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FG Seeks Farmers’ Support to Reduce Local Rice Price



  • FG Seeks Farmers’ Support to Reduce Local Rice Price

The Federal Government on Thursday called for the support of farmers to make the price of local rice more affordable for Nigerians.

The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, said this during a meeting with rice farmers, millers and processors.

Ogbeh told stakeholders at the meeting that the need to crash the price of rice became imperative following the persistent increase in the price of the producr, especially during the Christmas period.

He said the government understood many of the challenges being experienced by rice farmers, adding that adequate measures were currently being put in place to address many of these concerns.

He stated, “We have been discussing the modalities to put in place to make sure that local rice sells much cheaper and that the prices can fall to the levels of foreign rice and eventually, below the levels of foreign rice.

“Every country in the world supports agriculture, whether they call it subsidy or support, it is exactly the same thing. We are happy that the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) has agreed to bring down interest rates on agric and manufacturing loans to one digit.

“We applaud that decision but at the level of FMARD (Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development) and BoA (Bank of Agriculture), we have set up a fund, which we intend to manage to support both the farmers, millers and marketers to bring down the price of rice, because we are concerned about the cost of rice for the Nigerian family.

“We want our people to feed well and feed cheaply, but these things have to be managed carefully because we are dealing with public funds.”

Ogbeh stated that in the next two weeks, the government would be organising rice fair in Lagos, Abuja, Enugu, Port Harcourt and two other cities to showcase the achievements of Nigeria in rice production.

He added, “There are those who do not believe that Nigerian rice exists, but we know it does and we are very proud of the millers for their tenacity, investments and the pains they have gone through in the last few years in trying to respond to a national call.

“We cannot say enough about RIFAN (Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria), we are very proud of you because there are those who didn’t believe it could happen; so, we thank all of you.

“A nation does not thrive on an import bill of food of $22bn a year. We just can’t manage it and I want this message to reach those who keep thinking that importation is the answer; we don’t have the money.

“In two weeks’ time when we meet with the BoA and the millers, we will put in place a strategy to support rice milling so we can see what we can do for lower prices at Christmas.”

While acknowledging the fact that floods had damaged rice fields, he said the government had taken into account the suggestions made by farmers that it should look for varieties of rice that were flood tolerant.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq,, 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



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



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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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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