‘We Will Regain Our Status As Africa’s Top Recipient Of FDI’ – Atiku

 

Former Vice President of Nigeria and presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr Atiku Abubakar, has pledged to boost the nation’s economic fortunes by making it Africa’s top recipient of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

In a press statement he personally signed on Wednesday, Atiku regretted that Nigeria has been overtaken by Ghana in the regional bloc of the continent.

He, therefore, vowed to restore jobs for the teeming unemployed youths in the country if elected President in the presidential election on February 16.

“It is with a very heavy heart that I received the news that the Republic of Ghana has overtaken our dear nation as West Africa’s largest recipient of foreign direct investment.

“Therefore, I solemnly declare to Nigerians, that if I am elected President on February 16, 2019, I will be Nigeria’s Chief Marketing Officer, and will never speak ill of our economy, our polity and our youths. My utterances, both at home and abroad, will be used to lift Nigeria’s economy because Atiku means JOBS.

“I believe in JOBS – Jobs, Opportunity, Being United and Security and it is time to get Nigeria Working Again,” he stated.

READ ALSO: Atiku Meets With Nigerians In The US

Atiku recalled that when the PDP governed the nation, especially during his eight-year tenure as Vice President, the country set a pace for Africa in terms of FDI.

According to him, Africa’s most populous nation became the investment hub in the continent under the leadership of his party.

The former Vice President criticised the current administration for not focusing on the nation’s economic challenges.

He further accused the Federal Government of arresting perceived opponents, including some legislators and the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

Atiku believes that the situation has led to the nation’s economy deteriorating by becoming the world’s headquarters of poverty.

“Sadly, this unfortunate economic indicator has escaped the attention of the current administration, who are more interested in hounding real and imagined opponents, like the Chief Justice of Nigeria and many legislators, than in addressing the rapid economic decline Nigeria is witnessing under their watch.

“It is of particular importance to understand why Nigeria has become an economic pariah under the present administration leading to us becoming the world headquarters for extreme poverty. When you have a leader who habitually travels abroad to de-market his own nation and its economy, things like this are bound to happen.

“It is further exacerbated when that same leader stubbornly blames his predecessors for problems he caused, while at the same time taking credit for achievements and progress initiated and delivered by those same leaders, he makes a habit of denigrating,” he added.

Google To Invest $550m In Chinese Firm

Photo: LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

Google will invest more than half a billion dollars in China’s second-largest e-commerce company JD.com as part of a move to expand retail services around the world, the companies said Monday.

The announcement comes as US giant is pushing Google Shopping, a platform allowing customers to compare prices between different sellers, which poses a challenge to Amazon.

The firms will marry JD’s supply chain and logistics experience with Google technology to create “next generation” personalised retail in regions including Southeast Asia, the US and Europe, the joint statement said.

“This partnership with Google opens up a broad range of possibilities to offer a superior retail experience to consumers throughout the world,” JD.com’s chief strategy officer Jianwen Liao said.

Google will put $550 million in cash into JD.com and in return, the California-based company will receive 27.1 million newly issued JD.com Class A ordinary shares.

The shares are equivalent to a nearly one percent stake in the company, according to a JD.com spokesman.

Google chief business officer Philipp Schindler said the move will give customers “the power to shop wherever and however they want.”

However, the partnership is unlikely to affect Google’s status in mainland China, where Gmail, Google Search and Google Maps are all blocked in China.

“The announcement isn’t focused on China,” JD.com spokesman Josh Gartner confirmed to AFP.

Chinese internet users face fines or even jail for unfavourable social media posts. Authorities have further tightened internet controls in recent months, shutting down celebrity gossip blogs and probing platforms for “obscenity”.

In China, JD.com competes aggressively with e-commerce leader Alibaba, which runs the popular Taobao and Tmall shopping platforms.

AFP

UAE Launches $45bn Investment To Boost Refineries

 

Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. on Sunday announced a $45-billion (38-billion-euro) investment to modify an existing facility into one of the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals plants.

The project aims to boost ADNOC’s refining capacity by 65 percent to 1.5 million barrels per day by 2025, the state-owned firm’s CEO Sultan al-Jaber told a downstream investment forum.

The work will upgrade the refining and petrochemicals plant at Ruwais in partnership with international energy firms, he said.

ADNOC also plans to treble petrochemicals output at Ruwais from the current 4.5 million tonnes per year to 14.5 million tonnes a year, he said.

Abu Dhabi, one of seven states in the United Arab Emirates, holds more than 90 percent of the federation’s 98 billion barrels of crude oil reserves.

In November, Abu Dhabi announced plans to invest $109 billion (81 billion euros) in the energy sector over the next five years.

The UAE, OPEC’s fourth largest producer, aims to boost crude oil production capacity from 3.2 million barrels per day at present to 3.5 million bpd at the end of the year.

Over the past few months, ADNOC has awarded concession rights at offshore sites to several international oil companies to boost its long-term production capacity.

It also renewed and extended concessions at onshore oilfields for major companies including Exxonmobil and Total.

Last month, ADNOC invited bids for exploration contracts for six major blocks with untapped oil and gas reserves.

ADNOC said the blocks are estimated to hold billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas.

AFP

Invest In Education, El Rufai Tells Governors

Kaduna State Governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai

 

Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has advised other governors to take up the investment of education and health of the residents in their respective states seriously.

He stated this during an Economic and Investment Summit organised by the state government on Thursday.

“It is up to the state governments to invest more in education and healthcare. I gave an example of what we are doing in Kaduna State and urge all my colleagues to do the same,” he said. “Unless the state governments invest aggressively in education and healthcare, the country will be clapping with one hand.”

Mr El-Rufai further rejected reports in a section of the media of his attacking the Founder of Microsoft, Mr Bill Gates upon his visit to the country.

Gates had on March 22, challenged the Federal Government to invest in human capital development, saying it would lay a good foundation for the nation’s prosperity.

“Nigeria will thrive when every Nigerian is able to thrive, If you invest in their health, education and opportunities, the human capital that we are talking about today, then that will lay the foundation for sustained prosperity,” he said.

But the governor explained that his reaction to Gates’ comments was from the angle of the tiers of government with the states playing a sensitive role in the investment.

He, however, commended the businessman and philanthropist for investing $1.6 billion in Africa’s most populous country, stressing that his state got a large share of the money.

“Mr Gates is a big partner who invested $1.6 billion in Nigeria. A large percentage of that money was invested in Kaduna State.”

Africa Needs To Double Infrastructure Investment – Report

Africa must double its spending on infrastructure over the coming years, the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa (ICA) said on Thursday, warning that overall investment in transport, energy, water and IT/communications fell back last year.

In 2016, total investment in these four sectors — from public and private sources and international institutions — was $62.5 billion (52.82 billion euros), compared with $78.9 billion in 2015, it said.

“A spending requirement of around $120bn-$140bn (at 2015 dollar rates) (is needed) in the short-term,” said the report, entitled Infrastructure Financing in Africa 2016.

Chinese investment fell sharply last year, to $6.4 billion from $20.9 billion in 2015, a year that was exceptional.

Averaged out over the five years from 2011-16, China invested $12 billion annually, making it the biggest single investor in African infrastructure.

African states invested $26.3 billion in 2016 after $24 billion in 2015.

Transport accounted for 39.2 percent of infrastructure investment in 2016, followed by energy (31.9 percent), water and sanitation (16.9 percent) and information technology/communications (2.6 percent).

The ICA was launched at the 2005 G8 summit in Gleneagles, Scotland with the aim of spurring infrastructure investment in Africa from all sources.

Its members include G8 nations, South Africa, the World Bank, the European Commission and European Investment Bank (EIB), the African Development Bank (AfDB) group and the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).

AFP

Wike Seeks Investment In Research Institutes

File photo

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called for investment in science research institutions as part of government’s economic diversification plan.

The governor, who received the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu, said a diversified economy would create employment opportunities for the people.

“We must sustain the development of technology for the growth of the country,” he said on Thursday at the Government House in Port Harcourt.

“I urge that we begin to use research reports from science institutes to attain the desired growth. “The development of relevant machinery and equipment will help create jobs locally and enhance the economy “.

Governor Wike said the minister exhibited maturity by establishing the Chemical Equipment and Machinery Development Institute in the state, noting that other ministers would have been influenced by political considerations.

He further directed the management of Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority to liaise with the Ministry of Science and Technology for the allocation of land for the institute.

L-R: Minister of Science and Technology, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Deputy Governor Ipalibo Harry Banigo and Executive Vice Chairman, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, Prof M Sharuna after the Courtesy Visit of the Minister to Government House Port Harcourt

Earlier, Dr Onu said the institute was a part of the process to build a knowledge-based economy that would sustain the nation, stressing that the over-reliance on oil and gas has made it difficult for the economy to grow in view of emerging realities.

“The decision has been made to make Nigeria an innovation-driven economy; we are determined to work hard to ensure this succeeds.

“If there is a problem with oil, we will still strive. For us to do this, we need to build capacity, look inwards and use our natural resources in ways that will improve our economy,” he said.

The Minister also noted that Rivers State plays a very important role in the chemical and petrochemical sector of the nation’s economy.

“We want the institute to be a centre of excellence in the chemical and petrochemical sector of the nation’s economy.

“The results of the research will be available to the private sector. We will be in a position to grow our economy,” he said.

Oyo State To Boost Investment With Mineral Resources

Abiola Ajimobi, Oyo State, Paris ClubThe Oyo State Government has said that the investment sector of the state would be boosted with its available mineral resources.

The government also assured would-be investors that an enabling environment has been created for businesses to thrive.

The state Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, through his Special Adviser on Solid Minerals, Hon. Matthew Oyedokun, stated this on Tuesday, noting that the state has updated its database on mineral resources.

The governor further disclosed that the state is blessed with minerals resources such as Talc and Talcose body, Feldspar, Granite, Quartz, Mica, Marble/Dolomite, Iron Stone, Gemstone, Gold among others.

According to him, “the major determinant for the location of investments/industries is the availability and accessibility of resources.

“The state government has therefore embarked on aggressive provision of good motorable road network, linking the rural areas where most of the natural resources are located.

“Situating industries in these localities will bring royalties and employment opportunities to the people. It also will facilitate rapid development of the areas.

“The opportunities available would be of immense benefit to both the rural areas and the state as a whole,” the governor emphasized.

He therefore reaffirmed that his administration would continue to provide the enabling environment to attract investors and consequently urged land owners to accommodate them.

Also, he promised continuous geological mapping in order to update the existing mineral resources and discover new ones.

Kano Govt. To Invest Two Billion Naira In Youth Empowerment

kano, Ganduje, Youth empowerment, The Kano State Government plans to invest two billion Naira in the establishment of youth empowerment centers across the 44 local government areas of the state.

During the 2016 International Youth Day celebrations in the state on Friday, Governor Umar Ganduje said eradicating poverty and job creation were among the priority areas of his administration.

The celebration was geared towards identifying relevant challenges of unemployment and poverty among the youth, with the theme: ‘Road to 2030: eradicating poverty and achieving sustainable production and consumption”.

Hundreds of youths drawn from the 44 Local Government areas of the northwest Nigerian state, stormed the Sani Abacha Stadium to conduct a march past in celebration of the day.

Empowerment Through Entrepreneurship

Governor Ganduje while addressing the youths, said that his government had planned various entrepreneurship development programs that would train and empower youths to reduce idleness.

Governor Ganduje, who was particularly concerned about the future of Nigerian Youths, said very soon his government would embark on a massive establishment of youth training centers across the state, of which the main focus would be to train youths via various skills acquisition programmes.

Kano State Commissioner of Information, Youth and Sports, Muhammad Garba, asked youths in the state to remain patient with the Government while the administration tries to solve the poverty and unemployment problems facing youths in Kano.

Mr Garba also said that his ministry would soon embark on some recruitment exercises via various entrepreneurship platforms.

The National Youth Council of Nigeria passed a vote of confidence on the Governor and declared Mr Ganduje ‘The Grand Commander Of Youth Empowerment And Economic Development’.

There was also a presentation of certificates which was one of the highlights of the day.

 

Buhari Calls For Acceleration Of Economic Integration In Africa

BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari has called for an intensification of intra-African trade and acceleration of the pace of economic integration across Africa.

The President gave the call while speaking at a banquet in his honour at the conclusion of his state visit to Kenya.

According to a statement released by his spokesman, Garba Shehu, President Buhari said that the expansion of trade relations between Nigeria and Kenya in recent years should be replicated by all other African countries to speed up the pace of economic development on the continent.

Part of the statement reads; “We now have Nigerian industrialists establishing cement plants in Kenya while Nigerian telecommunications operators are learning and adopting the Kenyan mobile banking model as a tool for financial inclusion in rural Nigeria.

“We have Nigerian farmers coming to learn from successful Kenyan farms while at the same time, we have many up and coming Kenyan oil and gas businesses partnering with Nigerian oil companies.

“We have Nigerians drinking Kenyan coffee in their homes and offices, while we have many Kenyans listening to Nigerian music and watching Nollywood movies,” President Buhari said.

“These developments point to a real integration on the continent beyond formal diplomatic relationships. Greater intra-Africa trade will ultimately result in the creation of millions of jobs within Africa for Africans,” the President added.

The President also expressed hope that Nigeria and Kenya will continue to build on the mutually-beneficial trade and economic relations between them.

He called for the rapid implementation of all bilateral agreements already signed by the two countries and the convening of their Joint Commission for Cooperation.

“As our two governments move ever closer, our business communities will also take full advantage of this momentum to increase trade and economic activities,” he said.

“I feel confident that by the end of this visit, new and solid bridges for movement of persons, goods and services would have been constructed,” President Buhari added.

The Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta, announced that both leaders agreed to intensify bilateral cooperation on trade, investment and the fight against corruption and terrorism.

Pension Fund Competing Well In Equity Market – Stakeholder

Brayant OrjiakorThe Chairman, Seplat Petroleum Development Company, Brayant Orjiakor, said on Tuesday that the pension fund is competing well in the equity market, noting that the World Pension Summit (Africa Special) holding in Nigeria is a great opportunity “for the real impetus to be given to the essence of investing pension funds rightly”.

Speaking on Business Morning, Mr Orjiakor commented on the clamour for pension monies to be loaned out to investors and maintained that “the pension fund in Nigeria has done tremendously well”.

He noted that there had been an increase from “a negative of over two trillion Naira pre-2004 to pension asset of over four trillion Naira in 2014”.

He also stated that “one of the greatest achievements of the Obasanjo administration is putting in place the Contributory Pension Fund which the PENCOM has been driving and it’s also very gratifying that the Jonathan administration has continued to consolidate on this by the new bill they just passed”.

He stressed on the importance of the Summit to lay emphasis on the right issues, especially investment of pension assets. He added that the issue of infrastructure, which is also being discussed, is very important.

“When you look at the infrastructure gap in Africa, in Nigeria and look at the demographics of the continent, you find that having the right access to funds needed for investments in infrastructure is very important for real, sustainable development in the continent.

“For us as a company, we see that the pension asset investment finds good home in very good entities, in the equity market.

“Therefore, when we did our IPO in April of this year, we saw real solid participation by the Pension Fund, competing with the international institutional investors. That is very impressive and going forward, we believe that with the awareness that is being created, not only will that fund grow,  it will find very credible investment outlay in the country and in the continent,” he said.

 

 

EEI Forum Will Make Rivers’ Citizens Aware Of Their Environment – Boms

eeiThe Attorney General of Rivers State, Worgu Boms, has described the ongoing Energy, Environment and Investment Forum as a way of making the citizens of the state interested in the energy sector and the environment.

He stated that part of the focus of the forum was to solve the devastation to the climate that comes from the environment and other activities in the mining sector and how it can be solved.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, Mr Boms pointed out that one of the benefits of the forum would be the refocusing of the State’s activities to the energy sector and not wait for oil companies to do so.

He insisted that people of Rivers State needed to know more about energy, its use and importance. “People across board should be aware of what is happening in the state and to their environment”.

He noted that there were some forms of energy that are cleaner, purer and more dependable than oil such as wind, solar amongst others.

He further stated that the forum would look at ways of providing more job opportunities, through exploration of alternative sources of energy, a development he stressed would help reduce the rate of unemployment in the state.

 

U.S Envoy Calls For More Foreign Investment In Nigeria

amb. sandersA former U.S Ambassador to Nigeria, Robin Sanders, has advised foreign business to take advantage of the conducive business environment in Nigeria and invest more in the nation.

She stated that Nigeria had improved from 2010 when she wrote to World Economic Forum On Africa to focus on Nigeria because of its positive growth. “The economic system in Nigeria has improved, especially the banking and capital market system but could be better”.

She urged foreign investors to look into the business and growth outlook of Nigeria.

Speaking on Saturday on Channels Television’s Saturday programme, Sunrise, Ambassador Sanders explained that previously, it was difficult for investors to invest in Nigeria due to lack of transparency and corruption, a situation she said had changed, with visible growth in the micro-economic system.

The Ambassador, who served from 2007-2010, also stated that there was a lot of negative news coming out of the country which prevented the America government from paying attention to the nation. “The framework of the nation has been looked into and gradually, it is opening up the nation for investments to thrive,” she said.

Speaking on the issue of corruption and transparency, she said Nigeria had less issues in transparency than before, stating that Central Bank has been able to work on the banks, reducing the level of negativity on Nigeria when compered with some other countries.

She therefore advised that more work should be done in order to eradicated corruption completely.