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Kogi Govt. set to inaugurate N4 billion Rice Mill

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Revenue formula: Gov. Bello proposes 39% to FG, 61% to States, LGs

…As 2, 000 farmers benefit from over 10,600 hectares agric project in Edo***

The Kogi Government is set to inaugurate a newly-constructed rice mill worth over N4 billion and with the capacity to produce 50 tonnes of rice per day, just as the Edo Government says 2, 000 farmers will benefit from over 10,600 hectares agricultural project in different parts of the state.

Gov. Yahaya Bello disclosed this on Tuesday during an inspection tour of the mill at Omi dam in Ejiba, Yagba West Local Government Area of the state.

”In 2016, we visited this particular Dam and I promised to establish a rice mill here, and today we have this factory 100 per cent established by Kogi State Government.

”We approached the Federal Government through the Minister for Water Resources, to allow us to use this dam for the benefit of our people.

”Today, we are here to inspect a brand new rice factory that is second to none, as far as northern Nigeria is concerned ,” Bello said.

He said that the factory had the capacity to produce over 1000 bags of 50 kg of high quality rice every day, and could employ over 5000 people as direct labour , and more of indirect employments.

He said that over N300 million would be injected into the economy of the state every month, through the factory, while generating additional over N120 million as Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the state, monthly.

”The rice mill will also be producing fish and poultry meals, because we are presently having over 500 fish ponds in this Omi dam.

”We have the capacity to produce cassava and all agro allied products in this particular location,” the governor said.

He stated that the factory had its own independent power generation plant, powered through biomass gasification technology.

According to him, the capacity of the plant is 500 kWh and the rice milling plant capacity at every processing line (shift) is 200kwh.

Bello also said that the plant would have an excess power of 300kwh, which would be used to power strategic locations in neighbouring communities.

”Kogi is situated in the centre of Nigeria. People traveling to North, South, East and West must pass through Kogi, which means we are saddled with lots of responsibilities.

”All that is required now is that the Federal Government through the Central Bank (CBN), should to come to our aid, because we have the capacity to expand this factory in multiple folds.

”Through this factory, we are going to pull many of our people out of abject poverty,” he said.

The governor assured that the rice factory and all other projects in the state would be commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari before the Nov. 16 governorship election in the state.

The governor further said that his administration had curtailed insecurity to the barest minimum.

He, therefore, urged the people of the state to continue to embrace peace and security and live in harmony with one another, including the Fulanis and other tribes for the development of the state.

”This factory will only exist if we protect, safeguard and cherish it jealously as our own,” he said.

Also read:  German Govt. invests 2 million Euros in Nigeria’s rice production

In his remarks, the Obaro of Kabba, Chief Solomon Owoniyi, who spoke on behalf of all traditional rulers in the region, thanked the governor for the gesture, saying the facility was the first of its kind and the best in the whole of the state.

The monarch, however, urged the governor to use his influence and connection with the Presidency to ensure that the Kabba-Ilorin road was rehabilitated for the benefit of the people and the mill.

Earlier, the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr Kehinde Oloruntoba, commended the governor for the gesture, saying the people of Kogi West would be eternally grateful to him.

Oloruntoba said the rice mill was just the phase one of the project, assuring that the second phase would be provided to have seed production company, so that the state would have a uniform rice facility.

Meanwhile, Edo Government has indicated that no fewer than 2, 000 farmers will benefit from over 10,600 hectares agricultural project in different parts of the state.

The special adviser to the Governor on Media and Communication Strategy, Mr. Crusoe Osagie, made this known in a statement in Benin on Tuesday.

Osagie said that the State Government embarked on a multi-faceted agricultural development scheme backed by the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), Elephant Group, and a number of other off-takers.

The Governor’s Aide said that the priority crops planted included cassava, maize and rice, which were being cultivated in the state.

He said that mechanised farming was being deployed to ensure that planting process was not tedious and to get optimal yield.

Osagie said rice farming was currently ongoing in Iguoriakhi, Iguomon, Illushi, Agenebode and Warake while maize farms were in Ekpoma, Usugbenu and Sobe.

According to him, there is an off-taker agreement and the project intends to harvest 17,000 metric tonnes of rice by cultivating 4,000 hectares of land and 11,000 tonnes of maize by cultivating 6,600 hectares of land at the end of the planting season of 2019.

“Off-takers are on ground to buy off the produce, so farmers are assured of buyers for their produce.

He said that not less than 2,000 farmers were expected to benefit from the agricultural project as farmers were being trained to maintain standards set by agricultural extension officers engaged in the scheme.

Osagie added that the agricultural scheme was outside the plan for Dufil’s investment to develop 5,000 hectares of palm plantation in the state.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Agriculture, Food Security and Forestry Programme, Prince Joe Okojie, said that the state government was leveraging on the Central Bank of Nigeria to drive its agricultural programmes.

Okojie said: “We got N5 billion under the Commercial Agric Credit Scheme, about N2.2 billion is for crop production, N2.3 billion for land development and about N100 million for irrigation.

 

 

 

Economy

FG Threatens To Open Borders for Cement Importation Over Price Hike

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Palpable fear has gripped cement manufacturers following the Federal Government’s threat to throw open the nation’s borders for cement importation if the product manufacturers fail to bring down the cost.

The Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Mr Ahmed Dangiwa issued the threat on Tuesday in Abuja at a meeting with Cement and Building Materials Manufacturers.

The meeting was summoned to address the astronomical increase in the cost of cement nationwide.

The minister expressed concerns that in the past couple of months, the country had witnessed a recurring alarming increase in the prices of cement and other building materials.

“Clearly, this is a crisis for housing delivery. An increase in essential building materials means an increase in the prices of houses.

“We are not the only country facing this challenges, many countries are facing the same type of challenges that we’re facing, some even worse than that.

“But, as patriotic citizens, we have to rally round the country when there is crisis, to ensure that we do our best to save the situation,” he said.

The minister added: “Honestly speaking, we have to sit down and look at this critically and know how you should go back and think of it.

“The government stopped importation of cement in other to empower you to produce more and sell cheaper

Bags of cement

“Otherwise the government can open the borders for mass importation of cement, the price will crash, but you will have no business to do”.

Dangiwa said the reasons given by cement manufacturers for the price increase – high cost of gas and manufacturing equipment – were not enough for such astronomical pricing.

He expressed his displeasure at the position of  Cement Manufacturer Association of Nigeria (CEMAN) that the association “does not interfer with the pricing of cement”.

He said the association should not just fold  its arms when things were going wrong.

“One person cannot be selling at N3500 per bag and another selling at N7000 per bag and you cannot call them to order.

“The association is expected to monitor price control, otherwise the association has no need to exist,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Salako James, Executive Secretary, CEMAN, said the housing policy of the administration of President Bola  Tinubu was laudable and every responsible Nigerian has to key into it.

He, however, identified some areas of concern and appealed to the government to look into them to tackle the issue of cement pricing.

Salako identified the challenges of gas supply to heavy users like the cement industry and urged the government to create a window whereby gas will be bought with Naira instead of dollar.

He also complained about the distribution channel, stressing tha there was a great difference between the price from the manufacturers and the market price.

He, therefore called for government intervention to help stabilise the situation and bring sanity to the economy.

At the end of the meeting, the minister directed that a committee should be constituted to review the situation and come out with implementable resolutions that would benefit the common Nigerian.

The three major cement producers, Dangote Plc, BUA Plc, and Lafarge Plc were represented as well as other industry stakeholders.

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Economy

Cement Price Can Be Lower Than FG, Manufacturers’ Projection — Association 

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…Warns that high price could lead to corner-cutting and building collapse

The National Association of Block Moulders of Nigeria (NABMON) says the agreement between the Federal Government and three major cement manufacturers that a 50kg bag of cement, for now, is not supposed to sell for more than N7,000 to N8,000 is faulty.

The National President, Mr Adesegun Banjoko, said this on Tuesday in Lagos.

Recall that the parties, at a meeting on Monday, said that the ideal price of  a 50kg bag of cement for now should be between ₦7,000.00 and ₦8,000.00 depending on location.

They agreed that the current higher prices of cement in parts of the country were abnormal.

The main manufacturers of cement in the country are Dangote Plc, BUA Plc and Lafarge Plc.

According to Banjoko, there is no reason for the price of cement to be sold even at the projected prices, since limestone, which is a key ingredient, is readily available in Nigeria.

He expressed fears that the high price would lead to corner-cutting and building collapse.

The NABMON president expressed the belief that the government and manufacturers could do better and offer lower prices.

Bags of cements

He suggested a reduction or elimination of customs duties on other imported materials used in cement production, adding that this would incentivise manufacturers to lower their prices.

He, therefore, proposed a target price of ₦3,500 to ₦5,000 per bag.

Banjoko said, “There are three issues that make me disagree with the government and the main manufacturers.

“First, limestone is sourced in Nigeria; agreed they have some few other materials they bring in from abroad.

“But if the government is really concerned about life and property lost to building collapse, they should either remove custom duties on such items or reduce them by half to encourage the manufacturers to come down to between N3, 500 and N5, 000.”

He also advised the government to temporarily halt road construction projects that use cement.

Banjoko said that this would free up available cement for vital projects and potentially reduce demand, leading to lower prices.

The NABMON president warned that the high price of cement had added to the existing tensions in the country.

He urged the government to act cautiously with essential commodities like cement, emphasising its impact on public well-being.

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Economy

NGX: Bullish Sentiment Persists, Investors Gain N329bn

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Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

…Unilever Nigeria Plc, Julius Berger lead Losers’ table 

Bullish sentiment persisted on Thursday at the Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) equity market, as the market indices rose by 0.58 percent.

Specifically, investors gained N329 billion or 0.58 percent, as the market capitalisation closed at N56.961 trillion, as against N56.632 trillion recorded on Wednesday.

The All-Share Index also appreciated by 0.58 percent or 601.72 points to settle at 104,100, compared to 103,498.28 posted in the previous session.

As a result, the Year-To-Date (YTD) return rose to 39.22 percent.

Continuous buy interests in the shares of BUA Cement, BUAFoods, and Geregu kept the market in the positive terrain.

A total of 284.49 million shares valued at N6.91 billion were exchanged in 8,168 deals, as against 426.86 million shares valued at N12.11 billion exchanged in 8,654 deals.

However, analysis of the market activities showed trade turnover settled lower relative to the previous session, with the value of transactions down by 42.89 percent.

Guaranty Trust Holding Company(GTCO) led the activity table in volume and value with the trade of 56.61 million shares worth N2.22 billion.

Transcorp followed with 33.17 million shares valued at N418.31 million, while United Bank of Africa(UBA) traded 18.38 million shares worth N442.96 million.

Also, Mutual Benefits Assurance sold 16.76 shares valued at N11.48 million and AXA Mansard traded 12.51 million shares worth N75.57 million.

On the gainers’ table, University Press Ltd.(UPL) led in percentage terms of 9.96 percent to close at N2.87, followed by Juli Plc by 9.84 percent to close at N1.34 per share.

Mutual Benefits gained 9.38 percent to close at 70k, Daar Communications rose by 8.82 percent to close at 74k, while Honeywell Flour garnered 7.50 percent to close at N4.30 per share.

Stock Market Gains N18bn; FTN Cocoa Processors, Prestige Assurance lead Losers’ Chart 

Conversely, Unilever Nigeria Plc led the losers’ table by 9.80 percent to close at N16.10, Julius Berger lost 9.64 percent to close at N50.60, while Morison Industries Plc shed 9.60 percent to close at N2.23 per share.

May & Baker Nigeria Plc depreciated by 6.52 percent to close at N6.45 and National Salt Company of Nigeria (NASCON) dropped 5.37 percent to close at N59.04 per share.

Market breadth closed negative with 26 declining stocks outnumbering 23 advancing ones.

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