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Nigeria Will Benefit Less From African Trade Deal – NESG

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Institute of Chartered Shipbrokers

Nigeria Will Benefit Less From African Trade Deal – NESG

Nigeria and other resource-based countries will benefit less from the African Continental Free Trade Area than economies that are more diversified, the Nigerian Economic Summit Group has said.

The NESG, a private sector-led think-tank, said in its 2021 Macroeconomic Outlook that Nigeria could reap more gains through export diversification away from crude oil.

It said trade in Africa remained dominated by raw materials and less processed products, adding that on average, minerals and agriculture accounted for 44 per cent and 16 per cent of intra-African trade respectively between 2007 and 2017.

The NESG said, “Evidence has shown that African economies that are more diversified and have improved transport infrastructure, would benefit more from the trade pact than others that are resource-based and agricultural dependent.

“Putting this in context, South Africa currently accounts for 40 per cent of intra-African manufacturing imports. On the other hand, resource-based countries, such as, Algeria, Egypt and Nigeria – which collectively account for approximately 50 per cent of Africa’s GDP – contribute only 11 per cent to intra-African trade.”

“Another bone of contention is the issue of ‘rules of origin’, which constitutes a significant risk factor. This implies that protectionism practices by some countries could constitute a setback for the establishment of the ambitious single market for Africa. But there are several reasons to be optimistic,” it added.

The group said the World Bank estimates revealed that the AfCFTA would promote manufacturing exports over natural resources, agricultural and services exports, and that manufacturing exports would account for one-third of the projected total exports of $2.5tn by 2035.

It said, “Nigeria could reap more gains through export diversification away from crude oil, as manufacturing exports currently account for an average of nine per cent of the country’s total exports.

“This suggests that efforts should be directed at strengthening domestic value chains, particularly the agro-allied industrial base.

“To achieve this, there is a need to attract private capital, most especially, FDI, that would allow for knowledge and technological transfers.”

According to the NESG, for Nigeria to maximally benefit from the trade deal, there is an urgent need to also address transport infrastructure bottlenecks and provide improved logistics.

It said, “Finding a lasting solution to the Apapa gridlock by creating similar ports in other regions of the country, so as to ensure speedy clearance of consignments needs to be prioritised.

“Nigeria also needs to set standards for locally-made goods to enhance their attractiveness in the regional market.

“The Nigerian government as a matter of urgency needs to operate an efficient and corruption-free land border system, so as to guide against the importation of low-cost sub-standard products into the country.

“It is only when these and many more reforms are implemented that Nigeria can begin to reap the benefits of the trade deal.”

The group noted that owing to the outbreak of COVID-19, the implementation of the AfCFTA was postponed from July 1, 2020 to January 1, 2021.

It said, “The key goal of the free trade pact is to expand the volume of intra-African trade, which stood at 16 per cent in 2018 .“Till date, 36 countries, including Nigeria, have ratified the agreement. The trade deal is expected to create a single market with a combined GDP of $2.5tn and total population or market size of 1.2 billion.”

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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