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.”
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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