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Farmers to Pay 5% Interest on Loans – Emefiele

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  • Farmers to Pay 5% Interest on Loans – Emefiele

The Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele, has said that the Federal Government will provide cheap funds to farmers at five per cent interest rate to procure agricultural equipment so as to enhance food production.

He said this on Thursday at the launch of Ogun State’s produced MITROS rice at the agro services corporation headquarters, Asero, Abeokuta.

The CBN governor said the launching of the locally-produced Ofada and parboiled rice varieties was a pointer to the fact that the state government had keyed into the Federal Government’s agricultural revolution programme.

Emefiele, who revealed that he was part of the Presidential Task Force on Agricultural Commodities and Production (rice and wheat), that visited Ogun State about 12 months ago, said Governor Ibikunle Amosun did promise the team that it would soon return to launch the state’s own locally-produced rice.

He noted that he was happy that the governor “walked his talk,” arguing that the CBN would continue to support efforts aimed at growing the economy and providing employment.

Emefiele called on smallholder farmers to also embrace rice, cassava and other food commodities’ cultivation, stating that the next phase would be the processing.

He said, “During that visit, the governor took us round the three senatorial districts. We saw the fish ponds, we saw the poultries and we saw some rice farms. But he promised that in no distance time, he’s going to invite us and I am happy to be here today to witness this giant stride demonstrated by the rice pyramid that’s right here.

“Ogun State continues to demonstrate the urge to support the focus of the government to create jobs and to grow the economy. A country that doesn’t take agriculture seriously is naturally an unserious country.

“We are going to be looking at providing cheap funding at no more than five per cent for those who are going to be assessing facilities to acquire agric equipment like threshers, harvesters, or those who will be going into fish farming, or those who will be going into feed mills.”

The Kebbi State Governor, Abubakar Bagudu, who is the Chairman, Presidential Task Force on Commodities and Agricultural Production, said Nigeria was capable of producing 50 million tonnes of rice per annum.

According to him, all the 36 states in the country have the capability to produce rice.

Bagudu stated, “All the 36 states of Nigeria have the capability of producing rice, of course, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“With rice, I believe we can achieve what we have achieved even with a commodity like crude oil. Because around the world, about 600 million metric tonnes of rice is produced every year, and in Nigeria, we are still producing a little less than 10 million.

“Our land size estimated by the Rice Farmers Association indicated that there are about 12 million rice farmers. This suggests that even if an average yield per farmer is the modest five tonnes, we should be producing 50 million tonnes, not under 10 million tonnes that we are currently producing.”

Amosun said the Ofada rice was produced, processed and packaged in the state.

The governor, who announced that a 50kg would sell for N11,500, said the MITROS brand of rice would be available in markets and departmental stores.

Amosun added that his government would continue to partner other state governments and private partners, as the state would not only be known as an industrial hub of the country, but also the agricultural hub.

He stated that steps were being taken to restore the cultural heritage the state was known for in the production of the famous Ofada rice.

“We have established three processing mills in each senatorial district of the state in Sawonjo, Ogun West; Asero, Ogun Central; and Ijebu North East in Ogun East, to ensure easy access to processing mills by our local farmers towards promoting quality assurance of the product,” he added.

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.

Banking Sector

COVID-19: CBN Extends Loan Repayment by Another One Year

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Central Bank Extends One-Year Moratorium by 12 Months

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has extended the repayment of its discounted interest rate on intervention facility by another one-year following the expiration of the first 12 months moratorium approved on March 1, 2020.

The apex bank stated in a circular titled ‘Re: Regulatory forbearance for the restructuring of credit facilities of other financial institutions impacted by COVID-19’ and released on Wednesday to all financial institutions.

In the circular signed by Kelvin Amugo, the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, the apex bank said the role-over of the moratorium on the facilities would be considered on a case by case basis.

The circular read, “The Central Bank of Nigeria reduced the interest rates on the CBN intervention facilities from nine per cent to five per cent per annum for one year effective March 1, 2020, as part of measures to mitigate the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic on the Nigerian economy.

“Credit facilities, availed through participating banks and OFIs, were also granted a one-year moratorium on all principal payments with effect from March 1, 2020.

“Following the expiration of the above timelines, the CBN hereby approves as follows:

“The extension by another 12 months to February 28, 2022 of the discounted interest rate for the CBN intervention facilities.

“The role-over of the moratorium on the above facilities shall be considered on a case by case basis.”

It would be recalled that the apex bank reduced the interest rate on its intervention facility from nine percent to five percent and approved a 12-month moratorium in March 2020 to ease the negative impact of COVID-19 on businesses.

To further deepen economic recovery and stimulate growth, the apex bank has extended the one year-moratorium until February 28, 2022.

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Finance

MTN Nigeria Generates N1.35 Trillion in Revenue in 2020

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MTN Nigeria Grows Revenue by 15.1 Percent from N1.169 Trillion in 2019 to N1.35 Trillion in 2020

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic and challenging business environment, MTN Nigeria realised N1.346 trillion in revenue in the financial year ended December 31, 2020.

The leading telecommunications giant grew revenue by 15.1 percent from N1.169 trillion posted in the same period of 2019.

Operating profit surprisingly jumped by 8.5 percent from N393.225 billion in 2019 to N426.713 billion in 2020.

This, the telecom giant attributed to the surge in finance costs due to increased borrowings from N413 billion in 2019 to N521 billion in 2020.

MTN Nigeria further stated that the increase in finance costs was the reason for the decline in growth of profit before tax to 2.6 percent.

MTN Nigeria grew profit before tax by 2.6 percent to N298.874 billion, up from N291.277 billion filed in the corresponding period of 2019.

The company posted N205.214 billion profit for the year, a 0.9 percent increase from N203.283 billion recorded in the 2019 financial year.

Share capital remained unchanged at N407 million. While Total equity increased by 22.3 percent from N145.857 billion in 2019 to N178.386 billion in 2020.

MTN Nigeria’s market price per share increased by 61.8 percent from N105 to N169.90.

While market capitalisation as at year-end also expanded by 61.8 percent to N3.458 trillion, up from N2.137 trillion.

The number of shares issued and fully paid as at year-end stood at 20.354 million.

MTN Nigeria margins were affected by Naira devaluations and capital expenditure due to the new 4G network coverage roll-out.

Margins were adversely affected by the effect of naira devaluation and expenses associated with new sites’ roll-out to boost 4G network coverage in FY’20.

“On the former, we note that MTNN expanded the scope of its service agreement with IHS Holding Limited and changed the reference rate for converting USD tower expenses to NAFEX (vs CBN’s official rate previously). Thus, over the full-year period, the company’s operating margin contracted by 1.9 ppts YoY to 31.7%,” CardinalStone stated in its latest report.

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Finance

Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

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Nestle Nigeria Approves Final Dividend of N35.50k per 50 Kobo Ordinary Share for 2020

Nestle Nigeria, a leading food and beverage company, has declared a final dividend of N35.50k per 50 kobo ordinary share for the year ended December 31, 2020.

The beverage company said N24.50k of the amount declared was from the after-tax profit of 2020 and N5 and N6 were from the after-tax retained earnings of the years ended December 2019 and 2018, respectively.

Nestle Nigeria stated that the amount declared is subject to appropriate withholding tax and approval at the Annual General Meeting of shareholders.

It also noted that payment will be made only to shareholders whose names appear in the Register of Members as at the close of business on 21 May 2021.

Dividends will be paid electronically to shareholders whose names appear on the Register of Members as at 21 May 2021, and who have completed the e-dividend registration and mandated the Registrar to pay their dividends directly into their Bank accounts.

Shareholders who are yet to complete the e-dividend registration are advised to download the Registrar’s E-Dividend Mandate Activation Form, which is also available on their website: www.gtlregistrars.com, complete and submit to the Registrar or their respective Banks.

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