in December 2017,” explained NBS.
NBS said urban inflation rate rose by 15.56 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2018 from 16.78 per cent recorded in December 2017, while the rural inflation rate also eased by 14.76 per cent in January 2018 from 15.02 per cent in December 2017.
On food index, the bureau noted that high year-on-year food prices and food price pressure continued into January though generally at a slower pace year on year.
“The Food Index increased by 18.92 per cent (year-on-year) in January 2017, down from the rate recorded in December (19.42 per cent). On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased by 0.87 per cent in January 2018, down by 0.29 per cent from 0.58 per cent recorded in December.
“The average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending January 2018 over the previous twelve12-month average was 19.62 per cent, 0.07 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in December 2017 (19.55) per cent,” the report stated.
Meanwhile, all items inflation on a year-on-year basis during the period varies from state to states.
For January 2018, Kebbi State recorded highest of all items inflation with (18.55%), Nasarawa (18.49%) and Bauchi (18.01%), while Delta (12.77%), Kogi (13.28%) and Anambra (13.34%) recorded the slowest rise in headline year-on-year inflation.
On a month-on-month basis in January 2018 all items inflation was highest in Kogi (2.72%), Bayelsa (2.39%) and Sokoto (1.68%), while Kebbi, Bauchi and Cross River recorded price deflation on a month-on-month all item basis in January.
In January 2018, food inflation on a year-on-year basis was highest in Kwara (24.46%), Nasarawa (22.77%) and Bayelsa (22.60%), while Bauchi (13.34%), Anambra (14.63%) and Benue (14.78%) recorded the slowest rise in food inflation.
On a month-on-month basis however, January 2018 food inflation was highest in Bayela (3.47%), Kogi (3.38%) and Nasarawa (2.26%), while Cross River, Kebbi. Yobe, Anambra and Delta all recorded food price deflation or negative inflation (general decrease in the general price level of goods and services or a negative inflation rate) in January 2018.

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Telecoms’ GDP leaps to 1.8% growth

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From a decline of -3.28 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2017, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in Nigeria’s telecommunications sub-sector jumped to 1.8 per cent in the first quarter of this year, New Telegraph has learnt.

This, according to latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), shows a general improvement in the Information and Communication sector.

The telecoms and information services, which come under the Information and Communication sector in the NBS’ categorisation of economic activities, had in the last three quarters recorded negative growth rate as it fell by 1.9 per cent in second quarter 2017. In the third quarter of same year, it also went down by -5.68 per cent. By fourth quarter, the sector still went down by -3.28, even at the time when the overall GDP growth rate of the country looked positive.

However, the telecoms sector has shown remarkable signs of growth since the beginning of this year as subscriber data continue to surge.

Analysis of active mobile subscriptions in the first three months of the year shows that the telecom operators added 4.2 million subscribers within the period. Data subscriptions on the four GSM networks also crossed the 100 million mark in January and have maintained a steady growth.

The Information and Communication sector is composed of the four activities of Telecommunications and Information Services; Publishing; Motion Picture, Sound Recording and Music Production and Broadcasting. In nominal terms, the first quarter of 2018 saw the sector grow by 1.79 per cent (year-on-year) , a 7.25 per cent points decrease from the rate of 9.04 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2017. However, it is 2.34 per cent points higher than rate recorded in the preceding quarter. The quarter-on-quarter growth rate was 3.58 per cent. The Information and Communications sector contributed 10.64 per cent to total Nominal GDP in the 2018 first quarter, lower than the rate of 11.43 per cent recorded in the same quarter of 2017 but higher than the 10.04 per cent it contributed in the preceding quarter.

The sector, in the first quarter of 2018, recorded a growth rate of 1.58 per cent in real terms, year-on-year. From the rate recorded in the corresponding period of 2017, there was a decline by 1.15 per cent points. Quarter on quarter, the sector exhibited a growth of –4.15 per cent in real terms. Of total real GDP, the sector contributed 12.41 per cent in 2018 first quarter, lower than in the same quarter of the previous year in which it represented 12.46 per cent but higher than the preceding quarter, in which it represented 11.35 per cent.

Analysts see the growth rate as a positive sign of more economic activities in the sector, leading to job creations and increased contribution to the economy.

Citing the NBS statistics, Executive Vice Chairman, Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Prof. Umar Danbatta recently disclosed that the telecoms sector in the first quarter of 2017 contributed N1.45 trillion to the GDP, adding that in the second quarter, the figure rose to N1.549 trillion.

“This performance at a period of recession is very remarkable,” he said. “We are keeping dates with the NBS to identify and track how these trends progress. On the aggregate, the telecoms industry’s contribution to GDP in Nigeria stands at 10 per cent.

“But the figures may not tell the entire story. Investments in the sector, in human and material resources, have continued to soar. In 2001, the telecom sector could boast of a mere $50 million worth of investments but as at September 2017, we have investments worth $70 billion. The Value Added Services (VAS), segment of the telecom market in Nigeria today is worth $200 million and is estimated to grow to $500 million by 2021. The industry has provided both direct and indirect employment opportunities, accentuated growth and expansion.”

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Reps probe Pencom over alleged financial mismanagement

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The House of Representatives has resolved to investigate the National Pension Commission (PENCOM) over alleged reckless financial management of retirees’ funds and infraction on the public procurement Law. The House has consequently mandated its committee on public procurement and pensions to carry out a comprehensive investigation on alleged monumental fraud ongoing at the commission.

 

The decision followed the passage of a motion sponsored by Hon. Zakariya Galadima on the “need to investigate the alleged violation of provisions of the public procurement Act and financial mismanagement by the National Pension Commission (PENCOM)” During debate, the legislators faulted the commission over several financial infractions as against the principles and objectives of the provisions of the Pension Reform Act, which required the commission to collect and utilize fees, levies and penalties prudently in accordance with its regulatory and compliance roles. For instance, part of the 2014 Act authorizes PENCOM to invest the retiree funds in order to generate revenue but the lawmakers are worried that such investments powers of the agency have been grossly eroded by financial abuses.

 

In his lead debate, Galadima faulted the agency over several financial mismanagement while expressing worry that PENCOM engaged in fraudulent practice by investing N1billion into Aso Savings and Loans Plc under its investments portfolio at a ridiculously low interest rates and further directed Aso to lend the money to MGSL Mortgage Bank Limited where a top PENCOM management staff has interest.

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Confectionery firm hosts BBNaija ex-housemates

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Infusion Cakes & Cafe, a Lagos-based confectionery firm, has hosted ex-housemates of the reality TV show, Big Brother Nigeria (BBNaija), in a meet and greet session in Lagos recently.

Founder and chief executive of Infusion Cakes & Cafe, Mrs. Ibigbeye Okobi, in a statement, said the company decided to host the BBNaija ex-housemates because: “We really enjoyed the free spirit they exhibited, how natural they were and how they were able to get Nigerians to actually get engaged in everything they did while in the house.”

Okobi said the management of Infusion Cakes & Cafe also felt that the location of the company in the highbrow Lekki area of Lagos would serve as an excellent platform for Nigerians who were keen to meet the ex-housemates, get to know and interact with them in a friendly and hospitable environment to really appreciate them.

Infusion Cakes & Cafe is a modern bakery and cafe where customers can get a combination of international and locally made cakes, coffee, pastries and desserts for refreshment, weddings and special occasions like birthdays and anniversaries, among others.

The highlight of the event was a competition for the decoration of cakes. Participants in the competition included the reigning Miss Nigeria, Miss Mildred Peace Ehiguese; one of the BBNaija ex-housemates, Anto; and a representative of Team Definition, a band of musical artistes which entertained guests at the session.

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