The CBN has extended its real-sector interventions to the oil palm value chain, pledging a single-digit interest loan to investors in the sector to stimulate massive production of the commodity. CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said the loans, which would be granted to the operators through the CBN’s ABP and CACS programmes, is expected to have an interest rate of not more than 9 percent and would take into consideration the 3-5 years gestation period of the oil palm. The regulator intends to support improved production of oil palm in the country to meet not only the domestic needs of the market but to also increase exports in order to improve forex earnings. Emefiele regretted that the country was still spending about $500 million on palm oil importation, annually, despite CBN’s forex restriction to palm oil importers. 

The Insurance sector has recorded claims payments of about ₦217.8 million for terrorism cover, according to figures from the Nigerian Insurers Association’s 2018 industry digest. Before now, the insurance sector had shied away from introducing terrorism cover on the grounds that the risk is highly volatile as a single incident could erode a company’s profit and capital. Analysis of figures shows that Axa Mansard paid the highest terrorism claim of ₦167.9 million to Dangote Cement Plc. for the incident at its Ibese Plant, while the rest was settled by Continental Reinsurance. Prestige Assurance Plc. paid ₦55.48 million to D2H & Associates as flood claims. The NIA said the industry recorded a gross premium income of ₦364.7 billion while net premium income stood at ₦258.1 billion in the year under review.

The Senate has approved the ₦30,000 new National Minimum Wage with an appeal to the FG to begin the implementation immediately, to avoid any industrial action from the unions. The Senate ad-hoc committee on Minimum Wage Bill approved all the recommendations contained in the report, including a fine of ₦75,000 imposed on firms that refuse to comply with the wage payment. The Senate also recommended that there should be an urgent review of the revenue-sharing formula, so the states will be able to pay the new minimum wage. Under the current sharing arrangement, the FG takes 56 percent, states receive 24 percent while the local governments share the remaining 20 percent.

The Dangote Group’ tomato plant in Kano has resumed production after it was grounded more than two years over a supply disruption partly caused by a price dispute with local farmers. The factory, which started operations in March 2015, with a capacity for 1,200 metric tons of tomato paste daily and targeted at meeting domestic demand, restarted production last week processing about 100 tons a day. According to the managing director of Dangote Farms, Abdulkareem Kaita, the factory will ramp up output as tomato supply improves. The factory will buy tomatoes at prices pegged to what local markets are selling, under a new deal with the farmers. Kaita also said that the company is also developing its own farms with a special tomato strain that could yield 60 tons per hectare, compared with the yield of 10 tons per hectare being recorded by the local farmers, aside from its intention to distribute the seedlings to growers to boost their output.