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Nigeria, China to Collaborate on Movie Production

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The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Cui Jinachun, has called for a collaboration between the Nigerian movie industry and China film industry.

The Chinese Ambassador who made the statement at the opening of the Fourth Asian Film Festival and movie screening in Abuja noted that such would promote harmony, peace and unity between both countries. 

According to the ambassador, Nigeria is important to Africa and the Nollywood movie industry had taken the lead with a huge potential of driving a movie partnership between Africa and Asia. 

Investors King understands that this is not the first time both countries will call for such collaboration. 

Envoys from both countries have hinted at a possible collaboration in that regard. 

In July 2022, the Nigerian Consul General in China, H. E. Chimezie Okeoma Ogu sought a partnership between the Federal Government of Nigeria and the government of the People’s Republic of China in the areas of film production. 

Chimezie positioned that such collaboration will not only enhance the relationship, it will also give room to knowledge transfer and provision of hi-tech resolution equipment in the African entertainment industry. 

The Consular added that Nigeria stands to benefit a lot from the partnership noting that the movie industry in Nigeria is rated as the third-largest globally, accounting for five percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product, (GDP). 

Similarly, speaking during the opening of the Fourth Asian Film Festival and movie screening yesterday, the Chinese Ambassador also reiterated the benefits of the partnership. 

“You know in Asia we have 47 countries, in the African continent we have 54 countries, so we can work together to produce films for the harmony of the people, society and the nations,” he said. 

Speaking further, he added that Nigeria can take the lead owing to the large nature of the Nollywood industry. 

“Nigeria particularly leads in producing in the film industry, so I think this kind of factor will give a big push and big momentum to develop Nollywood” he concluded. 

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IBEDC Disconnects UCH Over N500m Debt, Critical Services Affected

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The University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, experienced a disruption in its power supply after the Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) disconnected the hospital over a debt amounting to N500 million.

Dr. Jesse Otegbayo, the Chief Medical Director of UCH, confirmed the disconnection but refrained from elaborating on the exact cause.

IBEDC’s spokesperson, Busolami Tunwase, acknowledged the outstanding debt owed by UCH but denied that the disconnection was intentional.

Tunwase stated that while UCH owed the substantial amount, the power outage was due to a technical fault in the area, coinciding with the debt situation.

Despite repeated attempts to engage UCH in discussions to settle the debt, IBEDC had resorted to disconnection as a last resort.

The disconnection poses significant challenges to UCH’s critical services, affecting patient care and hospital operations.

While IBEDC emphasized its understanding of the hospital’s importance and commitment to resolving the issue amicably, the situation underscores the financial strains faced by healthcare institutions and the essential need for reliable power supply.

Efforts to negotiate and find a resolution between UCH and IBEDC are ongoing to restore normal operations and ensure uninterrupted healthcare services.

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Oil and Gas Dealers Threaten Withdrawal as 70% of Downstream Businesses Collapse

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The downstream oil sector in Nigeria faces a looming crisis as oil and gas dealers, represented by the Natural Oil and Gas Suppliers Association of Nigeria (NOGASA), issue a stern warning of potential service withdrawal.

In a recent resolution following their executive committee meeting in Abuja, NOGASA expressed grave concerns over the collapse of approximately 70% of businesses in the industry due to the harsh operating environment.

President of NOGASA, Benneth Korie, highlighted the dire situation, emphasizing the challenges faced by oil marketers in funding operations amidst soaring bank interest rates.

Korie underscored the overwhelming burden faced by operators who are compelled to acquire funds at exorbitant interest rates upwards of 30%, exacerbating financial strain and hindering business viability.

The primary demand voiced by NOGASA is the pegging of the foreign exchange rate at N750/$ to facilitate refinery operations and stimulate the production of refined products domestically.

Failure to address these pressing issues, Korie warned, could result in the withdrawal of services by NOGASA’s over 200 members starting from the next month.

The downstream oil crisis coincides with heightened anticipation for the release of refined petroleum products from the Dangote and Port Harcourt refineries, seen as critical for alleviating supply shortages nationwide.

However, amidst forex crises and inflationary pressures, operators in the oil and gas sector confront mounting economic challenges, necessitating urgent government intervention.

As Nigeria navigates through turbulent economic waters, stakeholders eagerly await decisive action from authorities to salvage the downstream oil sector from imminent collapse and avert potential disruptions in fuel supply chains.

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Developers Reject Federal Government’s Cement Price Reduction Agreement

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Real estate developers across Nigeria have voiced their strong disapproval of the recent agreement between the Federal Government and cement manufacturers to reduce the price of cement to a range between N7,000 and N8,000 per 50kg bag.

This decision has been met with skepticism and criticism from key players in the built industry.

Dr. Aliyu Wamakko, the President of the Real Estate Developers Association of Nigeria, expressed his concerns, stating that the proposed reduction would not bode well for the economy.

He pointed out that cement is a fundamental component of construction and lowering its price to such levels would not be conducive to addressing the country’s housing deficit, currently estimated at 28 million units.

Wamakko referenced an earlier commitment by the Chief Executive Officer of BUA Cement, who pledged to reduce the price of cement to N3,500 per bag by January 1, 2024.

He questioned why the current negotiation was proposing prices significantly higher than what was promised earlier.

Other stakeholders echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the need for more affordable building materials to enable the construction of housing units accessible to low-income earners.

They criticized the reliance on imported materials and advocated for the exploration of locally sourced alternatives.

The discontent among developers underscores the challenges posed by rising construction costs and the implications for housing affordability and development in Nigeria.

As discussions continue, stakeholders are urging a reevaluation of the proposed cement prices to better align with the goal of addressing the country’s housing needs.

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