The AFEX Commodities Exchange Limited (AFEX) has made it known that in order to secure the future of Nigeria, the leaders need to focus on agriculture, particularly cocoa production.
In a recent tweet chat with Nairametrics, AFEX emphasised that the country had witnessed the crippling powers of a drop in oil prices, and agriculture could serve as huge leverage for the country.
Highlighted advantages: According to AFEX, agriculture does four things for a developing country like Nigeria.
- It creates gainful employment – Agro-led industrialisation.
- It helps with food security.
- It helps in the diversification drive of the economy
- Finally, it helps to drive foreign exchange earnings of the country through commodity export.
Why cocoa in particular? The agricultural innovative solutions provider, in the course of the interview, revealed why cocoa should be prioritised in the country. The followings are its reasons.
- Nigeria is a crude oil producing country with low per capita income. Saudi Arabia with 34 million people produces 10 million barrels per day, while Nigeria with about 200 million people produces a little over 2 million barrels per day.
- Crude oil is a finite resource and not renewable. Also, the industry is exposed to disruptions. With other sources of renewable energy and the move by countries to embrace clean energy, countries with government earnings completely reliant on crude oil will face fiscal challenges.
- The crude export process creates an extremely very little number of jobs and has almost no economic multiplier effect, while a sector like agriculture is inclusive, creates wealth and helps build new cities.
- Cocoa is Nigeria’s leading agricultural export. Nigeria is the world’s 4th largest global producer of Cocoa and the 3rd largest African exporter. What ways can we capitalise on this statistic?
- Nigeria used to be the largest exporter of Cocoa, but now, the country produces and trades only a fraction of what it did two decades ago. In the same time horizon, Cote D’Ivoire has increased its output by more than five folds.
- With the declining yield per hectare and the age of Nigeria’s cocoa trees, the country needs to embark on an aggressive tree planting exercise, provide the right incentives for farmers and researchers, exporters and processors and allow the industry to rejuvenate.
When asked if Nigerian companies can ever dominate the world’s chocolate production market, AFEX officials said Nigerian firms were a very long way from dominating the chocolate Industry by value or by volume. The firm, however, maintained that the Nigerian firms could be significant exporters of chocolate raw materials to the developed countries if the government is focused on the right structures to actualise this.
What will be your best approach for packaging cocoa to make it easier for exportation?
— Nairametrics (@Nairametrics) August 23, 2019
AFEX’s proposal to FG: The firm’s intervention in the revitalisation of the cocoa sector needs to be inclusive, holistic and urgent. According to AFEX, there must be a simultaneous focus on the three core elements of the value chain, which are highlighted below.
Production: The sustainable production of new fields must be on a massive scale to close the gap. The Cocoa Research Institute must be revitalised and funded as it is the link to international and regional research institutions for sharing of best practices and knowledge.
Aggregation and grading: State governments need to invest in cocoa processing clusters, dryers, grading sheds, and bonded warehouses.
This will increase the quality of crops of Nigerian origin and fetch the higher value, create more transparency in the process, and the states can increase their produce tax earnings, and buyers will have the right quality for onward processing.
Marketing: Africa needs to set prices of cocoa, and not be a price taker in a commodity it produces. This can only be achieved through the introduction of commodities exchanges in the country of origin.
If Nigeria trades her cocoa from West Africa on our future exchanges, the world will be forced to buy through it.
CBN grants Mortgage Refinancing Companies approval to refinance Non-member banks
The CBN has expanded access to mortgage financing by removing restrictions on refinancing mortgages earlier imposed.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has granted approval to Mortgage Refinancing Companies (MRC), to re-finance non-member banks.
This is contained in a circular referenced FPR/DIR/GEN/CIR/07/056 and signed by Ibrahim Tukur, the Director of Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN.
The circular improved on the earlier provisions contained in section 188.8.131.52 which states that “A mortgage refinance company (MRC) shall not, without the prior approval of the CBN, extend total outstanding credit to any single borrower, which is equal to or more than twenty times the value of the borrower’s shares with the MRC or 25 percent of its shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses.”
What this means
Based on the provisions contained in the latest circular, MRCs are now free and legally permitted to refinance the qualifying mortgages of banks and all other non-members ( that do not hold equity), subject to meeting all other relevant requirements specified in the framework.
In a nutshell, the restriction on non-member mortgage lenders from refinancing their mortgages with MRCs has been removed.
Why this matters
Prior to the provisions contained in the latest circular, CBN had expressed fears that provisions of section 184.108.40.206 negatively impacts the mortgages sub-sector, as it constrains the MRCS from refinancing the mortgages of non-shareholder banks. Therefore, the new order will help to remove the restrictions already highlighted.
In lieu of this, the latest circular stated that the provision of section 7.3.1 5 is hereby revised to “the MRC shall not, without prior approval of the CBN, extend total outstanding credit to any single borrower, which is equal to or more than 25 percent of its shareholders’ funds unimpaired by losses,” the circular reads.
Nascon Allied Industries Plc: Increase in sale of goods boosts revenues
Nascon Allied Industries Plc recorded a boost from an increase in the sale of goods revenue-generating unit
Nascon Allied Industries Plc recorded a boost from an increase in the sale of goods revenue-generating units, as total revenues increased slightly. The company reported revenues of N21.87 billion in 2020 (9months) – 4.01% increase compared to N21.03 billion in the corresponding period of 2019.
What you should know
Key highlights from 2020 (9months) results
- Revenues increased by 4.01% from N21.03 billion to N21.87 billion YoY.
- Revenues from sale of edible, refined, bulk grade salt; seasoning and vegetable oil, increased to N21.87 billion, +22.53% YoY.
- Other income increased to N12.81 million, +27.43% YoY.
- No revenue was recorded for freight income on the deliveries of salt and seasoning income-generating unit.
- Gross profit increased to N8.96 billion, +74.56% YoY.
- Operating profit increased to N3.64 billion +18.60% YoY.
- Pre-tax profits increased to N3.47 billion, +16.63% YoY.
- Post-tax profits increased to N2.29 billion, +13.27% YoY.
- Earnings Per Share increased to 115 kobo, +12.75% YoY
- Total assets increased to N44.36 billion, +45.79% YoY.
- Total liabilities increased to N32.04 billion, +67.21% YoY.
- Total equity increased to N12.32 billion, +9.35% YoY.
Nascon Allied Industries Plc recorded a boost from increase in sale of goods revenue-generating unit, but no revenue was recorded for its freight income on the deliveries of salt and seasoning revenue generating-unit.
Though companies have generally recorded decreased revenues in the last three quarters, mostly due to COVID-19; Nascon Allied Industries Plc was able to increase its total revenues and pre-tax profits in the period under consideration.
Instagram disables its “Recent” feature
Instagram recently announced it had removed the “recent” tab from hashtag pages on a temporary basis
Instagram disclosed that it would remove the “Recent” tab from its hashtag pages for people in the United States of America.
The social networking and video sharing service stated this on its official Twitter handle. It said it is “doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.”
Starting today, for people in the U.S. we will temporarily remove the “Recent” tab from hashtag pages. We’re doing this to reduce the real-time spread of potentially harmful content that could pop up around the election.
— Instagram Comms (@InstagramComms) October 29, 2020
What you should know
Nairametrics had reported on Instagram’s apology for its algorithm malfunction that led to the flagging of #EndSARS posts as fake.
Instagram has also taken the following measures to ensure a successful November election.
- The registration of 4.4 million votes this year through its flagship platform – Instagram and Messenger.
- Serving as a means of information and tool to people in the US on the electoral process
- The ban of any content that can thwart the success of the election.
(READ MORE:U.S dollar stable amid U.S holiday)
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, said he was perturbed about the high risks for civil unrest in the US due to the upcoming presidential election.
“I’m worried that with our nation so divided and election results potentially taking days or weeks to be finalized, there is a risk of civil unrest across the country.”
Furthermore, he disclosed on a call while discussing Facebook’s Q3 earnings, that “given this, companies like ours need to go well beyond what we’ve done before.”
Why this matters
The aim of the short-term decision is to decrease the spread of misinformation in the forthcoming US election.