- Mobile Phone Subscribers Now over 163m, Says Osinbajo
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo saturday in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), disclosed that the number of mobile telephone subscribers in Nigeria has risen to 163 million barely 17 years after its advent.
Making this disclosure while addressing a professional business summit 2018 with the theme, “Exploring Investment Opportunities in Nigeria and the UAE,” Osinbajo said the development shows that the ICT sector had unlimited potential to produce $88 billion digital economy in 2028.
While showcasing Nigeria’s promising investment potentials, Osinbajo said Aliko Dangote’s 650,000 barrel per day capacity is worth over $16 billion.
“With over 163 million mobile phone subscribers, 60 per cent of them actively on the internet and 23million on Facebook, you will agree with me that our ICT sector is one of limitless potential yearning for more investments to propel the sector to an $88billion digital economy over the next 10 years.
“Consequently, we have seen the emergence of dynamic pan-African investors, who on account of their track records are even able to borrow commercially cheaper than Governments. Aliko Dangote’s investment in a 650 thousand barrel a day refinery, subsea pipeline and fertilizer plant is in excess of $16billon,” he said.
Osinbajo also told the gathering that new foreign investment has risen from $908.2 million in the first quarter of 2017 to $4.1billion in the third quarter 2017, representing over 150 per cent growth from the first quarter of 2017 adding that fresh capital inflow in 2017 stood at $12,228,24billion, thus implying a growth of 138.6 per cent in 2017.
Disclosing that BUA, a cement and sugar conglomerate, has in the past two years, invested over $2billion in cement factories and equally enhancing a sugar facility, Osinbajo added that the country had conceived the idea of special economic zones to serve as the platform for the provision of all required infrastructure and regulatory facilitation to deliver expedited productivity adding that the nation’s oil and gas free zones already have over $20billion investments.
He added: “Again, these zones allow 100 per cent foreign ownership and 100 per cent repatriation of capital and profits. A shining example is the Lagos Deep Offshore Logistics Free Zone, (LADOL) which has invested already over $600million in private investment and outlined plans to attract more investments up to $5billion into the country through its industrial free zones.
“In broadband infrastructure, for example, MAIN ONE company, founded by Nigerian-born Funke Opeke, launched West Africa’s first privately owned submarine cable barely seven years ago. The cable was built over a 2-year period and the initial investment of $240million was financed entirely by African investors, and the project broke even in just 2 years after launch.”
Furthermore, the vice-president who said Flutterwave invested $10 million in the country, added that Konga, an online shop, invested impressive $25million, which he described as the second biggest amount raised by an African start-up business in Africa, adding: “Andela, another of our leading tech brands attracted equity investment from Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.”
Further disclosing that Lagos witnessed over $100million local and international venture capital fund investments in 2017 alone, Osinbajo described the Lagos Mega City project “as a shining example of proven successes and great potential of the ICT sector in Nigeria, with its high quality and relatively lower cost talent, as well as its strong community of incubators, accelerators and development communities.”
Brent Crude Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel on Friday
Nigerian Oil Approaches $70 Per Barrel Following OPEC+ Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, rose to $69 on Friday at 3:55 pm Nigerian time.
Oil price jumped after OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to role-over crude oil production cuts to further reduce global oil supplies and artificially sustain oil price in a move experts said could stoke inflationary pressure.
Brent crude oil rose from $63.86 per barrel on Wednesday to $69 per barrel on Friday as energy investors became more optimistic about the oil outlook.
While certain experts are worried that U.S crude oil production will eventually hurt OPEC strategy once the economy fully opens, few experts are saying production in the world’s largest economy won’t hit pre-pandemic highs.
According to Vicki Hollub, the CEO of Occidental, U.S oil production may not return to pre-pandemic levels given a shift in corporates’ value.
“I do believe that most companies have committed to value growth, rather than production growth,” she said during a CNBC Evolve conversation with Brian Sullivan. “And so I do believe that that’s going to be part of the reason that oil production in the United States does not get back to 13 million barrels a day.”
Hollub believes corporate organisations will focus on optimizing present operations and facilities, rather than seeking growth at all costs. She, however, noted that oil prices rebounded faster than expected, largely due to China, India and United States’ growing consumption.
“The recovery looks more V-shaped than we had originally thought it would be,” she said. Occidental previous projection had oil production recovering to pre-pandemic levels by the middle of 2022. The CEO Now believes demand will return by the end of this year or the first few months of 2022.
“I do believe we’re headed for a much healthier supply and demand environment” she said.
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.
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