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EPA’ll Cost Nigeria $1.3t, Says MAN

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manufacturing-plant

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has restated its opposition to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) /European Union (EU) Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), saying it would cost the country about $1.3trillion in lost revenue from tariff removal.

Its President, Dr. Frank Jacobs, in a statement, insisted that signing the agreement would have adverse effects on the economy and may spark socio-economic crisis.

He said as a result of the mismatch of the two regions in terms of technology and manufacturing experience, accepting EPA in its present form would spell doom on the nation’s industrialisation programme.

He said: “It should be borne in mind that Nigeria is in recession and needs every effort to pull it out. Nigeria is mainly a commodity-goods producing country and would trade same in an EPA free trade arrangement. We have limited capability to produce and export industrial goods to Europe.”

The MAN chief stated that EPA in its present form will stifle existing manufacturing industries as they would be uncompetitive because cheaper finished products from European countries would flood the local markets and would lead to the de-industrialisation of the country. This he argued could have implications on employment generation and poverty alleviation in addition to loss of investments.

Jacobs pointed out that recent policy of resource-based industrialisation which is adopted by the government aimed at utilising the abundant natural resources of the country to sustain the manufacturing sector will naturally be destroyed.

He also said it would lead to the closure of companies that currently have been galvanised to invest in the production of raw materials and intermediate products and undermining the Nigerian Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).

According to him, Nigerians will continue to be exporters of unprocessed raw materials and importers of processed goods and become an extension of EU market.

He further said current efforts by manufacturers to export non-oil products would be greatly hampered. The recent surge in the export of non-oil products which has grown tremendously would be drastically affected, he added.

Other effects are that it would negatively affect the informal sector and the SMEs which are currently sustaining a large percentage of the population while incurring significant revenue loss through removal of tariff estimated at about $1.3 trillion. It would also have negative effect on the nation’s other trading partners such as the United States (US)and China especially in the context of Most Favoured Nation (MFN), he added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

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rail project

FG to Partly Fund Six Rail Projects Connecting All Regions

The Federal Government will pay a total sum of N71 billion to partly fund six rail projects connecting all regions of the country.

In the report obtained from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, the six rail projects marked for development this year are Lagos-Kano rail line (ongoing), Calabar-Lagos (ongoing), and Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri).

Others are the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, the new Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi line in Niger Republic and the Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja-Warri Port and refinery/Warri new harbour.

The Buhari administration will also spend N15.1 billion on the development of safety and security of critical projects, airport certification, runway construction, terminal building, among others in the aviation sector in 2021.

Last week, Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, said the Lagos-Kano line would be connected from the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan railway and would cost $5.3 billion.

We are waiting for the Chinese government and bank to approve the $5.3bn to construct the Ibadan-Kano. What was approved a year ago was the contract,” the minister said.

He added, “The moment I announced that the Federal Government had awarded a contract of $5.3bn to CCECC (China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation) to construct Ibadan-Kano, people assumed the money had come in; no.

“We have not got the money, which is a year after we applied for the loan. We have almost finished the one of Lagos-Ibadan. If we don’t get the loan now, we can’t commence.”

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Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

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Zainab Ahmed Finance Minister

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday said Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $72,411,197.80 as of January 20th, 2021.

The minister disclosed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year presided over by Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and had in attendance State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials.

Ahmed said “Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28,800,711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

The minister also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 39 locations nationwide in an effort to increase COVID-19 treatment.

What is Excess Crude Account (ECA)

Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save the disparity in the market price of crude oil and budgeted price of crude oil as stipulated in the Federal Government Appropriation Bill.

Key Takeaways of Excess Crude Account (ECA)

  • Excess Crude Account (ECA) was established in 2004 by the Federal Government to stabilize Nigeria’s economy and smooth out the effect of crude oil fluctuation on Africa’s largest economy.
  • The ECA rose to its highest of $20 billion in November 2008 during the global oil boom when prices were above $100 per barrel.
  • Controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance have trailed the ECA since creation.
  • The balance plunged from $20 billion in 2008 to $72.4 million in January 2021.

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