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BUA Signs Contract To Build Proposed Refinery

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BUA, one of Africa’s largest conglomerates, has signed a contract to build a 285,000 tonnes per annum polypropylene plant as part of its proposed BUA Refinery.

The deal was signed with Lummus Technology – a world leader in the construction of polypropylene projects, using their Novolen technology.

According to both parties, the scope includes the technology license for a 285,000tonnes per annum polypropylene unit as well as basic design engineering, training and services, and catalyst supply.

Speaking on the signing, a statement at the weekend quoted the Founder/Executive Chairman of BUA, Abdul Samad Rabiu, to have said: “We are pleased to sign this Polypropylene contract for our BUA Refinery and Petrochemicals Project with Lummus Technology, a world leader in delivering polypropylene solutions, which will solve the increasing demand for high-performance grade Polypropylene in Nigeria, the Gulf of Guinea as well as the Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

“We are confident in the capacity and technical expertise of Lummus Technology to deliver a best-in-class, 285KTA polypropylene unit for our refinery project scheduled to come on stream in 2024.”

In his comments, Lummus Technology’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Leon de Bruyn said, “We look forward to working with BUA Refinery on this critical project and supporting the first Novolen polypropylene unit in Nigeria.

“Our world-class Novolen technology is well suited to meet Nigeria’s increasing demand for the growing petrochemical products market. It offers a flexible range of industry-leading products for all PP applications, and the industry’s lowest overall capital and operational costs, while providing customers with high process reliability and flexibility in responding to market needs.”

Recently, BUA announced a proposed 200,000barrels per day refinery and petrochemicals plant which would include a polypropylene unit to be built in Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria.

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Invest Africa and Absa Group Announce Strategic Collaboration

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Invest Africa, the leading business and investment platform for African markets, and Absa Group, one of Africa’s largest diversified financial services groups, are pleased to announce a strategic collaboration, aimed at supporting the development of business and investment on the continent, and the growth of Absa Group as a leading African retail, corporate and investment bank.

The new alliance combines Absa Group’s position as experts in providing a gateway to opportunities in Africa, with Invest Africa’s well-established network, in order to promote trade and investment across the African continent.

The collaboration will include a programme of initiatives such as events, podcasts and reports, focused on the growth of business and investment in Africa and the development of sustainable finance. As trusted on the ground partners and an African diversified bank of significant stature, with the global connectivity to deliver Africa, Absa Group’s focus for the collaboration will centre on furthering local financial solutions in African markets, and growing the group’s market position both across the Continent and globally.

Karen Taylor, CEO of Invest Africa said, “The role of the financial services sector in driving economic development across Africa has never been more important than now. We are delighted to be able to support Absa Group as the leading African Retail, Corporate and Investment bank and to help the organisation realise its mission to provide sustainable access to financing across Africa.”

Cheryl Buss, Chief Executive of Absa International, commented, “As an authentically African bank with a deep understanding of the continent, we help clients build fit-for-purpose solutions that drive growth. As such, we are delighted to be collaborating with Invest Africa. Association with such a well-established organisation is a significant part of our commitment to act as a corridor to the continent and support international companies who are, or are interested in, conducting business in Africa.”

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The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business Welcomes Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard to its Senior Advisory Board

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The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business is delighted to announce Mr. Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard’s ascendancy to the organization’s Senior Advisory Board, after unanimous approval of the by Board of Directors.

The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business is an independent, not-for-profit organization with strong working links with both Canadian and African businesses and governments, who are among its members. Leading CEOs and Heads of State – alongside investors, entrepreneurs and policy-makers – are among the hundreds of speakers and tens of thousands of delegates to in-person and virtual events.

“We are immensely honoured to welcome a leading global media icon – and a son of Africa – to our senior board, as we drive a new chapter in Canada-Africa trade and investment,” says the Chairman of the Canada-Africa Chamber of Business, Mr. Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, speaking from the Chamber’s Ottawa offices.

“Our existing work with APO Group has seen millions of dollars in media exposure across the continent. We believe Mr. Pompigne-Mognard and APO Group will be key to our next phase of dramatic growth as a 27-year-old institution committed to Canada-Africa trade and investment”.

Nicolas Pompigne-Mognard founded APO with savings of €10,000, as start-up capital. The objective was to provide international and African media access to reliable news about the continent’s economy, businesses, and investment.

Today APO Group has helped communicators relay compelling, uniquely African stories to audiences, enabling a change in the African narrative to a more positive tone.

The Canada-Africa Chamber of Business began work with APO Group this year, following major engagements in Canada and Africa, including with Prime Minister Trudeau, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement leadership, as well as African Heads of State and Cabinet Ministers.

“Mr. Pompigne-Mognard will no doubt play an important and strategy role in Canada-Africa trade and investment in the context of our mandate to accelerate the commercial ties between this great G7 nation and our incredible continent, Africa” added Mr. Sebastian Spio-Garbrah, in his remarks from Ottawa.

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Economists Evaluate Nigeria-China Currency Swap

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Some Financial Economists have expressed great concerns about the minor influence that the Nigeria-China currency swap had on the country’s economy, three years after.

The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the volume of currency import so far traded had not been significant, though a few swaps took place.

The pact which marked three years of implementation in April was signed on April 27, 2018, to ease demand pressure on the country’s supply of foreign exchange.

The Chief Executive Officer of Arvo Finance, Mr. Ayotunde Bally, said that the pact had not been fully utilised due to a decrease in the drawdown of the money input of the Chinese Yuan to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“This pact which was aimed at creating a harmonious relationship between the two countries has not been utilised as it ought to be. Statistics have it that Nigeria-China bilateral trade which was around 2 billion dollars in 2002 is within the space of about 14 billion dollars in contemporary years. And yet, we cannot boast of about three billion dollars Yuan being utilised in such market transaction,’’ he said.

According to Bally, that has clearly displayed the negligence of the pact by most business importers

He said the poor state of the pact was due to ignorance and the benefits of the pact to those who utilise it.

“Also, the deliberate avoidance of the pact by those who believe transactions are easier with dollars or some other methods like Bureau De Change among others. Even those who know about the pact but avoid it, indicating that it is not lucid and that the regulations and procedures are rigid to them,” he told NAN.

He advocated massive sensitisation on the usefulness of the pact to both the business individuals and the country at large.

Mr. Johnson Chukwu, Founder of Cowry Asset Management Limited, also said that the pact recorded minimal benefit to the economy.

“If you look at our demand for foreign exchange particularly for imports, you will observe that we still have pressures coming from import demand. China is our biggest trading partner and our largest import market.

“We bought more products from China than any other country in the world. So, if the currency swap has been very significant, then the pressures we are witnessing on the balance of trade would have been abated.

“So, I do not think the volume of currency import has been significant. Certainly, there must have been a few swaps that have taken place since then but it is clearly not significant because if it was, it would have reflected in our balance of trade,” Chukwu said.

According to him, China accounts for more than 25 percent of our imports; so we should not have a currency swap that delays immediate payments of our foreign reserves.

Also, Prof. Ndubisi Nwokoma, Director, Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research (CEPAR), University of Lagos, said that the swap deal had a positive impact on the naira exchange rate with major currencies.

“The Nigeria-China currency swap deal, according to reports, has some positive impact on the stability of the naira exchange rate with major currencies. But, its effect is limited by the volume of trade between Nigeria and China.

“With the decline in global productivity occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, the effect appears not to have achieved the originally intended objectives.

“Nigeria has been bedeviled by other economic challenges. The current sorry state of the country’s exchange rate is quite instructive in this regard,” Nwokoma said.

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