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FG to Reopen Land Borders ‘Now That the Message Has Sunk in With Neighbours’

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Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said Nigeria’s land borders will be reopened very soon after successfully warning neighbouring countries that Nigeria will not tolerate smuggling of weapons and drugs through its land borders.

Speaking after a meeting with State Governors, President Buhari said “In my meeting with State Governors today I explained that the closure of Nigeria’s land borders was partly an attempt to control the smuggling in of weapons & drugs. Now that the message has sunk in with our neighbours,we’re looking into reopening the borders as soon as possible.”

In August 2019, Buhari closed all the nation’s land borders to curb the smuggling of weapons, food items, drugs and other foreign products that were blamed for the failure of the local market to stimulate local production and enforce the patronage of locally made goods.

However, while the decision has helped up local rice production and consumption, several businesses that rely on land borders to transact with neighbouring countries have shut down operations –leading to a rising unemployment rate of 21.8 million people or 27.1 percent of the nation’s workforce.

Speaking on insecurities, the president said “We are investing heavily in weapons and equipment for our military. They have already received armoured cars and other equipment, and aircraft, and more will come in. We will continue to give them all the support they need to fight criminals. We must and will secure Nigeria.

“Intelligence-gathering is also very critical to ensuring lasting security in Nigeria. In this regard, everyone has a role to play, in addition to the security agencies: Governors, traditional rulers, community leaders, citizens. We must all work to boost intelligence-gathering.”

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.

Economy

PENGASSAN to Shut Down 200,000bpd Agip Oil

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Agip Oil Company

PENGASSAN to Shut Down 200,000bpd Agip Oil

The Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN), an oil workers’ union, is threatening to shut down 200,000 barrels per day of crude oil production managed by Agip Oil Company Limited over what it described as unfair labour practices and intimidation of workers.

The Union, in a letter released on Wednesday, gave Agip Oil seven days to look into the concerns raised by the union or have its operations disrupted.

In the letter signed by Lumumba Okugbawa, General Secretary, the Union also accused Agip Oil of “subtle threat against our members and demobilisation of members access to the company facilities.”

PENGASSAN also urged Agip Oil to withdraw its “toxic memo’ and open discussion with the union branch leaders with a view to discuss and resolve the issues and strengthen industrial harmony.

However, as a law-abiding association, we view the insinuation by Agip management that the legitimate actions of the union was unlawful as laughable and a mockery of the relevant sections of the labour laws detailing on how industrial actions and disputes should follow.

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Economy

Gbajabiamila Says House of Reps Will Pass Petroleum Industry Bill in April

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Gbajabiamila Says House of Reps Will Pass Petroleum Industry Bill in April

Femi Gbajabiamila, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday, said the Reps will pass the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) into law in April 2021.

The speaker disclosed this during his opening remarks at the ongoing public hearing on the proposed legislation organised by the House Ad-hoc Committee on PIB.

He said “We intend to pass this bill by April. That is the commitment we have made. Some may consider it a tall order, but we will do it without compromising the thoroughness.

Gbajabiamila’s comment came two days after Ahmad Lawan, the Senate President, said the passage and assent to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) will be done before the end of May.

Once passed into law, experts expect the bill to boost Nigeria’s economy, encourage competition and boost revenue.

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Economy

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

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Global debt

Egypt Leads Nigeria, South Africa in Foreign Direct Investment

The United Nations Trade Association has Nigeria recorded a total of $2.6 billion in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in 2020, below the $3.3 billion posted in the preceeding year.

South Africa, Africa’s most industrialised nation, reported $2.5 billion during the same year, slightly below Africa’s largest economy and 50 percent below the $4.6 billion attracted a year earlier.

The report also noted that Africa recorded a total of $38 billion FDI in the same year, representing a 18 percent decline from the $46 billion posted in the corresponding year of 2019.

However, Egypt led Nigeria and South Africa with $5.5 billion FDI, an increase of 38 percent from the preceeding year.

The report read in part, “FDI flows to Africa declined by 18% to an estimated $38 billion, from $46 billion in 2019. Greenfield project announcements, an indication of future FDI trends, fell 63% to $28 billion, from $77 billion in 2019. The pandemic’s negative impact on FDI was amplified by low prices of and low demand for commodities.

UNCTAD also noted that global foreign direct investment declined by 42 percent to an estimated $859 billion, down from $1.5 trillion in 2019.

The decline was concentrated in developed countries, where FDI flows fell by 69 percent to an estimated $229 billion. Flows to Europe dried up completely to -4 billion (including large negative flows in several countries). A sharp decrease was also recorded in the United States (-49%) to $134 billion.

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