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Rice May Go For N40,000 Per Bag By December—Minister

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kashamu-rice

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

Nigerians may buy a bag of rice for N40,000 Nigeria by December 2016 if the country fails to produce rice locally and stops its importation.

This was the assertion of Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Heineken Lokpobiri, when he spoke on Saturday at a town hall meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.

The Minister noted that Nigeria spends about $22 billion a year on importation of food, saying something must be done quickly to stop this or else prices of food items may have to grow wings before the end of the year.

“For your information, we spend about $22 billion a year importing food into Nigeria. We know how many more dollars … and that is why you see the price of rice going up.

“Price of rice was N12,000 some months ago, but it is now about N26,000 and if we don’t start producing, by December it could be N40,000,” Mr Lokpobiri declared at the occasion.

The Minister said there was a projection that by 2050, Nigeria’s population would be 450 million, wondering what would happen then if the people could not feed themselves now.

According to him, South South Delta states were yet to give priority to agriculture the way the North-West states such as Kebbi, Jigawa, Kano as well as other states like Lagos, Ebonyi, Anambra, have prioritised it.

“Rice matures in three months. So, this is a wake-up call for Bayelsa people to take the four farms we have seriously.

“The federal government has four farms in the state in our records. The average land you see in Bayelsa can grow rice, so the colonial masters were not wrong in their assessment when they said Niger Delta could feed not only Nigeria but the entire West Africa sub-region.

“Unfortunately, agriculture till today, is not a priority of the Niger Delta as far as the state governments are concerned because of oil,” the Minister said.

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

Domestic Market Loses 0.06% on Profit-taking in 26 Stocks

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profit-taking at NSE

By Dipo Olowookere

Profit-taking in 26 stocks on Monday opened the doors of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited wide open to the bears, causing the domestic market to lose 0.06 per cent.

All but one of the key sectors of the market closed bearish yesterday and this was the energy counter, which appreciated by 1.67 per cent, while the insurance, banking, consumer goods and industrial goods sectors declined by 1.44 per cent, 0.45 per cent, 0.23 per cent and 0.01 per cent respectively.

Consequently, the All-Share Index (ASI) was reduced by 29.08 points to 45,928.27 points from 45,957.35 points, while the market capitalisation fell by N12 billion to N24.749 trillion from N24.761 trillion.

Regency Assurance was the worst-performing stock yesterday as its value went down by 9.52 per cent to 38 kobo, followed by FTN Cocoa, which dropped 7.69 per cent to 36 kobo.

NEM Insurance declined by 5.41 per cent to N3.50, Sovereign Trust Insurance lost 4.17 per cent to trade at 23 kobo, while Cutix depreciated by 4.00 per cent to N2.40.

Business Post reports that the exchange closed with 15 price gainers on Monday led by Livingtrust Insurance, which appreciated by 9.62 per cent to quote at N1.14.

Northern Nigerian Flour Mills grew by 9.49 per cent to N8.65, Academy Press improved by 9.09 per cent to 72 kobo, Courtville rose by 8.70 per cent to 50 kobo, while ABC Transport gained 5.88 per cent to trade at 36 kobo.

Yesterday, Chams was the busiest stock, trading 40.6 million units valued at N8.1 million and was trailed by UBA, which exchanged 35.1 million units worth N284.7 million.

Courtville traded 33.3 million units for N16.6 million, Sterling Bank sold 18.8 million units valued at N30.1 million, while Access Bank transacted 17.1 million units worth N166.4 million.

At the close of transactions, the volume of shares traded by investors went down by 1.06 per cent to 278.6 million units from 281.6 million units. The value, however, increased by 19.71 per cent to N2.9 billion from N2.4 billion, while the number of deals rose by 18.94 per cent to 4,447 deals from 3,739 deals.

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Economy

Friesland, CSCS Leave NASD Bourse Bleeding After N8.23bn Loss

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Friesland WAMCO

By Adedapo Adesanya

The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) started the week on a negative note after it bled by 1.3 per cent on Monday as a result of profit-taking, especially in the shares of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria Plc and Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc.

The Peak Milk maker lost N3.3 or 2.9 per cent yesterday to trade at N115.00 per share compared with the previous N118.30 per share, while the Nigerian depository company depreciated by N1.00 or 5.4 per cent to quote at N18.38 per unit as against the preceding session’s value of N19.38 per unit.

The losses posted by the duo decreased the market capitalisation of the bourse by N8.23 billion to N622.23 billion from N630.46 billion and weakened the NASD Unlisted Securities Index (NSI) by 9.71 points to wrap the session at 734.83 points compared with 744.54 points recorded at the previous session.

Unfortunately, the market did not record a price gainer yesterday, but the volume of securities traded at the bourse by investors went down by 97.3 per cent to 111,347 units from the 4.1 million units achieved last Friday.

In the same vein, the value of shares that exchanged hands during the trading day depleted by 94.5 per cent to N4.8 million from N86.9 million, while the number of deals executed by traders depreciated by 12.5 per cent to seven deals from the eight deals carried out at the preceding session.

At the close of business, CSCS Plc maintained its position as the most traded security by volume on a year-to-date basis with 653.7 million units of its shares sold for N13.7 billion. VFD Group Plc came next with 916,161 units valued at N331.5 million, while Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc has so far traded 233,766 units valued at N27.5 million.

Also, CSCS Plc ended the day as the most traded stock by value on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 653.7 million units worth N13.7 billion. VFD Group Plc also came next with 916,161 units worth N331.5 million, while Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria Plc trailed with 233,766 units worth N27.5 million.

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Economy

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Others Appreciate amid Renewed Interest

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Ethereum

By Adedapo Adesanya

Renewed interest in cryptocurrency helped the market regain its feet on Monday after last week’s scare, which forced investors to offload the digital assets.

The selloff witnessed lately was triggered by fears that the United States Federal Reserve would come up with a tighter monetary policy this week.

But yesterday, the market was calm as seven of the 10 tokens monitored by Business Post across the various trading platforms closed positive, with Bitcoin (BTC) gaining 5.9 per cent to close at N21,279,581.03.

Litecoin (LTC) appreciated by 2.9 per cent to sell at N64,092.87, Ethereum (ETH) made a 1.8 per cent appreciation to close at N1,421,449.49, while US Dollar Tether (USDT) improved by 1.5 per cent to sell for N586.56.

In addition, Ripple (XRP) appreciated by 0.6 per cent to close at N352.24, Dogecoin (DOGE) rose by 0.3 per cent to quote at N81.59, while Binance Coin (BNB) recorded a gain of 0.1 per cent to trade at N154,299.88.

On the other hand, Dash (DASH) fell by 3.7 per cent to trade at N52,686.71, Tron (TRX) depreciated by 3.2 per cent to sell at N31.35, while Cardano (ADA) depleted by 1.1 per cent to close at N630.39.

Meanwhile, at the Investors and Exporters (I&E) segment of the foreign exchange (FX) market in Nigeria, the Naira traded bearish on the first day of this week, losing 0.09 per cent or 38 kobo to trade exchange against the Dollar at N416.38/$1 compared with the preceding session’s rate of N416/$1.

This occurred amid a decline in the demand for forex at the market window, with the turnover for the day at $136.9 million, 3.8 per cent or $5.5 million lower than the $142.42 million recorded last Friday.

Also, the domestic currency suffered a loss of 11 kobo against the greenback at the interbank segment of the market, trading at N415.53/$1 at the close of business on Monday compared with N415.53/$1 of the previous session.

But against the Pound Sterling, the Naira appreciated by N2.69 yesterday to close at N560.69/£1 in contrast to the previous N563.38/£1, while against the Euro, the local currency gained 88 kobo to close at N470/€1 versus last Friday’s N470.88/€1.

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