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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.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

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Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site

Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.

Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.

A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.

One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.

However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.

 

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday

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Crude oil

Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.

Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.

Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.

While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.

According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.

“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”

Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.

The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.

I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.

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Crude Oil

Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

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Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.

OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.

Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”

Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.

Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.

Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.

“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”

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