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Agricultural Finance Fund Closes at $65.9m, Says FG

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  • Agricultural Finance Fund Closes at $65.9m, Says FG

The Federal Government on Wednesday in Abuja announced that the Fund for Agricultural Finance in Nigeria, which was initiated by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, was successfully closed at $65.9m.

It said the fund would provide financial, capacity building and technical assistance to selected Small and Medium Enterprises in the agribusiness sector, adding that it was managed by Sahel Capital, a private equity firm.

In a statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Communications to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Olukayode Oyeleye, the government noted that a total of $31m was jointly committed to the FAFIN by the African Development Bank, the CDC Group and the Dutch Good Growth Fund.

It added that as part of the round, the German Development Bank also offered to increase its commitments to FAFIN by an additional $10m, subject to final approvals, which would increase the fund size to $76m by December 2017.

FAFIN, co-sponsored by Nigeria’s Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ministry of Finance, German Development Bank and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, was inaugurated in 2014 with $32.8m in commitments.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, expressed the full commitment of his ministry to the development of the agricultural sector.

Ogbeh was quoted as saying, “Although key developments in the sector will continually be private sector driven, the Federal Government will provide the necessary incentives to grow the sector by facilitating financing and support for SMEs through investment vehicles such as FAFIN.”

The statement noted that Sahel Capital planned to invest the funds over the next two years, backing sustainable agribusinesses that would create jobs, improve productivity and strengthen priority value chains.

The Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, was quoted as saying, “The Federal Government is acting as a catalyst for private sector capital to drive growth in the agribusiness sector. With this close, we would have succeeded in partnering the various investors to secure $76m for agribusinesses in Nigeria.”

The Managing Partner, Sahel Capital, Mr. Mezuo Nwuneli, was also quoted as saying, “The successful final close of FAFIN is a testament to the confidence our investors have in the scaling up and sustainability of the fund that was conceived in 2013 by the former Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Akinwunmi Adesina, and the German Development Bank.

“We also look forward to partnering with our incoming investors to drive catalytic growth in the sector through our partnerships with strong agribusinesses.”

The statement noted that Sahel Capital had assessed over 100 companies since FAFIN’s launch in 2014, out of which it had elected to invest in four high growth firms in the dairy, edible oils, poultry and cassava value chains in Nigeria.

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.

Economy

NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.

The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.

NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.

Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.

Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.

For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.

Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.

Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.

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Economy

NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021

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Gas-Pipeline

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.

This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).

The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.

It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.

NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021

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Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.

Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.

Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.

On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.

Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.

Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.

The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.

However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.

Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.

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