- National Reserves 8,000 Tonnes Can’t Solve Food Crisis
The quantity of food items stored in the 23 national reserves across the country are extremely low and cannot effectively address the rising prices of food in Nigeria, various officials at the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and operators in the sector have said.
According to them, Nigeria’s store houses for food have the capacity to take over one million tonnes of agricultural produce but the reserves currently have only about 8,000 tonnes of food valued at N1.5bn.
On Wednesday, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, stated that the Federal Government was considering opening the nation’s food reserves as part of measures aimed at reducing food prices in Nigeria.
“We shall be looking into our reserves if in the next few days the situation persists, to see what we can bring out to lower the prices because another bumper harvest will be coming up at the end of March,” the minister had said.
But operators in the sector and officials at the FMARD noted that the quantity of food items in the reserves were very low and should be restocked.
When asked if the country had enough food in its reserves to open up in order to address the rising food prices, a senior official at the FMARD, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence on Saturday, said, “No, we don’t have.”
One of the officials added, “It is very low; in fact, extremely very low! And the reserves are low because sometime last year, we distributed about 38,000 tonnes to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons), and the Poultry Association of Nigeria and we were not able to replenish our stock due to lack of adequate budgetary provision.
“For instance, the budget of 2016 can only give us 3,000 tonnes when we have a capacity of almost about a million tonnes. But the ministry is making an arrangement to get extra funds from the Federal Ministry of Finance to see whether they can give us money so that we can take off what the private grain stock holders have with them now and put in the reserves.”
On the conservative value of foodstuff in the reserves, the official said, “As it is now, we have about 8,000 tonnes and this will give you just about N1.5bn. To fully stock the reserves of about one million tonnes capacity will require trillions of naira, which is why it is not something that only the Federal Government should do.
“I think there has to be a partnership between the federal and state governments or the federal and private sector players through public private partnership.”
Another official at the ministry, however, noted that the government might not commence the distribution of food from the nation’s reserves at the moment, unless there was an extreme situation or scarcity.
The source said, “It has to be extreme, but you know that presently we are expecting dry season harvest from the ongoing dry season farming in many states. Therefore, before the next harvest, the price of food should come down because the produce from the various dry season farms will be coming in at the end of March this year.
“It is important to let Nigerians know what the ministry is facing and how we are tackling the issues despite the very limited resources at our disposal. Also, people should know that there isn’t much in the reserves so that they won’t relax with the hope that government has enough in its store houses, no!”
The official explained that on occasions when food from the reserves were shared, the government usually adopted measures that forestall a hijack of the distribution process by middlemen.
The official said, “It cannot be hijacked by any middleman because we do direct sales to the public or give directly to beneficiaries who are primarily those that need it, so that they won’t have to go to the market. We don’t give it to those who don’t need it.”
According to the source, the quality of different food items in the reserves are good enough, adding that Nigeria has a total of 23 functional store houses.
“We have 23 reserves, comprising of 13 old and 10 new ones, while another 10 are under construction. They are located in almost every state in Nigeria except for Rivers and Enugu, which are the states I can remember for now that don’t have. Other states have food reserves,” the official said.
Confirming the drop in food reserves and measures being put in place to increase the production of agricultural produce, the Project Manager, Micro Reforms for Africa, who doubles as the Abuja Liaison Manager for Fertiliser Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Gideon Negedu, told our correspondent that food prices would crash soon once the various industry-wide programmes began to have effect.
Negedu said, “We know there are challenges, particularly with respect to food availability and cost, but I can tell you with all confidence that food prices are going to come down tremendously because the cost of production is going to fall seriously. So as far as production and input is concerned, the price of food will come down.”
When asked to specifically state when Nigerians will start experiencing the crash in food prices, Negedu replied, “Very, very soon. When I mean very soon, I’m saying very, very soon because it’s going to be unprecedented.”
Similarly, the Coordinator, Nigeria Agribusiness Group, Mr. Emmanuel Ijewere, also confirmed that food prices were going to crash and agricultural produce would become available once the regulatory framework on fertiliser production and other initiatives in the industry began to take shape.
“There is a new paradigm going on in Nigeria. We are creating a seamless opportunity for win-win outcomes for private and public sector investments in the agribusiness space. This will not only result in adequate fertiliser, but will make food affordable to many,” he said.
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook
Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand.
Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.95 a barrel at 0057 GMT, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly climbed 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.46 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.
Oil price gains over the past week have been underpinned by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States, but have been capped by concerns over stalled vaccine rollouts worldwide and soaring COVID-19 infections in India and Brazil.
Nevertheless, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tweaked up its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from its forecast last month. It is banking on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.
“It was a welcome prognosis by the market, which had been fretting about the impact the ongoing pandemic was having on demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.
Further supporting the market on Wednesday, sources said data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week ended April 9, compared with estimates for a decline of about 2.9 million barrels from analysts polled by Reuters.
Traders are waiting to see if official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday matches that view.
Market gains are being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, are set to bring on more supply from May.
“They may have to contend with rising U.S. supply,” ANZ analysts said.
EIA said this week oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 13,000 bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd.
African Energy Developments Demand Sustained Investment With New Projects in Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, and Senegal
In the past twelve months, the African energy sector has seen several encouraging developments – in the form of both Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and strategic partnerships – that have advanced the sustainable development of its natural resources. In fact, despite a global downturn in investment in 2020, FDI flows to developing economies accounted for 72% of global FDI, the highest share to date. Given the magnitude of Africa’s oil and gas reserves – not to mention its abundant renewable resource wealth – the continent remains a highly attractive market for inbound investment, which is vital for its growth.
Take Uganda, for instance, which is home to one of the largest onshore discoveries in sub-Saharan Africa. Following multiple petroleum discoveries in Uganda’s Albertine Graben – estimated to contain 6.5 billion barrels of oil, of which 1.4 billion are considered recoverable – foreign investments into the country are expected to reach nearly $20 billion. Last April, Total E&P Uganda B.V. signed a Sale and Purchase Agreement with Tullow Oil PC, through which Total will acquire Tullow’s entire 33.34% interests in Uganda’s Lake Albert development project and the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP). Five months later, the Ugandan Government and Total signed a host government agreement for EACOP, representing a significant step toward reaching a final investment decision. The deal pushes along an extended development process – slowed by infrastructure issues, tax complications, then COVID-19 – that not only promises to bring first oil by 2022, but also provides a pathway to monetization via associated transport infrastructure.
In addition to developments at Lake Albert, the Ugandan Government has proven its commitment to attracting FDI to its hydrocarbon sector through its second licensing round held last year, as well as its invitation to local and foreign entities to forge joint-venture partnerships with the Government. By prioritizing the establishment of mutually beneficial partnerships, the emerging East African producer aims to facilitate the successful transfer of skills, knowledge and technology, initiating an influx of technical expertise and working capital into the country.
“Those who have been locked out from access to opportunity want the same from the energy sector that the energy sectors want from governments. We must not forget local content, local jobs, local opportunities especially for young people and women” Stated NJ Ayuk Executive Chairman of the African Energy Chamber.
Meanwhile, in West Africa, Senegal has been reaping the rewards of a long-standing partnership with Germany, which has resulted in more than one billion Euros in funding, including significant support for small-scale power plants and renewable energy projects. Holding sizeable potential for solar and wind energy development, Senegal serves as a regional leader in renewable deployment as a means of rural electrification. Indeed, energy is a central component of poverty alleviation across Africa, with electricity access enabling greater independence, clean cooking and potable water, as well as dramatically improving the well-being of individuals, businesses and communities alike. Rural populations are cognizant of the challenges posed by a lack of stable electricity supply – increased urban migration, lack of access to basic services, low economic competitiveness, to name a few – and distributed renewables can represent the fastest and least expensive path to electrification.
European interest in Senegal has shed light on and served as a model for co-operation opportunities between renewable-rich African countries and developed partners, which offer cutting-edge technologies and technical expertise to transform raw resources into viable off-grid and mini-grid solutions.
Furthermore, while the cost of deploying renewable technology has never been lower, the availability of renewable-focused capital has never been higher. Investment in commercial and industrial solar has demonstrated resilience against the pandemic, continuing to be seen as a safe investment in light of rising utility costs and increasing distribution of both solar and financial technologies. Yet resource potential and low costs of equipment are not enough; Senegal and other resource-rich African nations require active investor interest and strong government support to unlock diversified energy mixes. In turn, a lack of investment represents a pointed threat to the achievement of long-term energy security.
“Young people and women have shown their great resilience, and it is our hope we close these deals in the renewable energy sector, Africans can have a sense of some hope that they will be included in the industry contracts and opportunities. It is no longer correct for the African to be the last hired and the first fired” Concluded Ayuk.
Moreover, without sustained levels of FDI continuing to move the needle on oil, gas and renewable developments, energy export revenues run the risk of being stranded and resources left undeveloped. For emerging producers like Uganda – as well as Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, among several others – this would mean foregoing critical government revenues that could aid in a much-needed, post-COVID-19 economic recovery. FDI is vital to Africa’s growth, and while it may be challenging to procure capital in a tepid global economy, it is even more difficult not to. Yes, COVID-19 has put emerging producers in a tough spot: new exploration is seen as risky, and new producers lack existing assets or low-cost development of marginal fields on which to fall back. However, it is not an option to slow or postpone time-sensitive developments that promise to harness natural resource wealth and make sustainable improvements in standards of living across the continent. Africa requires a sustained flow of investment and has proven time and again that it offers the scope of projects and magnitude of resources that are worthy of foreign capital.
Covid19.nmfb.com.ng: How to Check Nirsal COVID-19 Loan Status
The Kenya Private Sector Alliance (KEPSA) and The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business Announce Major Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
Europa League: Arsenal in Tough Spot After Home Draw
Finance3 weeks ago
List of Microfinance Banks’ USSD Codes In Nigeria
Government4 weeks ago
FEC Approves $1.5 Billion For Repair of Port Harcourt Refinery
Government3 weeks ago
US Intelligence Says ISIS and Al-Qaeda Are Planning to Attack Southern Nigeria
News4 weeks ago
Focus on bank MDs, Others, Workers Reply EFCC Over Asset Declaration
Government4 weeks ago
Customers TO Pay N6.98 Per USSD Transaction – CBN, NCC
News4 weeks ago
EFCC Directs Bankers to Declare Assets by June 1
Banking Sector4 weeks ago
GTBank Records N201.4 Billion Profit After Tax in 2020
Economy4 weeks ago
5M Jobs Must be Created Yearly For The Next 10 Years to Tackle Unemployment in Nigeria – WTO DG