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Jonathan Inaugurates C’ttee on Cocoa Production

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President Goodluck   Jonathan has constituted  an Inter-ministerial  Committee  on Cocoa Production and Processing as a way of increasing the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) earnings through cocoa production.

Jonathan who was represented by Vice President Namadi Sambo said the committee has been given a six-week ultimatum to submit its report to the government for ‘effective’ implementation.

He disclosed this in Ilorin, Kwara State capital Saturday while delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of the  6th National Cocoa Day Celebration organised for the 14-cocoa producing states in the country held at the ultra modern  Metropolitan  Township Square, located along Asa Dam Road, Ilorin.

According to him, “the committee should comprise the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council, among others”.

The president said facilities that would assist the farmers in cocoa production would be provided for them so that they would take it with all the seriousness it deserved.

He said “I am convinced that with proper management cocoa will  contribute immensely to national  GDP, and gradually we will be able to move from a mono-economic nation  to a diverse one through cocoa production’’.

Jonathan added that,   all the states that produce cocoa should try as much as possible to be able to move from a mere cocoa producing state to major ones for better development.

He explained that with the new breed of cocoa seedlings available in the country which has a very quick gestation period and high yield, cocoa producers would be  getting good money  for themselves and the country.

He noted, “About 70%  of our people   are  small scale farmers   but if agriculture is well harnessed and backed up with well actualised government policies,  the farmers will be assisted greatly’’.

Jonathan   pointed out further that , the  federal government has already  approved N1billion  loan  that is  expected to cover the cocoa farmers;  adding that government is also  bringing hybrid seedlings  and other farm inputs which would be sold to the farmers at a subsidised rate so that   cocoa production will regain  its lost glory in the country.

He however called on the government at all levels to be proactive in the development of agriculture saying that such move would assist the nation to be out of poverty and thereby create employment opportunities for all the young ones .

In his address, the Minister  of Agriculture and Rural Development,  Professor Ahmed  Abdullahi,   said the theme of the 6th National cocoa day which is ‘’Quality Cocoa  for national Development was well chosen to reflect the importance Nigeria attached to cocoa production.

He said Nigeria  is about the 4th  among the cocoa producing  countries  and that agriculture is contributing about 30% of the country’s  source of revenue.

He assured the cocoa farmers in the country that government is determined to assist and support them in their quest to develop the country through agriculture .

Earlier in his welcome address, the Kwara State Governor, Dr. Bukola Saraki  had commended  the federal government for  supporting the programme and for choosing Ilorin as the hosting place for assessing cocoa for national development .

He however  said that  with the three-day programme, the glory of cocoa production is being re-kindled   for better development of the agricultural sector.

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Banking/ Finance

Cryptocurrency Trading Platforms

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Investing in cryptocurrency is threatening at the start because of frequent scam news. There are no doubt scams occur, and they will continue, but you need to choose cryptocurrency trading platforms wisely. Keeping security and long-term reliability as a concern, the following platforms are best for you.

Binance Exchange

Binance exchange is an altcoin trading platform founded in 2017. It offers more than 100 trading pairs between different cryptocurrencies. It also offers some fiat pairs only between cryptocurrencies. Binance deducts lower fees than other platforms up to 0.1% for both maker and taker. The fee reduces trade volume over the platform up to 0.02%. Besides these, if you want to trade through Binance, you need to learn more about it to make good of it.

Gemini

Gemini is the most popular cryptocurrency trading platform because of its security and transparency. As scams and hacking activities are very common these days, Gemini aims to provide its users will secure, reliable, scalable platforms to save their assets. Moreover, Gemini’s new user can win the reward of 10$ on depositing 100$ in his account.

BlockFi

BlockFi is a crypto trading platform that comes with the most interesting feature of lending to earn interest in your holdings. Alongside coin trading, you can borrow depending upon your assets. If you hold your tokens, you can win interest for holding them. BlockFi also rewards its users with different offers from time to time.

Kraken

Kraken is one of the most prominent global cryptocurrency platforms with a wider range of selected tokens and coins. It also facilitates you with margins, but you need to learn before starting your career here. Unfortunately, Kraken offers limited coins or tokens to US users, unlike internationals.

Robinhood 

Robinhood is an emerging crypto trading platform in the world. It has just bitcoins and ethers but aims to expand quickly. No doubt, it has some limitations, but it is free of cost trading costs. It can be the best option for you if you are new to the crypto world.

Coinbase

Coinbase is a prominent cryptocurrency platform in the US founded in 2012, just a few years after the Bitcoin release. It is a licensed exchange covering over 40 states of America. It is a very easy-to-use platform with higher liquidity and a wider choice of altcoins. It charges a higher fee than other platforms up to 2.99$ concerning Dollar values.

eToro

eToro started from Europe but now expanding to the united states as well. It offers a wider range of digital assets to trade. Most importantly, it provides a practice account that helps its user to understand the platform before investing.

Bitcoin IRA

Bitcoin IRA is a different crypto trading platform from others. In many exchanges and digital wallets, you exchange currencies and earn a profit, but you have to pay platform tax. Bitcoin IA is the best crypto wallet where your profit is in your account, and there is no tax deduction.

Final Note

There are many cryptocurrency trading platforms in existence, but you need to explore them before investing. Choose a secure, stable, and reliable platform to protect your digital assets.

 

 

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Economy

Why the UK’s Exit from the EU could Represent a Golden Opportunity for Nigeria

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Following Boris Johnson’s dominant election victory in December, it appears the UK is edging ever closer to Brexit. One of Johnson’s key campaign promises was to deliver on the results of the referendum in 2016 and allow the nation to “move on” from the chaos that has dominated British politics for more than three years.

Following his election victory, Johnson promised: “We can start a new chapter in the history of our country, in which we come together and move forward united, unleashing the enormous potential of the British people.”

He added that he wanted to make the 2020s a decade of prosperity and opportunity, but where does that leave the UK’s relationship with its other trade partners, and is there an opportunity for Britain to strengthen its ties with Nigeria?

The two nations have a long trade history and the latest data places Nigeria among the largest markets for UK exports. Although, at this moment, there is no existing trade deal between the UK and Nigeria, aside from World Trade Organisation ties and the UK’s status as a ‘most favoured nation’.

Their most favoured nation status means the UK enjoys the lowest tariffs, the fewest trade barriers and the highest import quotas, but could the ties to Nigeria become stronger in the fall-out of Brexit, and against the backdrop of the US-China trade war?

This economic conflict between the world’s biggest markets poses a threat to Nigeria, as Africa’s top oil producer, due to the tariffs being levelled by the two countries on the other’s imports.

Speaking in 2019, Muda Yusuf of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce explained: “The US and China are the two biggest economies in the world, so if they are having issues with respect to trade, it will affect the global economy, it will slow down growth and when we have a slowdown in growth, it will invariably affect commodity prices.

“So, we are likely to see a drop in crude oil price and it will affect Nigeria because we are heavily dependent on oil.”

The recent easing of the trade war between the nations could offer some respite, but could the UK’s severing of trade ties with EU member states offers an opportunity for stronger trading connections with Nigeria?

In May of last year, the UK’s then-Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, confirmed that Britain would aim to deepen its insurance sector ties to Nigeria through the introduction of Naira-dominated instruments in London’s financial markets.

This is great news for the global strength of the Naira, which has dropped in value against the British Pound by around half since the turn of the century. And the explosion in popularity of forex trading online means that these markets are now being evaluated and discussed more than ever.

The list of forex brokers operating online is growing globally, and Nigeria is no exception to that trend. As a result, more and more citizens are paying attention to the nation’s trade links – and paying closer attention to the Brexit picture unfolding thousands of miles away.

Source: Pexels

 

Source: Pexels

The two countries’ commercial relationship is already underpinned by more than £6.1bn worth of annual trade. UK brands remain in very high demand throughout Nigeria, especially luxury items, while Nigeria’s low-income tax rates make the nation an exciting prospect for British investors.

And as the nation edges ever closer to finally leaving the EU, we could see those ambitions of greater investment finally realized, but the UK isn’t the only country paying closer attention to Nigeria and recognizing its trade potential.

If their trade war with China continues to cool, the USA could further develop its presence in Nigeria beyond its present investment, which was placed at $5.6bn in 2018, and increase its activities to support SMEs in the country.

President Donald Trump emphasised America’s friendship with Nigeria on the occasion of the 59th independence anniversary last year, describing the nation as “our strongest partners in Africa”.

 

Source: Pexels

He also affirmed that Vice President Mike Pence and Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were working together to build on the two countries’ “long-standing history of co-operation”. Indeed, the pair came together last June to discuss trade reforms, among other topics.

But the slowdown caused by the tensions with China is bad news for countries that are trade partners of the two economic superpowers, and Nigeria’s hopes of capitalizing on additional investment from America, and potentially reducing its debt profile of N26trn, could be dashed.

This perhaps makes the UK a much safer bet for future growth, and Prime Minister Johnson will undoubtedly be eager to promote trade discussions with new partners following his nation’s exit from the EU.

But it falls on Nigeria to make the most of this opportunity, as there will be many other nations seeking to make inroads, and capitalize on the UK’s desire to strengthen its international trade links outside of Europe.

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Banking/ Finance

Smart tips for Dealing with Debt Effectively

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Whether big or little, you have to deal with your debt to make sure it doesn’t get out of control. Living with denial as a money borrower will not only increase your money woes but anxiety as well. Getting out of debt is one of the vital steps to reach your personal or business-related financial goals. You are not alone if you are in debt but paying it off as soon as possible is the only way to save money for a happy living. Everyone who gets rid of the debt often combines different strategies and tactics for dealing with debt.

In this article, there are some smart tips for businesses and individuals deal with debt.

 

How Much You Owe

In order to pay all your debts off, you need to know the exact owed amount. Make a list of all your debts with essential details like the name of the creditor, interest rate, amount of the debt, due date, and monthly payments to be made, etc. in an organized manner. It will allow you to see the bigger and clear picture of your debts. Whether you want to get rid of existing debts for better credit scores or further in need of a loan to manage financial needs, getting all the debt details at a place lets you create a debt repayment plan accordingly.

 

Pay Your Bills on Time

Late payments or forgetting to pay bills can make it harder to pay your debts off. Missing two or more payments in a sequence increases the finance charges and interest rate as well. That is the reason, be careful about monthly bill payments and always be on time to pay. For this purpose, you can schedule monthly payments by using a money management app or any other fintech solution. Setting reminders and alarms is another best way to stay on top of all monthly payments. In this way, you are not only able to make monthly payments on time but your credit scores increase also.

 

Pay more than the Minimum

Making payments more than the minimum is one of the smart tips for dealing with debt. If you are using a debt repayment plan and have monthly payment figures on hand, you should try to pay more than the figures you have. It will not only help you save many bucks on the lower interest rate but will also boost the debt repayment process incredibly. However, be sure to check with the creditor to ensure that they don’t charge any prepayments.

 

Give a Try to Debt Snowball

If you cannot pay more than the minimum towards monthly payments, then you can opt for a debt snowball method to speed up the debt repayment. It requires you to list the debts from a smaller amount to bigger. Then, throw your money towards the smallest amounts first and move towards the bigger one. Over time, small payments will disappear soon one by one and will help you move towards the bigger amounts to get rid of all your debts in a short span of time.

 

Sell Unnecessary Things

When you are struggling with debts and want some extra money to pay them off quickly, selling the unnecessary things around can gather a handsome amount of bucks that you can use to pay the debt off. Take a look around and find out the things that are useless for you and you can live without. Visit the market and sell these things to collect money that can go towards loan repayment. There are so many online places where you can sell used items on good rates. You can also hold a yard sale on Facebook to find good customers for things around.

 

Identify Spending Habits and Make Changes

According to experts, retail therapy is one of the best ways to deal with debt stress and to get rid of debts quickly. When we are overwhelmed, we are more likely to spend on things to feel better but these can relieve stress in the short term and can end up with financial pitfalls. It is the place where we need to identify spending habits and prevent mindless spending to save money for debt payment. Think about the things that you can live without and stop spending on those. Also, find the financial areas where you can cut down to build funds for quick debt repayment. If you are comfortable with a standard car, then sale out your luxury car and send the extra money towards loan repayment.

 

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