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W’Africa Container Terminal Set for $10m Upgrade

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  • W’Africa Container Terminal Set for $10m Upgrade

The West Africa Container Terminal (WACT), Onne Port, Rivers State, has said it is preparing to take delivery of two new mobile harbour cranes from Liebherr, as part of $10 million (N3.6 billion) upgrade.

The upgrade would bring WACT at par with its peers in Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports, Lagos, in terms of equipment and operational efficiency.

The Managing Director of WACT, Mr. Aamir Mirza, while speaking during the inauguration of four new specialised terminal trucks and an empty handler in Onne, said the mobile harbour cranes are expected to arrive Nigeria in July this year.

He also said that the acquisition of four additional specialised terminal trucks brings to 10 the number of such trucks acquired by WACT so far this year, with four more expected before the end of the year.

He said: “You will recall that four trucks arrived first in February, then we added two in April, and four have just arrived. This is in line with our plan of investing in container handling equipment to maintain our strong position in East Nigerian market.

“So far we have 10 terminal trucks and four are still coming on the way. We have 12 that we are already using in the past. So with this, we are going to have substantial number of trucks.

“The trucks are required to support the operations of the mobile harbour cranes because when compared to the current vessel cranes, the mobile harbour cranes operate at a faster rate.”

He added: “So already we are bringing them in and when the two cranes arrive in July, we will already have these trucks with us and as soon as those cranes are commissioned, we would have all the required equipment with us for efficient operation.

“We have been investing in getting more equipment to our terminal to make sure that we continue to serve our customers better, deliver their cargo on time in a way that will bring more business to our terminal.

“We want to assure them that we will continue to fulfil the commitment that we have made in making sure that we continue to serve them better as we progress through the year.”

While expressing appreciation to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) for their support and collaboration, Mr. Mirza said that apart from investing in equipment, WACT has also focused on improving communication with its customers on major developments at the terminal.

“We have also added more computers to the clearing agent’s office so that they can download their invoices and complete their documentation before coming to the terminal.

“It is basically a mutual relationship that we are trying to maintain with all the stakeholders. We are poised to serve them better; listen to them and take steps to improve the level of service and provide them with necessary support so that our business and theirs continue to grow,” Mirza said.

The Acting Port Manager of Onne Port, Dr. Agbo Julius, who witnessed the inauguration of the four new specialised terminal trucks and empty handler, lauded WACT for its commitment to operational efficiency and service delivery at the port.

“WACT have improved on their operation and I want to commend them for that. When we come around here and we see how big the place is with operations going on smoothly with very modern equipment, we keep on moving closer to our goal of being the leading port in Africa.

“The commissioning of this equipment is encouraging because it is not the first time WACT is doing this. When we have operational equipment, it means we will improve our efficiency and service delivery, which is the cornerstone of Onne Port. All of us are working together in ensuring that we make Nigerian ports become the leading ports in Africa, ”Julius said.

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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Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0

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The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.

The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.

MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant  issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.

The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.

The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.

According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”

“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.

MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.

Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.

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Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria

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Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.

Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.

This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.

Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.

Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”

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Chevron To Invest In The Offshore Wind Sector

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Chevron’s venture capital arm and Moreld Ocean Wind have agreed to invest in Ocergy Inc.’s development and commercialization of floating offshore wind turbines.

The investment by Chevron Technology Ventures is it’s first in offshore wind. The size of the investments wasn’t disclosed. Floating turbines would be useful in ocean areas that are too deep for fixed turbines.

A senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Anthony Logan said: “To my knowledge, this is the first investment by a U.S. oil major in offshore wind”

Logan said, floating wind turbines will become important as the U.S. electrical grid increasingly depends on offshore wind power.

“If you can get into those deeper waters, chances are you can build a system of offshore wind production that isn’t vulnerable to low wind or no-wind events.”

The investment will also fund the development of an environmental monitoring buoy that will gather data and support biodiversity, Ocergy said in a news release Tuesday. The company has previously invested in onshore wind. Moreld is owned by HitecVision, a private equity investor that specializes in European renewable energy.

Chevron’s deal with Ocergy doesn’t mark a strategic pivot to renewable energy, but part of a $300 million-a-year plan to invest in early-stage technologies that may play a future role in the energy transition. The company is unwilling to erode returns by investing aggressively in an unfamiliar business where it doesn’t have a competitive advantage and sees oil and gas as its core products for years to come.

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