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Farmers Now Get Fertilisers at 50% Reduced Price

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  • Farmers Now Get Fertilisers at 50% Reduced Price

Farmers have started accessing fertilisers at the new rate, which is about 50 per cent less than what obtained some weeks ago.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr. Audu Ogbeh, had in January announced that the price of fertilisers would crash by half, down from N12,000/N10,000 to around N5,000.

Ogbeh also stated that a shipload of phosphate would arrive in Nigeria from Morocco and that blending of the product to manufacture fertiliser would commence immediately because Nigeria’s target in fertiliser production was between 700,000 and 800,000 tonnes per annum.

“Once the blending starts in the course of our negotiation, the price of fertiliser will fall by about 50 per cent,” the minister had stated.

Also, about two weeks ago, agro-dealers in Abuja stated that the shipload of phosphate had landed in Nigeria and that the price of the commodity would crash, although the product was not sold at the new rate then.

However, findings revealed that some farmers, particularly those in the northern region had started accessing fertilisers at the new reduced rate of N5,500 for a 50kg bag as opposed to the former price of N12,000 for the same quantity.

It was gathered that members of the Nigeria Agribusiness Group held a meeting last Wednesday, which focused largely on the new fertiliser price, as they urged the Federal Government to ensure that the commodity was sold at N5,500 per 50kg across the country.

The Chairman, All Farmers Association of Nigeria, Femi Oke, told our correspondent that the NABG, as well as other groups of farmers under the body, commended the Federal Government for slashing the cost of fertiliser.

He stated that the development would enhance crop production because more farmers would harvest improved yields as a result of their ability to access fertilisers at a cheaper price.

Oke said, “We are aware of the price reduction. In fact, the meeting we had with the NABG two days ago focused on the Federal Government’s decision to reduce the price of fertilisers. It is a very good gesture and we know ourselves and there won’t be any third party in the process. Farmers accept it and are happy with the Presidential initiative on fertiliser production in Nigeria and price reduction.

“In our meeting with the NABG, which is headed by Sani Dangote of the Dangote Group, we discussed this issue extensively and we came out with other ideas on how farmers will have one voice as regards the price and other issues. Also, we discussed how all the agencies and farmers will come onboard to take advantage of this initiative in order to increase crop yields.”

When asked if farmers had started accessing fertilisers at the new price, Oke said, “Definitely those of us who have not been able to get it at that rate will soon get it since the government has said it should be sold at N5,500, we are going to get it. I’m sure our counterparts in the North are already getting it at that rate.

“The government is very serious about this initiative and we welcome such seriousness; we have no doubt about it. I’m definitely sure that some farmers in the North have started accessing it at the new price.”

Also confirming the price reduction and fertiliser accessibility by farmers, the National Chairman, Agro-dealers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Kabiru Fara, told our correspondent that part of measures put in place by government to bring down the cost of the commodity and enhance its distribution was the approval for payment of the balance of N22bn out of the N66bn that was owed agro-dealers.

He explained that the debt was owed by the previous government, but its payment was recently approved by President Muhammadu Buhari.

Fara said, “We will use this payment to buy what fertiliser producers produce and distribute it across the market at N5,500. So, releasing our money will make the presidential initiative on fertiliser distribution very easy.”

Similarly, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr. Maikanti Baru, had confirmed that the government of Morocco had supplied the shipload of phosphate for fertiliser blending in Nigeria.

This, he said, would boost agriculture across the country, adding that several blending plants had commenced fertiliser production in many states.

Baru, who spoke at the Abuja headquarters of the corporation, said, “The Moroccans have already supplied a cargo of phosphate, which has been delivered to various blending plants across the country. Already, 11 blending plants have come into production because of the supply.

“I am happy to inform you that this development has translated to the creation of about 50,000 jobs and led to the production of about 1.3 million tonnes of fertiliser in the country.”

He added, “Following the arrival of the first consignment, the Moroccans have also given Nigeria a generous credit term of 90 days and they are planning to bring in more cargoes that will fit the various blending plants in the country.”

The South-West Coordinator, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, Mr. Babatunde Faleke, said exporters had been paying duties between 16 and 25 per cent, which could be removed if they had exported under the AGOA programme.

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.

Brands

Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End

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In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.

This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.

Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.

Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”

“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.

Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.

The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.

Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.

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Brands

Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria

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Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.

Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.

He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.

“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.

“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”

According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.

He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.

“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”

The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.

“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”

He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.

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Appointments

Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO

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Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.

Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.

She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.

In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.

Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.

In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.

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