Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, says his administration will continue to prioritise the growth and development of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) to further boost the economy of the state.
Sanwo-Olu made the pledge at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) 2022 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) with the theme: “Connecting Businesses, Creating Value,” on Friday in Lagos.
He described the MSMEs as the heartbeat of any economy, saying that their development was critical, particularly in the face of the current harsh global uncertainties posed by COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine-Russian war.
“There is no gainsaying that most of the businesses that will be participating in this fair are MSMEs, which are the bed rock of sustainable development in most global economies.
“In Nigeria, this sector is the heart beat of our industrial and economic development and in Lagos State, MSMEs have significantly contributed to employment creation, value addition, income generation and appreciable poverty reduction,” he said.
He added that MSMEs were crucial to the state’s economic growth and stability, and its quest to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly in the promotion of creativity and decent work for all.
“As a government, our administration’s priority is the business sector, with particular focus on MSMEs. “With a population of over 22 million, Lagos is the 5th fastest growing city in the world, which is why it is an investors’ delight.
“Therefore, it is imperative to formulate and implement policies, programmes and projects that would propel the state to a globally competitive economy,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He assured that his government would continue to create policies that would deliberately engender ease of doing business to enable the state attract investments and allow businesses to thrive.
According to him, the state will not rest on its oars, until businesses are properly positioned and Lagos becomes the biggest economy.
He also encouraged public-private partnership to drive development in infrastructure, health, education and others.
“This is to utilise the resources trapped in private sector.
“We would continue to ensure ease of doing business deliberately to help investors with planning and risk taking to further increase job opportunities.
“As a government, we would continue to look at what we can do to engage our youths, and we are creating a platform for new start-up innovation for our creative minds.
“We are creating an ecosystem and providing grants to help start ups and MSME through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund(LSETF).
“All of these interventions and funding are available and we implore MSMEs to take advantage of them to address brain drain,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu added that the state government was tackling issues around climite change and stressed the need for innovation to address the development.
Ide John Udeagbala, National President, Nigerian Association of Chamber’s of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), lauded the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plan to redesign and reprint the nation’s currency.
According to him, the step should have been taken five years ago to control currency circulation, improve currency security and enhance adoption of cashless economy.
He, however, stated that the country’s move to borrow to fund part of the 2023 budget was worrisome given its current debt profile.
He said equally of concern were the parameters of assumptions in the 2023 budget estimates, especially the dollar to naira conversion rate put at 435.57 to the dollar.
According to him, most businesses in the country thrive on the parallel foreign exchange market rates with no measurable checks in sight by the monetary authorities.
“Consequently, most manufacturers will continue to purchase dollars at the parallel market in the coming year.
“It is, therefore, evident that the 2023 budget is not a true reflection of the economic reality of today’s Nigeria,” he said.
Udeagbala, noting the possibility of Nigeria hosting the 2025 Intra-African Trade Fair (IATF), charged government to buy into the possibility by providing the infrastructure which includes security and foreign exchange availability for the fair.
“Some economic benefits include foreign exchange earnings, infrastructural development and reviving of dying SMEs. “IATF is a vehicle being used to promote trade and exhibition.
“However, for Nigeria to benefit from this, we must take care of our socio -economic challenges such as infrastructure deficits, forex challenges and the likes.
“It is the hope of NACCIMA and organised private sectors in general that government will chart its course towards addressing these challenges in line with our numerous suggestions outlined and place our economy on prosperous path,” he said.
The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) have tasked the Federal Government and monetary authorities to address the foreign exchange and energy crises responsible for the unfavourable movements in manufacturing indicators.
Mr Segun Ajayi-Kadir, Director-General, MAN, made the call at the Commerce and Industry Correspondent Association of Nigeria (CICAN) workshop and recognition of individuals and firms on Thursday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the event had as its theme: “Manufacturing: Despite FX and Energy Crisis”.
Ajayi-Kadir said that the frontline challenges of inadequate foreign exchange and energy crisis dipped the manufacturing growth output from 5.8 per cent in the first quarter of 2022 to 3.0 per cent in the second quarter.
He said these challenges massively affected manufacturers that were already confronted by inclement operating environment, compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic and the current Russian-Ukrainian war.
According to him, manufacturing indicators such as capacity utilisation, contribution to real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) investment, employment, cost of production, competitiveness among others were also negatively impacted.
He noted that increase in cost of energy pushed up global inflation which affected the cost of importation across the world, including Nigeria.
He added that with the limited foreign exchange inflow from crude oil sales, foreign exchange demand pushed over the bounds of supply and contributed to the depreciation in Naira value.
The MAN DG stressed that the challenges must be adequately addressed to arrest further degeneration in the performance of the sector.
“In doing that, we consider the following measure critical such as the allocation of significant proportion of available foreign exchange to the productive sector, particularly manufacturing.
“Further investment in the electricity value chain must be carried out and government must commit to adding 10,000 MW to the current electricity distributed in the country.
“Also, we must embrace and support significant development of renewable energy mix as the country has huge potentials for solar and wind,” he said.
Ajayi-Kadir added that the scope of road infrastructure should be expanded and the tax credit scheme developed and refurbished.
NAN also reports that Alhaji Akiko Dangote, Africa’s foremost business mogul, received the revolutionising manufacturing in Africa awards, while Mr Anthony Chiejina, Group Chief, Branding and Communication Officer, Dangote Group, received the corporate communications expert of the decade award.
Other awardees include Dr Muda Yusuf, for championing private sector cause, Mrs Omotayo Okewunmi, Public Relations Officer, MAN, for most efficient image maker and Ide John Udeagbala, National President, NACCIMA, for sustaining private sector advocacy.
The Nigerian Association for Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has urged the Federal Government to prioritise the revitalisation of the industrial sector to engender inclusive growth.
Ide John Udeagbala, National President, NACCIMA, made the call at the Chamber’s fourth quarter state of the economy news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Udeagbala said the call was pertinent because statistics showed that 83 million people (about 40 per cent) lived below the poverty line with additional 53 million people (about 25 per cent) being vulnerable.
These indices, he said, called for great concern and urged governments across all levels to create and maintain an enabling environment that was investment friendly.
This, the NACCIMA president said, entailed enunciating and maintaining policies that removed bottlenecks to business investments.
“There’s the need to address the various factors that are capable of increasing cost of doing business in Nigeria.
“These are critical issues which if addressed urgently will help position the economy for foreign direct investment and encourage local investors to establish industries that will enhance job creation and improved Gross Domestic Product (GDP),” he said.
On inflation, Udeagbala acknowledging the decision of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria to raise the Monetary Policy Rate from 14 per cent to 15.5 per cent, said the move did not address the root causes of inflation.
According to him, rising costs due to factors such as naira depreciation, high energy and transportation costs could not simply be controlled by adjustment to the monetary policy rate.
“Factors such as multiple exchange rates, stringent policy bottlenecks in obtaining foreign exchange for investments and production of goods and services, the security challenges need to be urgently addressed if inflation must be nipped in the bud.
“Fiscal policies and public expenditure controls at various government levels during this electioneering period will add to keep inflationary rate in check.
“Furthermore, the implementation of the CBN’s interventions in the agriculture, manufacturing, energy, healthcare and export sectors will be more impactful on the economy.
“This will further ensure inclusive growth and development of Nigerian economy,” he said.
Udeagbala also charged government to ensure that the country’s borrowings were done on terms consistent with entrenching debt sustainability, with the borrowed funds productively invested in value adding sectors of the economy.
This, he explained, was necessary for the country to outgrow its debt problem, restore creditworthiness and achieve sustainable growth.
He also expressed concerns over the increasing level of unemployment and brain drain with the migration of trained skilled workers, particularly the youth overseas.
These human capital exports, he said, had raised many concerns about the deprivation of trained and qualified human capital for many of Nigeria’s struggling sectors including health, information technology, banking and others.
“More worrisome to this trend is the indication that the exodus does not appear to have an end in sight any time soon as there are no tangible signs that government is focusing on efforts to create employment opportunities that would reverse the trend.
“It is our hope that governments at all levels will appreciate the need to support the business sector, especially the Organized Private Sector, which NACCIMA represents to enable our members do more in creating jobs,” he said.
Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, says the development of the Southeast geopolitical zone remains a product of shared responsibility between the citizens and the government.
Ikpeazu said this on Tuesday during the Okezie Victor Ikpeazu Leadership Colloquium at his countryhome in Umuobiakwa, Obingwa Local Government Area (LGA).
The event which was themed “Socio-economic future of Ndigbo: Setting the Agenda”, was part of the activities organised by the state government to celebrate the governor’s 58th birthday.
He urged “Ndi Igbo” to remain active players in the implementation of programmes and policies aimed at transforming Igboland.
Ikpeazu said that the absence of an Igbo philosophy was a major cause of the slow pace of advancement recorded in the zone, adding that this ought to addressed.
He said that the use of science and technology in producing innovative results had shown great potential in transforming regions and societies, therefore digitisation should be the new way for solving problems in Igboland.
According to him, the former Premier of the Eastern Region was able to develop the economy of the region into the fastest growing economy in the country by utilising the vast resources in the region.
The governor called on the Igbo business community outside the region to be deliberate about investing in the zone, adding that this would boost the economy of the region.
“Posterity will record the roles that we played in building the zone, if we played our roles effectively in our little corner.
“We need to realign our attitude to enable us conquer the world.
“In Abia, the state government has created an enabling environment through various initiatives such as the Enyimba Economic City and Geometric Power projects, so let us take advantage of it.
“We must provide jobs for our children and the answer is Enyimba Economic City and Geometric Power project,” he said.
In an address, Mr John Udeagbala, the President of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), urged “Ndi Igbo” to revive the culture of uninterrupted development in Igboland.
“We must upgrade our use of technology to boost development in Igboland.
“Our brain drain must be changed to brain gain as we emulate countries like Malaysia.
“We must revisit the practice of the apprenticeship system, as its benefits to both individuals and the region is very enormous,” Udeagabala said.
In his remark, Prof. Uche Ikonne, the Governorship Candidate of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), said that Ikpeazu had continued to provide platforms aimed at promoting the socio-economic development of Abia. Ikonne added that if elected the next governor of Abia, he would establish Aba Development Authority and make it a significant part of his blue print for running the state.
The highlight of the ceremony was the unveiling of a book, titled “Okezie Ikpeazu Raising the Bar of Governance in Abia state”, written by Mr Obiora Nzekwu in honour of the governor.
NAN) The organisers of 2022 Real Estate and Construction Expo (RECON), says that more than 150 exhibitors and 20,000 participants are expected at the event.
Dr Johnson Anene, the Chairman, RECON, said this at a news conference in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to him, the event will advance the economic development of Nigeria through private and public sector investments in housing and infrastructure.
He said the expo scheduled from Oct. 25 to Oct. 27, has as its theme: “Building Wealth Through Investment in Real Estate and Construction”.
“It is expected to have more than 150 exhibitors and 20,000 participants from various parts of Nigeria and across the world “It is the exhibition on housing, construction and environment in Nigeria designed to meet the economic interest of participants.
“It is also expected to advance the economic development of Nigeria through private and public sector investments in housing and infrastructure,” Anene said.
According to him, the expo will focus on exhibition, conference, networking, training, B2B, B2G and investment forums.
“Products to be exhibited will include housing, furniture, lights, construction and building materials and technologies.
Anene said that RECON 2022 is organised by Shelter Aid Limited, West Africa Ceramics Ltd (Royal Ceramics) in conjunction with the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI).
He said tthat the event was being organised with support from Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria (REDAN), and Federation of West African Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FEWACCI).
Others he said are the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) and a host of government agencies as well as the private sector.
“The expo is open to real estate developers, investors, mortgage bankers, building materials suppliers, professionals and practitioners in real and construction industry.
“Others are the diplomatic communities, Ministries Departments and Agencies, NGOs, associations, professional bodies, trade unions and the public,” he said.
Anene further said that the 6th edition of RECON was intended to draw more investment into the real estate and construction sector and help solve the Nigerian housing deficit.
“It would also explore modern building techniques, promote local production of building materials, present new investment opportunities, create jobs for our youths and contribute to national economic growth,” he said.
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture (NACCIMA), has urged the Federal Government and other relevant agencies to support Olam Limited, Nigeria and other businesses affected by flooding in Nasarawa.
Its Director-General, Mr Olusola Obadimu, made the plea on Monday in Lagos, in his reactions to the Nasarawa flood incident that led to severe losses of food and properties by businesses domiciled in the area.
Obadimu said the call was important because in recent years, Olam Farms had contributed significantly to the nation’s rice consumption.
He said the flood occurrences revealed the possible implications of disregarding the Sustainable Development Goals Seven (Affordable and Clean Energy) and 13 (Climate Action) were manifesting globally, particularly in African nations and Nigeria.
Obadimu said, this in turn, was causing an increase in the failure to achieve other goals.
He said that though, the 20 million dollar investment was completely insured, the impact of the disaster on the company, the surroundings and the threat to the depreciating environment and its topography could not be overstated.
The director-general advised that the parts that have not been completely submerged at Olam Farm might need some form of immediate rehabilitation.
“We regret the recent flooding in the Doma Local Government and other areas of Nasarawa, reportedly caused by the River Benue overflowing its banks.
“This incident has resulted in a significant loss for various businesses and properties around the area.
“We recognise the contributions of OLAM FARM’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to their host communities, as well as the significance of their farm to food production and the agricultural value chain.
“We also recognise the presence of other businesses around this area stretching all the way to the banks of Rivers Confluence in Kogi State that were direly affected.
“We urge the Federal and affected States Governments, together with relevant government agencies to promptly put in place measures capable of supporting the farm and other businesses around in their salvaging and recovery efforts,” he said.
The NACCIMA chief urged a higher level of responsiveness and absolute regard for NiMET’s warnings about climate change by being more proactive.
He said though, there were natural disasters in other climes, they were usually better managed through proactive steps to ensure minimal damages to both human and material resources.
Obadimu added that significant measures by those climes would protect investments that ensure livelihood for thousands of citizens around disaster-prone areas.
“Nigerians and private businesses must take climate change seriously, particularly concerning the need to minimise Carbon Dioxide emissions and in their corporate responsibilities to promote and advocate the climate change agenda, as well as promote, ultimately, the use of alternative green energy sources in Nigeria,” he said.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) have condemned attack on Dangote Cement, Obajana Plant, which left seven persons injured and property destroyed.
They called for the intervention of relevant agencies to enable the Kogi government and Dangote Cement Plc come to a truce.
They made the call on Friday in Lagos in statements in reaction to the attacked on Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, which left about seven persons injured and property destroyed.
Dr Chinyere Almona, Director-General, LCCI, described the news of the attack on the Dangote Cement Plant as shocking and disappointing, ill-construed and avoidable.
Almona said the attack was a reflection of the poor handling of investment protection in the country.
According to her, the LCCI believes there are more decent ways to handle regulatory and legislative matters concerning businesses in Nigeria than resorting to violence.
She recommended a meeting of all government agencies connected with the acquisition of the cement plant to resolve any differences thereof.
“The chamber sees a role for the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), the Nigeria Investment Protection Commission (NIPC), and the Kogi State government in resolving the issue.
“The growing mining industry in Kogi State has benefitted from the production activities of the Dangote Cement Factory, which offers both infrastructural and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to enhance the standard of living in the state.
“It is, therefore, expected that the government would be interested in creating an enabling business environment that can attract both local and foreign investors.
“And where there are infractions, handling such should be in accordance with best practices and the rule of law that protect investors’ rights and human lives.
“We advocate a win-win situation for businesses and the government and will, therefore, call on all parties to exercise caution and be protective of jobs, assets of production, and government revenues from corporate organisations like Dangote Cement Factory,” she said.
Almona stressed that henceforth, the process that could be taken must not necessarily shut down the factory and endanger jobs, products, and government revenues.
“This point is critical as wrong handling or unprofessional approaches to resolutions can send negative signals to potential foreign investors,” she said.
Also, Mr Olusola Obadimu, Director-General, NACCIMA, regretted the action of Kogi State government, which had resulted in the hasty sealing of the Dangote Cement Factory at Obajana.
Obadimu said the action could have surely been resolved on a more conciliatory and amicable note.
He stated that his view was based on the key consideration that the huge production plant supplied key domestic inputs (cement) into the economy, employing hundreds of thousands of Nigerians directly and indirectly.
This, he explained, was aside from its substantial budget for CSR outside of taxes.
He noted that shutting off the factory did not necessarily help the controversial issue of compliance on tax remittance to the Kogi State government.
Rather, Obadimu said, a continual operation of the plant would more likely facilitate a faster resolution of the dispute.
“We thus suggest that the company be reopened as quickly as possible to enable it continue its operation and fulfil its necessary responsibilities.
“This is not just on tax but also keep the hundreds of thousands of Nigerians in its direct and indirect employment dutifully engaged and, furthermore, sustain its crucial services, not just to the people and government of Kogi State but Nigeria in general,” he said.
The Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) has charged the country’s monetary authorities to implement policies to strengthen the Naira and reduce inflationary pressures on its citizens.
NACCIMA Director-General, Mr Olusola Obadimu, gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos, in reaction to the August inflation rate of 20.52 per cent.
NAN reports that analysis by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that food inflation for the period under review also surged to 23.12 per cent; an increase of 1.1 per cent month-on-month.
The NBS attributed the development to disruptions in the supply of food products, increase in import cost due to the persistent currency depreciation and general increase in the cost of production.
Obadimu stressed the need to earn more foreign exchange by shoring up the country’s export indices to reverse the depreciation of the Naira and strengthen it.
He noted that by the time the fuel subsidy was removed, it would spike inflation because of its obvious multiplier effects.
Obadimu said printing of Naira by monetary authorities would instead of ensuring flow of disposable income, lead to inflation tax seeing that the value of the currency was weak compared to its foreign counterparts.
“Consumption without exports means that the Naira cannot be strong because you must earn foreign exchange to strengthen the Naira.
“Even if you manufacture anything, you are not sure of its safety when transporting the goods.
Also, cost of power, inadequate infrastructure, insecurity have all contributed to inflation.
“Until these factors of insecurity, infrastructure and power deficiencies are fixed, there is no end to it inflation in sight.
“There must be something to suggest that our monetary policy managers have any clue on what to do to bring inflation down.
“Government must begin to discipline its expenses, reduce borrowing, and look beyond policies that are short termed but multigenerational to engender economic growth,” he said.
The NACCIMA DG stressed the need for value to be added to the country’s exports; both oil and non-oil to generate foreign exchange.
He also called for the shapening of the nation’s various port access and facilities to encourage exports and ensure timeliness of deliveries to desired destinations.
Stakeholders, especially farmers in the South-South, have called on the Federal Government to urgently build more silos across the states to reduce annual post-harvest losses in the agriculture sector.
The residents made the call in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria , against the backdrop of government’s recent disclosure that the country’s economic cost of post-harvest losses was N3.5 trillion.
The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mustapha Shehuri, at the presentation of the International Standard Organisation (ISO) Certification for Nigerian Stored Products Research Institute, Abuja, decried the worrisome trend.
NAN recalls that the minister, represented at the occasion by Mr Shehu Bello, a Director in the ministry, noted further that the losses in fruits and vegetables could be as high as between 50 and 60 per cent.
Concerned about the huge annual post-harvest losses, the respondents said the situation, if not quickly reversed, could worsen Nigeria’s food insecurity.
They also urged government to partner relevant stakeholders in the agribusiness sector to improve on the existing food-processing value chain to mitigate annual post-harvest losses nationwide.
The Chairman of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) in Delta, Mr Richard Asenime, said that with adequate food preservation facilities in place, farmers’ capacity to produce food would increase.
Asenime, however, lamented the absence of silos for grain storage in most states, saying Delta had only one silo for farmers to preserve their grains after harvest.
He added that with silos, farmers would make more money by regulating supply of their produce and ensuring stability in price.
In Calabar, Mr Bassey Edet, Programme Manager, Cross River Agricultural Development Programme (ADP), underscored the importance of having storage facilities in the preservation of farm produce all year round.
According to him, proper handling of the nation’s strategic food reserve is the way to go, to ensure food security and sustainability.
Edet said to ensure adequate food supply all year round, the federal government needed to establish strategic food reserves in different states and thereafter hand them over to the private sector to manage.
He regretted that successive governments consistently had to borrow from the World Bank for different agricultural projects without sustainable plans, adding that such programmes died soon after the administration left office.
He said: “Food banks should be constructed in different states depending on the food crops they produce.
If this is realised, there will be competition and ultimately food prices will drop.
“This will also help us to control food prices during scarce period.
We will just get the products from the reserve to the market to reduce the price of the commodity and monopoly.
” According to the programme manager, because the nation’s food reserves are not working, Cross River loses so much during harvest peak periods, which frustrates the efforts of peasant farmers.
He noted that if government invested in storage facilities, apart from drastically reducing wastages, there would be food security.
“The lack of reserve is one of the reasons why IDPs are suffering in their camps; we need to have these food banks to preserve food and also generate income.
“Nigerians would not have suffered so much in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, if government had strategically stored enough food to assist people who remained indoors,” he said.
For Mr Festus Ebozele, Managing Director, TA Commodity Producers Co. Nigeria Limited, Benin, the federal government should invest more in food processing to reduce post-harvest losses in the country.
Ebozele said such investment could be through partnership with local farmers as well as other private investors.
“The federal government should invest more in processing of perishable farm produces as well create a conducive environment for processing businesses to thrive,” he said.
According to him, the federal government can empower farmers to go into processing of perishable farm produces like orange, pineapple and plantain, among others.
“My interaction with most farmers over the years has revealed that they do not have enough buyers for their fresh products and as such need to process these products to ensure durability.
“Government should ban importation of fruit juice and promote processing and sale of local juice.
“Some makers of pineapple juice in Nigeria buy concentrates from China and this is affecting the value chain for pineapple in the country,” he said.
In his contribution, Mr Ogbeiwi Odihi-Ogiamien, Edo Coordinator, Youth Wing, Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), urge partnership among all levels of government in preserving farm produce.
Odihi-Ogiamien said since the federal government seemed to have its hands full, state and local governments could partner farmers in the area of preservation to reduce post-harvest losses.
“There are 774 LGAs in the country; they can collaborate with farmers at the grassroots in the storage of farm products in their locality.
“The federal government can then assist councils that are doing well to expand their capacity,” he said.
A commercial farmer in Bayelsa, Mr Fidelis Alaowei, said farmers were faced with the challenge of absence of storage facilities in the state especially for grains, hence the high post-harvest losses annually.
He said food losses and waste were either as a result of ineffective functioning or total absence of food storage systems.
“Improving on-farm storage technologies for grains is one of the most widely applied solutions for the reduction of grain losses in developing countries.
“The most commonly used options – metal drums and hermetic bags – can reduce grain losses to near zero if used correctly.
It allows farmers to increase food for home consumption and sales.
“In grain value chain, most losses in quantity and quality occur during storage and are due to improper grain drying.
“Again, vegetables and fruits can be stored using a specialised method of conditioning as done in National Horticultural Institute of Nigeria (NIHORT) to check post-harvest losses,” he said.
Alaowei said that farmers were already conversant with ways to preserve tuber crops such as yam.
On his part, an Uyo-based agronomist, Dr. Nsikak Edidiong, said that the rise in food prices should be a concern to every Nigerian.
”A fortified food reserve system will help to guarantee food supply all year round and ensure food security,” he said.
Another respondent and farmer, Chief Nsima Jacobs, said that the establishment of strategic food reserves would encourage farmers to grow more crops and earn more.
”The insecurity in some parts of the country requires us to reserve food.
“Farming activities are already threatened in some parts of the country and we need to think outside the box and ensure all round food supply in the country,” he said.
In Rivers some residents have attributed high cost of food commodities to lack of storage facilities in the state, and stressed the need for government to beef up strategic food reserves to minimize post-harvest losses.
Mr Bright Okere, Director, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Andoni Local Government Area, told NAN in Port Harcourt that over 50 per cent of agriculture produce in the state was lost due to lack of silos.
“Fishermen loose much of their catch due to lack of electricity, cold rooms and other storage facilities at fishing ports.
“Whenever there’s a huge catch, fishermen and the offtakers become overwhelmed, resulting in drastic fall in the price of fish.
“Some times the catch becomes so enomous that fishermen begin to bury fishes to prevent stench from decomposition,” he said.
Okere urged the federal government to establish strategic fish storage outlets in the state to curb post-harves losses.
A cassava farmer, Mr Clement Gosu, also urged the federal government and agriculture investors to establish more cassava flour mills and storage plants in the southern part of the country.
He said that the move would check shortage of cassava flour in the country and also encourage export of the produce.
Similarly, Mr Athens Owo, an agriculture extension officer, Rivers Agriculture Development Programme (ADP) said establishment of silos would support risk reduction in farm investment.
He also said that strategic food storage reserve would attract processors and other investors since produce would be available in various parts of the country.
NAN) Alhaji Garba Abubakar, Registrar- General of the Corporate Affairs Commission( CAC ), said that the commission would soon deploy additional three modules on its online registration portal.
This is contained in a statement by Mr Rasheed Mahe CAC’s Head of Media Unit on Thursday in Abuja.
Mahe said Abubakar said this when the Chairperson of Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), Business Women Working Group (NAWORG ), Hajiya Aisha Abubakar visited him.
He said that deployment was in continuation of the commission’s reforms, The registrar-general said that the module which included the eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) filing system for financial reports, was developed in collaboration with the Financial Reporting Council.
He said that it was also developed with support from eu-act programme under the European Union and British Council.
The registrar said a stakeholder is being organised before the deployment of the new modules.
Abubakar said the commission`s active support and participation in the series of interventions by the current administration, include the 25,000 free business names registration.
He added that the commission just secured approval to register 20,000 more businesses at 50 per cent discount, in collaboration with the Abuja Enterprise Agency.
He said that in view of the successes recorded, many more state governments and groups have been approaching the commission to broker such collaborations to formalise more informal businesses.
Abubakar said that since January 2021, the commission ensured full digitisation of its operations in line with the ease of doing business initiatives of the administration.
He said that following the digitisation, customers now obtain online certified extracts instantly with ease as against queuing up in the past for manual reports from the commission.
The CAC boss said that in line with the provisions of the CAMA 2020, the commission no longer issue documents with personal signatures especially to third parties except for court use.
Abubakar pledge support to NAWORG to provide customised advocacy training for women entrepreneurs, to motivate them to register their businesses He commended the NAWORG Chairperson’s tremendous personal support to some of the commission’s reform initiatives as the Minister supervising the Affairs of the commission.
Earlier, the chairperson of NAWORG, Abubakar solicited the commission`s collaboration towards achieving gender equality and women empowerment in Nigeria.
She said that the number of Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Nigeria has dropped to 39 million from 41 million due to the negative impact of Covid-19. Abubakar said that women owned businesses became the hardest hit, adding that a large number of women owned informal businesses in the society, was an obstacle to women participation in public and private sectors.
The NAWORG chairperson who spoke extensively on their activities noted with delight that the CAC had opened several windows for MSMEs to formalise their businesses at discounted rates thereby earning it many awards.
She commended the commission for its reform initiatives which has reduced bottle necks in the registration processes.