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Olam secures $93.75 million medium-term loan from ADB to support smallholder farmers

Olam International Limited has secured a medium-term loan from ADB to support smallholder farmers.

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Olam International Limited announced that it has secured a medium-term loan aggregating $93.75 million from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to support smallholder farmers.

This disclosure was made in a press release issued by Watatawa Consulting on behalf of Olam International Limited today, the 9th of December 2020.

The 3-year term facility has Olam Treasury Pte Ltd (“OTPL”) as a co-borrower and is guaranteed by Olam. The $93.75 million which is the proceed from the loan, however, will be used to support smallholders farmers (SMF) and broaden the involvement of Olam in the agro-allied value chain.

What they are saying

Olam’s Managing Director and Group CFO, N. Muthukumar, commented on the facility said:

  • “At Olam, we believe it is important to continue to support smallholder farming communities in the various countries that we operate.” Covid-19 has disproportionately impacted livelihoods in emerging markets and this special financing arrangement is aligned with Olam’s Purpose outcomes of ensuring prosperous farmers and thriving communities, as well as ADB’s mandate of achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific.”

ADB Deputy Director-General for Private Sector Operations Department, Christopher Thieme, said:

  • “Smallholder farmers across the region are acutely vulnerable to worsening poverty as their incomes were below average even before the pandemic. Local market closures and declining demand from small traders during Covid-19 has reduced the earnings of smallholder farmers and increased food wastage. ADB will support the livelihoods of these farmers by providing financing to Olam, which procures directly from smallholder farmers.”

Why it matters

  • This facility will primarily provide working capital for the procurement of agri-commodities from smallholder farmers in Vietnam, Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG).
  • Similarly, the proceed from this facility will also help to bolster Olam’s continued support to farmers and communities in vulnerable countries, and ward off the impact of the pandemic, as it has disproportionately impacted livelihoods in emerging markets.
  • This is imperative given the important role Olam plays in providing essential food staples, food ingredients, feed and fibre to customers around the world in a safe, responsible and sustainable way. The special financing arrangement is aligned with Olam’s purpose of ensuring prosperous farmers and thriving communities.
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Lagos to totally close Third Mainland Bridge again ahead of full reopening

Lagos State Government has announced a 24hour closure of the Third Mainland Bridge from midnight Friday, February 26.

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The Lagos State Government has announced that it will shut down the Third Mainland Bridge for 24 hours from midnight Friday, February 26 to midnight Saturday, February 27.

The expected total closure of the bridge is to enable the contractors to move the equipment used for its rehabilitation and maintenance ahead of the full reopening of both the Oworonshoki and Adeniji bound lanes open to traffic.

The disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation on Wednesday, February 24, 2021.

Oladeinde, therefore, advised motorists approaching the Third Mainland bridge from Ogudu, Alapere and Gbagada to use Ikorodu Road, Jibowu and Yaba, as alternative routes, while Iyana Oworoshoki-bound traffic from Lagos-Island, Iddo, Oyingbo, Adekunle and Yaba are to use Herbert Macaulay Way, Jibowu and Ikorodu Road as alternative routes.

The Commissioner assured that traffic management personnel would be deployed along the affected routes to minimize the impact of the shutdown and address any traffic impediments during the closure.

He was also full of commendation for Lagosians for their cooperation during the prolonged repair works of the bridge and assured that the bridge is now safe for use by everybody.

What you should know

  • The Federal Government had on July 24, 2020, announced the partial shutdown of the Third Mainland Bridge for a period of 6 months for another round of rehabilitation works.
  • This was extended by an extra one month due to disruption caused by the #EndSARS protests last year, when the re-opening date moved to February 15, 2021.
  • The Federal Government later announced that the bridge, which was to reopen on February 15 will no longer be opened as work was expected to commence on the casting of the last expansion joint on the bridge before it will be finally reopened.
  • The 11.8km bridge, which was commissioned in 1990 by the then Military President, Ibrahim Babangida, is the longest of the 3 bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
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FG urged to sell-off “unproductive” Ajaokuta Steel Plant

The FG has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Kogi State.

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The Federal Government has been urged to sell the moribund Ajaokuta steel plant located in Ajaokuta, Kogi State. The FG was advised to sell the defunct facility to the private sector, which would be more capable to turn the massive structural investment into a profitable venture.

The call was made by the Chairman and Managing Director of Energy Services Limited, Chief Sunny Onuesoke who spoke to newsmen in Warri after visiting the plant last week.

He lamented that no Nigerian would feel good about the country after visiting the $8bn structural investment which has never“produced a single bar of steel since reaching 98% completion as far back as 1994.”

On his visit to the plant, he reported that it was a very emotional experience for him.

“I went there, I cried and asked what exactly is the problem?” he said.

He reflected on the numbers associated with the moribund Ajaokuta steel Plant from its flag off in 1979 to date.

  • 3.9bn was budgeted for the resuscitation of the facility in 2016
  • 4.27bn was budgeted for the same purpose in 2017

Onuesoke said that successive governments have plunged about $8bn into the complex since 1979. He lamented that the FG has been wasting the huge sum of N2 billion for payment of staff salaries every year for doing nothing.

“Why would anyone continue to pump money into an unproductive enterprise? Why do government keep promoting, paying staff salaries, pensioning, and retiring them?

“Why does government spend an appropriation budget on the maintenance of a plant that is not working? How do you maintain a non-commission plant?” Onuesoke queried.

The Ajaokuta steel plant has been in a moribund state for four decades with no concrete plans on the ground for its full resuscitation.

What you should know 

  • It was earlier reported on the 3 key reasons why the Ajaokuta Steel Plant has remained moribund for more than 4 decades. You can find them here
  • The Ajaokuta steel company was constructed by the Soviet Union in 1979 under a cooperation agreement with Nigeria, the complex reached 98% completion by 1994.
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SEC denies knowledge of Oando shareholder’s court case

SEC has denied ever being served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has denied the claim by one of Oando Plc’s shareholders, Engr Patrick Ajudua, that he won a court case against the capital market apex regulator.

SEC disclosed in a statement it issued and seen by Themoneymetrics on Wednesday that there was never a time it was served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court.

It stated, “The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has been drawn to several publications in the media, where it is reported that a shareholder of OandoPlc, purportedly obtained a judgment from the Federal Capital Territory High Court against the Commission.

“The Commission wishes to inform the general public that it was never at any time served with court processes with respect to the purported matter at the FCT High court. The Commission will consequently take all necessary steps to verify and set aside the purported decision of the said Court.”

What you should know

  • On Tuesday, Ajudua, reportedly won a legal suit, which was filed at the High Court of the FCT against SEC, according to Our source.
  • He filed that the directive of the SEC suspending Oando’s Annual General Meeting is in breach of his right to freedom of association as guaranteed under Section 40 of the Nigerian Constitution and Articles 9, 10 & 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
  • In the said hearing presided over by Honorable Justice O. A Musa, all cases filed were granted in his favor.
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