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Over 70% of CEOs Believe Intra-africa Trade Will Increase Over the Next 12 Months

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Trade - Investors King

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.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Appointments

Ahmad, Lametek Get Presidential Nod as Deputy Governors, CBN for Second Term

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Mrs. Aishah Ndanusa Ahmad

President Muhammadu Buhari has reappointed Mrs. Aishah Ndanusa Ahmad, Deputy Governor, Financial System Stability, Central Bank of Nigeria and Edward Lametek Adamu, Deputy Governor, Corporate Services, Central Bank of Nigeria to serve second terms at the apex bank.

In a letter read by Senate President Ahmad Lawan on the floor of the Senate during Tuesday’s plenary, Buhari requested that the Senate screen and confirm the nominees to serve for a second and final term as deputy governors at the apex bank.

Ahmad, a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter-holder was first nominated deputy governor in October 2017. She was confirmed as the first female DG in charge of the Financial System Stability directorate which is responsible for ensuring a safe and sound financial system in Nigeria, a core mandate of the CBN.

With over 25 years of policy and financial industry experience, she holds an MSc in Finance & Management from Cranfield University UK, an MBA (Finance) from the University of Lagos and a second-class upper bachelor’s degree in Accounting from the University of Abuja. Ahmad has been credited with bringing dynamism and a strong combination of academic qualifications and private-sector experience to her role as deputy governor of FSS.

Adamu, a quantity surveyor by training was nominated to the role of the deputy governor, in February 2018. He was later confirmed as DG in charge of the Corporate Services directorate following a 25-year career culminating in his role as HR Director at the CBN.

He is a graduate of Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria Kaduna and a fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors and the Institute of Credit Administration. He began his career with the Unified Public Service in 1983.

Both nominees are expected to be screened for confirmation by the relevant Senate committee.

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Business

FedEx Establishes Direct Presence in Nigeria to Support Customers with International Trade

Customers in Nigeria now have greater access to a wider portfolio of FedEx Express shipping solutions

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Fedex

FedEx Express (FedEx), a subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the world’s largest express transportation company, has announced that it has established a direct commercial presence in Nigeria, to meet the country’s growing international shipping demands.

With a direct presence in the country, businesses and customers in Nigeria now have greater access to a wider portfolio of FedEx Express shipping solutions, while Red Star Express Plc, our service provider in Nigeria continues to provide the infrastructure for ground operations.

Customers will also have access to a range of FedEx digital tools that makes shipping easier and more efficient through www.FedEx.com.  These services include opening a new account, tracking shipment status, creating shipping air waybills, scheduling courier pickups, and managing billing. Additionally, FedEx will now have dedicated Sales and Customer Technology teams on ground to interact and provide enhanced logistics expertise to help local businesses grow internationally.

Nigeria is the largest and fastest growing economy in Africa, and the African Development Bank projects that the average growth rate for the country’s economy will increase by 3.2% between 2022 through to 2022.

Taarek Hinedi, vice president for FedEx Middle East and Africa operations, said, “Today we are closer to our customers than ever before. This strategic step makes it easier for local businesses to ship with us as they look to tap more import and export opportunities and grow their customers around the world.”

“Nigeria is on the right path for further growth and FedEx is committed to supporting this growth and connecting Nigeria to some of the biggest trading partners located in Asia and Europe. The FedEx network is crucial to provide businesses with greater connectivity between Africa and Europe as well as within the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa (AMEA) region,” said Hinedi.

“As Nigeria continues with its 2021 to 2025 National Development Plan to increase the share of its exports to Africa up to 35% from a base figure of 20%, businesses will require a range of international services and solutions to help boost the economy.”

FedEx has been facilitating trade in Nigeria since 1994, offering its international solutions through Red Star Express Plc. With this latest initiative, FedEx will continue to leverage the capabilities and infrastructure of the service provider, Red Star Express Plc, that will continue to provide pick-ups, deliveries, customs clearance services, and retail locations across the country.

FedEx remains committed to supporting the Nigerian Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), to drive structural reforms to diversify its economy and reduce dependency on oil. The FedEx direct presence in the country will help connect Nigerian business owners, exporters, importers, and consumers to more than 220 countries and territories worldwide, covering more than 99% of the world’s gross domestic product.

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Merger and Acquisition

Otedola Moves to Sell Part of Geregu Power Plc to FEDA

Afreximbank to acquire part of Geregu Power plant

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Geregu Power

Billionaire Femi Otedola-owned energy company, Geregu Power Plc is in talks with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of part of the energy company.

The company stated in a statement signed by Akinleye Olagbende, Company Secretary and made available on the Nigerian Exchange Limited (NGX).

Geregu Power hereby notifies “Nigerian Exchange Limited (the Exchange) and the investing public of its discussions with the Fund for Export Development in Africa (FEDA) for the acquisition of a portion of Geregu Power Plc shares. FEDA is the impact development arm of the Africa Export and Import Bank (Afreximbank),” the company stated.

According to the energy firm, talks are presently ongoing and “where these talks progress to a more advanced stage, the company will notify the Exchange and the investing public in line with the rules of the Exchange.”

In October, Geregu Power listed 2.5 billion shares at N100 a unit on the Main Board of the NGX. This puts the company’s market value at N250 billion and also in a better position it to raise capital to bid for Geregu II as it is presently doing.

Speaking on the listing, the Chairman, Board of Directors, Mr. Femi Otedola, CON, said “the listing of the company was the actualization of a vision to bring world-class standards in governance sustainability, and business processes to the Company and the Nigerian electricity sector.”

He added that “listing on the Main Board of the Exchange will ensure that the long-term growth of the company is assured and its benefits will be passed on to our esteemed shareholders”.

Otedola is the largest shareholder in FirstBank and also holds a 99% stake in Amperion Power, the owner of the Geregu Power Plant.

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