By Karo Sani Bala
The Federal Government’s economic diversification policy is set to mark another breakthrough as Nigeria Commodity Exchange commences operations in February with a projected turnover of 24,000 metric tons amounting to 143billion Naira annually.
Speaking to the media in Abuja ahead of the time, the Managing Director of Nigeria Commodity exchange, Mrs. Zahira Baba_Ari said that the first phase of the exchange trading system has been developed along with five functional warehouses.
The Managing Director confirmed that all is now set to kick start transaction of agricultural commodities on the NCE floor. The warehouses, she said, would start receiving produce harvested between October and December 2018 to enable farmers use their commodities as collateral in postharvest period. Mrs. Baba Ari revealed that the exchange has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with New Nigeria Commodity Marketing Company to perfect its business development plans in Marketing Nigerian produce such as maize, rice, sorghum, soya beans, sesame, cashew, ginger, amongst others.
She further stressed that “something worthy of note here is that only 15% of last year’s harvested produce would be traded on the floor valued at 143Billion naira while the exchange targets 43Billion naira as revenue this year.”
Commenting on this development, the Country Director of AFEX Commodity Exchange Mr. Ayodeji Balogun noted that there was a disconnect in the supply chain of commodities since the abolishing of all marketing boards in 1986 when farmers were left at the mercy of merchants, saying “with this development, pricing would be more transparent now”.
Speaking to Abuja Digest in the same vein, a Business Manager with Abuja based Agro Firm Alh. Usman Ashana described the move as a good step in the right direction at a time the country was grappling with economic problems due to over reliance on the oil sector.
The Nigerian Commodity Exchange, formerly known as Abuja Security and Commodity Exchange was established in June 1998 to provide storage and marketing services to the public in order to address financing problems for farmers and business men in other commodities and solid minerals.
By Cosmas Uzodinma
In a bold move to resolve the intractable gridlock and traffic chaos that had become characteristic of the Life Camp/Obafemi Awolowo Way intersect, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello, is braced for speedy completion of the complementary infrastructure on the road.
The Minister lamented that the state of the road has been a source of nightmare to him because of the persistent traffic chaos being experienced there.
Bello made this revelation when he paid an unscheduled visit to the project site, last Friday. He expressed delight that Julius Berger Plc, the construction company handling the job, has remobilized to the project site.
Bello noted that the road is a major arterial which runs from Berger Junction across Gwarimpa, Kado Fish market, Gwagwa, ending up in Dei-Dei, and is very important to the economy of the Territory.
The Minister, who was accompanied for the site visit by the FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Chinyeaka Ohaa, and the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin, declared that the logjam would soon be history as the FCT Administration would harness all necessary resources needed to fund the project.
The Minister stated that the effort is designed to provide relief for road users and expressed hope that other major facilities and services on the road would evolve as the city grows. These include the necessary complements like overhead bridges, intercepts and ramps.
The road, he revealed, is a major spine for other infrastructure under consideration by the Administration like the N.30bn road lying a couple of kilometres ahead and which connects the Ring Roads Two and Three.
In his remarks at the occasion, Engr. Jibrin noted that the road has been bedevilled by service- based issues like the need for storm water run-off, proper drainage system, congestion, payment issues and unsightly outlook.
Engr. Jibrin expressed hope that the completion of work on the junction would restore functionality to the road and provide relief to commuters and road users, especially residents of the adjoining FCT suburbs.
… Commiserates with FCT NUJ over death of members
– Promises speedy completion of secretariat complex
Minister, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has commiserated with members of FCT council of Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) over the death of their colleagues, three in two months, describing the deaths as a loss to the journalism profession.
Malam Bello who was at the council secretariat in Utako, Abuja, last Friday on a condolence visit, said the three fallen journalists were friends of the Administration which was why he personally wanted to condole with council members.
The Minister presented letters of condolence on behalf of the FCT Administration to the council chairman, Mr. Emmanuel Ogbeche, for onward transmission to the families of the deceased journalists, Grace Nwodo, aka ‘Madam Waka’ of Love FM; Olajide Fashikun of Gong News and Chris Edoga of Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), all of the FCT council, who died between late December, 2018, and January, 2019.
Bello, who was accompanied to the event by the Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) Engr. Umar Gambo Jibrin, expressed disappointment at the state of the secretariat, used the occasion to also assure the council that all hindrances to the completion of the FCT NUJ Secretariat have been cleared and that the contractor would mobilize to site for the speedy completion of the secretariat complex in a couple of weeks’ time.
“I am surprised that the building is still like this because I thought that by now it would have progressed more than this. But, I assure you that in the next two weeks, the contractor will be mobilized to site to complete at least the first phase because we agreed that the complex will be completed in phases. I can also assure you that when the first phase is completed, the building will be more befitting than any other in the country”, he said.
Earlier, while welcoming the Minister, Comrade Ogbeche thanked the Minister for his continued support to the council, especially in his efforts to ensure the speedy completion of the council’s secretariat.