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AFRICA: Worst food crisis hits West Africa in a decade- Organisation says

Eleven major international organizations are sending an alert: West African countries are being hit by the worst food crisis in a decade. 27 million people are going hungry and according to these humanitarian groups, 11 million more are at risk if nothing is done by this June.

“This is 40 percent more than the number we had last year at the same time, at the same period and this is four times more than the numbers we used to see ten years ago, says Assalama Dawalack Sidi, Oxfam, regional director for West and Central Africa, so this is why we really want to call on donors’ attention, on governments’ attention because we know that there are so many other crises here and there but this crisis do deserve to be visible”.

Their report says drought and worsening floods have reduced the food sources as well as regional conflicts and the war in Ukraine.

“Six out of the 12 countries where Oxfam operates in West Africa import their wheat from Ukraine or Russia, and because of this crisis in Ukraine this is no more possible. And if they cannot import wheat, that means it is creating a shortage in the food available in the countries and therefore increasing the prices and making it very difficult for people to afford food“, explains Assalama Dawalack Sidi.

This appeal was made just before a virtual conference on the food and nutrition crisis in the Sahel and Lake Chad between the European Union, the Sahel and West Africa Club, and the Global Network Against Food Crises.

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Africa

Malawi: Vice president Chilima denies corruption allegations of $150 million

Malawi’s Vice-President Saulos Klaus Chilima has denied allegations of corruption contained in a report about a $150m (£125m) corruption scandal involving government contracts.

He accused the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), which published the report earlier this week, of failing to get his side of the story. Todayng reports

He was named among 53 current and former officials who had received money from or helped British-Malawian businessman Zuneth Sattar between 2017 and 2021. Mr Satter denies any wrongdoing.

Following the report, President Lazarus Chakwera stripped Mr Chilima of his powers – though he cannot sack his deputy.

But he has fired the country’s police chief George Kainja and his own chief of staff Prince Kapondamgaga, who were also named in the report. Mr Kainja denies the allegations while Mr Kapondamgaga has not yet commented.

Mr Chilima was elected vice-president when his party, the UTM, formed an electoral alliance with President Chakwera’s Malawi Congress Party and seven other parties to challenge former President Peter Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party in June 2020.

“For the record, the state vice-president vehemently denies the allegations that have been levelled against him, and will welcome the opportunity, at an appropriate time, of challenging the said allegations,” a statement from Mr Chilima’s director of communication said.

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Africa

Cameroon Govt. woos disapora investors for development

Cameroon’s President Paul Biya has for the first time sent a delegation to Europe to try to encourage well-off Cameroonians living there to invest back home. But members of Cameroon’s diaspora say undemocratic practices and corruption in Biya’s government put off investors.

Government officials say a delegation led by Youth Affairs and Civic Education Minister Mounouna Foutsou was dispatched to Germany this week to ask Cameroonians there to invest in their country of origin.

Foutsou said his wish is for all Cameroonians in the diaspora to put aside their differences and help develop Cameroon.

“The head of state reiterated his call to the Cameroonian diaspora to come and build Cameroon. We seize this opportunity to come and exchange with the whole Cameroonian diaspora here in Europe so that we can present the different opportunities offered by the president of the republic and his government so that the Cameroonian diaspora can come back and participate in the development of the nation,” said Foutsou.

Foutsou said the government will offer tax exemptions of up to 40 percent for diaspora investments in Cameroon, and loans of up to $10,000 with no interest rates for diaspora youths who return to invest in agriculture and livestock.

Kennedy Tumenta is a Cameroonian investor who lives in Germany. He said many in the diaspora find it hard to trust promises made by their government.

He said corruption, high taxes and a lack of confidence in President Biya, who has been in power for 40 years, scare investors.

“Freedom is restricted and they are afraid to move around in Cameroon and do their businesses and speak freely. Most diasporans believe that there is widespread corruption when it concerns opening businesses in the country or the Northwest-Southwest crisis is not being taken into consideration seriously by the government in place. It makes them frustrated and the only way to express this frustration is either to withdraw their investments in the country or attacking the head of state,” said Tumenta.

Separatists have been fighting to carve out an independent English-speaking state in mainly French-speaking Cameroon, since 2016. The U.N. says 3,300 people have died in the fighting.

Some disgruntled Cameroonians in the diaspora have become hostile to the government, and at least seven Cameroonian embassies have been attacked or ransacked since January 2020.

Felix Mbayu is a top official with Cameroon’s Ministry of External Relations. He said Cameroonians taking part in such protests are hurting the country’s image.

“Those who left Cameroon unhappy and have not been able to make it there are those who would speak ill of Cameroon. Those who left Cameroon to better their lot in life and have made it there are those who come back to invest in Cameroon. That is why you see medical doctors who have built hospitals, built clinics, who bring back home medical supplies. You don’t see them in the idle marches abroad. In fact, when you talk ill of your own home, you tarnish your own image,” said Mbayu.

An estimated five million Cameroonians live abroad. The government says the largest diaspora population is in Nigeria where about two million live.

There are also high concentrations in Belgium, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.

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Africa

Sri Lanka : Work from home amid fuel shortage, Govt. tells civil servants

Sri Lanka’s government has ordered public sector employees to work from home for two weeks due to severe fuel shortages as the island nation grapples with its worst financial turmoil in seven decades.

With existing stocks of fuel projected to run out in a matter of days, Sri Lanka is scrambling to find a foreign exchange to pay for desperately needed petrol and diesel imports. A combination of government mismanagement and the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed the country into its deepest economic crisis since independence from Britain in 1948.

The Public Administration and Home Affairs Ministry announced the work-from-home order on Friday for all but the most essential workers. Todays reports

“Taking into consideration the severe limits on fuel supply, the weak public transport system, and the difficulty in using private vehicles, this circular allows minimal staff to report to work from Monday,” the ministry said.

Of its approximately one million government employees, those providing essential services such as healthcare will continue to report for duty at their offices, the circular said.

The education ministry also said all schools have been asked to remain closed for two weeks from Monday and to ensure online teaching if students and teachers had access to electricity.

Earlier this week, the government also approved a four-day work week for public sector workers to help them cope with a chronic fuel shortage and encourage them to grow food.

Snaking lines of vehicles stretching several kilometres have formed at many gas stations countrywide this week, leaving some people waiting for more than 10 hours for fuel.

The country is also facing record-high inflation and lengthy power blackouts, all of which have contributed to months of protests – sometimes violent – calling on President Gotabaya Rajapaksa to step down.

Sri Lanka is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout package with a delegation expected in Colombo on Monday.

The United Nations has outlined a plan to raise $47m to provide assistance to 1.7 million Sri Lankans worst-hit by the crisis over the next four months.

As many as 5 million Sri Lankans could be directly affected by food shortages in the coming months, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe’s office said in a statement on Friday.

The World Food Programme (WFP) said it began distributing food vouchers to about 2,000 pregnant women in Colombo’s “underserved” areas as part of “life-saving assistance” on Thursday.

The WFP is trying to raise $60m for a food relief effort between June and December.

 

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AfricaAviationEconomy

Airlines may collapse soon over aviation fuel hike, excessive charges- Operators cries out

Over 70 airlines have gone into extinction in Nigeria in the past few years and three others currently in operation may collapse in the coming weeks, the Airline Operators of Nigeria said on Wednesday.

AON attributed the incessant collapse of airlines in Nigeria to the excessive charges confronting operators in the sector, among other concerns.

It, however, explained that the major reason capable of crumbling the operations of airlines currently was the high cost of aviation fuel, popularly called Jet A1.

Speaking on behalf of AON at the ongoing National Aviation Conference organised by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria in Abuja, the Chairman, Air Peace, Allen Onyema, said though airlines had been interfacing with the Federal Government on the high cost of aviation fuel, the commodity had continued its northward price movement. Barristerng reports

On the concerns in the sector and how it had been affecting airlines, the AON official said, “There are so many issues in the aviation industry. Issues like high taxes are making airlines to be unprofitable here.

“We pay excessive charges to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency. Paying navigation charges is absurd for domestic operations. The mortality rate of airlines in Nigeria is alarming. Over 70 airlines have gone into extinction in the last few years.”

Commenting on the hike in the cost of Jet A1, Onyema said, “The current fuel crisis will take away three airlines in the next weeks. How do we make money in a situation where we pay salaries and charges to different aviation agencies?”

The jump in aviation fuel price as well as in the cost of diesel, which are both deregulated petroleum products, had led to the collapse of businesses both in the aviation and oil and gas sectors.

The National President, Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association, Bennett Korie, on Tuesday revealed that about 70 per cent of filling stations in Nigeria had closed shop due to the high cost of diesel.

He explained that the outlets had to shut down operations following their inability to purchase diesel at the current N850/litre price to power their trucks needed to transport petrol to their various stations nationwide.

In the aviation sector, Onyema also noted at the ongoing conference that the hike in aviation fuel price was putting severe strain on the operations of airlines. He, however, revealed that the Federal Government had given domestic airline operators some volumes of Jet A1.

“That is why we ran to the government and the Federal Government has given us about 10,000 metric tonnes of fuel at the cost of N580/litre in Lagos and about N607/litre outside Lagos,” he stated.

The Air Peace boss added, “This is not the only issue. Since the COVID-19 crisis, most airlines all over the world, including Nigeria have not recovered from COVID-19, except those whose countries have injected so much funds to assist airlines.

“This is nobody’s fault. It just happened. The government has tried its best by giving us this aviation fuel. This aviation fuel can take airlines out, not only in Nigeria but everywhere in the world.”

Onyema further noted that some airlines outside Nigeria had closed down because of the effects of rising aviation fuel, adding that the concerns should be addressed in Nigeria to avoid affecting the bottom line of all airlines in Nigeria.

The rise in global crude oil prices had warranted a hike in the cost of refined petroleum products across the world, a situation that had also heightened inflation in many countries, including Nigeria.

Also speaking on the cost of Jet A1, the Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Obiora Okonkwo, told journalists in Abuja that the government had listened to domestic airlines as regards the concern.

He said, “The government of the day was very magnanimous, kind, listened to us (domestic airlines) and put a lot of things in motion to manage the impact of the aviation fuel price increase.

“We are very happy and grateful to them but the truth of the situation is that those initiatives taken are still at the implementation stage. It has not been fully implemented, so we are not feeling the impact yet.

“Aviation fuel has continued to rise but I can tell you that some of those promises have been implemented and the impacts, we hope, we will feel soon.”

The hike in aviation fuel price also triggered a jump in the cost of airfares recently, as a one-hour flight ticket that earlier sold for an average of N30,000 rose to N50,000 as this was implemented by all domestic carriers.

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Africa

OIL & GAS: Europe should Decarbonize while Africa Industrializes

While western nations are calling for the abrupt end to fossil fuel utilization in Africa, countries such as the UK and Norway continue to hold licensing rounds intended to scale-up exploration and production. With Africa’s socioeconomic development hinging on the exploitation of the continent’s oil and gas resources, this hypocrisy could spell a travesty for Africa. As western organizations such as Greenpeace move to end African hydrocarbon investment in the name of climate change, shouldn’t European nations move to decarbonize first?

Europe is well-positioned to decarbonize its high-emitting sectors, owing to the availability of the required technologies; the regulatory frameworks in place; and the financial and economic capacity to do so. Having utilized ‘dirty’ fuels such as coal, oil, and gas for decades, the continent has been able to develop its economies substantially. According to the Eurostat, the EU operates a single market made up of 27 countries; total GDP in 2019 equated to €16.4 trillion; the EU accounted for 15% of the world’s trade in goods, and economic growth is projected to increase by 4% in 2022 and 2.8% in 2023. However, countries in the EU are also responsible for approximately 18% of global carbon dioxide emissions produced since the industrial revolution began. In the third quarter of 2021 alone, the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions t 881 otaledmillion tons of CO² equivalent. Yet, these nations continue to call for the end of African oil and gas development, despite holding licensing rounds to develop their own oil and gas.

On the contrary, despite holding some of the world’s largest oil, gas and coal reserves – estimated at 125.3 billion barrels of crude oil, 620 trillion cubic feet of gas and nearly 16.4 billion short tons of coal -, Africa’s development has been slow, largely due to natural resource exports, refined product imports, the lack of adequate infrastructure and the lack of adequate investment and reinvestment in key sectors. Representing the world’s fastest growing population; the youngest population; and holding some of the world’s fastest growing economies, Africa has the chance to accelerate development across its entire economy, driven by the exploration, production and utilization of its oil and gas reserves.

Having utilized ‘dirty’ fuels such as coal, oil and gas for decades, the continent has been able to develop its economies substantially

Oil and gas will enable Africa to improve access to energy and lift the over 600 million people across the continent out of energy poverty; significantly reduce the continent’s dependence on energy imports; and provide the much-needed revenue which African governments can utilize to fund infrastructure rollout in various sectors including energy, mining, transportation and health which are vital for economic stability.

African hydrocarbon producers should follow in the footsteps of European counterparts including Norway and Britain who have and continue to introduce new exploration licensing rounds to make it easier to drill and to expand production capacity. In January 2022, the Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy awarded 53 production licenses in mature oil and gas producing areas in a bid to remain western Europe’s largest hydrocarbon producer whilst the British government in its latest Energy Security Strategy announced that it will award licenses for the increased drilling of oil and gas in the North Sea. This is what Africa needs to do: increase its exploration licensing rounds and the use of domestic hydrocarbons resources to end energy poverty rather than leaving these resources in the ground.

Countries across the continent have already made progress in this area with the introduction of licensing rounds in 2020 and 2021. According to the African Energy Chamber’s (AEC) Q1 2022 Outlook, the results of some 14 licensing rounds are expected to be announced this year while other rounds in Ivory Coast, Senegal, Algeria, the Congo, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Uganda and Kenya are expected to be introduced in 2022 and 2023. Despite this progress, more needs to be done. While the introduction of licensing rounds is critical, implementation and execution is often slow and deters investors. In this regard, Africa needs to take a lesson from Europe, fast tracking these rounds and approvals so that the development of oil and gas can be accelerated.

“For years Africa has been told to stop using its oil and gas resources, even if those very resources are the solution to making energy poverty history. Now, faced with their own energy security crisis, Europe is pushing for new oil and gas licensing rounds to increase exploration, production and oil and gas utilization. How is it that Africa must decarbonize while Europe continues to industrialize? It seems that the saying do as I say and not as I do is clear, even in the energy space. But Africa will not do as they say. We deserve to develop our oil and gas to make energy poverty history. In 2022, Africa needs to ramp up its licensing rounds, drive exploration and position itself as the primary supplier for domestic and global markets,” Leoncio Amada Nze, President of African Energy Chamber CEMAC.

African Energy Week (AEW) 2022, Africa’s premier event for the oil and gas sector, which will take place from 18 – 21 October 2022 in Cape Town, remains committed to ensuring Africa develops and benefits from its oil and gas resources. Under the theme “Exploring and Investing in Africa’s Energy Future while Driving an Enabling Environment,” and through a series of panel discussions, investor forums and networking events, AEW 2022 represents the most suitable platform for driving project partnerships and investment deals while kickstarting both Europe’s decarbonization and Africa’s industrialization in 2022 and beyond.

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News

Ukrainian Journalist Maksim Levin killed in the line of duty

Maksim Levin, a photographer and videographer who was working for a Ukrainian news website and was a long-time contributor to Reuters, was killed while covering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

He leaves behind his wife and four children.

His body was found in a village north of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv on April 1, the news website LB.ua where he worked said on Saturday.

Levin, born in 1981, was a documentary film maker who had contributed to Reuters’ coverage of the country since 2013.

He had been working in the village of Huta Mezhyhirska. There had been heavy shelling in that area.

The prosecutor general’s office in Ukraine said Levin was “killed by servicemen of the Russian Armed Forces with two shots from small arms”. This could not be independently verified.

John Pullman, Reuters’ global managing editor for visuals, said: “We are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Maksim Levin, a long-time contributor to Reuters, in Ukraine.”

“Maks has provided compelling photos and video from Ukraine to Reuters since 2013. His death is a huge loss to the world of journalism. Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time.”

No fewer than 13 civilian journalists or media workers have been killed in the line of duty during the Russo-Ukrainian War as of 2 April 2022.

Six have been Russian, four Ukrainian, one Italian, one American, and one Irish.

Some of them are: Andrea Rocchelli and Andrei Mironov, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, Anatoly Klyan, Andrey Stenin, Serhiy Nikolayev, Yevhenii Sakun, Brent Renaud, Pierre Zakrzewski and Oleksandra Kuvshynova.

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Culture & Tourism

Interview with Nira Fisher, Director of International Relations, Ministry of Tourism in Israel

The tourism industry is the second-fastest-growing in the world before the Covid-19 outbreak that claimed lives, crashed the economy, and affect the growth of tourism.

Global tourism suffered a setback because millions of tourism workers are jobless right now due to the pandemic, airlines have grounded nearly two-thirds of their planes, and cruise ships are docked but gradually bouncing back.

Nira Fisher is a Director of International Relations, Ministry of Tourism in Israel with vast experience having worked 11 years in the Ministry of Tourism, worked for 12 years in the hotel industry, served 5 years as the Tourism Console of Israel to the Nordic Countries and 18 months in my current position as Director of International Relations.

Born and lived her whole life in Jerusalem. Nira bagged a Master’s degree in Tourism Management which has broadened her experience is in marketing tourism overseas.

Nira discussed with ADEWALE ADENRELE  when tourism will return to normality and the selling point of Israel which is the Holy Land, Jerusalem, and the Sea of Galilee.

Below are excerpts:

As the Director of International Relations, Ministry of Tourism, how long precisely do you think global travel will resume to its normal pace?

We estimate that it will take at least till 2024 to return to normality. Maybe not the full numbers of 2019, but things will start to look normal and in good numbers.

In tourism, we have aspects of tourism like educational tourism, religious tourism, medical tourism which area has Israel selling point of tourism to  the world?

The main thing Israel is known for is being the Holy Land. Jerusalem, Nazareth, and the Sea of Galilee are unique to Israel. Adding to that is the beaches, the weather; the reach culinary brings Israel to be something that any tourist want to visit at one point in life.

 Can you tell us the major attractions in Israel?

The 3000 years of history in the bible are the main attractions and you cannot skip the old city of Jerusalem or be in the lowest place on earth – the Dead Sea.

Early 2020 before the pandemic outbreak, the tourism celebrated a record year for traffic. Now, it’s decimated and facing a recovery that could be time. Can you tell us how the Covid-19 pandemic has affected travel and tourism industry?

As in any other country the pandemic stopped inbound tourism to Israel for almost two years. We depended a lot on domestic tourism. We tried our best to support the tourism industry in grants and education options.

The pandemic affects millions of people who depend on tourism were laid off or furloughed. How do you think tourism can bounce back and survive?

This is a free market and the ones that are giving good service and value for the money will be the ones leading the entire industry out of the crisis.

 Many destinations anticipate travelers’ behavior will change in the virus’s wake. What have measures are in place  to sensitize and educate potential tourists/travelers to erase the fear of covid-19?

From our checks, we know that the new traveler will look for places that are not so crowded and ore into the nature experience. We are developing the rural area of Israel to be ready for foreign tourists.

African Development Magazine would like to partner Ministry of tourism in Israel for coverage of tourism activities, would you support this development and give us a chance?

I am sorry but the African market, for now, is not our main market and we are holding all investment in that market to 2024 at least.

Thanks for sharing with African Development Magazine.

Thank you and welcome.

 

ADM 2022

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Culture & TourismEconomyNews

Oyo Hoteliers Association Cries Out Over Multiple Taxation

Hoteliers in Oyo State have decried multiple taxations in the state, describing it as injurious to the survival of their businesses.

The operators, under the auspices of the Oyo State Hoteliers Association, said it was time the Oyo State government reviewed multiple charges that put businesses in dire straits, especially “in an environment that is fast becoming unfriendly and unbearable for sustainability.”

The Vanguard newspaper reported that Oyo State president of the association, Ayodele Ogundele, noted that in the past two to three years, in particular, businesses had been bitter-sweet.

Ogundele added that it has been one challenge after the other. “After COVID-19, we have been battling with massive inflation, shortage of workforce, and to cap it now, total lack of power supply, coupled with the high cost of diesel, among others.

“As if that is not enough, we are faced with a barrage of multiple taxes and outrageous charges. These include; land use charge, tourism charge, trade and investment charge, fire service charge, environmental charge, emission tax, signage tax, and so on. All of these are undermining the capacity of practitioners in the State to break-even, as we are on the verge of collapse. Government needs to take us into consideration so as to save the hospitality and tourism sector, being one of the highest employers of labour,” Ogundele said.

Vice president of the association, Joseph Emoabino, added that the contribution of the hospitality industry to the economy is huge, and warrants favourable policies for the government.

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AfricaEconomyNews

State of the Nation: Diesel, Air flight ticket, Rice, Pay TV, Pure water — How inflation is hurting Nigerians on all sides

Since the pandemic broke out in 2020, Nigerians have been reeling from one hardship to the other: from lockdown and its economic effects to the EndSARS protest to a full-blown recession — and now to war in Ukraine affecting a nation like Nigeria, 8,000 kilometres away.

As of 2020, a good number of people across the world, including Bretton Woods institutions, projected that the world would be a better place by 2022. Little did they know that most of the world, including Nigeria, would still be grappling with the more and more increase in prices, beyond the control of any organisation, government, or private individual.

Back in 2020, when the bag of 50kg of rice, arguably the most popular staple in Nigeria, hit N26,000, Nigerians complained, blamed it on government policies; immature closure of borders for food import when the local market was regarded as “not ripe enough” to sustain the nation.

By 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his independence day speech, promised Nigerians that food prices would soon crash across the nation.

The president said, at the time, that the scarcity was artificial, and caused by “unpatriotic hoarding”. He ordered the National Food Reserve Agency to work with security agencies, and the Nigerian Commodity Exchange to fix the problem.

But as Nigerian history teaches, food problems do not respond to orders — inflation is not a respecter of persons.

INFLATION HITTING THE POOR

This is evident in the fact that every sphere of the Nigerian life has been affected by inflation. Every stratum of national consciousness has dealt a hard blow — the poor, the rich, and the not-so-middle class.

Take water for example; one sachet of water used to go for N5. The target market for this product was the poor and some part of the middle class. In just two years, the retail price of “pure water” has at least doubled. Retailers now sell for N10 per sachet or N20 per sachet. In some neighbourhoods in Lagos, it is sold at two sachets for N30. The cheapest anyone would find is double the price in 2020.

Chicken Republic is one of the most patronised food outlets in Nigeria today. On social media, Nigerians actually make posts speaking of some of their favourite offerings from the food vendor — the most popular being the Chickwhizz meal and the refuel packages. Most of Chicken Republic’s offerings are loved because they are considered cheap and value for money.

However, in the past two years, the prices of these meals have also increased by at least 30 percent. The refuel meal which cost only N500 for a plate of rice and chicken has gone up to N650 — and in some locations, N700.

THE RICH — AND MIDDLE CLASS — ALSO CRY

In Nigeria, it is believed that only the rich travel by air, the poor commute by road to save cost. While this in itself is an aberration, the security situation in the country is changing that. People no longer fly because they can afford it; many now do because of kidnappings and killings on the road.

If we insist that flying is for the rich, then even the rich are being hit hard by flight prices. Between 2020 to 2022, the average price of air tickets has doubled.

In 2020, the cheapest flight in the country was about N16,500 from Lagos to Akure. Today, that same flight cost N37,000 on March 22, 2022. Lagos to Abuja, regarded as the most popular route, has jumped from N22,500 to N50,000. Most of that jump happened in the last two months, giving little room to adjust to the shocks. If flying was indeed for the rich, it just became even more exclusive.

Food prices are going up, not down as promised by the government
Food prices are going up, not down as promised by the government

In 2011, the African Development Bank (AfDB) estimates showed that the Nigerian middle-class made up only 23 percent of the country’s population. This is small, compared to the global average of near 50 percent.

However, it’s a jump from what the case in Nigeria was, about seven to 10 years earlier. According to the World Bank, the middle class in Nigeria made up only 13 percent of the nation’s population in 2003. But from 2014 to date, the middle class in Nigeria has worn thin and keeps getting smaller as poverty rises.

According to the UN, the middle class is made up of people who spend between $10 (N5,780) to $100 (N57,800) per day. For AfDB, the middle class in Africa is made up of people who spend between $2 (N1,156) and $20 (N11,560) per day.

Access to information is considered a basic human right; information should not discriminate against the poor, rich or middle-class. This is one of the reasons why numerous mass media tools exist from radio to newspapers to cable TV.

In Nigeria, cable TV is one aspect that covers both the rich, poor, and the middle class. Unfortunately, inflation in the country has not spared this sector of the economy. In the last week, Multichoice also had to adjust for inflation, pushing prices higher than its 2020 levels

Price changes show that cable TV in Nigeria has increased by about 15 percent in two years. This is less than the annual inflation rate in the country generally, showing that despite the increase in prices of cable TV subscriptions, it is much less than the rate of inflation in the country, which has stayed consistently above 15 percent.

What this could mean for cable TV and other items that have increased by less than 15 percent per annum, is that more increases may soon be unavoidable for them to survive. To preserve the middle class in Nigeria — and at this point, every class — the economy must thrive, industries must grow, foreign and local businesses must survive the onslaught of the pandemic.

RUSSIA-UKRAINE IN THE MIX

Dangote believes the Russia Ukraine war will have quite an impact on food security in Nigeria
Dangote believes the Russia Ukraine war will have quite an impact on food security in Nigeria

Speaking at an event earlier in the month, Aliko Dangote of Dangote Group warned that the war in Russia and Ukraine would have dire consequences for Nigeria if the country does not work hard to stem the effect of the crisis.

The first obvious consequence of the Russian war on Nigeria is the rise in the pump price of petrol — or the increase in Nigeria’s subsidy bill. Since the war started, oil prices have gone up, fuel prices across the world have been hit hard, and Nigeria’s subsidy bill just crossed N300 billion per month.

Beyond fuel prices, which would have a ripple effect on every commodity in the country, food prices are also bound to go up, as a result of the war, which is affecting the global supply of wheat, maize and fertilizer ingredients.

Inflation has come with hard knocks to every side of Nigeria. Tell us, how is inflation affecting you as a Nigerian?

 

Source: The Cable

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