Rice farmers, millers and processors on Wednesday declared that the price of a 50kg bag of rice will crash to as low as N6,000 in no distant time.
According to them, going by the bumper wet season harvest by rice farmers, the current market price of rice, which is about N18,000 per 50kg bag, will fall to between N6,000 and N7,000.
Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting between rice farmers/processors and the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbeh, at the ministry’s headquarters, in Abuja, the National President, Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria, Mr. Aminu Goronyo, told newsmen that operators had resolved to currently reduce price of rice to N13,000 per 50kg, but stressed that the price would further drop to N6,000 in a few months.
He said, “This is just the beginning, the actual price of rice will come down because we are expecting a bumper harvest this year. We have sat down with the millers and have agreed that we are going to work together for the interest of Nigerians. I think you have been buying a bag of rice at the cost of N18,000, but today the price is between N13,000 to N15,000, meaning that the price is coming down.”
On whether the price would crash further to about N7,000 per 50kg bag, as was the case some years back, Goronyo replied, “Of course! Not even N7,000, it will crash to N6,000. Just give us some time; in fact, in the next few months and it will be for 50kg.”
Naira strengthens against dollar
Barely 24 hours, the Naira was forced to a downward trajectory by dollar scarcity, it bounced back, closing at N477 to a dollar at the parallel market in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Pound Sterling and the Euro traded at N608 and N550, respectively.
The Naira, however, weakened marginally at the investor’s window, losing one point to close at N386 to a dollar.
The volume of trade at the window shrunk by 1.83 million dollars when compared to Tuesday, to close at 18.44 million dollars
The Nigerian currency exchanged at N381 to a dollar at the official CBN window.
Oyo govt. will continue to support SMEs, Olaniyan assures
The Deputy Governor of Oyo state, Engr. Raufu Olaniyan has reassured the state’s government commitment to supporting Small and Medium Scale Enterprises in the state,
The deputy governor gave the assurance at the Commissioning of a new shopping mall ATM located in the Oke Ado area of Ibadan.
Olaniyan noted that small scale businesses with adequate support have the potential to be a major employer of labour.
He reiterated the state’s government desire to support entrepreneurs who chose to do business in the state, stressing that the present administration has put necessary machinery in place to make doing business in Oyo state stress free.
Alhaja Adeogun Tunrayo Muslimat, owner of ATM mall had earlier informed that her desire to set up business in the state aside profit was also borne out of her avidity to support the government in the area of job creation, and also boost the economy of her home state.
AfDB urges central banks to cut interest rates
The African Development Bank (AfDB) has urged central banks on the continent to act quickly by cutting interest rates to inject liquidity in view of impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The AfDB , in its African Economic Outlook 2020 supplement amid coronavirus pandemic released on Tuesday gave the advice.
According to the bank, the targeted interventions should be implemented for affected firms and sectors and use macroprudential and unconventional monetary policy to support the economy.
It added that central banks could resort to their own forms of quantitative easing, targeted at funding the most affected sectors such as firms in the hospitality and entertainment industry.
The bank noted that other sectors to be assisted are airlines, hotel chains, logistics and sports by temporarily reprofiling or restructuring their debts.
AfDB emphasised that the apex banks could also support vulnerable groups by designing programmes targeted at micro enterprises and the unbanked in the informal sector, financed by government and potentially run by other agencies closer to the ground.
“The impact of COVID–19 on Africa’s labour markets will have disproportionate impacts on vulnerable groups, notably youth and women, who are engaged in the informal sector, or with only casual job opportunities in the formal sector.
“Assist vulnerable groups, especially youth and women. The COVID–19 pandemic can have differentiated socioeconomic impacts,” the AfDB said.
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