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Livestock Sub-Sector Contributes 5.8% to Nigeria’s GDP—FG

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Livestock Sub-Sector Contributes 5.8% to Nigeria's GDP—FG

**Lauds Chi Farms, Zoetis on Veterinary Laboratory Project

By Dipo Olowookere

CHI Farms and Zoetis have been commended for the establishment of an ultra-modern veterinary diagnostic centre called City Laboratory, which was commissioned on Wednesday, September 12, 2018 in Ibadan, Oyo State.

Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Audu Ogbeh, disclosed that the commissioning of the diagnostic centre justifies the collaborative efforts of federal government and the private sector in providing essential tools needed for sustainable socio-economic growth in livestock development in Nigeria.

Mr Ogbeh, who spoke through the Director and Chief Veterinary Officer, Department of Veterinary and Pest Control Services, Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Olaniran Alabi, said further that the livestock sub-sector contributes 5.8 percent of nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and provides livelihoods to over 30 percent of the Nigerian rural population.

He added that for livestock business in Nigeria to remain profitable and sustainable in the face of growing population and demand for protein, it was important that animal diseases and epidemics were well controlled and eradicated.

The Minister pointed out that the sub-sector was limited by a number of factors most important of which is the preponderance of a wide range of animal diseases such as Contagious Bovine Pleuropneumonia (CBPP), Peste des Petits Ruminant (PPR), African Swine Fever (ASF), etc.

For Nigeria to ensure a profitable livestock business for farmers, proper, efficient and accurate animal disease diagnosis need to be carried out, he said.

“It is important to note that animal disease diagnosis is an important component of veterinary services and that Nigeria has quite a number of laboratories that carry out animal disease diagnosis. However, these laboratories operate below their optimal level thereby leading to huge gap in veterinary diagnosis services.

“The establishment and equipping of Chi Farms’ ultra-modern veterinary diagnostic laboratory being commissioned today in Ibadan could not have come at a better time than now that Nigeria is looking forward to diversification of its economy through agricultural and other non-oil sectors.

“Let me use this opportunity to appreciate Chi Farms and Zoetis-ALPHA for this laudable initiative and call on other foreign organizations to partner with Nigeria on animal health and veterinary services,” Mr Ogbeh said.

Also speaking at the event, National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria (PAN), Mr Ezekiel Ibrahim, said the poultry industry in Nigeria has been confronted with many challenges especially losses as a result of diseases outbreak, which according to him has frustrated and crippled some farmers’ investments, leaving them dejected and hopeless.

He acknowledged the efforts of National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) in domesticating animal disease diagnosis but pointed out that emerging challenges and changing trend in clinical manifestation of diseases calls for a more aggressive intervention.

According to him, “Managing poultry disease is highly sensitive to the time the index case is identified in order to avoid, control and prevent production losses.

“This is where the quality of veterinary diagnostic laboratory intervention becomes a centre point in management decision on disease control. The industry requires a diagnostic laboratory facility that is reliable in sensitivity and specificity. This is the future of addressing challenges of disease in the poultry industry.”

“The poultry industry at this time requires availability, reliability, accessibility and affordability of diagnostic services for growth,” he added.

The association chief also commended CHI Farms and Zoetis for the precise intervention through the establishment of City Laboratory while adding that, the project has come at the right time to support the growth of the poultry industry and redirect the attention of the sub-sector to the importance of quality laboratory service in disease control.

In his opening remark, Managing Director of Chi Farms Limited, Mr Martin Middernacht, said the motive behind the establishment of City Laboratory in partnership with Zoetis is to assist livestock farmers raise healthy and profitable animals as well as conduct research and come up with vaccines based on tests conducted.

Also, the Regional Director Zoetis, Sub-Sahara Africa, Mr Gabriel Varga, stated that the partnership of his organization with Chi Farms Limited on the project is basically to assist poultry farmers in Nigeria realize their full potential.

Mr Varga further stated that similar laboratories will be opened in different parts of the country in subsequent phases of the A.L.P.H.A project.

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 dipo.olowookere@businesspost.ng

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Economy

Absa Lauds Regulatory Framework for Trading Digital Assets in Nigeria

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trading digital assets

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to provide a regulatory framework for investing and trading digital assets, including cryptocurrencies, in Nigeria has been applauded by Absa Nigeria.

The chief executive of the leading pan-African bank, Mr Sadiq Abu, while appearing on CNBC Africa’s Power Lunch Show recently, expressed optimism that this development will boost the confidence of investors in the digital assets landscape.

He particularly commended the apex regulatory agency in the country’s capital market for recognising digital assets as securities and making efforts to regulate investments in the sector.

He said, “SEC decided to be proactive around cryptocurrency and digital assets. The SEC has realised that these are rightly called securities and further created a framework to bring them within the broader securities regulatory framework in Nigeria.

According to him, the SEC has also created a framework for protecting investors by requiring investments to be held by digital assets custodians and acknowledged that exchanges or platforms for trading digital assets needed to be regulated.

“There is also an overarching framework for regulating all participants that play in the digital assets space through a specialised license called Virtual Assets Services provider,” Mr Abu stated.

He pointed out that a new rule stipulating tenure and other qualifications of the Chief Executive Officer and Principal Officers of Digital Assets Offering Platforms was similar to the regulations of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

According to him, this is a clear indication that the SEC and CBN worked together to develop the new framework for the operation of digital assets.

He stated, “There is clear evidence that the SEC is working hands in glove with the CBN to create a regulatory framework for the operation of digital assets and the regulation of CEOs and Principal Officers fall under the broader approved person regime of the SEC.”

SEC had recently published a new guideline on Issuance, Offering Platforms and Custody of Digital Assets, fulfilling the promise it made last year to examine the digital currency to gain a better understanding and develop regulations to protect investors.

Absa, which has a strong footprint across the African continent, offers investment banking and market products through its various Nigerian registered subsidiaries, namely Absa Representative Office Nigeria Limited, Absa Capital Markets Nigeria Limited, and Absa Securities Nigeria Limited.

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Economy

FG Moves to Improve Midstream, Downstream Operations

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downstream operations

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government, through the Nigeria Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA), has disclosed plans to unveil six regulations on midstream and downstream operations.

The regulations are being put in place to bring clarity to the sector as well as improve business processes and ease of doing business in the sector.

According to the Authority Chief Executive (ACE) of NMDPRA, Mr Farouk Ahmed, in a statement after a meeting with the Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG), said the regulations are gas pricing, environmental management plan, environmental remediation fund, decommissioning and abandonment, gas infrastructure fund, and natural gas pipeline tariff.

The ACE also informed that a Working Team chaired by Mr Ogbugo K. Ukoha, Executive Director, Distribution Systems, Storage & Retailing Infrastructure (DSSRI) was set up to review the draft regulations, engage and consult stakeholders for smooth implementation when released.

Mr Ahmed further stated that the Authority was working hard on reducing the sector’s import dependency with more active efforts placed on local options.

“One of our key concerns is boosting local refining. Dangote and BUA refineries are coming on board; however, we want to see more companies investing in refineries so we can stop the importation of refined petroleum products, save our foreign earnings, create jobs and add value to the economy,” he explained.

The NMDPRA boss noted and commended the gradual growth of indigenous players in local exploration and production of petroleum products. He assured of the organisation’s commitment to making the business climate in the midstream and downstream conducive for local and foreign investment to thrive.

On his part, the IPPG Chairman, Mr Abdulrazaq Isa had said that the IPPG was an association of 25 indigenous Exploration and Production (E&P) companies with the vision to promote the continued development of the Nigerian Petroleum Industry for the benefit of industry stakeholders and the nation.

Mr Isa noted that timely communication with industry players was important at this time when the agency was going through a transition period, calling on NMDPRA to, as a matter of urgency, enact regulations on tariffs, domestic gas and clear license issuance modalities amongst others.

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Economy

NNPC, Sahara Group Invest $300m to ‘Circulate’ Clean Energy in Africa

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NNPC profit 44 years

By Adedapo Adesanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) and leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate, Sahara Group, have taken delivery of two 23,000 CBM Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels.

The delivery happened on Monday at the Hyundai MIPO Shipyard in Ulsan, South Korea, with plans to add 10 vessels in 10 years to enhance Africa’s transition to cleaner fuels.

The new vessels, MT BARUMK and MT SAPET have increased NNPC and Sahara Group’s joint venture investment to over $300 million, approaching the JV’s $1 billion gas infrastructure commitment by 2026.

The fleet previously comprised MT Sahara Gas and MT Africa Gas. All four vessels were built by Hyundai MIPO Dockyard, a foremost global manufacturer of mid-sized carriers.

WAGL Energy Limited, the JV company between NNPC and Oceanbed (a Sahara Group Company) is driving NNPC’s five-year $1 billion investment plan announced in 2021 to accelerate the decade of Gas and Energy transition agenda over the period.

Speaking on this, NNPC’s GMD, Mr Mele Kyari disclosed that the order of three additional new vessels was being finalised, adding that “we have a target of delivering 10 vessels over the next 10 years. The NNPC and our partners stand out with integrity in our energy transition quest and our commitment to environmental sustainability is unwavering.”

MT BARUMK and MT SAPET are WAGL and Sahara Group’s injections into the JV. WAGL is shoring up its gas fleet and terminal infrastructure, while Sahara Group continues to make remarkable progress in the construction of over 120,000 metric tonnes of storage facilities in 11 African countries, including Nigeria, Senegal, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, and Zambia, among others.

Mr Kyari also said the vessels were critical to driving the Federal Government’s commitment to the domestication of gas in Nigeria through several initiatives and increasing seamless supply in compliance with the mandate of President Muhammad Buhari.

The initiatives –  the LPG Penetration Framework and LPG Expansion Plan are geared towards encouraging the use of gas in households, power Generation, auto-gas and industrial applications in order to attain 5 Million Metric tonnes of LPG consumption by 2025.

“This is another epoch-making achievement for the NNPC and Sahara Group, and we remain firmly committed to delivering more formidable gas projects for the benefit of Nigeria and the entire sub-region,” Mr Kyari said.

On his part, Mr Temitope Shonubi, Executive Director, Sahara Group, said: “WAGL has successfully operated two mid-sized LPG Carriers MT Africa Gas and MT Sahara Gas in the region in keeping with global standards, delivering over 6 million CBM of LPG across West Africa. With the new vessels, we are set to promote and lead Africa’s march towards energy transition.”

Mr Ali Magashi, Nigeria’s Ambassador to South Korea who represented the Federal Government, noted that President Muhammad Buhari deserved commendation for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which he said would reposition the NNPC to explore more projects with partners like Sahara Group.

BARUMK was derived from the combination of the name and initials of the late NNPC GMD, Dr Maikanti K. Baru, in fond memory of his immense support for the Gas development in Nigeria. “SAPET” is named after the Sahara – Petroci (the Ivorian National Oil Company) JV LPG Company (SAPET Energy SA.), currently constructing phase one of a 12,000MT LPG storage facility in Abidjan, with expansion plans to achieve 30,000MT in phase two. The JV emerged from WAGL’s trading relationship with PETROCI, dating back to 2014.

LPG is the fastest-growing petroleum product in sub-Sahara Africa over the last decade, with forecasts indicating that LPG will grow at a 7 per cent Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) over the next 15 years.

Increased uptake of LPG will reduce net Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and pressure on forest reserves, thereby increasing environmental sustainability.

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