- Fuel Supply Threatened as Oil Workers Join Strike
The supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country are under threat as the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers and the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Association have joined the strike ordered by the Nigeria Labour Congress.
The NLC on Wednesday directed all its members and affiliate unions to commence a nationwide strike on Thursday, following the failure of a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, in Abuja on Wednesday, to produce the expected outcome.
The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, said the industrial action would commence due to the refusal of the Federal Government to reconvene the meeting of the Tripartite National Minimum Wage Committee to enable it to conclude its work.
A NUPENG spokesperson, Mr Adamson Momoh, told one of our correspondents on Thursday, “We are part of the United Labour Congress; so, any decision that they take, we will abide by it.”
The National Public Relations Officer, PENGASSAN, Mr Fortune Obi, said the association had been directed to join the ongoing strike.
He stated, “PENGASSAN is an affiliate of the Trade Union Congress; so, the directive is that we should join the strike, and after the Central Working Committee meeting, the CWC has issued the same directive as the TUC to our members.
“We will manage the protest technically; there is nowhere in the world where you will abruptly stop oil production. It is a process. So, even if our members are joining, which is to respect the directive from our principals, it is something that must be done systematically.
“We have our members in different departments and areas; some are in essential duties area, and they will continue to deliver their duties.”
A spokesman for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation was quoted by Reuters as saying that he had seen no evidence that the strike by the organised labour had had any impact on oil operations.
Meanwhile, the organised labour on Thursday faulted the Federal Government’s proposal to reconvene the minimum wage negotiation committee next week, saying that the tripartite panel had concluded its assignment, but that government had refused to come up with its own minimum wage figure.
Speaking in Lagos for the organised labour, Amaechi Asugwuni of the National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers said embarking on the seven-day warning strike was to enforce the position of the national executive councils of all the organs and labour centres in the country.
He stated, “It is so disheartening that the Federal Government that is the convener of the tripartite national committee, up to this moment, has failed to come up with its figure. Whether they like it or not, they must come up with a new figure, and it must be brought to the table of the tripartite committee.
“We will get to the end of the matter, which is for us to engage the government in a struggle and ensure that a new minimum wage is declared. The last review of the minimum wage in Nigeria was in 2011 and by law, it is supposed to be reviewed every five years.
“That really tells you how patient we can be, but it appears the government is taking us for a fool. That is why we have decided on the need to get down and lock down the economy of this nation, if that is what it takes before the government can get it right.”
The President, Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, Mrs Oyinkan Olasanoye, said, “The minimum wage issue did not just begin today, so it is very disappointing that the government has unnecessarily delayed its implementation.
“We are too humane enough to allow the committee to wait till now. The issue of minimum wage is to allow Nigerians to pay bills. It is when we have power to purchase and pay bills without issues that the productivity and Gross Domestic Product of the economy will receive a boost. We will not be tired; we will keep on struggling until we get there.”
Intra-Regional Trade Potential a Key Focus in New Report
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.
Lagos Budget N1.4 Trillion for 2022, Budget Surpasses Five Other Southwest States Combined
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.
Nigeria’s Export Trade to Surpass $100 Billion by 2030 – Report
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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