Economy

ALL FARMERS ASSOCIATION SHOWS SOLIDARITY WITH TINGO GROUP

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The All-Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) has identified with the Tingo Group, a pivotal figure in Nigeria’s agricultural sector.

AFAN states their unwavering support for Tingo, acknowledging the critical role its ecosystem of products and services plays in the daily lives of millions of Nigerian farmers, adding that they are unperturbed by the report in some sections of the media on accusations leveled against the Tingo Group by the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

In a press statement on Wednesday made available to the media, AFAN said it “Acknowledges the ongoing case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) involving Tingo. AFAN posited that Tingo’s contributions are instrumental in empowering millions and any disruption could have far-reaching consequences.”

Some local online media had reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission said the Tingo Group lied in the financial status of its subsidiary; Tingo Mobile’s Nigeria’s bank account.

The AFAN had therefore called for a considerate, transport, and balanced approach.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Tingo Group, Mr. Dozy Mmobuosi reacting to the media reports said Tingo has never raised money in any market adding that he, not Tingo is currently building the food processing facility in his hometown of Onicha-Ugbo.  He wondered why the Security and Exchange Commission is not looking into the operations of MICT in Asia as he insisted that the livelihood of millions of farmers is at stake.

It would be recalled that at least ten million farmers in Nigeria have fully adopted the Tingo Mobile’s smartphone application which enables them to conduct their business transactions seamlessly from the comfort of their homes.

In the same vein, Tingo Group; a leading provider of Fin-Tech solutions in Nigeria had reached deals with the foremost farmers’ association, AFAN on the supply and storage of farm produce particularly rice and wheat as the firm made in-roads to export business.

President of AFAN, Farouk Rabiu Mudi had expressed his appreciation for the significant investment from Tingo Mobile Plc, emphasizing the positive impact it will have on Nigerian farmers. 

Mudi stated that the loan facility would greatly enhance their ability to cultivate extensive hectares of land, leading to transformative improvements in rice and wheat production.

He acknowledged Tingo’s dedication to Nigeria’s agricultural development and reiterated AFAN’s commitment to responsible funds.

Tingo Mobile some months ago announced that it had provided an N3 Billion approximately USD$6.5 million loan facility to the All-Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN) for the primary purpose of cultivating 3,000 hectares of new farm lands for rice and wheat production.

In a statement from the firm to newsmen then, the company said AFAN would also utilise part of the loan facility to accelerate the onboarding of its warehouses to the Tingo Mobile partnership with Prime Commodity Exchange (PCX) and AFAN, as part of its target to achieve a network of 80,000 warehouses in two years, as announced on April 26, 2023.

The statement then stated that the new 3,000 hectares of cultivated farming land is expected to generate an additional 6,000 metric tons of wheat per annum and an additional 16,000 metric tons of rice per annum, with a combined market value of USD$17.5 million per annum.

The statement then further added that the deal was the first of many other planned financing and production deals with AFAN, to be expanded to cover other crop types, stressing that the arrangement would be become a very significant source of supply into both the Tingo Foods processing business, for onward supply of finished food and beverage products to domestic and international markets, and the Tingo DMCC business for direct export.

The firm noted that through AFAN’s position as the umbrella body of all 56 recognised commodities and agricultural associations in Nigeria, the extension and strengthening of the relationship between the parties is expected to be highly valuable for the overall Tingo group ecosystem.

The statement stressed that AFAN’s utilisation of part of the facility to accelerate the onboarding of more warehouses to the Tingo Mobile, PCX, and AFAN partnership is also expected to be very valuable to the Tingo group, as such additional warehouses not only strengthen Tingo Mobile’s infrastructure, goods handling and logistics capabilities, they also expand Tingo Food’s and Tingo DMCC’s access to produce through the right of first refusal agreement over goods received into the warehouses.

The firm pointed out that the various facets of the new financing and production agreement with AFAN are expected to have a material impact on Tingo’s Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals of increasing food production, improving food security, and empowering and delivering financial upliftment to the farmer.

Reacting then, Farouk Rabiu Mudi, President of AFAN, said that investment from the Tingo Mobile was a very important boost for Nigerian farmers.

He said the funds being provided greatly enhance the union’s ability to cultivate vast areas of agricultural land, delivering significant increases in rice and wheat production.

According to him, “Tingo Mobile’s latest commitment is indicative once again of their invaluable support towards Nigeria’s agricultural development, which we and our farmers are very grateful for.

“We look forward to the continued deepening and expansion of our relationship with Tingo Mobile as we work together to support Nigeria’s farmers and deliver mutual benefit for all parties.”

Darren Mercer, Chief Executive Officer of Tingo, said then that the company was delighted to extend and further strengthen its relationship with AFAN through this agreement, which supports AFAN and its farmers to cultivate more land and improve crop production levels.

Mercer said, “We are not only helping Nigeria’s agricultural community, we are also generating more business for Tingo Mobile and delivering more produce to Tingo Foods and our Tingo DMCC export business. This is truly a win-win situation and one that fits exceptionally well with our ESG commitments.

“Today’s agreement, together with the series of other such deals that we plan to execute going forward, are yet another means for us to advance our goal of increasing food production levels, while also meaningfully increasing revenues and net earnings across a number of our businesses, which are enhanced by the synergistic attributes of our unique eco-system.

“We are also very excited about the business impact of AFAN’s commitment to allocate part of our loan facility to accelerate their onboarding of warehouses, as we expect the enlargement of the warehouse network to materially assist us in reducing crop wastage and achieve higher levels of crop utilization and again further increase the supply of produce into Tingo Foods and Tingo DMCC.”

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