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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Obasanjo Rallies Government Support For Poultry Sub-Sector, Warns Against Poultry Importation

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Imported frozen chicken parts

 

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has warned against opening Nigeria’s borders to allow the importation of poultry and poultry products into the country.

 

Obasanjo, who gave the warning at the second Nigerian Poultry Summit 2023 in Abuja, underscored the need for the Federal Government to support the Poultry sub-sector and not to allow Nigeria to become a dumping ground for poultry products.

 

Going down memory lane, he narrated his visit to a poultry farm in Turkey where the farm produces one million eggs daily with only 25 workers.

 

He said: “When I asked the owner of the farm how much his investment was, he said $ 40 million, and however 50 percent of the funds was from grants from his government.

 

“Then, he told me that he was looking for opportunities to export eggs into Nigeria, but I told him that I would not allow him to do that”

 

Obasanjo, while speaking virtually at the event, pointed out that “with $40million investment and 50per percent of it, which is grants from his government, the owner of the Poultry farm could afford to dump eggs in Nigeria and sell them at the cheapest rate possible, which Nigerian poultry farmers would not be able to measure up with.

 

He contended that the government must understand all these intricacies, adding that when the poultry industry is thriving, it will boost the economy.

 

Obasanjo, who is the grand patron of PAN, said “When you talk of poverty eradication, wealth creation or employment generation, poultry is one of the best ways that you can go into either at small, medium or large level, moreso the market is at the door step.

 

“When the poultry industry is thriving, it will trickle down to the value chain, including maize, soybean farmers, pharmaceutical companies producing drugs for the birds will also benefit”

 

The former President stressed the need for the government and private sector to pay attention to the poultry industry given its enormous potential to provide job opportunities, food and nutrition security.

 

In his address, Minister of State for Agriculture and Food Security, Dr Sabi Abdullahi, said poultry production in Nigeria is a vehicle for wealth creation and improved means of livelihood.

 

Abdullahi said Nigeria is estimated to produce 10.3billion eggs per annum, while annual consumption is put at about 14 billion eggs, based on the premise of annual individual consumption of about 70 eggs.

 

The minister said: “The per capita poultry consumption is 1.75 kg which falls below the 6.2 kg Africa average.

 

“Annual consumption of poultry meat in Nigeria is put at 1,500,000 MT and production output is just about 55% of consumption, estimated at 826,902.42 metric tonnes, leaving a huge deficit of 45%, which is about 675,000 metric tonnes.

 

“This deficit unfortunately is met through smuggling of poultry and poultry products which most of the times are unwholesome, with its attendant negative effects on the citizens, industry and the economy.”

 

To save the poultry industry from collapse, he revealed that the Federal Government is putting in place measures to meet up with the request of poultry farmers which include the possibility of import duty waiver, VAT exemption on the importation of feed grade maize and soya-bean as well as on the issue of the recent lifting of the forex restriction on importation of poultry and poultry products.

 

He however, tasked the Research Institutes to focus attention on coming up with maize varieties for livestock feed only to reduce the demand pressure on the ordinary maize used for food and other purposes by human beings.

 

Also speaking, the National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Sunday Ezeobiora, said the Poultry sub-sector is worth N10trillion.

 

Ezeobiora said the Poultry industry has provided direct and indirect jobs to over 20 million people in Nigeria.

 

He however, lamented that achievements recorded in the sub-sector would eroded and wasted unless Nigerian government halts the idea of opening its borders for poultry and poultry products importation.

 

He warned that the issue of removing the ban on poultry products and its negative implication on the poultry industry would be enormous and grave.

He noted that poultry farmers are currently confused on the recent developments of the petroleum subsidy removal, the floating of the Naira, and non defined policy narration of whether poultry products have been liberalised for importation based on the announcement by the Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN), that it has removed Forex restrictions on the importation of poultry and poultry products.

 

 

OIL & GAS

Nigeria, Qatar Gas Cooperation To Pave Way For Global Clean Energy, Says Tuggar

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Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Yusuf Tuggar, has called for collaboration between Nigeria and Qatar to promote gas diplomacy, energy transition away from nonrenewable energy, and highlighted the key benefits of Nigeria-Qatari relations for Africa and the global gas sectors.

He made the call while delivering a lecture at the Doha Diplomatic Institute on Thursday on the sidelines of President Bola Tinubu’s official visit to the State of Qatar.

The Minister said both Qatar and Nigeria are blessed with hydrocarbon deposits that place them at the centre of the new energy equation. He also stated that while Qatar has the world’s third largest gas reserves and Nigeria is best known as Africa’s largest oil producer, it is primarily a gas province with a small amount of oil. “We are sitting on reserves of 208TCF. We use our reserves to develop our economies – and are confident that we can also develop partnerships that will support the process of transition.”

Amb. Tuggar further stated that it is incumbent on gas-rich countries like Qatar and Nigeria to make a case for gas as a cleaner alternative and transition fuel fit for human use while also adding that “Nigeria requires a partner such as Qatar that shares a similar epistemology of gas as a resource for human utility to develop its gas assets further and expand market share for the benefit of both countries.” He also enthused that “Nigeria can help Europe and other industrial economies to diversify their sources of energy supply. In turn, a more stable market creates more stable prices, and a more stable platform for economic growth, improved living standards and new opportunities.”

The Minister also stated that Nigeria currently has a 6-train LNG with a nameplate capacity of 22MTPA, with an 8MTPA 7th train under construction and another 8th train planned for the near future. Nigeria also has two additional LNG projects that have reached advanced planning stages; Olokola (OK LNG) and Brass LNG. Opportunities for quick Floating LNG projects also abound. But even before that, 150km from Nigeria lies Equatorial Guinea’s Bioko Island LNG, fresh out of gas supplies and ready to take in feedstock from Nigeria.

The Minister said that beyond the LNG, “Nigeria has two major gas pipeline projects with the potential of delivering gas to Europe currently underway- The Trans-Saharan Gas Pipeline through Algeria can potentially deliver a conservative 2 billion scf/d while the 7,000km Nigeria-Morocco Gas Pipeline seeks to join the Maghreb-European Pipeline (MEP) with a capacity of 30 billion cubic metres/day.”

He added that all of these projects provide huge opportunities for Qatar to partner with Nigeria to enter into new markets for gas in Africa and beyond, noting that: “Qatar possesses the requisite big-ticket experience in negotiating complex international business deals as well as the interlocutory mediation skills for the diplomacy required to pull off a Nigeria-Morocco pipeline, where over 15 countries would be involved.

He said the kind of political and economic partnership that is needed to develop such a complex project can be the foundation for a new diplomatic order in the region. He said: “A partnership that further brings us together and can provide new incentives to mitigate or minimize some of the challenges that we have faced, for example in recent months over the faltering of democracy in parts of the region. ,

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BUSINESS & ECONOMY

New CBN Interest Rate Hike Will Worsen Economic Hardship, Job Losses

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Peter Obi, former governor of Anambra State, believes that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) increase in the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) will exacerbate the country’s economic hardship.

According to the Conclave, the CBN increased the MPR by 400 basis points, from 18.75% to 22.75%.

CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso, who chairs the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), announced the committee’s decisions in Abuja on Tuesday, February 27, 2024.

However, Obi, in a statement posted on his X (formerly Twitter) account on Thursday, February 29, described the increase as counterproductive, claiming it would result in more job losses in the country.

The Labour Party’s (LP) presidential candidate for the 2023 election stated, “Let me confess that being a vintage Onitsha-based trader does not confer on me the status of an economic expert.

“With my vast trading knowledge and my involvement in the real sector, I am of the strong opinion that the recent decision of the Monetary Policy Committee to increase the Monetary Policy Rate, MPR, to 22.5% and the Cash Reserve Ratio, CRR, to 45% will further worsen the economic situation of most Nigerian households, as it is bound to cause more job losses in the productive sector, especially manufacturing and other sectors that rely on bank loans and credit facilities.

“Limiting liquidity in the financial system does not improve productivity, i.e. food production, which is the primary cause of inflation in Nigeria.

Furthermore, only about 12% of the total money in circulation is in the banking system, leaving the remaining 88%, or about N3.2 trillion, outside the banking system.

“So, this measure would be counterproductive because it does not address the intended goal of managing the money supply.

“These new measures will worsen the fragile economy because the supply of funds for the real sector will dry up, and the new MPR rate hike will push loan interest rates above 30%, making it very difficult for real sector operators, particularly manufacturers and SMEs, to repay; resulting, obviously, in increased bad loans and worsening the nation’s economic situation.”

The former governor stated that the most important way for Nigeria’s government to manage the country’s high inflation rate and decline in production is to address insecurity.

Obi stated that the government’s response to insecurity would allow for increased food, crude oil production, and overall production, resulting in cheaper products, particularly food.

Obi added, “This way, we would increase our productivity while also restoring FDI and FPI confidence in the country.

“I must warn that what the Nigerian economy requires right now is hard-headed practical innovation and outcomes. Tinkering with classical economic theories will only exacerbate our crisis.”

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OIL & GAS

NNPC Ltd, OPEC Pledge Collaboration To Attract Investments, Increased Production

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) have agreed to work closely together to achieve the country’s objectives of attracting investment and increasing production.

In a statement, Olufemi Soneye, Chief Corporate Communications Officer of NNPC Ltd, stated that the two organizations came to this accord when the Secretary General of OPEC, Haitham al-Ghais, paid a courtesy visit to the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC Ltd, Mr. Mele Kyari, at the NNPC Towers on Wednesday.

Speaking at the event, al-Ghais stated that OPEC was completely aligned with NNPC Ltd.’s vision, as encapsulated in its payoff line: “Energy for Today, Energy for Tomorrow,” because of its inclusive view of energy, as opposed to the view promoted by some quarters that some sources of energy were bad.

He revealed that, despite the pushback on oil and gas, the world would require approximately $14 trillion in investments from now until 2035 to meet global demand, and urged NNPC Ltd to do everything in its power to capitalise on that opportunity to increase production in order to remain a reliable source of energy for the world.

“We will continue to ensure that the market is stable. The global market has to be stable in order for Nigeria to be able to attract investors. If there’s volatility, if there’s no stability in the market, it will only create havoc for everybody, whether it’s a producer or consumer country. So, we will continue to do that in OPEC. We count on Nigeria’s support”, the OPEC helmsman said.

In his remarks, Kyari stated that NNPC Ltd was working extremely hard to recover lost production and create the ideal fiscal environment to attract investment.

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