Implemented on January 1, 2021, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is considered the foundation for enhanced cross-continental trade in Africa. Signed by 54 countries, the agreement comprises the reduction of tariff and non-tariff barriers, the simplification of custom procedures, and the elimination of red tape with the aim of creating a single market for goods, persons and services. Representing the largest economy in Africa, with over $500 billion in Gross Domestic Profit (GDP) and a population of 200 million people, Nigeria is poised to significantly gain from both investment and trade opportunities created by the AfCTA.
According to the African Development Bank, the Nigerian economy is projected to grow by 2.9% in 2021. With industries such as energy, manufacturing, agriculture and mining contributing significantly to GDP, all of which are expected to grow exponentially with the increase in technology and investment, the country is well on its way to become a multi-sector giant. With the AfCFTA, this objective may yet be achieved, with new and improved trade opportunities creating enhanced regional supply networks, domestic job opportunities, and capacity building.
Regional Supply Networks
One of the primary benefits initiated by the AfCFTA concerns regional supply chains of which the opportunities are multifold. Firstly, local Nigerian businesses have new opportunities regarding regional exports, with newly created supply chains made both efficient and sustainable through the agreement. Progressive policies and simplified customs procedures make regional trade more enticing for domestic producers, and additionally increase foreign currency in the country. Secondly, established regional networks offer lucrative investment opportunities for both local and international financiers. Requiring capital injections in the distribution and logistics supply chain, as well as transportation infrastructure, the AfCFTA has created new business opportunities for multiple sectors while increasing direct investment in the economy. Finally, supply chains enable regional demand to be met, with Nigerian products and services utilized not only domestically but in neighboring countries and across the continent. Nigeria is already utilizing regional trade opportunities, contributing approximately 76% of total trading volumes in the Economic Community of West African States region. The AfCFTA will only further enhance this trend, creating new opportunities and spurring economic and trade growth.
Employment Creation and Capacity Building
The AfCFTA has created significant opportunities for Nigeria to drive job creation and capacity building. With the creation of a single liberalized market for trade in services for the continent, the AfCFTA enables both the trade in products and services as well as human capital. Accordingly, Nigeria, with a high number of multi-sector professionals compared to other regional markets, will be able to expand knowledge and expertise cross-borders. Nigerian workers will not only be able to take advantage of job opportunities in regional countries, but those countries will be able to meet demand for skilled workers, with knowledge sharing and skills transfer increased. The result is, therefore, mutually beneficial, with the agreement serving as a foundation for continental human capital development.
Meanwhile, with the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) – a comprehensive policy to promote local participation, technology transfer and sustainable macro-economic growth – already ensuring indigenous companies are granted opportunities to have greater involvement in the oil and gas industry, the AfCFTA will only enhance this trend, as more opportunities are created not just nationally but regionally. As more International Oil Companies come into African markets, and governments lobby for increased capacity building and skills transfer, regional countries, not just resource rich nations, stand to benefit.
“Representing the largest economy and one of the most formidable oil and gas industries in Africa, Nigeria stands to significantly benefit from the opportunities created by the AfCFTA. Specifically, the agreement will significantly enhance local content, further ensuring that value created by the extraction industry goes beyond resource revenues, with job creation, capacity building, and skills transfer expanding across the region. Nigeria has become a leader in local content, with progressive policies and supportive legislature ensuring that the local population not only benefits from energy sector developments, but are a key enabler of that growth. The AfCFTA will see Nigeria into a new era of economic progress, with other countries soon to follow,” stated Verner Ayukegba, Senior Vice President of the African Energy Chamber (AEC) and Director of Operations at DMWA Resources.
AEW 2021, in partnership with South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources and Energy DMRE, is the AEC’s annual conference, exhibition and networking event. AEW 2021 unites African energy stakeholders with investors and international partners to drive industry growth and development and promote Africa as the destination for energy investments.
Cadbury Nigeria Recognised For Human Resource Management
Cadbury Nigeria Plc announced that it had been recognised as a top employer by the Netherlands-based Top Employers Institute, even as it stressed the importance of employee well-being.
Cadbury Nigeria, a subsidiary of Mondelēz International, made the announcement in a statement released on Wednesday as part of the celebration of its third annual purpose day.
The consumer goods manufacturer said it held a webinar for its employees anchored by experts in healthcare management.
The Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria, Mrs. Oyeyimika Adeboye, said the company takes the well-being of its employees seriously, adding that they would give their best if they had the right mental attitude.
“That is the reason we organised the webinar by bringing in experts from Helen Keller International to speak to us on well-being, as part of our Purpose Day,” she said.
Adeboye added that the growing importance of holistic well-being made the company focus its annual Purpose Day activities this year exclusively on well-being in the areas of mind, body and connection.
The Country Director, Helen Keller International, Ms. Philomena Orji, was quoted as saying during her presentation, “Helen Keller is dedicated to scaling up evidence-based, cost-effective solutions to improve care practices and ensure that basic health interventions reach vulnerable people, with a focus on women, youth, and children.”
CSCS Reappoints Haruna Jalo-Waziri As CEO
The board of the Central Securities Clearing System has approved the re-appointment of the Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Haruna Jalo-Waziri, for another five-year term.
CSCS disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday, saying the company had seen a major boost in its revenue base and had also built strong strategic alliances with other financial market entities across Africa during Jalo-Waziri’s tenure.
It said Jalo-Waziri led the company’s profit growth by 18 percent compound annual growth rate and delivered a 20 percent return on average equity in the 2020 financial year amidst the pandemic.
The Chairman, CSCS, Mr. Oscar Onyema, said the board was impressed with the CEO’s performance and that the foundation built by the team had positioned the firm for its next growth phase.
Onyema said, “That is why we are aiming to consolidate on our gains and diversify the business for sustainable growth.
“On behalf of the board, I congratulate Mr. Jalo-Waziri on this reappointment, which reflects our vote of confidence and greater expectations from him in creating value for shareholders and broader stakeholders of CSCS.”
Jalo-Waziri appreciated the board for the reappointment.
“I am tremendously proud of the talent pool we have built here at CSCS. As we set out to diligently execute our next growth strategy, I am super excited at the future of this great institution and look forward to deepening our partnership with different stakeholders for mutual prosperity,” he said.
He added that he would continue to count on the support of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the board, participants and other stakeholders in deepening the Nigerian capital market.
BOC Gases Nigeria Plc Rebrands to Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc Following Acquisition
BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading manufacturer of industrial and medical gases, has changed its name to Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc following an additional 60 percent acquisition by TY Holdings Limited in August.
TY Holdings Limited acquired a 60 percent stake owned by BOC Holdings UK to take its total stake in the company to 72 percent.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Ayodeji Oseni, the Company’s Managing Director.
The statement reads, “The change of name is sequel to the purchase of 60% of BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, which was formerly controlled by BOC Holdings UK (a member of the Linde Group) by TY Holdings Limited. This has also resulted in the change of the Company’s logo and trademark.
“The Company has obtained a new certificate of incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission.”
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