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FEC Okays $64m for Escravos Power Supply

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  • FEC Okays $64m for Escravos Power Supply

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the sum of $64.2m for a power supply project to Escravos communities in Delta State.

The FEC meeting, presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, also approved N612m as revised estimated total cost for the completion of the Cham Dam and development of 100 hectares of irrigation scheme in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State.

Osinbajo chaired the meeting in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently attending the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States of America.

Speaking with journalists on some of the outcomes of the meeting, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said if executed, the Escravos power project would put an end to the N18m being spent monthly by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to provide power to the area.

He gave an assurance that the project would provide electricity for the communities within four or five years and become a permanent structure.

He stated, “What we took to the council today was to seek approval for the award of a contract for the supply of power to the contiguous communities around the Escravos areas. We had approval earlier to do the Escravos to Lagos pipeline system.

“It was then stalled following protests by the community over the plan to move 50 per cent of the gas to provide power to other areas when the communities did not have power.

“Today, council approved $64.2m to fund two lots. One is to build the power plant to supply power itself and the other to distribute the power to all the affected communities.

“Council granted approval in two lots. With this, we believe power will now be provided for the communities within four or five years, and become a permanent structure.”

Kachikwu said the only way the government had been able to maintain peace in the communities “was to use generators to supply power, which had been costing the NNPC about N18m every month to manage.”

Also speaking, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the Cham Dam and development of the irrigation scheme in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State was initially awarded in 2011.

He said the project was being executed by the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority.

“The dam was originally constructed in 1982 but after some unprecedented rainfall and probably due to inadequate provision of spill ways, the dam was breached about 10 years ago and therefore, it has to be reconstructed, and this is why we came for this augmentation of N612m,” Adamu stated.

He said government was making efforts to complete the inherited project, which started in 2011 and had suffered from inadequate supply of funds.

Adamu added, “Work stopped at about 65 per completion, but we need to complete it; so, we renegotiated the project with the contractors. We therefore brought request for augmentation for N612m.

“The project is being handled by the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority. It was originally constructed in 1982. It had to be reconstructed. The original contract cost was N832m in 2011.”

On the flooding problem ravaging some parts of the country, Adamu said, “The water level in Lokoja has dropped by six centimetres and the water level in the Lagdo dam in Cameroon is also going down.

“So, we think that the worst is over, unless if any unforeseen incident occurs now. We should be able to see most of the flood waters go down from now on.”

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also told journalists that FEC approved the sum of N500m for facility maintenance service for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s new 10-storey building in Abuja.

Shehu added that the sum of N459m was also approved for the anti-graft agency for procurement of 700 computers, 100 laptops and 25 laser printers.

According to him, the FEC also approved the purchase of 15 utility vehicles for the commission.

Shehu noted that EFCC was expanding and needed the vehicles for operations, which he said would be bought from local assembly plants.

The approvals were said to have followed the commission’s requests in three separate memos.

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.

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Intra-Regional Trade Potential a Key Focus in New Report

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A new focus report, produced by Oxford Business Group (OBG) in partnership with the African Economic Zones Organisation (AEZO), shines a spotlight on the continent’s rapidly developing industrial sector, which is poised to become a key driver of broader economic growth as regional integration increases.

Titled ”Economic Zones in Africa – Focus Report”, the report was launched at the AEZO’s 6th Annual Meeting II, which took place on November 25 at the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat office in Ghana, with participants also able to attend remotely. The meeting was held under the banner “Connecting African Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to Global Value Chains at the era of the AfCFTA” and explored a range of topical issues relating to SEZs, from their potential to boost trade to the impact of Covid-19 on the continent’s supply chains.

The focus report examines the wealth of benefits that the AfCFTA is expected to deliver to both Africa’s economic zones and the businesses located in them, which range from greater market access to a reduction in trade barriers and lower production costs.

The disruption that the pandemic brought to supply chains and the opportunities emerging from the health crisis for businesses to become part of nascent regional value chains across a more closely connected continent are a key focus.

The report also charts the digital transformation taking place in many of Africa’s economic zones, as businesses make the move away from traditional segments to high-tech processes and digital services, adding value to their offerings in the process.

In addition, it provides in-depth analysis of the drive evident among many SEZs to put environmental, social and governance principles and sustainable business practices at the heart of their strategies, at a time when ethical investment and alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals are high on the global agenda.

The report includes in-depth case studies and viewpoints by representatives from key industry players namely: Tanger Med; Polaris Parks; Lagos Free Zones; Ghana Free Zones Authority; Misurata Free Zone; and Sebore Farms.

It also includes a contribution from Ahmed Bennis, Secretary General, AEZO, in which he highlights the role that SEZs are playing in the continent’s industrial transformation and the importance of supporting their development.

“Economic zones can play a game-changing role in Africa’s diversification and inclusion by providing end-to-end solutions and services that support industrial upgrades and increase countries’ attractiveness for investment,” he said. “With the implementation of AfCFTA and the post-Covid-19 recovery that the world is beginning to experience, we believe that real investment opportunities exist in Africa at this moment, which can translate into job creation and social and economic development. Africa has resources that need to be developed and economic zones can play a key role in this.”

Bernardo Bruzzone, OBG’s Regional Editor for Africa, added that while African economic zones had experienced production problems during the pandemic due to global supply chain disruptions, ongoing remedial action, including new infrastructure and human capital development, would help provide resilience against future external shocks.

“Africa’s real GDP growth is forecast to reach 3.4% in 2021, with an increase in intra-regional trade and improved connectivity among the facilitators of economic recovery,” Bruzzone said. “Looking ahead, we see economic zones as having a key role to play in helping the AfCFTA achieve its potential through the development of new strategies that will lead to a more diverse, higher-value range of exports.”

The study forms part of a series of tailored reports that OBG is currently producing with its partners, alongside other highly relevant, go-to research tools, including a range of country-specific Growth and Recovery Outlook articles and interviews.

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Lagos Budget N1.4 Trillion for 2022, Budget Surpasses Five Other Southwest States Combined

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Lagos state government has proposed N1.388 trillion budget for the year 2022. The proposed budget was presented to the House of Assembly on Wednesday.

While presenting the proposed budget, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the State would be spending N325 billion on vital infrastructure projects in key sectors to energise and expand the growth of the State’s economy.

The key areas of growth identified by the Governor include Works and Infrastructure, Waterfront Infrastructure Development, Agriculture, Transportation, Energy and Mineral Resources, Tourism, Entertainment and Creative Industry, Commerce and Industry, Wealth Creation and Employment.

The proposed budget, christened “Budget of Consolidation”, will be the last full-year fiscal plan of the State before the next general election.

About N823.4 billion, representing 59 per cent of the 2022 budget, is earmarked for capital expenditure. Recurrent expenditure, representing 41 per cent, is N565 billion, which includes personnel cost, overhead and debt services.

Of the total proposed expenditure, N1.135 trillion would accrue from Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs) and federal transfers, while deficit financing of N253 billion would be sourced from external and domestic loans, and bonds projected to be within the State’s fiscal sustainability parameters.

The State would be earmarking an aggregate of N137.64 billion, representing 9.92 per cent of the 2022 budget, for the funding of green investment in Environment, Social Protection, Housing and Community Amenities.

This financial proposal is presented with a sense of duty and absolute commitment to the transformation of Lagos to a preferred global destination for residence, commerce, and investment. The budget projects to see a continuing but gradual recovery to growth in economic activity as the global economy cautiously recovers from the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic,” the governor said while presenting the budget to the house.

Meanwhile, the 1.388 trillion budgeted for 2022 is higher than the budget of the five other southwest states combined. For 2022, Ekiti State’s budget is 100.7 billion, Osun 129.7 billion, Ondo 191billion, Oyo 294 billion. Ogun’s budget for 2022 is not yet finalised, but going by their 2021 budget of 339 billion, the combined budget of the five South-West states then amount to 1.053 trillion. With this, Lagos state budget is higher than the five states budget with a difference of 335 billion.

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Nigeria’s Export Trade to Surpass $100 Billion by 2030 – Report

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New research conducted by the Standard Chartered Bank has predicted that Nigeria’s export trade will reach an amount of $112 billion in 2030, and will then be recording a Year-on-Year increase of 9.7 percent.

The research also led to the projection that India, Indonesia and Mainland China will be the major avenues leading to an increase in the country’s involvement in global trade.

The research is titled “Future of Trade 2030: Trends and Markets to Watch,” and also projected that the global exports trade will grow from $17.4 trillion and reach $29.7 trillion between 2021 and 2030. It was also projected that the trade will be largely moved by 13 markets, some of which are Bangladesh, India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mainland China and Kenya. Others that will drive the trade are Nigeria, South Korea, United Arab Emirates, Vietnam, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.

The report added that the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa will have the biggest share of fast-growing markets in the future. It also said that these three regions will see an increase in investment flows, with about 82 percent of respondents in the research confirming their desire to bring up new production locations in these regions within the next five to ten years. This act would support the trend towards rebalancing to upcoming markets and greater risk diversification of supply chains.

The research also said that global trade will be revamped by five vital trends, which are the wider adoption of sustainable, fair-trade practices, demand for more inclusive participation, greater risk diversification, increased digitization and a rebalancing towards high-growth upcoming markets.

Close to 90 percent of the corporate leaders contacted for the study agreed that these five trends will shape the future of trade and form part of their five to ten-year expansion strategies across borders.

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