The United Nations in Nigeria has disclosed that the food economy in West Africa and the Sahel sub-region would grow to $480 billion by 2030 as non-agricultural sector accounts for 49% of the total value added.
The UN via its Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Matthias Schmale, disclosed this On Tuesday, 16th March at the 13th Multidisciplinary Team Meeting in Abuja, with the theme: “Joining Efforts to Build Resilient Agrifood Systems in West Africa and Sahel”
The projection in growth was attributed to the systemic approach launched by the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in securing the development gains in the fight against hunger.
During the meeting, Schmale emplored West African countries to seize the opportunities for building resilient agri-food systems in the region – pointing that this is important to provide great prospects for food system and to increase production and creating value and job creation as well as food security in West Africa.
Schmale also pointed out the adverse effect of climate change in the region and how it has evidently affected West Africa in terms of food production and food security. Speaking at the meeting, Matthias said: “All of these have adversely impacted agri-food systems, causing agric production and yields in the sub-region to be the lowest in the world. COVID-19 significantly worsened the food security situation of many households in the region, especially poorer households.”
Investors King recall that this update is also coming on the heels of an earlier report by the FAO where the international organisation projected that Nigeria stands at risk of food insecurity by August 2022.
Also present at the meeting was the FAO Representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero, who noted that the three-day meeting is targeted at deliberating on the current food and nutrition situation in the West African sub-region, its determinants, and mitigation measures.
Kafeero spoke extensively on the importance of data and analytics for generation of evidence to guide responsible investments and partnerships for food systems transformation. “We are glad our partners from ECOWAS are joining us to advance food security and nutrition in West Africa and to contribute to knowledge sharing regarding challenges, threats, and opportunities to move agri-food systems in the region towards sustainability”, Kafeero said.
Nigeria’s Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, however, disclosed that Nigeria’s food and nutrition security is still a big challenge despite the country’s modest achievements in the sector. He also assured the federal government’s willingness to partner with the international bodies other development partners to drive productive actions towards a resilient agrifood systems in the country.
NLNG Boosts Cooking Gas Production to 1.5 Million Metric Tonnes Annually
Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) has announced a significant milestone in its operations, boosting its annual production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), commonly known as cooking gas, to over 1.5 million metric tonnes.
This surge in production underscores NLNG’s commitment to meeting the rising demand for clean cooking energy in Nigeria.
The entirety of NLNG’s 1.5 million tonnes production is now being sold domestically within Nigeria.
Moreover, the company has initiated a landmark shift by starting to supply LPG in naira, moving away from the traditional practice of trading in United States dollars.
This move aligns with calls from stakeholders in the oil and power sectors advocating for naira transactions, especially amidst the challenges posed by currency fluctuations.
During a panel session at the 7th Nigeria International Energy Summit in Abuja, NLNG’s General Manager of Finance, Fatima Adanan, highlighted the company’s dedication to enhancing LPG penetration across the country.
Adanan emphasized NLNG’s vision to make Nigeria a better place by promoting the use of cleaner energy sources like gas.
While NLNG’s production surge is commendable, Adanan acknowledged that Nigeria’s LPG requirements surpass the current output, necessitating imports to bridge the gap.
However, NLNG remains committed to expanding its production capacity to meet the nation’s energy needs and drive increased adoption of LPG as a cleaner cooking fuel.
CBN Raises Benchmark Interest Rate by 400 Basis Points to 22.75%
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has raised the benchmark interest rate by 400 basis points to a record 22.75%.
The decision made by the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) comes amidst rising inflationary pressures and growing uncertainty in Africa’s largest economy.
Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 29.90% in January 2024, the highest in over two decades while the nation’s unemployment rate quickened to 5% in the third quarter of 2023. Suggesting that the rising costs have continued to drag on both new job creation and the existing ones.
This coupled with a series of policy adjustments implemented by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has plunged economic productivity and eroded consumer spending as citizens grapple with high fuel prices, electricity tariffs, a record-high foreign exchange rate, and insecurities.
Therefore, it is surprising that the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) led by the CBN will further increase borrowing costs by 400 basis points at a time when job creation is paramount.
While the economy reportedly grew by 3.46% in the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2023 on the back of robust performance of the services sector, this growth is yet to crystalise as businesses and citizens have taken to the street protest against the harsh economic situation.
Economic experts have started questioning the data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) given its lack of correlation between the data and economic reality.
President Tinubu Unveils Geometric Power Plant in Aba After 20-Year Wait
After two decades of anticipation, President Bola Tinubu, through his representative Vice President Kashim Shettima, inaugurated the long-awaited Geometric Power Plant in Aba, a significant milestone in the city’s quest for reliable electricity supply.
The event, which also saw the commissioning of three rehabilitated roads by Abia State Governor Alex Otti, symbolizes the culmination of years of perseverance and determination to transform Aba’s power landscape.
Addressing the audience, Vice President Shettima hailed the project as a testament to the power of visionary leadership and unwavering commitment to progress.
He said the Geometric Power Plant exemplifies the transformative impact of strategic infrastructure investments on local communities.
Governor Otti echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the importance of the power project in positioning Aba as a hub for national and international business ventures.
He commended the efforts of Geometric Power Limited while urging them to uphold transparency and avoid exploiting consumers.
The inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant comes amidst growing concerns over Nigeria’s power infrastructure and the need for sustainable solutions to address electricity shortages.
The project, with a capacity of 188MW, holds promise for significant improvements in power supply across Abia State, benefitting nine out of seventeen local government areas.
The Managing Director of Geometric Power Limited, Ben Caven, underscored the scale of investment involved, totaling $800 million.
He highlighted the comprehensive nature of the project, which includes the installation of new power substations and a 27km natural gas pipeline, signaling a comprehensive approach to enhancing Aba’s energy infrastructure.
In conclusion, the inauguration of the Geometric Power Plant represents a transformative moment for Aba, offering renewed hope for economic growth and prosperity powered by reliable electricity supply.
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