The Executive Director, Providus Bank Limited, Mr. Kingsley Aigbokhaevbo said the bank has set aside the sum of N100 million to support the Zero to Export initiative of the Nigeria Export Promotion Council (NEPC).
The zero to export scheme is one of the flagship programmes of the council, which focuses on creating a new generation of Nigerian exporters through practical and theoretical training of business executives, bankers, civil servant, unemployed graduates and retired citizens with interest in export business.
This is as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive, NEPC, Mr. Olusegun Awolowo said it would continue to create opportunities for Nigerians to imbibe the culture of exportation through capacity building training programmes.
He also said the first export activity by the new exporters is expected to take place in October, buoyed by the new financing lifeline from the bank.
Both spoke in Abuja at the passing out ceremony of 38 trainees in Batch 3 of Zero to Export capacity building programme.
Providus Bank is one of the newly licensed commercial banks operating in the country.Haske and Williams Limited, a dominant player in the Nigerian agri-business sector has announced its signing of an MoU with FGM Expert Farmer, a global agri-business player based in France.
Commenting on the recent development, Oladipo Williams, Executive Vice President, Haske and Williams Limited said: “The MoU between our organisation and FGM Expert Farmer is a Technical, Operations and Management Support Services Agreement aimed at ensuring that our ongoing and proposed commercial agriculture projects are developed, operated and managed in line with international best practices. Despite several interventions, policies and strategies put in place by the Federal Government of Nigeria to stimulate agricultural production in Nigeria we still find that Nigeria has some of the lowest yield rates per hectare for various agricultural commodities in the world.”
Speaking further, he said: “After a critical review of the current situation in the country’s agricultural space, it became clear that the problem was not the capacity of farmers with respect to agricultural production instead the problem arose from the lack of capacity to practice agriculture on a commercial scale driven by globally accepted procedures and protocols. It was in view of the aforementioned that we at Haske & Williams decided to engage FGM Expert Farmer due to its vast experience in the conceptualisation, planning, development, operation and management of large scale agricultural projects globally. We are keen to contribute towards the development of smallholder agriculture in Nigeria through the development and implementation of sustainable strategies aimed at boosting smallholder farmer productivity such as facilitation of access to quality inputs, mechanisation equipment rental, technical capacity building services, irrigation infrastructure development and management and provision of guaranteed markets.”
Through this MoU, Haske & Wiliams will be introducing a systematic and knowledge based approach to commercial agriculture which analyses critical aspects of the agricultural production value chain and troubleshoots existing conditions to ensure bespoke solutions are developed that optimise the value chain.
As a company, Haske & Williams has aligned its goals and objectives with the agricultural transformation agenda of the new government and believes it is important for the organisation to conceptualise and develop model projects which can serve as evidence to Nigerians and the international community that Nigeria can diversify its economy from oil and gas to other sectors.
The company is keen to become pioneers of the new agricultural revolution ongoing in the country and use this as an opportunity to prove to Nigerians that agriculture is big business, and can become a major contributor to the diversification of the Nigerian economy, creation of employment opportunities and a major source of much needed foreign exchange for the country.
Haske & Williams currently has 3 subsidiaries including: H & W Rice Company Limited (Developer of the Demsa Integrated Rice Production Project in Adamawa State); H & W Starch Derivatives Limited (Developer of the Kaiama Cassava Starch Integrated Rice Production Project in Kwara State); and Manomi Support Services Limited (Developer of the Manomi Support Scheme Initiative).
Awolowo added that the scheme had been part of the Council’s efforts to reposition the non-oil sector, re-write the narrative of the Council through job creation and inclusive growth – thereby making it a major contributor to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said:”There is no doubt that the essence of our gathering today underscores the crucial role that non-oil export sector is expected to play in the present administration’s effort at diversifying the Nigerian economy away from over reliance on oil as its main stay, especially now that the continuous fall in price of oil has thrown the world economy in recession.”
He said the graduants are better prepared to boost the country’s export capabilities, adding that the export business is for seriously commitment people and not a hubby.
He said:”They’ve gone through the rudiment and seen that Export cannot be a hubby but a full time job that requires you to get your company and start to export. We are thrill by these crop of exporters that know the A-Z of export.
“These are the set of exporters that are going to help take Nigerian goods abroad. Today, we have Providious Bank, a new bank that has come in and said the first thing we want to do is export and they’ve set up an export desk and are now going to be working with these crop of graduants that have formed themselves into a cooperative and they are going to be helping them.”
He said: “And they’ve told you that their first export will be done in October and Providus Bank has come to help them to the tune of N100 million. These are the kinds of strategy and partnerships that we are looking for in order to transform the country’s economy.”
The programme is anchored on a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement led by the Consultant Mr. Kola Awe of EPT Logistics International Limited with support from Fidelity Bank Plc.
Head, Corporate Communications (NEPC), Mr. Joe Itah in a statement said the programme has so far trained and graduated over 100 trainees from the Lagos and Abuja centers and most of the trainees have formed registered Cooperatives, and are already exporting.
The Batch 3 graduates have also registered the Integrated Exporters’ Cooperative Society Limited and it’s hoped that the programme would bring about a high value addition to non-oil products and services in the country at a time when the nation needs to revive its manufacturing, agricultural and industrial sectors.
Gold Prices Rise as Soft Dollar Supports Safe-haven Appeal
Gold prices firmed on Monday, propped up by a subdued dollar and slight retreat in the U.S. Treasury yields, with investors gearing up for a week of speeches from U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers for cues on the central bank’s rate hike path.
Spot gold was up 0.5% at $1,759.06 per ounce, as of 0400 GMT, while U.S. gold futures were up 0.4% at $1,759.00.
While the dollar index softened, the benchmark 10-year Treasury yields eased after hitting their highest since early-July. A weaker dollar offered support to gold prices, making bullion cheaper for holders of other currencies.
“Gold is still looking slightly precarious where it is right now, and it’s probably bouncing off key technical level around $1,750,” IG Market analyst Kyle Rodda said.
“Gold remains an yield story and that yield story is very much tied back to the tapering story.”
A slew of Fed officials are due to speak this week including Chairman Jerome Powell, who will testify this week before Congress on the central bank’s policy response to the pandemic.
“There’ll be a lot of questions being put to Fed speakers about what the dot plots implied last week and weather there is higher risk of heightened inflation going forward and that rate hikes could be coming in the first half of 2022,” Rodda added.
A pair of Federal Reserve policymakers said on Friday they felt the U.S. economy is already in good enough shape for the central bank to begin to withdraw support for the economy.
Gold is often considered a hedge against higher inflation, but a Fed rate hike would increase the opportunity cost of holding gold, which pays no interest.
Investors also kept a close watch on developments in debt-laden property giant China Evergrande saga as the firm missed a payment on offshore bonds last week, with further payment due this week.
Holdings of SPDR Gold Trust, the world’s largest gold-backed exchange-traded fund, increased 0.1% to 993.52 tonnes on Friday from 992.65 tonnes in the prior session.
Silver rose 0.9% to $22.61 per ounce.
Platinum climbed 1.3% to $994.91, while palladium gained 0.7% to $1,985.32.
Brent Crude Oil Near $80 Per Barrel Amid Supply Constraints
Oil prices rose for a fifth straight day on Monday with Brent heading for $80 amid supply concerns as parts of the world sees demand pick up with the easing of pandemic conditions.
Brent crude was up $1.14 or 1.5% at $79.23 a barrel by 0208 GMT, having risen a third consecutive week through Friday. U.S. Oil added $1.11 or 1.5% to $75.09, its highest since July, after rising for a fifth straight week last week.
“Supply tightness continues to draw on inventories across all regions,” ANZ Research said in a note.
Rising gas prices as also helping drive oil higher as the liquid becomes relatively cheaper for power generation, ANZ analysts said in the note.
Caught short by the demand rebound, members of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and their allies, known as OPEC+, have had difficulty raising output as under-investment or maintenance delays persist from the pandemic.
China’s first public sale of state oil reserves has barely acted to cap gains as PetroChina and Hengli Petrochemical bought four cargoes totalling about 4.43 million barrels.
India’s oil imports hit a three-month peak in August, rebounding from nearly one-year lows reached in July, as refiners in the second-biggest importer of crude stocked up in anticipation of higher demand.
Oil Holds Near Highest Since 2018 With Global Markets Tightening
Oil held steady near the highest close since 2018, with the global energy crunch set to increase demand for crude as stockpiles fall from the U.S. to China.
Futures in London headed for a third weekly gain. Global onshore crude stocks sank by almost 21 million barrels last week, led by China, according to data analytics firm Kayrros, while U.S. inventories are near a three-year low. The surge in natural gas prices is expected to force some consumers to switch to oil, tightening the market further ahead of the northern hemisphere winter.
China on Friday sold oil to Hengli Petrochemical Co. and a unit of PetroChina Co. in the first auction of crude from its strategic reserves said traders with the knowledge of the matter. Grades sold included Oman, Upper Zakum and Forties.
Oil has rallied recently after a period of Covid-induced demand uncertainty, with some of the world’s largest traders and banks predicting prices may climb further amid the energy crisis. Global crude consumption could rise by an additional 370,000 barrels a day if natural gas costs stay high, according to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries.
“Underpinning the latest bout of price strength is a tightening supply backdrop,” said Stephen Brennock, an analyst at PVM Oil Associates Ltd.
Various underlying oil market gauges are also pointing to a strengthening market. The key spread between Brent futures for December and a year later is near $7, the strongest since 2019. That’s a sign traders are positive about the market outlook.
At the same time, the premium options traders are paying for bearish put options is the smallest since January 2020, another indication that traders are less concerned about a pullback in prices.
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