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Business News

Palm Oil Producers want our borders to be “totally shut”

In order to check the increasing cases of smuggling of palm oil products and other products not eligible for foreign exchange into the country, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has called on the Nigerian Government to shut its borders against neighbouring countries.

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Palm Oil Producers want our borders to be "totally shut"

In order to check the increasing cases of smuggling of palm oil products and other products not eligible for foreign exchange into the country, the National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN) has called on the Nigerian Government to shut its borders against neighbouring countries.

Credit to the farmers: The group has also called on the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to make credit available to producers of palm oil, using modalities different from those used when the farmers were granted loans under the Federal government’s Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP). According to the group, while the Central Bank provided loans at a 9% interest rate under the Borrowers’ Programme, such arrangement would not work for palm oil production, owing to the gestation period of the product. 

[READ MORE: ABCON advocates for exchange rate of N250/dollar]

The president of association, Mr. Henry Olatunjoye, while addressing newsmen in Abuja, said if the Federal Government was to achieve its self-sufficiency objectives in palm oil production, which is in line with the presidential directive to the apex bank, then credit with at least 7 years moratorium at a 2% interest rate, should be given to operators in the sector. 

We are appealing to the CBN governor to liaise with stakeholders to get our feelings across and chart a way forward. We are not against his ambition to develop the industry but we are saying that the implementation is faulty in the way the policy is going. Our problem is not the ban on Crude Palm Oil but that borders must be totally shut against illegal importers.”

[READ FURTHER: Emefiele “regrets” the discovery of oil for Nigeria’s economy]

Nigerian Government loses billions of naira yearly to smuggling: As earlier reported by Nairametrics, the Central Bank Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, had earlier disclosed that if Nigeria had maintained its dominance in the palm oil industry, which stood at 40% in the 1970s, it should be earning over $20 billion yearly as foreign exchange.

The challenges experienced in the industry, as outlined by Mr. Olatunjoye, is not in the importation of palm oil but the unrestricted flow of the Crude Palm Oil (CPO), refined vegetable oil and fats that always find its way into the Nigerian market. This poses threat to the local market, thus making government lose billions of Naira every year. 

“Our advice is that the government should write letters to all its neighbours that are in West Africa that such illegal importation will carry serious consequences. This move will now prevent them from making Nigeria a dumping ground.” 

Reviving the sector requires huge investments into the development of research centres across the country and the discouragement of the importation of any of the banned items.

 

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Charles Abuede is a graduate of Economics and Statistics from the University of Benin. He has worked as a business correspondent at Voidant Wireless Service (Pryde TV) and Entrepreneurs.ng. He is currently a Research Analyst at Nairametrics. You can reach him on [email protected] or @CharlesAbuede on LinkedIn and @AbuedeCharles on twitter.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Governors to discuss distribution of vaccines today

Governors of the 36 states of the federation will today meet to discuss the sharing formula for the recently delivered Covid-19 vaccine.

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Oil Price Crash: Governors to meet on budgetary and economic issues

The Nigerian Governors Forum has announced that all 36 Governors will meet today to discuss the distribution of the recently arrived 3.9 million Covid-19 vaccines through the COVAX programme.

This was disclosed by the NGF in a statement issued in Abuja on Wednesday by Mr Abdulrazaque Bello-Barkindo, the Head, Media and Public Affairs of the NGF Secretariat.

The NGF disclosed that the meeting, which would be held virtually, will commence by 5 pm.

“The meeting is of a single-item agenda, which will discuss the delivery of the COVID-19 vaccines and their distribution in the country,” he said.

What you should know

  • Nairametrics reported on Monday that 3.94 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, manufactured by the Serum Institute of India arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport.
  • The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) also released guidelines on registering for Covid-19 vaccination in Nigeria.

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Business

Royal Academy of Engineering invests over £3.5 million in Nigeria, others

The academy has awarded over £3.5 million in 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries.

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The Royal Academy of Engineering has awarded over £3.5 million to 37 projects in Nigeria and across 13 African countries to promote better training and sustainability and diversify economies.

This was disclosed by the Academy via a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Thursday to mark the UNESCO World Engineering Day 2021.

It stated that the Academy’s interest in partnering with partner academic institutions’ projects focused on realizing sustainable development goals.

One of such projects, according to the statement, is the renewable energy project recently embarked on by Engineering students in the University of Abuja, Nigeria.

It stated, “A new awardee of the HEPSSA programme, the University of Abuja, in a project titled “Renewable energy utilization: Accelerating diffusion of solar power systems”, seeks to address the problem of access to affordable and clean energy with a view to enable accelerated diffusion solar power systems.”

Commenting on the progress achieved in Africa, Nigerian born Engineer in the UK, Yewande Akinola MBE, who is also a member of the Royal Academy of Engineering GCRF Africa Catalyst Committee, said:

“While we see immediate improvements in skills and innovation through these programmes, the real win is establishing a framework for lasting change. This will equip communities in Africa to anticipate and plan for the challenges posed by climate change, urbanisation and economic development. The continent is transforming rapidly, and those engineering its future need the skills to think on their feet.”

Stressing the need for strategic partnerships and buy-in of stakeholders, she said, “By developing strong alliances between local partners in sub-Saharan Africa and the UK, we can enable learning, collaboration and sharing of best practice, which in turn will build skills to boost innovation. But there is much more to be done, which needs the continued support of investors and partners.”

She added that the Academy aimed to support the development of a diverse and future fit workforce across the continent.

“It is estimated that fewer than 10% of engineering posts in Africa are currently occupied by women. GCRF Africa Catalyst has worked with Women in Engineering (WomEng) to promote gender diversity across a wide spectrum of professional experience.

“WomEng’s work with Eswatini’s Registration Council for Architects, Engineers, Surveyors and Allied Professionals has resulted in seven registered female members where they initially had none. A HEP SSA project with the Institute of Engineers Rwanda also helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% to 2018 to 25% in 2019,” she said.

Highlights of achievements of the Africa grants:

  • Over 2000 professionals trained by Professional Engineering Institutions across sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Over 530 student industry placements since 2013. Number of students obtaining industry internships increased from 40% to 90% over the course of one project in Zambia
  • Diversity & Inclusion initiatives have driven equal gender participation in programmes. A project from the Institute of Engineers Rwanda helped to increase the number of female internship applicants from 5% in 2018 to 25% in 2019.
  • 50 individual course curricula reviewed and improved as a result of industry-academia partnerships.
  • Almost 50 UK organisations and 400 in-country bodies involved as project partners so far.

What you should know

  • Launched in 2016, with support from the UK government’s Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF), the Africa Catalyst initiative allows Engineers to focus on issues of specific importance to their relevant jurisdictions while facilitating good governance practices.
  • The Royal Academy of Engineering is showcasing its impact on enhancing collaboration, education, and diversity in engineering in sub-Saharan Africa, delivered through its Africa grants programmes ahead of the second UNESCO World Engineering Day for Sustainable Development on the 4th of March 2021.

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