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Infrastructure, Quality Control Threaten Nigeria’s Yam Export Drive

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  • Infrastructure, Quality Control Threaten Nigeria’s Yam Export Drive

Nigeria’s ambition to be a yam exporting country may be threatened by poor infrastructure and quality control, our correspondent has learnt.

Yam does not feature among the list of major traded agricultural products for 2018, or the previous years.

An attempt to export 72 tonnes of yams from Nigeria to Europe and the United States of America in June 2017 failed as the produce arrived their destination in a bad shape, leading to their rejection.

But the country is set to take another leap into the yam export space.

The Technical Committee on Nigeria’s Yam Export Programme said it had concluded plans to export yams this quarter.

Chairman of the committee, Prof Simon Irtwange, said the country would take possession of the Ikorodu terminal to facilitate the yam exports.

According to him, the terminal has been officially designated as a base for the exportation of yam and other agricultural produce.

“This means that all vehicles and trucks carrying yams for export will head towards the Ikorodu terminal, instead of the Apapa Ports.

“At least, it will go a long way in helping the vehicles to avoid the Apapa gridlocks, save the time the produce gets to the ships and reduce the number of wastages through spoilage; the News Agency of Nigeria, quoted him as saying on Thursday.

He added, “With reduced time and spoilage, farmers will be encouraged to bring in more produce for export.”

But a senior economic analyst and a director at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Dr Vincent Nwani, dismissed the ambition, saying that Nigeria was not ready to export yam or any agricultural produce.

He said, “I am not sure Nigeria is ready for yam or agricultural exports. We need to go back to the drawing board.

“Yam is perishable. We don’t have the right storage facility in our ports to keep the produce while waiting for the ship to load. And it takes three months or so for the yams to get to Europe.

“The soil that we plant the yam in Nigeria, is it treated, for the yam to be accepted where it is going?

He said the specie of the yam, the quality control and logistics around the nation seaports were also issues to be put into consideration.

He added, “Another thing is export processing. Nigeria does not have an export processing structure. That is why it takes 33 signatures and 23 agencies to get exports out. It is easier to import than export.

“We need to start asking the countries we want to export to what type of yam they need, what type of soil they want us to plant the yam and how they want us to harvest and store them.

“Until these questions are answered affirmatively, anybody talking about yam export may likely get hurt.”

Asked if exporting through Ikorodu port would present some advantages, Nwani replied that Ikorodu port was a Roll-on/roll-off port.

He said, “Ikorodu port is not a deep seaport. It cannot take vessels. It is just a transit port. Even if you are pushing the export through Ikorodu port, you still have to get to Apapa before you can export, and if you don’t solve the problem of Apapa, Ikorodu port cannot function.

A haulage and transportation firm owner and the Chief Executive Officer, Starlink Global and Ideal Limited, Adeyemi Adeniji, also emphasised the importance of quality control and efficient port system.

He maintained that there must perfect logistics at the port to make export seamless, while there must be quality assurance.

He said that the transit period of the yams was also important.

Yam has been found to generate a lot of revenue for Ghana which currently accounts for 94 per cent of the total yam exports in West Africa, covering markets in the USA, Canada, UK and Europe.

Between 2005 and 2010, yam production in Ghana contributed about 16 per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

The Director-General, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria, Mr Osita Aboloma, said due to the global acceptance of yams from Ghana, Nigerian yams are usually relabelled Ghana yams and exported to the US from Ghana.

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.

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Siemens Energy Nigeria Appoints Seun Suleiman as Managing Director

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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

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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

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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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