- Dangote Canvasses For Power Improve at World Economic Forum
Leading industrialist and President, Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, has told the audience at the World Economic Forum (WEF) holding in Davos, Switzerland, that a joint effort between the government and private sector to tackle power deficit remained a key element in boosting the economy of Africa.
Dangote, who also spoke about his efforts at contributing to lightening up Africa, starting from Nigeria, was one of the panelists at a discussion on: Closing the power gap in Africa, organised by the Satellite Television Channel, CNBC.
It is believed that once African countries can eliminate energy poverty, countries in the continent, including Nigeria, are well on their way to becoming key players in the global economy, given their resource endowments.
Dangote’s call comes as Philanthropist and renowned entrepreneur, Tony Elumelu, also used the Forum to highlight the $100 million entrepreneurship incubator under the Tony Elumely Foundation, TEF Entrepreneurship Programme, from which about 2,000 African entrepreneurs had already benefited from training and seed capital.
Meanwhile, Dangote advised African governments to imbibe policy consistency and avoid summersault, which he said often scuttled the business plan of investors and discouraged others from investing in the sector.
Dangote, who is investing heavily in power with his $12 billion refinery and petrochemical project, said part of his project in Lagos is laying of sub-sea gas pipeline from Niger Delta to Lagos, to provide 3 billion cubic feet of gas that can generate 12, 000 megawatts (mw) of electricity.
Other panellists at the discussion included, President of African Development Bank, Akinwunmi Adesina; Deputy President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa; and Special Representative of the United Nation, Rachel Kyte.
Dangote said government must galvanise the private sector in the provision of stable power in Africa, saying: “at the end it would be a win-win situation because when power is available a lot of people will put to work and government revenue will also increase.”
According to him, his company signed a $5 billion collaborative agreement with Blackstone to generate power and that while the private sector is investing, the role of government would be to provide the operational framework and conducive environment for the investment to thrive.
He stated that given the abundance of resources needed to generate power like gas and coal which he said the continent is blessed with.
The business mogul explained that the twin evil that have the bane of low power in Africa are the lack of credible master plan and inefficient regulatory agencies saying of these challenges could be tackle genuinely, Africa will be on the way out of darkness.
ADB President, Adesina the multi-lateral funding agency is tired of seeing Africa in darkness, and has gone into several funding intervention to ensure African countries got out of darkness fast because lack of power is a major impediment to the growth of her economy.
PENGASSAN to Shut Down 200,000bpd Agip Oil
The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), an oil workers’ union, is threatening to shut down 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil production managed by Agip Oil Company Limited over what it described as unfair labour practices and intimidation of workers.
The Union, in a letter released on Wednesday, gave Agip Oil seven days to look into the concerns raised by the union or have its operations disrupted.
In the letter signed by Lumumba Okugbawa, General Secretary, the Union also accused Agip Oil of “subtle threat against our members and demobilisation of members access to the company facilities.”
PENGASSAN also urged Agip Oil to withdraw its “toxic memo’ and open discussion with the union branch leaders with a view to discuss and resolve the issues and strengthen industrial harmony.
“However, as a law-abiding association, we view the insinuation by Agip management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful as laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.”
Gbajabiamila Says House of Reps Will Pass Petroleum Industry Bill in April
Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, said the Reps will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law in April 2021.
The speaker disclosed this during his opening remarks at the ongoing public hearing on the proposed legislation organised by the House Ad-hoc Committee on PIB.
He said “We intend to pass this bill by April. That is the commitment we have made. Some may consider it a tall order, but we will do it without compromising the thoroughness.”
Gbajabiamila’s comment came two days after Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, said the passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be done before the end of May.
Once passed into law, experts expect the bill to boost Nigeria’s economy, encourage competition and boost revenue.
Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment
The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.
South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.
The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.
However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.
The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.”
UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.
“The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.”
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