- Dangote, Others Plunked $6bn in Lekki Free Zone in 2016
The largest manufacturing conglomerate in West Africa, Dangote Group, and other companies have invested $6 billion in Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) in the last one year.
Likewise, the construction of Lekki Deep Sea Port, which was valued at $1.6billion, will take off next month as part of the plan to speed up industrial and manufacturing activities in the zone.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, disclosed this at the weekend when he inspected the zone alongside state Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Mr. Rotimi Ogunleye and his transportation counterpart, Mr. Olanrewaju Elegushi, among others.
Also, the Chairman, Lekki Worldwide Investment Limited, Mr. Biodun Dabiri; Managing Director, Asia-Africa International FZE, Mr. Sun Yuchao, and General Manager, Asia – Africa international FZE, Mr. Li Yong, were part of the team that inspected the zone.
Dangote Group is currently undertaking four strategic projects at the Lekki Free Trade Zone namely: a petroleum refinery, fertilizer processing plant, sub-sea gas pipeline project, as well as a petro-chemical project projected for completion on or before 2019.
During the inspection, Managing Director of Lekki Free Zone Development Company, Mr. Ding Yonghua, provided insight into the volume of investment the zone had attracted in the last 10 years.
As at 2016, Yonghua disclosed that the zone had already attracted 114 investors, noting that of all the investors that came to the zone in the last 10 years, 46 “are commercial investors. More investors have indicated interest in coming to set up businesses in the zone.
“The reason we have been spending more in the zone was that the zone is a swampy area and it cost $10 to sand-fill a meter within the zone. The most occupied region within the zone of the South-west quadrant where the port would be situated.”
After he was briefed about the volume of investment the zone had attracted as at 2016, the governor disclosed that more than over $6 billion has been invested in the LFTZ in the last one year, saying Dangote Group alone invested about $4 billion.
Ambode explained that over $6 billion “has been invested in the zone in 2016 alone. Dangote Group has the lion’s share of about $4 billion. We have a land space of over 16,000 hectares. A portion of this land has already been put to use.
“We are all aware of the investments Dangote Group and China Africa Lekki Investment Limited (CALIL) have injected into the zone. We are also aware of the partnership the duo signed with the Lagos State Government. This partnership made the company own 60 percent while Lagos State own 40 percent,” he explained.
Ambode added that putting the funds at the zone at a time when Nigeria was gradually easing its way out of recession would not only improve infrastructure and boost development, but would definitely help attract more investors to the zone.
Likewise, the governor promised that work “will commence on the Lekki Deep Sea Port in April,” explaining that the sea port “is indeed a critical infrastructure that will attract more investors into the zone and ensure return on investment.
“With the construction of Lekki Deep Sea Port, Lekki International Airport and others, it is obvious that a single road is no longer sufficient for the zone. We have to dualise the Lekki-Eleko road beyond the zone in order to withstand the influx of vehicle that will be making use of the road to access the zone and other areas.
“With this, we will be able to sustain the investments in the area. With the Lekki Deep Sea Port, Dangote Refinery and Lekki International Airport coming on board, Lagos East will witness massive economic turnaround within the next two years,” he said.
He also commended residents for the peaceful atmosphere witnessed in the zone in the last one year, which he said was crucial to the development recorded in recent time.
Ambode said about 800 hectares of land “will be handed over to the zone within the next six months for further development, adding that: “The overall interest is for the residents of Lagos. Aside that we will grow our GDP, this zone help reduce unemployment and capacity for the future.”
Check Your Financial Plans Are You ‘Negative Interest Rate Ready’: deVere CEO
Negative Interest Rate is Coming, Review Your Financial Plans, Warns Green
Personal financial strategies should be reviewed to ensure they are ‘negative interest rate ready’, warns the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The comments from Nigel Green, the founder and chief executive of deVere Group, come as the Bank of England voted unanimously on Thursday to leave UK interest rates at their current record lows, at 0.1% – but keep negative interest rates in its “toolbox” of possible measures.
The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday that it will likely keep its key interest rate near zero until the economy reaches full employment and inflation runs “moderately” above its 2% goal for “some time,” a pledge that is likely to keep rates ultra-low for at least five years.
Mr Green says: “Struggling to ease the economic pain of the pandemic, central banks have ushered us into an era of almost zero interest rates – with some experts saying that the U.S. Federal Reserve and the UK’s Bank of England, amongst others, could be on the brink of implementing negative interest rates as other central banks have already done across the eurozone and in Japan.
“This would have been unimaginable even a few months ago. But the shifts have been seismic this year.”
This is why he believes that more than ever “serious, joined-up financial planning strategies” are essential for those who are committed to growing and protecting their wealth.
He continues: “In an almost zero interest rate era – or perhaps a wide negative interest rate era looming – it’s not enough to think that you can rely on the strategies of before.
“For instance, so-called low-risk bonds, such as U.S. Treasuries, once the bedrock of investment portfolios are not providing the returns they once did. Indeed, yields have been at historic lows, prompting many experts to openly question their value.”
The deVere CEO goes on to add: “Cash is certainly ‘not king’ at the moment either. Cash sitting in accounts is most likely earning you almost nothing. It will definitely not be generating decent income.
“Meanwhile, investing in stocks offers its own complexities.
“Global stock markets have, in general terms, been on an impressive rally in recent months. But delve into the picture and all is not what it seems. A handful of firms in a handful of sectors are bringing up entire indexes.”
He concludes: “Personal financial strategies should be assessed to make sure they are suited to a new era of likely permanently ultra-low or even negative interest rates.”
Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, Africa Still a Prime Investment Destination
Africa Still a Prime Investment Destination, Says Participants at African Development Bank (AfDB) webinar for Asian Audiences
Participants at a webinar to present the African Development Bank’s African Economic Outlook Supplement to Asian audiences on Monday have endorsed the report as critical for post-COVID-19 Africa.
The supplement revises the growth projections and outlook for Africa for 2020 and 2021 and highlights the impact of COVID–19 on Africa’s socio-economic landscape. It recommends policy responses to safely reopen economies and accelerate growth recovery.
“Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, investment opportunities still abound in Africa,” said Tetsushi Sonobe, the Dean of the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI). “Global markets are shifting to South Asia and Africa. In a sense, Africa is not very far for Asian investors who might be interested in the investment opportunities on the continent.”
Around 350 participants attended the virtual event, which was co-hosted by the Asia External Representation Office of the African Development Bank. The audience included government officials, representatives from the African diplomatic corps in Asia, development professionals, representatives of civil society, academics and think tanks, students, journalists, and the general public
Sonobe observed that Africa’s GDP growth is projected to quickly rebound in 2021 following steady growth before COVID-19.
Sonobe identified some of the potential opportunities highlighted in the African Economic Outlook Supplement: “A large market with a very talented youthful population; a three-trillion-dollar market opportunity through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreements; greater manufacturing potential as low-cost manufacturing opportunities continue to move to Africa; improved business environment; and improving macroeconomic governance.”
Khaled Sherif, the African Development Bank’s Vice President for Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery said despite the pandemic affecting all African economies, its magnitude will vary considerably from country to country, depending on the economic characteristics and initial conditions of the countries.
“This urges us to avoid the one-size-fits-all solution to address the effects of COVID-19 in Africa. For that, the AEO Supplement notes that the continent will need the support and expertise of all. This is an opportunity to enrich the debate on what appropriate measures are needed to support African countries to recover from the pandemic, drawing particularly from Asian experience,” Sherif said.
The webinar noted that the policy recommendations of the African Economic Outlook Supplement could be regarded as important opportunities for investments. Participants also observed that although Africa is human-resource-rich, Africa will need to work on closing its infrastructure gap – an issue the African Development Bank has made one of its top priorities.
The African Economic Outlook Supplement underlines the urgency to build the resilience of Africa’s healthcare systems and economies to improve countries’ preparedness for future shocks. This means that African countries will need to rethink their current development strategies and priorities, which have clearly shown their limitations.
“Policymakers must seize the new and real opportunities for participation in global value chains, particularly with Asia and within Africa and build the infrastructure needed to encourage large-scale teleworking, e-health, and distance learning architectures for a rapid, resilient, and sustainable recovery in a post-COVID-19 digital world,” said Chuku Chuku, Officer in Charge of the Bank’s Macroeconomic Policy, Debt Sustainability and Forecasting Division.
“The pandemic notwithstanding, Africa is open to business and we look forward to working with our Asian partners.”
Released annually since 2003, the African Economic Outlook provides compelling up-to-date evidence and analytics to inform and support African decision-makers.
Consortium of Western Investors Plan to Invest Over $5bn in Power Sector
Western Investors to Invest Over $5 Billion in Renewable Energy
The Federal Government has said a consortium of Western investors have presented their plan to invest over $5 billion in the power sector.
According to the Office of the Minister of Power, the investors plan to focus mainly on the renewable energy subsector of the power sector.
Also, it was revealed that the consortium plans to deliver 1,000 megawatts capacity of hybrid solar power within 24 months.
Aaron Artimas, the Special Assistant to the Minister of Power on Media and Communications, who confirmed this to our correspondent in Abuja on Sunday, said the investors presented their plans Mr. Sale Mamman, the Minister of Power.
He said, “A consortium of Western investors interested in investing upwards of $5bn in the Nigerian power sector, with a major focus on the renewable energy sector, pitched their proposal to the Minister of Power @EngrSMamman at the Power House.”
“They made the presentation to the minister of power and it is something that is still fresh. The process is still ongoing and you’ll get updates as we proceed.”
The minister’s aide said Ron Verraneault, the main partner of the consortium led the presentation while other partners joined via zoom.
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