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Nigeria among Top Global Investment Destinations for 2018

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  • Nigeria among Top Global Investment Destinations for 2018

Nigeria has been identified as one of the top five countries for growth acceleration for 2018. Other countries in the group include Kuwait, Oman, Kazakhstan and Tunisia.

The Global Chief Economist at Renaissance Capital, Charles Robertson, who made this forecast in a report titled: “Africa 2017,” urged investors to take advantage of the opportunities in these countries.

“These are some of the markets I think investors should be considering because of the growth acceleration story,” he explained.

According to Robertson, Nigeria still has a very positive demography, pointing out that the country’s working age population has been growing at 15 per cent over the past five years.

The global analysts observed: “Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business is presently at 169th in the world. But I am promising you that it is going to get considerably better in the next 12 months. This government has actually started to reform.

“They have slashed the time to register a new business from 10 days to two days. I think as you get the Ease of Doing Business better, you should also see some improvement in corruption ranking. It is never going to be dramatic. We do know President Buhari has tried to make some difference.”

He also noted that there has been improvement in Nigeria’s legal system.

Robertson also argued that at its present rate, the naira exchange rate is expensive as the official rate. He called for a currency reform in Nigeria, arguing that, “currency pegs don’t work in countries with low per capita income. The naira is either too weak or too strong.”

Nigeria’s budget and forex reserves depend on the performance of crude oil. Oil has been on an upward trend in the last 12 months.

“But my view is that shale would keep it down. What I think drives oil is China. When China’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was booming, we had oil price shooting up, but when China’s GDP stopped rising last year, the oil price was down. There should be some recovery, I would argue, in the next few years. If there is one thing which worries me today, it is Chinese loan growth.

“I still think there is a story here which is working. The story is that the last time oil fell, which was in the 80s, GDP in Nigeria fell by over 10 per cent, not just once, but multiple times throughout the decade.

“But in the 90s, when oil prices were low, Nigeria was not even in recession. But this time, it fell by 1.5 per cent last year, which was a much better performance than in the past. The human capital has changed, not just in,” he said.

CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele recently predicted that with economic policies put in place by the Nigerian government, the country should be out of recession by the third quarter of the year. Emefiele who assured that the CBN would continue with its intervention in the foreign exchange market, noted that interventions of the apex bank so far had been yielding positive results.

The legislature last week passed the 2017 Appropriation Bill for the year, with an increment of N143 billion to N7.441 trillion, from the executive’s proposal of N7.298, five months after President Muhammadu Buhari submitted the federal government’s spending bill. Faced with pressure from the public, which remained unrelenting for years, and in keeping with its promise this year to do so, the National Assembly, on Thursday, finally released a 33-page document detailing the line-by-line expenditure of its budget for 2017. The National Assembly’s budget was increased by N10 billion to N125 billion, from the N115 billion proposed by the executive.

Under its budget, N85.8 billion was assigned to total overhead costs, N23.7 billion for personnel costs and N14.9 billion for capital projects.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Escravos Seaport: $27.29 Billion Seaport Project in Jeopardy Amid Bureaucratic Stalemate

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Deep Sea port - Investors King

Nigeria is on the brink of losing a $27.29 billion investment earmarked for the development of the Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC) in Delta State.

The ambitious project, championed by the Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) and backed by foreign investors, is stalled due to prolonged delays in securing final governmental approvals.

Rear Admiral Andrew Okoja (rtd), the chairman of MMCC, voiced his concerns during a recent press briefing.

He emphasized the urgency of obtaining the necessary governmental consents, warning that the delay could result in the forfeiture of the crucial investment.

“EDIB International of Hong Kong has expressed readiness to inject $27.29 billion into the deep seaport project located in Escravos. However, without the required approvals from both federal and state governments, we risk losing this investment,” Okoja stated.

The ESIC project is poised to be a significant economic catalyst, promising to transform Delta State and its neighboring regions.

Modeled after the successful Lekki Deep Seaport and Free Trade Zone, the ESIC is expected to spur trade, commerce, and industry across eight states, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

“This project is not just about developing a seaport; it’s about creating an economic hub that will drive growth and development across a broad spectrum of sectors,” Okoja explained.

In a letter dated January 19, 2024, EDIB International Ltd., through its chairman Kwame Springer, reiterated its commitment to the project. The letter, addressed to MMCC, highlighted the need for a federal government guarantee to protect the investment.

“We require a guarantee from the Nigerian government to secure our investment. The time frame given to secure these approvals is three weeks, beyond which we might have to consider alternative locations for our investment,” the letter stated.

The Escravos Seaport project has seen provisional approvals from both federal and state governments in the past.

In November 2020, the Federal Government granted a provisional approval for a 50-year renewable concession agreement under the Build, Own, Operate, and Transfer (BOOT) model.

Similarly, in May 2022, the Delta State Government agreed to lease 31,000 hectares of land for the project.

Despite these provisional nods, the final approvals remain elusive.

“We have met all regulatory requirements and are ready to proceed. The delay now lies with obtaining the final consent from the government,” Okoja noted.

He urged the federal and state governments to expedite the approval process to avoid losing the investment to other African nations.

The development of the ESIC encompasses not just the construction of a seaport but also the integration of road, rail, and marine connectivity aimed at optimizing cargo flow.

The project includes the construction of the Warri-Sapele Expressway, linking it to key trade routes.

“This infrastructure will significantly reduce congestion at Lagos ports and open up new economic opportunities for the Niger Delta, Eastern, and Northern States,” Okoja highlighted.

The Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex represents a transformative opportunity for Nigeria’s economic landscape.

However, bureaucratic inertia threatens to derail this landmark project. As the clock ticks, the onus is on the federal and state governments to act swiftly and secure the future of this pivotal investment. Without immediate action, Nigeria stands to lose a monumental opportunity to boost its economy and create thousands of jobs.

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Crude Supply Concerns Stall Nigeria’s Modular Refinery Construction Projects

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The ambitious plans for constructing modular refineries across Nigeria, aimed at bolstering domestic refining capabilities, are encountering significant roadblocks due to apprehensions surrounding crude oil supply guarantees.

Despite the country’s aspirations to become self-sufficient in refining, the reluctance of international oil companies (IOCs) to commit to supplying crude to these facilities has left many projects hanging in the balance.

Presently, only a handful of the planned 20 modular refineries are operational, with the remaining projects either stalled or facing financial uncertainties.

This predicament stems from investors’ demands for assurances regarding crude oil availability before releasing funds for construction.

Eche Idoko, the publicity secretary of the Crude Oil Refinery Owners Association of Nigeria (CORAN), highlighted the pivotal role of guarantees in securing financing for refinery projects.

He emphasized that without a guarantee of feedstock, investors are understandably hesitant to proceed with funding.

Idoko further elucidated that the absence of a regulatory framework mandating IOCs to provide such assurances exacerbates the challenges faced by modular refinery operators.

Despite repeated pleas from industry stakeholders, regulatory bodies have yet to enforce provisions ensuring crude supply to indigenous refiners, adding to the uncertainty surrounding these projects.

The ramifications of this impasse extend beyond the economic realm, as Nigeria’s aspirations to emerge as a regional refining hub are jeopardized.

With the potential to significantly reduce the country’s reliance on imported petroleum products, modular refineries represent a critical component of Nigeria’s energy security strategy.

Furthermore, the synergy between modular refineries and larger-scale projects like the Dangote Petroleum Refinery could position Nigeria as a key player in West Africa’s refining landscape.

By addressing the continent’s substantial deficit in refined petroleum products, Nigeria has the opportunity to assert its leadership in the region’s energy sector.

However, unlocking the full potential of modular refineries hinges on overcoming the current challenges surrounding crude supply guarantees. With concerted efforts from regulatory bodies, IOCs, and industry stakeholders, Nigeria can navigate these obstacles and realize its vision of a vibrant and self-sustaining refining sector.

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CBN to Issue N1.56 Trillion in Treasury Bills for Q3 2024

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T-Bill

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has unveiled its plan to issue N1.56 trillion worth of treasury bills during the third quarter of 2024.

This strategic move aims to manage inflation, finance the government’s budget deficit, and regulate liquidity in the financial system.

Compared to the N1.56 trillion issued in the second quarter of 2024, the upcoming issuance represents a slight decrease of 4.87 percent.

The allocation breakdown for the treasury bills issuance in Q3 includes N170.85 billion for 91-day tenors, N189.35 billion for 182-day tenors, and a significant portion of N1.20 trillion for 364-day tenors.

Treasury bills issuance is a crucial tool employed by the CBN to influence various aspects of the economy.

By adjusting the supply of money in circulation, managing inflationary pressures, and providing a means for the government to fund its activities, these financial instruments play a pivotal role in shaping economic conditions.

The impact of treasury bill issuance extends to households and individuals, influencing interest rates on savings and investments.

As the yields on treasury bills serve as benchmarks for other interest-bearing assets, changes in these rates can affect returns on savings accounts, fixed deposits, and other investment vehicles, consequently shaping the financial landscape for individuals and families.

Moreover, the issuance of treasury bills contributes to the broader economic environment by supporting price stability and fostering conducive conditions for sustainable economic growth.

By absorbing excess liquidity from the financial system, these bills help mitigate inflationary pressures and create an environment conducive to economic expansion and job creation.

However, amidst these efforts to manage inflation and stabilize the economy, challenges persist, particularly regarding high inflation rates.

Inflation erodes purchasing power, making goods and services more expensive and diminishing the real value of savings.

While the CBN’s initiatives to address inflation through treasury bill issuances are commendable, addressing underlying factors such as supply chain disruptions and fiscal imbalances remains essential for long-term economic stability and improved living standards.

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