- Economists Advise FG on Unemployment
The Nigerian Economic Society has called on the Federal Government to optimise the agriculture value chain in order to reduce the level of unemployment in the country.
The President, NES, Prof Tamunopriye Agiobenebo, said this during an interview with journalists in Abuja.
He said that the inability of the county to add value to its agricultural produce was a major cause for concern, noting that the society would be holding a conference on solutions to the challenges facing the sector.
Agiobenebo said the conference with the theme “Optimising value chain in the agricultural sector in Nigeria” would be held in partnership with the African Development Bank.
He said that if the government could harness the potential of the agricultural sector, the huge level of poverty and unemployment in the country would be reduced.
He said, “This conference is special in a number of ways because the theme is of interest not only to Nigeria but the entire continent.
“We are talking about the value chain in the agric sector because the reality is that the number of demand is growing daily due to demand for food. We are producing food in Nigeria but we are not making the best use of the resources we are deploying to agriculture sector.
“We need to get more value from the resources we are deploying to the agricultural sector. We can get more output if we optimise the value chain. Take cocoa for instance, we are number six in the production of cocoa in the world and produce 468,000 tonnes per annum but we end up importing chocolate.
“We need to have factories that will produce chocolate bars from cocoa and then get more value from that. That is an opportunity to create new jobs, new values. If we have industries, we won’t be talking about 20 million unemployed people.”
He said the conference would enable NES, the African Development Bank and other stakeholders in the agricultural sector to discuss how government policies affect the agric sector.
Other issues to be examined at the conference, according to him, are how the funding system and cost of funding affect the value chain optimisation in the agric sector as well as how governance structure and linkage affect value chain optimisation.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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