African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) has signed the Instrument of Accession to the Inter-Surety Agreement for the Implementation of the COMESA Regional Customs Transit Guarantee/bond Agreement. The bank is now set to begin the implementation of its $1billion Continental Transit Guarantee Scheme, of which about $200 million is earmarked for the COMESA region.
The agreement was signed last week by President of Afreximbank, Professor Benedict Oramah, and, Chairperson of the Council of Regional Customs Transit Guarantee (RCTG, Dr. Elirehima Joshuo Doriye). It sets the stage for the implementation of the Afreximbank African Collaborative Transit Guarantee Scheme (AACTGS), a programme designed to facilitate the smooth transit of goods across Africa through a continent-wide single-technology enabled transit guarantee scheme.
Under the AACTGS, working with the African Union (AU), COMESA and other Regional Economic Communities, Afreximbank will become a regional and continent-wide guarantor, providing transit bonds covering the full range of borders that goods are required to cross. The Bank will not displace existing operators but will work with them on a risk-sharing basis thereby boosting their capacity to issue bonds at a local level.
Through the scheme, Afreximbank will ensure that, when goods do not complete their transit, sums are paid in line with the duties and taxes that would have been required, thereby enhancing tax collection for African nations. In addition, the transit guarantees provided by the Bank will enable businesses to release working capital otherwise tied up as collateral against transit bonds, while also accelerating the movement of goods across borders. By speeding up transit times and reducing costs, the scheme will provide a boost to African manufacturers, ensuring they can easily access the inputs they need for their business and enabling them to pass savings on to consumers.
Commenting, Oramah, said: “The launch of the AACTGS is a milestone in Africa’s journey towards deepening regional integration. A key tool for delivering on the vision of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCTA), the scheme will facilitate the seamless flow of goods in a connected Africa. It will accelerate trade, reduce the cost of trading, release capital for business investment, improve the bankability of intra-African trade, and in the end, reduce prices for consumers. The launch of the scheme in the COMESA region is a momentous occasion but is also just the first step in a programme designed to be implemented across the entire continent. With this scheme, the Cape to Cairo road project will become a financially viable cross-continental trade route.”
Currently, African states require businesses transiting goods through their countries to secure transit bonds, which protect against the risk that the goods remain in the markets they are passing through rather than continuing to their end destinations. However, the limited implementation of regional transit guarantee schemes means traders are required to obtain national bonds for each border they cross. As a result, transit costs in African countries are 63 percent higher compared to the average in developed countries and 135 percent higher than in Europe. The average cost of freight as a percentage of the total value of imports is 11.4 percent compared to 6.8 percent in developed nations. The cost of these is estimated at around $450 per truck per day. By implementing an effective transit guarantee scheme the continent will save more than $300 million per year, studies show.
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo Seeks Collaboration With Vietnam on Agriculture and Technology
Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has sought collaboration with Vietnam in the areas of agriculture and technology. The vice president spoke in Vietnam at a bilateral meeting on Monday.
During the meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart, Võ Thị Ánh Xuân, Osinbajo acknowledged both countries’ market potentials in the digital economy, telecommunications, and agriculture.
Speaking at the Presidential Palace in Hanoi, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that telecommunication penetration in Nigeria is one of the deepest in any developing country, stating that about 120 million Nigerians now use one telecom service or the other.
Calling for collaboration on digital economy, Osinbajo said “We have close to 120 million of our citizens who have put to use telecom equipment or devices. And also, broadband connectivity is vastly improved. We hope that by 2025, we will have broadband connectivity for all of our over 200 million people”.
On the call for collaboration in the area of agriculture, the vice president noted that cashew production is an important area in which both counties can partner.
He said ” Given the food crisis that the world faces today, and is likely to continue facing even in the coming years, I like to say that the way forward is for our countries to collaborate. For instance, establishing cashew processing plants in Nigeria”.
Investors King understands that Vietnam is the world’s second-largest cashew processor with an annual processing capacity of 1.2 million tons representing up to 40 percent of the world’s total capacity.
Speaking at the event, the Vietnamese Vice President commended Nigeria’s leadership role in the ECOWAS sub-region and Africa generally, especially in the peaceful resolution of disputes.
She also commended Nigeria’s handling of the Covid 19 pandemic while reposing confidence in Nigeria’s ability to resolve challenges confronting the African continent and the West African region in particular.
Conclusively, she added that her country would continue to work with Africa to meet its aspirations in agriculture, clean energy and digital penetration.
Togo, Benin, and Niger Republic Owe Nigeria N4.1 Trillion in Electricity Debts
Nigeria currently supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, Togo, and Niger through the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET Plc
The House of Representatives on Public Account has disclosed that Nigeria’s neighbouring countries, Togo, Benin, and Niger Republic owe the country about N4.1 trillion in electricity bills.
The revelation was contained in a letter sent by the committee to the Managing Director of Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET Plc, Dr. Nnaemeka Eweluka.
According to the letter which was signed by the Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Oluwole Oke, the Managing Director of NBET is expected to appear alongside Dr. Marilyn Amobi, who served as MD/CEO from 2016 to 2020.
The house committee has accused the former MD, Amobi of non-rendition of the Audited Accounts for the years 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
Investors King understands that Nigeria currently supplies electricity to the Republic of Benin, Togo, and Niger through the Nigeria Bulk Electricity Trading, NBET Plc. About 6 percent of the electricity generated in the country is sold to the neighboring countries.
Meanwhile, according to the managing director of NBET, the federal government is working on structures that will enhance power distribution in the country, stating that most of the power-generating companies are currently located in the southern part of the country.
“Most of the power generation companies are located within the south-south and south-west largely because of gas with one in the south-east, of course, we have the hydros in Niger state,” he said.
The MD added that Nigeria could generate up to a capacity of about 14,000 megawatts. He however noted that the distribution capacity is only between 4,000 to 5,000 megawatts per day.
Eweluka nonetheless sounded a note of hope, making references to the intervention projects that are currently ongoing such as the partnership with Simens.
“To address this gap between what is available and what the system can currently carry; there are a number of intervention projects that the government is currently pursuing, that include the presidential power initiatives in partnership with Siemens,” he concluded.
No Plan to Increase Fuel Price; Says FG
The Federal Government has stated that it has no plan to increase fuel price during the yuletide period.
This assurance is coming amid the nationwide fuel scarcity which has pushed the price of petrol above N250 in many retail stations.
Investors King learnt that fuel is being held for N250 per litre in Abuja and several other cities across the country while black marketers are charging between N400 and N450 per litre.
The scarcity and the high price of fuel are however becoming unbearable for many Nigerians, especially those who have reasons to embark on business travel for the December festivals.
According to the National Public Relations Officer, Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), Chief Ukadike Chinedu, most of the association members, who owned the bulk of the filling stations across the country, were now subjected to purchasing PMS at about N220/litre, which was why many outlets currently dispensed at about N250/litre and above.
He noted that the cost of the commodity has been on the rise due to its unavailability and other concerns in the sector.
He added that the price of fuel could be sold from N350/litre to N400/litre before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, a number of senior officials at the NNPC had stated that the subsidy was becoming too burdensome on the national oil company, as this was another reason for the scarcity of PMS.
According to a source who is familiar with the development as reported by Punch News, “How can we continue to import 60 million litres of petrol daily and keep subsidising it, while millions of litres are either diverted or cannot be accounted for? The burden is too much, as you rightly captured in that story”.
Investors King understands that NNPC is the sole importer of petroleum into the country and it pays billions of naira every month to subsidise the product to N147 per litre.
Reuters News reported that in August 2022, NNPC paid more than $1 billion as fuel subsidy while the federal government earmarked N3.6 trillion as fuel subsidy in the 2023 budget proposal.
Ahmad, Lametek Get Presidential Nod as Deputy Governors, CBN for Second Term
Nigeria’s External Debt Rose From $18.3bn in 2010 to $103bn in 2022; Says World Bank
FedEx Establishes Direct Presence in Nigeria to Support Customers with International Trade
News3 weeks ago
Npower News: NASIMS Announced “Work Nation’s” Minimum Cut-Off Mark
Travel2 weeks ago
Nigerians Eligible For Residence Permit in Norway
News3 weeks ago
Npower News: Latest Update On Npower Payment for Beneficiaries
News4 weeks ago
Npower News: NASIM Provides Requirements Resolution For Failed August Stipend
Blockchain4 weeks ago
FG to Train 30,000 Nigerians on Blockchain Technology; Released Link For Registration
Travel2 weeks ago
Passengers Groan as Air Tickets Increase by More than 100%
News3 weeks ago
Npower Clarifies “Work Nation” Programme, State It is Optional
News6 days ago
Npower Batch C, Stream 2 Lament Non-Payment of Monthly Stipend