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Nigeria-Cameroon Link Bridge Is A Secured Path to Boost Free Trade Agreement- Fashola

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Nigeria-Cameroon Link Bridge- Investors King

Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has said that the construction of a new double lane bridge on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon will facilitate free trade.

Fashola said this on Monday while inspecting the newly constructed 1.5km, two-lane bridge on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon in Ekot-Mfum, Etung Local Government Area of Cross River.

The construction of the bridge began on April 28, 2017, and was completed in March 2021 at the cost of 35.9 billion dollars. Funding for the project was provided by both countries.

According to the minister, the construction of the bridge will also strengthen relations between both countries and improve cross-border security.

”This is the first shoot of the harvest of completed projects proposed as the administration enters the second phase of the second term on its way out,” he said.

Fashola said that the administration’s plan to renew and expand old infrastructure would take the two countries to the future for many more decades and strengthen the relationship between them.

“We have had a strong relationship with the Republic of Cameroon in terms of trade and business.

“If you go to Aba, Enugu, and Abakaliki for example, I can tell you that they are on the route that facilitates trade in agro-produce, merchandise, and manufactured goods from Aba in Abia state.

“You can only expect that this will improve joint border patrol, ensure security, more efficiency which you see from the first buildings formed out of the integration of ECOWAS and sister nations of what the continent should look like.

“Nigeria is now a signatory to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AFCFTA). So this is the infrastructure that positions both nations to take the benefit of the trade that the agreement holds.

“It is really exciting. Looking into the future you can only see more business, more trade, and employment meant for people,” Fashola said.

On revenue generation, the minister said that the bridge was a social asset and that the happiness and prosperity of Nigerians was enough payment.

“These are social assets and we must understand that the requirement is the happiness and the prosperity of the people of Nigeria.

“The prosperity of the people is the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari is pushing this infrastructure renewal.

“For as long as our people are happy, they can travel easily, they can reduce their journey, safe time on the road because if you save time you save money and am sure the President is delighted,” he added.

Henry Etuk, Chairman, Etung Local Government Area said the people are pleased with what the Federal Government had done.

Etuk reiterated that the new bridge would bring about better trade among the people of Nigeria and Cameroon.

He said that the ease of movement and trade would go a long way to improve relationships and foster development in the area.

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Economy

2025: The End of Gas Flaring

The Federal Government through the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has inaugurated a 12-member ‘Gas Flare Commercialization Program Team’ to manage the nation’s gas flaring.

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The Federal Government through the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) has inaugurated a 12-member ‘Gas Flare Commercialization Program Team’ to manage the nation’s gas flaring.

According to Engineer Gbenga Komolafe, the Chief Executive of NUPRC, gas flaring in the oil gas industry has been a continuous menace that needs to be eradicated because of its adverse effect on the people’s health, the Environment and also a major resource waste and value erosion to the country.

Gbenga mentioned that to monetize gas resources is to take a positive step toward securing energy security, especially in this period of global energy transition. He said as a nation, Nigeria needs to ensure it harnesses every available gas resource in other to create value.

He declared that the NUPRC is resuming the procedure of issuing flare sites to competent technical companies, after a complete bidding process.

This process is crucial and important in respect of the direction of the federal government’s policy to ensure every gas resource is properly developed for national development.

He laid emphasis that the wasteful disposal of natural gas is not only hazardous with serious health and environmental consequences but also a waste of resource and value to Nigeria.

In addition to this, he stated that the FG declared the period 2021 to 2030 as the DECADE OF GAS, a period which the country must change direction from oil centered exploitation to a gas-focused industrial development.

Although the World Bank has set 2030 as the target year to end gas flaring, Nigeria has set the country’s deadline tp 2025.

President Muhammadu Buhari made a commitment towards the Paris Agreement during the COP26 Leaders’ Summit to achieve Net Zero carbon emissions by 2060,” he said.

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Economy

China Reaffirms Commitment to Maintaining Cooperation With Africa

Wu- Peng, has reaffirmed China’s commitment to maintaining cooperation with Africa

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China Nigeria

The director general of the ministry of foreign affairs of China, Wu- Peng, has reaffirmed China’s commitment to maintaining cooperation with Africa.

Wu-Peng disclosed this at a meeting held with African journalists under the auspices of the China Africa Press Centre (CAPC) in June 2022 in Beijing.

Quoting the president of China, Xi Jinping, Wu-Peng said China will work hand in hand with African countries to implement linked programs in the next three years”.

According to Wu-Peng, this includes programs related to the medical and health sector, poverty alleviation, agricultural growth and promoting investments.

We’re still fighting to contain Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic, China has so far provided about 260 million doses of vaccines to 55 African countries and African Union,” the Director General said.

He also mentioned that China had also made provision for about 120 batches of emergency supplies to African countries and they all have diplomatic relations with China and also contributed to Africa’s early recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

China has already constructed the African CDC in Addis Ababa and it will be completed in 2023.

The other program I would like to make mention is the agricultural sector. When FOCAC was held in 2021, there was no Russia-Ukraine crisis, yet we focus and invested in Agriculture in Africa.

The reason been, we believe in the potential of Agriculture in Africa, the growth and development is huge, there are still lots of arid land in Africa, Wu-Peng stated.

Unfortunately, Africans still have to import grapes from the outside which costs a lot of currency and actually damages Africa’s international balance sheet.”

He said that the failure to prioritize agriculture could obstruct fast economic growth in Africa, suggesting that more should be done through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to ensure food security.

The director general laid emphasis on the need for proper implementation of the report from the FOCAC meetings to bring to life the realization of set goals and objectives.

“This does not make sense, you have lands, you have labor forces, I think we just need the right policy to promote price investments in industrial large scale farms to improve our food security.

Why this is has become very important is due to the Ukraine crisis, food prices globally surged and going forward, we must finish construction of the project in the nearest future.

African governments have already noticed developments of agriculture is a huge priority to deal with the crisis of hike in food prices, we want Africas countries to have up to date plans from FOCAC meetings and the findings of the results.

“Usually, when we have FOCAC meetings we just produce documents, we need more concrete actions, we must be focused,” the director general said.

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Economy

Inflation Rises to 17 Year High in Nigeria

Inflation rate, grew at a 19.64% rate in July, the highest since September 2005 when inflation peaked at 24.32%

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consumer prices

Prices of goods and services rose to a 17-year-high in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria in the month of July, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reported on Monday.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate, grew at a 19.64% rate in July, the highest since September 2005 when inflation peaked at 24.32%. This was 1.04% higher than the 18.60% recorded in June 2022.

On a monthly basis, inflation expanded by 1.817%, an increase of 0.001% from 1.816% filed in June 2022.

As expected, food inflation also grew by 0.99% from 21.03% year-on-year in July 2021 to 22.02% in July 2022. According to NBS, the increase in the food sub-index was caused by increases in prices of Bread and cereals, Food products n.e.c, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, meat, fish, oil, and fat.

On a month-on-month basis, the food inflation rate in July was 2.04%, this was a 0.01% insignificant decline compared to the rate recorded in June 2022 (2.05%). This decline is attributed to a reduction in the prices of some food items like Tubers, Maize, Garri, and Vegetables.

Rising economic uncertainties amid a series of policy changes like the increase in duty on imported raw materials, high electricity tariffs,  fuel, etc needed to manufacture the necessary food items are responsible for the persistent increase in inflation.

Also, the extended decline in the value of the Nigerian Naira against its global counterparts has made foreign goods or imported goods expensive for Nigerians. Therefore, manufacturing companies are now passing the increase to final consumers already struggling with low earnings and a high unemployment rate.

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