Coronavirus pandemic is expected to cause significant hardship to the non-oil export sector, as Nigeria is projected to lose over $160 million to cocoa and cashew exports in 2020. Agricultural exports like Cocoa, Sesame and Cashew exports are predicted to suffer, due to the pandemic that has lockdown economies of nations across the globe.
This was disclosed by the Nigerian Export Promotion Council in a report, which was seen by Nairametrics, titled Impact assessment of and Policy Responses to the Coronavirus Pandemic on Agricultural Exports: Early evidence from Nigeria.
What it means: A fall in exports of over $100 million is expected in the cocoa sector due to the declining prices, which can be attributed to the falling demand in Europe. Though Sesame exports are likely to prove more resilient due to a smaller decline in prices and more diversified export markets, Cashew exports are expected to shed $60 million. This is expected owing to the Vietnam Cashew Association’s guidance to enterprises within the country to carefully consider before importing raw cashew.
READ ALSO: 2020: CBN eyes $4 billion non-oil revenue
While other nations had prohibited exports of certain food products, such a move would be practically difficult for Nigeria to make. The reason is simple and that is because the most populous black nation exports Cocoa, cashew and Sesame to cater to foreign demand.
Findings revealed that the exports of the three commodities, in 2018, led to foreign exchange earnings of about $800 million for Nigeria, which means they accounted for over 70% of all agricultural exports. But for the COVID-19 outbreak, the proceeds from the commodities would suffer setbacks by the end of 2020.
What you need to know: About 280,000 metric tonnes of cocoa beans are produced annually in Nigeria, and about 90% of this exported. That means the impact of the development would be felt more on Cocoa, as it is particularly vulnerable.
It stated, “Over the last decade, cocoa has been the top-performing non-oil export product in Nigeria. Commodity markets have taken a major hit, and this does not apply solely to crude oil. The price of Nigerian cocoa beans stood at $2880.63/tonne on 03 February 2020 (source: ITC market price information). It has now fallen to $2440.94/tonne as of 30 March 2020 (source: ITC market price information). This is a fall of $439.69 per tonne.
“Assuming production stays the same this year, this translates to a loss in export earnings of around $110.8 million across the year. However, if the lockdown in Nigeria in Lagos, FCT and Ogun state, spreads to cocoa producing states such as Ondo and Cross river, then production will evidently fall, generating a further loss in foreign exchange.”
Meanwhile, the demand for Nigerian cocoa is at risk of recording a further decline. For instance, Europe remains the epicentre of the COVID-19 pandemic and over 81% of Nigerian cocoa was exported to Europe in 2018, with 65% going to the Netherlands and Germany alone.
Though the price change seen in Sesame seed has not been drastic as cocoa, the value has also dropped by $60 per tonne from $1.270 per tonne to $1,210/tonne.
On its own part, Cashew exports have been on the increase after NEPC targeted the scale-up production in Nigeria. “Production is now around 200,000 metric tonnes, with semi-processing plants common around the country. However, as of 2018, 90.5% of cashew exports were still raw cashew nuts, accounting for over $162 million.
‘For both the raw and semi-processed cashew, the exports go almost entirely to Viet Nam and India. This puts Nigeria at major risk should these two countries choose to limit their imports of raw and semi-processed cashew, due to fears over falling demand for the final product. Indeed, the Standing Committee of the Viet Nam Cashew Association (Vinacas) has warned enterprises in the country to carefully consider before buying raw cashew from West Africa due to implications of the pandemic, It added.
READ ALSO: Nigeria’s cashew nuts exports fall by 74%
In all, NEPC has shown that the agricultural export sector is at major risk following the COVID-19 pandemic, as the commodities mentioned above and others are expected to witness a lull in 2020. Assuring Nigerians of its commitment, NEPC explained that its efforts in addressing the logistical challenges facing exports currently, as well as promoting diversification of the nation’s agricultural export.
#EndSARS: Protests may return if panels do not address all issues in 2 weeks – Former Nigerian Minister
Akinyemi says the #EndSARS protesters would return to the streets if their demands are not addressed in two weeks.
COVID-19: Jason Njoku and wife test positive
iROKOtv CEO and wife have contracted the novel coronavirus.
Jason Chukwuma Njoku, the co-founder and CEO of iROKOtv and his wife has tested positive for COVID-19. However, Mrs. Mary Njoku is feeling well.
Jason, disclosed this via his Twitter handle stating that “My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs. Njoku and I tested positive for Covid-19. I’m not feeling great, but Mary is well. Literally no idea how I caught it. But we shall see this pass too.”
The media mogul did not reveal if his children caught the virus too.
My enemies are hard at work in 2020. Mrs Njoku and I tested positive for Covid19 😩. I'm not feeling great but Mary is well. 😷🤢. Literally no idea how I caught it. 🤷🏾♂️. But we shall see this pass too🙏🏾. pic.twitter.com/tnsP1BCPBB
— JasonNjoku (@JasonNjoku) October 28, 2020
UK High Commission reopens visa application centres in Nigeria
Days after it was shut down, United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has announced the reopening of its visa application centres.
The United Kingdom High Commission in Nigeria has announced the reopening of its visa application centres in the country.
This comes some days after the high commission had shut down its visa application centres in Victoria Island, Lagos and Abuja over the outbreak of violence arising from hijacked #EndSARS protests against police brutality and extra-judicial killings, which led to the loss of lives, vandalization, and looting of public and private assets across the country.
The disclosure was made by the High Commission in a statement through a tweet post on its official Twitter handle.
The High Commission, however, noted in its statement, titled, “Update on UK visa application centres in Nigeria” that its centres would not open on Thursday due to the public holiday in Nigeria, in honour of the Eid-El Malaud celebration.
The statement from the UK high commission, partly reads, “Our TLS contact visa application centres are now open in Nigeria. Following the recent closures, we are working hard to process all outstanding applications.’’
“We thank you for your continued patience and understanding. Please note Thursday, October 29, is a public holiday in Nigeria and our Visa application centres will be closed.”
The reopening of the visa applications centres after they were shut about a week ago is due to the gradual return of peace and order to some of those trouble spots, following the intervention of security agents.
The UK High Commission had been very critical of the outbreak of violence in the country, especially the shooting of unarmed protesters at Lekki Tollgate by alleged military personnel, and asked the government to thoroughly investigate the incident and ensure justice is done.
In its statement, the High Commission said, “We remain concerned by acts of looting and violence in Nigeria and urge security services use restraint as the order is restored. Working with all stakeholders, judicial panels of inquiry must investigate all incidents, including Lekki and ensure accountability for crimes.”
What you should know
The Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the Lagos state government to handle all cases of police brutality in the state have also been mandated to conduct an inquiry into the shooting of unarmed protesters last week.
Amnesty International earlier said that 12 people were allegedly shot dead by the police and army at two locations during the hijacked protests.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
Please see below 👇🏼 for an update on UK Visa Application Centres in Victoria Island, Abuja & Lagos.
— UK in Nigeria🇬🇧 (@UKinNigeria) October 26, 2020