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High Hope as Federal Govt is Set to Kick-start Ibom Port

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Seaport
  • High Hope as Federal Govt is Set to Kick-start Ibom Port

The Federal and the Akwa Ibom State governments are set to execute the Ibom Deep Seaport (IDSP) project, an official has said.

The project, it was gathered, is one of the most promising Public- Private Partnership (PPP) infrastructure initiatives in the country because of the unique investment opportunities it will offer international seaport developers and operators.

A senior official of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMoT), who craved for anonymity, told The Nation at the weekend that the port could drive inclusive economic growth in Nigeria and the West and Central African sub-region.

The procurement process for the port, the official said, is scheduled to take off this month, with the advertisement of the Request for Qualification (RFQ) from reputable private sector port operators for developing the deep seaport in partnership with the Akwa Ibom State and the Federal governments.

The official said: “ The port strategically located in the Southeast of Akwa Ibom State, the approximate coordinates of the port scaled from the British Admiralty Chart No. 1387 are Latitude 4° 32’ 35’’ N; Longitude 8° 14’ 7’’ E and UTM coordinates 415168 m E; 502,199 m N (UTM Zone 32N). The 2,565 hectares Greenfield port area is designed for New Panamax Class vessels with 18.24mchannel; turning basin and berth depth (16.72m) and quay length of about 7.5 km. When fully developed, the container terminals will accommodate up to 13 New Panamax Class container vessels and two very large feeder vessels.

“The IDSP is positioned to offer a value proposition superior to other seaports in the region.Available data indicate that the various seaports serving the West and Central African sub-region are reaching saturation and the need for viable alternatives has become critical for major shipping lines sailing these routes.

“Due to its proximity to target markets in West and Central Africa, neighbouring hinterland countries and major shipping lines calling West and Central Africa, large gateway market size to attract direct vessel services and sizeable transshipment cargo hinterland for feeder shipping network connection. The transshipment container market for the port is estimated to grow from about 1.2 million TEUs in 2021 to about 4 million TEUs in 2040.’’

The official continued: “Another defining feature of the port is its location within the Ibom Industrial City – a designated Free Trade Zone replete with fiscal incentives. The Free Trade Zone status ensures that operations and investors in the deep seaport enjoy special regulatoryand fiscal incentive regimes that will enhance competitiveness and allow for cost saving.

“The project will optimise the synergies of the other businesses to be situated within the industrial city that is being developed in parallel (such as agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, marine-related industries, auto assembly plants, power plants, as well as real estate developments), and power plant and the industrial development at Ikot Abasi.

“With the prevailing gap in functional seaports in West Africa coupled with the demonstrated commitment of both the Federal and the Akwa Ibom State governments to create an enabling environment for private sector investors to exploit the opportunities in the industry, the Ibom Deep Seaport presents a compelling investment case that cannot be ignored by investors.

“The procurement process for the IDSP Project is scheduled to commence this month with the advertisement of the Request for Qualification (RFQ) from reputable private sector port developer/operators for the development of the Deep Seaport in partnership with the Akwa Ibom State Government and the Federal Government,” the official said.

Global Maritime and Port Services Pte Ltd (GMAPS) of Singapore, the civil servant said, is the Transaction Advisor while the PwC, Nigeria, is the Project Manager for the project.

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.

Government

COVID-19 Vaccine: African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) to Purchase 270 Million Doses for Nigeria, Other African Nations

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African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) Approves $2 Billion for the Purchase of 270 million Doses for African Nations

African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim) said it has approved $2 billion for the purchase of 270 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines for African nations, including Nigeria.

Prof. Benedict Oramah, the President of the Bank, disclosed this at a virtual Africa Soft Power Series held on Tuesday.

He, however, stated that the lender is looking to raise more funds for the COVID-19 vaccines’ acquisition.

He said: “The African Union knows that unless you put the virus away, your economy can’t come back. If Africa didn’t do anything, it would become a COVID-19 continent when other parts of the world have already moved on.
“Recall that it took seven years during the heat of HIV for them to come to Africa after 12 million people had died.

“With the assistance of the AU, we were able to get 270 million vaccines and financing need of about $2 billion. Afreximbank then went ahead to secure the $2 billion. But that money for the 270 million doses could only add 15 per cent to the 20 per cent that Covax was bringing.

He added that this is not the time to wait for handouts or free vaccines as other countries will naturally sort themselves out before African nations.

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China Calls for Better China-U.S. Relations

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China Calls for China-U.S. Relations

Senior Chinese diplomat Wang Yi said on Monday the United States and China could work together on issues like climate change and the coronavirus pandemic if they repaired their damaged bilateral relationship.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang, a Chinese state councillor and foreign minister, said Beijing stood ready to reopen constructive dialogue with Washington after relations between the two countries sank to their lowest in decades under former president Donald Trump.

Wang called on Washington to remove tariffs on Chinese goods and abandon what he said was an irrational suppression of the Chinese tech sector, steps he said would create the “necessary conditions” for cooperation.

Before Wang spoke at a forum sponsored by the foreign ministry, officials played footage of the “ping-pong diplomacy” of 1972 when an exchange of table tennis players cleared the way for then U.S. President Richard Nixon to visit China.

Wang urged Washington to respect China’s core interests, stop “smearing” the ruling Communist Party, stop interfering in Beijing’s internal affairs and stop “conniving” with separatist forces for Taiwan’s independence.

“Over the past few years, the United States basically cut off bilateral dialogue at all levels,” Wang said in prepared remarks translated into English.

“We stand ready to have candid communication with the U.S. side, and engage in dialogues aimed at solving problems.”

Wang pointed to a recent call between Chinese President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Joe Biden as a positive step.

Washington and Beijing have clashed on multiple fronts including trade, accusations of human rights crimes against the Uighur Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region and Beijing’s territorial claims in the resources-rich South China Sea.

The Biden administration has, however, signalled it will maintain pressure on Beijing. Biden has voiced concern about Beijing’s “coercive and unfair” trade practices and endorsed of a Trump administration determination that China has committed genocide in Xinjiang.

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U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

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President Trump Signs Executive Order In Oval Office Of The White House

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Release of Trump Tax Returns

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a New York City prosecutor to obtain former President Donald Trump’s tax returns and other financial records as part of a criminal investigation, a blow to his quest to conceal details of his finances.

The justices without comment rebuffed Trump’s request to put on hold an Oct. 7 lower court ruling directing the former Republican president’s longtime accounting firm, Mazars USA, to comply with a subpoena to turn over the materials to a grand jury convened by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, a Democrat.

“The work continues,” Vance said in a statement issued after the court’s action.

Vance had previously said in a letter to Trump’s lawyers that his office would be free to immediately enforce the subpoena if the justices rejected Trump’s request.

A lawyer for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court, which has a 6-3 conservative majority included three Trump appointees, had already ruled once in the dispute, last July rejecting Trump’s broad argument that he was immune from criminal probes as a sitting president.

Unlike all other recent U.S. presidents, Trump refused during his four years in office to make his tax returns public. The data could provide details on his wealth and the activities of his family real-estate company, the Trump Organization.

Trump, who left office on Jan. 20 after being defeated in his Nov. 3 re-election bid by Democrat Joe Biden, continues to face an array of legal issues concerning his personal and business conduct.

Vance issued a subpoena to Mazars in August 2019 seeking Trump’s corporate and personal tax returns from 2011 to 2018. Trump’s lawyers sued to block the subpoena, arguing that as a sitting president, Trump had absolute immunity from state criminal investigations.

The Supreme Court in its July ruling rejected those arguments but said Trump could raise other objections to the subpoena. Trump’s lawyers then argued before lower courts that the subpoena was overly broad and amounted to political harassment, but U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in August and the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in October rejected those claims.

Vance’s investigation, which began more than two years ago, had focused on hush money payments that the president’s former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen made before the 2016 election to two women – adult-film actress Stormy Daniels and former Playboy model Karen McDougal – who said they had sexual encounters with Trump.

In recent court filings, Vance has suggested that the probe is now broader and could focus on potential bank, tax and insurance fraud, as well as falsification of business records.

In separate litigation, the Democratic-led U.S. House of Representatives was seeking to subpoena similar records. The Supreme Court in July sent that matter back to lower courts for further review.

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