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LCCI, Farmers, Others Worry Over Agric Growth Decline



  • LCCI, Farmers, Others Worry Over Agric Growth Decline

Stakeholders in the real sector including the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, agriculture commodities association and farmers have expressed dismay over the decline in the growth of agriculture in the first quarter of 2018.

In its Gross Domestic Product report for first quarter of 2018, the National Bureau of statistics disclosed that the sector grew by 5.80 per cent year-on-year in nominal terms, showing a decline of 4.01 percentage points and 4.33 percentage points from the first quarter 2017 and the fourth quarter 2017, respectively.

Four subsectors make up the agricultural sector; and they are crop production, livestock, forestry and fishery.

Crop production is expectedly the major driver of the sector, which the NBS said accounted for 85.28 per cent of overall nominal growth of the agricultural sector.

In the first quarter of 2018, agriculture contributed 17.42 per cent to the nominal GDP. This figure is lower than the rates recorded in the first quarter of 2017 and the fourth quarter of 2017 at 18 per cent and 21.93 per cent, respectively.

The NBS said the non-oil sector as a whole grew by 0.76 per cent in real terms during the review quarter. This is higher by 0.04 per cent compared to the rate recorded same quarter of 2017 and 0.70 per cent lower than the fourth quarter of 2017.

In addition to agriculture (crop production), other drivers of the non-oil sector growth were financial institutions and insurance, manufacturing, transportation and storage and information and communication.

“In real terms, the non-oil sector contributed 90.39 per cent to the nation’s GDP, lower than 91.47 per cent recorded in the first quarter of 2017 and 92.65 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2017,” the bureau stated.

The Director-General, LCCI, Mr Muda Yusuf, attributed the declining growth in the agricultural sector to the impact of herdsmen and farmers clashes among other factors.

The Statistician-General of the Federation, Yemi Kale, in his recent interview agreed that the clashes in various parts of the country had affected food production and the growth of agriculture.

“Obviously, if people cannot go to the farms, it is going to be a problem,” he said, adding, “Agriculture is not just crops; cattle rearing is also part of agriculture; so the back and forth are affecting both crop production and livestock. And agriculture is the biggest part of our GDP and that is slowing down the economy.”

The National President, Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association, Mr Victor Iyama, told our correspondent that the farmers and herdsmen crisis affected operators in a very bad way, adding, “People are afraid to go to the farms.”

According to him, in addition to this, paucity of funds is a major challenge as farmers cannot have access to single-digit-interest loans.

Although the Central Bank of Nigeria had introduced the Anchor Borrowers Programme to grow the agricultural sector, stakeholders pointed out that the programme only took care of the rice sector, stressing that agriculture was not only about rice.

Iyama said it was the hope of operators that the Bank of Agriculture would receive funding soon.

While speaking during a two-day summit titled ‘Feeding Futures Africa’, the President, Farm and Infrastructure Foundation, Prof. Gbolagade Ayoola, stressed that the policy environment had to be right for the sector to thrive.

He said if private investment in agriculture was to be encouraged, the government had to put the right policies in place to make that happen.

He said that over the years, there had been absence of a legal framework supporting food security the way it was done in advanced countries.

“Nigerian government must articulate their policies to show their respect to the people’s right to food,” he said.

The President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, expressed worry over the impact of the declining growth of agriculture on food inflation.

During his review of the state of the economy in August 2, Ruwase said food inflation was of a great concern to stakeholders.

Citing data from the NBS which put food inflation at 12.98 per cent in June against core inflation of 10.39 per cent and headline inflation of 11.23 per cent, Ruwase warned that the planned imposition of excise duty on soap and other basic consumables by the Nigeria Customs Service might aggravate the poverty condition in the country.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.


Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director




Seun Suleiman is the New Managing Director of Siemens Energy Nigeria

Mr. Seun Suleiman is the new managing director of Siemens Energy Nigeria, the company announced on Wednesday.

According to the statement released by the energy company, Suleiman will be responsible for the entire management of operations and decisions on business policies and corporate strategy.

Commenting on his appointment, Suleiman said, “It is an absolute honor to lead the business for Siemens Energy Nigeria and I look forward to delivering on the brand’s promise of excellence.

Suleiman joined Siemens Energy in 2014, bringing over 15 years’ experience and deep expertise in the private sector across Europe and West Africa.

The statement said, “He is an accomplished business strategist and success-driven leader with strong business acumen. Suleiman has also been a core member of the executive management team at Siemens Energy serving in roles as Sales Director West Africa – Service Distributed Generation Oil & Gas and Vice President Service & Digital.

“Prior to this, he also held various functional and managerial positions with ABB Ltd UK, ABBNG Nigeria, Schneider Electric Nigeria and Dresser-Rand Nigeria Ltd.

It added that Suleiman was experienced in establishing operational excellence with specific competence in the power, oil and gas sectors.

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FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations




FG Reopens Osubi Airport Warri for Daylight Operations

The Federal Government on Monday said the Osubi Airport in Warri has been reopened for daylight operations.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, disclosed this in a tweet.

The airport was closed in February 2020 over mismanagement and debt allegation involving aviation service providers and airport management.

However, Oberuakpefe Afe, a lawmaker representing Okpe/Sapeie/vaie federal constituency, recently moved a motion for the Federal Government through the ministry of aviation and relevant authorities to reopen the airport for flight operations.

On Monday, Hadi Siriki said “I have just approved the reopening of Osubi Airport Warri, for daylight operations in VFR conditions, subject to all procedures, practices and protocols, including COVID-19, strictly being observed. There will not be need for local approvals henceforth.

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Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm




Nigerian Brand, JR Farms Acquires 11% Stake in Rwandan Firm

JR Firms, an agribusiness firm with headquarters in Nigeria, has announced partnership with Sanit Wing Rwanda through the acquisition of 11 per cent stake in the company.

The CEO of the company, Mr Rotimi Olawale, explained in a statement that the partnership was in furtherance of its goals to ensure food security, create decent jobs and raise the next generation of agrarian leaders in Africa.

The stake was acquired through Green Agribusiness Fund, an initiative of JR Farms designed to invest in youth-led agribusinesses across Africa.

Sanit Wing Rwanda is an agro-processing company that processes avocado oil and cosmetics that are natural, quality, affordable, reliable and viable.

The vision of the company is to become the leading producers of best quality avocado and avocado by-products in Africa by creating value across the avocado value chain.

With focus on bringing together over 20,000 professional Avocado farmers on board and planting of three million avocado trees by 2025 through contract farming, the company currently works with One Acre Fund in supply of avocado to its processing facility.

The products of the company which include avocado oil, skin care (SANTAVO), hair cream and soap are being sold locally and exported to regional market in Kenya.

With the new partnership with JR Farms- the products of the company will enjoy more access to markets focusing on Africa and the European Union by leveraging on partnerships and trade windows available.

Aside funding, the partnership comes with project support in areas of market exposure, capacity building, exposure and other thematic support to grow the business over the next four years.

JR Farms has agribusiness operations in Nigeria, Rwanda, United States and Zambia respectively.

In Nigeria, the company deals in cassava value chain processing cassava to national staple “garri” which is consumed by over 80 million Nigerians on daily basis, while in Rwanda, it works in the coffee value chain with over 4,000 coffee farmers spread across the East Central African country.

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