Wike vows to restore master plan, to demolish 6,000 buildings, slums
The Federal Government is planning to demolish over 30 illegal settlements, slums, and more than 6,000 illegal buildings in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to restore the city’s master plan. The announcement came from the newly-appointed Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.
Wike said that all illegal buildings, even those owned by ministers or ambassadors, would be demolished as they distort the Abuja master plan. The affected areas include Apo Mechanic Village, Dawaki, Durumi, Garki, Nyanya, and many more.
Furthermore, the threat of demolition extends to properties owned by individuals who acquired land from Abuja indigenes without proper documentation.
While some support the move to restore order to the city, others are concerned about the economic hardship it may cause and the need for fair, transparent, and humane implementation.
The minister’s plan also includes reviving the city’s transportation sector and addressing illegal construction that has defaced the city.
FG vows to revive Ajaokuta Steel Company
Shuaibu Audu, Nigeria’s Minister of Steel Development, has vowed to revive the long-moribund Ajaokuta Steel Company.
During a press briefing, he emphasised his commitment to resuscitating the plant, setting a roadmap for the steel sector’s development, and enacting necessary bills for its regulation.
Audu stated that steel development was crucial for the nation’s growth, and the Ajaokuta Steel plant had been dormant for over 40 years. Despite significant government allocations, the plant hasn’t commenced full operations.
The Minister of Solid Minerals, Dele Alake, stressed the importance of solid minerals amid declining oil revenues and pledged to unveil a sector roadmap soon.
MAN warns of debt burden impact on economic plans
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has raised concerns that Nigeria’s staggering N77 trillion debt burden could hinder the economic goals of President Tinubu’s administration.
MAN also highlighted the adverse effects of the country’s mounting debt on the manufacturing sector, which has seen Nigeria’s debt rise by 410 percent in the past eight years.
According to MAN’s CEOs’ Confidence Index (MCCI) Q1’23 report, rising debt is crowding out private investment, leading to reduced credit availability and increased lending rates.
Additionally, servicing external debt in foreign currencies contributes to naira depreciation and higher costs for non-locally produced inputs. The situation worsens forex scarcity, hindering manufacturers.
MAN urged measures like broadening the tax base, implementing voluntary asset and income declaration schemes, addressing tax law loopholes, and promoting fiscal discipline to mitigate the impact of the debt burden.
Fuel prices surge in some states beyond official rates says NBS
Several states in Nigeria are experiencing significant increases in petrol and diesel prices, surpassing official post-subsidy rates, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report for July 2023.
Borno state leads with petrol priced at N657.27 per litre, exceeding the official rate by 9.5 percent.
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Abia and Gombe states follow closely. Diesel prices in Niger state soared to N892.50 per litre, a 12.34 percent increase.
Edo, Kwara, and Benue states boast the lowest petrol prices, while Bayelsa, Anambra/Bauchi, and Ondo states have the lowest diesel prices. The average petrol price YoY rose by 215.95 percent.
Oil prices weaken as Iraqi exports, China economy waver
Oil prices dipped amid uncertainty over the resumption of Iraqi oil exports, potentially easing supply constraints from OPEC+ cuts.
Brent crude fell 8 cents to $84.38 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude dropped 7 cents to $80.65.
Reuters spoke to some analysts at ANZ Bank, and they highlighted the challenge of supply tightness easing.
Meanwhile, concerns loom as China’s economy, a major oil consumer, weakens. The central bank’s modest lending rate cut disappointed markets expecting more stimulus.
Slowing demand for mobility fuels adds pressure to oil prices. U.S. inventory data may offer support, but the Federal Reserve’s interest rate stance and economic data remain influential factors.