- Lagos to Produce 2.6m Bags of Rice Per Year
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday in Zurich, Switzerland, led a team of the State Executive Committee members to sign an agreement with Bühler AG (“Bühler”), a leading rice-mill producer in the world, for the acquisition of 32 tons per hour rice mill.
The Governor, who spoke shortly after the signing ceremony, said the development was in furtherance of his vision of enhancing food security and creating employment in the State.
It is estimated that the partnership would facilitate the creation of about 200,000 jobs across the agriculture value chain, while it would also bring about the cultivation of 32,000 hectares of farm land to produce rice paddy, equating to an estimated 130 million Kg of processed rice per year (an equivalent of 2.6milion 50kg bags of rice).
Speaking further, Governor Ambode said the landmark event also provided the platform for the State to partner with other South West States in consonance with the region’s resolve towards achieving economic integration.
The Governor emphasised that the partnership with Buhler was in sync with his administration’s economic agenda of diversification of the nation’s economy and conservation of foreign currency reserve.
“The state of the art rice mill will be sited in Imota, Ikorodu and it requires 32,000 hectares of land for cultivation of rice paddy. This investment is expected to create thousands of jobs in rice value chain. In addition to the current arrangement with Kebbi State, Lagos would go into partnership with neighboring states, to ensure sustainable inputs for the mill and foster regional economic integration,” Governor Ambode said.
According to the agreement, the partnership with Buhler covers supplies and installation of the rice mill, including silos. It also covers maintenance and technical support as well as technical training of Nigerians in the ever growing sub-sector of the Nigerian economy.
The rice mill will be the single largest mill of its kind in Nigeria and is expected to be delivered within 12 months.
Aside Governor Ambode, other members of the State’s delegation included the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Akinyemi Ashade; Special Adviser to the Governor on Overseas Affairs & Investment, Professor Ademola Abass; Commissioner for Agriculture, Hon Suarau Oluwatoyin; and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya.
Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021
Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.
The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.
Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.
Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.
Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.
Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.
Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.
Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.
Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.
Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs
Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.
The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.
Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.
“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”
Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.
The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.
All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.
PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations
The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.
Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.
According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.
Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.
The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.
“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.
The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.
The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.
Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.
PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.
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