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CBN to offer Niger Delta rice farmers single-digit loan 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says rice farmers in Niger Delta area will now be offered single-digit loans.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says rice farmers in Niger Delta area will now be offered single-digit loans. The decision is expected to boost production output as new local brands flood the market, resulting in a crash in price.

The decision to offer the single-digit loan was made after a meeting between the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Godswil Akpabio, and representatives of the CBN in Abuja, which was meant to develop the Niger Delta area.

Border Closure: Nigerian rice farmers are struggling to feed a rice-hungry nation. CBN to give Niger Delta rice farmers single-digit loan 

It was disclosed that the plan is to use agriculture to develop the Niger Delta, hence the single-digit loan to rice farmers. Cassava, rice, oil palm and cocoa farming were identified in 2018 as the comparative advantage in Niger Delta, a representative of the CBN Governor at the meeting, Anthony Ifechukwu disclosed.

Other plans CBN has for the Niger Delta: The CBN plans to support the livestock and fishery production in the region, and will also provide index insurance for participating farmers.

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In a statement released by the Head, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Patricia Deworitshe, “Ifechukwu also assured participating farmers of a guaranteed market price for their produce, explaining that the bank would give a single-digit interest loan for five years.

“He advised eligible farmers willing to participate in the scheme to procure quality seedlings from reputable companies and plant their crops in clusters, adding that CBN will do index insurance for participating farmers.”

[READ MORE: Nestle, Friesland to sign local milk production deal with FG, CBN)

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Meanwhile, Akpabio, who was represented by Permanent Secretary at the ministry, Adesola Olusade, said the focus was on land acquisition for the agricultural project, and this would be done in partnership with the governors of the nine states in the region.

Government support yielding result: The Nigerian government has continued to make moves to diversify the economy, moving focus from oil to agriculture. This led to the closure of land border to prevent foreign rice brands from suffocating local production.

In the latest Nairametrics Household Survey, it was disclosed that more brands of local rice continued to flood major markets in Lagos, thereby crashing the prices. The price of local rice reduced significantly across major markets in Lagos as new brands of locally made rice were sighted in various markets. Also, quality of locally-produced rice in Nigeria has recorded significant improvement.

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Daniel Egweteng Sunday

    February 17, 2020 at 11:54 pm

    I am interested in this leon please I wanted to help my fish farm business growth.

  2. Okolie frank chiedu

    February 19, 2020 at 1:52 pm

    Currently, am running on 30 hectares of rice farm , located @ aAchall / Ibusa road Asaba( Igwe Owali farms)battling single handedly in that swamp. Am interested in this loan to improve and expand my productivity.

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Coronavirus

#EndSARS: FG expects increase in Covid-19 cases in the next 2 weeks

FG has warned that the ongoing #EndSARS protest may spark up a second wave of coronavirus.

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The Federal Government has warned that Nigerians should expect an increase in the number of coronavirus cases across the country in the next 2 weeks.

This is due to the total disregard of the preventive measures against the virus during the ongoing nationwide #EndSARS protest which has been witnessing huge gatherings.

This disclosure was made by the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, at the national briefing of the task force in Abuja on Monday, October 20, 2020.

He said despite the appreciable success recorded so far in the fight against COVID-19, the ongoing protest may spark up a second wave of the virus.

Mustapha said, “I can say it authoritatively that with the ongoing protest across the country, in the next two weeks the cases of COVID-19 would have increased. Each and everyone that attended the protest and did not put up any form of protection is likely going to spread the virus. When people contract the virus during the protest gathering, they will go back home and spread it.

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“This is one of the reasons why we must be extremely careful when we congregate because when you gather together in such an atmosphere where people don’t wear face masks or maintain the social distance you are creating a potential opportunity for carriers to spread the virus.

“So far we have done pretty well as a country but this protest is like a setback and we must avoid a situation where we will have a resurgence. Countries that thought they have overcome are dealing with the second wave. We are extremely lucky as a nation and we should be careful of any situation that can warrant the second wave.”

He said any mass gathering that does not adhere to the non-pharmaceutical interventions that have been put in place, like wearing of face masks, social distancing, and keeping personal hygiene, becomes a super spreader event.

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What it means: With the expected spike in the number of Covid-19 cases due to these protests across the country, Nigeria runs the risk of having a second wave of the coronavirus outbreak which had before now been on a decline. This could lead to the resumption of lockdown measures by the government, in order to contain the spread of the pandemic.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 19th of October 2020, 118 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,558 confirmed cases.

On the 19th of October 2020, 118 new confirmed cases were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 11,794 samples across the country.

To date, 61,558 cases have been confirmed, 56,697 cases have been discharged and 1125 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 590,635 tests have been carried out as of October 19th, 2020 compared to 578,841 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 19th October 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 61,558
  • Total Number Discharged – 56,697
  • Total Deaths – 1,1125
  • Total Tests Carried out – 590,635

According to the NCDC, The 118 new cases are reported from 10 states – Lagos (51), Rivers (26), Imo (12), Osun (8), Plateau (6), FCT (5), Kaduna (4), Ogun (3), Edo (2), Niger (1)

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,696, followed by Abuja (5,923), Plateau (3,587), Oyo (3,415), Rivers (2,735), Edo (2,645), Kaduna (2,532), Ogun (1,983), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,657), Enugu (1,313),  Kwara (1,050), Ebonyi (1,049), Osun (916), Katsina (904), Abia (898), Gombe (883).  Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).

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Imo State has recorded 610 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403),  Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (275), Niger (274), Adamawa (248), Sokoto (162), Taraba (117), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara and Yobe (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

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The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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Energy

Nigerian firm set to raise $1.2 billion to purchase electricity meters

MAPCo plans to raise N480 billion to purchase electricity meters and to help the DISCOs plug revenue gaps in their operations.

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The Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), National electricity grid collapses again, as NUEE suspends strike action , FG to increase electricity tariffs in order to improve power supply, Power: Liquidity crisis-same old story in 2020?, GenCos urges NBET to pay up N1 trillion debt, Electricity Tariff: FG, electricity stakeholders to work on equitable rate , Power: NERC applies "brakes" on hike in tariffs, NERC to sanction 7 DisCos over uncapped estimated billing

A Nigerian firm, Meter Assets Finance and Management Company (MAPCo), has concluded plans to raise N480 billion ($1.2 billion) over the next 3 years, to purchase electricity meters and help the electricity distribution companies (DISCOs) plug revenue gaps in their operations.

This is also in line with the Federal Government’s initiative to ensure that all electricity consumers are metered, which will put an end to estimated billing by the DISCOs.

According to a report from PricewaterhouseCoopers, less than one-tenth of Nigeria’s 41 million households have their electricity consumption metered, and half of those are faulty. As a result, distribution companies have to estimate bills, resulting in constant conflict with the consumers that delay payments.

The Chief Executive Officer of New Hampshire Capital, Onion Omonforma, said the Meter Assets Finance and Management Co. hopes to end the practice of estimated billings by raising funds to purchase and supply meters to consumers.

New Hampshire Capital, FBNQuest and Kairos Investments Africa are helping to package and structure the venture, known as MAPCo, for investors to either buy equity or inject debt into the company.

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What they are saying

Omonformaa said, “The electricity distribution firms will then have the money to go back and buy more meters and the cycle continues, paving the way to close the metering gap. MAPCo will collect the cost of the meters from consumers at a premium over the next 10 years. The meters will be handed over to the power-distribution companies once paid off.’’

While disclosing that MAPCo plans to issue a N100 billion bond in the next year, Omonforma also pointed out that roadshows have been planned for the U.S. and Europe, and will include local institutional investors.

He said, “We envisage that a lot of people who are looking for a long-term instrument will key into it,”

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It can be recalled that apart from repealing the estimated billing methodology in determining tariffs for electricity consumers; the Federal Government had insisted that all consumers must be metered, as part of the condition for a tariff increase.

Also, as part of the agreement reached with the organized labor in respect of the tariff increase; the Federal Government disclosed that the National Mass Metering Programme will be accelerated, with the distribution of 6 million meters to Nigerians for free.

What this means

A huge number of electricity consumers across the 36 states and the FCT are still unmetered by their respective DISCOs. This initiative by MAPCo will help bridge the existing gap, with more electricity consumers acquiring a prepaid meter and doing away with the controversial estimated billing.

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