- Demand for Local Rice Surges Amid Border Closure
Nigeria’s border closure has started impacting the local market positively, according to a recent report by Nairametrics.
The report revealed that several brands of local rice have flooded local markets as a result of the ongoing border closure.
The difference in the price of local and foreign food items bolstered local patronage as consumers now have options both in quality and price.
A frozen food seller said: “We are witnessing very low patronage and this is attributed to the fact that Nigerians don’t trust the imported frozen chicken anymore. Many of the items now get spoilt as a result of the time spent at the border.”
President Muhammadu Buhari had closed the nation’s land borders in August to curb smuggling.
The closure has now paved way for local patronage as Nigerians are now switching to local food items.
“The latest household survey showed that frozen food sellers are now witnessing low patronage, as Nigerians are increasingly switching to locally bred chicken in the markets. A carton of frozen Turkey is currently sold for N15,000, Chicken lap for N12,000, Orobo Chicken for N14,000, full Chicken – N13,000, and Gizard sells for N15,000,” the report stated.
While some of the traders admitted that the locally produced rice is still not perfect, they agreed that there is an improvement.
“Although the rice is still not perfect, there is a significant improvement, compared to earlier when we had to sort out stones from the rice,” a trader stated.
However, traders called for government intervention as they accused the farmers of increasing the price of local chicken almost every day.
One of the sellers said “traders borrow money from banks to get these commodities and it is not fair if they have to lose part of their profits because of the greedy nature of some poultry owners.”
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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