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UK ‘ll Use Aid Budget to Boost Trade in Africa, Says May

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  • UK ‘ll Use Aid Budget to Boost Trade in Africa, Says May

Britain will use its international aid budget to boost its interests and deepen trade ties with Africa, Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday.

She is due in Nigeria today to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari and to visist Lagos before leaving for Kenya on the last leg of her three-nation African tour.

Speaking in Cape Town yesterday, Mrs May said she wanted Britain to become the biggest investor in Africa out of the Group of Seven nations, overtaking the united States by using the aid budget to help British companies invest on the continent.

The government has held out the prospect of increased trade with non-European Union countries as one of the major selling points of Brexit as it prepares to leave the bloc, currently its biggest trading partner, in March next year.

In April, Britain hosted a meeting of Commonwealth countries, including South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, seeking to reinvigorate the network of mostly former colonies and drum up new trade amongst its members.

May recommitted to maintaining the overall British aid budget at 0.7 per cent of economic output but said she would use it in a way that helped Britain.

“I am unashamed about the need to ensure that our aid programme works for the UK,” May said.

“Today I am committing that our development spending will not only combat extreme poverty, but at the same time tackle global challenges and support our own national interest.”

Britain’s overseas aid last year was 13.9 billion pounds (18 billion dollars).

May, who was accompanied by a delegation of British business executives, also said Britain would work with African states to tackle insecurity and migration by creating jobs.

“It is in the world’s interest to see that those jobs are created, to tackle the causes and symptoms of extremism and instability, to deal with migration flows and to encourage clean growth,” May said.

According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development, British direct investment in Africa was 43 billion pounds ($55.5 billion) in 2016, compared to 44 billion pounds (56.7 billion dollars) from the U. S.

Investment from France, which maintains close ties with its former colonies in West Africa, stood at 38 billion pounds ($49 billion) and from China, rapidly becoming a major player in Africa, 31 billion pounds (40 billion).

Mrs May said 87 million Nigerians were living below the poverty line of $1 and 90 cents per day.

She said: “Much of Nigeria is thriving, with many individuals enjoying the fruits of a resurgent economy, yet 87 million Nigerians live below $1 and 90 cents a day, making it home to more very poor people than any other nation in the world.”

The Prime Minister noted that achieving inclusive growth was a major challenge across the world.

She stressed that Africa needs to create 50,000 new jobs per day to keep employment rate at its current levels till 2035.

”Today I am committing that our development spending will not only combat extreme poverty but at the same time tackle global challenges and support our own national interest.

“It is in the world’s interest to see that those jobs are created, to tackle the causes and symptoms of extremism and instability, to deal with migration flows and to encourage clean growth,” she added.

The UK’s historical relationship with many African countries still counts for something, but, as Prime Minister Theresa May will find on her trip to the continent, the UK now vies for attention with larger economies offering greater riches.

The continent’s leaders need to decide who to prioritise: an ambitious but friendly China, the huge European Union bloc, the potential riches of the United States, or the historically-linked United Kingdom.

The prime minister’s trip comes a week before the huge Forum on China-Africa Cooperation in Beijing. Dozens of African heads of state are expected there and China may offer new trade and finance deals. Mrs May’s trip seems rather low key in comparison.

Yesterday, Mrs May flew into Cape Town where she met young people, before delivering a keynote speech on trade and how UK private sector investment could be brought into Africa.

After a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, she visited Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years.

She had a guided tour and was handed a key to open the cell Mr Mandela was imprisoned in, before writing in the guestbook: “His legacy lives on in the hopes and dreams of young people here in South Africa and around the world.”

Today, Mrs May wil meet President Buhari in Abuja before meeting victims of modern slavery in Lagos.

She will leave for Kenya for a meeting with President Uhuru Kenyatta, visit British troops and a business school before her Africvan trip is rounded off with a state dinner hosted by Mr Kenyatta.

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.

Economy

Seplat Petroleum Pays US$564.165 Million to Federal Government in 2020

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Seplat Petroleum, an indigenous Nigerian upstream exploration and production company, announced it paid a total sum of US$564.165 million to the Federal Government in 2020.

In the report on payments made available to the Nigerian Stock Exchange and seen by Investors King, Seplat Petroleum paid US$389.576 million to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) as production entitlement in 2020.

Production entitlement is the government’s share of production in the period under review from projects operated by Seplat.

This comprises crude oil and gas attributable to the Nigerian government by virtue of its participation as an equity holder in projects within its sovereign jurisdiction (Nigeria).

Also, Seplat paid US$130.009 million to the Department of Petroleum Resources in 2020. A breakdown of the amount showed US$111.633 million was paid as royalties while US$18.376 million was paid as fees.

Similarly, US$579,361 was paid as a fee to the Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme.

The energy company made another payment of US$17.935 million in fee for 2020.

While the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board received US$4.826 million in fee from Seplat in 2020.

Seplat paid US$21.239 million in taxes to the Federal Inland Revenue Service in 2020.

Therefore, Seplat Petroleum paid a total sum of US$564.165 million to the Federal Government in the 2020 financial year. See the details below.

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Economy

FIRS Sets N5.9 Trillion Revenue Target for 2021

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FIRS to Generate N5.9 Trillion Revenue  in 2021

Mohammed Nami, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Friday said the agency is projecting total revenue of N5.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.

Nami stated this while meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance led by Hon. James Falake on the Service’s 2021 budget defence of its proposed Revenue and Expenditure Estimates.

According to the Chairman, N4.26 trillion and N1.64 trillion were expected to come from non-oil and oil components, respectively.

However, Nami put the cost of collecting the projected revenue at N289.25 billion or 7 percent of the proposed total revenue for the year, higher than the N180.76 billion spent in 2020 to fund the three operational expenditure heads for the year.

He said: “Out of the proposed expenditure of N289.25 billion across the three expenditure heads, the sum of N147.08 billion and N94.97 billion are to be expended on Personnel and Overhead Costs against 2020 budgeted sum of N97.36 billion and N43.64 billion respectively. Also, the sum of N47.19 billion is estimated to be expended on capital items against the budgeted sum of N27.80 billion in 2020. The sum is to cater for on-going and new projects for effective revenue drive.

Speaking on while the agency failed to meet its 2020 target, Nami said “There’s lockdown effect on businesses, implementation directive also for us to study, research best practices on tax administration which involves travelling to overseas and we also have to expand offices and create offices more at rural areas to get closer to the taxpayers, we pay rent for those offices and this could be the reason why all these things went up.

“And if you have more staff surely, their salary will go up, taxes that you’re going to pay on their behalf will go up, the National Housing Fund contribution, PENCOM contribution will go up. Those promoted you have to implement a new salary regime for them. There’s also the issue of inflation and exchange rate differential”, he said.

 

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Economy

Gov Emmanuel Attracts $1.4b Fertilizer Plant to Akwa Ibom

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The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has signed an agreement for the citing of a multi billion fertilizer plant in his State.

Governor Emmanuel was part of a Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, that visited Morocco to set out the next steps of the $1.4 Bln fertilizer production plant project launched in June 2018.

The agreement between the OCP Africa, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the Akwa Ibom State Government will birth one of the biggest investments in the fertilizer production industry worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UMP6).

Mr. Emmanuel signed one of the agreements of the partnership, which covers a memorandum of understanding between OCP Africa, the Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria and the NSIA on land acquisition, administrative facilitation, and common agricultural development projects in the Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking while signing the agreement, Governor Emmanuel said, “Our state is receptive to investments and we are prepared to offer the necessary support to make the project a reality.

“With a site that is suitably located to enable operational logistics and an abundance of gas resources, all that is left is for the parties to accelerate the project development process”, Mr. Udom said.

The agreement reached between the Nigerian Government and the OCP further links OCP, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the NNPC, the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN), and the NSIA.

The two partners agreed to strengthen further their solid partnership leveraging Nigerian gas and the Moroccan phosphate.

This project will lead to a multipurpose industrial platform in Nigeria, which will use Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and 1 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

The visit of the Nigerian delegation to Morocco takes place within the frame of the partnership sealed between OCP Group and the Nigerian Government to support and develop Nigeria’s agriculture industry.

Following the success of the first phase of Nigeria‘s Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and the progress of the fertilizer production plant project launched in 2018 by OCP and NSIA, the Moroccan phosphates group and the Nigerian government delegation have agreed on the next steps of their joint project which is rapidly taking shape.

Several cooperation agreements were inked on Tuesday at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) by OCP Africa and the Nigerian delegation. Through these deals, OCP reaffirms its unwavering support of agricultural development initiatives in Nigeria including PFI.

OCP Africa and the NSIA have agreed, inter alia, to set up a joint venture which will oversee the development of the industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

The OCP has also pledged to supply Nigerian famers with quality fertilizers adapted to the needs of their soil at competitive prices and produced locally.

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