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Investment in Digital Agriculture will be Game-Changer—Pantami



Pantami Digital Agriculture

By Dipo Olowookere

The Jigawa State government has been charged to consider a huge investment in digital agriculture because it could significantly spur economic growth.

Nigeria is blessed with arable land but the country, which is the largest market in Africa, is not utilising this to grow its economy.

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had said it would diversify the nation’s economy by putting more attention on agriculture and reduce the country reliance on crude oil.

This diversification agency was intensified when Nigeria plunged into a recession in the second quarter of 2016 as a result of a decline in the price of crude oil and a drop in the level of production of the black gold in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria due to incessant attacks on oil facilities.

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However, almost after Nigeria exited the economic crisis in 2017, the intensity on agriculture waned and it looked like the diversification plan was jettisoned.

In the third quarter of 2020, the country again went into another recession mainly due to the global pandemic of COVID-19 and decline in the price of crude oil at the international market.

Again, the need to diversify the economy has taken a centre stage and for the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, the government must consider digital agriculture because according to him, it could be a game-changer.

Speaking as a special guest of honour on Monday at the Jigawa Innovation Summit themed Creating a Viable Innovative Ecosystem for Economic Development, he noted that the northern state has the capacity to use agriculture to deliver the dividends of democracy to residents of the state because Jigawa is blessed with vast land for agriculture.

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Mr Pantami stated how the Netherlands used digital technology to boost its agricultural activities despite having lesser landmass compare to some states in Nigeria.

He argued that if Jigawa State can deploy digital innovation to agriculture, it will go along the way in creating many jobs and generating revenue for the federal and state government.

He, therefore, called on the state government to focus on skills development, digital agriculture and financial digital innovation, tasking the youths to come up with disruptive innovations that can impact society and further called for the adoption, patronage, and deployment of the solutions to be provided.

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The Minister lauded Governor Mohammed Badaru Abubakar of Jigawa State for partnering with the federal government to drive the national digital economy policy and strategy for a digital Nigeria.

According to him, this policy is focused on producing potential employers and not potential employees, stressing that government alone cannot be employers of labour.

Business Post reports that the Jigawa Innovation Summit debuted in 2021. It was organised by the Jigawa State government in collaboration with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) and Youth Coalition for Development (YCD), an NGO that canvasses youth engagement in changing the status quo for the betterment of Nigerians.

Digital Agriculture

Dipo Olowookere is a journalist based in Nigeria that has passion for reporting business news stories. At his leisure time, he watches football and supports 3SC of Ibadan. Mr Olowookere can be reached via

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SEC Introduces Regulatory Incubation Program for Fintechs




By Modupe Gbadeyanka

A regulatory incubation (RI) program for financial technology (fintech) companies operating or seeking to operate in Nigeria has been introduced by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

A circular issued by SEC disclosed that this framework would be officially launched in the third quarter of 2021 and will operate by admitting identified Fintech business models and processes in cohorts for a one-year period.

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Participation in the RI program will encompass an Initial Assessment Phase and the Regulatory Incubation Phase.

The categories to be admitted into each cohort will be determined based on submissions received through the Fintech Assessment Form and communicated ahead of each take-off date.

SEC explained that the scheme was designed to address the needs of new business models and processes that require regulatory authorisation to continue carrying out full or ancillary technology-driven capital market activities.

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The RI Program has thus been conceived as an interim measure to aid the evolution of effective regulation which accommodates the innovation by fintechs without compromising market integrity and within limits that ensure investor protection.

It was disclosed that review of completed Fintech Assessment Forms will continue on an ongoing basis and those who consider that there is no specific regulation governing their business models or who require clarity on the appropriate regulatory regime for seeking the authorisation of the commission, are encouraged to complete the Fintech Assessment Form.

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NGX Suspends Trading on GTBank Shares Ahead of Delisting



GTBank Branch

By Dipo Olowookere

In preparation for the eventual delisting of shares of Guaranty Trust Bank (GTBank) Plc from its trading platform, the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Friday, June 18, 2021, placed the banking stock on a full suspension.

GTBank, a tier-one lender trading its equities on the exchange, intends to transform into a financial holding company (Holdco) so as to offer a wide range of services it is restricted to do.

Some years ago, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) directed banks in the country to offload their subsidiaries not performing core lending services.

This was after many deposit money banks (DMBs) were delving into different business ventures, including insurance, stockbroking, asset management, amongst others.

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For the CBN, which regulates the banking industry in Nigeria, most of these banks were losing focus and were not supporting businesses that need funds to grow and then stimulate the economy in the process.

To address this issue, the apex bank asked banks to sell off their non-banking assets and this forced many of them to offload their companies not offering core banking services.

However, there was an opening for banks to still delve into other sectors within the financial and capital markets and this was by operating as a Holdco.

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A few of them towed this path, including FBN Holdings, Stanbic IBTC Holdings and FCMB Group.

Not wanting to be left out, GTBank is joining the party and to achieve this, it is delisting its banking arm, which is the popular GTBank from the stock exchange.

GTBank will now operate as a private company, while the new Holdco, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, will now be a public company. The shares of this new firm will be listed on the NGX after the delisting of GTBank.

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Last Friday, the stock exchange informed the investing community of the latest development, announcing the suspension of trading on GTBank shares.

In the circular sighted by Business Post, the NGX explained that the rationale behind placing GTBank stocks on full suspension is to “prevent trading in the shares of the bank” in preparation of its “eventual delisting”

Before trading on its stocks was suspended on Friday, GTBank closed at N28.55 on Thursday after appreciating by 50 kobo or 1.78 per cent.

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DLM Capital Remains Best Structured Finance & Securitization Team in West Africa



DLM Capital

A prominent developmental investment bank, DLM Capital Group, has emerged winner at the Capital Finance International (CFI) 2021 awards as the best-structured finance and securitization team in West Africa.

This award has been won consecutively in three years and affirms the group’s strong performance as a leading investment institution and asset manager.

CFI awards seek to identify the contributions of individuals and organizations that contribute significantly to the advancement of economies and truly add value for all stakeholders.

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DLM Capital Group creates bespoke business solutions for alternative financing and harnessing funds for growth.

The group focuses on four key sectors — consumer credit, agriculture, microfinance, and education with a mandate to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for Africans while mobilizing resources for the continent’s economic and social development.

“In the past three years, our portfolio management team’s performance has remained consistent, and our clients have benefited immensely from exposure to our solutions, including the NMRC securitization deal and the DLM Primero BRT Securitization,” said Head of Corporate Communications and Marketing, DLM Capital Group, Ms Chinwendu Ohakpougwu.

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“We are positioned to provide services to an expansive client base of retail, high net-worth and institutional customers.

“DLM Capital Group remains committed to constantly providing financial solutions that will enable our clients to make a difference, and we are honoured to be recognized once again as a reflection of the quality of support offered to our clients,” she added.

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DLM has won recognition in West African capital markets, acting as a sole arranger to over 80 per cent of structured finance transactions in Nigeria — and all the securitization transactions. It provides deal structuring, advisory execution and capital raising services across the Nigerian capital market.

The institution recently launched an asset financing scheme and is preparing a venture into digital banking under its subsidiary, Sofri.

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