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Economy

FG Urges Nigerians to Embrace Agric as Business

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FG Urges Nigerians to Embrace Agric as Business

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Nigerians have been advised to take agriculture as profitable business that has the potential of revamping the country’s economy.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, gave this advice when he held a meeting with a delegation from the Plateau State government led by the Governor, Mr Bako Lalong, in his office last week.

According to the Minister, agriculture remains the biggest and fastest way of enriching the rural populace and stabilizing the polity.

“We have no choice than to help grow agriculture in all states of the federation, create wealth and jobs and make people happier to bring life to the rural areas where there has been so much hardship and difficulty in accessing livelihoods,” Mr Ogbeh said.

On the incessant clash between farmers and herdsmen, the Minister explained that the introduction of cattle colonies in the country was borne out of the need to provide an enabling environment for agriculture to thrive in the country since the states own the land; adding that  to governments  ‘it is cheaper to do this for herdsmen and others who want to rear cattle than for individuals to go and invest many, because we know that many farmers have difficulties raising bank loans’.

Mr Ogbeh, while throwing light on the concept of colony, stated that, “Colonies and ranches are the same thing in many ways except that a colony is bigger that a ranch.

“A colony is a biological expression for any species of animals whether by nature or by human design that are found in a large community sharing the same terrain, such as bee colonies in certain areas.

“In Colony, 20, 30 ranchers can share the same colony, a ranch is usually owned by an individual or company with few numbers of cows, in a cattle colony you could find 100, 200, 300 cows owned by different individuals.”

He added that, “The reason for designing colony was that we want to prepare on a large scale a place where many owners of cattle can co-exist there, they feed well because we can make their feeds from agro waste, get good water to drink as cows drink a lot of water, we can give them green fodder; we grow it on a large scale harvest and feed the cow; give them veterinary services and protect the cows against rustlers”.

The Minister commended the Plateau State government for its interests in developing agriculture and promised to extend further supports to the 16 state governments that had expressed interest in developing ranches like Kogi, Nasarawa, Osun, Kebbi, Plateau states, among others.

Mr Ogbeh said once the colony begins, the Federal Government would embark on a large scale artificial insemination to improve the breed of cattle so that the yield of milk can increase, he observed that while a cow in Nigeria delivers about a litre of milk per day, in East Africa, a cow gives 15 litres of milk and in Europe they do averagely 50 litres of milk per day, saying that Nigeria is still a long way from achieving the target which other countries have achieved.

He sought for supports from states in area of extension officers who will be recruited within the locality so that they can be in contact with rural farmers, they will be taught on what to do as well as train the farmers on planting operations which will go side by side with the programme on cattle colonies.

The Minister said the whole aim of the policy was to end herdsmen/farmers’ conflict, saying the idea is neither a hostile nor wicked plan by the ministry to seize anybody’s land.

The Minister also announced that the Federal Government would soon hold a stakeholders’ forum with the herdsmen and other stakeholders on the implementation of the new policy and express his willingness to visit some of the agricultural sites in Plateau State.

Earlier in his address, Governor of Plateau State, Mr Bako Lalong, said he was in the Ministry to identify with the agricultural revolution of the Federal Government in area of livestock production as well as seek for more assistance for his State.

He said Plateau State was one of the states that keyed into the ranch policy when it was introduced by the Federal Government and expressed the readiness of the state to also embrace the cattle colony policy that is being introduced by the Federal Government.

“If you need to live in peace you need to find ways of sustaining peace. This policy has a lot of interest for us,” he stated.

He expressed appreciation to the Minister for the supports the state enjoyed so far from the Ministry and promised that Plateau state will continue to partner with the Federal Government in its agricultural policies to provide gainful employment for its teeming populations.

Modupe Gbadeyanka is a fast-rising journalist with Business Post Nigeria. Her passion for journalism is amazing. She is willing to learn more with a view to becoming one of the best pen-pushers in Nigeria. Her role models are the duo of CNN's Richard Quest and Christiane Amanpour.

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Economy

Naira Sells N419.02/$ at Spot Market, N615/$ at P2P

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Spot Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Naira appreciated by 0.31 per cent or N1.31 against the US Dollar at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (forex) market on Friday, May 20.

At the spot market, the exchange rate of the Naira to the greenback closed at N419.02/$1 in contrast to the N420.33/$1 it was traded in the previous session.

However, at the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) window, the local currency depreciated by N1 against the American currency to trade at N616/$1 compared with the preceding day’s exchange rate of N615/$1.

Equally, at the interbank segment of the market, the Naira depreciated against the British Pound Sterling by N2.15 to trade at N518.64/£1 versus the preceding session’s N516.49/£1 and against the Euro, it slid by N1.75 to close the day at N439.23/€1 compared with N437.48/€1 of the previous day.

Meanwhile, at the cryptocurrency market, things continued to go awry for Luna backed TerraUSD (UST) as investors saw their money continually burn. The crisis-hit coin plunged further by 31.2 per cent to trade at $0.0584.

It was not a different story for other tokens tracked by Business Post yesterday, with Ripple (XRP) recording a 5.7 per cent loss to trade at $0.4094.

Solana (SOL) went down by 4.7 per cent to sell at $49.60, Bitcoin (BTC) recorded a 3.1 per cent slide to sell at $29,240.00, Ethereum (ETH) went down by 3.0 per cent to finish at $1,963.47, Dogecoin (DOGE) depreciated by 2.9 per cent to trade at $0.0841, Cardano (ADA) slipped to $0.5228 after a 1.9 per cent loss, Binance Coin (BNB) suffered a 1.8 per cent loss to settle at $303.10, Litecoin (LTC) declined by 1.5 per cent to quote at $69.27, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) retreated by 0.03 per cent to $0.9987.

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Economy

FrieslandCampina, Capital Bancorp Chop Off N20.61bn from NASD

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FrieslandCampina

By Adedapo Adesanya  

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) plunged by 1.95 per cent on Friday, May 21 as negative price movements in FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc and Capital Bancorp Plc chopped off N20.61 billion from the bourse.

Consequently, the market capitalisation of the unlisted stock exchange finished at N1.04 trillion compared with the preceding session’s N1.06 trillion, while the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) decreased by 15.74 points to wrap the session at 793.05 points compared with 808.79 points recorded in the previous session.

Business Post reports that the share price of Friesland went down yesterday by N11 or 9.24 per cent to N109.00 per unit from N120.00 per unit, while Capital Bancorp dropped 11 kobo or 3.54 per cent to settle at N3.00 per share in contrast to N3.11 per share of Thursday.

However, two stocks appreciated in value during the session and were led by Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc, which gained N5 or 2.7 per cent to close at N225.00 per unit versus the preceding day’s N220.00 per unit. The second price gainer was NASD Plc, which rose by 12 kobo or 0.88 per cent to N13.72 share from N13.60 per share.

A total of 9.6 million units of securities were traded by investors on the last trading session of the week, lower than the 20.0 million units of securities transacted on Thursday by 51.9 per cent.

However, the value of shares traded went up by 90.4 per cent to N46.5 million from N24.4 million and was carried out in 24 deals, 380 per cent higher than the five deals executed in the preceding day.

At the close of business, AG Mortgage Bank Plc was the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion. Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc maintained second place with 661.7 million units valued at N13.9 billion, while Food Concepts Plc was in third place with 134.0 million units worth N114.9 million.

The most traded by value on a year-to-date basis was still CSCS Plc with the sale of 661.7 million units for N13.9 billion, VFD Group was in second place for trading 9.4 million units worth N2.9 billion, while AG Mortgage Bank Plc in third place has exchanged 2.3 billion units valued at N1.2 billion.

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Economy

Oil Market Bullish as Supply Risks Outweigh Demand Worries

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global oil market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The oil market was in the positive territory on Friday as a planned European Union (EU) ban on Russian energy imports and easing of COVID-19 lockdowns in China countered concerns that slowing economic growth will hurt demand.

Yesterday, the price of the Brent crude rose by 87 cents or 0.78 per cent to $112.90 per barrel while the United States West Texas Intermediate (WTI) grew by $1.02 or 91 cents to $113.20 per barrel.

On a week-to-date basis, Brent was up about one per cent after falling about one per cent last week while WTI was on track for its fourth consecutive weekly gain for the first time since mid-February.

Analysts noted that the Chinese reopening and continued efforts towards a Russian oil embargo by the EU swayed the market to the positive zone.

In China, Shanghai did not signal any change to its planned end of a prolonged city-wide lockdown on June 1 even though the city announced its first new COVID-19 cases outside quarantined areas in five days.

Authorities have granted approval to 864 of the city’s financial institutions to resume work on Wednesday as it gradually eases a city-wide lockdown that began seven weeks ago.

The move is part of the financial hub’s plan to reopen broadly and allow normal life to resume after the lockdown was enacted to curb China’s worst outbreak since the coronavirus was discovered in Wuhan in late 2019 and halted the most economic activity.

The EU is hoping to clinch a deal on a proposed ban on Russian crude imports which includes carve-outs for member states most dependent on Russia such as Hungary.

In Europe’s largest economy, Germany, businesses are drafting a plan to use an auction system to help ration available supplies in the event Russia cuts off its gas.

However, China added some downward pressure to oil prices this week when it clearly signalled its intent to buy more discounted Russian oil.

China and India have become the destination for Russia as it races to pivot toward Asia as the EU attempts to ditch its oil.

In the US, energy firms this week added oil and natural gas rigs for a ninth week in a row, according to the Baker Hughes rig count, as most small producers respond to high prices and prodding by the government to ramp up output.

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