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Business

Maize Scarcity: Premier Feeds, Crown Flour, 2 others import 262,000MT of Maize

Premier feeds, Crown Flour, Chi Farms, and Mills Wacot have altogether imported a total of 262,000 metric tons of maize.

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Premier Feeds, Crown Flour and 2 others import 262,000MT of Maize

Following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the agricultural output, which led to the shortfall of maize and other feeds; Premier feeds, Crown Flour, Chi Farms, and Mills Wacot have altogether imported a total of 262,000 metric tons of maize to augment local production.

Confirming the latest development is a statement issued by The Poultry Association of Nigeria, made available to Punch, which confirmed that Nigeria has taken delivery of 262,000 metric tonnes of maize imported into the country to augment local production. The association had earlier agonized over the shortfall of maize and other feeds.

READ: Leaked letter by Poultry Farmers Association triggered CBN emergency approval to import maize

READ: CBN restricts forex for milk import to Nestle, Chi, Friesland, 3 others

Back story

Recall that Nairametrics had earlier reported that the recent ban on foreign exchange for food and fertilizer importers would not affect the 4 companies approved to import 262,000 metric 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.

(READ MORE: CBN’s maize import ban: Sentiments, facts, and the way forward)

Why this matters

The timely action is a move aimed at bridging the supply gap earlier identified. It alleviates the inherent food crisis, even though it is a temporary solution.

This action saved the economy and helped to keep farmers in business. Corroborating this point is a statement by PAN President, Ezekiel Ibrahim; “As a necessary evil, the CBN approved import licenses to some members of our association, so that the industry will not be allowed to close down. The gesture has greatly helped the poultry industry to continue with production before the harvest season, which will be around November 2020.”

READ: Nigeria’s trade balance hits recession low, records N579 billion deficit in Q4 2019

READ: CBN maize import ban ill-timed, may cripple poultry sector – University Don

What they are saying

Justifying the latest move, the Ogun State Chairperson of PAN, Blessing Alawode, said the quality of maize imported was not enough to meet the requirement of the poultry industry for one month. She stated; “The 262,000 metric tonnes of maize is to help us survive for a while. It is not even enough for a month. This is just to alleviate the crisis. Many farms have closed down because of the crisis we have faced recently.

Chidi Emenike is a graduate of economics, a Young African Leadership Initiative Fellow and an Investment Foundations certificate holder. He worked as a graduate Teaching Assistant in the Federal College of Education Kano and is also a trained National Peer Group Educator on Financial Inclusion

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Business

AfCFTA to reduce illegal gold mining in Nigeria – Minister of Mines

The Minister of Mines and Steel says that illegal gold mining would be stemmed by the implementation of AfCFTA.

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FG to launch policy to prevent smuggling of mineral resources

The Nigerian Government announced that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would help reduce illegal mining in the country and also standardize Mining practices in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, at the NAN forum in Abuja on Sunday.

The Minister disclosed that the mining sector was ignored by the Federal Government after oil was discovered, which made it possible for artisanal miners to venture into the sector.

Right now, many Nigerians are into artisanal mining and this was caused by the fact that when oil was discovered, Nigeria moved away from mining, which was the mainstream of the economy.

Before oil and gas, Nigeria relied on coal and tin; we were exporting and were indeed, quoted on the London Metal Exchange.

“And that is basically what was giving Nigeria money in those days before oil came but when oil came, we moved away. We left mining behind,” he said.

READ: Aviation Minister orders airline operators to ensure rights of persons with disabilities

He added that the most mined commodity in Nigeria by artisanal miners is gold, which has created a lucrative black market for international buyers. He also said that with the AfCFTA, documentation of mining exports would be required, reducing illegal outflows.

Gold is the most traded mineral in Nigeria and these people mine gold and get nuggets. There are several thousands of such miners, when you aggregate what they mine, it comes in large volume and several kilos of gold,” he said.

To know the extent of the money they make in the gold business, they hire private jets to take them out illegally because they realise a lot of money.

“At the rate gold is selling, one ounce of gold is selling for $2,200 and by the time you carry a thousand kilogrammes, you are making several billions of naira.

But with AfCFTA coming into effect, we hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria because now it is a free trade but there is documentation,” he added.

READ: Gold prices suffer worst week in four months

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The Minister said that with AfCFTA going into effect, the FG hopes it will help stem the problem because Nigeria is  supposed to trade freely with Africa with documentation.

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We hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria. I will not allow such illegal activity to go on within those countries,” he said.

In case you missed it: Nairametrics also reported that the Mining Minister said a Nigerian-Canadian company, mining gold in Nigeria’s Osun State looks set to commence the exportation of gold in June this year.

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Business

Insecurity: Nigeria needs to increase military spending – Senator Ali Ndume

Ndume has called on the FG to increase military funding so as to contain the rising insecurity in the country.

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#EndSARS: Nothing wrong with social media bill - Ali Ndume, Senate rejects VAT increase

Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.

The Senator disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

“We have the forces on ground, but they need what it takes especially more equipments.

“All these take a lot of money, and they need to be given those things in order for them to perform.

“The number one priority is ammunition and those are lacking. They are not sufficient enough,” the Senator said.

READ: Don Jazzy laments artistes’ loses to insecurity across Nigeria

The Senator said that the Nigerian Air Force must have the air capabilities that translate to things like fighter jets, helicopters, etc. Ndume said that the military must be given adequate training in order to be able to manage such equipment.

He added that Nigeria is placed in an unfortunate position, which has seen it lacking in air defense capabilities and revealed the build-up to higher military equipment purchase is not easy.

He called for the FG to explore all options, in order to make sure that the Nigerian armed forces have all that they need to rise up to the challenge of insecurity.

READ: Boko Haram: A protracted battle yet to be won?    

He said, “I am not satisfied. The funding of the armed forces and security agencies is not enough, compared to our population of over N200 million.

“When you look at current military spending, compared to other poor countries around, we are not doing enough, we have to do more.”

What you should know 

  • In recent years, insecurity in the country has heightened with Boko Haram terrorism, herders-farmers clashes, attacks and kidnappings by bandits, etc.
  • Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.

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