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4 selected Maize importers will not be affected by Buhari forex for food ban

Companies recently given approval to import maize will not be affected by the President’s directive.

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4 selected Maize importers will not be affected by Buhari forex for food ban, Nestle partners USAID to improve quality of Nigerian grain 

Nairametrics has gathered that the recent ban of foreign exchange for food and fertilizer importers would not affect the 4 companies approved to import 262,000 tons of maize into Nigeria from August to October. The approved companies are using their own forex sources as the CBN will not be providing forex for the imports. 

On Thursday, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered that food and fertilizer importers should not be given access to foreign exchange by the CBN, adding that the country would rather empower more local farmers, and use agriculture as a means to solve unemployment among youths. 

READ: This is where PSB, CBN got it all wrong

“I am restating it that nobody importing food or fertilizer should be given foreign exchange from the Central Bank. We will not pay a kobo of our foreign reserves to import food or fertilizer. We will instead empower local farmers and producers,” the President said. 

Recall that the Central Bank of Nigeria in July, directed all authorised dealers to immediately discontinue the processing of Forms M for maize/corn importation into the country. The CBN noted that the ban was necessitated in order to protect local production of maize, stimulate rapid economic recovery, safeguard rural livelihoods and increase job creation. 

READ: Farmcrowdy launches new 7,500 acres for rice and maize farms

However, Dr. Ikechukwu Kelikume, the Programme Director of the Lagos Business School Agribusiness programme, warned that the policy could further compound the woes of poultry farmers given that maize, which constitutes over 50 per cent of poultry feed content is currently very scarce, and where available, is very expensive, even as the price keeps rising. 

Due to the high cost of poultry production after the ban on maize imports. President Muhammadu Buhari ordered last week that the Federal government will release 30,000 tons of maize from the national reserves to animal feed producers. 

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READ: Buhari stops estimated billings as he directs mass metering of electricity consumers

The Nigeria Customs Service also confirmed last week that 4 companies that have been given the CBN emergency approval to import 262,000 tons of maize into Nigeria.  

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The companies are Wacot Limited, Chi farms Limited, Crown Flour Mills Limited and Premier Feeds Company Limited.  

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Bottom Line:  Nairametrics gathered that the 4 approved companies are some of the biggest Maize traders in the country and will not be affected by the president’s ban on the importation of food items including maize. According to a reliable source from the CBN, the apex bank is not selling FX directly to the 4 companies, as the approved companies would source FX to import the maize directly from their cash reserves. The source added that the CBN picked companies that prioritize Backward Integration in Nigeria’s maize industry. 

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    Business News

    Senate calls for the liberalization of cement policy to crash the price of the commodity

    The Senate also tasked the FG on providing more industrial incentives to bring new players into the cement industry.

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    BUA Cement

    The Nigerian Senate has called for the liberalization of Nigeria’s cement policy to boost production and subsequently crash the price of the commodity in the country.

    This motion was raised by Senator Lola Ashiru at today’s senate plenary, the senator also tasked the Federal Government on providing more industrial incentives to bring new players into the cement industry, in addition to the liberalization of the cement policy in Nigeria.

    Ashiru explained that to reduce the price of cement and in extension, other building materials in the country, the Federal Government needs to provide an enabling operating environment that will encourage new entrants in the country.

    The Senate in conclusion called on the FG to provide more industrial incentives and protections such as concessionary loans and larger tax incentives to encourage new entrants and expand the national cement production infrastructure, as this boost in production will lead to a downward review of cement price in Nigeria.

    What industry leaders are saying

    Earlier this year the founder of BUA Group, Abdulsamad Rabiu, called for the liberalization of Nigeria’s cement policy to boost production and reduce the price of the commodity.

    The billionaire philanthropist faulted the belief that Nigeria is self-sufficient in terms of cement production, noting that recent statistics and figures on Nigeria’s population and cement production do not support this status of sufficiency in cement production as stated by some individuals.

    He attributed the high price of cement products in the country to the supply gap which exists in the country, as the few producers who currently operate in the country are unable able to meet the country’s huge and growing demand.

    The Group Executive Director, Strategy, Portfolio Development and Capital Projects, Devakumar Edwin, explained that the demand and consumption of cement in the nation currently outstrips supply, and this can be pegged on the growth in the country’s population, and the strong appetite for real estate investment and construction in the country.

    He revealed that a supply gap of about 40% exists in the country’s cement market and that all players in the industry are working hard to level production with the rising demand in the country.

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    Business News

    Paypal’s Venmo now permits cryptocurrency trading

    Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin.

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    Venmo, a mobile payment service owned by PayPal has announced that it has started allowing users to buy, hold and sell cryptocurrencies on its app. Just like PayPal, Venmo will support four different cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin, and users can carry out transactions with as little as $1 on the app

    Founded in 2009, Venmo has over 70 million users and it is one of the most popular payment channels in the US. The payment platform processed around $159 billion in payments last year.

    Since the app functions like a social network, adding cryptocurrency will offer a more user-friendly feel for people who love buying and selling crypto.

    READ: 28 million merchants to be granted crypto usage on PayPal

    As bigger companies show more interest in cryptocurrency, there will be wider adoption of virtual currencies in future. Venmo is the latest payment app that is offering support for cryptocurrency on its platform.

    Paypal, the parent company of Venmo is one of the most active companies in the crypto space as it allows users to buy, sell and hold cryptocurrencies in their digital wallets. Paypal users can also spend their coins at millions of merchants globally.

    Crypto on Venmo is enabled through PayPal’s partnership with Paxos Trust Company, a regulated provider of cryptocurrency products and services.

    What they are saying

    Darrell Esch, Venmo’s Senior Vice President and general manager said “Our goal is to provide our customers with an easy-to-use platform that simplifies the process of buying and selling cryptocurrencies and demystifies some of the common questions and misconceptions that consumers may have.”

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