Dangote Vows to End Rice Importation in Nigeria
By Dipo Olowookere
Rice is a staple food consumed by many Nigerians, but it is unfortunate that the country relies on importation of the commodity to meet local demands.
However, Africa’s richest man, Mr Aliko Dangote, is determined to ensure rice importation in Nigeria becomes a thing of the past.
This he is doing by aggressively investing in the rice sector and on Wednesday, Mr Dangote laid a foundation stone for the construction of a multi-billion Naira rice processing mill in Hadin, Jigawa State.
This is part of the business mogul’s Rice Outgrower Scheme in Jigawa State and the mill has the capacity to process 16 metric tons of paddy rice per hour when completed.
The plant will also in one year process paddy rice worth N14 billion bought directly from the famers in Jigawa at market rate.
Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony in Hadin, Kaugama local government area, Mr Dangote explained that the commencement of the construction of the integrated rice processing plant was the culmination of series of events which began with the signing of a $1 billion agreement with the federal government for the integrated rice production in Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kano, Niger and Jigawa States.
“We have continued to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrowers programme thereby creating thousands of jobs, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers.
“Also, creating access to finance, mechanization and irrigation services so as to enhance agricultural productivity,” he stated.
Recalling that the Dangote Rice limited started the outgrowers scheme in 2016 with thousands of hectares of land in Hadejia, Jigawa state, creating over 10,000 jobs (direct and indirect) to farmers, the business mogul said with the new ultra-modern mill enough paddy rice will be grown and harvested for processing.
According to him, the mill which will take only months for installation and commissioning is the first in the series of five other mills coming up in Kano, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Niger States in the first phase, while in the second phase, other mills will be built in Nasarawa, Kogi, and other states.
“When these planned six mills come fully on stream, we will achieve a capacity of seven hundred thousand metric tons per annum of Parboiled rice, which will make Dangote Rice the largest rice producer in Africa and will make a bold step in making Nigeria self-sufficient in Rice production, stop importation Nduka save the nation foreign exchange,” Mr Dangote said.
The industrialist stated further that towards co-creating value for all stakeholders, the company has engaged about 20,000 out growers who are expected to produce an average of 180,000 tons of paddy rice on about 30,000 hectares of land. “We are focused on engaging in the region of 300,000 farmers in the next 12 months when our rice mills are all functional and we achieve steady state.”
“We will continue to launch massive agricultural projects across the country in rice and dairy farming. Our push for backward integration in providing our own raw materials on a massive scale has led to the planned investment of $4.6 billion over the next three years in sugar, rice and dairy production alone. That will eliminate the country’s reliance on imported materials, and the foreign exchange headaches that come with it,” he said.
In his opening remarks, the Dangote Group Executive Director, Mr Devakumar Edwin, explained that the Dangote Rice team has been involved in scaling up the outgrower operations to at least 5,000 hectares this season and this will very soon increase and grow to over 15,000 hectares cultivated per cycle or season to fully optimise operations.
He said the establishment of a multi-billion Naira state-of-the-art integrated rice processing facility to process at least 260 metric tons of rice paddy per day grown which is produced from thousands of local rice out growers within Jigawa State is a giant step forward and expresses his company’s confidence and faith in local farmers to continuously stand with Dangote to make this project a success.
Located on 25 hectares site in Hadin, Mr Edwin noted that the mill is earmarked to begin operations in the last quarter of 2018. “During the construction phase and when it becomes fully operational, hundreds of employment opportunities will be created, knowledge transference and skills developed among our teeming youthful population thereby boosting local economy.”
According to him, “the Jigawa famers are in for a good times as the 125,000 metric tons of paddy rice that this plant requires for processing will be brought from the farmers of Jigawa for an estimated purchase price of N14 billion per annum. This is a huge benefit for the farmers in Jigawa.
“This mill will be producing high quality parboiled rice that competes with the best in the world this is in-line with our continuous aim to touch the lives of millions who believe in the Dangote brand.”
“Jigawa State is endowed and blessed with vast fertile land, water resources, climate and progressive people, as well as one of the fastest growing agricultural destinations in Nigeria, was identified as an ideal location for us to set up our first facility in Nigeria. This obviously reinforces our commitment to supporting the efforts of the present administration in developing a robust agro-industry in Nigeria.
“We made commitment to Nigerians that we will produce 1 million metric ton of quality parboiled rice. Since then we have embarked on several initiatives towards achieving this objective with support and collaboration from state and federal government agencies, ministries and departments, non-governmental organisations, community based organisations, traditional and financial institutions, etc., we continue to pioneer new approaches to empowering our primary stakeholders and our farmers, through the Dangote outgrower program thereby creating thousands of jobs, increasing incomes, poverty reduction in rural communities by providing high quality agro-inputs, technical support and secured market for farmers.”
On his part, Governor of Jigawa State, Mr Abubakar Badaru, expressed delight at the stage of the Dangote Rice project in the state saying it was in line with the vision of the Invest Jigawa, an organ set up to accelerate investments in the state.
He said Jigawa is one of the States reputed to be on top on ease of doing business in Nigeria saying the Dangote Rice presence in the state is a pointer to the fact. He added that the state is also in the forefront of the diversification efforts of the federal government from oil to non-oil ventures especially agriculture.
The Governor promised that the state will be willing to do whatever it will take to ensure the Dangote rice operate smoothly to the satisfaction of all parties in the state.
NDEP Pulls Down Unlisted Stock Exchange by 0.08%
By Adedapo Adesanya
Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc sank the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange by 0.08 per cent on Thursday, June 1, rubbing off the gains posted by three other stocks on the platform.
The share price of NDEP Plc went down by N9.09 to N245.05 per unit from the N254.14 per unit it closed a day earlier.
As earlier stated, it suppressed the growth printed by the trio of FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc, Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc, and Acorn Petroleum Plc.
FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc grew by 20 Kobo to N70.20 per share from the previous session’s N70.00 per share, CSCS Plc added 8 Kobo to close at N14.00 per unit versus Wednesday’s value of N14.08 per unit, and Acorn Petroleum Plc gained 1 Kobo to close at 14 Kobo per unit versus 13 Kobo per unit.
At the close of business, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock exchange fell by N840 million to N1.007 trillion from N1.008 trillion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) depreciated by 0.61 points to 728.37 points from 728.98 points.
At the close of transactions yesterday, investors traded a total of 1.0 million units of securities, in contrast to the 5.4 million units of securities transacted in the preceding session, indicating a slump of 80.7 per cent.
However, the value of shares exchanged by the market participants went up by 194.3 per cent to N189.5 million from N64.4 million, as the number of deals declined by 16.7 per cent to 15 deals from 18 deals.
Geo-Fluids Plc closed as the most traded stock by volume (year-to-date) for selling 832.1 million units valued at N1.3 billion, followed by Industrial and General Insurance (IGI) Plc with 627.7 units worth N49.4 million, and UBN Property Plc with 395.9 million units valued at N336.6 million.
Also, VFD Group Plc was the most traded stock by value (year-to-date) for exchanging 10.7 million units valued at N2.4 billion, trailed by Geo-Fluids Plc with 832.1 million units worth N1.3 billion, and FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc with 17.1 million units valued at N1.2 billion.
Crude Oil Jumps as US Reps Pass Contested Debt Bill
By Adedapo Adesanya
Crude oil increased on Thursday as the US House of Representatives’ passage of a bill to suspend the debt ceiling helped to offset the impact of rising inventories in the country.
Brent jumped by 2.3 per cent or $1.68 to $74.28 per barrel, as the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) expanded by 3 per cent or $2.01 to settle at $70.10 a barrel.
Both benchmarks recovered from two-straight sessions of losses after the House passed a bill late on Wednesday to suspend the US government’s debt ceiling and improve chances of averting a default.
The Republican-controlled House voted 314-117 to send the legislation to the Senate, which must enact the measure and get it to President Joe Biden’s desk before a Monday deadline when the federal government is expected to run out of money to pay its bills.
The legislation temporarily removes – the US federal government’s borrowing limit through January 1, 2025.
The timeline will allow President Biden and Congress to set aside the politically risky issue until after the November 2024 presidential election.
It would also cap some government spending over the next two years, speed up the permitting process for certain energy projects, claw back unused COVID-19 funds and expand work requirements for food aid programs to additional recipients.
With this good as done, the market’s focus has also shifted to a June 4 meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, collectively called OPEC+.
According to Reuters, sources noted that the alliance is unlikely to deepen supply cuts at the Sunday meeting, but some analysts maintained that it is a possibility as demand indicators from China and the US have been disappointing in recent weeks.
Pressure came as US crude oil stockpiles rose unexpectedly last week, as imports jumped and strategic reserves dropped to their lowest since September 1983.
According to data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), an inventory build of 4.5 million barrels was reported for the week to May 26.
At 459.7 million barrels, crude oil inventories in the U.S. are around 2 per cent below the five-year average for this time of the year.
The market will also be looking at the next moves by the US Federal Reserve and what it would do concerning its interest rates.
Naira Crumbles at Parallel Market After CBN Devaluation Denial
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Naira tumbled against the Dollar in the parallel market on Thursday after the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) refuted reports that it had devalued the local currency to N630/$1 in the official market.
The central bank described the news report as fake news, urging members of the public to disregard it as it had not authorised such.
This affected the value of the Nigerian currency on the streets yesterday as it lost N10 against the US Dollar to close at N750/$1 compared with Wednesday’s value of N740/$1.
In the official segment, which is also the Investors and Exporters (I&E), the domestic currency traded flat against the greenback during the session at N464.67/$1 despite the value of foreign exchange (forex) transactions rising by 53.3 per cent or $87.24 million to $250.98 million from $163.74 million.
In the Peer-2-Peer (P2P) segment, the local currency appreciated against its American counterpart by N9 to trade at N755/$1 versus the preceding day’s rate of N764/$1.
The Naira closed flat against the Pound Sterling on Thursday at N574.37/£1 but appreciated against the Euro by N2.31 to close at N493.58/€1 compared with the midweek session’s N495.89/€1.
In the cryptocurrency market, there was a renewed interest as optimism was injected into the assets, with top coins tracked by Business Post performing well.
Bitcoin (BTC) appreciated by 1.3 per cent to $27,201.31, Ethereum (ETH) improved its value by 2.0 per cent to $1,894.80, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 4.1 per cent to trade at $95.39, Ripple (XRP) recorded a 2.3 per cent gain to quote at $0.5193, and Cardano (ADA) appreciated by 2.2 per cent to trade at $0.3733.
Further, Solana (SOL) made a 2.1 per cent rise to sell at $21.12, Binance Coin (BNB) jumped by 1.2 per cent to sell for $308.33, and Dogecoin (DOGE) added 0.6 per cent to sell at $0.0722, while, the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) remained unchanged at $1.00 each.
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