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Like Nigeria, Ghana moves to stop rice, poultry imports

The Republic of Ghana has put plans in place to ban the importation of rice and poultry in three years’ time.

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Like Nigeria, Ghana moves to ban rice, poultry imports as Agric Minister pushes for local production

The Republic of Ghana has put plans in place to ban the importation of rice and poultry in three years’ time. This information was made public by the Minister of Agriculture for the West African nation, Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto.

This is coming weeks after Ghana begged Nigeria to open its borders, adding that it was heavily affected by Nigeria’s decision to close its borders.

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[READ MORE: Trade: Customs ban imports and exports via land borders]

Why this matters: According to Dr Afriyie-Akoto, Ghana wants to divert its attention into boosting local production and shun heavy reliance on rice and poultry importation, hence the three years’ timeline.

It was pointed out that 82% of the bulk of Ghana’s imports is for rice alone. This accounts for over $1 billion, a calculation that translates into almost 2% of Ghana’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), according to Ghana Deputy Trades Minister, Robert Ahomka Lindsay.

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Plans to boost local production: Ghana Agric Minister wants to combat this importation struggle through a flagship programme known as Planting for Food and Jobs in order to boost local capacity to meet high demand as well as simulate trade between merchants and local farmers.

Afriyie-Akoto said the Planting for Foods and Jobs initiative could be operational in three years and enough to combat rice and poultry importation during that same period. He was confident his ideas would work because the law backs his decisions and he noted that the initiative did not violate World Trade Organization (WTO) rules neither was it overambitious.

[READ ALSO: CBN to restrict foreign exchange on more food imports]

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About Planting for Food and Jobs: The programme is expected to provide farmers fertilizers at low rates to help boost local yield. The subsidized rate, which is 50%, is catered for by the Government as an incentive to smallholder farmers.

  • So far, farmers who used to produce three bags of rice per acre in the past, now produce 10 bags.
  • The ripple effect has led to the creation of more jobs as the need for hired hands in the harvesting and processing of farm produce has spiked.
  • Jobs created as at 2017 stood at 745,000 which is now improving to 900,000, according to the Agric Minister.
  • In addition, a spinoff of the programme tagged, “rearing for food and jobs is set to begin.”

Patricia

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Entertainment

FG approves 60% debt forgiveness for licensed radio and television stations  

The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10 – October 6, 2020. 

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FG reiterates commitment to implement reform of broadcasting code , Economy: FG restates commitment to border closure, FG releases new broadcast media regulation to affect DStv’s monopoly 

The Nigerian government granted a 60% debt forgiveness to all licensees indebted to the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC). The move was an additional step to the 2 months license fee waiver granted to the industry as a palliative to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said the measures were put in place as a result of the report submitted by the post-COVID-19 initiative committee for the creative industry. 

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He added that many radio and television stations remain indebted to the government to the tune of N7.8 billion. 

The Minister added that the debt forgiveness will not apply to pay-TV service operators but to only terrestrial TV and radio stations in the country.

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He added that the criterion for enjoying the debt forgiveness is for the debtor to pay 40% of their existing debt within 3 months. Any station that is unable to pay the 40% indebtedness within 3 months window shall forfeit the opportunity. 

Existing license fee is discounted by 30% for all open terrestrial radio and television services effective July 10. 

The effective date of the debt forgiveness shall be July 10 – October 6, 2020. 

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Patricia
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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Scientists ask WHO to revise recommendations as new evidence emerges 

Researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, an open letter to WHO.

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coronavirus, COVID-19: Infections rise to 42 as 2 new cases are confirmed, COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Hundreds of scientists have asked the World Health Organization (WHO) to revise its recommendation for the novel coronavirus pandemic, after they discovered new evidence suggesting that air-borne smaller particles of the virus can infect people. 

The WHO had disclosed that the coronavirus disease spreads primarily from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth, which are discharged when a person with the coronavirus disease coughs, sneezes or speaks. 

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According to the scientists whether the virus is carried by large droplets that zoom through the air after a sneeze or by much smaller exhaled droplets that may move quietly through the length of a room, the coronavirus is borne through air and can infect people when inhaled. 

Researchers plan to publish in a scientific journal next week, an open letter to WHO by 239 scientists in 32 countries, where they outlined the evidence showing that smaller particles can infect people. 

However, the United Nations health agency has said that the report from the scientists that the virus is airborne was not convincing.  

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According to the WHO technical lead for Infection Prevention and Control, Dr Benedetta Allegranzi, ‘’Especially in the last couple of months, we have been stating several times that we consider airborne transmission as possible but certainly not supported by solid or even clear evidence.”  

It can be recalled that WHO said over the weekend that it was stopping its trials of the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and combination HIV drug lopinavir/ritonavir on hospitalized patients with the coronavirus disease after they failed to reduce the death rate. 

The setback came as the WHO reported more than 200,000 new cases of the disease globally, the first time in a single day. 

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Patricia
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Coronavirus

FCMB shuts contact centre locations due to COVID-19 scare

Other banks have recently had to shut down their branches due to public health concerns caused by COVID-19.

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FCMB contact centre

First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited informed its customers, yesterday, that its contact centre locations have all been temporarily shut down following COVID-19 scare.

A brief statement that was issued via Twitter emphasised that the general shutdown of the physical locations is only a temporary and precautionary measure aimed at preventing further spread of the contagious virus. The statement, however, did not clarify whether there have been any reported cases of infection at these contact centre locations.

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“Dear Customers, we trust you are doing well and staying safe. We would like to inform you about the temporary closure of one of our Contact Centre locations as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and protect our employees,” part of the statement said.

Meanwhile, customers were informed that FCMB’s contact centres will remain active in the meantime, albeit virtually. However, customers may experience delays prior to being attended to. Customers were also advised to explore the self-help options offered by the bank’s electronic banking channels in order to resolve their challenges.

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Nairametrics understands that some of the bank’s customers have been experiencing some ‘not so great’ customer service over the past few weeks. One of these customers, who chose not to be named, confirmed this to Nairametrics. Reacting to the statement by the bank, the customer said:

“This statement explains why the bank has not been responding to complaints across all its channels. For at least 4 weeks now, they don’t respond to emails, WhatsApp messages or DMs. I have some funds that they have not reversed in like 4 weeks now. If you check Twitter, you will see so many similar complaints.”

Recall that some other banks have had to close down their branches due to the same reason given by FCMB. Just recently, Jaiz Bank Plc shut down its Ikeja branch for disinfection. Weeks before that, Wema Bank also confirmed that two of its branches were temporarily shut down after two staff became infected with the virus.

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Patricia
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