- Nigeria, Ghana to Explore New Areas of Business Opportunities
Nigeria and Ghana are set to explore more areas of business opportunities to further strengthen relations between both countries.
The Ghanaian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Rashid Bawa, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) when he received a business delegation from Ghana in Abuja.
Bawa said the delegation from the Secondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI) had visited the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was in Abuja to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).
According to the Ghanaian envoy, the MoU is between STCCI and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).
“This is the first time that we have a regional chamber of commerce from Ghana coming into Nigeria to network with the various chambers here in the federation.
“The delegation met with the Lagos Chamber and they had fruitful discussions and agreed on various areas that will strengthen both chambers and therefore promote business between the two countries.
“The first assignment when the delegation arrived Abuja was to sign a Memorandum of Understanding between the Vice-President of NACCIMA and the Chairman of Secondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (STCCI).
“Of course, it brings closer these two chambers and it promotes networking among them as a body and also introduces their various businessmen to the business opportunities that exist between the two countries.
“By so doing, it will strengthen the economic opportunities between both countries,” Bawa said.
The envoy explained that the MoU would introduce Ghana to “a new network which brings together almost all business opportunities and presenting flexibility to deal with any business opportunity”.
He added that it would also present the businessmen with the opportunity to compare businesses from various angles before going into them.
The National Vice-President of NACCIMA, Mr Tony Ejinkeonye, said the MoU signed by NACCIMA and STCCI was on the eSilkroad, a digital network linked to the Silk Road Chamber of International Commerce (SRCIC).
Ejinkeonye said SRCIC is a private initiative of the Chinese Government recruiting members of the Belt and Road initiative (BRI) aimed at creating a digital network that would connect countries’ businesses, trade organisations and chambers of commerce.
The BRI is a development strategy adopted by the Chinese government involving infrastructure development and investments in 152 countries and international organisations in Europe, Asia, Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
“Abuja Chamber of Commerce was the first, when I was president, to register as a member of the SRCIC but currently, so many chambers of commerce in Nigeria have registered and a few in some African countries.
“Can you imagine all businesses within the BRI are registered under the same network; it is an immense thing, just like Facebook.
“I am part of that digital network, I am the Director, Business Development for eSilk network which is what is driving the platform of the eSilkroad and our headquarters is based in Hong Kong. I am representing them in Africa.
“So what I did today was I took the opportunity to register the Secondi-Takoradi Chamber of Commerce into the eSilk network.
“What that means is that by the time our platform starts running they will incorporate all their members and companies into the digital platform. Abuja and the whole of Nigeria will do that. So that is the work I am doing,” he said.
The NACCIMA vice-president also said as part of the digital network, STCCI stood to benefit from the infrastructural development and loans, cultural and educational grants, among others, within the BRI network.
Also speaking, Mr Ato Van-Ess, Chairman of STCCI, said that having businesses of that magnitude on one platform would encourage confidence among the chambers and facilitate trade among countries.
Van-Ess said the STCCI was the first to sign on to the eSilkroad digital platform in Ghana.
“We expect that the chambers would have done due diligence before putting them on the platform.
“It makes it very easy for us to access vendors and customers would have done all the due diligence before putting any element on the platform,” he said.
Mr Michael Konow, Deputy Director, Head of International Projects and Partnerships, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce, Germany, said the organisation was working with the STCCI to learn from experiences of Nigerian chambers of commerce.
Konow added that the delegation would also explore business opportunities in Nigeria.
“It is more about sharing experiences; we have seen that the main challenges of commerce and industry in Africa are the same.
“It is always about how to get members attracted because there is freedom of association in Germany, there is compulsory membership so it is very easy for us in Germany but in Africa it is not.
“I can tell you that the Nigerian chambers of commerce are very big and we can learn a lot from them and as a business membership organisation, we do the work for our members and I can tell you it makes sense to do business both ways especially in the extractive industries.
“We have established a first connection and it will be vibrant in the future. This is a major benefit,” Konow said.
The business delegation is on a one-week fact-finding mission to Nigeria.
A Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Loud Blast Heard in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia’s Largest Crude Oil Production Site
Two residents from the eastern city of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday said they heard a loud blast, but they are yet to know the cause, according to a Reuters report.
Saudi’s Eastern province is home to the kingdom’s largest crude oil production and export facilities of Saudi Aramco.
A blast in any of the facilities in that region could hurt global oil supplies and bolster oil prices above $70 per barrel in the first half of the year.
One of the residents said the explosion took place around 8:30 pm Saudi time while the other resident claimed the time was around 8:00 pm.
However, Saudi authorities are yet to confirm or respond to the story.
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.”
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