Rice Importation Falls to 21,000MT from 644,131MT —FG
By Dipo Olowookere
Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has disclosed that the importation of rice into Nigeria has significantly dropped in the last two years.
Mr Mohammed attributed this to the various initiatives embarked upon by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
One of such, according to the Minister, is the introduction of the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme (ABP) by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) aimed to boost local production of the staple food in the country.
While addressing newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja, Mr Mohammed said Federal Government was very close to achieving self-sufficiency in rice.
Quoting figures from the Thailand Rice Exporters Association, the Minister said rice importation from Thailand, which supplies the bulk of the parboiled rice being imported into Nigeria, dropped from 644,131 Metric Tonnes to about 21,000 MT between September 2015 and September 2017.
“We are happy to tell Nigerians of a giant stride made by the administration in the agriculture sector, specifically rice production: Nigeria is inching closer to achieving self-sufficiency in rice, due to the success recorded by the Administration in the local production of rice,” he said.
Mr Mohammed said that as a result of the administration’s success in local production, some investors from Thailand have even shown interest in establishing rice milling plants in Nigeria, a development he said would further boost rice production in Nigeria.
“A few years ago, this (Thai investors establishing rice mills in Nigeria) would not have been possible since Nigeria was not considered a top rice producing country. Today, Nigeria is one of the largest producers of rice,” he said.
The Minister said the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme has helped to support farmers through inputs distribution and loans to boost rice production.
He said the increased rice production has, in turn, led to the establishment of rice mills, including the 120,000MT WACOT Mill in Kebbi and the 1,000,000MT Dangote Rice Mill.
Mr Mohammed said with the administration targeting rice production of 7 million MT by 2018, the country was closer than ever to achieving self-sufficiency in rice, going by the fact that as at 2015, rice demand in the country was 6.3 million MT.
He said the increased production was bound to force down the price of locally-produced rice and provide succour to Nigerians.
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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