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Nigerian press focuses on inflation rate for April, W/Bank’s $1.5bn stimulus package

The rise in inflation rate for the month of April and the proposed $1.5 billion World Bank economic stimulus package to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Nigerian states are some of the leading stories in Nigerian newspapers on Friday.The Punch reported that the consumer price index, which measures the rate of inflation in Nigeria, increased by 12.34 percent (year-on-year) in April 2020.

According to the Consumer Price Index April 2020 report released by the National Bureau of Statistics on Thursday, the rise in inflation represents 0.08 percent points higher than the rate recorded in March 2020. The NBS had reported a 12.26 per cent inflation rate for March 2020.

The newspaper also said that the Nigerian Government on Thursday commenced the sale of N150bn seven-year Sukuk bond offer meant for the development of road infrastructure in different parts of the country.

The Debt Management Office disclosed this on its website adding that the offer would close in June 2, 2022 with a settlement date of June 9, 2020. It disclosed that the N150bn seven-year Ijarah Sukuk due for June 2027 had a rental rate of 11.2 percent per annum.

The Sun newspaper reported that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, yesterday said the World Bank has received a proposal of $1.5 billion to states as part of economic stimulus to cushion the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ahmed, who briefed State House correspondents after the virtual National Economic Council (NEC) meeting anchored from the Presidential Villa, Abuja, at the first ever virtual NEC meeting and the fourth for the year, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, said this would cushion the COVID-19 effect on the states.

The Vanguard says that President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the 2018 Amended Executive Order 008 on Voluntary Offshore Assets Regularisation Scheme (VOARS).

Dr. Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Media and Public Relations disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja.

“As a result of stakeholders input and need to strengthen implementation mechanisms and structures, the Order was reviewed. “Consequently, the Amendment to the Executive Order 008 was signed on May 20 by President Buhari.”

The newspaper also said that the United Kingdom has offered to invest up to £20 million in the African Union’s new ‘Africa anti-COVID 19 funds’ to tackle coronavirus and save lives.

This makes the UK the largest national donor to the fund, which was announced by Cyril Ramaphosa, Chairperson of the African Union (AU) and President of the Republic of South Africa last month. Also read: Covid-19: CIG holds dialogue with Nigerian businesses on need for digitization

The report added that investment will support African leaders and technical experts to slow the spread of coronavirus and save lives in Africa and worldwide.

The Nation newspaper reports that Nigeria’s massive revenue loss as a result of the coronavirus pandemic topped discussions at yesterday’s National Economic Council (NEC) meeting.

Finance, Budget and National Planning Minister Hajia Zainab Ahmed warned that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP), might shrink this year to -8.94 percent unless there is economic stimulus.

 Speaking with State House Correspondents after the meeting, Mrs Ahmed, said with 40 percent of Nigeria’s population classified as poor, the looming economic crisis would worsen their misery.

According to her, the global economy would also be dealing with the sharpest reversal since the Great Depression, as a result of the health crisis.

Published on 28.04.2020

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