- China Topples US to Emerge Nigeria’s Biggest Trading Partner
China has finally toppled the United States of America to emerged the largest trading partner of Africa’s largest economy.
A data released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed that 26.4 percent of Nigeria’s total imports between January and March 2019 were from China.
The value of imported goods from China stood at N979.30 billion in the first quarter of the year.
Other major import trading partners during the quarter were the United States, India and the Netherlands, which accounted for N525.3 billion or 8.78 per cent, N242.71 billion or 6.55 per cent and N150.72 billion or 4.07 per cent respectively.
This may not be unconnected to the Bilateral Currency Swap agreement signed with People’s Bank of China in April 2018.
In December 2018, the Central Bank of Nigeria announced it had injected CNY669.66 million into the foreign exchange market to support businesses trading with China.
While Nigeria has increased her imports from China, the world’s second largest economy, China is not importing much from Nigeria as the Asian nation is not even among top 10 countries Nigeria export its goods to.
However, Chinese investors continue to invest in the Nigerian economy.
Investors King reports that Chinese investments in Nigeria presently worth $20 billion and it is still growing.
According to Mr Ye Shuijin, the President, China Chambers of Commerce in Nigeria, the 160 Chinese businesses operating in Nigeria are training workers on relevant skills needed to compete on a global scale.
Still, experts caution the Federal Government on Chinese loans, saying the loans are yet to reflect on the economy.
Dr Sam Nzekwe, former President, Association of National Accountants of Nigeria, said: “Most times, they say the loans are directed towards one outfit or the other, like rail system. They take these loans but they have no impact on the economy because what happens in such loans is that there will be no local content into it.
“Like here now, all the spare parts are from China; even the machinery are from China, all the things you use to work are from China. So what happens is that technically, you have paid up the money back to them and then, you are still owing them. But if we have something to contribute towards the implementation of that rail system, then the money will circulate within the local economy, but this is not there.
“But you borrow money, the money goes back to them, then you still have the loans to pay and this increases debt servicing.”
The Federal Executive Council approved another $1 billion Chinese loan in May from China-Exim Bank for the Gurara II Hydropower project.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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