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Business

Nigerian Rice Processors urge FG to take actions to curb sales of foreign rice

Mr. Andy Ekwelem has appealed to the Federal Government to take proactive actions to curb the sale of foreign rice.

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Nigerian Rice Processors hints FG to take actions to curb sales of foreign rice

The Director-General of Rice Processors Association of Nigeria (RPAN), Mr. Andy Ekwelem has appealed to the Federal Government to take proactive actions to curb the sale of foreign rice in the country.

This appeal was made by him while addressing reporters in Abuja, over the influx of smuggled rice into the country.

According to a news report by the News Agency of Nigeria, Ekwelem called on the government to take active and decisive action to ensure that the Nigerian borders do not become porous, as the influx of smuggled rice would stimulate the collapse of all the mills in the country, and this would exacerbate the state of unemployment in the country.

READ: Lagos multi-billion naira 32MT per hour rice mill to be completed by Q1 2021

According to him, the rice value chain sub-sector had engaged about 13 million Nigerians on direct employment, hence if the border is not properly controlled, the number of people that would lose their jobs to the activities of smugglers would be much and this would be devastating for the economy.

He said addressing this challenge of smuggling was paramount so that all the efforts, commitments, and resources put in the rice value-chain sub-sector would not be a waste. However, the gains made in the sub-sector in the last few years were only possible through the support and interventions of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Ekwelem also called on the Nigeria Customs Service to step up in the manning of the borders to curb the activities of smugglers.

READ: NEPC and Akwa Ibom government to partner on palm oil exports

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What Ekwelem is saying

Mr. Andy Ekwelem said:

“We have said it many times on the need for government to criminalize sales of foreign rice in the markets and supermarkets. Rice is number one on the list of prohibited products in which CBN placed forex restriction

“It is assumed that any rice you see in this country now, in the markets, shops and even in your homes that is not Nigeria made rice, it is smuggled into the country.

“The country is losing revenue because these smugglers are not paying the right duties to bring the rice into the country and this ugly development is killing our economy.

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READ: Dangote says Nigeria loses 300,000 MT of sugar to smuggling every year

“We want a law that will empower law enforcement agencies to go to markets and shops to arrest anyone found with foreign rice because their action amounts to economic sabotage.

“When that is done, people will be discouraged from buying from these people that smuggled rice into the country. We need to take drastic measures against smugglers as well as those selling the products.”

READ: Local rice floods major markets in Nigeria, as frozen food sellers lament low patronage  

What you should know

  • Ekwelem, lauded President Muhammadu Buhari for his giant stride in rice production, as about N3.4 trillion has been invested in the entire rice value chain production across the country.
  • He revealed that there were only six Integrated Rice Mills in the country before 2015, in recent times, Integrated Rice Mills in the country had risen to about 60.
  • It is essential to understand that most of the mills in the country were now working at half capacity because there were no off-takers for the products they produced for Nigerian markets.

Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor. He is a business owner and a stern advocate of Financial literacy, who believes in the huge economic prospect of the Nigerian Payment channels and Fintech space.

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    Business

    Burger King to open first outlet by Q4 2021- Franchisee

    Burger King is expected to employ about 6,000 people (direct and indirect) in Nigeria between 2021 and 2026.

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    Burger King

    Burger King, an American multinational hamburger fast food chain, is expected to start its operations in Nigeria by the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2021.

    The company is also expected to employ about 6,000 people (direct and indirect) in the country between 2021 and 2026, other things being equal.

    These were disclosed by Antoine Zammarieh, the Franchisee of Burger King in Nigeria and Managing Director, Allied Food & Confectionary Services Limited, in an interview with Nairametrics on Tuesday.

    He said, “Burger King will start operations by Autumn, i.e between September and November 2021. We have set up the Quality Control unit and have met some of our local suppliers to seal the deal. Also, we have sent some of the ingredients to America to test quality.

    As a company, we are delighted to enter this new market being the largest country in Africa and are looking forward to serving our future guests with our world-famous Burger King meals.

    Most importantly, our goal is to positively contribute to the economy by creating more jobs and employment opportunities. In five years, we hope to directly or indirectly employ between 5,000 and 6,000 people in Nigeria.”

    Zammarieh added that the hamburger maker, in a show of interest in the Nigerian market, had signed a development agreement for the Nigerian market.

    He explained that the development agreement of the chain in Nigeria, which was recently signed, would give more confidence to the Nigerian market and consumers in general, especially during these hard times.

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    What you should know

    Nairametrics had reported, three weeks back, when Zammarieh said, “I always believed in Nigeria and in its people. I am confident this venture will go a long way and prove successful for Burger King, Nigeria, and our company.”

    “I believe this will be a tremendous step towards giving more confidence to the Nigerian market and consumers in general.”

    What to expect

    The first outlet of the hamburger chain in Nigeria is expected to be launched in Lagos.

    The Florida-based restaurant chain is set to join the likes of Dominos Pizza, Krispy Kreme, KFC, and Chicken Republic (pieXpress) in a stiff competition for market share and dominance in a saturated market, with hundreds of other traditional restaurant chains.

    Burger King is expected to dig deep into its quiver of strategies to ensure an impressive performance and success in its first year of operation, as other players have been having it tough following their respective launches into the Nigerian market.

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    The COVID-19 pandemic however has affected the fast-food industry severely, as the disruption to the industry’s supply chain, especially the on-trade channel, which accounts for a significant percentage of restaurant sales, triggered declines in their profits in 2020.

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    Business

    JAMB: How to register for the 2021 UTME examinations

    JAMB stated that the registration for the examinations has now commenced in full swing as all the issues have been resolved.

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    The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had about 3 weeks ago announced the commencement of the 2021 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and Direct Entry registration exercise on April 8, 2021, to May 15, 2021, with National Identification Number (NIN) made mandatory at the point of registration.

    This was put on hold due to the exam body’s effort to ensure that candidates have access to its registration app for the 2021 UTME/DE and also finalise work on its pin vending process before the take-off of the exercise.

    However, in a new statement, the spokesperson for JAMB, Dr Fabian Benjamin, said the registration for the examinations has now commenced in full swings as all the issues have been resolved.

    JAMB in its public communications gave a guide on how to register for the UTME.

    READ: How to link your National Identity Number with your phone number

    How to register for the 2021 UTME

    • VALID, FUNCTIONAL E-MAIL, PHONE NUMBER: The applicants must have a valid and functional e-mail account in addition to an active phone number. This is relevant for registration and sending and receipt of information from JAMB.
    • NATIONAL IDENTIFICATION NUMBER (NIN): JAMB has made it mandatory for applicants or potential candidates to provide their NIN at the point of registration or enrolment.
    • VISIT JAMB WEBSITE: After having your email address and NIN, the applicant can proceed to the examination body’s website, where he/she can create a JAMB profile, preferably before buying the form.
    • CHECK JAMB iBass: After creating a profile, you are advised to check JAMB iBass to be sure of your eligibility to take this year’s examination. The information is provided on the official website of the exam body.
    • JAMB e-pin: After confirming your eligibility, you can go ahead to buy your 2021 JAMB e-pin registration from banks and other accredited outlets.
    • CBT CENTRE: Then, proceed to any accredited 700 computer-based test (CBT) centre with your personal details and your profile code.

    READ: JAMB sets date for 2021 UTME registration and examination, makes NIN mandatory

    What you should know

    JAMB a few days ago confirmed the commencement of registration for the 2021 UTME/DE examinations after the initial hiccup.

    It stated that applicants must provide NIN at the point of registration with the registration by Direct Entry candidates to run concurrently with that of UTME candidates.

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    JAMB also said that the mock examination is expected to hold on Friday, April 30, 2021, for those who indicate interest and are registered before April 24, 2021, with the registration fee for the application still N3,500 and N500 for recommended Reading Text.

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