- Enugu Free Trade Zone Attracts N240billion Investments
- Targets 20,000 jobs
The Empower Free Trade Zone (ENPOWER FTZ) is expected to attract up to $500 million (about N240 billion) worth of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from leading global manufacturing companies.
Besides, activities of the industrial clusters hosted in the free zone are also expected to create over 20,000 jobs across three major regions in the country.
Second largest economic cluster in Nigeria, outside of the Lagos Cluster.
The Federal Government’s quest for economic diversification, according to the organisers, will soon receive boost as the Governor of Enugu State, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, among other stakeholders are set for the ground breaking ceremony of the Free Trade Zone slated for November 24.
Ugwuanyi, who consolidates on foundation efforts of former Governor Sullivan Chime on the project was quoted as saying that the ground breaking ceremony for the facility would bear the first set of investment fruits which will give highly needed momentum to his government’s economic diversification programme.
According to him, “Enpower FTZ has put in substantial efforts into attracting specific, targeted high-profile investors right from the outset. These anchor investors play an important signaling role to other potential investors, and we expect them to attract a network of suppliers and partners.”
The investment promoters, according to a statement made available to The Guradian are poised to provide uninterrupted power supply via an embedded power arrangements, certify the free zone’s infrastructure and operations to globally accepted standards, operate the free trade zone as a one-stop investment destination by integrating all free zone operations with the documentation and cargo handling, customs, immigration administration processes to achieve an Ease of Doing Business rating equivalent to that of Dubai.
The industrial park also gives access to markets covered by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS); South East Asian countries including China, India and Malaysia; the European Union including Czech Republic and Germany; and the untapped industrial heartland of South-Eastern Nigeria especially the commercial cities of Onitsha, Nnewi and Aba.
ENPOWER Free Zone is designed to accommodate up to 500 companies located in two Free Zone Areas at The Ninth Mile industrial area and the Akanu Ibiam international Airport.
The specialized industrial clusters to be developed within the free zone areas include the manufacturing Centre and wholesale market; the Aviation and Aerospace Cluster; the Power, Utilities and Light Manufacturing Cluster; the Health Care Park; the Business and Hospitality Park; Technology and Digital Media Park; and the Chemicals and Agribusiness Cluster.
Empower is affiliated, as a full voting member; to the Dubai-based World Free Zones Organization (WorldFZO) and the Africa Free Zones Association (AFZA) respectively. It intends to function as a certified Smart-SUSTAINABLE & SAFE free trade zone.
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Oil Jumps to $67.70 as OPEC+ Extends Production Cuts
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $67.70 per barrel on Thursday following the decision of OPEC and allies, known as OPEC+, to extend production cuts.
OPEC and allies are presently debating whether to restore as much as 1.5 million barrels per day of crude oil in April, according to people with the knowledge of the meeting.
Experts have said OPEC+ continuous production cuts could increase global inflationary pressure with the rising price of could oil. However, Saudi Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said “I don’t think it will overheat.”
Last year “we suffered alone, we as OPEC+” and now “it’s about being vigilant and being careful,” he said.
Saudi minister added that the additional 1 million barrel-a-day voluntary production cut the kingdom introduced in February was now open-ended. Meaning, OPEC+ will be withholding 7 million barrels a day or 7 percent of global demand from the market– even as fuel consumption recovers in many nations.
Experts have started predicting $75 a barrel by April.
“We expect oil prices to rise toward $70 to $75 a barrel during April,” said Ann-Louise Hittle, vice president of macro oils at consultant Wood Mackenzie Ltd. “The risk is these higher prices will dampen the tentative global recovery. But the Saudi energy minister is adamant OPEC+ must watch for concrete signs of a demand rise before he moves on production.”
Gold Hits Eight-Month Low as Global Optimism Grows Amid Rising Demand for Bitcoin
Gold Struggles Ahead of Economic Recovery as Bitcoin, New Gold, Surges
Global haven asset, gold, declined to the lowest in more than eight months on Tuesday as signs of global economic recovery became glaring with rising bond yields.
The price of the precious metal declined to $1,718 per ounce during London trading on Thursday, down from $2,072 it traded in August as more investors continue to cut down on their holdings of the metal.
The previous metal usually performs poorly with rising yields on other assets like bonds, especially given the fact that gold does not provide streams of interest payments. Investors have been jumping on US bonds ahead of President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus stimulus package, expected to stoke stronger US price growth.
“We see the rising bond yields as a sign of economic optimism, which has also prompted gold investors to sell some of their positions,” said Carsten Menke of Julius Baer.
Another analyst from Commerzbank, Carsten Fritsch, said that “gold’s reputation appears to have been tarnished considerably by the heavy losses of recent weeks, as evidenced by the ongoing outflows from gold ETFs”.
Experts at Investors King believed the growing demand for Bitcoin, now called the new gold, and other cryptocurrencies in recent months by institutional investors is hurting gold attractiveness.
In a recent report, analysts at Citigroup have started projecting mainstream acceptance for the unregulated dominant cryptocurrency, Bitcoin.
The price of Bitcoin has rallied by 60 percent to $52,000 this year alone. While Ethereum has risen by over 660 percent in 2021.
Oil Prices Extend Gains to $64.32 Ahead of OPEC+ Meeting
Oil Prices Rise to $64.32 Amid Expected Output Extension
Oil prices extended gains during the early hours of Thursday trading session amid the possibility that OPEC+ producers might not increase output at a key meeting scheduled for later in the day and the drop in U.S refining.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigeria oil is priced, gained 0.4 percent or 27 cents to $64.32 per barrel as at 7:32 am Nigerian time on Thursday. While the U.S West Texas Intermediate gained 19 cents or 0.3 percent to $61.47 a barrel.
“Prices hinge on Russia’s and Saudi Arabia’s preference to add more crude oil production,” said Stephen Innes, global market strategist at Axi. “Perhaps more interesting is the lack of U.S. shale response to the higher crude oil prices, which is favourable for higher prices.”
The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and allies, together known as OPEC+, are looking to extend production cuts into April against expected output increase due to the fragile state of the global oil market.
Oil traders and businesses had been expecting the oil cartel to ease production by around 500,000 barrels per day since January 2021 but because of the coronavirus risk and rising global uncertainties, OPEC+ was forced to role-over production cuts until March. Experts now expect that this could be extended to April given the global situation.
“OPEC+ is currently meeting to discuss its current supply agreement. This raised the spectre of a rollover in supply cuts, which also buoyed the market,” ANZ said in a report.
Meanwhile, U.S crude oil inventories rose by more than a record 21 million barrels last week as refining plunged to a record-low amid Texas weather that knocked out power from homes.
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