- FG Confident that Wacott Rice Investment will Boost Food Security, Jobs
The food security and youth employment goals of the federal government is receiving major support with the establishment of a rice processing mill with 120,000 metric tonnes capacity in Argungu, Kebbi State by WACOT Rice Limited, a member of the TGI Group. The rice mill is part of WACOT’s expansion plan, which targets a capacity increase with additional rice plants to overall 500,000 metric tonnes in the next years.
Located in Argungu Local Government Area, along the Argungu-Sokoto road, the rice processing plant is the first rice mill to be conceptualised, executed and to be commissioned during the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari. Work started on the Mill in February 2016 and is scheduled to be formally commissioned in May, 2017.
During a pre-commissioning visit to the 120,000 metric tonnes mill on Thursday, the Governor of Kebbi State, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku Bagudu, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, commended the Board and Management of WACOT Rice Limited for keying into the ‘self-sufficiency in rice production’ goal of the federal government.
While conducting the special visitors round the N10 billion state of the art Mill, the Group Managing Director of TGI Group, Mr. Rahul Savara disclosed that the Mill will produce top quality rice, and that it will generate direct and indirect employment for 3,500 people, adding that over 50,000 farmers will have ready market for their produce. WACOT’s Managing Director, Mr. Ujwalkanta Senapati, adds that “WACOT views farmers as partners with whom we work hand-in-hand to improve agricultural production.”
Savara further revealed that the Mill is “the first rice plant in Nigeria with captive power co-generation facility and that it will generate 1 MW electricity from rice husks, thereby ensuring that all by-products and waste products are fully consumed and the environment is protected.
While commending the management of WACOT for locating the mill in his State and for completing it within a short period, the visibly elated Governor Bagudu said, “what WACOT has done shows that Nigeria has friends and a friend in need is a friend indeed”, adding, WACOT is investing in Kebbi because we have created the enabling environment for business to thrive”.
The Governor also declared that once the WACOT Mill starts full operation, a large part of the rice cultivated in the State will be processed within the state, instead of being taken elsewhere for milling. He also used the opportunity to reiterate the fact that Kebbi state is endowed with massive arable land, fit for production of rice, wheat, maize, sorghum, groundnut etc.
Also, speaking during the visit, Chief Ogbeh stated that the Federal Government will continue to encourage and support organisations such as WACOT, in its efforts to enhance and stabilise food production in the country. He commended WACOT for having faith in Kebbi State and Nigeria.
While applauding the focus of the Kebbi State government on Agriculture, the Minister said that it is anticipated that more state governments will embrace this laudable path, in order to promote food sufficiency and economic development in the country. He added that for the country to have lasting security, there must be concerted effort by all tiers of government to tackle the twin issues of food security and unemployment, as youth unemployment could be a time bomb for the country.
The Minister concluded by saying that “a time is coming when the most important person in Kebbi State will not be a politician but a farmer”.
On his part, the CBN governor, Godwin Emefiele lauded WACOT Limited for the feat, adding that the mill will save the country substantial amount of foreign exchange that would have gone into rice importation. He also assured the farmers that government will continue to do everything to ensure that their products are sold.
Stallion Group Bags Special Agric Sector Awards
Stallion Group has been awarded the prestigious IBCA-Outstanding Projects and Business Leader of the Year Award.
The award was bestowed on the Popular Farms and Mills Limited, a company under license of the Stallion Group.
The Popular Farms and Mills Limited, said in a statement on Sunday that the Stallion Group “would like to acknowledge the quintessential and impeccable leadership qualities and magnanimous approach of President Muhammadu Buhari and the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh in the agriculture sector and their pathfinder initiative of the change agenda.”
The statement further thanked the “IBCA for creating this platform to acknowledge the real positive change makers in the agriculture sector and OPAL nomination committee for nominating and rewarding Stallion Group for the Business Leader of the Year and Outstanding Project awards.”
According to the statement, “these awards are testimonials to our efforts at expanding operations in Nigeria’s fully integrated rice value chain, resulting in a boost of 430,000 metric tonnes of rice production per annum.
“The Group is targeting production of 1.5 million tonnes of rice in Nigeria through the setting up of more milling capacities and structured farming activities.
“Stallion has established fully integrated agricultural operations including world-class rice mills at strategic locations, with the aim of promoting milling and paddy cultivation in the captive areas, thus creating a catalyst for increased local production of paddy and, ultimately, Nigeria’s self-sufficiency in rice production.
The Group’s Director, Mr. Harpreet Singh commenting on the awards said that “sensing the need for local self-sufficiency and government’s ambitions for food security, Stallion pioneered investments into backward integration, creating a fully integrated value chain.
“We are working tirelessly to improve farm yields and bring in sustainable and scalable growth to farmers,” Singh said.
To energize its backward integration value-chain chain, Stallion Group embarked on an initiative to include local manufacturing facilities for packaging and countrywide distribution infrastructure designed to meet the demands of the Nigerian people across the various states.
Consequently, the company has also established several collection centres spread across rice producing states of Adamawa, Taraba, Benue, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Sokoto, Zamfara and Kebbi.
The statement noted that the countrywide distribution centre initiative is driven towards not only assisting farmers in understanding modern rice farming techniques, but also focuses on distributing farm inputs and forming associations with various farmers cooperatives to lead the Nigerian rice revolution.
“It is on the imperative of this initiative that Stallion Group came up with extension services such as the Village School (a farmer’s training model) and ‘On Farm Trials’(practical demonstrations) that are being executed to import technical know-how to promote advanced rice farming.
“The major focus of Stallion has been to strengthen the farmers and their rice farming knowledge in order to bring in a rice revolution into the country. It is a multi-leveled approach not only to increase the area but also to transform the rice farm business sector through quality rice produce and farm productivity.”
Global Deal Activity Down by 4.5% in October 2020
A total of 6,304 deals were announced globally during October 2020, which is a decrease of 4.5% over the 6,598 deals announced during September, according to GlobalData, a leading data, and analytics company. An analysis of GlobalData’s Financial Deals Database revealed that the deal volume during October remained below the monthly average of Q3 2020.
Aurojyoti Bose, the Lead Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “After demonstrating growth for four consecutive months, the deal volume shrank in October. The decline in deal activity could be attributed to inconsistencies across different regions. The APAC region remained a weak spot, while deal activity remained mostly flat in North America, and the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region witnessed growth in deal activity.”
North America attracted the highest number of investments, followed by APAC, Europe, the MEA, and South, and Central America.
The uncertain global economic landscape lowered the deal volume in October for major markets such as the US, Germany, Australia, France, India, and China compared to the previous month. On the contrary, the UK, Japan, South Korea, and Canada saw growth of 15.6%,14.9%, 3.8%, and 2.2%, respectively, in October as compared to September’s deal volume.
Bose continued: “Most of the deal types witnessed a decline in volume during October compared to the previous month. Private equity, equity offerings, venture financing, debt offerings, and partnership deals volume decreased by a respective 2.4%, 9.1%, 9.8%, 14.6%, and 24.6% – while the deal volume for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) increased by 7.2%.”
Japaul to Invest in Chinese Firm H&H to Deepen Mining and Exploration Business
Japaul Gold & Ventures Plc (Japaul), formerly known as Japaul Oil and Maritime Services Plc, announced it has gotten approval in principle from H&H Mines Limited to invest in or acquire shares in the company once it concluded its fundraising exercise.
According to a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), H&H Mines Limited has several licenses, which include two major Mining Leases for 25 years renewable.
The statement noted that extensive exploration has been done on the Mining properties and the last lap of the exploration works is core drilling. This, it said will allow Japaul knows the measured Minerals Reserve contained in the Mine, which it claimed contain Gold, Silver, Lead, Zinc, etc.
Japaul further explained that the need to get the drilling done was what led H&H Mining to engage the services of Xiang Hui International Mining Company Nigeria.
“Since Japaul will eventually be part of H&H Mines Limited, it was necessary that Japaul is carried along on the kind of Contract of Drilling to be entered into, and that was why the signing of the Drilling Contract between the Chinese Company and H&H Mines Limited was concluded at Japaul’s Head Office,” the company stated.
The drilling is expected to be concluded in the next 12 months and within this time, Japaul is expected to have concluded the Fund Raising and formalise her involvement in the Mining.
The company added that Canadian reports revealed that there are huge gold, silver, lead, etc deposits, but it is drilling that will show the actual reserve.
Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Rescheduled to Hold in 2021 – AfDB
Investment Forum to Now Hold in 2021 in a Bid to Curb Possible Second Wave of COVID-19
The Africa Investment Forum scheduled to hold in November 2020 in Johannesburg, South Africa has been rescheduled to hold in2021 as a result of the ongoing global health pandemic.
This announcement was made in a statement by AfDB on Wednesday. The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Africa Investment Forum founding partners agreed to the postponement of the annual three-day investment market place.
Considering the negative effect of Covid-19 on the global economy, agreement by the two bodies was made after a careful assessment of the impact of COVID-19 on global travels, investments, observing the social distancing rules and curbing the likely possible risk of a second wave.
In the statement, the bank stated that through the forum innovative digital platforms, it would track investments, source for new deals, progress on financial closure of transactions and other existing deals.
“At the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, 57 deals valued at $67.7bn were tabled for discussions. Fifty-two deals worth $40.1bn secured investment interest.
“In July this year, the AIF Founding partners pledged to strengthen strategic partnership engagement and commitments for Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2021, to help ‘reboot investments in Africa.’ They underscored the need to boost local manufacturing while leveraging the continent’s vast resources to unlock investment.”
In the statement, Africa Investment Forum objectives are achieved through the forum’s four pillars; Closing, Connecting, Engaging and Investment Tracking.
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