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Proposed Escravos Deep Seaport to Attract $50B FDI to Nigeria

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Promoters of the proposed Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex (ESIC – 1) have revealed that the $2.9 billion (N1.16 trillion) project will attract $50 billion (N20 trillion) in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to Nigeria when completed and operational.

The owner of the project, Mercury Maritime Concession Company (MMCC) Limited, while unveiling the plan at a stakeholders’ forum held in Lagos over the weekend, said the $2.9 billion seaport at Escravos, Delta would help to decongest Lagos ports.

Speaking at the stakeholders’ forum, the Chairman of MMCC, Rear Adm. Andrew Okoja (RTD.) said the proposed Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex project will play a major role in the bid to end youth restiveness in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

He said Mercury Maritime Concession Company and its partners have secured financing for the project adding that a deposit of $1 billion will soon be made to the federal government through the Ministry of Transportation as a show of commitment and capacity to deliver the project.

Okoja said the project was at its preparatory stage but gave the assurance that within five years, it would be completed. He stressed that everything that needed to be done for the project to succeed was being put in place.

Specifically, he stated, “MMCC is the promoter of the Escravos Seaport Industrial Complex project; this is a maritime-driven project cited in Escravos in Delta, on approximately 31 hectares of land.

“This project will consist of a deep seaport, others and a platform to drive resources from one point to another.

“We went into this project because we have the capacity, experience and connections; we decided to deploy them to solve the maritime problem of the country,” he said.

Okoja said the project would run on a Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model and would be on lease for about 50 years with all the $2.9 billion dollars funding coming from overseas, and that the project was expected to create about 30,000 to 40,000 jobs for the people in surrounding communities and would tackle piracy and militancy in Niger Delta.

He further said that the company had received provisional approval from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, which asked it to lodge in $1 billion dollars as evidence of capacity and commitment to follow due process. “As a form of support, the government is bringing land; we will pay for it and then we will pay our tax. The Nigerian Ports Authority’s role is that of monitoring,” he said.

In his presentation, a transport consultant, Prof. Charles Asenime said that the proposed $2.9 billion seaports would boost economic development. He listed the project component to include a deep seaport, free trade zone, crude oil refinery and gas complex. Others are industrial layouts, an independent power plant, a nature conservation park, an international airport and development of prime infrastructure, new towns and cities.

Asenime said the benefits of the seaport would include boosting employment opportunities, giving Delta direct multimodal transport accessibility to 70 percent of Nigeria’s landmass, four geo-political zones and Abuja, and littoral nations of the world.

He listed other benefits as the transformation of the coastal/foreshore line between Benin River into prime lands for seafront property development, and support for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement operations, among others.

“We are praying for the federal government to grant MMCC license to develop ESIC-1 project, partner to develop it and grant concession to develop ESIC-1 at the current Escravos project location,” he said.
Also speaking, Manager, Port Projects, Port of Antwerp International, Mr Philippe Droesbeke said that the company was acting as consultants to the project, laying out plans and ensuring that its feasibility study was done.

“We are happy to put our experience to the development of the project,” he added.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Inflation Moderates Slightly to 18.12 Percent in April 2021

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Nigeria's Inflation Rate - Investors King

Inflation in Africa’s largest economy, Nigeria, moderated from 18.17 percent year-on-year recorded in March 2021 to 18.12 percent year-on-year in the month of April 2021, according to the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

On a monthly basis, inflation rose by 0.97 percent in April, down from 1.57 percent filed in March 2021.

Details developing…

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FACAN Seeks Partnership With Lagos on Ranching

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Ranching - Investorsking

The Federation of Agricultural Commodities Association of Nigeria (FACAN) is seeking partnership with the Lagos State government on the operation of ranches as part of a road map with investment plans that seek to improve animal productivity and production, as well as increase the value addition of key livestock value chains.

Its President, Dr Victor Iyama told the media that the association is examining various aspects of agricultural development such as investment, demand, consumption, gender and social inclusion and is ready to partner with Lagos in driving out livestock-sector investment interventions, to help the state meet its targets by improving productivity and total production in the key livestock value chains of sheep and cow

According to him, the absence of a roadmap to develop the livestock sector had hindered the successful implementation of previous investment plans for the sector.

He said the creation of the master plan would guide livestock-sector investment interventions in improving feed and water resources, health services, industry and factory and promote private sector investment and business environment.

Urging the Lagos government to pursue the establishment of ranches for hire, Iyama reiterated that investors were convinced the efforts would foster public-private partnerships for livestock development.

According to him, private operators will be ready to rent ranches for meat cattle, indicating that the state remains one of the safest places for increasing industries for meat production and milk processing.

Recently, the Lagos State Butchers Association has requested the provision of about 50 hectares of land from the Lagos State Government for ranching and rearing herds of cattle in the state.

Meantime, the Lagos State Commissioner for Agriculture, Ms Absiola Olusanya, said well over 1.8 million herds of cattle and over 1.4 million herds of sheep and goats, were being consumed in Lagos yearly.

Olusanya called on the private sector to partner with it to establish feedlots in the state for cattle rearing and fattening in furtherance of its reforms and sanitization of the red meat value chain, stressing that partnership becomes necessary as it would ensure better production and supply of cattle for consumption in the state.

According to her, the feedlots when operational would help revive and resuscitate cows that might have travelled from far cities such as Sokoto, Jalingo, Bauchi and Jigawa among others where they may have come to Lagos before slaughtering them.

Olusanya added that the feedlot system would also help in fattening the cows before taking them to the slaughter slabs which would improve the quality of beef as well as help butchers and meat sellers to make more profit. “We have been having discussions around the transformation agenda centred on abattoirs, transportation and markets but there is a revised plan to have a more holistic approach to the red meat value chain.

“We are not just focusing on abattoirs alone which are a processing angle, we are starting right from the animal identification and traceability systems, meaning right from the source or point of origination of the cattle.

“That is why we want to establish feedlots in the state so that we can have cattle fattening centres. Having feedlot centres means that the cattle can rest, they can be fattening.”

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Local Electronic Card Industry Will Save Nigeria About $100M Import Bill – PayPlus CEO

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Forex Weekly Outlook March 6 - 10

Nigeria may be saving about $100million annually with local manufacture of electronics card as bank cards alone gulp about $36 million.

This was disclosed by Bayo Adeokun, the Managing Director of Electronic Payplus Limited, one of the few electronic card manufacturing firms in sub-Sahara Africa.

Speaking to some media operatives last week at the backdrop of commencement of operations at its multimillion dollar new manufacturing installations, Adeokun stated: “Bank cards alone is about $36 million every year prior to our intervention. I have not done the cost of a SIM card; I have not done the cost of tax card by Lagos State government for instance and other states that are now coming up with that; I have not talked about the national ID card and I have not talked about the voter’s card. By the time you put everything together in terms of dollar, you will be talking about $100 million savings for the country.”

Calling on the Federal Government to take steps to protect investments in the card industry, he stated further: “In this period that remittances from abroad are going down, crude oil revenue is coming low and all of that the government really needs to make a lot of savings in terms of foreign reserves.”

He also harped on the employment value the industry adds to the economy saying, “Prior to this (commencement of its new production lines) Electronic Payplus had about 100 staff. Now, we are up to 150. So we are also generating employment. I mean, if you look at the nature of Nigeria, those 50 staff, each of them has a dependence, so we are talking of an additional 500 or more that we are catering for.”

Giving details of the company’s new production capacity, he said, “we can do any smart card. So the purpose is to extend it to every area of the economy. I showed you the national ID card downstairs we produce for Nigeria. So we are known to the government. Now, when the present administration came in they said there is no money to finance the production of that again. So they said they want to go into a digital ID card. We are also playing in that space because we have the license.

“We presently enrolled Nigerians in the diaspora. We do local enrollment that is currently ongoing as well. We have the license to produce that. We also are presently working with the Lagos State government because they want to roll out what is called a residency card which is also going to be a payment card. So we are going to service all the industries.

“We are also talking to telecommunication companies on the possibility of supplying their sim cards as well. Also are looking beyond Nigeria. We have customers all over Africa. All the banks in Gambia produce all their cards, for instance. We have customers in Ghana, Guinea, Cameroun, Uganda and Kenya.”

On the impact of the company’s new production facility upgrade, he said, “What we have done is 60 million production cards per annum capacity.

“But the idea is all about improved turn around that we can offer because, today if you give me an order of one million cards, I can deliver it within a week.

I can even deliver 250,000 per day to you. So we believe that that will be a game changer for us, and in addition, we are now able to scale up our capacity utilization as well as market share as quickly as possible.”

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