The World Bank has predicted more hardships for Nigerians and the citizens of Angola over the rising inflation, increased power outages as well as a shortage in fuel and food.
This is in spite of the steady rise in crude oil prices reaching over $120 per barrel expected to benefit these countries which are two of Africa’s largest oil producers.
According to a global economic report contained in a newsletter, the World Bank issued at the weekend, “In many SSA countries, increasing living costs have also tempered gains from looser social restrictions and higher commodity export prices.
“Growth in the three largest SSA economies—Angola, Nigeria, and South Africa—was an estimated 3.8 per cent in 2021 supported by the 4.9% rebound in South Africa. Growth momentum carried on in Angola and Nigeria, where high oil prices, the stabilisation of oil production, and recovery in non-resource sectors supported activity in the first half of this year.
Nevertheless, persistently high domestic inflation, power cuts, and shortages of food and fuel have been weighing on recoveries,” the international bank emphasised.
Inflation for April clearly seen in the consumer price index rose by 16.82%, which was 0.9% points higher than the 15.92% recorded in March 2022, mostly occasioned by a rise in the prices of foodstuff, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Daily Trust also observed that petrol queues have persisted with many a petroleum marketer blaming the high cost of diesel at N850 per litre on the inability of tanker owners to sustain massive loading of petrol from the depots mostly in the coastal areas of Lagos and Warri to hinterlands including Abuja, the nation’s capital.
There is also a toll on household income as residents across several states decry the rising cost of cooking gas at over N750 per kilogramme; the 12.5kg capacity is sold for over N9,000 in Abuja.
Generally, on growth projection for Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), the World Bank said in spite of a rebound of 4.2% in 2021, growth has weakened this year as domestic price pressures, partly induced by supply disruptions owing to the war in Ukraine, are reducing food affordability and real incomes, especially in low-income countries (LICs)
It noted that the sharp deceleration of global growth and war-related shortages of food and fuel are creating substantial headwinds for the region, even more so in countries reliant on wheat imports from Russia and Ukraine (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Tanzania).
In South Africa, growth has moderated substantially amid policy tightening, high and rising unemployment, and recurring power shortages. Infrastructure damage to the country’s main port following severe floods has also contributed to the supply chain disruptions related to the war in Ukraine and lockdowns in China