10 Feb

Daily Watch – Piracy threatens cargo movements, Cassava loses big time

  • The International Maritime Bureau in its most recent report has rated Nigeria as a hotspot for violent attacks and armed robbery at sea. According to the IMB, pirate attacks, kidnapping and armed robbery at sea have become a huge threat to the movement of import and export commodities especially crude oil and refined petroleum products that neither come in or go out of the oil rich countries in the West African sub-region. Persistent attacks are responsible for high freight rate, and increased insurance premium on imports, which both add to the high cost of doing business and result in high cost of goods in the market. This has led analysts to call for stringent national and regional measures to tackle piracy.
  • BusinessDay is reporting that policy somersaults are responsible for the loss of N127 billion, which Nigeria could have made if the cassava flour milling industry were healthy. Other factors contributing to this are high production costs and changing consumer taste. The government’s inability to effect the use of cassava flour by milling companies, including for baking bread, has resulted in the loss of revenues that could have accrued from an active industry. The high cost of producing cassava flour translates into high prices of the commodity, pushing flour millers towards cheaper wheat imported from Argentina, Ukraine, Russia and other parts of the world.
  • The State Security Service has announced the arrest of a suspect, Abdussalam Enesi Yunusa, alleged to a recruiter for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The SSS said Mr. Yunusa was arrested in Kano on January 17 after he “completed arrangements to embark on a journey to join an ISIS terrorist training camp in Libya, with other Nigerians whom he recruited for the ISIS.”
  • Nigeria is looking to hand over the $4.5 billion Ajaokuta steel complex to private operators this year as part of a plan to kick start the country’s industrial and mining industries, Kayode Fayemi, the minister of Solid Minerals Development, has said. In addition to steel, Fayemi said the government aims to improve the implementation of mining laws, make available better data on the country’s deposits and act to regulate informal mining. Because of the global rout in commodity prices, Fayemi doesn’t expect significant investment soon.