The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Niyi Adebayo has announced plans by the Federal Government to collaborate with investors to implement backward integration programme across key selected priority products.
These products include, palm oil, sugar, cassava starch, cotton textiles and garments.
Adebayo disclosed this on Thursday, during his address at the second Andersen Africa-Europe Bridge Conference held virtually, a statement issued by his spokesperson, Ifedayo Sayo said.
The statement was titled ‘Nigeria’s Economic Diversification Agenda achieving positive results – Adebayo’.
It read, “He announced the implementation of the ministry’s backward integration programme across key selected priority products, namely palm oil, sugar, cassava starch, cotton textiles and garments, saying the government was prepared to collaborate with investors to achieve its mandate.
“For palm oil, Adebayo said there was a domestic market opportunity of about $1bn which potential investors could take advantage of.”
On cassava starch, he said while Nigeria remained the largest producer in the world, the ninister said a significant domestic supply gap existed with more than 95 per cent of cassava starch still being imported.
He said the government focus was on bringing in large scale investors to bridge the gap and increase production of cassava starch.
Speaking on cotton, the minister told the gathering that the government strategy was to leverage on the special economic zones for garment production for both local market and export.
He declared that the government was committed to the establishment of special agro-processing zones across the country so as to reduce post-harvest losses, increase value addition to farmers and enhance rural employment.
Adebayo said the government was partnering with the African Development Bank to achieve its goals in this regard, adding that the ministry would be willing to collaborate with potential partners in different areas of this project.
He said, “Similarly, we aim to build at least one agro-processing facility in each of the country’s 109 senatorial district by leveraging available government funding and exploring innovative financing methods such as public-private-partnership and grants.
“Nigeria’s agribusiness sector is full of opportunities across multiple value chains, especially in the area of processing.
“The outlook report from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation states that the sector will undergo robust growth projected to rise 30 per cent between 2018 and 2028.”
Adebayo also declared that the Federal Government’s diversification agenda was achieving positive results with the recent growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product largely driven by the non-oil sectors.
He added that despite the view that Nigeria’s economy has historically been driven by oil, recent growth has been driven primarily by the non-oil sectors.
He said, “Despite the view that Nigeria’s economy has historically been driven by oil, recent growth has been driven primarily by the non-oil sectors, such as financial services, telecommunications, entertainment, and of course agriculture. This shows that our diversification agenda is working.”
The minister said the previous year was difficult for the country, he added that the country’s economy was getting back strong and open for business with the investment climate improving.
“In the first half of this year, investment announcements were at $10.1bn, an increase of 100 per cent in 2020.
“Investors from places as diverse as Europe, China, Morocco, and the UK are making strong commitments.”
He added the present regime was working tirelessly to ensure that the commitments turned into ventures, enterprises, and businesses that positively impacted the nation.
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Federal Government Revokes 1,633 Mineral Titles Over Non-payment
In a significant move to enforce compliance and revitalize the solid minerals sector, the Federal Government through the Ministry of Solid Minerals Development has taken decisive action by revoking 1,633 mineral titles previously granted to non-compliant mining companies.
The announcement was made by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dele Alake, during a press briefing in Abuja.
The revocation of these mineral titles was a result of the mining companies’ failure to fulfill their mandatory annual service fees of N1,500 per cadastral unit.
Alake emphasized that the move aligns with Sections 10, 11, and 12 of the Mining Act, and it is aimed at creating opportunities for potential investors willing to contribute to the sector.
Expressing disappointment at the non-compliance of mining firms, Alake stated, “It is indeed very unconscionable for corporate bodies making huge profits from mining to refuse to give the government its due by failing to pay their annual service fee.”
The minister stressed that the mining companies, despite reaping significant profits from mining activities, failed to meet their financial obligations to the government.
He further highlighted the nominal nature of the annual service fee, emphasizing that it pales in comparison to the revenue projections of these companies.
The revocation process, initiated by the Mining Cadastral Office on October 4, 2023, targeted a total of 2,213 titles, including Exploration titles, Small Scale Mining Licences, Quarry licenses, and Mining Leases.
The notice of revocation was published in the Federal Government Gazette on October 10, 2023.
Alake cautioned those whose licenses had been revoked to vacate mining sites promptly to avoid potential legal actions by security agencies.
The ministry’s commitment to cleaning up the sector for international competitiveness was underscored, signaling a new era for responsible and compliant mining practices in Nigeria.
Rising Rice Consumption Spurs 37% Price Surge, Reveals AFEX Report
A recent report by AFEX, the agricultural commodity trading firm, has brought to light the surge in rice consumption in Nigeria.
The AFEX Wet Season Crop Production Report for 2023 indicates that the country’s rice consumption has been steadily increasing, contributing to a consistent growth in the rice market.
The report highlights a 37% year-to-date increase in the price of rice in 2023.
According to AFEX, despite Nigeria’s potential to be a net rice exporter, it has spent over $15 billion in the past decade to meet the expanding demand for rice.
Globally, rice prices have reached their highest point in nearly 12 years due to factors such as India’s ban on rice exports and potential production disruptions from El Nino in key regions.
In Nigeria, the 37% price surge is attributed to reduced production in 2022 caused by flooding during the wet season.
The report anticipates a 4% increase in rice production and expects the price of paddy rice to rise by around 32%.
While the Northwest region accounts for 72% of the total rice production in Nigeria, the report underscores the need for strategies to bridge the supply gap and ensure sustainable rice production to meet the growing demand in the country.
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