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Nigeria Must Export to Survive

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Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers
  • Nigeria Must Export to Survive

The president of Federation of Agriculture Commodities of Nigeria (FACAN), Victor Iyama, in this interview with Bukola Aroloye talk about the plight of farmers, his view on recapitalisation of Bank of Agriculture and what government should do in the sector.

What is your view about the recapitalisation of Bank of Agriculture; how effective has it been?

They are still in the process and by the time they finish the reconstruction of the board and the recapitalisation it will surely benefit the stakeholders. They just constituted an interim board and we can’t start assessing them.

How are the farmers been able to access money?

Farmers generally still have problems with access to fund and you know that all the intervention which would bring the interest quickly is not easy to access except of those who are sometimes lucky to be involved in contract farming. Before then, they were providing collaterals and all that to the principal. The issue of access to funding is still a problem. How many people can do anything meaningful without fund, even with prohibitive high interest regime? As far as I am concerned, I strongly believe until CBN starts changing policy in this country where the MRRA take over around 14.5% and where the central bank is selling treasury bill at about 18.5% to twenty percent, how can people have access to fund to do anything meaningful? Because if I were bank myself why should I give out money even at 28%, take all the risk when I can easily jump into CBN in the name of treasury bill and be earning 18.5% to 20%? We are not encouraging anything in this country. They are quick to compare with China and Japan. In all these places, what is MRRA in Japan? What is MRRA in China? Look at all those countries and yet they will be talking of farming, small scale industry, even industrialisation. Take Nigeria back to the early 70s when we really had industrial growth, when we had Bata, Lennnard, and Dunlop when most of these were agric -based industry. Where are they today? But then MRRA in Nigeria is about 2% to 2.5% and lending rate about 7.5%, so take Nigeria back to those days and what it is now. No infrastructure.

What are the things your federation is doing to make government and farmers get the policy of exporting foods outside, especially yams? Isn’t government going to be the sole beneficiary of the gains?

Well, export generally is of benefit to everybody both individual and government. Even the countries we are on the same level are doing far better in export than us which would not have been so if they had followed what we have been preaching for years. But today, we are talking of oil. I remember in 2004, 2005, I made a representation telling them that it was time to develop the non oil sector especially agriculture, especially when we had excess crude money that they were flushing away. We suggested to them that they should put it back into agriculture. If they had done that, by now we would have become the next exporter of rice, fruits and vegetables.

People have been shouting about yam and we are still the largest producer of yams in the world, but we could have multiplied our production by now. We must export to survive, because if we give oil five years or 10years it would be consequential. Land would never finish, especially our fertile land in Nigeria, as far as I am concerned, some people are saying how can we be exporting yam? More people will come into the business. As long as we have good infrastructure and all that to back it up. People keep talking, youths are not ready. Youths are now ready for farming because they now know there are no jobs. We have been preaching to them youth are ready, but they cannot do things like cocoa for now because it takes long time to grow, but crops like sweet potatoes, rice, beans, sorghum, cassava, vegetables, all these can also be taught in school. I am happy with what is happening in oil and gas now because our government is begin to think and diversify and we need to go back to our real goldmine which.

What more can the government do to get other stakeholders to make Agriculture the cornerstone of our economy?

The government needs to involve the stakeholders in the bank which is a welcome decision and we are waiting for it. We know that before the end of their first tenure, they will ensure everything will be done. I am looking at between now, January, February, we would have seen the bank to have been fully restructured. And that is all we are waiting for because we need a special bank to fund Agriculture. It is the bank the farmers will go to, and know that they can get money for 5%. Because in Japan they can get for 1%, in China they can get for 2% but we are not even looking at that even in some cases in Japan they can even give you at 0%. as long as it is agriculture Government also has to strengthen the insurance scheme in Agriculture too, because we really need it . If the insurance scheme is well strengthened, the farmers will not have to take their great grandfathers’ properties to use for collateral before they can borrow money.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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Goya Foods

“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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IOCs Accused of Blocking Direct Crude Sales to Dangote Refinery

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Dangote Refinery

Dangote Industries Limited (DIL) has accused International Oil Companies (IOCs) of obstructing direct crude oil sales to its refinery and forcing the company to use costly middlemen.

This development comes after a statement by the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) suggested a “willing buyer-willing seller” dynamic was in place as mandated by the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).

Devakumar Edwin, Vice President of DIL, countered NUPRC CEO Gbenga Komolafe’s claims, stating that IOCs consistently make it difficult for local refiners by pushing sales through international trading arms, which inflate prices and bypass Nigerian laws.

“These middlemen earn unjustified margins on crude produced and consumed within Nigeria,” Edwin stated.

He noted that only one local producer, Sapetro, has sold directly to DIL, while others insist on using trading arms abroad.

Edwin detailed the financial impact, citing instances where DIL was charged a $2-$4 premium per barrel above the official price.

In April, DIL paid $96.23 per barrel for Bonga crude, which included significant premiums, compared to a much lower premium for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude.

While acknowledging NUPRC’s support in resolving some supply issues, Edwin urged the regulatory body to revisit pricing policies to ensure fair market practices.

“Market liquidity is essential for fair pricing. We hope NUPRC addresses these issues to prevent price gouging,” he stated.

This dispute highlights ongoing challenges in Nigeria’s oil sector, where domestic refiners struggle to secure local crude amidst complex market dynamics.

The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact the refinery’s operations and broader industry practices.

The situation underscores the need for transparent and efficient crude supply systems to bolster Nigeria’s refining capacity and economic growth.

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Dangote’s $20 Billion Refinery to Begin Petrol Sales Next Month

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Petrol - Investors King

Aliko Dangote announced on Monday that his long-awaited $20 billion refinery complex will commence petrol sales starting next month.

The announcement came during a press briefing held at the refinery site in Lagos, where Aliko Dangote, Africa’s richest man, detailed the project’s progress and future plans.

“We are proud to announce that the Dangote Refinery will begin selling petrol from August,” Dangote stated confidently.

“This milestone marks the culmination of years of meticulous planning, construction, and overcoming numerous challenges.”

Dangote’s refinery, touted as the largest single-train refinery in the world, is designed to process 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day once fully operational.

The facility aims to not only meet Nigeria’s domestic demand for refined petroleum products but also contribute significantly to export markets across West Africa.

“We have entered the steady-state production phase earlier this year, and now we are ready to begin commercial sales,” Dangote explained. “Initially, we will focus on petrol production, with plans to expand our product range as we ramp up to full capacity.”

The refinery’s launch is expected to alleviate Nigeria’s longstanding dependence on imported refined products, thereby boosting the country’s energy security and reducing foreign exchange outflows associated with fuel imports.

Beyond petrol sales, Dangote revealed ambitious plans to list both the refinery and its associated fertilizer plant on the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) by the first quarter of 2025.

This move aims to attract broader investor participation and unlock additional value for shareholders.

“We are committed to transparency and accountability in our operations,” Dangote emphasized. “Listing these subsidiaries on the NGX will not only strengthen our corporate governance framework but also enhance the refinery’s financial sustainability.”

Challenges and Future Prospects

Despite celebrating the imminent commencement of petrol sales, Dangote acknowledged challenges encountered during the project’s execution, including delays in securing land for a petrochemical facility in Ogun State, which incurred substantial costs.

“We faced bureaucratic hurdles that resulted in significant delays and financial losses,” Dangote lamented. “Nevertheless, we remain steadfast in our commitment to advancing Nigeria’s industrial capabilities and contributing to economic growth.”

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