- Give Loans to Farmers, NIRSAL Urges Banks
The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending has appealed to commercial banks to start giving loans to farmers and others players in the agricultural sector in order to enhance food security in the country.
The Head of the Project Monitoring, Reporting and Remedian Office of NIRSAL in Osogbo, Mr Yemi Akande, said this in an interview with journalists in Osogbo on Thursday at the ongoing sensitisation campaign for operators in the agricultural value chain.
He said, “It will be difficult for Nigeria to achieve food sufficiency, stimulate growth in the agro-allied industries and produce millionaire farmers if banks refuse to give credit facility to operators in agricultural value chain.
“The major fear expressed by commercial banks in giving loans to farmers is the risk involved in agro financing as change in yield and other challenges could impede the capacity of farmers to pay back loans, thereby creating problems for the lenders.
“But to mitigate this challenge, the Federal Government, through the CBN came up with the agency (NIRSAL) to bear 75 per cent of risk previously born by the banks in agricultural lending, hence the lenders should have no or less worry.”
To ensure that farmers were equipped with entrepreneurial skills, Akande stated that the agency would train operators in the agricultural sector on new skills and best agricultural practices to improve their yields.
The Manager, Bank of Agriculture, Osogbo branch, Mr Isaac Faniyi, said Nigerian farmers needed to acquire the necessary skills and information to improve their productivity.
Faniyi said the lack of necessary skills was why the large number of people engaged in farming could not produce enough for local consumption let alone export.
The bank manager also said government needed to employ agricultural extension workers who would go from village to village to educate farmers on best agricultural practices.
According to him, Nigerian farmers also need to reduce the quantity of chemicals they use to grow crops, saying that is one of the factors responsible for rejection of some crops from Nigeria in the western world.
Some of the farmers present at the seminar identified lack of good roads to their farms and other amenities as some of the factors militating against their business growth.
Oil Prices Decline on Rising COVID-19 Cases
Global Oil Prices Dipped on Friday as New COVID-19 Cases Jump Globally
Global oil prices decline on Friday as the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases surged across the world.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined from $43.47 per barrel it traded on Thursday during the Asian trading session to $41.60 per barrel on Friday at around 11:39 am Nigerian time.
Oil traders and investors are worried that the rising number of COVID-19 new cases would disrupt demand for the commodity and force refineries to shut down once again.
“I do not suspect many oil traders will be looking to place significant bids in the market today, suggesting prices may continue to wallow into the weekend,” said Stephen Innes, chief global markets strategist at AxiCorp.
Despite efforts by both OPEC plus and other top oil producers to halt falling oil prices and reduce global oil glut, the lack of a cure for COVID-19 remained global concerns.
As previously stated on this platform, until a cure is found the world would have to find a way to either work through COVID-19 or shut down activities completely.
This is coming a day after the Federal Government of Nigeria announced that it was putting school resumption plan on hold following the latest COVID-19 report that shows Nigeria’s confirmed cases crossed 30,000 on Wednesday.
In the United States, more than 60,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported on Thursday, forcing lawmakers to start contemplating the second phase of COVID-19 lockdown.
We Are Losing N13.9bn Monthly Because FG Caps Tariff – Discos
Discos Says it is Losing N14bn Monthly Because of NERC Capped Tariff
The Nigerian power Distribution Companies (Discos) have said they a losing N13.9 billion in revenue every month because the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission, limited how much they can charge for consumption.
Ernest Mupwaya, the Managing Director, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, made the statement during a presentation on behalf of the Discos to the House of Representatives Committee on Power.
The statement was after the Discos demanded realistic indices before the implementation of the proposed service reflective tariff, which was supposed to be implemented on July 1.
Mupwaya said there were some outstanding requirements before the service reflective tariff could be implemented.
“One of them is the removal of estimated billing caps. The financial impact of the Capping Order is an average loss of N13.9bn monthly, thereby, undermining or jeopardising the minimum remittance requirement,” Mupwaya stated.
The July 1 service tariff implementation was halted by members of the National Assembly, who prevailed on the Discos to shelve the date to the first quarter of 2021 due to the current economic challenges in Nigeria.
Gbajabiamila Says Nigeria Can’t Compete in AfCFTA With Weak Industries
Nigeria Must Ramp up Industrialisation to Prevent Dumping by Other Nations
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has said the nation can not compete effectively in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) with weak industrialisation and manufacturing activities.
Gbajabiamila disclosed this while receiving Adesoji Adesugba, the newly appointed Managing Director of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority.
The details of the visit were made public on Thursday in a statement titled, “AFCFTA: House Speaker tasks Nigeria on industrialisation through free trade zones.”
Gbajabiamila was quoted as saying “We must act proactively so that we don’t become a dumping ground for other African nations.
“Our best option in this circumstance is to immediately set machinery in motion to ensure the effective functioning and flourishing of our export processing zones.
“We must remove all bottlenecks and perfect all stumbling blocks. We will then be fully prepared for AfCFTA and also generate massive jobs for our unemployed youths and enhance our foreign earnings.”
He added that the nation must as a matter of national emergency ramp up industrialisation through free trade zones and other effective means to compete with South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised economy and other African nations.
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