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Economy

WACOT to Absorb More Rice Farmers After N5bn Deal

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WACOT rice farmers

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Plans are underway to register an additional 5,143 rice farmers to complement the already existing ones with WACOT Rice Limited in Kebbi State.

This followed the striking of a deal worth N5 billion between WACOT and the West Africa Trade and Investment Hub (WATIH), which is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

These new farmers are expected to cultivate over 5,000 additional hectares of land thereby producing over 20,000 tons of paddy which will be utilised at WRL’s 120,000-ton rice mill in Kebbi.

The Nigerian based subsidiary of TGI Group is the owner of the Argungu Rice Outgrower Expansion Project in Kebbi State. It is part of the company’s strategy to become West Africa’s leading rice producer.

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The state-of-the-art rice mill produces Big Bull Rice. The rice mill is one of the largest in Africa. The firm sources paddy from various paddy producing states across Nigeria. It also engages in out-grower farming programmes with paddy farmers to boost their yields and guarantees off-take of paddy from farmers through buyback arrangements.

Speaking on the development, the Group Managing Director of TGI Group, Mr Rahul Savara, noted that, “No doubt, this project not only supports our drive to support the government in achieving food security in Nigeria, it also allows us to support our community, Kebbi, which was ravaged by flood just a few months ago. For us, sustainability is a way of life. Therefore, we will continue to explore avenues to grow sustainably, while supporting others.”

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On her part, Ms Anne Patterson, the USAID Mission Director, stated that, “The US government is pleased to partner with the private sector in Nigeria to develop market-driven solutions and sustainably improve food security by supporting local rice production.”

She added that, “with this new co-investment partnership, smallholder farmers in Kebbi State can increase yields and improve the livelihoods of their families.”

By supporting smallholder rice farmers to increase their yields by 50 to 100 per cent, the co-investment will help farmers earn more and lift themselves out of poverty, create thousands of jobs, and attract further private investments in the agriculture sector.

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According to WACOT, a strong emphasis would be placed on women and youth, with at least 50 per cent of the new farmers trained to be women and 70 per cent of all the farmers under 30 years old.

It was stated that the overall impact is to enhance yield per hectare and help farmers better their livelihoods. In terms of their earnings, this project will help them to be able to send their kids to school, access better livelihoods, access better healthcare and to have better nutrition, and quality of life.

Aduragbemi Omiyale is a journalist with Business Post Nigeria, who has passion for news writing. In her leisure time, she loves to read.

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Economy

SEC Okays NG Clearing as Central Counterparty

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NG Clearing Central Counterparty

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

NG Clearing Limited, a company incorporated on May 24, 2016, to facilitate derivatives trading in the Nigerian capital market, has been given the licence to operate as a central counterparty (CCP).

The authorisation was given by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the apex regulatory agency in the Nigerian capital market and this licence became effective Monday, June 7, 2021.

With the registration to perform the function of a CCP, NG Clearing becomes the first organisation to carry out this duty in the country. It means the firm has the authority to clear and settle exchange-traded derivative products.

The Chairman of NG Clearing, Mr Oscar Onyema, expressed delight over this development, noting that it will improve the soundness and safety of the Nigerian financial market.

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He said the company will deliver best-in-class post-trade services that manage counterparty credit risk and reduce systemic risk by interposing itself as a guarantor to both parties in a transaction, thus ensuring the successful execution of derivatives and other trades from various trade points in Nigeria.

“NG Clearing will deliver an unparalleled CCP experience for the Nigerian financial and capital markets and will optimise the deployment of its resources to achieve long-term value creation for its stakeholders using a state-of-the-art risk management framework, which complies with global best practices for mitigating settlement risk,” he said.

On his part, the Managing Director of NG Clearing, Mr Tapas Das said the company has sufficient financial resources, including a settlement guarantee fund to cover participants’ risk exposures.

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He noted that members will have access to a wide range of financial reports that equip them with extensive knowledge and enable them to make informed decisions, as well as access to NG Clearing’s bespoke clearing and settlement software application which will support the clearing and settlement of derivative instruments across various asset classes i.e., futures and options contracts on indices, equity shares, commodities, currency, rates etc.

“NG Clearing shall be playing a key role in the financial market ecosystem in the region, upholding stability and safety of the marketplace, through an efficient and timely settlement of derivative trades.

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“The aim is to strengthen the country’s investment environment through solutions that systematically reduce risks, enhance operating efficiency, and minimize costs for all market participants, thereby serving as a catalyst to national development,” he stated.

NG Clearing is promoted by the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc and Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc along with key stakeholders, including Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Access Bank Plc, Consonance Kuramo Special Opportunities Fund I, Coronation Merchant Bank Limited, Greenwich Merchant Bank Limited, Union Bank of Nigeria Plc, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA) and Association of Securities Dealing Houses of Nigeria (ASHON).

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Economy

CSCS, NGX Lift OTC Exchange by 0.77% After Holiday

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Regconnect CSCS

By Adedapo Adesanya

Appreciation in the stock prices of Central Securities Clearing Systems (CSCS) Plc and the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Group Plc ensured that the bulls remained on the floor of the NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange on Tuesday.

It was the first trading session at the OTC Exchange after the public holiday observed on Monday to celebrate Democracy Day in Nigeria. The unlisted securities market appreciated by 0.77 per cent yesterday.

During the session, shares of CSCS increased by 68 kobo or 3.6 per cent to sell at N18.68 per unit compared to N18 per unit of the previous session, while the NGX Group gained 15 kobo or 0.8 per cent to sell for N20.04 per share versus the previous N19.89 per share.

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The gains recorded by the two securities expanded the market capitalisation of the bourse by N4.09 billion to close at N534.49 billion in contrast to N530.40 billion it ended last Friday.

Also, the NASD Unlisted Security Index (NSI) increased by 5.76 points during the session to finish at 751.95 points as against 746.19 points of the previous session.

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During the session, investors increased the volume of securities traded by 75.8 per cent to 6.5 million units from 3.7 million units, while the value of the trades rose by 74.1 per cent to N129.2 million from N74.2 million, with the number of deals rising by 17.2 per cent to 34 deals from 29 deals.

NGX Group was the most active stock by (year-to-date) with the sale of 266.3 million units worth N6.0 billion, followed by Swap Technologies & Telecomms Plc with 46.6 million units worth N41.0 million and CSCS Plc with 30.9 million units worth N483.3 million.

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Also, NGX Group was the most active stock by value on a year-to-date basis with the sale of 266.3 million units worth N6.0 billion, followed by Niger Delta Exploration and Production (NDEP) Plc with 2.9 million units valued at N900.5 million and FrieslandCampina WAMCO Nigeria with 5.9 million units valued at N750.4 million.

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Economy

Naira Worsens, Sells for N505/$1 at Black Market

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Black Market

By Adedapo Adesanya

The situation of the Naira worsened at the black market on Tuesday, June 15 as it depreciated against the Dollar by N3 to sell for N505/$1 in contrast to N502/$1.

At the same unregulated segment of the foreign exchange market yesterday, the local currency also depreciated against the British Pound Sterling by N1 to close at N716/£1 compared to N715/£1 of the preceding trading session.

In the same vein, the domestic currency went down by N1 against the Euro as it traded at N608/€1 in contrast to N607/€1 of the previous day.

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The situation was not different at the regulated Investors and Exchange (I&E) window as the Naira depreciated against the greenback on Tuesday by 95 kobo or 0.23 per cent, selling at N411.75/$1 in contrast to N410.80/$1 it traded at the preceding session.

It was observed that the local currency suffered the loss yesterday as a result of an FX demand pressure as the value of transactions at the market segment increased by 85.6 per cent or $79.46 million to $172.24 million from the previous session’s $92.78 million, according to data from the FMDQ Securities Exchange.

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However, there was a respite for the domestic currency at the interbank segment, which is the official exchange rate window for the country. The Nigerian currency marginally appreciated by one kobo at the category to quote at N410.12/$1 against N410.13/$1 of the previous session.

Meanwhile, at the digital currency market, the bears were in control as five of the seven tokens tracked by Business Post on Quidax closed in the red.

Bitcoin (BTC) lost 0.9 per cent to close at N20,184,844.70, Ethereum (ETH) also went down by 0.9 per cent to close at N1,263,000.01, while Ripple (XRP) declined by 2.9 per cent to trade at N438.02.

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In addition, Litecoin (LTC) went down by 4.1 per cent to trade at N85,602.00, while the US Dollar Tether (USDT) depreciated by 0.8 per cent to sell for N510.57.

On the gainers’ angle, Dash (DASH) appreciated by 4.1 per cent to sell at N89,999.00, while Tron (TRX) went up by 0.2 per cent to sell at N36.20.

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