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Oladapo: 90% of SMEs don’t know about business plan

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Oladapo: 90% of SMEs don’t know about business plan

Abiodun Oladapo is a value-chain operator in the agribusiness sector and Chairman, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) Group of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry. In this interview with TAIWO HASSAN, he speaks on the state of Nigeria’s economy and challenges facing small businesses, among others. Excerpts:

 

Recently, Nigeria celebrated 58 years of Independence, how would you evaluate the country’s manufacturing sector within the period?
It is very unfortunate that the situation used to be better before now. But currently, the small and medium scale enterprises are not finding it easy now with their business activities. The situation has just been terrible and it has resulted to loss of production of goods and low sales. Also, our members have a lot of infrastructure responsibilities to cater to and the only way they can meet up with these challenges is to get money from sales of goods for them to keep maintaining the infrastructure challenges in place. But regrettably, there is no more profit any longer in these businesses because business is so slow at this period.
Despite the fact that the Federal Government said that they are trying their best in infrastructure development, it is not yielding the expected results in the economy, especially to the level that government wants it to be. So, there are still lots of rooms for improvements in the economy in the last 58 years of Independence. That is just the summary of what I want to say.
In fact, I can tell you that there are lots of businesses that have gone under in the SMEs sector. A good number of people took loans from the banks with the intention of expanding their businesses but unfortunately, they are not meeting up with the repayment model amid operational challenges being caused by government policies.
Generally, there was a time when they said we were in recession and now they said we are out of recession. But the level of recurrent challenges in the economy needs to be redefined again if we had actually gotten out of recession. The level of economic activities is still very low in the country and this is caused by government’s fiscal and monetary policies. It’s not a secret, everybody can see it.

What is your assessment of the state of infrastructure in the country? Has government met the demand of SMEs?
Well, when you look into the way things are being done now, you will see that many of the steps the present government is taking now have political undertone. They have been making a lot of comments about the way the economy has been running for a while and they are claiming to have corrected it. But how much do you see this infrastructure development being translated into economic gains in the market? Most of the SMEs are dying; the economy is getting worse daily. Policy summersault has not been having any good effect on the economy. So, they really need to sit down and articulate virtually everything they have been doing in the aspect of infrastructure and now look into it and find out why these things have not been yielding the desired results.
We have four components of the economy and until the whole gamut is looked into holistically, nothing will work. They really need to sit down to re-examine the entire things all over again and make necessary amendments to make sure that the economy performs to the optimal level. You can’t make a particular sector of the economy to be performing when the others are not performing; it is going to affect it.
Let me now be more specific, looking into the country’s export sector. There is a particular issue that has been burning for quite some time now, I am talking about yam. When the domestic demand cannot be met and you are talking about the export aspect of this, will it be able to fly? Look at rice. They said now that rice is performing well, but when you look at the entire thing by moving around yourself, is it performing? No. If you go down to Cotonou now, you will see several thousands of metric tonnes of rice that are being prepared to be imported into Nigeria. So why are we deceiving ourselves and not doing the things that need to be done.

It has been argued that finance is not the main challenge facing small businesses but lack of capacity. Is that true?
That is just the issue. For example, a good number of people will go into business without having a bankable business plans. Before going into any business, you must have a clear idea of what you want to do. I met a friend who has plans to go into agribusiness having identified the kind of business he wants to go into but has no knowledge of the market. There is a need to restructure the way we really run these businesses; there is a need for technical, managerial and incubation centres where we really need to teach people to understand the business they do.
This is because anytime someone retires, the next thing is that he is going into business without any business plan to identify the viability and feasibility of such business. It is just too bad and when I took over as the SME Group Chairman, the first thing I did was to develop a 67-item questionnaire that cuts across virtually all questions to which any businessman must provide an answer. It may surprise you that we had less than 25 people who responded out of a population of about 470 active members. People find it difficult to separate their businesses from their personal expenses, so it is a bit difficult and capacity building is a big issue. Since I took over this year, we have done about four trainings for our members as part of our capacity building efforts.
Recently, CBN reviewed the interest rate and access to funds for small

businesses and green field projects, especially in the manufacturing sector. How fair is this move by the apex bank considering the need of the sector?
Like the question I posed to you earlier, are our people ready to do business in the way they should do business? This is because the issue of best practices has been a challenge. If someone finds it difficult to separate himself from his business expenses, how do you want him to provide records? This is why you discover that foreigners are taking full advantage of this policy rather than indigenous businesses. When we discovered that agribusiness was becoming challenging, we had to bring experts in to develop a comprehensive business plan for our own business, which cuts across the review of technology, review of the managerial, financial, and marketing sections so that it guides us to ensure that we do not miss anything.
For someone running a business, no matter how simple the business is, you need a business plan and you need to be guided by that business plan and you must continually evaluate the performance by that plan. Close to about 90 per cent or more of the small businesses do not understand what a business plan is; they make money today and do not keep records and that is why they are even having issues with tax authorities because tax authorities deal with records and even the CBN you are talking about deals with records. This is why we are organizing a seminar with topics cutting across all these issues to be delivered by experts.
For example NISRAL will be there to talk about de-risking and how small businesses can access loans with ease; we are bringing the likes of Sterling bank as a partner to talk about the steps to get loans easily, because they made us believe that within 24 hours you can get a loan if all your records are okay; and in terms of marketing, we are bringing in some experts, we are bringing in Connect Nigeria, who will be talking about digital marketing. We are also bringing Olanihun Ajayi, who will be talking about how you can take advantage of the current tax policies and we are also bringing in the Credit Bureau, who will be talking about the need to keep records and how bad past records can implicate you when you are looking for fresh finances. So these are the challenges but we think we would get there one day.

How do you plan to help small businesses stay competitive against new foreign entrants?
There is no way you can run businesses without competition. It is like a driver asking other road users to leave the road because he has to use the road; such a situation will never arise. How do you enjoy a football match when you ask the opponent to leave the pitch for you? It will be boring as nobody will be there, so it is taking full advantage of the opportunity being offered by the environment that makes the difference. As we are talking now, a good number of businesses are performing well when they engage best practices, but for those that are looking for where competition will be absent, it will never happen, because you have to give the best to the customer and that is why there is competition.

What is your advice for government on how to protect local companies from unfair competitive practices?
Let us go down to agric and particularly livestock. You must have noticed that a good number of poultry farms have closed down, because they cannot compete favourably with the imported chicken market, even though the imported chickens are not good for public consumption in the first instance and this is why the government placed a ban on them. However, they still find their way into the Nigerian market. Government needs to do more in that area and the best way to attack this challenge is from the market and consumer perspective.
For instance, the regulators can go to popular markets and demand for the source of those imported chicken, because most of them do not have NAFDAC or SON approval. Have you ever being to Cotonou to see how these chickens are packaged and brought into Nigeria? It is pure poison, they will take the chicken and soak it in all sorts of chemicals that are injurious to human health and after soaking it, they engage labourers to take it to the other side of the border for re-bagging and put inside containers to be frozen again. If you want to know the difference between the two, place a pure Nigerian frozen and imported frozen chicken on a table and come back after 6 hours, you will notice that no fly will ever move near the Cotonou chicken. This is because of the preservatives that were applied on the imported chicken. This is what is being sold to Nigerian consumers at a cost that is far below the cost of production of local producers. Nigeria is seen as a dumping ground and most of these consumables come through our neighbouring countries. The quantity of imported chickens that come through is such that if they take a tonne to a person in Cotonou, they will still have some tonnes left and this will tell you that these goods were not imported for the Cotonou market but for the Nigerian market because of our size.

Would you say importation has continued due to lack of capacity by indigenous producers to meet demand?
We have capacity, but a good number of poultry farms have closed down, which means that capacity is still there, but because the business is being run at a loss, it has to be closed. Government needs to effectively protect the local businesses and citizens, because these frozen foods being brought into the country illegally are pure poison. When there is an issue, who pays for it? Everybody has become a victim of cancer in Nigeria and anywhere you go to, you see obesity in town obesity. This occur when you feed the body with false food, nutrient deficient food and toxins.
So, the government needs to do more by discouraging consumers from buying such foods. Technology can also help in this regard to differentiate between the good and the bad chicken, the chemical-laden chicken and the natural chicken. If these importers find it difficult to get customers for their poisoned frozen foods, they will no longer bring it in anymore.
Smuggling has made local capacity drop to 10 per cent of what it used to be and in terms of loss, it is a quantum and highly discouraging. Local producers can meet demand if they are allowed and encouraged. A situation where you produce and you cannot even recover the cost is certainly not a business. So government needs to help this business to thrive. They need to effectively curtail the illegal importation of poultry products into the country, they need to use the consumer perspective; the consumer needs to be the one to insist that he does not want such products. Nigerian producers are required by law to register their products with NAFDAC. The NAFDAC team should be able to go into these markets and be able to trace the source of the chicken in the market and in a situation where a trader cannot produce sufficient document to show that it can be traced to a particular Nigerian producer, then it is not fit for consumption by a Nigerian consumer. When those who are culpable are dealt with using the force of law, they would be discouraged from bringing in these foreign products because it has negative effect not only on the economy, but also on the health of Nigerians. People are dying from consuming these poisonous foods they call foreign.

Like chicken, rice also suffers the same fate. How do you manage this situation when consumer purchasing power is low and regulators do not have the manpower and capacity to monitor the borders?
That is a very serious one. A serious one in the sense that someone who lacks purchasing power is being denied something cheap, knowing that if he does not eat, he would die of hunger. So he believes that he has been eating this poison for quite a while and he is still alive, so rather than being deprived eating the poison, he would choose to eat the poison and still manage to be living that kind of a diseased life. I think government can still do a lot along that line by empowering people and seeking ways to reinvigorate the economy so that the purchasing power of the individuals can be improved upon. You will see a good number of graduates roaming the streets in search of jobs that are not available and the kind of empowerment programme, which government puts in place is at variance with the kind of training and the mind set the man has got.
We need to internalise our economy to engage our people to produce what we need and consume what we produce. This is the way developed economies of the world did it to get to where they are. Why should we open our gate to all sorts of imported goods? When you check the back of about 90 per cent of the goods in the country, you see made in China and this means we have created job opportunities for the Chinese. Why not do the same for our people. We should also look into our educational curricular; it should be developed to make it relevant to the needs of our economy so that we will churn out graduates that produce what the country needs.

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Maritime financing: Analysts want BoI to manage, disburse cabotage fund

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Maritime financing: Analysts want BoI to manage, disburse cabotage fund

Investing in maritime infrastructure, including ship acquisition and shipyards is capital intensive and needs financing either from commercial banks or low interest funds from government development facilities. PAUL OGBUOKIRI reports that at this time that NIMASA is set to grow local participation in the sector; there is need for the agency to tap into the expertise of Bank of Industry in the disbursement of Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund to boost funding for competent operators

 

The 5-year cabotage waivers cessation target

 

 

The Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) recently announced a five-year strategic plan to end granting of waivers to foreign operators to continue to trade within Nigeria’s territorial waters.

 

 

Speaking on the NIMASA cabotage waiver cessation plan, at the recent Nigeria Maritime Finance Fair (NMFF), organized by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria, the Director General of NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside said the agency in its determination to build capacity for the success of the Cabotage Act, NIMASA decided to administratively review the grant of waivers and make policies which will enhance local content development, in line with Section 22(1) (K) of the NIMASA ACT 2007.

 

 

In his paper titled: Five years strategic plan for cessation of grant of cabotage waiver; Dakuku said towards realizing that goal, property owners along the coast have been invited on the need for them to key into the plan and utilize the opportunity for developing Ship Building/Repair yards.

 

 

According to him, NIMASA has also extended invitation to Nigerian indigenous cabotage operators to partner with invited foreign ship building companies on ship building with NIMASA facilitating same by creating the enabling environment.

 

 

Dakuku, who was represented at the event by a director in the agency in-charge of Cabotage Services, Barr. Victor Egerue, said the agency has requested for tax holidays and Customs Duties incentives for ship building/ship repair yards in Nigeria.

 

 

He said the plan seeks to ensure that ship repair yards should be established as a prelude to establishing Ship Building yards, saying the private sector will be engaged for the utilization of NIMASA Floating Dockyard.

The NIMASA helmsman said the import duty waivers on imported ship spares and components should be facilitated, further calling for a review of the Temporary Importation Permit Scheme by Nigeria Customs Services on Bareboat charters.

He stressed the need to facilitate Joint Venture Partnership between foreigners and indigenous operators on ship building. He added that the agency is moving to engage NEXIM BANK to guarantee loans sourced from foreign financial institutions for acquisition of vessels.

He called for the establishment of credit guarantee schemes, even as foreign vessels are now to be required to obtain license before they sail into Nigeria to perform any task and this will be fully enforced with sanctions for non-compliance.

 

 

 

According to him, NIMASA will drive facilitation of bareboat charters with purchase options, even as seafarers training will be geared towards domestic needs.

 

 

A joint committee of NIMASA/relevant stakeholders will be inaugurated in July 2019 to drive the process, Dakuku said. He added that Direct Foreign Investment (DFI) in Nigeria for Ship Building and Repairs by foreign ship building/repair yards will be facilitated by the committee.

 

 

Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)

 

 

Over 15 year the Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) was set up by the Federal Government, NIMASA has failed to disburse the fund to Nigerian operators in the sector whom the fund was set up to provide cheap funding for their shipping operation in Nigeria’s territorial waters.

 

 

Analysts say the delay in deploying the fund for the very reason (financing maritime infrastructural projects/ship building/acquisition for cabotage trade), has left the huge fund which is growing daily but is continuously being depleted by successive administrations in the agency.

 

 

They say now that NIMASA has shown sufficient determination to grow the local operators capacity to enable them take over completely from the foreign operators in the cabotage area, is the best time for the agency to synergise with the Bank of Industry (BoI) for seamlessly disbursement the fund to the contributors and finally bring to an end the endless pilfering of the fund by successive administrations of NIMASA.

 

 

Speaking, the Coordinator of Save Nigerian Freight Forwarders, Importers, Exporters Coalition (SNFFIEC), Chief Patrick Chukwu Osita, said:  “If the consistent stealing of the cabotage fund is stopped and it is handed over to BoI to manage and disburse more Nigerians will be employed, the national fleet will grow and the domination of the country by foreign vessels in our coastal trade will be minimised.”

 

 

The CVFF was established in 2003 mainly to promote indigenous shipping through loans to local operators.

 

 

It was set mainly to promote indigenous shipping through loan to local operators. The fund is made up of contributions from operators in the Nigerian coastal waters by way of 2 per cent surcharge imposed on the operators by NIMASA. The oil and gas industry which is the mainstay of the Nigerian economy constitutes over 80 per cent of the cabotage trade. Two per cent of the gross contract sum performed by all cabotage vessels in Nigeria is paid into the cabotage fund by operators.

 

BoI and development financing in Nigeria

 

 

According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of BoI, Mr. Mr. Olukayode Pitan, the bank has said that the ban is ready to leverage on its years of experience in managing government’s development finance funds; to collaborate with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in ensuring a seamless disbursement of the fund to qualified and competent operators.

 

 

He disclosed this in Lagos that it has only recorded minimal default in its long years of managing government development funds including the including the Nigerian Content Development and Management Board’s $200 million Nigerian Content Intervention Fund (NCIFUND).

 

 

This is coming as BoI disclosed that it has already disbursed $82million out of the $200million NCIFUND, to some local contractors (who are contributors of the fund) operating at the upstream Nigerian oil and gas industry.

 

 

The fund lent to the operators at a single-digit interest rate according to the bank, is to enable the operators acquire ships as well as for support of companies involved in ship repairs and allied investments under the Nigeria Content Development Fund (NCDF).

 

 

Managing Director of BoI, Kayode Pitan, said this in Lagos at the maiden edition of Nigeria Maritime Finance Fair organised by the Association of Maritime Journalists of Nigeria (AMJON).

 

 

Pitan, who was represented by an official of BoI, Victor Agina, added that the funds provided have created 3,117 jobs across the country.

 

 

He urged NIMASA to partner the bank in the management and disbursement of its CVFF.

 

Pitan further explained to maritime stakeholders that companies with about 51 per cent Nigerian citizens’ equity that sources at least 40 per cent of their raw materials locally are eligible for the bank’s loans.

 

 

He added that borrowers under the NCIFUND are entitled to loan facilities with five year tenure inclusive of one year moratorium.

 

 

Investment opportunities in the maritime sector

 

 

Speaking, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello has said that the reforms in the maritime sector have thrown up quite a vast opportunity for investment in the sector.

 

 

He said that the upsurge in the volume of general cargo handled from 54,473,850 mt in 2007 to 84,951,927mt in 2014 and 71,535,635mt in 2017 has created investment opportunities in the area of:

 

 

This among others was the highlights of the paper he presented at the Nigeria Maritime Finance Fair in Lagos.

 

 

In his paper titled: “The role of commercial regulator in creating conducive environment for investors/financiers in Nigeria’s emerging private sector driven maritime industry,” Bello said that development of Container depots / yards, Inland Container Depots (ICDs), Inland Dry Port, Off- Dock Bonded warehouses/Freight stations are major areas the require investment.

 

 

He also called on investors to grab the investment opportunities in logistics / haulage transportation service (including rail, roads and inland water transportation services), truck yards / parks.

 

 

He noted that Nigeria has a large reserve of LNG (Liquefied Natural Gas) which created activities in the maritime sector, thereby provided investments opportunities in the supply of marine equipment for storage and transportation of oil products, supply of tug boat services, security patrol boats, supply vessels (for bunkering and chandelling services), Waste collection boats, vessel repair yards, Independent power generation, transmission and distribution, residential, tourisms and  free zones for oil and gas etc.

 

 

He said that with the appointment of NSC as the economic regulator of the ports, he said the role of the agency in encouraging private sector investment in the port sector was highlighted in section 3 (i) of its regulations, 2015.

 

 

“As a matter of fact, the regulation of an economic system seeks to achieve five (5) key objectives, namely: The protection of investors / Consumers of services, Ensure that the markets are fair, efficient and transparent, the reduction of systemic risks, the reduction of crimes and the maintenance of consumers’ confidence in the market place

 

Bello listed the duty of commercial regulator is to among others include; Contribute to the fulfilment of one or more of these objectives, Maintain an open market that can be participated by widest range of appropriate participants with no un-necessary barriers to entry and exits and Provide an equal regulatory standard on all participants that meet minimum criteria.

 

Last line

 

As outlined in the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency’s (NIMASA’s) 2018/2019 Forecast, the Nigerian maritime industry is expected to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2019.

 

 

It is therefore necessary to adequately support the local maritime industry towards generating considerable multiplier effects such as job creation, import substitution and poverty alleviation, which would have significant positive effects on the socio-economic condition of Nigerians     

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New yam out, price decrease marginal

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New yam out, price decrease marginal

Consumers in Lagos on Friday said that the price of one kilogramme yam which increased by over 30 per cent over a month ago, last week fell marginally by about two per cent.

 

 

They, however, expressed hope that the price will continue to fall in the weeks ahead as the new yam has started to arrive at Mile 12 market and other markets around Lagos State.

 

 

 

Also, the said that the price of beans which decreased in April, has remained stable at N150 a derica cup this week.

 

According to them, fresh tomatoes has remained very scarce in the markets in Lagos State, leaving them with the poor quality local specie or Tin Tomatoes as supplement for the rich and qualitative specie that comes from the northern part of the country.

 

They also stated that they have been recording stability in the prices of other foodstuffs.

 

The consumers, who spoke at Ikotun-Egbe, Ojo-Alaba, Suru-Alaba, Orile, Iyana Ipaja, Oyingbo and Ketu markets, said though they have been recording low sales since even with fall in the price of beans.

 

At Ikotun Market, Mrs. Chiamaka Udoka, a housewife, who was at the market to buy foodstuffs for her family, said: “The price of yam is going up with speed, but it is normal because we are already in the rainy season and the new yam will soon be out. However, one good thing that has happened is that price of beans is stable, having fallen down to N150 per derica cup.

 

“The good news is that the prices of most other foodstuffs in the market, both the imported and the ones produced locally; have remained stable for over two months now.

 

“Despite that, I can tell you that things are getting difficult meeting the family need as our disposable income has become very small. Infact, our husband’s take home pay can no longer take us home.”

 

Similarly, a trader, Iya Modinatu, spoken to at Iyana Ipaja market said customers were not coming forward to buy as expected.

 

She believed that people no longer have enough money to spend. She said she is praying that the economy will get better again so that Nigerians will start to live a normal life.”I believe things will start getting better,” she adds.

 

At Ketu market, traders said though the price of yam is rising, it is not affecting the prices of other foodstuffs and other household items in the market. They are however yet to witness the kind of patronage they witness during the build-up to the February general elections.

 

Mr. John Chimezie, a dealer in rice and beans and other foodstuff in the market, said: “Sales is not good, there is low patronage. People are not buying. It seems Nigerians have not recovered from the 2016 economic recession. We hope the situation will change for the better soon as the elections are over now.”

 

Survey of the prices of goods at the Sabo market, Ikorodu (a Lagos suburb) earlier on Thursday, indicate that the price of rice and beans has remained unchanged; this is even as customers spoken to said they expect the prices down to the 2017 levels as the elections are over now.

 

According to Iya Muri, a trader at the Ikorodu market, the demand for rice and beans is high but the price though stable, is not yet attractive, “we are however expecting that the price of beans in particular, should be falling after the elections as the price of beans is normally low by this time of the year.

 

 

She said: “By this time of the year, the price of rice and beans crash, like early in 2017, and by the same period in 2018, the price was manageable and favourable to both the buyers and sellers. Mama Gold, one of the best premium rice sells from between N18000 for 50kg. The difference is too much for us the retailers and the buyers will always complain about the price before buying which is not good for the business. Customers are our only source of income. The same also goes for the local rice i.e Ofada Rice with a bag (25kg) sold from N10, 000 to N15, 000.”

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Customers to get prepaid meters, pay later –NERC

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Customers to get prepaid meters, pay later –NERC

T

he Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) says electricity customers will be allowed to get prepaid meters and pay later.

 

Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, Nathan Shatti, NERC’s Commissioner for Finance and Management Services, said customers will start enjoying the privilege from August.

 

He said customers can either pay upfront or in installments within a period of one to 10 years.

 

According to NERC, the one-phase prepaid meter will be available for N36, 992 and three-phase for N67, 055.

 

 

Shatti said the commission approved a total of 42 meter service providers in April under the meter asset providers (MAPs) scheme.

 

The regulator had issued permits to the firms to begin the rollout of new meters by May 1.

 

“Although the installations did not commence immediately across the country as anticipated, due to the need to finalise some documentations and also mobilise the supply of meters,” he said.

 

“I am happy to report that the installations of meters have now commenced across various DisCo franchise areas.

 

“Currently, we have asked or encouraged the MAPs to concentrate on the upfront payment for obvious reasons. The payment by instalment is scheduled to commence on August 1, 2019.”

 

Shatti said repayment for the cost of the meter services will be done monthly through metering service charge while vending.

 

“Discos have the responsibility to make the areas for meter deployment ready in line with MAP regulation and the planned roll-out,” he said.

 

“MAPs will then determine the type of meter the customer needs and the customer will decide how long (the period) he/she plans to pay for the metering services.

 

“After confirming the type of meter and period of repayment, the MAP will install meters across the whole area in an organised and systematic manner – no exception, all customers without meters in those areas must be metered by the MAP.”

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Price of imported rice drops in June

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Price of imported rice drops in June

T

he average price of one kilogramme (kg) of rice (imported high quality sold loose) decreased month-on-month in June, Sunday Telegraph market survey team have learned.

 

It was revealed that the price of rice decreased year-on-year by -0.40 per cent and decreased month-on-month by -0.70 per cent to N3590.90 in May from N361.38 in April.

 

Similarly, Sunday Telegraph learnt that the average price of one kg of yam tuber increased year-on-year by -2.07 per cent and month-on month by -30.71 per cent to N300.88 in June from N206.48 in May.

 

Also, it was learnt that the average price of one dozen of Agric eggs medium decreased year-on-year by -12.80 per cent and remained stable month-on-month at N459.80 in June.

 

In addition, it was learnt that the average price of piece of Agric eggs medium size (price of one) increased year-on-year by 1.73 per cent and decrease month-on-month by -0.74 per cent to N42.91 in June from N42.23 in May.

 

Sunday Telegraph further learnt that the average price of one kg of tomato decreased year-on-year by -10.03 per cent and increased month-on-month by 50.11 per cent to N400.29 in April from N250.50 in May.

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Average price of cooking gas decreased in June

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Average price of cooking gas decreased in June

T

he National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), says the average price for refilling of a five-kilogramme (kg) cylinder of cooking gas decreased to N1, 995.38 in June from N2, 028.04 in May.

 

The bureau stated this in its “Liquefied Petroleum Gas (Cooking Gas) Price Watch’’ for June, obtained from its website at the weekend.

 

The NBS said the price of refilling a five kg cylinder of cooking gas dropped by 1.6 per cent month-on-month and -1.94 per cent year-on-year in the period under review.

 

According to the report, the states with the highest average price for the refilling of a five kg cylinder of cooking gas are Adamawa with N2,485, Bauchi N2,450 and Borno N2,407.

 

It also said that states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a five kg cylinder of cooking gas were Ebonyi N1,732.50, Enugu N1,702.86 and Abuja N1,700.

 

“Similarly, average price for the refilling of a 12.5 kg cylinder of cooking gas increased by 0.13 per cent month-on-month and decreased by 1.24 per cent year-on-year to N4, 226.04 in June and N4, 220.44 in May.

 

“The states with the highest average price for the refilling of a 12.5 kg cylinder of cooking gas were Bayelsa with N4,654.55, Akwa Ibom N4,640 and Enugu N4,563.85.”

 

The NBS added that the states with the lowest average price for the refilling of a 12.5 kg cylinder of cooking gas were Katsina N3,900, Ekiti N3,870.41 and Kano N3,775.

 

It said the various prices were collected across the 774 local government areas in the country and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), from more than 10,000 respondents.

 

The NBS said its audit team subsequently conducted randomly selected verification of prices recorded.

 

It also said that selected food price watch data for June 2019 reflected that the average price of 1 dozen of Agric eggs medium size decreased year-on-year by -8.23 per cent and increased month-on month by 6.55 per cent to N495.32 in June 2019 from N464.87 in May 2019 while the average price of piece of Agric eggs medium size (price of one) decreased year-on-year by -5.01 per cent and month-on-month by -8.20 per cent to N39.30 in June 2019 from N42.82 in May 2019.

 

The average price of 1kg of tomato decreased year-on-year by -28.84 per cent and month-on-month by -9.40 per cent to N226.07 in June 2019 from N249.52 in May 2019.

 

The average price of 1kg of rice (imported high quality sold loose) decreased year-on-year by -5.53 per cent and month-on-month by -2.37 per cent to N352.82 in June 2019 from N361.39 in May 2019.

 

 

Similarly, the average price of 1kg of yam tuber decreased year-on-year by -36.27 per cent and month-on month by -15.68 per cent to N182.15 in June 2019 from N216.03 in May 2019.

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AfCFTA: Nigeria on suicidal mission –NAGAFF

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AfCFTA: Nigeria on suicidal mission –NAGAFF

 

 

T

he National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has described Nigeria’s recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement as suicidal for the economy.

 

Founder of NAGAFF, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam in a statement, said the African free trade deal would be an economic danger to Nigeria that would further expose Nigeria to the danger of dumping substandard, fake and life endangering products in the country.

 

Aniebonam said: “It is unthinkable to note that we signed into this agreement without ensuring that Nigerian made products can compete effectively with other manufacturers outside the country.

 

He noted that the country could benefit from the trade agreement, but averred that the government must take proactive measure to adequate quality assurance and standards in her products.

 

“In other words, for Nigeria must benefit from AfCFTA we must ensure that the National Metrology Institute (NMI) is made to be adequately functional and proactive to quality assurance and standards.

 

“And for us in NAGAFF we have to continue to advise the government through our public policy advocacy, the need for government to pay greater attention to the informal sector groups than the present position wherein the government has continued with uncommon support for the organised private sector with their bogus and unverifiable economic inputs to the ailing economy.

 

Aniebonam recalled that the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) left Nigerian economy badly bruised, due to the dumping of repackaged products originally manufactured outside Africa to Nigeria.

 

“At this juncture, it has become pertinent to take a flash back into history, especially the ETLS scheme, which eventually, left Nigeria and its economy badly bruised.  Nigeria has a large market no doubt.

 

“It ended up serving as a dumping ground for products from other African countries which may have repackaged the products originally manufactured outside Africa.

“Let us take coffee as an example.

 

 

Coffee is primarily produced in France, but may have been imported into countries like Cote D’ Ivoire, but repackaged and re-labelled as being produced in Cote D’ Ivoire and exported to Nigeria enjoying zero tariff under ETLS.

 

“Our fear is that this might be the fate of Nigeria as other African countries, that depend solely on imports from Europe and other parts of the world, will import such products into their countries, only to repackage and re-label them and again export them to Nigeria, paying little or no tariff under the  AfCFTA,” he added.

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LandWey partners finance firm to ease land ownership

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oremost real estate company in Nigeria, Landwey Investment, has collaborated with PiggyVest, an online savings and investment platform, to make premium landed property affordable for more Nigerians especially low and middle income earners.

 

According to the partnership, interested buyers can purchase land in square metres according to the amount they can afford per time.

 

 

Addressing newsmen recently in Lagos, the Managing Director of Landwey Investment, Olawale Ayilara, said the arrangement will create entry opportunity for Nigerians within low and medium-income brackets to actualise their dreams of premium land ownership through a seamless process.

 

 

He said: “The purpose of the partnership bears in mind that people save for several reasons; and on a trusted platform such as Piggyvest, people can take little steps and buy real estate as either an investment or to be built in future.

“Land and home ownership is a dream most Nigerians share, but the low ownership rate in Nigeria is a major housing deficit to be bridged.

 

 

“Our partnership is to give people affordable land investment by buying in square metres. This is an avenue for people to have a land in their preferred area without collecting loans from the bank but from the little they save. We have about 12 estates in Lagos but the one we are collaborating to work on is Frontier Estate.

 

 

“For an average Nigerian who wants to live an urban life, he needs to take little steps to make the dream a reality. You can even buy 20,000 square metres and sell it later at a higher price. The more you delay in real estate, the more the value increases.”

 

 

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of PiggyVest, Somto Ifezue, said that the collaboration was necessary to ensure that every young Nigerian could own a piece of land as little as one square metre with a very small amount of money.

 

 

“By the means of a saving scheme with PiggyVest, subscribers can begin their journey to land ownership by making per square metre payments for their land and getting full allocation after payments worth a minimum of 300 square metres. We are truly excited about the relief that this scheme will bring to Nigerians,” he stated.

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Daimler plans to drop Mercedes X-class pickup amid profit slump

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The Mercedes-Benz X-class pickup is to be dropped as the brand’s parent company, Daimler, seeks to reduce costs amid profit warnings, according to sources at the automaker.

 

 

Mercedes launched the model in 2017, aiming to give its light commercial vehicles division a more diversified sales footprint by entering the booming global segment of midsize pickups.

 

 

But only 16,700 units of the X class were sold last year in Europe, Australia and South Africa. The U.S., where demand is mainly for full-size pickups, was ruled out as a market.

 

 

Right from the start, the X class was unable to live up to expectations. Its price, starting at 37,294 euros in Germany, was too high. Competition is fierce in its segment, in which VW Amarok and Ford Ranger also compete.

 

Several recalls also hit sales, among other things because of a footwell light that can come loose and jam under the brake pedal.

 

As part of Daimler’s industrial cooperation with Renault-Nissan, the X class uses the same platform as the Nissan Navara and Renault Alaskan with a conventional ladder-type frame. It is built at Nissan’s factory in Barcelona, Spain.

 

In February, former Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche abandoned plans to build the pickup for South American markets at a Renault-Nissan plant in Argentina.

 

 

Earlier this month, Daimler cut its profit forecast for the fourth time in 13 months, as it set aside more money to cover a regulatory crackdown on diesel emissions and vehicle recalls related to Takata airbags.

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Hyundai unveils first CVVD engine

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Hyundai Motor Group has developed the world’s first Continuously Variable Valve Duration (CVVD) technology to feature in future Hyundai vehicles.

 

CVVD optimises both engine performance and fuel efficiency while also being eco-friendly. The valve control technology regulates the duration of valve opening and closing according to driving conditions, achieving a four percent boost in performance and a five percent improvement in fuel efficiency. Furthermore, technology cuts emissions by 12 percent.

 

The innovation was revealed at Hyundai Motorstudio Goyang on Wednesday alongside the Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi the first engine to feature the technology.

 

President and Head of Research and Development Division at Hyundai Motor Group, Albert Biermann, said the development of the CVVD technology is an opportunity for the Group to take the lead in power train innovation.

 

“We will continue our innovation efforts to bring forth paradigm shifts and ensure the sustainability of our business model.”

 

Until now, an internal combustion engine’s performance and efficiency have been governed by variable valve control technology that adjusts the timing of valve opening and closing and depth of the valve’s opening, with engine power produced through the fuel intake-compression-expansion-exhaustion cycle.

 

Typical variable valve control technologies manage the timing of the valve’s opening and closing (as in Continuously Variable Valve Timing – CVVT) or control the volume of air admitted by adjusting the depth of the opening (Continuously Variable Valve Lift – CVVL). Previous variable valve control technologies could not regulate valve duration, as the valve’s closing timing was subordinate to opening timing and could not respond to diverse driving situations. CVVD takes the technology in a new direction by adjusting how long a valve is open.

 

When the vehicle is maintaining a constant speed and requires low engine output, CVVD opens the intake valve from the middle to end of the compression stroke. This helps to improve fuel efficiency by reducing the resistance caused by compression. On the other hand, when engine output is high, such as when the car is driving at a high speed, the intake valve is closed at the beginning of the compression stroke to maximize the amount of air used for the explosion, enhancing torque to improve acceleration.

 

Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi Engine

 

Unveiled alongside the new CVVD technology is the new Smartstream G1.6 T-GDi Engine, a V4 gasoline turbo unit with 180 horsepower and 27.0kgm of torque. The new powertrain is the first to utilize the Group’s new CVVD technology and also features Low-Pressure Exhaust Gas Recirculation (LP EGR) to further optimize fuel efficiency.

 

The exhaust gas recirculation system returns some of the gas burnt by the engine to the combustion chamber, producing a cooling effect and reducing the emission of nitrogen oxides. The G1.6 T-GDi also features a low-pressure system that redirects the burnt emission gas to the front of the turbocharger compressor, rather than the intake system, to increase efficiency under the high load condition.

 

Additionally, the new unit has an Integrated Thermal Management System that quickly heats or cools the engine to an optimal temperature, and a strong direct spray system that achieves 350bar, surpassing the 250bar of the previous T-GDi engine. In addition, engine friction is reduced by 34% with the application of low friction moving parts.

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Renault/Coscharis opens assemble plant in Lagos

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•Rolls out Logan, Duster in October

 

The Chairman of Groupe Renault, Fabrice Cambolive has disclosed that production of the Renault Logan and Duster would commenced at the Renault/Coscharis Assembly Plant in Awiyaya, Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Area, Lagos State.

 

 

Speaking at the official opening of the new Renault plan and unveiling of a new Renault/Coscharis partnership for the production and distribution of Renault brands in Nigeria, Mr. Cambolive said that Renault will offer the Nigerian clients a unique, original range that is perfectly adapted to the conditions of use of the country.

 

He added that Renault has an offer that meets the expectations of the new African middle class in terms of attractivity, durability and equipment such as connectivity.

 

 

According to him, Renault has a strong presence in North- Africa where it produces more than 500 000 vehicles in three plants and where we have an export capacity to the whole continent.

 

 

He added that with a population of over 200 million, Nigeria is a strategic African country where Groupe Renault will extend its footprint.” The Coscharis Group is a recognized player in car assembly and distribution.  Thanks to their expertise and our products adapted to the local needs, we will be able to answer immediately to the customers’ demand in Nigeria.”

 

 

Speaking earlier, Chairman of Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka said:”This partnership is to showcase another initiative from our great organisation through one of our subsidiaries, Coscharis Motors Plc, to create value as a key player in the automobile industry in Nigeria. We are indeed glad to celebrate the confidence the renowned brand, Renault reposed in us to represent them in Nigeria. This milestone marks another step in the evolution of the company towards remaining timeless in its relevance.”

 

 

According to him, the company had few years ago, showed courage by investing huge sums of money in setting up a world class ultra – modern assembly plant in the country to demonstrate confidence reposed in the future of the country and its faith in the possibilities inherent in the automotive policy of  the Federal Government of Nigeria. “That bold step, among other landmark achievements in the Nigerian automotive industry, has endeared us to many forward looking global organisations and this partnership with Groupe Renault is just one of the manifestations of this.

 

 

“It is our cardinal objective at Coscharis to always strive to delight our esteemed customers and prospects by providing them with goods and services that deliver value for their money. This partnership is a further demonstration of that objective, especially towards providing them a bouquet of more options that continually delivers value for money. We are committed to broadening our dealership scope when such opportunity as this happens, since it is a strategic opportunity to deliver capable, refined and cost-effective vehicle models to our numerous loyal customers and prospects alike,” he said.

 

 

Dr Maduka said with the official announcement of this partnership, Coscharis shall be offering four variants of the Renault brand into the Nigerian market in the first instance. Two of the variants, Logan and Duster, will be assembled locally in the plant in SKD (Semi – Knocked Down).

 

 

“As time goes on, both the Renault Kwid and Renault Oroch will be added to the Renault line,” he said.

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