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Nigeria Lost $50B To Delayed Passage Of Petroleum Industry Act – Buhari

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Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja said Nigeria lost an estimated $50 billion worth of investments in ten years, caused by non-passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB), lack of progress, and stagnation in the petroleum industry.

Speaking at a ceremony on passage and signing of the PIA, which preceded the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, the President said the stagnation affected the growth of the economy.

He also cited the lack of political will on the part of past administrations to actualize the needed transformation in the oil and gas sector.

President Buhari said assent of the Petroleum Industry Bill on August 16, 2021, marks the end of decades of uncertainty and under-investment in the petroleum industry.

“We are all aware that past Administrations have identified the need to further align the industry for global competitiveness, but there was a lack of political will to actualize this needed transformation.

“This lack of progress has stagnated the growth of the industry and the prosperity of our economy. In the past ten years, Nigeria has lost an estimated $50 billion worth of investments due to uncertainty created by the non-passage of the PIB.

“This administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investments across the oil and gas value chain.

“In view of the value our Nation and investors will derive from a stable fiscal framework for the oil and gas industry, our Administration has found it necessary to work with the two chambers of the National Assembly to ensure the passage of the PIB,” he said.

President Buhari noted that the signing of the bill was part of the administration’s commitment to building a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that will attract investment, improve our revenue base, create jobs and support our economic diversification agenda.

The President said as a “nation that depends on oil resources for the development of other sectors, Nigeria runs a Petroleum Industry that is governed largely by laws enacted over 50 years ago such as the principal legislation; the Petroleum Act of 1969 and other obsolete legislations.”

He said the Presidential assent of the bill to “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” marked the beginning of the journey towards a competitive and resilient petroleum industry that will attract investments to support the nation’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan.

“The “Petroleum Industry Act 2021” creates a regulatory environment that would ensure efficiency and accountability across the oil and gas value chain and reposition NNPC to a commercially driven National Petroleum Company that is accountable to the Federation.

“The Act also provides for a direct benefit framework that will enable the sustainable development of Host Communities. I appeal to the host communities to look carefully at the contents of the Bill which in the implementation will bring real and lasting benefits to them.

“Furthermore, the Act provides for a deliberate end to gas flaring which would facilitate the attainment of Nigeria’s Nationally Determined Contributions of the Paris Agreement through a funding mechanism to support gas flare out project in host communities,’’ he added.

President Buhari said the administration believes that the timely passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill will help our country attract investments across the oil and gas value chain.

While directing the immediate implementation of the framework for the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), he urged all relevant stakeholders to comply and reposition for full activation within 12 months.

The President appoints Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, to head the implementation team, urging all Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDA) to adjust to the transition, designed to reposition the economy.

“To consolidate the commitment of this administration to delivering the value proposition of this law, I have approved an implementation framework commencing immediately to ensure the industry envisaged in the new law begins to take shape.

“The implementation process to be headed by the Hon Minister of State, Petroleum Resources is hereby tasked with the completion of the implementation of this act within 12 months.

“I am therefore directing all relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies of government to fully cooperate in ensuring the successful and timely implementation of this law,’’ he said.

President Buhari commended the leadership of the 9th Assembly for their continued pursuit of national aspiration and demonstration of mutual harmony with the Executive in the pursuit of patriotic outcome in the passage of PIB.

“I also commend the entire team in the executive that worked tirelessly to ensure the delivery of this strategic legislation for our country. I thank Nigerians and other industry stakeholders for their contributions and support in achieving this historic landmark,’’ he said.

The ceremony was attended by the Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy Speaker Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase and other lawmakers, members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mele Kyari.

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Economy

Digital Economy: China Seeks More Partnerships With Nigeria

The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Mr. Chu Maoming had advocated for more robust China-Nigeria partnerships in the Digital Economy.

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digital economy - Investors King

The Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Mr. Chu Maoming had advocated for more robust China-Nigeria partnerships in the Digital Economy.

Investors King learnt that the Chinese Consular General has called for enhanced strategic cooperation between Nigeria and China. The diplomat noted that such a corporation on the digital economy will help to address the challenges confronting Nigeria. 

Speaking in Lagos during the 2022 Africa-China Economic Partnership Agenda Conference, (ACEPAC), Mr Chu Maoming noted that China and Nigeria are the largest economies respectively in Asia and Africa, and both countries are actively developing their digital economies with notable success.

Maoming further stated that Nigeria is one of the most important economies in Africa and Lagos is the economic, financial and technological centre of Nigeria. He, therefore, seeks more collaborations in key digital economic areas of 5G Construction, Mobile Payments Systems and E-Commerce Platform. 

Mr Maoming also noted that digital economy potential lies in the number of mobile internet users in Nigeria which has exceeded 150 million as of June 2022, with an internet penetration rate of nearly 70 percent.

On the other hand, the Director General of the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, (NIIA) Prof Eghosa Osaghae stated that Nigeria will be open to the new possibilities which the digital economy has to offer. 

Furthermore, the Executive Director of Afri-China Media, Ikenna Emewu described the conference as an important event that will further drive Nigeria towards the digital economy. 

The Executive Director said that Nigeria and Africa cannot afford to lag in adopting digital possibilities to improve their economies.

Meanwhile, Nigerian Minister of Communications and Digital Economy Professor Isa Pantami says the Ministry has completed over 2000 projects within three years to enhance the digital economy across the country. The minister disclosed this during an inspection tour of the National Shared Service Centre in Abuja.

Pantami noted that Nigeria is making progress in the digital economy while the numerous projects which are spread across the country will help to improve the productivity of many Nigerians. 

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Economy

MSMEs Critical to Nigeria’s Economic Development- President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has said Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to Nigeria’s economic growth as they contribute about 48 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

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MSME

President Muhammadu Buhari has said Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) are critical to Nigeria’s economic growth as they contribute about 48 percent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product.

President Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Richard Adebayo, at the 17th International Trade Fair organised by the Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), stated that trade is key to ending poverty and also plays a significant role in the economic growth of any nation.

In his words, “It helps to build wealth and improve foreign reserves. Trade is key to ending poverty across countries, raising standards of living and improving productivity. No economy can thrive without robust trade

“The MSME segment is critical to the stimulation of economic development. Nigeria is estimated to be home to over 40 million MSMEs who, together, contribute about 48 per cent of our GDP. Many of us just see MSMEs as the mamas that fries Akara or the friendly Malam that owns the kiosk on our street.

“That is not the case; some of the fastest growing Fintech start-ups in Africa are in fact MSMEs. This trade fair provides an opportunity to change the narrative of what MSMEs are and demonstrates how innovative they can be.”

“I see enterprises that employ large cross-sections of our youth population. I see enterprises with the capacity to export. I do not see small businesses here, I see future mighty business.”

“The Federal Government is keen to help MSMEs achieve their full potential and has developed strategic policy interventions, enshrined laws and established institutions to create a supportive business environment for entrepreneurs and MSMEs.

“In line with this, the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment (FMITI) has developed a programme that will enhance access to credit for over 10 million MSMEs at single digit rate.

“Aside from the provision of finance, this project will address key ecosystem issues such as the development of MSME clusters to lower operating costs as well as capacity-building initiatives.

“The Ministry has also commenced the process of adopting a centralised automated platform for the registration of Trademarks, Patents and Designs. The overall objective is to fully digitise existing records and automate the registration process to enable ownership and commercialisation of innovation,” he stated.

It would be recalled that Investors King on October 2, 2022 reported that the federal government has directed the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) to step up its efforts to increase its funding for MSMEs.

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Economy

High Interest Rate Will Hurt New Job Creation, Exacerbate Unemployment – Manufacturers Tells FG

The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the recently increased interest rate would drag on new job creation and subsequently lead to job loss amid Nigeria’s already worrisome unemployment rate.

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) has said the recently increased interest rate would drag on new job creation and subsequently lead to job loss amid Nigeria’s already worrisome unemployment rate.

In a statement signed by the Director-General of MAN Segun Ajayi-Kadir, manufacturers disclosed that the increase in the Monetary Policy Rate and the Cash Reserve Ratio portended worrisome negative consequences for the manufacturing sector.

MAN noted that the increase in MPR from 14 percent to 15.5 percent would rub off negatively on other rates and dash the hope for a single-digit lending rate for the productive sector of the economy.

It further said that the recent development would lead to an increase in the cost of borrowing by manufacturers, further beyond the double-digit rate, which would disincentivize new investments in the sector.

The statement read in part, “The observed continuous contractionary monetary policy posture without complementary fiscal support may not effectively reduce the prevailing inflationary pressure on the economy.

“This is not unconnected with the fact that the current increase in consumer price index as reported by NBS is not largely driven by the monetary phenomenon, as self-inflicted weak foreign exchange rate management can be linked to the pressure.”

MAN disclosed that the rate hike would cause increased factor costs which will inflate the price of  products, stating that it was hopeful that the CBN would creatively go beyond the conventional monetary management system because global economic dynamics were changing and conventional measures might no longer be effective.

The statement further read, “It is important that the monetary authority strategically set in motion mechanism for holistic balancing of the real interest rate, which is critical to investment and not just following leading economies to adjust Interest rate without considering domestic peculiarities.”

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