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Ondo Governor to Unveil N15bn Cocoa Processing Plant

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Cocoa Processing Plant

By Adedapo Adesanya

Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State will on Tuesday, December 7, 2021, commission a N15 billion cocoa processing plant in Akure built by JohnVents Industries Limited.

The factory is expected to boost local cocoa production, drive employment and enhance the country’s economy, according to the Managing Director of JohnVents Industry, Mr John Alamu, at a news conference.

He informed newsmen that already, 100 people have been offered direct highly-skilled and unskilled jobs in the company and more are expected to join the organisation, stating that the number of staff will increase to over 300 by the time the industry is at full operation.

Johnvents Industries Limited is a wholly indigenous-owned agribusiness and subsidiary of Capitalsage. The firm was acquired from Olam Venture with 100 per cent acquisition of personnel and machinery.

“Since we came in April 2021, we have invested over N3 billion naira in revamping the factory after acquiring it from Olam Venture. This investment has been on the area of machinery.

“Cocoa is capital intensive. A tonne of cocoa today goes for about N1.3 million and we consume an average body of 35 tonnes per day. That is what we are spending on raw material alone.

“Because we are in the main crop season, it is the practice that you must have raw materials that can take you for 90 days.

“That tells you the requisite billions of naira required for cocoa beans only.

“But we are leveraging on interventions from the Central Bank of Nigeria and Bank of Industry to boost our capital.

“Shareholders have injected huge share capital to finance the project. The investment by shareholders in this industry is N15 billion,” he stated.

The managing director further said the industry was a 15,000 metric tonnes automated processing plant, with the capacity to crush cocoa into cocoa liquor, butter, cake and powder.

He said that over 2,000 personnel would be involved in the cocoa supply and export value chain, while more than 15,000 smallholder farmers would be empowered to generate sustainable income and contribute to the national economy.

Mr Alamu, however, said that the industry had signed an agreement with companies abroad for large scale patronage.

“We have signed an agreement with companies abroad that have potentials. The nature of this contract has already off-taken 100 per cent of what we will be producing in the next one year.

“Our sales strategy plan is product specific. Our cocoa butter is straightly for export and we already have buyers.

“But for our cocoa powder, we are not willing to send that abroad because we don’t want to package all our fortunes here and take them abroad since there is local demand,” he said.

The managing director said that the industry has three warehouses outside the country capable of storing 15,000 tonnes of cocoa beans and the industry would keep stocking up to cater for light crop season.

Also speaking, Mrs Caroline Omotosho, Manager, JohnVents Industries Limited, said the company would be a game-changer in the cocoa value chain in revenue generation, local capacity development, job creation and contribution to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.

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Economy

NASD OTC Market Remains in Bearish Territory With 0.01% Loss

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Nigeria's Unlisted Securities Market Sheds 0.78%, NASD Shares up 8.31%

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-counter (OTC) Securities Exchange recorded a 0.01 per cent fall on Friday, September 23, as it dropped for the fourth straight day. This further dampened investors’ confidence.

In the session, the bourse, which admits unlisted securities, recorded the decline following a loss recorded by Food Concepts Plc as the company saw its equity value drop 1 Kobo or 1.1 per cent to sell at 90 Kobo per unit versus the previous day’s 91 Kobo per unit.

As a result, the market capitalisation of the NASD OTC exchange went south by N60 million to close at N952.51 billion compared with Thursday’s N952.57 billion.

Also, the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) dropped 0.05 points to finish at 723.56 points, in contrast to the preceding session’s 723.61 points.

Friday’s market data revealed that there was a slump in the units of securities exchanged by investors by 4.4 per cent to 60,420 units from the 63,219 units traded a day earlier.

The value of securities traded amounted to N57,125.00, 99.3 per cent lower than the N8.4 million achieved a day earlier, while the number of deals carried out during the session went down by 28.57 per cent to five deals from the seven deals carried out on Thursday.

AG Mortgage Bank Plc finished the session as the most traded stock by volume on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 2.3 billion units worth N1.2 billion, Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc also retained the second spot with the sale of 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion, while Mixta Real Estate Plc was in third place for trading 178.1 million units valued at N313.4 million.

Also, CSCS Plc maintained its position as the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis with a turnover of 687.6 million units valued at N14.3 billion, VFD Group Plc was in second place with 27.7 million units worth N7.4 billion, while FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc retained the third place with the sale of 14.3 million units valued at N1.7 billion.

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Economy

Naira Crashes to N720/$1 at Black Market, N738/$1 at P2P, Trades N436.33/$1 at I&E

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forex Black Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The exchange rate of the Naira to the United States Dollar moved in different directions on Friday, depreciating in the black market and the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) segments of the foreign exchange market and gaining in the Investors and Exporters (I&E) window.

In the P2P category, the local currency declined by N13 against the greenback to sell at N738/$1 compared with the preceding session’s N725/$1, and in the black market, it lost N7 to trade at N720/$1 in contrast to Thursday’s value of N713/$1.

However, in the spot market, the domestic currency appreciated against the American currency by 17 Kobo or 0.04 per cent to close at N436.33/$1 in contrast to the previous day’s N436.50/$1.

Data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange indicated that the turnover for the session increased slightly by $4.37 million or 4.3 per cent to $106.11 million from $101.74 million.

In the interbank segment, the value of the Naira to the Pound Sterling remained unchanged at N487.99/£1 and against the Euro, the local currency also traded flat at N425.66/€1.

In the digital currency market, it was a mixture of ups, downs and flats, with Dogecoin (DOGE) recording an 8.1 per cent rise to trade at $0.0657.

Solana (SOL) appreciated by 6.9 per cent to $34.16, Litecoin (LTC) went up by 4.0 per cent to trade at $54.92, Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a 2.9 per cent rise to sell at $281.86 while Ethereum (ETH) saw its value go up by 1.4 per cent to sell at $1,326.76.

On the other hand, Ripple (XRP) recorded a loss of 1.8 per cent to quote at $0.4939, Bitcoin (BTC) slid by 0.2 per cent to $19,035.94, Cardano (ADA) recorded a 0.1 per cent slide to trade at $0.4599, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) and Binance USD (BUSD) closed flat at $1.00, respectively.

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Economy

Equity Market Sheds 0.33% as Investors Sell off BUA Cement, 21 Others

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equity market size

By Dipo Olowookere

Twenty-two stocks ended on the losers’ chart on Friday at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, outweighing the 11 equities that finished on the gainers’ log.

The weak investor sentiment further plunged the market into the danger zone by 0.33 per cent at the close of transactions, data from the exchange indicated.

It was observed that the equity market has remained bearish despite the recent gains in banking shares. The sustained sell-offs in the industrial goods space have continued to put the bourse under pressure.

The industrial goods sector depreciated yesterday by 1.61 per cent, the insurance counter lost 0.46 per cent, the energy index declined by 0.46 per cent, while the banking and consumer goods sectors appreciated by 0.85 per cent and 0.10 per cent, respectively.

The All-Share Index (ASI) decreased at the close of business by 163.72 points to 49,026.62 points from 49,190.34 points as the market capitalisation went down by N88 billion to N26.445 trillion from N26.533 trillion.

A total of 169.2 million stocks worth N3.2 billion were transacted on Friday in 3,206 deals compared with the 126.8 million stocks worth N1.8 billion traded in 3,117 deals on Thursday, indicating an improvement in the trading volume, value and number of deals by 33.38 per cent, 79.16 per cent and 2.86 per cent, respectively.

Courteville ended the day as the busiest stock after it transacted 27.7 million units valued at N12.5 million, NGX Group traded 24.5 million units worth N417.4 million, Zenith Bank transacted 20.8 million units worth N416.8 million, Transcorp exchanged 11.2 million units valued at N11.6 million, while Jaiz Bank sold 10.9 million units for N8.7 million.

The worst-performing stock was CWG as its value depleted by 10.00 per cent to 81 Kobo, Berger Paints lost 9.85 per cent to N5.95, Eterna went down by 9.45 per cent to N5.75, Sunu Assurances declined by 8.57 per cent to 32 Kobo, while Chams dropped 6.90 per cent to 27 Kobo.

The best-performing stock yesterday was Vitafoam, which grew by 6.90 per cent to N22.45, followed by RT Briscoe, which appreciated by 6.06 per cent to 35 Kobo. Access Holdings improved by 6.02 per cent to N8.80, Cornerstone Insurance expanded by 3.70 per cent to 56 Kobo, while Fidelity Bank rose by 3.00 per cent to N3.78.

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