- FG Spends Over $500m Yearly on Palm Oil Importation
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), on Monday said the Federal Government spends over $500 million on the importation of palm oil yearly.
Emefiele, Who was attending a stakeholders’ meeting on Palm Oil Value Chain in Abuja, said it is sad that the nation is still importing palm oil in spite of huge natural resources in the South-South and South-East regions of the country to farm it.
The governor recalled that in the late ’50s and 60’s that Nigeria was the largest producer of palm oil in the world and also the largest exporter, exporting almost 40 percent of global supply.
According to him, Malaysia and Indonesia are top producers of palm oil now and poor infrastructure has pushed Nigeria to the fifth position.
“Despite placing oil palm in the forex exclusion list, official figures indicate that importation of palm oil had declined by about 40 percent from the peak of 506,000 Metric Tonnes (MTs) in 2014 to 302,000 MTs in 2017.
“This indicates that Nigeria still expends close to 500 million dollars on oil palm importation annually and we are determined to change this narrative.
“This conversation is indeed important as it forms part of our overall strategy to reduce our reliance on crude oil imports, diversify the productive base of our economy, create jobs and conserve our foreign exchange.
“We intend to support improved production of palm oil to meet not only the domestic needs of the market, but to also increase our exports in order to improve our forex earnings,” he said.
In order to achieve CBN’s target of self-sufficient palm oil production, Emefiele said all the South-South and South-East governors and the Federal Government had agreed to provide at least 100,000 hectares each for large scale oil palm farming.
He said Nigeria could reach self-sufficiency in palm oil between 2022 and 2024 and ultimately overtake Thailand and Columbia to become the third largest producer over the next few years.
“As part of our Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) and Commercial Agriculture Credit Scheme (CACS), the CBN will work with large corporate stakeholders and small holder farmers to ensure availability of quality seeds for this year’s planting season.
“We will also ensure the availability of agro-chemicals in order to enable improved cultivation of palm oil.
“We will also work to encourage viable off taker agreements between farmers and large-scale palm producing companies.
“Loans will be granted through our ABP and CACS programs at no more than 9 per cent per annum to identified core borrowers,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu Orders Full Reopening of Markets
Governor of Lagos State Orders Full Reopening of All Markets
Governor Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has ordered the full reopening of markets in the state after a report showed new cases of COVID-19 have subsided.
The governor ordered the full reopening of both the food markets and non-food markets across the metropolis.
Dr. Wale Ahmed, the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, disclosed this in a statement issued on Tuesday.
He said the governor took the decision to further deepen trade and commerce and ease the hardship of recent happenings.
It should be recalled that the markets were shut due to the outbreak of ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in March before they were partially reopened for activities in May.
The governor, however, urged all traders to observe all safety protocols in order to prevent a possible resurgence of COVID-19 in the state.
Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks on Looted Palliatives, Explains Delay
Looted Palliatives: Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) Speaks
Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) has spoken on the recent actions of criminals and thugs who hijacked the #EndSARS protest and looted warehouses where COVID-19 palliatives were kept for distributions.
The group refuted claims that the stolen items were hoarded for certain people instead of distribution to the vulnerable they were meant for. This is despite the fact that some of the palliatives were already rotten by the time criminals broke into the warehouses.
Some of the looters, who spoke with the press, said a sizeable number of the items were already rotten and destroyed by rodents, while one of the lawmakers tasked with distribution claimed he planned to distribute the items on his birthday. A statement that angered many Nigerians.
However, in a statement issued on behalf of the group by Osita Nwanisobi, the Acting Director of Corporate Communications, CBN, on Monday, CACOVID said due to the huge size of the items meant to be distributed, the complex process involved in manufacturing, packaging and the eventual distribution to 2 million most vulnerable families across the 774 local government in the country, the group agreed to conduct the supply in stages, especially given locked down imposed by the Federal Government during the period.
The statement reads, “Members of the Private Sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) wish to call for calm, amidst the looting of COVID-19 palliatives meant for distribution in various State Government warehouses across the country.
“The Coalition is deeply concerned by the recent events and is urging those involved in the wanton destruction of public and private property to immediately desist from these raids, in order to allow the States to proceed with a peaceful and fair distribution of these palliatives to the neediest and most vulnerable in our society.
“Over the past few months, the private sector, through CACOVID has been working with governors, the FCT Minister, and the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) to procure, deliver, and distribute these food relief items to almost 2 million most vulnerable families (over 10 million Nigerians) across the 774 local government areas of the country, as part of the private sector’s support towards the national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The sheer scale of this nationwide food programme and the timing of the orders and deliveries, which coincided with the lockdowns and reduced movement across the country, compelled CACOVID to roll out distribution in a staggered manner.
“The very large size of the order and the production cycle required to meet the demand caused delays in delivering the food items to the states in an expeditious manner; hence, the resultant delay in delivery of the food palliatives by the state governors.”
Makinde Directs Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest
Schools to Reopen After #EndSARS Protest, Says Governor Makinde
The Executive Governor of Oyo State, Seyi Makinde, has directed schools across the Ibadan metropolis to resume normal activities immediately after the #EndSARS protest.
Mr Olasunkanmi Olaleye, the commissioner for education, Oyo State, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday in Ibadan.
According to Olaleye, the directive was after a careful review of the situation in the Ibadan metropolis as promised by Governor Makinde in a state broadcast on October 20.
This was after the governor ordered the closure of all schools, private and public, in the Ibadan metropolis for three days and promised to review the situation on October 23.
Olaleye said the governor thanks the youths who have been cooperating with security operatives in the state to ensure peace and order.
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