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Nigeria’s Petroleum Sector to Get $70bn Investment From China – Kachikwu

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  • Petroleum Sector to Get $70bn Investment From China

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, on Wednesday said Chinese private sector companies had pledged an additional investment of $70bn to the Nigerian economy.

Kachikwu said this while addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the Federal Executive Council, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He said that the Council was briefed on the outcome of the ministry’s China roadshow which took place in January.

He said that $70bn were different from the pledges that were made earlier when President Buhari visited China “which was an all African type front basis; this is completely separate”.

The ministry’s investment target in China was initially to raise $40bn which was the total cost of the nation’s infrastructure gap for the oil industry. The China roadshow, however, raised pledges of over $70bn for NNPC and government related potential investments and loans facility.

The minister added that it would be a great achievement If the country could realise at least 20 per cent of the pledges.

Kachikwu disclosed that a 40-man business team from China would arrive in the country later in October.

He said that some of the facility lines close to about $4bn, out of the $70bn pledges, are almost readily available as investment packages to the Nigerian economy.

He said, “So, a lot more of work is still on the pipeline and how we would now crystallise this into actual investment, but we are encouraged by what we are receiving in terms of the distinction and the contacts.

“Hopefully by the end of the month when this 40-man team comes, we would be able to make substantial progress.”

Kachikwu said that the Council also approved the hosting of international flare reduction convergence meeting in Nigeria between Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.

He said, “We will use that as a chance to roll out efforts by the ministry to address the flare.

“You are aware Nigeria is next to Russia in terms of the highest flaring nation.

“Even though we have progressed positively to reduce 70 per cent ‎of the flare, the 30 per cent we still flare is about 10 per cent of the world’s flare. So, this is a huge amount of gas.”

He, however, stated that the country was doing a lot in terms of gas policies which would embody the flare initiatives.

He said that Nigeria had signed onto the 2030 world Bank/UN led efforts made in eliminating flare completely by 2030.

He said, “The memo was to intimate the council that we have been asked to host the flare conference and council approved the motion to host that.”

The minister said that the Council approved the resuscitation of the National Council on the Hydrocarbon.

According to him, the council is an ombudsman that meets once a year in an extraordinary times to review policies in the oil and gas sector of the nation’s economy.

He said, “It should be a gathering of ‎people from business, oil sector, oil communities and ministries that are directly or indirectly affected by the policies we role out in the ministry.

“The council had been in existence but in the last couple of years, disappeared into oblivion and today the council approved for us to resuscitate it.

“The criticality is that, as we continue the dialogue we have been having with militants, creating such a fora enables anybody who has an interest in the area, to converge and develop the thinking process that will guide policies in this sector.”

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.

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COVAX Delivered 38m Vaccine Doses To Over 100 Countries, Says WHO

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday announced that more than 100 countries have received life-saving COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, the global mechanism for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

It said the milestone comes 42 days after the first COVAX doses were shipped and delivered internationally, to Ghana on February 24th.

In a statement, the United Nations’ Agency revealed that COVAX has now delivered more than 38 million doses across six continents, supplied by three manufacturers – AstraZeneca, Pfizer-BioNTech and the Serum Institute of India (SII).

Of the over 100 economies reached, 61 are among the 92 lower-income economies receiving vaccines funded through the Gavi COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).

It, however, said despite reduced supply availability in March and April – the result of vaccine manufacturers scaling and optimising their production processes in the early phase of the rollout, as well as increased demand for COVID-19 vaccines in India – COVAX expects to deliver doses to all participating economies that have requested vaccines in the first half of the year.

According to the CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Dr. Seth Berkley, “In under four months since the very first mass vaccination outside a clinical setting anywhere in the world, it is tremendously gratifying that the roll-out of COVAX doses has already reached 100 countries.

“COVAX may be on track to deliver to all participating economies in the first half of the year yet we still face a daunting challenge as we seek to end the acute stage of the pandemic: we will only be safe when everybody is safe and our efforts to rapidly accelerate the volume of doses depend on the continued support of governments and vaccine manufacturers. As we continue with the largest and most rapid global vaccine rollout in history, this is no time for complacency.”

The WHO Director-General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “COVAX has given the world the best way to ensure the fastest, most equitable rollout of safe and effective vaccines to all at-risk people in every country on the planet.

“If we are going to realise this great opportunity, countries, producers and the international system must come together to prioritise vaccine supply through COVAX. Our collective future, literally, depends on it.”

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Approved Ibom Deep Sea Port, Proposed $1.4B Fertilizer Plant Will Change Akwa Ibom’s Economic Status – Gov. Udom

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Akwa Ibom State Government has said the approved Ibom Deep Seaport and the proposed $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia Plant are expected to change the economic status of the state.

The State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, made the assertion in an Easter message to the people of the state.

He maintained that with the recent approval and take off of the federal government’s approved Oil and Gas Free Zone and the ongoing construction of the Sterling Petrochemical Plant at Eastern Obolo, the state would be ready to dump its status as a civil service state.

The governor said the fertilizer and ammonia plants should be supported by all indegenes and residents irrespective of political affiliation because of its capacity to change the economic fortunes of the state.

The governor who commended President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the industrial projects in the state said construction work on the Ibom Deep Seaport would commence very soon.

“In recent past, we have been blessed with life-changing projects such as Sterling Petrochemical Plant in Eastern Obolo, where construction is in an advanced stage.

“Two months ago, the Federal Executive Council, (FEC) approved the license for us to commence the construction of our long desired Ibom Deep Seaport. Work would soon commence on this gigantic project. These are huge achievements for our State and our people.

“Ibom Deep Seaport will open up our economic fortunes; create employment and wealth opportunities for our people and throw open our State as a major maritime hub in our nation.

“We thank the President and the Commander in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Muhammadu Buhari (GCFR) for this kind approval,” he said.

Continuing, Emmanuel said: “About three weeks ago, we signed a $1.4 billion Fertilizer and Ammonia plant with our Moroccan counterparts. The plant will again create huge employment and other supply chain activities for our people, which will transform us from a civil service oriented state to a fast industrialising one.

“These are huge achievements that should gladden the hearts of every Akwa Ibomite irrespective of political affiliations.”

He reminded the people of the state that the essence of Easter would be lost if the resurrection of Christ is not allowed to illuminate their souls through love and sacrifice to one another.

“Let the fishermen in the ocean fronts of Mbo, Okobo, Eastern Obolo and Ibeno love one another. Let the farmers in the rice plantations at Ini, Ikono, Ika, Onna and Nsit Ibom love one another.

“Let the civil servants and public servants, politicians in all political parties, members of all denominations, preachers of all faiths, love one another.

“When we let love drive our every action and every thought, when we let it drip from our lips and from our hands, then shall the joy of Easter be complete, and our State shall surely attain the lofty height set for it by our ancestors when they named it Akwa Abasi Ibom State.” the Governor stated.

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US Intelligence Says ISIS and Al-Qaeda Are Planning to Attack Southern Nigeria

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The United States has warned the Federal Government of Nigeria that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are planning to attack Southern Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Dagvin Anderson, the Commander of the US special operations command, Africa.

According to Dagvin Anderson, AlQaeda is planning to expand into the Southern part of Nigeria and other parts of West Africa.

He, however, said the US will continue to share intelligence with Nigeria.

We have engaged with Nigeria and continue to engage with them in intel sharing and in understanding what these violent extremists are doing,” he said.

And that has been absolutely critical to their engagements up in the Borno state and into an emerging area of northwest Nigeria that we’re seeing al-Qaeda starting to make some inroads in. 

“So, this intelligence sharing is absolutely vital and we stay fully engaged with the government of Nigeria to provide them with an understanding of what these terrorists are doing, what Boko Haram is doing, what ISIS-West Africa is doing, and how ISIS and al-Qaeda are looking to expand further south into the littoral areas. 

Anderson regretted that despite successes recorded in previous years, there has been a setback, adding: “We as a community of international nations, keep thinking we have defeated them or we have put them on their back foot and that they’re just moments from disintegration.” Anderson said for international efforts to yield desired results in the fight against terrorism in Nigeria, the government must take the lead. 

“When it comes to Nigeria in general, Nigeria, obviously, is a critical nation to West Africa. It is a critical nation and we realise that Nigeria is a lynchpin,” he said.

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