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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Page 30, THISDAY, Vol 16, No. 5763

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UN Want Rising Food Prices Tackled Urgently enior Uillted Nations (UN) officials have called for urgent steps to rein in the rising prices for basic fann produce, petroleum and raw

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for, the second time in three years, been experiencing extremely high price volatility:' he said, wanning of "speculative distortions that complicate the

By AbUnbolaAlwsiIe

economic

industrial materials, whose volatility hits the world's poorest people the hardest. The UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) Secretary-General, Supachai Panitchpakdi, while speaking at his agency's second Global Commodities Forum in Geneva, Switzerland, said "such volatility has huge negative impacts on vulnerable groups, such as low-income households in developing countries, for whom food expenditure can account for up to 80 per cent of household budgets": The forum brought together govemment ministers, heads of leading commodity, exchanges, representatives of major banks and commodity producing and companies, and trading providers of commodity trade support services, such as insurance, logistics and advisory services, according to a UN release, The meeting, whose theme this year is 'Volatility in international commodity markets,'

management

of

commodities production and trade:' For billions of people, the cost of meeting daily food needs takes up a significant proportion of family incomes, UN International Telecommunication Union (lTV) Secretary-General, Hamadoun Toure, told the forum. "We must therefore work together to ensure the long-term sustainability of the production and madeeting of

.crises, when the UN organized an emergency summit in Rome to boost food production and revitalize agriculture to ensure long-term food security. Over 850 million people around the globe were short of food even before the 2008 crisis, and that number ballooned with an estimated additional 100 million as a result, with the poorest of the poor hit the hardest, the agency noted. Mr. Supachai, whose agency promotes the developmentfriendly integration of developing countries into the world economy, urged greater efforts to "identify the policy levers

commodities;' he said, calling careful monitoring of the markets "vital:' Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), An~y Vasilyev, said the world's advanced economies are recovering only' slowly from the global recession, with unemployment dis_tressingly high and recent rises in commodity prices possibly contributing unwelcome inflationary pressure. It is important to limit sU,ch prices to the forces of "supply and demand alone" and reduce any influence coming from financial speculation in such

goods, he added. Pascal Lamy, DirectorGeneral of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), which maintains strong ties with UN agencies, warned that 2011 will see the prices of most commodities rise since the rise in global gross domestic product (GDP) bolsters demand, led by emerging economies. Global 'GDP is set to grow by 4 per cent this year, with over 70 per cent of the growth coming from commodity-intensive emerging markets such as China, India and Latin America. "Volatility is at its worst in tight and closed markets. It eases in open and, hence, deep-

er marlcets;' Mr. Lamy said, stressing that completion of the so-<:alled Doha Round of trade liberalising ta\ks could calm the picture. :'10 fact, were this round to be completed, least developed countries would get almost entirely duty-free, quota-free access to developed world markets:' The two-day forum will discuss a series of topics, including the state of energy markets; commodity madeet volatility; overcoming excessive market volatility through better regula- . tion, data, and tnqIsparency; and commodity price challenges for oil- and gas-pro:lucing countries,

that can rein in excessive volatility and maintain prices within a reasonable band:' and called on commodity-dependent developing countries to continue efforts to diversifi their economies so that they are less vulnerable to shifts in the madeet. 'There are serious concerns about the way in which commodity markets have been

comes as prices for such basic prOducts are edging upward toward the limits reached during the 2008 food and energy

evolving in recent years. Since mid-20lO, commodities have,

W/Africa Crude-Light Grades Hold Strong{_"

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est African crude oil differentials held fum on Tuesday, with sellers heard to be raising their asking prices for some Nigerian grades. ,"The light grades have been moving quite quickly and differentials are holding up,' said a West African crude trader with a European oil company. Reuters reports that Qua !boe; Offers heard to be coming from around dated plus $2.40 on Tuesday, higher than on Monday, with trada1)\e values reckoned to be at least dated plus $2.\0. Agbami; Demand has been strong for the grade. Chevron 1s end-month cargo was thought by a trader to still be available and the rest already sold. All but one of the eight March Agbami cargoes was reported to have been sold.

Most grades are already, placed with the exception of .. Dalia, which is lingering.""""" Dalia: Five or six of the 'L-R: Govenwr Adams OshWmlwk oJEdo SfllIe; Mr Ahonsi Unuigbe, CommisswnerJor Budget and Plmming and Rt Hon Bright Omoklwdion, eight Dalia cargoes lifting in Speaker, &fD SfllIe House ofAssembly during the signing oJfhe 20lI AppropriolWn Act by the Governor in Benin City ... recently March were said still to be available with sellers looking at around dated Brent minus $2.20/$2.30 but bids below dated Brent minus $3.00. Doable levels assessed close understanding guiding the he minerals and mining of inwstrnent and enable busito dated, minus $2.80. Nigerian Minerals and Mining sector took a major step ness flourish without hinIndia's Bharat Petroleum towards its proper develdrance." Act,2007. Corporation (BPCL.BO: He said, however, that the opment with the potential The minister explained that a Quote) has not purchased of becoming a leading contriblegal framework for the mining key concept of the reform was a From Patrick Ugeh inAbujd crude through a tender for industry was incomplete withutor to the GDP through a strong legal regulatory frameMarch lifting, a source with stakeholders' fmum on the draft out the minerals regulations, work that was investor-friendly knowledge of the process said having conducive environment minerals and mining regulaand consistent with internationexpected to give full ,ffeett" on Tuesday, as the offered that can guarantee the security the law. tions held in Abuja recently. al best practice, noting that this prices were high. Minister of Mines and Steel The .result of Indonesia's Development, Musa latest buy tender had yet to Cont'dfrom Pg. 29 Mohammed Sada, explained emerge. that the meeting was essential because the mining sector holds . financial ttansactions between refund these funds to the nation"In addition, the CBN should great potentials which, when . the government and'operators in al coffers, instruct affected banks to caitdeveloped, would assist the the extractive industry_ This said The coalitions condemned the , . pute the interest accrued to these coUlttry to diversify its monocorruption in the oil and gas secweaknesses as revealed in the monies till date and be remiIItd economic base, create employNEI11 audit report of 1999-2004 tor, and called on "the goVerninunediateiy to the CBN, and ment opportunities, reduce are the loci of pervasive and perment of Goodluck Jonathan to the CBN should publish its poverty and promote ,wealth verse COlTUpIion in the indusdemonstrate measures to deal receipt upon payments of these creation. try. with culprits. We demand that monies", they added. He said fine-tuning the draft "This is further exacerbated the Ministry of Fmance should The Economic and Fmancial CIIIIII MIrtaot MAr regulations through the stakeby the selection of the exclusive publish the names of commerCrime Commission (EFCC) GOODY EGENE holders' forum was yet another selection by the Ministry of cial Banks appointed to collect was enjoined to prosecute bonks initiative in the effort to bave a SenIor CqnHpot!darttl FInance of some commercial taxes and royalties on behalf of involved in this kind of shady holistic reform of the legal banks in Nigeria to collect all FIRS and DPR, which will allow practices and "maybe chatge RAHEEM AKINGBOLU framework guiding the operaforms of taxes on behalf of the Nigerians to know the banks them for Money Laundering, (Advet1ising & MBrl<BIJng) tions of the minerals and minFederal Inland Revenue Services toying with their revenues from because most of them intentioning industry. (FlRS),and petiodically forWard extractive industries. ally hoard this money, b:ade with . Said Sada: "There now Cormpgodants "~anifests" listing all collection They called on NEI11 not to them, make profit and declare it exists a fierce international to FIRS,;uxI on weekly basis are relent in its effort 10, capture as legal profits. CHINEDU EZE (AlIiafion) competition among nations, expected \0 remit all their collecdefaulting banks iii its subseAlso, the duo called on the NNAMDt DURU (InS/JlBl1C&AJnsia) espeCially developing countions to the CBN. quent audit reports. and enjoined National Assembly Commiu.es UNOA EROKE (Labour) tries, for investment funds "Though it appears most of the CBN governor to explain to on Banking and Finance to EROMOSELE ABIODUN MId) required to grow their respec~ these banks have gone under, but Nigerians what has happened to "investigate this act as a mailer tive mining industries to optiEJIOFORALIKE (EnavYI findings have shown that they the above named bankS, wbere of national interest and SUI11I1IlI1 mal level. nteQled with other banks with they have nteQled, give quick entities found wanting to explain .w.1ES EMEJO (NtJIIon'o CIJpbIJ "This completion offers change in names. The banks that notice to affeded bonks to RlCto NJgerians why public IiDls ~~(MmeyAtriotJ _ illegally InIpped in tbeir investors the luxury ofinvesting acquired these banks should,as a oncIle !heir IIlCOUIIl OIIlhis matSAMNJEGIE ~ EdIDtj their funds only in counirics IIIIIIa' of urpncy. be niadc III Ier. mIIers."

Nigeria Moves to Firm Up Milling, Minerals Sector

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THISDAY, 03 FEBRUARY 2011  

UN Want Rising Food Prices Tackled Urgently

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