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AfCFTA: CSEA advocates awareness for MSMEs



The Centre for the Study of Economies of Africa (CSEA) says developing a context-specific awareness dissemination strategy will make Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) be familiar with the workings of the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Dr Adedeji Adediran, Director, Education and Governance Research, CSEA, spoke virtually at an AfCFTA Media Launch for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) on Friday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the webinar was organised by the Nigerian Association of Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE).

Adediran said that developing the strategy was pertinent following its findings that most MSMEs were unaware of the existence of AfCFTA.

According to him, key findings of a survey reveal that 67 per cent of respondents showed a low level of awareness regarding the existence of the AfCFTA.

Adediran said that a significantly more substantial portion of 67 per cent of the medium-sized enterprises declared their awareness of the agreement.

He said that special attention should be given to non-digital dissemination strategies to ensure full reach of Nigerian businesses irrespective of their technological participation levels.

“Many MSMEs are often disenfranchised from international trade as a result of the complications associated with compliance to Free Trade Areas ( FTAs).

“Ensuring localised training programmes through partnerships with the private sector and international donors can help fill the technical skills gap that will hamper MSME’s uptake of AfCFTA.

“Businesses need to partner with specific agencies such as the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and National Agency for Food, Drug, Administration, and Control (NAFDAC) to ensure adherence to standards.

“This will boost the capacity of Nigeria businesses to compete in AfCFTA,” he said.

Adediran said that disaggregation by enterprise sectors showed that 97 per cent of agricultural MSMEs were not aware of the agreement, while 50 per cent of manufacturing sector enterprises were also not aware of the agreement.

He added that results showed modest positive welfare gains to Nigeria with machinery, other transport, textile and metal products as well as textile industries accounting for most of the positive effects on real wage.

He said that Nigeria also recorded modest positive welfare effects compared to other African countries.

“Our simulation results indicate that agriculture, mining, food, and machinery dilute the overall gains from terms of trade as the price of export for these commodities declines relative to the price of their imports.

“Although there is growth in the export of agricultural products, the terms of trade deterioration in this sector dilutes the overall gains from trade and changes in real wage from the agricultural sector.

“Based on predictions, Nigeria’s imports from several African countries including Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, and Namibia declined by more than 10 per cent as well as imports from China and Canada by 29.5 and 11.3 per cent respectively.

“On export, Nigeria records growth in exports of agricultural products, food, electrical, and machinery products while exports decline significantly in wood and paper industry,” he said.

The CSEA director stated that respondents expressed concern over some potential adverse effects of the AfCFTA to MSMEs in Nigeria.

According to him, a predominant concern is the deficient human and technological capacity of MSMEs in Nigeria which predisposes them to the negative spillovers potentially associated with free trade and investment exchanges within the continent.

“Most prominent among the threats is the fact that cheaper goods from other African countries will be competing against local goods in Nigeria.

“Other threats to MSMEs in Nigeria that could be associated with the AfCFTA include an increase in foreign competition, reduction in the demand for local goods, and dumping of sub-standard products,” he said.

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Senate Confirms Nomination of Yemi Cardoso as CBN Governor



By Elizabeth Okwe and Ojone Grace Odaudu

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Dr Olayemi Michael Cardoso as the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.

This is as questions are being raised as to the legal status of suspended CBN Governor Godwin Emefiele whose sack or resignation hasn’t been confirmed by the Federal Government.

According to the CBN Act, the President requires the endorsement of 2/3 majority of the Nigerian Senate to remove the Governor. There are other conditions that may lead to his removal, none of which has been established.

Cardoso was screened alongside four nominees for the positions of CBN Deputy Governors, to steer affairs of the apex bank in the next five years.

The deputy governors include: Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro, Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo, Mr. Philip Ikeazor, and Dr. Bala M. Bello.

Recall that last week, Cardoso resumed as the CBN governor in an acting capacity pending his screening and expected confirmation by the Senate.

Meanwhile, the Senate has also scheduled the screening of two additional ministerial nominees by President Bola Tinubu for Tuesday, October 3, 2023.

The President, while the National Assembly was on break, appointed the duo of Dr. Jamila Ibrahim and Ayodele Olawande as Minister of Youths and Minister of State for Youths respectively.

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Cost of Living: Kogi, Lagos and Rivers Dwarf Other States in NBS Report



By Elizabeth Okwe

The Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has revealed that Kogi, Lagos, and Rivers are the most expensive states to live in, based on inflation rates for August 2023.

In its latest Consumer Price Index data released on Friday, the NBS said on a year-on-year basis, Kogi led the way with the highest all-items inflation rate at 31.50 per cent, followed closely by Lagos at 29.17 per cent and Rivers at 29.06 per cent.

In contrast, Sokoto recorded 20.91 per cent, Borno 21.77 per cent, and Nasarawa 22.25 per cent, recorded the slowest rise in headline inflation on a year-on-year basis.
When examined on a month-on-month basis, the trend continued, with August 2023 seeing the highest increases in Kwara at 6.07 per cent, Osun at 4.36 per cent, and Kogi at 4.35 per cent.

While Sokoto recorded 1.38 per cent, Borno at 1.73 per cent, and Ogun at 1.89 per cent recorded the slowest rise in month-on-month inflation.
Specifically for food inflation, the figures for August 2023 showed a similar pattern, with Kogi again taking the lead with the highest year-on-year basis food inflation rate at 38.84 per cent. Lagos followed closely at 36.04 per cent, and Kwara at 35.33 per cent.
On the other hand, Sokoto 20.09 per cent, Nasarawa 24.35 per cent, and Jigawa 24.53 per cent recorded the slowest rise in food inflation on a year-on-year basis.

On a month-on-month basis for the same period, Rivers at 7.12 per cent, Kwara at 5.89 per cent, and Kogi at 5.80per cent recorded the highest increases, while Sokoto recorded 0.50 per cent, Abuja at 1.30 per cent, and Niger at 1.40 per cent experienced the slowest rise in food inflation.
The report noted that the surge in food inflation can be attributed to the significant price hikes in various essential food items, including oil and fat, bread and cereals, fish, fruit, meat, vegetables, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, vegetables, milk, cheese, and eggs.

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Tinubu Nominates Olayemi Cardoso to Replace Emefiele as CBN Governor




By Elizabeth Okwe and Ojone Grace Odaudu

President Bola Tinubu has nominated Dr. Olayemi Michael Cardoso to serve as the new Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending his confirmation by the Nigerian Senate.

A statement issued on Friday by Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, said the directive is in conformity with Section 8 (1) of the Central Bank of Nigeria Act, 2007, which vests in the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the authority to appoint the Governor and Four (4) Deputy Governors for the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), subject to confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of Citibank Nigeria, Dr Yemi Cardoso is a financial and development expert with over thirty years’ experience in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors.

Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu has approved the nomination of four new Deputy Governors of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), for a term of five (5) years at the first instance, pending their confirmation by the Nigerian Senate, as listed below:

(1) Mrs. Emem Nnana Usoro

(2) Mr. Muhammad Sani Abdullahi Dattijo

(3) Mr. Philip Ikeazor

(4) Dr. Bala M. Bello

“In line with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda, the President expects the above listed nominees to successfully implement critical reforms at the Central Bank of Nigeria, which will enhance the confidence of Nigerians and international partners in the restructuring of the Nigerian economy toward sustainable growth and prosperity for all”, the statement added.

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