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Nigeria, Japan, Israel Sign MoU to Speed up Industrialization

NASENI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israeli and Japanese companies to commence the manufacturing of electric motorcycles in Nigeria

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The National Agency for Science Engineering and Infrastructure (NASENI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Israeli and Japanese companies to commence the manufacturing of electric motorcycles in Nigeria per NASENI’s directive to pilot Nigeria’s industrialization process.

The MoU was signed on Thursday in Abuja. According to the partners, the project will be fully operational in the first quarter of 2023.

The project is expected to deepen Nigeria’s capacity building, create job opportunities and also speed up Nigeria’s industrialization agenda.

Micheal Freeman, Israeli Ambassador to Nigeria, said the partnership of Israeli, Japanese, and Nigerian technologies would address diverse issues affecting transportation and environmental division in Nigeria.

Micheal said “It is a project that is a partnership with Israeli, Japanese, and Nigerian companies taking place in Nigeria.

“What is special about this project is that it is a timely project that combines Israeli technologies, Japanese technologies, Nigerian entrepreneurship, and innovation to create a project that is going to work fabulously.

“We are talking about bringing electronic Motorcycles into Nigeria which will be a program that is green, environmentally friendly.

“It offers people a cheap way and safe way of transport and even has a technology to ensure that the motorcycles are only used for legal and appropriate purposes.

“When we look at what the problems are in the world and also in Africa and Nigeria, we are talking about issues of fuel scarcity, we are talking about green technology, we are talking about the need to provide cleaner, cheaper, easier transport.

“And here we are, having Israeli and Japanese companies coming together with Nigerian partners to provide cleaner, greener, newer, exciting technology that is expected to move people, the population across the country. 

“I believe that a program that is going to start in Nigeria will be successful and will go across Africa,” Freeman stated.

Takeshi Isaku, chief innovation officer, Musahi of Japan, said his company was eager to aid the Nigeria and African continent in establishing safe, secure, and clean technologies.

Hon. Wadada Aliyu, the chairman, of PAN Nigeria Limited, said the project was the beginning of technological evolution in Nigeria.

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Economy

CBN Not Mandated to Sell Dollars to Airlines, Godwin Emefiele Tells Foreign Airlines

The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it was not mandated by any law to sell dollars to foreign airlines operating in the country.

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Emirates Airlines

The Central Bank Of Nigeria (CBN) has disclosed that it was not mandated by any law to sell dollars to foreign airlines operating in the country.

The central bank governor Godwin Emefiele while speaking at the monetary policy committee meeting stated that the apex bank is committed to clearing up trapped funds of foreign airlines, however, it was not the CBN’s responsibility to provide the funds in dollars.

The CBN governor said, “The sector is a sector that has always enjoyed priority allocation. For other sectors where there are priorities like the airlines, we have always granted them the priority that they desire because we know people want to travel and they don’t want to be constrained by the need for them to travel. 

“In spite of this, we have seen that the number of travels or naira value of tickets issued by the airlines has increased. We decided to release $265 million when the pressure was building aggressively. 

“We will do everything possible and are determined to clear the backlog and consistently, at all the retail interventions. As long as the bank accounts are funded, we will continue to ensure that the cumulative backlog is cleared. 

“But I think it is important for me to say this — the foreign airlines are saying this because they said we should respect bilateral air services agreements (BASA) that say proceeds of all their ticket sales must be repatriated out of the country.

“It did not say you must repatriate all your dollars. There is no law that makes it compulsory that you must buy your dollars from the central bank. When you put money in your account, what it means is that you tell your bank to buy your dollar.

“Your bank will go to the legitimate or approved sources which in this case is the I&E to buy dollars and pay for your ticket sales proceeds.

“If they don’t find, they may resort to the CBN but it doesn’t mean that the CBN is under compulsion to provide your dollars because it is good for me to say this so that people don’t just rest on the conclusion that CBN is under compulsion to provide the dollars.” 

Recall that the issue of trapped funds had generated several reactions from aviation stakeholders and the non-repatriation of airlines revenue had grown from $450 million in May to $464 million in July. The CBN intervened by releasing $265 million to clear part of the forex backlog.

It should be recalled that earlier this month, Investors King had reported that the federal government of Nigeria sought to sanction airlines selling tickets in dollars.

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Economy

Lagos State to Generate at Least N240 Billion From Metro Train in One Year

Lagos State Government will likely generate at least N240 billion from the metro rail when it becomes fully operational. 

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Lagos Train

Lagos State Government will likely generate at least N240 billion from the metro rail when it becomes fully operational. 

In the wee hours of yesterday, Lagos State Government took delivery of about 20 modern coaches and two motors of its red rail. The coaches were reportedly shipped from Milwaukee USA. 

In January 2022, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu visited the factory of Talgo Inc, a train manufacturer in Milwaukee where the coaches for the red line train were purchased. 

It will be recalled that the Lagos metro train is being constructed in two phases, the red line and the blue line metro rail. 

The red line part of the project which is scheduled to fully commence operation within the first quarter (Q1) of 2023 will traverse 37 kilometres. 

No doubt, apart from the transportation benefit, many businesses will spring up along the rail corridor while old businesses will be positively impacted. 

Meanwhile, Investors King’s investigation shows that Lagos State Government will generate about N240 billion every year from both the red and blue lines of the metro rail. 

Both the Red and Blue are expected to lift at least 2.2 million passengers daily when they become fully operational. Using an average price of N300 per trip, Lagos State is expected to generate N660 million every day and a culmination of N240.9 billion in one year. 

Early this year, Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwolu disclosed when featured on a Channels TV program, Sunrise Daily that the train ticket will cost between N200 to N300 per trip.

“Time is money and we need to move millions of people in Lagos from one corridor to another. The vision is to reduce travel time and gridlock on the road”. 

“Instead of you staying one hour on the road, it’s going to take you 20 minutes which comes with a lot of benefits. Affordability is critical, it’s not going to be in the thousands. So, you will still be in your regular N200, N300 per journey and that is what we are looking at”. He said.

Lagos Metro Rail is being constructed by China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CECC). 

 

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Economy

Nigerian Cocoa Farmers to Benefit From United States’ $22 Million Food Project

About 68,000 Cocoa Farmers in Osun, Ekiti, Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Ondo States will benefit from the United States $22 Million Food Project.

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About 68,000 Cocoa Farmers in Osun, Ekiti, Abia, Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Ondo States will benefit from the United States $22 Million Food Project 

The United States Department of Agriculture has announced a $22 million food project for Nigerian Cocoa farmers. The project which is known as Food for Progress will be launched in six states of Southern Nigeria where Cocoa production is relatively prevalent. 

Investors King learnt that the Cocoa project would be implemented over the next five years. 

The programme will help beneficiaries access better agricultural input, improved technical resources, capacity building, post-harvesting processing and export marketing.

According to a statement released by the United States Consulate, the project will be implemented in partnership with an international non-governmental organisation, Lutheran World Relief. 

The US consulate further stated that the Food for Progress Program will target farmers in low productivity but highly promising areas, as well as farmers in high-density, high-productivity communities. 

“The primary objective of the Food for Progress programme is to increase cocoa productivity by leveraging climate-smart agricultural measures”. The consulate noted.

Similarly, Gerald Smith, the counsellor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Mission, said the project would employ an approach that would enable farmers to produce more cocoa and preserve the land’s fertility and biodiversity. 

The Food for Progress program is an initiative of the United States to help developing countries improve their agricultural enterprise. 

This cocoa intervention programme is coming at a time when the Cocoa Farmers Association of Nigeria (CFAN) pledged to meet the 500,000-tonne production of cocoa beans in the next two years and make Nigeria the highest cocoa producer in West Africa in the next five years.

Cocoa production is a critical component of the Nigerian economy. Nigeria is the fourth largest producer of Cocoa in the world. The country, however, produces far below Ivory Coast and Ghana which both account for more than 50 percent of the world’s production.

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