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FG Deepens Efforts at Ensuring EU, US Accept Nigeria’s Agricultural Produce

The Ministry of Agriculture has said all hands are on deck at ensuring that the European Union and the United States accept Nigeria’s agricultural produce.

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Agriculture - Investors King

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Agriculture has said all hands are on deck at ensuring that the European Union and the United States accept Nigeria’s agricultural produce.

It should be recalled that the two regions imposed bans on beans and other commodities exports from Nigeria, saying they contained a high level of pesticide.

In 2017, Audu Ogbeh, the former Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, said the European Union sent 48 notifications on Nigeria’s agro products between 2016 and 2017 alone. While the initial sanction was imposed in 2015.

He said “Between 2016 and 2017, about 48 notifications were received from the EU on our export goods (nuts and seeds as well as fruits and vegetables) due to aflatoxin and many other contaminants, either biological or chemical.”

Surprisingly, five years later Nigeria’s agricultural commodities remained banned despite the country’s struggle with foreign revenue generation and the recent initiative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to up export proceeds to $200 billion over a 3 to 5 years period under its RT200 Non-oil Export initiative.

Dr. Mohammad Abubakar, the current Agriculture Minister, on Thursday said the Federal Government is presently working on ensuring that the ban on Nigerian agricultural produce is lifted.

The minister revealed this during a briefing at the Standing Inter-Ministerial Technical Committee (SIMTC) on Agro Zero Reject Initiative in Abuja.

Abubakar explained that the potential for commodities export is big. However, he urged the government to implement Nigeria’s Integrated Export Control Plan (IECP) meticulously.

“It is not about trading but getting Nigeria out of being banned from Europe, America and other countries,” he said.

“We should have a seamless export transaction. We will do what it takes to do the right thing. It is not an easy task doing export business, there are a lot of regulations, and unless you start by putting your own home well, you will not be able to work outside.

The minister added that “there is no doubt that Nigeria cannot realise its potential unless we do the right thing; work together first of all, and also realise and understand dealing with other agencies, private sector and governments across the world.”

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Brands

ASUS Committed to Deepen Market Shares in Nigeria

ASUS has disclosed plans to increase its market shares in Nigeria which is currently at 16 percent

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Multinational computer hardware and consumer electronics company ASUS has disclosed plans to increase its market shares in Nigeria which is currently at 16 percent.

The electronics company had earlier disclosed that it will continue to create innovative technologies for everyone to enjoy in Nigeria as it targets a 40 percent activation rate.

The country manager for ASUS English-speaking Africa Simplice Zaongo disclosed that ASUS is driven by innovation and commitment to quality products that include notebooks, netbooks, motherboards, graphics cards, etc as it intends to deepen the market.

He said, “I must admit, when we compare ourselves with top competitors in the market, we still manage to achieve the number three position in the consumer industry in Nigeria, according to the IDC 2022.

“Besides being the No.1 consumer notebook brand in Asia-Pacific and East Europe, ASUS gaming notebooks account for the highest market share, No.1 worldwide.

“Our market share is 16 percent, while our activation share is 17 percent.” This means that when we push into the market, there is acceptability. That’s how we interpret it.

“But when we go back over the years, we noticed that market share was below 10 percent activation. We tried to analyze what the problem was.”

While responding to how ASUS intends to go beyond its 16 percent market share to its target of 40 percent, Simplice stated three strategies the company intends to use which are; brand awareness, affordability, and public enlightenment.

According to him, the primary goal for the next quarter is to reach a 40 percent activation rate.

“To achieve our goals, we have decided to strategically deploy three options. So, the first step is to create awareness. The second one is to educate customers. And the third one is to make our laptop affordable. We think it works for us”, he added.

It should be recalled that in February 2019, Investors King reported that ASUS plans to expand its operations in East Africa.

Last week, the electronics company introduced the ASUS Zenbook 14X OLED (UX3402) and Zenbook 17-Fold (UX9702) to the Media.

The company has three distributors in Nigeria, namely Coscharis Technologies, Mitsumi Distribution, and TD Africa, as well as five service centers in Lagos, Abuja, and Port Harcourt.

 

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Appointments

Former First Bank Chairman, Ibukun Awosika Joins Binance Advisory Board

A former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika has been appointed to the Binance Advisory Board

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Ibukun Awosika

A former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria, Ibukun Awosika has been appointed to the Binance Advisory Board. 

Investors King learnt that one of the world’s leading cryptocurrency exchange companies, Binance, has appointed Ibukun Awosika on its advisory board. Binance is believed to be the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange by trading volume. 

The former chairman of First Bank of Nigeria was selected among other eminent people which include Max Bacus Former U.S. Ambassador to the People’s Republic of China; Hyung-Rin Bang, advisor of the Korea Presidential Committee; Bruno Bézard, managing partner at Cathay Capital, former economic advisor to the French Prime Minister and ex-head of the French Treasury; Henrique de Campos Meirelles. 

The list also includes a former president of the Central Bank of Brazil; Leslie Maasdorp, the chief financial officer of the New Development Bank; Adalberto Palma, former senior advisor to the President of Mexico; Christin Schäfer, founder of ACS Plus; Ed Vaizey, a member of the UK House of Lords; David Wright, chair of Eurofi. 

The appointment of the advisory board will help the Binance exchange to break new boundaries in the face of crypto regulation challenges. 

It should be recalled that in June 2021, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) ordered Binance to halt all UK-regulated activity over worries about weak consumer protection. Similarly, in May 2021, Bloomberg News reported that Binance is being investigated by the United States Department of Justice and Internal Revenue Service for money laundering and tax evasion. 

The Central Bank of Nigeria has also banned cryptocurrency-related transactions in Nigeria. In a circular released in February 2021, the Central bank reaffirm a 2017 directive to financial institutions to block any account that transacts in cryptocurrency. 

However, despite the overwhelming opposition to cryptocurrency, millions of retail investors keep embracing it, especially in West Africa. 

In July 2022, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) rated the West African country third among countries with the highest number of cryptocurrency holders in Africa. The report also stated that more than 13 million Nigerians are in possession of digital assets

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Business

Hundreds of MSMEs And Underserved Communities to Benefit From Microsoft And ICE Power Project

Microsoft and ICE Commercial Power have entered a partnership agreement to power hundreds of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and underserved communities. 

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MSME

Microsoft and ICE Commercial Power have entered a partnership agreement to power hundreds of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and underserved communities. 

ICE is a Nigeria-based affordable and renewable energy provider that deploys microgrids to help small and medium businesses which have limited or no access to power supply. 

In a pilot programme, ICE had earlier deployed 20 solar microgrids to connect about 170 underserved small businesses across three communities in Nigeria. The pilot program was undertaken in Edo, Delta and Ondo States.

In a statement released by the company, ICE Commercial Power noted that it understood the electricity challenges of small businesses and underserved communities in Nigeria, especially at a time when the cost of energy is exorbitantly high. 

Investors King earlier reported that because of the hike in the price of diesel, the cost of doing business in Nigeria has increased by more than 50 percent in 2022. This has adversely impacted the profitability of many businesses. 

According to ICE Commercial Power, “Many of Nigeria’s SMEs rely on using generators to provide power, but these machines can be unreliable, and the fuel and maintenance costs are high”.

“The African Development Bank noted that Nigerians spend about $14bn on generators and fuel yearly in order to avoid crippling downtime for their businesses.

“SMEs play a vital role in driving economic growth and job creation on the continent. Connecting SMEs to alternative energy sources helps to minimise downtime and maximise productivity.” the statement read. 

ICE Commercial Power further stated that the power project in partnership with Microsoft will connect businesses and underserved communities to reliable and affordable clean energy. 

The company also declares that users will be able to monitor their energy usage online to have significant control over their energy consumption.

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