- Sterling Bank, Consortium to Create 20m Jobs through Solar Power Project
Sterling Bank Plc and a consortium of African Energy Summit, Africa Clean Energy Group Incorporated of the United States, Always Green Power & Systems and The Environment Communications Limited are set to create 20 million direct and indirect jobs through the supply of solar energy to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) under a national power programme across the country.
Speaking recently in Lagos during the first inception media chat and presentation of the roadmap for the programme, the Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Hajia Aisha Abubakar said her ministry was partnering with the consortium on this project because consistent power supply is critical to the survival of MSMEs.
The minister further stated that clean energy such as solar power could be a right step to actualising the implementation of Nigeria Industrial Revolution Plan (NIRP).
She noted that the task involved in the diversification of the economy is enormous, adding that it will neither happen quickly nor easily.
Abubakar said she was aware that the consortium was into collaboration with the National Association of Barbers and Salons Employers of Nigeria with the understanding that the association would mobilize over 10 million of its members to subscribe to the supply of solar power generators.
“Also, they are partnering with the Bank of Industry (BoI) and NEPAD, who have shown interest in the project and collaborating to roll out the first batch of the solar generators to members of the National Association of Barbers and Salons Employers of Nigeria under the solar generators supply and installation agreement for empowering MSMEs in Nigeria. The Consortium is partnering with the Covenant University, Ota in the area of research, capacity building and innovation for solar installers/maintenance and technicians,” she explained.
The minister who was represented by a senior official of the ministry, Dr. Francis Alaneme stressed that in implementing NIRP, seven supporting structures of enablers are identified for which infrastructure is one that is addressing energy challenge.
“Nigerian industrial roadmap has captured innovation as one of the enablers, as it underpins sustainable evolution, modernization and improvements in industrial activities. MSMEs need new processes, procedures and automation of activities to be competitive. We must develop a national entrepreneurship that will acquire suitable technology and build competitive production capacities. Nigerian economy’s prosperity is highly dependent on a vibrant entrepreneurship sector,’ she added.
She argued that a solution to the unemployment challenge in Nigeria is the development of entrepreneurial opportunities and capacity, which lead to national economic growth and social wellbeing.
Also speaking, a former General Manager of the Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency (LASEPA), Dr. Adetokunbo Adedeji stated that the initiative would create 20 million direct and indirect jobs across the country.
He identified inadequate energy supply as one of the greatest problems facing MSMEs in the country.
“There is interruption of electricity, lack of fuel to power their generators and in some cases, contaminated fuel. There will be no group that will be as lucky as you are. Believe me, your neighbours will envy you. You are doing something novel that no group has ever done and there are a lot of benefits in it,” he said.
Adedeji explained that Nigeria is 25 years behind the global quest for cleaner energy, adding that in other parts of the world, electricity is generated largely through alternative sources such as solar and wind.
Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment
Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment
The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financing and promotion of the automotive industry in Africa.
President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah and President of AAAM/Managing Director of Nissan Africa, Mike Whitfield, signed the MoU in early February, according to a statement yesterday.
The deal formalised the basis for a partnership aimed at boosting regional automotive value chains and financing for the automotive industry while supporting the development of enabling policies, technical assistance, and capacity building initiatives.
Oramah, said, “the strategic partnership with AAAM will facilitate the implementation of the Bank’s Automotive programme which aims to catalyze the development of the automotive industry in Africa as the continent commences trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”
Under the terms of the MoU, Afreximbank and AAAM will work together to foster the emergence of regional value chains with a focus on value-added manufacturing created through partnerships between global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), suppliers, and local partners.
The two organisations plan to undertake comprehensive studies to map potential regional automotive value chains on the continent in regional economic clusters, in order to enable the manufacture of automotive components for supply to hub assemblers.
“To support the emergence of the African automotive industry, they will collaborate to provide financing to industry players along the whole automotive value chain. The potential interventions include lines of credit, direct financing, project financing, supply chain financing, guarantees, and equity financing, amongst others.
“The MoU also provides for them to support, in conjunction with the African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the development of coherent national, regional and continental automotive policies, and strategies.
“With an integrated market under the AfCFTA, abundant and cheap labour, natural resource wealth, and a growing middle class, African countries are increasingly turning their attention to support the emergence of their automotive industries.
“Therefore, the collaboration between Afreximbank and AAAM will be an opportunity to empower the aspirations of African countries towards re-focusing their economies on industrialisation and export manufacturing and fostering the emergence of regional value chains,” the statement added.
“The signing of the MoU with Afreximbank is an exciting milestone for the development of the automotive industry in Africa. At the 2020 digital Africa Auto Forum, the lack of affordable financing available for the automotive sector was identified as one of the key inhibiters for the growth and development of the automotive industry in Africa and having Afreximbank on board is a game changer and a hugely positive development,” CEO of AAAM, David Coffey said.
“It is wonderful to have a partner that is as committed as the AAAM to driving the development and growth of our sector on the continent; this collaboration will ensure genuine progress for our industry in Africa,” Coffey added.
Other areas covered by the MoU include working with the African Union and the African Organisation for Standardisation to harmonise automotive standards across the continent and developing an automotive focused training program for both the public and private sector.
FG Warns Foreign Investors Against Enslaving Nigerians
The Federal Government on Monday warned foreign investors against subjecting Nigerians working in their companies to industrial slavery.
The government said the warning became necessary following several complaints against foreign companies maltreating some of their staff.
The Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Chile Igbawua, issued the warning during a courtesy call on him by a delegation of Pan Africa United Youth Developments Network who came to lay complaint against some foreign companies allegedly maltreating Nigerians working under them.
The PCC said that it would not allow only its state commissioners to handle the issues due to their magnitude as there had been so many complaints about the ways some of the foreign companies were treating their staff.
At the event, the leader of the delegation, Habib Muhammed, expressed concern over alleged injustice and irregularities perpetrated by some company on Nigeria youths whom they engaged as factory workers.
He called on the Federal Government to look into the alleged slavery and injustice meted on Nigerian youths.
While calling on the foreigners to obey the labour laws of Nigeria, Igbawua said, “Our resources cannot be used to enslave us again.”
He said, “We have labour laws in Nigeria for goodness sake and we also have industrial standards; people working in various industries are entitled to good working conditions and minimum conditions of service.”
He added that the law was clear on the issue of casualisation and should be implemented.
Foreign Direct Investments into China Shot Up by 9% in 2020 to $163 Billion Against 49% US Decline
China had the highest inflow of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) globally in 2020, surpassing the US which took the lead in 2019.
According to the research data analyzed and published by Comprar Acciones, China’s inflow shot up by 9% to $163 billion up from $140 billion the previous year. Meanwhile, the US had a 49% drop from $251 billion in 2019 to $134 billion.
Based on data from the National Bureau of Statistics, China reported a 2.3% growth in GDP in 2020. It was the only major economy to record a positive growth rate during the year.
Chinese Stock Market Saw 18 Million New Investors in 2020
Global FDI took a hit in 2020, falling by 42% year-over-year (YoY) from $1.49 trillion in 2019 to $859 billion. The figure was 30% lower than the one reported during the 2009 financial crisis.
Developed countries saw the worst performance, sinking by a cumulative 69% YoY to $229 billion. For developing economies, there was a 12% decline of $616 billion. By the end of 2020, developing countries accounted for a 72% share of global FDI, the highest on record. India had the highest growth among top-rated economies, shooting up by 13%.
China bore the brunt of the pandemic much better than its peers, posting a 6.5% GDP growth in Q4 2020. During the year, there were 18.02 million new investors in its mainland stock market, raising the total to 177.77 million. Driving the surge in interest was the stellar performance of Chinese stocks in 2020.
The Shenzen Component grew by 38.7% in 2020, and the CSI 300 increased by 27.2%, compared to the S&P 500’s 16.26% growth. IPO activity also soared, with China and Hong Kong accounting for 40% of global IPO volume in 2020 according to Ernst & Young.
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