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Government, Stakeholders Strategise to Stop Sugar Importation

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Dangote sugar refinery
  • Government, Stakeholders Strategise to Stop Sugar Importation

Stakeholders in the sugar industry have unveiled measures to check the importation of the product in the country. The move is aimed at boosting the local production capacity of sugar.

Indeed, the stakeholders identified the absence of enabling policies and regulatory framework, climate change, logistics, cane breeding, sugar backlash, sustainability and other sundry challenges as some of the challenges facing the sugar economy in Nigeria and indeed the rest of the west African sub-region.

To address these challenges, the stakeholders, at the project completion report meeting and dissemination workshop of the West Africa Sugar Development Project (WASDP) held in Abuja yesterday, advocated improved variety in seed multiplication, reliable supply of sugarcane raw materials to companies to address shortfalls in the sector.

According to them, yields improvement will result in more cane and tonnes of sugar per hectre, which will in turn guarantee job creation and wealth generation in line with the desire of the federal government to move away from its monolithic revenue structure.

The National Sugar Development Council (NSDC) had in 2009 gone into partnership with the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC) and the International Sugar Organization (ISO) to acquire, evaluate and select high yielding and disease resistant cane varieties for wide adoption by small holder sugarcane farmers in West Africa sub-region using Nigiw and Côte d’Ivoire as pilot project countries.

The coordinator of the project Latif Busari presenting his report of the five years project at the workshop explained that the project, which was co-sponsored by the CFC contributed $1,004,861.01 which represents 62 percent of the entire funding while other participating agencies including the council, ISO, Côte d’Ivoire contributed $447,697.08.

He said out of the 40 varieties tested, five promising varieties were adopted and would be distributed to farmers for adoption and commercial cultivation after registration with relevant agency.

His words: “High-yielding varieties from this project will replace the old poorly performing varieties that are currently under cultivation by cane growers in the sub-region. Benefiting counties should conclude the ongoing commercial evaluation of the selected varieties at all sundry sites and formally release them for adoption by their farmers’.

The acting Executive Secretary of the Council, Samuel Ali Kwabe is optimistic that the ten years sugar master plan of the federal government will come to fruition with the project.

He said with the plan still in its fourth year, the council still have enough time to ensure that Nigeria stops the importation of sugar and be self sufficient.

Senior economist with ISO, Lindsay Jolly explained that the key challenges in the sugar sector can only be over ridden by deliberate effort by the ECOWAS sub-region to move out of its comfort zones in order to take delivery of the key opportunities in the sector.

He said Nigeria and the rest of the west Africa cannot be isolated from the happenings in the sector around the world, adding that even if the consumption of raw sugar is on the decrease due to health concern, the fact remains that industries still utilize it as major component of production and other bio-products from sugar cane are substances that can substitute fossil fuel.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Energy

Nigeria’s Power Sector to Get $7.5bn from $30bn African Electrification Initiative, Says Minister Adelabu

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Power - Investors King

Minister of Power Adebayo Adelabu has said that Nigeria is set to receive a portion of a $30 billion investment aimed at electrifying Africa.

During a visit to Splendor Electric Nigeria Limited, Adelabu revealed that the World Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have committed to this ambitious initiative with Nigeria slated to receive approximately $7.5 billion, or 25% of the total fund.

The groundbreaking initiative is designed to extend electrification to an additional 300 million Africans over the next five years.

This large-scale project aims to address the energy deficit that has long plagued the continent and is expected to transform the power infrastructure significantly.

Adelabu expressed optimism about Nigeria’s role in the project, citing the country’s large population and ongoing power sector reforms as key factors in securing a substantial share of the funds.

“I want to inform you of the proposal or the intention, which is at an advanced stage, by the World Bank and the African Development Bank to spend about $30 billion to extend electrification to an additional 300 million Africans within the next five years. Nigeria is going to participate fully in this. I am confident that nothing less than 20% or 25% of this fund would come into Nigeria because of our population,” Adelabu stated.

The minister’s visit to Splendor Electric Nigeria Limited, a porcelain insulator company, underscores the government’s commitment to involving local businesses in the electrification drive.

The investment will focus on enhancing and upgrading power infrastructure, which is crucial for improving electricity access and reliability across Nigeria.

Despite the promising news, Nigeria continues to face significant challenges in its power sector. The country’s power grid has suffered frequent collapses, with the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reporting less than 13 million electricity customers and frequent nationwide blackouts.

The International Energy Agency highlighted that Nigeria’s national grid experienced 46 collapses from 2017 to 2023, exacerbating the nation’s energy crisis.

To combat these issues, the government is also advancing the Presidential Power Initiative, a project in collaboration with Siemens, which aims to build thousands of new lines and numerous transmission and injection substations.

Adelabu noted that the pilot phase of this initiative is nearing completion and that Phase 1 will commence soon.

With over 200 million people and a chronic energy shortfall, Nigeria’s power sector is in urgent need of overhaul.

The additional $7.5 billion from the African Electrification Initiative represents a critical step toward achieving reliable and widespread electricity access.

The investment is expected to stimulate not only infrastructure development but also economic growth, creating opportunities for local companies and improving the quality of life for millions of Nigerians.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Climb as Markets Eye Potential US Rate Cuts in September

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Crude oil - Investors King

Oil prices rose during the Asian trading session today on speculation that the U.S. Federal Reserve may begin cutting interest rates as soon as September.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, increased by 32 cents to $82.95 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude oil climbed 34 cents to $80.47.

The anticipation of rate cuts stems from recent U.S. inflation and labor market data indicating a trend towards disinflation and balanced employment, according to ANZ Research.

The Federal Reserve is set to review its policy on July 30-31, with expectations of holding rates steady but providing clues for potential cuts in September.

The potential rate cuts could stimulate economic activity, increasing demand for oil. This optimism has been partially offset by recent concerns over China’s slower-than-expected economic growth, which could dampen global oil demand.

President Joe Biden’s announcement to not seek re-election and endorse Vice President Kamala Harris had minimal impact on oil markets.

Analysts suggest that U.S. presidential influence on oil production is limited, although a potential Trump presidency could boost oil demand due to his stance against electric vehicles.

In response to economic challenges, China surprised markets by lowering key policy and lending rates. While these measures aim to bolster the economy, analysts remain cautious about their immediate impact on oil demand.

With OPEC+ production cuts continuing to support prices, the focus remains on the U.S. Federal Reserve’s next moves.

Any decision to cut rates could further influence oil prices in the coming months, highlighting the interconnectedness of global economic policies and energy markets.

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Dangote Refinery Clash Threatens Nigeria’s Oil Sector Stability

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Nigeria’s oil and gas sector is facing a new challenge as a dispute between Dangote Industries Limited and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Agency (NMDPRA) intensifies.

The disagreement centers on claims by NMDPRA that diesel from the Dangote Refinery contains high sulfur levels, making it inferior to imported products.

The $20 billion Dangote Refinery, located near Lagos, has the potential to process half of Nigeria’s daily oil output, promising to reduce dependency on foreign fuel imports and create thousands of jobs.

However, the recent accusations have cast a shadow over what should be a significant achievement for Africa’s largest economy.

Industry experts warn that the ongoing conflict could deter future investments in Nigeria’s oil sector.

“Regulatory uncertainty is a major disincentive for investors,” said Luqman Agboola, head of energy at Sofidia Capital. “Any factor affecting foreign investment impacts the entire value chain, risking potential energy deals.”

The regulatory body, led by Farouk Ahmed, maintains that Nigeria cannot rely solely on the Dangote facility to meet its petroleum needs, emphasizing the need for diverse sources.

This position has stirred controversy, with critics accusing the agency of attempting to undermine a vital national asset.

Amidst these tensions, energy analyst Charles Ogbeide described the agency’s comments as reckless, noting that the refinery is still in its commissioning stages and is working to optimize its sulfur output.

In response, Dangote Industries has called for fair assessments of its products, asserting that their diesel meets African standards.

The refinery’s leadership argues that certain factions may have ulterior motives, aiming to stifle progress through misinformation.

As the dispute continues, the broader implications for Nigeria’s oil sector remain uncertain. The outcome will likely influence not only domestic production but also the country’s standing in the global energy market.

Observers hope for a resolution that supports both industrial growth and regulatory integrity, ensuring stability in a sector crucial to Nigeria’s economy.

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