A survey of 200 CEOs was commissioned by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFRAC), and conducted by African Business magazine in partnership with the Afreximbank. It revealed that:
– African CEOs explicitly called for a fairer system governing global trade that will support developing countries
– 37% of the CEOs surveyed feel WTO as it stands is ineffective
– 65% of the CEOs feel the global trading system is unfair to Africa
– The CEOs were also optimistic about the future outlook: Over 50% of CEOs believe global trade will increase over the next 12 months; and over 70% of CEOs believe intra-africa trade will increase over the next 12 months
A survey commissioned by the Pan-African Private Sector Trade and Investment Committee (PAFRAC) to gauge the private sector view around trade has highlighted the private sector’s desire for considerable reforms to make the global trade rules system fairer and more transparent.
Two hundred CEOs were surveyed around issues concerning the WTO and trade in general. It was done in light of the next phase of ongoing consultations to select the institution’s next Director General. Three of the eight candidates are African: Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Kenya’s Amina Mohamed and Egypt’s Abdel-Hamid Mamdouh.
The survey covered a number of areas which revealed a general consensus that the current rules penalise the African continent and its private sector. 86.6% of the respondents understand the role of the WTO in global trade. However, a majority believe the WTO is not effective in fulfilling its role. As much as infrastructure, logistics and human capital were cited as two major constraints to growth in Africa, the CEOs also stressed the skewed international trade regime as another key constraint.
Prof. Benedict Oramah, President of Afreximbank said “As the pan-African trade finance bank, Afreximbank has been mandated to host the PAFTRAC secretariat. Any reform needs to support a burgeoning African private sector and an increasingly integrated Africa. We have seen, over the past quarter of a century since the WTO was formed, the emergence of a robust and dynamic African private sector, and more recently significant steps to integrate Africa under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The WTO and its new leadership will need to recognise the imperative of African integration and put development at the centre of any trade agenda.”
Interestingly, if the majority of CEOs believed that the global trading system was unfair, most also see the multilateral system strengthening in the coming years. They outlined a set of reforms that should be undertaken for a fairer and more transparent trading system, including in the areas of voice and participation, tariffs and non-tariff barriers, agriculture and subsidies.
The CEOs were also optimistic about the future outlook: over 50% of CEOs believe global trade will increase over the next 12 months; and over 70% of CEOs believe intra-africa trade will increase over the next 12 months.
Pat Utomi, Chair of PAFTRAC, stressed that unless reform was forthcoming the current global crisis may penalise the African private sector even further: “We have seen during this pandemic companies in the industrialised world have received massive bailouts, tax incentives, not to mention government contracts and fiscal stimuli. Companies in Africa were not so fortunate and will have to deal with a world where trade will be depressed because of the post-covid environment. As such, a fairer global trade environment and trading system is more urgent today than ever.”
The survey as well as a debate around a communiqué to be sent to all candidates who are in the race for the directorship of the WTO will be presented at a webinar taking place this afternoon, and hosted by the Afreximbank.
SEC Gives Dangote Cement Waiver to File AFS Within 60 Days of Year-End
Dangote Cement Plc has received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) not to file its fourth-quarter unaudited returns within thirty days of its period end.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Edward Imoedemhe, Deputy Company Secretary.
However, the company must file its annual audited financial statements within sixty days of its year-end.
Dangote Cement, therefore, announced that it will file its Audited Financial Statements for the period ended December 31, 2021, on or before February 28, 2022.
The statement reads “Dangote Cement Plc (“DCP”) hereby announces that further to its request for a waiver, the Securities and Exchange Commission has granted approval for DCP not to file its Fourth Quarter Unaudited Returns within thirty days of its period end, but to file its Annual Audited Financial Statements within sixty days of its year end.
“In view of this, DCP will file its Audited Financial Statements for the year ended December 31 2021, on or before February 28 2022.”
Ardova Plc Commends Stanbic IBTC’s Support for LPG Storage Project
AP LPG terminal, a fully owned subsidiary of Ardova PLC, on Wednesday, 19 January 2022, performed the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of a 20,000 metric tonne Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage terminal at the project site in Ijora, Lagos. The ceremony signified the official commencement of construction activities which is expected to be completed in December 2022.
Upon completion, the project will be the largest LPG storage facility in the nation and will ease some of the existing bottlenecks in the value chain for the supply of cleaner and more efficient energy for domestic use (cooking gas) in Nigeria, amongst other strategic benefits.
Olumide Adeosun, Group Chief Executive Officer, Ardova PLC, expressed his appreciation to Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund for its commitment to the project and noted that the importance of having formidable partners for project development, planning, execution, and investment support cannot be overemphasised.
“We are pleased to have the support of the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund for its pioneering role in a transformational project within the LPG value chain, which will undoubtedly accelerate the various energy transition initiatives currently underway at Ardova PLC. This support has helped us commence construction of this 20,000 metric tonne LPG storage terminal, which is expected to bring efficiency and reliability of LPG supply to Nigerian consumers as well as create long term value for our shareholders; and for this, we are thankful”.
He noted further that “Beyond the cleaner energy premise, approximately 600 direct jobs will be created during the construction of the project and there is a multiplier effect of about additional 1,400 indirect jobs that will be created during the construction period after which it settles to about 250-300 jobs once the project becomes operational.
Oladele Sotubo, Chief Executive, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management, noted in his remark that “Across the globe, cleaner energy investments have continued to be the focus. Given the environmental sustainability benefits of this project, Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund’s investment philosophy is properly aligned, hence the support for the 20,000 metric tonne Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG) storage facility terminal”.
A portion of the first Tranche of the N100 billion Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund, which closed in August 2021, was used to part finance the LPG storage terminal.
Sotubo went on to express his gratitude to Ardova for partnering with Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund and used the opportunity to also commend all the Tranche 1 investors, including institutional investors such as Trustfund Pensions, Veritas Glanvills Pensions, NPF Pensions, Fidelity Pensions, Crusader Sterling Pensions, Agip CPFA, Progress Trust CPFA, AIICO Insurance, and other High Networth Individuals (HNIs), for the confidence reposed in the fund. He pointed out the impact their investment is making in terms of solving some of Nigeria’s infrastructure bottlenecks, creating jobs while earning returns. “As an organisation, we remain committed to bridging Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit through the provision of investment capital needed to develop projects”, he added”.
The Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Chief Executive highlighted that the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund remains dedicated to meeting the investment needs of its clients, providing them with the right investment vehicles, opportunities and professional investment services needed to achieve their financial objectives. He urged institutional investors such as pension fund administrators, insurance companies and asset managers to explore the unique opportunities of the Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund in meeting their long-term financial goals.
Stanbic IBTC Infrastructure Fund remains committed to funding infrastructure projects with competitive return profiles, sustainable environmental practices, and the potential to positively impact the economy.
CBN Plans to Start E-invoice For Import, Export Operations Feb 1
The Central Bank of Nigeria has stated that it will begin the use of electronic invoices for import and export transactions in the country from February 1, 2022.
It noted that the electronic invoice will be submitted through the portal – Trade Monitoring System, a Nigeria single-window portal.
This was made known in a circular, on Friday signed by the CBN Director, Trade and Exchange Department, O. S. Nnaji, sent to all authorised dealers as well as made available on its official website for the general public.
With the title– ‘Guidelines on the introduction of e-valuation, e-invoicing for import and export in Nigeria,’ the circular stated that all import and export operations will now be done with an electronic invoice.
It noted that the e-invoice must be authenticated by an authorised dealer bank as part of the seller’s documentation for payment.
The CBN pointed out that the use of a hard copy final invoice will not be accepted from February 1 as it is now to be replaced with the electronic invoice.
Explaining the reason for the new regulation, it said the use of e-invoices is aimed at getting the exact value of import and export transactions in the country.
“This is to inform dealers and the general public that the introduction of e-valuator and e-invoice replaced the hard copy final invoice as part of the documentation required for all import and export transactions.
“This new regulation is primarily aimed at achieving accurate value from import and export items in and out of Nigeria.
“No importer/exporter may effect payment to the credit of any foreign supplier unless the electronic invoice has been authenticated by authorised dealer banks presented together with the relevant document for payments,” the circular read.
It also stated as part of the electronic invoice principles that products that are more than 2.5 percent around the vertical price would not be accepted nor allowed successful completion of Form M or Form NXP as the case may be.
Every importer or exporter of goods must ensure that the purchase/sale contract with a foreign supplier/buyer is in compliance with the guidelines of the new regulation.
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