Violence Has Hindered Nigeria’s Economic Development – Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has said that the violence that has adversely affected parts of the country, has posed a major stumbling block to economic development of Nigeria.

The president said this while receiving the 2013 Africa Peace Award from the United Religions Initiatives (URI) at the presidential villa.

He noted that there can be no meaningful economic development where people are fighting, adding that differences cannot be resolved through the barrels of the gun.

Presenting the award to the president, the regional director of URI, Ambassador Mussie Hailu, said the award is in recognition of President Jonathan’s contributions to religious harmony in Nigeria and peace-keeping operations under the United Nations.

Foreign investment in Nigeria hits $9billion

Nigeria’s Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) hit $8.9 billion in 2011.

That’s according to the Minister of Trade and Investment, Dr Olusegun Aganga.

The figure represents 16 per cent of Africa’s total FDI of $55 billion in 2011, making it the leading investment destination in Africa.

Mr Aganga attributed the increase to growing investor confidence.

According to him, the federal government is committed to consolidating on the gains so far recorded by strengthening the one-stop investment centre of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC).


South African Brewery to commission plant in Nigeria

The South African Brewery (SAB) has made its entry into the Nigerian beer and beverage industry with its construction of a production plant in Anambra State.

The governor of Anambra State, Mr Peter Obi, while answering questions from journalists, said that the SAB production plant which will be commissioned before the end of the month, welcomed the South African company for building the brewery he described as the biggest in sub-Saharan Africa in his state.

The governor observed that foreigners’ perception of Nigeria was at variance with the true situation in the country, saying “the perception of Nigeria by foreigners is far worse than it is in reality. The truth is issues about Nigeria are usually over exaggerated by foreigners.”

“The South African Brewery, if they show you their report and perception about Nigeria before coming to build their plant in the country, they wouldn’t have invested in the country.”

He said Africa and the Middle East contribute 11.5 per cent of Heineken’s global income, “out of this 11.5 per cent, six per cent comes from Nigeria. Today, Guinness derives 6.1 per cent of its global income from Nigeria. In fact, Guinness sells more in Nigeria than its home country.”

This will tell you that despite the challenges we have, which the Ministry of Trade and Investment is working with state governments to address, Nigeria still remains the best investment destination for genuine investors across the world,” he said.

Meanwhile, SAB operates seven breweries and 40 depots in South Africa with an annual brewing capacity of 3.1 billion litres.

Its portfolio of beer brands are Carling Black Label, Hansa Pilsener, Castle Lager, Castle Lite and Castle Milk Stout.

Its full brand portfolio includes 10 brands of beer and five flavoured alcoholic beverages.


World Bank predicts more foreign invest for Africa in 2012

Capital flows into Africa are seen growing significantly in 2012 as investors seeking higher returns out of Europe, look at the continent for better opportunities in infrastructure projects, a World Bank’s senior official said on Friday.

The Washington-based development lender expects economic growth on the world poorest continent to be 5.3 percent this year and 5.6 for 2013, despite increased concerns about the euro zone debt crisis, its main export market.

Marcelo Giugale, Africa’s Poverty Reduction and Economic Management director at the bank, said that the appreciation of the region’s currencies against the dollar was an indication of increased foreign direct investment (FDI).

“Most currencies in Africa have appreciated this year, which means investors expect some of those countries to do very well,” Giugale told Reuters in an interview.

“There is a boom in urban construction mainly from repatriated money. The amount of offer that Africa is getting to build its infrastructure, which are long haul investments, is clearly increasing.”

For instance, the government in Tanzania said it plans to build a $684 million 300 MW gas-fired power plant in the south of the country in the 2011/12 financial year, which runs until June 30, 2012, to plug energy shortages, after securing a loan from China.

Tanzania says the project would also involve construction of a 1,100-kilometre power transmission line from Mtwara in southern Tanzania to Singida region in the centre of the country.

In neighbouring Uganda, British oil company Tullow Oil Plc has a $10 billion plan to start pumping oil from huge reserves discovered on the shores of Lake Albert. Early production is scheduled to start in 2013 before ramping up to a major production phase in 2016.

Frontier African currencies came under pressure in 2011 mainly due to widening balance of payments as crude prices soared on the global markets, pushing consumer prices higher, while central banks lagged behind the curve in arresting inflation.

FDI into Africa was forecast, by Ernst & Young, to reach $150 billion by 2015 from $84 billion in 2010, driven by strong growth in new projects.

Giugale said the expected discovery of more natural resources like oil and precious metals, coupled with high commodity prices on the global market would wean the continent off export dependence on European markets.

“Previously a cough in the rich world would cause pneumonia here. But not any more … there is resilience and spare capacity,” said Giugale.

He cited lack of integration and barriers to trade between African countries as a hindrance to growth in the region, which could benefit from free flow in capital and human resource across borders.

Trade among African countries remains low despite individual countries increasing trade with the outside world, with some African countries sending up to 80 percent of their exports to with non-African countries.

“If you were to remove these barriers you will be capturing billion of dollars in commerce and millions of Jobs,” Giugale said.