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Business News

Okonjo-Iweala says WTO working to assist female entrepreneurs in Nigeria

Okonjo-Iweala has stated that the WTO will support women entrepreneurs to enable them penetrate both local and international markets.

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Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organisation has disclosed that the WTO plans to assist female entrepreneurs in Nigeria to help them penetrate regional and international market and redress inequality through trade.

The WTO boss disclosed this during a meeting with the Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Pauline Tallen, on Wednesday in Abuja.

According to Okonjo-Iweala, WTO is also trying to find small business holders and women entrepreneurs to upgrade their businesses to enable them penetrate both local and international markets.

READ: Okonjo-Iweala warns that ‘vaccine nationalism’ could frustrate pandemic recovery

She revealed that WTO was working to support women entrepreneurs in the country, as it had assisted a women cooperative producing shea butter in Oyo State to upgrade and export their products.

“The challenge on how to assist women entrepreneurs so that they move from the small activity they are doing to the next level.

“So that they attain the quality that is required to be able to penetrate regional and international market that is one of the things that WTO can help with,’’ Okonjo-Iweala said.

She added that the WTO wants to redress inequality through trade, and sees trade as an engine of economic growth which is what we need during this pandemic.

READ: WTO: What Okonjo-Iweala’s emergence means for international energy trade 

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What you should know 

  • Okonjo-Iweala has been on a week-long trip to Nigeria, which saw her state that Nigeria should start looking at establishing the capacity for manufacturing vaccines locally.
  • She also added that her role at the World Trade Organisation would be used to support women entrepreneurs, and MSMEs, and all the marginalized and excluded, in her meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari.

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Business

Lagos agricultural sector to generate $10 billion in the next 5 years

The agricultural sector in Lagos state is projected to generate as much as $10 billion within the next 5 years.

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Lagos, Sanwo-Olu, Businesses that must remain closed after May 4
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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has projected that the agricultural sector in the state could generate as much as $10 billion within the next 5 years.

This is as the governor noted that Lagos could no longer afford to rely exclusively on other states for its food, adding that it was time to unlock its immeasurable agricultural potential through the implementation of the 5-year roadmap.

This disclosure was made by the Governor at the formal launch of the state’s 5-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap, on Thursday, adding that most of the investments would be private sector-driven while the government acts as the catalyst and enabler.

Governor Sanwo-Olu opined that the Roadmap would also lead to wealth generation, value creation, food security, the industrialisation of the agricultural sector and the entrenchment of inclusive socio-economic development of the state.

He said that the roadmap essentially focuses on 3 pillars, which are: growth of the upstream sector, growth of the midstream and downstream sectors as well as improvement of private sector participation.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu, in his words, said, “Our strategies for sustainable Agricultural Development shall focus on three pillars. First, we will grow the upstream sector through interventions by leveraging technologies that are capable of lowering the cost of production of value chains; Focus on growing the midstream and downstream sectors that are of value and lastly, we will improve on private sector participation by developing and initiating policies that will encourage more private investments in agriculture.”

The projection is that the total investment in the Agricultural Sector from the government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over $10 billion in the next five years. While we expect most of the investment to be private sector-driven, the government will continue to provide the needed infrastructure while the private sector will be encouraged to lead the key projects.’

The governor pointed out that the state had already started the revamping of its Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to support investment in agriculture, giving assurance that the coconut belt would also be strengthened with increased private sector involvement.

Sanwo-Olu listed some State’s landmark investments that will aid smooth delivery of the Roadmap to include the Lagos State Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE) that would boost fish production from 20% to 80%, the Imota Rice Mill, the Lagos Food Production Centre Avia, Igborosu-Badagry as well as other statewide agriculture-focused initiatives.

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He said, “I am greatly encouraged by the interest already generated in the Five-Year Agricultural Roadmap and I hope it will be sustained and backed with concrete action on the part of our development partners and the international community. I assure you that the Lagos State Government is putting in place deliberate incentives to make your investment safe, secure and profitable.’

Sanwo-Olu, therefore, urged potential and established stakeholders in the agricultural sector to partner with the state in order to transform the agricultural sector for food security, wealth generation, poverty eradication, economic diversification, rapid industrialisation and accelerated socio-economic growth.

Bottom line

This is a very laudable initiative from the Lagos State Government especially at a time the country is looking at diversifying its economy. The successful implementation of this programme with the expected benefits from the value chain will contribute significantly to the economic development of the state and the country in general.

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The investment in the transformation of agriculture to agribusiness is one way of achieving the dream of attaining self-sufficiency in food production and creating more wealth.

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Business News

NNPC, SEEPCO sign gas development agreement for domestic market

The execution of the deal is to help reduce gas flaring in the country and a show of NNPC’s commitment to facilitating the country’s transformation into a gas-powered economy.

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and an indigenous oil exploration and production firm, Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO), both partners in the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143, have signed a Gas Development Agreement (GDA).

The execution of the deal is to help reduce gas flaring in the country and a show of NNPC’s commitment to facilitating the country’s transformation into a gas-powered economy.

According to a tweet post from NNPC on their official Twitter handle, the agreement between both parties was signed at NNPC’s head office, NNPC towers, on Thursday, April 22, 2021.

The statement says that this latest milestone provides the terms for the development of OML 143 Gas, providing gas for the domestic market which aligns perfectly with the Federal Government’s National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP).

What this means

The execution of this project will not only help to support the Federal Government’s effort in reducing gas flaring by monetizing it but will also play its part in the government’s effort in the expansion of gas utilization in the country as a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative form of energy.

This is coming at a time when the Federal Government is shifting focus to gas utilization as an alternative source of energy especially with the increase in the retail pump price of petrol. This is one of the various initiatives by the government as represented by the NNPC towards providing alternative sources of energy.

 

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