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Akeredolu Proposes Port Ondo to Solve Apapa Gridlock

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Port Ondo

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

To solve the perennial Apapa gridlock in Lagos, the federal government can consider establishing a deep seaport in Ondo State, the governor of the state, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, has suggested.

Speaking on Tuesday at the South-West Export Enlightenment and Engagement Forum held at the International Culture and Event Centre, Igbatoro Road, Akure, the state capital, he said the state was strategically positioned to allow the easy movement of goods to the Southeast, South-south, North-west and North-central regions of the country.

According to him, investors have already shown interest in developing the port, saying the state has the deepest draught in West Africa.

“Everything going to southeast or South-South and the North pass through Ondo State; all these activities will make us advise the federal government on the importance of Port Ondo,” Mr Akeredolu said at the event themed Maximizing Export Potentials In The South-West Region For Economic Growth.

“Apapa will be decongested. We can boast of the deepest draught in West Africa. We are ready and we have done our work and people have shown interest. It is a pity we have to go through a lot of protocols including the port declaration,” the Governor said.

Mr Akeredolu, who also highlighted his administration’s efforts on agriculture development, disclosed that Governors in the Southwest are steadily working together on the sector through the Southwest Agric Company (SWAgCo).

According to him, SWAgCo is a registered company under the Oodua conglomerate which was created for effective exploration of agricultural resources in the region.

He said the Akure airport, which was originally designed as a cargo airport, should be given due attention so that it can serve its purpose.

“The airport in Akure is very busy now but it is not serving the purpose for which it was established. The Akure airport was established as a cargo airport. We have said it should have a refrigerated area where people can refrigerate their goods before exporting them,” he said.

While speaking on the efforts of his administration in improving cocoa production, the Governor said, “In Ondo State, we have had some transformation since we got in. Ondo is the leading exporter of cocoa in Nigeria. It is an unfortunate development that we are not the leading producer in West Africa.

“When we came in, we knew there must be a transition. I see agriculture as a business. When we came in, I met experts who spoke to us. They made a case for Agricpreneurs. That led us to Youth on the Ridges. We have trained about 5000 youth. That was our approach to it.

“Today, we try to unlock the agricultural sector by creating a conducive environment. In creating it, we are a One-Stop-Shop. We have the Ondo State Development and Investment Promotion Agency (ONDIPA) here, when you need land they must look for it.

“Today, we are not seriously exporting cassava but we need to do that. Many countries are in dire need of cassava. We have the cassava to the ethanol plant. We have gone into partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). Another cassava-to-ethanol company is coming up in Ose. Cassava for us becomes very important.

“And poultry. We have set up an industry that will be producing powder eggs. The company is almost afoot to produce powder eggs. And on cocoa added value, we have tried to do that. Today, Ondo State can be proud of a chocolate factory.

“We have put a lot of intervention in place to double our cocoa export. We have a single estate approach in Jugbere. We have 10,000 hectares in Jugbere. We should be able to improve to 150,000 metric tons per year from the 80,000 that we currently produce.

“We have started a major revolution in Nigeria here in Ondo State called red gold. It has to do with palm. We must support the zero oil economy,” Governor Akeredolu stated.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Economy

Introduction of Capital Gains Tax Could Discourage Investors—Popoola

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capital gains tax

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

As part of efforts to raise more funds for the provision of critical infrastructure in the country, the federal government recently introduced the capital gains tax.

This was embedded in the 2021 Finance Act and it required the payment of capital gains tax on transactions worth over N100 million.

The chief executive of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, Mr Temi Popoola, applauded this initiative of the government but warned that it could discourage investors, especially the high net-worth individuals (HNIs) and institutional investors, who carried out such heavy deals.

Mr Popoola, who spoke a few months ago at the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) Fiscal Policy Roundtable, called for a balance.

He admitted that the capital gains tax is in line with the government’s drive towards an increased tax bracket but was only worried about the adverse effect the laudable policy could have on the economy in the long run.

However, Mr Popoola commended the economic policy direction of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that it was an indication of the government’s commitment to driving non-oil revenues into the country.

The NGX chief said the tenets of the 2021 Finance Act brought a lot more clarity on investment such as the Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), Capital Gain Tax (CGT) and securities lending transactions.

According to him, investing in real estate investment brings a lot of potential gains and “if you look at our market today, all our assets class has helped to boost investors’ confidence.”

He stated that the Finance Act will boost the capital market and the economy, reiterating NGX’s commitment to adhering to government policy and driving growth in the capital market.

However, he further stressed that the introduction of excise taxes on non-alcoholic beverages and the education tax could also affect the economy.

According to him, these taxes could hamper the ability of companies affected by these developments to raise capital and pay dividends to investors because the policies are coming at a time the economy was undergoing a recovery.

Business Post reports that the event, which precisely took place in March 2022, was put together by NESG to access the impact of the 2021 Finance Act on the economy.

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Economy

Inflation in Nigeria Jumps to 16.82% in April 2022

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inflation rate Nigeria

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) on Tuesday disclosed that inflation in Nigeria increased by 16.82 per cent in April 2022 from the 15.92 per cent recorded in March 2022.

However, on a year-on-year basis, the rate moderated by 1.3 per cent as inflation was 18.12 per cent in the corresponding month of 2021.

The NBS disclosed that the percentage change in the average composite consumer price index (CPI) for the 12 months period ending April 2022 over the average of the CPI for the previous 12 months period was 16.45 per cent, 0.1 per cent lower than the 16.54 per cent recorded in March 2022.

It also stated that in the month under review, the urban inflation rate increased to 17.35 per cent (year-on-year) in April 2022 from 18.68 per cent recorded in April 2021, while the rural inflation rate increased to 16.32 per cent in April 2022 from 17.57 per cent in April 2021.

On a month-on-month basis, the urban index rose to 1.78 per cent in April 2022, up by 0.02 from the rate recorded in March 2022 at 1.76 per cent, while the rural index also rose to 1.74 per cent in April 2022, up by 0.01 from the rate that was recorded in March 2022 at 1.73 per cent.

The corresponding 12-month year-on-year average percentage change for the urban index is 17.01 per cent in April 2022, lower than 17.10 per cent reported in March 2022, while the corresponding rural inflation rate in April 2022 is 15.91 per cent compared to 16.00 per cent recorded in March 2022.

In the report, the stats agency said in April 2022, the composite food index rose by 18.37 per cent in contrast to the 22.72 per cent achieved in April 2021, attributing the increase to a hike in the prices of bread and cereals, food products n.e.c, potatoes, yam, and other tubers, wine, fish, meat, and oils.

On a month-on-month basis, the food sub-index increased to 2.00 per cent in April 2022, up by 0.01 per cent points from 1.99 per cent recorded in March 2022, the report added.

It was further stated that the average annual rate of change of the food sub-index for the 12-month period ending April 2022 over the previous 12-month average is 18.88 per cent, 0.34 per cent points from the average annual rate of change recorded in March 2022 at 19.21 per cent.

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Economy

OTC Securities Exchange Closes 0.02% Lower

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NASD OTC Securities Exchange

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange closed marginally lower by 0.02 per cent on Monday on the back of a price depreciation in Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc.

The stock, which was the only price loser yesterday, went down by 5 kobo or 0.29 per cent to sell at N16.95 per unit compared to the previous session’s N17.00 per unit.

At the close of transactions, it reduced the market capitalisation of the OTC securities exchange by N250 million to N1.05 trillion from N1.06 trillion and sliced the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) by 0.19 points to 807.56 points from 807.75 points.

Business Post observed that the level of activity during the session was low as the volume of securities recorded a decline of 99.8 per cent to 61,131 units from 7.5 million units, the value of trades also depreciated by 99.8 per cent to N4.6 million from N2.2 billion, while the number of deals remained unchanged at 11 deals.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc closed the session as the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) with 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, CSCS Plc was in second place with 661.6 million units worth N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc held the third position with 94 million units worth N77.8 million.

But the most active stock by value (year-to-date) was CSCS Plc with 661.6 million units valued at N13.9 billion, VFD Group followed with 9.4 million units valued at N2.9 billion, and AG Mortgage Bank Plc with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.

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