The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) has described the economic challenges facing the country as multi-faceted and called for a holistic and multi-pronged approach toward resolving them.
NECA’s Director-General, Mr Wale Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos, said there was no better time for the Federal Government to reappraise current economic policies and deepen its engagement with the organised private sector.
‘’The nation is currently faced with multiple challenges: with dire combination of spiraling inflation; rising energy cost; scarcity of foreign exchange (FOREX); dwindling value of the naira and an almost comatose aviation sector.
‘’Also, stuttering education system; rising debt; depleting Foreign Reserve and rising fuel subsidy expenses among others, which threaten to lay bare the country’s economy.
‘’While government’s effort to salvage the economy is commendable, there is, however, need for a more holistic approach to resuscitate the stuttering economy, ‘’ he said.
The director-general noted that Nigeria had always lived dangerously on the precipice, with a major chunk of its revenue dependent on the complexities of global crude demand and supply.
According to him, a dangerous blend of self-destructive tendencies, insecurity and fiscal and monetary policy inconsistencies have also conspired to make the situation worse.
“In April 2022, the World Bank warned that the rising cost of fuel subsidy could significantly impact public finance and pose debt sustainability concerns: alas, this projection is almost happening.
‘’The fiscal performance report released recently by the government confirmed the accuracy of these projections.
‘’The combination of a struggling aviation sector and roads taken over by bandits have also conspired to fuel the situation, leading to rising inflation at 18.6 per cent, according to the National Bureau Statistics.
‘’These have continued to worsen the promotion of commerce and the increase the rate of de-industrialisation of some regions of the country,” he said.
Oyerinde, therefore, called for the commencement of a deliberate and economic-priority- influenced approach and wide consultation with stakeholders.
This, according to him, should be with the view of harvesting alternative policy options to re-energise all sectors of the economy.
‘’While the challenges of revenue shortage are acknowledged, burdening businesses with new taxes or levies will be counter-productive and a self-destructive action.
‘’Over-burdening already burdened businesses will only lead to business closure and an escalation of job losses with consequential effect on our social and economic stability.
‘’Government should, in the short-term widen the tax net, reduce wastage in governance, and focus on economic projects that will stimulate the Nigerian economy and guarantee an enabling environment for businesses to operate.
‘’An enabling environment for local businesses will create the platform for new foreign direct investment, which could increase foreign exchange inflow into the country,” he said.
The director-general also urged the government, as a matter of urgency, fix the four national refineries and encourage the development of modular ones as a precursor to total removal of fuel subsidy.
He said that interventions aimed at improving living standards to stimulate consumption and enterprise sustainability to promote job creation should be implemented.
Oyerinde said, ‘’While forex scarcity persists, allocation of the available forex to manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy should be given priority.
The Naira on Tuesday depreciated at the Investors and Exporters window, against the dollar, exchanging at N431.The figure represented a decrease of 0.90 percent compared with the N427.17 it exchanged for the dollar on Monday.The open indicative rate closed at N427.30 to the dollar on Tuesday.An exchange rate of N444 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N431.The local currency sold for as low as N414 to the dollar within the day’s trading.A total of 58.03 million dollars was traded in foreign exchange at the official Investors and Exporters’ window on Tuesday.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Ms Rehab Danladi, Managing Director, PET Group of companies, says that tapping the rich divergent Agro produces in Nigeria has the potential to solve the country’s foreign exchange challenges and boost the economy.She said at a media discourse on Monday in Abuja, that Nigeria would be placed on the limelight to compete with the world best export market if properly harnessed.The News Agency of NIgeria ( NAN) reports that Agro Farms, an affiliate of the PET Group, is set to start up a farm that will harness palm trees to get palm oil, processing them into vegetable oil and other by-products.” Nigeria is the 7th largest producer of palm kernel and palm oil in high demand globally but can only get FOREX for Nigeria if maximally harnessed and exported.According to her, Nigeria should be making money from the production of palm oil, but there is not enough for the local market, hence the export potential is not utilised.“We are looking at Kogi State; a Nigerian from Kogi for instance, has no idea he has ‘gold in his backyard’; Kogi has the highest input of perm kernel and Nigeria is richly blessed with a lot of wealth from its farms.“We’ve been here for 37 years, I have toured round the length and breadth of this country, exploring its rich diverse resources; we are all set to go, we have 40 plots of land in Kogi and a lot of youths will be meaningfully employed.“There’s a lot for Nigeria to gain in this business because 80 per cent of our products will be for the export market while 20 per cent will be going into the local market.She said prices of vegetable oil and soya beans oil would be subsidised in the Nigerian market.“It’s a value chain thing, nothing is wasted, the shell from the palm kernel will be converted into poultry food; we are also exploring the cashew market in Nigeria.“The total production of raw Cashew in NIgeria is 1.4 million metric tonnes; cashew is being gotten from Nigeria and exported outside the country only to come back as processed Cashew bought by Nigerians.” Danladi said Agro farms was investing N150 million into the Nigerian Market, aside the cost of land and machineries.She added that NEXIM bank would assist the farms with loans to export the products outside the country.“We are also working closely with the Bank of Industry for the local market production; we are going to be buying seedlings from the farmers and also hybrid seeds.Danladi said the farm would be using made in Nigeria wires to get electricity in the farm because they were the best.NAN also reports that PET Group of companies is a Nigeria-based foreign Company.NewsSourceCredit: NAN
The Sweet Potato Forum has appealed to government and organised private sector to strengthen farming, marketing and processing of Orange Flesh Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) to lessen reliance on wheat, and attract investment across the value chain.
Dr Abdulkadir Hassan, President, Sweet Potato Forum, told News Agency of Nigeria in Zaria on Monday that the Forum was a Pan African Platform for the promotion of opportunities across sweet potato value chain.
OFSP is very rich in fibre, beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B6, minerals and phenolic compounds amongst others.
Hassan said OFSP was very rich in over 12 essential nutrients used in boosting the immune system and management of ailments such as diabetes, hypertension, infertility and stress related ailments.
He said adequate investment in OFSP value chain could help the country to minimise over reliance on wheat in the production of bread and confectioneries.
According to him, OFSP can be used to produce a wide range of products such as pastries, biscuits, chips, crisps, pickles, juice, soup, stew, herbs and cosmetics.
“The leaves can be used as vegetables in making soup, salad, healthy drinks and can also be processed as rich-nutrients tea.
“Beside bread and confectionaries, the commodity can be used in the production of dying materials, coloring agents; it can also be used as active and non-active ingredients in food and pharmaceutical value chains,’’ he said.
Hassan explained that OFSP bread, biscuits and snacks could be made through its puree which made bakers to save over 25 per cent of the cost of producing conventional wheat bread He added that few facilities in Abuja, Lagos and Nnewi were currently producing potato bread stressing that in most cases, one had to make a booking ahead of time before obtaining such bread due to high demand.
He, however, lamented that in spite of its health, economic and nutritional benefits, the crop was yet to be widely cultivated in farms.
Hassan said the commodity had very high yields, resulting in enormous economic benefits to the farmers, especially when adopting good agronomic practices.
He added that currently the global average yield per hectare was 13 tons, but in Nigeria, the yield was averaged between six and seven tons per hectare.
He, however, said the forum conducted a pilot scheme in Jigawa, Kaduna and Niger states where farmers realised between 30 to 50 tons per hectare.
He said many farmers cultivating a hectare of the potato earned up to N2m or even higher per hectare per cycle in the pilot states as the crop could be cultivated up to three times per year.
The president said developing the OFSP value chain might attract foreign investment and enhance FOREX in the range of hundreds of millions of dollars, across all the segments of the value chain.
“The demand for the orange flesh potatoes is still very high and we still have some processing plants across the country complaining over inadequate production of the commodity in Nigeria.
“Some of these companies had to enter into contract with farmers on the production of the commodity which they used in the production of confectionaries and so many other products within the food supply chain,’’ he said.
According to him, the forum is into strategic partnership with key players in the sector with a view to enhance OFSP production in Nigeria.
He, therefore, appealed to the government to include OFSP into the school feeding programme and other social intervention programmes as obtained in Ghana, Rwanda and other African countries.
He said inclusion of OFSP in social intervention offered multiple benefits such as access to adequate and quality nutrition for healthy life, stimulation of grassroots economy and poverty reduction.
Before trying to understand the differences between CFD trading and stock trading you need to hear one basic truth in virtually any type of investment. There is always going to be some amount of risk because no one has a crystal ball. Therefore, it is highly unrealistic to believe you can predict what tomorrow might yield with 100% accuracy. That’s the truth. Now, with that said, when it comes to CFD trading vs stock trading, you can learn the differences between the two which should give you a fairly solid idea of which financial product is better suited to your style of trading. Let’s look at that a little closer.
The Naira on Thursday depreciated further at the Investors and Exporters window, exchanging at N420 to the dollar, a 0.30 per cent depreciation, weaker than N418.75 traded on Wednesday.
The open indicative rate closed at N416.50 to the dollar on Thursday.
An exchange rate of N444.00 to the dollar was the highest rate recorded within the day’s trading before it settled at N420.
The Naira sold for as low as 412.38 to the dollar within the day’s trading.
A total of 160 million dollars was traded in foreign exchange at the official Investors and Exporters window on Thursday.(NAN)
Mr. Sanusi Garba, chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), says that the commission has not approved any new rate revisions in recent times.
Garba told reporters in Abuja on Friday that the latest tariff revision has been approved on December 31, 2021 and will take effect in February 2022.
“I want, on behalf of NERC management, to make it clear that as of today, we have not approved any rate revisions and no indication that any Electricity Distribution Company (DisCos) is increasing their rate.
“If you notice that the rate you buy has changed in the last one to three weeks, we want evidence. The information posted on the NERC website was the latest fee revision in December 2021.
“Our role is to approve rate requests for Distribution companies, and we have not received any.
“We have clearly stated that we are required by law to do a minor review every six months to take care of inflation, FOREX, etc.”, he said.
On the issue of 'Eligible Customer Regulations', Mr. Musiliu Oseni, the Tariff and Market Competition Commissioner, said that the regulation was still in place.
The Nigerian News Agency reports that the Eligible Customers Regulation allows electricity generation companies (GenCos) to sell electricity directly to customers whose consumption is more than 2 over the course of a month.
Oseni said that the regulation and framework were also in place, adding that the commission issued a letter to market operators to stop the recognition of certain potential clients.
He said the clients were detained because they had not obtained approval from the commission at the time.
“As of today, we have some clients who have been approved as eligible clients pending review of the necessary documentation from other clients.
“Some of the customers that haven't gotten approval yet had some challenges including the inability of their potential generator to sell them additional capacity.
“Under that framework, many of the generators had a contract with the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading Company (NBET), and you cannot contract the same capacity twice,” he said.
Oseni said such generators were already taking steps to renegotiate contracted capacity made with NBET to free up some capacity to sell to eligible customers. (
The CBN will stop selling foreign exchange to commercial banks before the end of the year, its governor, Godwin Emefiele, said in Abuja on Friday.Emefiele said banks would have to start getting their FOREX from export earnings from the non-oil sector of the economy.Addressing reporters in the wake of the 364th Bankers Committee Meeting, Emefiele said the decision was in line with CBN's commitment to increase the country's foreign exchange reserves through non-oil export earnings.“The era is coming to an end when, because your clients need $100 million in foreign currency or $200 million, you pass it on to the CBN to give you dollars.“It is coming to an end before or during this year. We will tell them not to come back to the CBN looking for foreign exchange; they should go and generate their export earnings.“When those export earnings come in, we'll finance it at 5 percent for them and they'll get a refund.“Then they can sell the proceeds to their clients who want $100 million. But to say that they will keep coming to CBN to give them dollars, we will stop it,'' she said.Emefiele added that Nigeria could no longer rely on FOREX earnings to fund import obligations for products whose prices and quantities were beyond CBN's control.The Nigerian News Agency reports that CBN had earlier introduced a new FOREX intervention program: "Race to $200 Billion'' (RT200), to help boost non-oil exports and FOREX earnings.Emefiele said RT200 aims to generate $200 million from non-oil exports alone over the next three to five years.He said the CBN would provide long-term concessional loans to entrepreneurs interested in expanding existing plants or building new ones in order to add value to non-oil raw materials before exporting them."These loans will be valid for 10 years, with a two-year moratorium and an interest rate of 5 percent," said Emefiele.
Over the years Norwegian dried fish has become an important component / ingredient in Nigerian meals.
This seafood has high nutritional benefits in addition to the appreciated flavor.
Interestingly, stockfish has a history beyond the product itself.
Producing the perfect dried fish is an art. It involves first-class craftsmanship and experience, as well as the forces of nature themselves.
Nigeria and Norway have a long tradition of working together in various ways, and this includes the importation of dried fish that began in the 1890s.
Over the years, as part of expanding product knowledge and awareness in the country, the Norwegian Seafood Council has conducted various seminars, workshops, seafood festivals, and a distinctive chef training workshop.
During a recent event at the Muson Center, Lagos, the council showcased the fusion of parts of the stockfish opera with performances by Nigerian dancers and cultural artists. This was followed by dinner.
Speaking at the 2021 Food Safety Awareness and Awareness Seminar organized by the Seafood Council in Lagos, Norwegian Minister for Fisheries and Ocean Policy Bojmar Skjaran called on the Nigerian government to remove stockfish from the list of 43 items whose access Currency is restricted.
Skjaran noted that the listing of stockfish had made it difficult for both Nigerian importers and Norwegian exporters to trade in the product.
According to him, stockfish is an important part of Norwegians' business and culture, adding that the trade in this product dates back more than 100 years.
“There is a growing demand for dried fish in Nigeria. However, we have some challenges.
“The main one is the inclusion of stockfish in the list of items that have restricted access to foreign exchange, which has made it more expensive for both importers and consumers of stockfish.
“In recent months, the situation has gone from bad to worse and the fishing industry has reconfirmed the fact that stockfish prices may increase. There are many reasons why stockfish should be removed from the list of items with currency exchange restrictions. "
He noted that Norwegian dried fish is a unique product that can only be produced in a special climate that is only present in northern Norway.
“Second, the Norwegian government does not compete with locally produced fish in Nigeria.
“Norwegian dried fish is a good source of protein; it contains 80 percent of the protein needs of consumers; it is low in fat.
"The Norwegian government will continue to work with the Nigerian government with a view to removing it from the list of items whose access to foreign exchange is restricted," Skjaran said.
Furthermore, the Norwegian High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Lein Knut, appealed to the Nigerian government to remove stockfish from the list, highlighting the various benefits of the product.
“We believe that stockfish should have access to FOREX, we need better logistics in Nigerian ports, lower import taxes and less bureaucracy.
“Stockfish is low in fat and a good source of protein for its consumers.
"It is a unique product that can only be produced in a special climate," Knut said.
Furthermore, at the seminar held in Lagos in 2020, the president of the Nigerian First Premier Fish Importers Association, Deacon Gregory Ilobinso, said that getting FOREX for their businesses had become a great challenge.
“If importers want to bring fish in storage, then we have to have a 'Form M' approved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) with evidence of US dollars to pay for the import.
“It takes six months to a year for a Form M to be approved, and because of this, we are unable to store the product. That is why we are appealing to the Federal Government to allow us to access FOREX so that we can import fish. "
"We understand the position of the Federal Government that the oil market is volatile, the FOREX does not have a constant supply, but the cost of accessing dollars for the fish stock is not that much compared to other commodities," he said.
Ilobinso defended the relevance of the fish population in the Nigerian diet and the need for the government to guarantee ease of access to FOREX for trading, saying that there is no substitute, alternative or competition for the fish population in Nigerian kitchens.
“Common fish has its own place and adds its own flavor to Nigerian foods. Eating and consuming dried fish with meals has become a tradition and a delicacy for us.
“It has a long shelf life that cannot be compared to any protein source; it can be kept in kitchens for an average of two years.
"During the Nigerian civil war, due to the Kwashiorkor outbreak, the World Council of Churches imported fish to help solve the protein deficiency," said the president.
According to him, when traders cannot import fish, many people in their value chain will lose their sources of livelihood.
“Wholesalers, retailers, truckers, mechanics and shippers will lose their jobs if we cannot import fish. If we are allowed to access FOREX, it will be an additional benefit to the government in terms of higher revenues.
"But if these products find alternative ways to enter the country, the government will probably lose revenue from their importation," he said.
Similarly, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD), Alhaji Sabi ono, who was represented by Fisheries, Dr. Ime Umoh, called for greater collaboration between the Norwegian and Nigerian governments and greater ease in stock trading. of fish in the country.
“Total fish production in Nigeria is approximately 1.123 million metric tons, including imports, and it still does not meet the total demand for fish.
“The volume of fish stock imported from Norway to Nigeria is only about 8,000 metric tons and this represents about 0.4 percent of the total volume of imported fish to Nigeria.
“With this, it can be said that the total volume of foreign currency consumed is minimal.
“Despite the fact that the government needs to reduce the nation's import bills, we must be aware of the importance of cheap and affordable protein and other nutrients for the Nigerian population.
"When initiating policies and regulations, it is necessary to be aware of the reciprocity of trade between nations and the fact that we can also involve our trading partners like Norway to help us with our integration process in commercial aquaculture," said the Minister.
In addition, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Adeniyi Adebayo, representing the Director, Mr. Ishayaku Zakaria, noted that the current administration will continue to implement policies and reforms to remove trade barriers and obstacles.
“We appreciate the special nature of the relationship between Nigeria and Norway that predates our independence. Nigeria is Norway's second largest importer of seafood after China.
“Nigeria's imports from Norway amounted to $ 148.39 million in 2019. We value the relationship and will continue to foster the growth of investment, trade and cooperation between the two countries.
"The current administration has initiated various reforms and policies aimed at eliminating some bottlenecks in trade, restructuring the economy and diversifying sources of income," Adebayo added.
Stakeholders at the end of the seminar urged the federal government to review the landing cost of importing fish into the country, and asked the government to review and reverse the policy.
However, they appealed for the tariff on the fish stock and the fish head stock to be reduced from 20 to 10 percent to reduce smuggling.
"The government is advised to develop policies that create an enabling environment for non-oil exports such as fisheries, agriculture and agribusiness that encompass livestock and other key value chains with respect to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA ) ".
Interested parties called on the Federal Government to review the inclusion of Stock fish and Stock fish Head in the list of invalid items for Foreign Exchange.
They also lobbied for the cost of landing the fish population and the head of the fish population in the Nigerian market to be lowered.
In general, the motive becomes important, especially since the fish population (COD) cannot be reared in Nigeria or Nigerian waters.
According to them, fish stocks and the importation of fish heads have not adversely affected the increase in local fish production in Nigeria because the imported volume is relatively low.
They argued that the foreign exchange requirement for importing stock fish and stock fish heads was not comparable to the other 42 heavy items on the exclusion list.
They also alluded to the fact that the fish stocks business is an important avenue for income and wealth creation, direct and indirect, especially for intermediaries, retailers, sellers, carriers, loaders and unloaders, so that it can be stopped the occurrence of crimes. . (Characteristics)
The African Energy Chamber (AEC) (www.EnergyChamber.org), on Monday, May 17, held a meeting with the Central Bank of Central African States (BEAC) to discuss the effects of the adoption by the BEAC in December 2018 of foreign exchange regulations, which are due to enter into force on January 1, 2022.
The meeting responded to concerns from energy companies operating in the CEMAC region that the new FOREX regulations will stifle investment, lead to job losses, increase operational costs, lead to additional and unnecessary bureaucracy, and ultimately render the company energy industry of the region uncompetitive. compared to other regions of the world.
These concerns are even more relevant today, given the increased pressures and competition facing the industry in the CEMEC region in light of the global transition to energy transition.
The House delegation, led by Mr. Leoncio Amada Nze, President of the CEMAC region of the African Energy Chamber, thanked the leadership of the BEAC, under the leadership of its Governor, Abbas Mahamat Tolli, for their efforts. constant since the adoption of the regulation for concerns and to facilitate its implementation. “The BEAC has been constantly engaged with the oil and gas industry to address all of our concerns. We believe in being pragmatic and finding common sense solutions to an industry concern. ”Said Leoncio Amada Nze. "This region needs to attract investors and retain investors, our job at the Energy Chamber is to work with the BEAC towards market-friendly growth policies and a favorable environment for local and foreign investors" , concluded Mr. Amada Nze.
Key principles and concerns regarding the new forex regulation include:
Representatives of the central bank explained the reasons for the regulation. At the center of it was the desire to consolidate the region's hard currency reserves. The House understands this desire and recognizes its importance. It will therefore continue to work with the industry's central bank to find constructive ways to address the industry's legitimate concerns.