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Sesame, Cocoa, Cashew gross $84.97million – AFEX report

AFEX has stated that the significant attention being received by the agricultural sector is driven by public, private and development investments.

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AFEX cocoa, Nigeria’s agricultural sector driven by public, private and developmental investments - AFEX 

AFEX Commodities Exchange has stated that Sesame, Cocoa, and Cashew led the non-oil export charts, as they grossed $84.97 million by the end of the third quarter of 2019. this was disclosed in the AFEX’s latest annual report.

The report stated that the agriculture sector in Nigeria received significant
attention, rivalling what was witnessed in the 2011-2013 period. The renewed drive has been broad-based with virtually all sub-sectors (Livestock, Crop, and Fishery) benefitting
from the public, private and developmental investments in the sector.

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Details: At the end of Q3 2019, Sesame, Cocoa and Cashew led the non-oil export charts, grossing $41.19million, $30.03 million and $13.75 million over the period.

[READ ALSO: Nigeria in 2020: SB Morgen perspective(Opens in a new browser tab)]

The commodities exchange, in the report, found that Kaduna, Niger and Taraba remain the largest producers of maize in Nigeria with an estimated production of 937,820 tonnes, 745,110 tonnes and 608,730 tonnes respectively.

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It attributed the increased production levels to high demand from baby food and animal feed companies which service an increasing population with expanding dietary awareness.

 

Nigeria’s agricultural sector driven by public, private and developmental investments - AFEX 

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The consumption of maize is expected to grow by at least 1.2% per annum with the fundamental drivers remaining strong.

According to the report, the Nigerian commodity markets experienced more structure, with the market seeing a wide range of players getting involved from the producers to final off-takers with trader, merchants and other marketing agents serving as the backbone of the industry and helping to provide the much-required linkage services.

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Nigeria’s agricultural sector driven by public, private and developmental investments - AFEX 

However, AFEX said, in spite of the export potential of cocoa and other cash crops, maize and soybean remained the most liquid commodities in the country owing to their much wider use for industrial and household consumption across the country.

Paddy rice and sorghum have begun to assume more importance in the local landscape with the country’s sesame and ginger gaining more traction in the international consumption markets.

Meanwhile, in the global market, commodity prices witnessed wide fluctuation as the combined effects of trade wars, geopolitical tensions and the global economic slowdown pressured commodity performance in 2019. Specifically, the US-China trade war and the global economic slowdown, as investors and producers grappled with tariffs and reduced access to key export markets, the report noted.

[READ MORE: AFEX raises funds from Consonance Investment, increases agriculture-fund support)

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Tech News

3 startups to get N3 million grant each in the COVID-19 virtual hackathon 

The hackathon hopes to identify accessible and cost-effective E-Learning solutions for public schools.

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The Nigerian Communications Commission has announced that 3 finalist startups will get a grant of N3 million each at the end of the COVID-19 virtual hackathon 

These three startups will be selected from submitted entries that meet all the criteria and provide adaptable digital solutions for addressing the present and future impacts of pandemic and epidemic diseases 

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The solutions must be novel, clearly explained, with proof of concept  

NCC announced this through a statement published on its Twitter handle.  

The grant, it said, will enable the three startups with the most promising digital solutions to produce a prototype within 2 months of receipt.  

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According to the statement, submitted entries are expected to provide solutions in sectors such as health, digital communications, education, transportation.  

For those in health, the solutions should find a way to empower frontline healthcare workers or prevent, trace, and contain the spread in Nigeria.  

Solutions in digital communications are expected to aid the sustenance of economic activities and people-to-people communication while encouraging social distancing without compromising productivity. 

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The hackathon also hopes to identify accessible and cost-effective E-Learning solutions for public schools, as well as improved safety measures in public transportation in Nigeria.  

Interested tech hubs, startups and innovative digital SMEs can still submit entries on or before July 17, 2020.  

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Financial Services

CBN expands scope of regional banks in Nigeria, gives compliance timeframe

The aim of this directive is to expand the reach of the regional banks across the country, the CBN said.

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Regional Banks

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has expanded the scope of regional banks in the country, by requiring them to open branches in at least one additional geopolitical zone outside of the existing geopolitical zones where their operating licenses cover.

A circular that was issued earlier this week by the apex bank said this new directive is in accordance with “section 8 (g) of the CBN Scope, Conditions & Minimum Standards for Commercial Banks Regulations no [1] 2010 as revised on September 4, 2019.” 

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The new directive took effect on Friday, June 26, 2020. In other words, all the regional banks are expected to have become aware of this development since then. They now have a timeframe of six months to establish their presence in the geopolitical zones outside of where they currently operate.

It should be noted that prior to this time, regional banks in the country typically operated in at least two geopolitical zones of the federation. However, in line with the new expansion, the CBN shall now prescribe an additional geopolitical zone for each of these regional banks, thereby making the coverage area three geopolitical zones per regional bank.

Meanwhile, the CBN said the aim of this directive is to expand the reach of the regional banks across the country, whilst ultimately promoting financial inclusion. Note also that the new directive affects all regional banks, both the ones engaged in commercial banking and non-interest banking. Some part of the circular said:

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“Effective the date of this circular, all banks with regional authorisation shall be required to operate from one additional geopolitical zone as may be prescribed for each institution by the CBN, without prejudice to the existing requirement of the minimum of two (2) geopolitical zones of the federation. The essence is to promote spread and balance of the regional banks across the country.

“The compliance timeline to establish operational footprint at the advised zone shall not exceed six (6) months from the issuance of the regulatory advice to each regional bank by the CBN.”

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Economy & Politics

Nigerian and US Authorities battle former Enron Nigerian Subsidiary over $80 million Yacht

Both Nigerian and American governments have opposed Enron Nigeria’s appeal. 

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19 years after the bankruptcy of Enron Corporation, one of the biggest corporate bankruptcies in American history, a former subsidiary of the company is battling Nigerian and American Authorities over the sale of a yacht valued at over $80 million acquired by Nigerian businessman Kolawole Aluko. 

The yacht was seized by the US Government in 2018 after prosecutors say it was bought with the proceeds of bribes paid to Nigeria’s former Minister of Petroleum, Diezani AlisonMadueke. 

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The yacht was later auctioned for $37 million in 2019. The Nigerian government also dropped claims to the proceeds of the sale recently and a Texas Court ordered all proceeds should be retained by the US Government. 

However, a former unit of the Bankrupt Enron, Enron Nigeria Power Holdings claims its entitled to the proceeds and demands $22 million in a bid to get an arbitration awarded to them against the Nigerian government for suspending a contract signed with Enron in 1999 to build and operate a Power plant. 

(READ MORE: Nigeria leads Africa combined in Q2 2020 on BTC P2P)

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Enron Nigeria claims the Nigerian government dropped claims to the proceeds of the yacht’s auction in an attempt to fraudulently transfer assets to stop creditors from accessing them. Saying Nigeria dropping its claims was a recognition of the factual and legal basis” in a DOJ court filing. 

Both Nigerian and American governments have opposed Enron Nigeria’s appeal. 

Enron Nigeria Power Holdings Ltd is owned by ex-Enron staff involved in the negotiations for the Power Plant contract in Nigeria and was bought out of bankruptcy for $750,000 in 2004 by a Cayman Islands registered company. 

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An arbitration ruling in 2012 awarded Enron Nigeria Power Holdings $11.2 million including interest in damages against the Nigerian government. 

The DOJ says Mr. Aluko bought the yacht for $82 million in 2013 and funded a lavish lifestyle for Alison Madueke in exchange for NNPC contracts valued at over $1.5 billion. 

Aluko and his business partner, Olajide Omokore are also accused of laundering illicit revenues into and through the United States

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