Wheat Importation Costing Nigeria N2trn Annually: FMAN Laments
Members of the Flour Millers Association of Nigeria have decried about N2 trillion yearly losses incurred on the importation of wheat from Canada, the United States, Mexico and other countries.
FMAN made the disclosure at the 2022 edition of the annual Wheat Farmers Greenfield Day, organised by the association, on Tuesday, in one of the largest wheat farms in Zindi, Misau LGA of Bauchi State.
According to the National President of FMAN, Alhaji Salim A. Salim, wheat farmers in the country have not been able to meet up the demands, as Nigeria is one of the top consumers of the commodity. Calling for increased wheat farming, Salim stressed that the importation of wheat has a negative impact on Nigeria’s economic growth, costing the nation N2 trillion annually.
Salim advised that if Nigeria can get serious with wheat production, “we will save money and make our farmers wealthy. We need to concentrate on farming wheat to meet up with our local demand.”
Applauding the Central Bank of Nigeria’s agricultural initiative – Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, the FMAN president explained that the scheme aided in boosting wheat farming and production in 15 Northern states. He urged more farmers to key into the initiative and participate in the program to boost wheat production in the country, significantly reducing the level of importation.
Salim also assured the farmers that their products will be purchased directly by FMAN association members. He added that presently, there are 27 demonstration wheat farms in 7 Local Government Areas across Bauchi state.
Wheat is a popular commodity in Nigeria as an estimated 75 million food portions consumed daily in Nigerian homes are wheat derivatives. Food products such as semolina, bread, noodles, and pasta among others are produced from wheat flour. They form a regular part of meals in most urban and rural households across the country.
On his part, the state governor, Senator Bala Mohammed Abdulkadir, represented by the Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Tula Mbami commended the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, funded by the CBN. While declaring the programme opened in Bauchi, Mohammed stated that if well implemented, the country will benefit from growth in food production and security, while imports will be reduced.
The governor said his administration is ready to support agricultural development, as it has invested much in the sector, through the procurement of improved seedlings, pesticides, chemicals and other farming implements. He advised the farmers to reciprocate the government’s efforts by committing to increasing wheat production.
He said, “Bauchi State has been in the forefront of wheat production over the years. We are ready to do that again as can be seen here in Zindi wheat farm.”
Price of Kerosene Jumps by 97% to N1,160.67 Per Litre in a Year
The average price of Household Kerosene grew by 96.79% in the last year, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). A litre of Kerosene was sold for N1,160.67 in April 2023, up from N589.82 in April 2022.
On a monthly basis, the price of the commodity rose by 1.59% from N1,142.46 a litre recorded in March 2023 to N1,160.67 in April 2023.
Breaking down prices in states, Adamawa records the most expensive per litre at N1,600 while Abuja followed with N1,382.10 and Bauchi with N1,320.50.
On the other hand, the lowest price was recorded in Jigawa with N925.25, followed by Kaduna with N950.50 and Edo with N965.85.
In addition, analysis by zone showed that the North-East recorded the highest average retail price per litre of Household Kerosene with N1,273.53, followed by the South-East with N1,265.71 while North-West recorded the lowest with N1,014.19.
The average retail price per gallon of Household Kerosene paid by consumers in April 2023 was N4,166.94, showing an increase of 1.50% from N4,105.25 in March 2023. On a year-on-year basis, this increased by 95.03% from N2,136.52 in April 2022.
On state profile analysis, Lagos recorded the highest average retail price per gallon of Household Kerosene with N4,990.25, followed by Katsina with N4,925.00 and Zamfara with N4,883.20. On the other hand, Delta recorded the lowest price with N2,500.15, followed by Rivers and Bayelsa with N3,000.00 and N3,208.34 respectively.
Analysis by zone showed that the North West recorded the highest average retail price per gallon of Household Kerosene with N4,580.50 followed by the North East with N4534.61 while the South South recorded the lowest with N3,249.59.
Nigeria Imports Palm Oil Worth N300 Billion in 5 Years Despite Forex Restriction, Scarcity
Despite adding palm oil to the foreign exchange restriction of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to encourage its local production, Nigeria spent N299.6 billion on the importation of the commodity between 2017 and 2022.
A new report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed the commodity is often in the top five most imported agricultural products.
Despite the importation ban, Nigeria imported 302,000 metric tons of palm oil in 2017, according to CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele. This is because current production levels cannot meet local demand, which averages three million metric tons per year.
Experts believe that Nigeria can do more because the country has the knowledge, land, climate, and history to succeed in palm oil production.
However, analysis shows that Malaysia is where Nigeria sources most of its palm oil, with N151.5 billion of the product imported during the period.
This is followed by India with N65.2 billion, Ivory Coast with N22.4 billion, China N20.3 billion, Singapore N20.6 billion, Indonesia N17.1 billionn, Columbia N1.4 billion, United States N727 million, Ghana N130.6 million, and Cameroon N4.26 million.
Historical records suggest that Nigeria had a fine collection of gen plasm—the oil palm planting material—that the world liked. Most of the palm oil then came from the wild groves, which were not planted because Nigeria had a natural grove of oil palm.
The Malaysians understood the need for a West Africa gen plasm and collected materials from the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in the 1960s and mostly 1970s. Since then, Malaysia has become the world’s second-largest producer and exporter of palm oil after Indonesia.
On the other hand, Nigeria’s palm oil industry is mostly dominated by small-scale farm holders, which account for over 80 per cent of local production, while well-established companies account for less than 20 per cent of the total market, according to a report by PWC.
The two largest producers, Okomu and Presco, contribute largely to the market share, but the dominance of small farm holders in the palm oil market has resulted in low output compared to the country’s production potential.
Nigeria Must Improve Customs System, Reduce Business Cost to Enjoy AfCFTA’s $3.4tn– NPA
The Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA has given hints on the necessities for the country to be among the full beneficiaries of the $3.4 trillion offered by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
Investors King reports that improvement in its Customs services and reduction in the cost of doing business in Nigeria have been advised.
According to the Managing Director of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, Nigeria must upgrade its electronic customs and customs services, thereby improving the country’s Customs System.
He noted that adequate measures should be taken to ensure quality standards and proper checks of cargoes.
His words, “About 55 African countries are involved in this. Our own responsibility is to ensure trade facilitation. So, for Nigeria to gain in this, we need to ensure there are standardisation and quality checks of cargoes.
“Nigeria needs to improve its Customs processes. We need to update our e-Custom and Customs services. We need to reduce the local cost of doing business. We need to reduce the bureaucracy and then there must also be awareness.”
Speaking on the efforts of the government so far, the NPA MD said sensitisation programmes were conducted to enlighten Nigerians on the benefits of AfCFTA.
He applauded the government for its steps so far and urged them to improve trade facilitations across its agencies.
Bello-Koko further explained that the Nigerian Ports Authority on its part has set up export processing terminals to aid export processes.
He noted that the NPA is partnering with the National Export Promotion Council to ensure that the domestic export houses are linked to the Electronic Call-Up System for prompt service delivery.
“For us in NPA, what we have done is that we have set up export processing terminals. The essence is to improve the quality of exports, especially agro exports. This reduces time wastages and the incidences of some of our agro cargoes going out of the country and arriving at the port of destination spoilt. So, we are working with the NCS to ensure that these things improve,” the NPA Boss said.
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