The Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) has outlined how ongoing Ukraine and Russia war affects the region’s food insecurity and supply.
Commissioner, agriculture, environment, and water resources, ECOWAS, Sekou Sangare explained that due to the Ukraine war, it would be disastrous if urgent steps are not taken to address the food insecurity menace.
He stated this while delivering a report at the ongoing 2022 first ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Abuja on Tuesday.
He claimed that the fighting had deteriorated the region’s food and nutritional status by disrupting supply lines and raising food and fertilizer prices.
“The war between Ukraine and Russia, which started at the end of February, has had aggravating effects on the difficult food and nutritional situation in all the countries of the region,” he said.
“It has aggravated the grain deficit in the region with, in particular, the disruption of the food supply chain, the amplification of the rise in food prices, and the price of fertilisers.
“The two countries in conflict are major suppliers on the international markets and also suppliers of wheat, maize, edible oils, and fertilizers for the majority of ECOWAS member countries” he said.
He did add, though, that a number of steps had been implemented, including tax exemptions on food imports, price controls, and cash transfer activities.
Moreso, in May and June 2022, the ministerial technical committee in charge of agriculture met with the commissioner of agriculture to address the limits. And, together, develop appropriate and practical methods to guarantee our farmers receive adequate fertilizer supplies, promote cross-border food and fertilizer transactions, and reduce the effects of the food crisis and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict.
He further outlined some measures that were adopted by the associations of professional agricultural organisations, the West African Association of Fertilizer Professionals, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, West African Bank of Development (BOAD), and other technical and financial partners.
- With immediate effect, African Union member states should improve farmers’ access to fertilisers through the provision of subsidies to the fertiliser sector, with the support of Africa’s development partners, with a focus on poor farmers.
- Lift the restrictions taken by the member states on the free movement of foodstuffs such as rice, maize, soya, sorghum, millet, roots and tubers: cassava, yam, fruits, and vegetables. Livestock, meat, fisheries and aquaculture within the community area.
- Urgently mobilise internal financial resources to assist people affected by the crisis within the framework of social protection net projects: cash transfer, food for work.”
Experts Urge Swift Government Action on Nigeria’s Untapped N3 Trillion Logistics Sector
Experts at the Courier and Logistics Management Institute conference in Lagos have emphasized the critical importance of the overlooked logistics, courier, and transport sector in Nigeria, valued at over N3 trillion.
During the event themed “Logistics Solutions and National Infrastructure Development,” the CLMI Executive Chairman, Prof. Simon Emeje, highlighted the urgent need for the federal government to prioritize this sector, which remains relatively untapped on a global scale.
Emeje underscored the sector’s significance, stating, “Any country that does not pay attention to logistics, courier, and the transport sector cannot survive.
The government must not ignore this sector because it is the bedrock of any economy.”
The logistics, courier, transport, and management industry boasts an average asset worth over N3 trillion, offering substantial potential for job creation.
Emeje emphasized that commerce is crippled without effective logistics, illustrating the importance of the sector in facilitating trade, enhancing the supply chain, creating jobs, and propelling economic growth.
Despite its undeniable importance, the Nigerian logistics sector faces hindrances such as infrastructural deficits and weak government policies, preventing it from reaching its full potential.
Emeje called for immediate attention to address these challenges and unlock the sector’s capacity to create millions of employment opportunities for Nigerian youth.
Former Minister of Communications, Barr. Adebayo Shittu, urged the institute to draft a comprehensive proposal for government adoption, offering assistance in facilitating engagement.
Both Shittu and Prof. Emeje called on the Federal Government to establish a dedicated ministry to foster an enabling environment for Courier and Logistics Management, drawing parallels to the recognition given to the entertainment industry.
President Tinubu Seeks Senate Approval for $8.6 Billion and €100 Million Borrowing Plan
President Bola Tinubu’s administration has formally requested the approval of the Nigerian Senate for a borrowing plan totaling $8.6 billion and €100 million.
The request was presented to the Senate through a letter read during the plenary by the Senate President, GodsWill Akpabio.
According to the letter, the proposed funds are integral to the federal government’s 2022-2024 external borrowing plan, previously sanctioned by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari.
Tinubu clarified that the projects earmarked for funding through this loan cut across diverse sectors, emphasizing their selection based on rigorous economic evaluations and their anticipated contributions to national development.
The letter highlighted, “The projects and programs in the borrowing plan were selected based on economic evaluations as well as the expected contribution to the socio-economic development of the country, including employment generation, and skills acquisition.”
The specified sectors earmarked for development include infrastructure, agriculture, health, water supply, roads, security, and employment generation, along with financial management reforms.
The borrowing plan’s comprehensive approach aims to address critical needs and propel the nation’s progress.
President Tinubu emphasized the urgency of the Senate’s approval, stating, “Given the nature of these facilities, and the need to return the country to normalcy, it has become necessary for the Senate to consider and approve the 2022-2024 external abridged borrowing plan to enable the government to deliver its responsibility to Nigerians.”
This appeal follows previous successful requests, including the National Assembly’s approval of an over $800 million loan for the National Social Safety Network Programme in August.
Also, the assembly greenlighted the 2022 Supplementary Appropriations Act of N819 million to provide palliatives to Nigerians, mitigating the impact of fuel subsidy removal.
As the deliberations unfold, the Senate’s decision on this substantial borrowing plan will play a pivotal role in shaping Nigeria’s economic trajectory.
Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline Construction Set for 2024
Nigeria’s Gas Minister, Ekperikpe Ekpo, announced the scheduled commencement of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline construction in 2024.
The revelation came during a meeting with a delegation from Morocco, led by Ambassador Moha Ou Ali Tagma, on Monday in Abuja.
The Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline, a colossal undertaking covering 5,600 kilometers and traversing 13 African countries, is poised to transform the energy landscape of the region.
Spanning nations from Nigeria to Morocco and reaching Europe, the pipeline aims to facilitate gas transportation, enhance economic integration, combat desertification, and contribute significantly to the reduction of carbon emissions.
Ekpo, expressing Nigeria’s readiness for the project, stated, “I believe by 2024, we will conclude on it.”
He emphasized the importance of natural gas in the context of climate change, highlighting its role in ensuring low carbon emissions and fostering prosperity.
The pipeline, originating at Brass Island in Nigeria and reaching the northern region of Morocco, will interlink with the existing Maghreb European Pipeline, connecting Algeria to Spain.
Mele Kyari, the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), underscored the commitment to a consistent gas supply and the provision of necessary infrastructure.
Despite the ambitious vision, some analysts have raised concerns about the viability of the Nigeria-Morocco gas pipeline. Notably, the project has encountered delays, with a Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2016 and 2018, followed by another in 2022.
Analysts, including oil and gas expert Dan D Kunle, have stressed the need for comprehensive studies to assess economic impact, financial returns, and agreements with transit countries.
While challenges and skepticism persist, Kyari has expressed confidence in securing funding for the project.
However, alternative perspectives suggest exploring investments in LNG plants, regasification facilities in Moroccan ports, and LNG vessel carriers for a more flexible and globally accessible energy solution.
As Nigeria and Morocco navigate this ambitious venture, meticulous planning and strategic considerations will be crucial for ensuring its success.
Finance3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 6th November 2023
Business2 weeks ago
Nigeria’s Logistics Sector Holds Untapped N3tn Potential, Says Courier and Logistics Management Institute
News4 weeks ago
N-Power Beneficiaries to Receive Eight Months of Owed Payments After Funds Recovery
Black Market Rate2 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 14th November 2023
Naira4 weeks ago
Nigerian Naira Hits Record Low of N993.83 Against the Dollar at I&E Forex Window
News2 weeks ago
Millionaire Powerplay Limited Unveils Unprecedented Odds in American Lotto’s Instant Cashless Payout
News3 weeks ago
N-Power Batch C1 Programme Successfully Concluded, Investigation Ensures Eligible Beneficiaries Receive Payments
Black Market Rate3 weeks ago
Black Market Exchange Rate Today 9th November 2023