- FG Consults UK Experts on Yam Preservation
The federal government has invited yam specialists from the United Kingdom to liaise with local exporters on the preservation of the food crop.
This was disclosed by the Senior Investment Adviser to the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Irede Ajala, at a diversity dialogue organised by Synergos in conjunction with the Bill Gates Foundation on how to drive an inclusive economy through youth in agriculture.
Ajala said the British experts will enlighten the local yam exporters on the importance of food safety, standardisation, food health and quality control, adding that for Nigeria to compete in the global yam market, it must uphold international best standards.
Ministry of Agriculture officials sealed the deal during their visit to the UK, two weeks ago, to investigate the allegation that some Nigerian yams were rejected at UK ports for being substandard.
While he insisted that at no time were Nigerian yams rejected in UK or the United States, the aide to the minister, said Nigeria loses 30 percent of its annual yam harvest because of inadequate storage facilities.
“These are the burning issues we want to address; the Nigerian yam farmer needs to get more seeds at low prices. The government has also created a machine that helps in heaping yam and mechanising its production, to encourage businessmen to go into selling yams locally and for the export market. Agriculture has been the main driving sector of the economy over the past two years. So, it is only sensible for a people to canvass for more support for that sector,” Ajala said.
Though Nigeria accounts for 67 percent of world yam production, less than one percent of the output is exported.
The Country Director Synergos, Adewale Ajadi, predicted that the profit from yam, in the long run, will outgrow the income from crude oil.
Ajadi said that a tuber of yam is old for N500 locally but in the UK, a small tuber of the same yam goes for£7.
“N500 is less than £1 so exponentially there is a benefit for a farmer who can export this product. We waste about 70 percent of our agricultural produce every day. We need to use what we have to get what we need,” he said.
He added that Synergos had also been engaging government on the feasibility of organic industrialisation whereby the cassava peels, usually discarded as a waste product, can be converted into feed for cattle.
He said young farmers were already talking about 2028 and how to transform the country from a country of consumers to that of producers, adding agriculture is going to be Nigeria’s source of world excellence.
The founder of Synergos, Peggy Dulany and the Special Adviser to the President on Social Protection Plan, Mrs. Maryam Uwais and a representative of Benue State Governor, Prof Dennis Tyavyav, were among the dignitaries that attended the diversity dialogue.
IATA Says Nigerian Airlines Loses $2.09bn in April and June
Airlines in Nigeria Loses $2.09 Billion in April and June
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has estimated that Nigerian airlines lost about $2.09 billion in the month of April and June due to COVID-19 lockdown.
In its report titled ‘Quarantine measures threaten aviation restart in Africa and the Middle East,’ IATA stated that the aviation sector in Africa and the Middle East was the worst-hit.
According to the report, the aviation sector in the two regions provides over 8.6 million direct and indirect jobs.
While the report did not provide data for the month of May, it stated that the number of Nigerian passengers declined by 4.7 million in April and 5.32 million in June when compared with the same period of 2019.
Similarly, the report said 125,400 jobs were at risk in April and 139,500 jobs were at risk in the month of June.
Muhammad Albakri, the Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, IATA, said governments in Africa and the Middle East must devise alternative methods to the current quarantine measures in place, saying the two regions have the highest number of government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
He said, “It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
“The region is effectively in complete lockdown with the travel and tourism sector shuttered. This is detrimental in a region where 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods.”
Oando Partners Oilserv to Build Ajaokuta-Kaduna Portion of AKK Project
Oando, Oilserv to Construct Ajaokuta-Kaduna Portion of AKK Project
Oando Plc has partnered Oilserve Limited to construct a 303.4km linear pipeline system for the Ajaokuta to Kaduna portion of the $2.8 billion, 40 inch by 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project, the AKK Pipeline.
According to a statement released by Oando through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the construction of the AKK Pipeline Project approved in 2018 has commenced on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
The statement reads “Oando PLC (referred to as “Oando” or the “the Company”), is pleased to announce to the Company’s attendance as a consortium partner at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of the $2.8billion, 40 inch by 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project (the “AKK Pipeline”), by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
“The AKK Pipeline Project, championed by two consortia comprising select indigenous and international companies commenced in 2013 with the announcement for tenders by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In April 2018, the Company announced that following an extensive due diligence and bid process, the Oilserv-Oando PLC consortium was awarded the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) mandate for segment 1, accounting for 40” by 303.4km linear pipeline system for the Ajaokuta to Kaduna portion of the AKK Pipeline Project by the NNPC.”
Speaking on the project, Jubril Adewale Tinubu, the Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, said: “As a proudly Nigerian company, focused on driving indigenous participation we have always been proponents of public private partnership in accelerating the actualization of the nation’s goals.
“We have aspired to play an integral role in the building out of the National Gas Infrastructure and Pipeline Grid, as evidenced by our efforts in 2009, post the Nigerian Gas Masterplan when we participated in the unrealized Calabar- Ajaokuta- Abuja-Kano (CAAK) line.
“We have developed strategic partnerships with both private sector players and the NNPC in bringing sustainable solutions to spur the development of the country via our numerous gas development and distribution projects. We commend the NNPC for spearheading projects that will soften the headwinds occasioned by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are proud to be active participants in driving the country’s industrialization and actualization of the Gas Master Plan which will undoubtedly create employment opportunities and ultimately generate as well as enhance value for the nation.”
Ethiopian Airlines Sustain Profitability Despite COVID-19
Despite COVID-19, Ethiopian Airlines Stay Afloat
Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, manages to stay afloat during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, Tewolde Gebre-Mariam, the airline CEO, stated.
The Chief Executive Officer said “We may not be as profitable as we expected but we registered some profit. The first half of the year was good and the cargo business has also done very well.”
While the airline is expected to be down by almost $1 billion in ticket sales in the current year ending July 7, it generated enough revenue from the transportation of goods to finance monthly fixed payments between $120 million to $150 million for loans, aircraft leases, salaries and rentals.
According to Gebre-Mariam, the airline is still flying about 40 charter repatriations per week despite other flights completely grounded.
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