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Agro Exports Drop by N11.2bn in Three Months



  • Agro Exports Drop by N11.2bn in Three Months

Exports of agricultural goods dropped by N11.2bn in three months from N97.3bn in the fourth quarter of 2018 to N86.1bn in the first quarter of 2019.

This also represents 11.89 per cent decrease, according to data from the National Bureau of Statistics.

During the quarter under review, Nigeria exported N39.6bn worth of broken and unbroken sesame seed, N20.1bn good fermented cocoa beans, N9.8bn superior quality raw cocoa beans, N4.3bn cashew nuts in shell, N2.4bn frozen shrimps and prawns, N1.4bn other raw cocoa beans, N1.4bn ginger, N1.2bn natural cocoa butter and shelled cashew nuts worth N1.1bn.

Others are; Agro food items worth N922.6m, ginger (neither ground nor crushed) N550.3m, other cut fresh, dried and dyed flowers & flower buds used for ornamental purposes N513.2m, sesame seed and its fractions, N404.3m, other plants and parts of plants used in perfumery N321.6m, other butter of cocoa and deodorised cocoa N279.3m, Nigerian cotton lint, N210.6m, and Corsia Tora N179.6m.

Comparative analysis of the data showed that Nigeria exported N33.9bn worth of broken and unbroken sesame seed in Q4 2018, which was N5.7bn less than the volume exported in Q1 2019, N24.5bn worth of fermented cocoa beans, representing an increase of N4.4bn over the volume exported in Q1, N9.6bn superior quality raw cocoa beans, representing a decrease of N200m over the volume exported in Q1 2019.

The country also exported N5.8bn cashew nuts in shell, which was N1.5bn more than the value exported in Q1 2019, N4bn sesame oil and its fractions, indicating N3.6bn more than the value exported in Q1 2019.

Other exports in the last quarter of 2018 include; N5.4bn other quality raw cocoa beans, N3.7bn other shrimps and prawns, N1.7bn cashew nuts in shell, N1.3bn other coconuts, fresh or dried, whether or not shelled or peeled, N1.3bn other butter of cocoa and deodorised cocoa, N1.2bn other cut flowers & flower buds of kind suitable ornamental purposes fresh, dried, dyed, N983m agro food, N653m natural cocoa butter, N541m other fresh fruits, N461.2m other non frozen flours, meals and pellets of crustaceans, fit for human consumption, N307m cocoa beans, and N302.5m mixtures.

Conversely, imported agricultural products were 7.98 per cent higher in value in Q1 than Q4 2018, and 28.1 per cent higher than in Q1, 2018.

In the past few years, the agricultural sector has progressively taken a hit from the difficulty in getting goods to the ports on time.

Agricultural products spend weeks and sometimes months getting to the port because of the gridlock at Apapa port.

When the goods eventually get to their destination, they are returned because they are no longer fresh.

Another factor is scarcity and high cost of export crops arising from the insecurity in certain parts of the country.

“The insecurity arising from herdsmen attacks on farms and farmers has kept people away from the farms and this has already started taking a toll on food production in the major food baskets of the nation,” the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said.

The Registrar, Chattered Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers, Mr Adeshina Adenuga, blamed the drop on the reluctance of the country to wean itself off oil exports.

He said by the time attention was paid to non-oil export and resources and efforts were invested in preparing for it, the agro exports would increase.

Speaking on the sideline of the investiture of the third President of the Institute of Export and Commodity Brokers in Lagos on Thursday, he said, “Training of exporters is important in the growth of the non-oil export sector.

“People need to be trained on packaging and other tricks of export. That is what the institute specialises in.”

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.


Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End



In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.

This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.

Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.

Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”

“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.

Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.

The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.

Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.

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Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria




Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.

Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.

He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.

“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.

“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”

According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.

He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.

“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”

The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.

“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”

He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.

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Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO



Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.

Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.

She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.

In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.

Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.

In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.

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