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Business

100,000 tons of cocoa stranded at ports due to CBN documentation – Cocoa exporters

Cocoa exporters have lamented 100,000 tons of cocoa beans being trapped at Nigerian ports due to CBN documentation approval.

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Nigeria’s cocoa exports to fall by $100m as prices rise in futures market.

The Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria has disclosed that 100,000 tons of cocoa beans are trapped at Nigerian ports due to a CBN documentation approval, which forces exporters to ensure that sales from export are repatriated to Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Pius Ayodele, President of the Cocoa Exporters Association of Nigeria, in a report by Bloomberg. He added that the approval process could take as much as 40 days from CBN.

READ: CRR Compliance: Banks suffer another N226 billion in CRR debits

What they are saying

A Cocoa industry stakeholder told Bloomberg that CBN paused exports for over 2 weeks to ensure exporters complied with the new rules, “We have five containers at the ports, some of which have left the factory for well over two months now.

READ: Floods destroy over 25% of Nigeria’s rice harvests

According to Bamidele Ayemibo, the Lead Consultant at 3T Impex Trade Academy, “The central bank is just enforcing what has always been in the books, which is don’t export without a declaration. People are exporting without a declaration.”

(READ MORE: Central Bank says monetary policy not to blame for rising food cost)

However, exporters said they are not against the rule, but against the bureaucratic nature of the ruling, as shipping lines can’t enforce the law and are better operated through inspection agents.

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What you should know
Nairametrics reported in April that the Nigerian Export Promotion Council said “Agricultural exports, especially cocoa, are predicted to suffer. A fall in exports of over US$100 million in the cocoa sector in Nigeria is predicted, as a result of declining prices due to falling demand in Europe.”

In October, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) commenced the distribution of cash and inputs to cocoa farmers under the Anchors Borrowers Programme. Cash and inputs worth N770million were distributed to 221 cocoa farmers in 10 cocoa producing states in Nigeria.

Nigeria is the fourth largest exporter of cocoa beans globally, behind Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, and Indonesia, according to the National Export Promotion Council. Cocoa exports in Nigeria is projected to grow annually by 4% in the coming years.

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    Business

    Digital ID will help drive financial inclusion – VP Osinbajo

    FG to ensure a friendly business environment is created to promote ease of doing business in Nigeria.

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    Digital Identification is one of the keys to driving financial inclusion in Nigeria.

    This was disclosed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo during his facility visit to SecureID, a smart card manufacturing and digital solutions company, on Tuesday.

    According to Osinbajo, Digital ID would help Nigerians, especially the ones that are not financially inclusive, operate in the global space.

    He also assured entrepreneurs that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration would ensure a friendly business environment is created to aid ease of doing business in Nigeria.

    He said, “Environment must be friendly for local investors first before foreign investors come in. Today marks a momentous occasion in the history of the technology and manufacturing sector, and I am delighted to be a part of it.

    “SecureID Limited has proved to us with this state-of-the-art manufacturing plant that local production of smart cards at the highest quality is not only viable in Nigeria but also brings a plethora of opportunities with it for Africa.

    “I must commend this indigenous company for laying the precedent for other local manufacturers to follow. I must also congratulate the founder and CEO, Kofo Akinkugbe, who through her grit and passion to contribute to the growth of the economy, has committed innumerable resources and manpower to bring this factory to fruition.

    “It warms my heart to see a woman take charge and create something indelible for other young women to emulate. She is an attestation to the fact that women are dependable collaborators in our quest for nation-building.”

    Hotflex

    The company, which recently bagged the esteemed Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA) certificate making it the first in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa, also manufactures sim cards for telecom companies, loyalty cards for retail and security documents for public sector: driving license, national identity cards, international passports and more.

    Osinbajo expressed confidence in the company to bolster local content and contribute to the growth of the economy, stating that the recent GSMA certificate and other global certificates bear glowing testimony to the level of high standards demonstrated in its production of first-rate smart cards in the country.

    Speaking on the company’s recent milestone, Akinkugbe stated that SecureID strictly upholds high quality standards and protocols to manufacture an array of smart cards in line with global best practices, emphasizing that the company worked resolutely, to attain the GSMA certificate and other certificates.

    According to her, the company is an attestation that local production of smart cards at the highest quality is possible in Nigeria.

    “As an indigenous company, we are able to produce high quality SIM cards and at the same time, provide job opportunities for Nigerians. The government has seen it, its volume, value and growth, that we are able to contribute is something we would showcase and further prove that this can be done locally.

    “On our journey, we sought and received support from many institutions, agencies, and initiatives that have been established to encourage startups SMEs and enterprises,” she said.

    What you should know about SecureID

    Jaiz bank

    The company recently bagged the esteemed Global System of Mobile Applications (GSMA) certificate making it the first in Nigeria and 3rd in Africa. This is an addition to its other global certifications including Visa International, MasterCard Incorporated, Verve, Card Quality Management (CQM) and ISO 9001/2015 for Smart Card Manufacturing and Personalization of credit and debit cards for all banks in Nigeria and clients in 21 countries across Africa.

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    Business

    FG proposes retirement age of 65 years for doctors

    Ngige stated that the government wants to keep the nations health workers here in Nigeria.

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    The Nigerian Government has announced that it is proposing to increase the retirement age to 65 years for normal health workers and doctors, and 70 years for consultants, in a bid to keep health workers in Nigeria.

    This was disclosed by the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, in a meeting between the Presidential Committee on Salaries (PSC), relevant Federal Government stakeholders, Health Sector Professional Associations, and Trade Unions on Tuesday in Abuja.

    READ: Return to work or we will invoke ‘no work, no pay’ – FG tells Resident Doctors

    What Ngige is saying about the proposed retirement age for health workers

    “We have taken their proposal. The government side will firm up its own proposal and we are reconvening June 1, so that we can have an agreed hazard allowance for health workers in Nigeria.

    We also discussed the issue of retirement age for health workers, being that we want to keep our health workers here in Nigeria. A lot of people are coming here to poach and take away people we have trained at very great cost.

    It takes a lot of funds to train a medical doctor, nurse or even a laboratory technologist or physiotherapist. So, we want to retain them here,” Ngige said.

    READ: Minimum Wage: State Governments refusing to pay are breaching laws – Labour Minister

    The Minister added that health workers could be retained for a longer period, citing a proposed retirement age of 65 for health workers and doctors and 70 years for consultants. He revealed that the FG had called back retired health workers during the pandemic, and delayed retirement age by six months for health workers to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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    What you should know

    The FG’s proposal to keep health workers is a complete u-turn from an earlier strategy, as Nairametrics reported in 2019 that the Labour Minister had said he was not bothered about the decision of some medical doctors who chose to leave Nigeria to practice outside the country.

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