Agvest Limited, a player in the agricultural value chain in Nigeria, has been screened by the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange for the listing of its N5bn cashew nut contract by diversified financial instruments.
Under the proposed listing, financial instruments worth N1.5bn with cashew nut as the underline assets would be offered to investing public through commercial papers and short-term exchange-traded notes.
The Managing Director, Agvest, Mr. Olabode Abikoye, while addressing journalists on Tuesday, explained that proceeds of the offer would enable the company to get both its plantation and factory up and running in West Africa at the first instance.
According to him, Agvest will commence with cashew aggregation on the spot market, issue exchange-traded notes in the medium term and add value.
He said, “Our decision to list cashew nut contracts on the Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange is to enable private investors to enjoy the benefits of quotation. We shall by this approach support the government’s drive to generate foreign exchange. We have 210 hectares of land as a plantation in Iwo, Oyo State and we are working closely with Oyo State Investment and Public Partnership Agency to activate our plan.
“As a listed product, our cashew shall always meet international standard as prescribed by the International Standard Organization, which requires good temperature, moisture level and grade. Many stakeholders in the commodities value chain in Nigeria operate in silos. One of our company’s functions is to integrate the stakeholders in the value chain.”
The Managing Director, Lagos Commodities and Futures Exchange, Mr. Akin Akeredolu-Ale, said Nigeria could earn robust income from cashew nut.
He said, “Nigerian cashew sector is dominated by smallholder farmers. numbered at about 25,000 and some commercial plantations, with an average cultivated area of 325,000 hectares, the local processing industry is growing gradually while there is a significant rise in export due to increased awareness of the export potential and processing opportunities. Other actors in the ecosystems include local buying agents, processors, exporters, and service providers.
“The challenges around the production and processing of cashew in Nigeria mainly center around the primary production of cashew from aged trees. Thanks to scientific research, there has been a substantial improvement in seed varieties that have introduced improved varieties which present primary production efforts need to take advantage of the meet the improved quality requirements of the international market.”
Kenya Receives $750 Million Loan from World Bank to Boost Economic Recovery
Kenya has received a $750 million loan from the World Bank to support its budget and help the East African economy recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the multilateral lender said on Friday.
The Kenyan government has been pushing hard to secure foreign funding to fill a wide budget deficit before its financial year closes at the end of this month.
The $750 million disbursement is part of World Bank’s Development Policy Operations (DPO), which lends cash for budget support instead of financing specific projects.
The bank said some of the funds would go towards setting up an electronic procurement system for government goods and services to improve transparency.
The World Bank said the concessional loan will have a 3.1% annual interest rate. Typically, World Bank loans have zero or very low interest rates and have repayment periods of 25 to 40 years, with a five- or 10-year grace period.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Ukur Yatani presented to parliament the 2021/22 budget, with a deficit of 7.5% of gross domestic product, reduced from 8.7% for the current fiscal year ending this month.
The finance ministry forecasts a economic growth of 6.6% this year, recovering from 0.6% in 2020 when sectors like tourism and related services collapsed due to restrictions imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.
The World Bank forecasts Kenya’s economy will grow 4.5% this year, and 4.7% in 2022.
President Uhuru Kenyatta, who took the helm in 2013, has overseen a jump in public borrowing. Total debt stands at 70% of GDP, up from about 45% when he took over – a surge that some politicians and economists say is saddling future generations with too much debt.
The government has defended the increased borrowing, saying the country must invest in its infrastructure, including roads and railways.
FG Spends N612.7 Billion on Domestic Debt Servicing in Q1 2021
The latest report from the Debt Management Office (DMO) has revealed that the Federal Government spent a total sum of N612.71 billion on domestic debt servicing in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021.
In the report released on Wednesday, the DMO said the Federal Government paid holders of mature Nigerian Treasury Bills (NTB) N17.23 billion in January, N12.3 billion in February and N5.49 billion in March 2021. Indicating that the Federal Government paid a combined sum of N35.03 billion to NTB holders in Q1 2021.
Similarly, the Federal Government paid N537.783 billion to holders of Federal Government of Nigeria bonds in three instalments of N201.95 billion in January, N79.26 billion in February and N256.58 billion in March 2021.
The Federal Government also paid N308.38 million in three tranches to subscribers of mature FGN Savings Bond. FG paid N111.65 million in January, N97.074 million in February and N99.65 million in March 2021.
Another N8.16 billion was used to settle FGN Sukuk Rentals in March 2021. No payment was made in January and February 2021.
The Federal Government released N31.44 billion as principal repayment “in respect of promissory notes during the quarter under review.
A monthly breakdown revealed that a total sum of N219.29 billion was released to service domestic debts in January, N123.09 billion in February and N270.33 billion in March. Therefore, bringing the total amount spent on domestic debt servicing in the first quarter of 2021 to N612.71 billion.
Nigeria’s total debt rose to N33.1 trillion in the first quarter of 2021, according to the report released by the DMO.
Togo, Niger, Others to Acquire Nigeria’s Idle Electricity
Four West African nations are collaborating to acquire unutilised power produced in Nigeria, stated Sule Abdulaziz, the Chairman of the Executive Board of the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
Abdulaziz, who doubled as the acting Managing Director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria, listed the four West African nations as Niger, Togo, Benin and Burkina Faso.
He said the nations were collaborating to make the purchase via the Northcore Power Transmission Line presently under construction.
Abdulaziz disclosed this at the WAPP meeting held on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said, “The power we will be selling is the power that is not needed in Nigeria.
“The electricity generators that are going to supply power to this transmission line are going to generate that power specifically for this project. So, it is unutilised power.”
The WAPP chairman said the country was expecting new generators to take part in the energy export for the 875km 330KV Northcore transmission line from Nigeria through Niger, Togo, Benin to Burkina Faso.
Abdulaziz said, “In addition, there are some communities that are under the line route, about 611 of them, which will be getting power so that there won’t be just a transmission line passing without impact.”
He further stated that the project, financed by the World Bank, French Development Council and the African Development Bank, had recorded progress, saying that the energy ministers would be addressing security issues for the project at another meeting in Abuja.
He added that “Nigeria has the greatest advantage among these countries because the electricity is going to be exported from Nigerian Gencos (generation companies).”
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