- Stakeholders Seek Alliance With Dairy Farmers to Boost Output
With the nation yet to meet a supply gap of 600,000 metric tonnes out of the 1.3 million tonnes demanded in the dairy industry, stakeholders have sought improved alliance with farmers to aid productivity.
According to the stakeholders, such efforts will increase capacity to meet local dairy demand, considering the problems facing the dairy sector in West Africa and challenges in developing a sustainable business model for the industry in the sub-region.
Indeed, European and West African dairy farmers had a two-day multi-stakeholder roundtable conference to discuss new business models with the aim of creating employment and profit for the local dairy farmers in West Africa in Abuja, recently.
The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, represented by, Director, Animal Production and Husbandry Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Egejuru Eze, while speaking on the theme ‘Milky way to development’ noted that the roundtable is happening at a time the vision of the government of Nigeria is taking a holistic approach to develop the livestock industry especially the dairy sector.
The Minister said “it is heartwarming to note the increased interest and flow of foreign direct investment into the livestock industry from different parts of the world, particularly in dairy productions. Efforts of this nature will increase capacity to meet local dairy demand. Presently the annual national dairy output and demand are estimated at 700,000mt and 1,300,000mt respectively, giving a supply gap of about 600,000mt”.
Speaking at the conference, the Vice Chairman, Arla Foods and co-host of the conference, Jan Toft Noergaard, said, “we believe there are more feats to be achieved, with an alliance like this, I am sure things will happen faster. This conference is set to discuss and offer solution to challenges facing the dairy sector in West Africa and development of the dairy sector to improve the livelihood of farmers” he said.
The Program Coordinator, Care Denmark, Rolf Hernoe explained that the ‘Milky Way to Development’ is an alliance of stakeholders in the dairy industry, including dairy farmers and companies in the West African region, “so far we have one European industrial producer and we are hoping to expand. We see this as the beginning of something bigger, we are currently discussing with ECOWAS to take a more active role in the alliance” he said.
Speaking on the benefits of the alliance to local dairy farmers, Rolf Hernoe said the alliance focuses on avoiding the negative impact of imports of powdered milk into the region and greater focus on involving local farmers in the value chain so that milk will be more available and safer and be processed into higher value products so that everyone will benefit. The alliance will facilitate technology transfer and investment which will definitely be of benefit to local farmers.”
Danish Ambassador to Nigeria, Torben Getterman who is representing the Development Agency of the Danish Government, said “the Danish Government is supporting the idea of the ‘Milky Way’ alliance because of it firm believe in the principle and overarching idea of the alliance. The ‘Milky Way’ alliance is a good example of how cooperation between governments, sectorial organisations, private companies, research institutes and NGOs can result in projects that carry with them benefits on so many levels” he said.
Commissioner, Department of Agriculture, Environment and Water Resources, Economic Community of West African States, Tchambokou Ayassor during his speech said the need for partnership of this nature in West Africa sub-region cannot be overemphasize, saying “a gathering like this is very important for the economic development of agriculture in the sub-region as it will give opportunities for technology transfer, development of cross boarder professional association and formulation of policy framework that will foster a faster development of the dairy sector and agriculture business in West Africa”.
Oil Slips With Energy Prices in Europe Halts Record Rally
Oil dipped toward $72 a barrel in New York after prices of energy commodities in Europe halted a record-breaking run.
West Texas Intermediate futures fell 0.6%, having reached the highest intraday level since early August on Wednesday. A rally in European gas and power prices to unprecedented levels was set to end as industries were starting to curb consumption. The surge in energy rates could temporarily boost diesel demand by as much as 2 million barrels a day as consumers switch fuels, according to Citigroup Inc.
Still, the bullish signals for oil are continuing to increase. U.S. crude inventories dropped by more than 6 million barrels last week to a two-year low, according to government figures, as coronavirus vaccination programs permit economies to reopen. Chevron Corp. Chief Executive Officer Mike Wirth warned that the world is facing high energy prices for the foreseeable future.
The investor optimism is showing up in key oil time spreads widening. Trading of bullish Brent options also surged to a two-month high on Wednesday.
Prices have been pushed higher in recent days “by supply outages combined with expectations of switching from gas to oil in the power sector,” said Helge Andre Martinsen, a senior oil market analyst at DNB Bank ASA. “We still believe in softer prices toward year-end and early next year as curtailed production returns and OPEC+ continues to increase production.”
Strong prices for gas, liquefied natural gas and oil are expected to last “for a while” as producers resist the urge to drill again, Chevron’s Wirth told Bloomberg News. Norway’s Equinor ASA said Thursday it also expects European gas prices to remain high over winter.
Fuel Scarcity: Petrol Sells N220 Per Litre in Nsukka
Premium Motor Spirit, otherwise called petrol, now sells for between N200 and N220 per liter at the independent marketers’ service stations in Nsukka, Enugu State.
The News Agency of Nigeria is reporting the hike in the price against the official pump price of N162 per liter.
It said it started about a fortnight ago due to the scarcity of the commodity in the town and its environs.
Some residents of the town expressed deep worry over the development in separate interviews with NAN on Wednesday.
A civil servant, Stephen Ozioko, said the situation had further compounded the economic difficulties in the area.
Ozioko said many private car owners had been compelled to park their vehicles at home and move around in public transport.
He said: “Since the scarcity started, I decided to park my car and take public transport to the office and back home. N220 per liter is exorbitant and I cannot afford it considering my salary as a civil servant. I shall continue to use public transport until the situation returns to normal.”
A building material dealer, Timothy Ngwu, said the development had also led to an increase in transport fare in the area.
Ngwu said: “Some people now trek from Nsukka Old Park to Odenigbo Roundabout because of the 100 percent hike in fares from N50 to N100 by tricycle.
“Before now, transport fare from Nsukka to Enugu was N500, but transporters now charge between N800 and N1000.”
Also, a commuter bus driver, Victor Ogbonna, described the scarcity and hike in the price of petrol as “unfortunate and an ugly development”.
Ogbonna added: “Today, only a few filling stations are selling the commodity in Nsukka town, while others are shut.”
He alleged that some filling stations, which claimed to be out-of-stock, were selling to black marketers at night.
He said: “This is why black marketers have sprung up everywhere in the town, selling the commodity for about N300 per liter.”
NAN reports that virtually all the major marketers in the area have stopped the sale of petrol, claiming to be out-of-stock.
The people called on the government to urgently intervene in order to bring the situation under control and also put an end to its harsh economic effects on the messes.
DPR Targets N3.2T Revenue by Year-End
Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) will hit the N3.2 trillion revenue target by December 2021, according to its Director/ Chief Executive Officer, Mr Sarki Auwalu.
Auwalu made the disclosure when he led a delegation of the DPR management team to the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Mr Bello Gusau, in Abuja on Wednesday.
He said that 70 percent of the revenue projection had already been met. “Last year, we exceed our revenue budget. We were given N1.5 trillion but we were able to generate N2.7trillion.
“This year, our revenue budget was N3.2 trillion. By the end of August 2021, we have generated up to 70 per cent.
“So, we with September, October, November and December, it is only the 30 per cent that we will work over,’’ he said
He noted that the government took advantage of fiscal terms within the old and new legislation, thereby creating a level of increased signature bonuses.
“We reorganise the work programme that is normally being done in the DPR to key into the new operational structure as we see it in the bill, now an act.
“That programme is being handled by the planning and strategic business unit as against what we use to have because the entire work programme is supposed to show not only technical but also commercial and viability of oil fields and to guarantee the return on investment for investors.
“We have also created an economic value and benchmarking unit to key into the new fiscal provisions of the PIA,’’ he said.
Commenting on capacity, Auwalu said the country stands at the advantage of exporting skills to emerging oil and gas countries across Africa with proper implementation of the newly passed Petroleum Industry Act.
This, he said, the DPR was ready to partner with the Fund to continue to build capacity in the oil and gas sector
He noted that the Federal Government was determined to create leeway that would encourage investors and drastically improve the nation’s petroleum industry.
He further noted that no fewer than 300 legal battles in the oil and gas industry in Nigeria, which had been stalled for the past 20 years in courts, had been resolved through alternative dispute resolution.
According to Auwalu, the DPR is strategising well to ensure effective implementation of the PIA.
Responding, Gusau commended the DPR for enabling the industry and enhancing business activities in the oil and gas sector.
He said that DPR remained the head of the oil and gas industry in Nigeria adding that the Fund was grateful to benefit from the wealth of ideas from DPR.
“The last time we visited, we had a good discussion and issues raised are being implemented like tracking the inflow of funds in signature bonus accounts.
“We extended the meeting and involved ministry of Finance, Accountant General office and even the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
“Sitting at field development plans and attending significant meetings, helped us to know where and what the industry is trying to do and it also helps to inform our decisions in training and capacity plans,’’ he said
He urged the DPR to continue on its effort to ensure an efficient and productive petroleum industry in Nigeria
He assured collaboration with all as the head of the implementation committee of the Petroleum Industry Act. (NAN)
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