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Dangote Seeks African Economy Growth Through Free Trade

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  • Dangote Seeks African Economy Growth Through Free Trade

Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, has called for conscious efforts at deepening the continent’s regional market by African investors and governments to aid its rapid growth and development.

Speaking during ‘One to One Conversation’ at the ongoing 5th Annual Financial Times African Summit in London, United Kingdom on Monday, the Nigerian entrepreneur said the key to Africa’s economic growth and strength was in the development of the regional market, saying, “Regional markets in Africa must work.”

Dangote said Africans must patronise the continent’s markets, which was why the free trade agreements by African nations were the direction to go to strengthen the markets.

Citing his own experience, the President of the Dangote Group referred to the case of neighbouring Benin Republic, which continues to import cement from China, while his Nigerian factory was only 35 miles away from the border.

“We need to trade with ourselves”, Dangote stated as he spoke glowingly about the prospect of the African economy, the free trade agreement and the availability of huge raw materials to attract investors.

Asked about the much touted listing of Dangote Cement on the London Stock Exchange, he told his audience comprising of investors, business magnates, captains of industry and African heads of government, including President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana and Ali Bongo of Gabon, that the listing might happen in 2019.

According to him, all hands are on deck to complete the process of listing, the development that is being looked up to by the business community.

Prompted by the Editor, Financial Times, Lionel Barber, to speak about difficult markets like Tanzania and Ethiopia, Dangote dismissed the issue of difficulty, stating, “Our aim is to always provide jobs and worth. As an African investor, I don’t want any investor anywhere in Africa to have a bad experience.”

Dangote repeated his mantra for African growth, urging the reduction of exports of raw materials to other continents, but creation of greater wealth within African economies.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Economy

Nigeria Mulls Selling Electricity to Republic of Chad

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Nigeria Considers Selling Electricity to the Republic of Chad

The Federal Government is presently considering selling electricity to the Republic of Chad after a request was made by the neigbouring nation.

The federal government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria disclosed this on Sunday, adding that a meeting was held last week to discuss the possibilities of plugging the Republic of Chad to the nation’s grid.

Nigeria presently exports electricity to three neighbouring nations, Benin, Togo and the Republic of Niger despite struggling with power supply at home and failed to up its power generation more than the current level of 3,000 -4,500 megawatts in recent years.

On Sunday, the total power generated declined to 3,474.5MW as of 6am, down from 3,776.5MW on Saturday, according to the latest data from the Nigerian Electricity System Operator.

The total number of idle plants rose from 8 on Saturday to 11 on Sunday. These idle plants were Geregu II, Sapele II, Alaoji, Olorunsogo II, Omotosho II, Ihovbor, Gbarain, Ibom Power, AES, ASCO and Trans-Amadi.

A total of twenty-seven plants were presently connected to the national grid, which is being managed by the TCN.

Meeting between Ministry of Power, TCN, and the Chadian Minister of Energy, Mrs Ramatou Mahamat Houtouin, to discuss the possibilities of connecting the Republic of Chad to the Nigerian national grid [was held] on Wednesday, October 21, 2020,” the TCN said on its Twitter handle on Sunday, alongside pictures of the meeting.

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Economy

Nigerians Turned to Chinese Products as Cost of US Goods Surged Amid Two Currency Devaluations this Year Alone

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Nigeria Imports More of Chinese Products in Second Quarter

The rising cost of American imports has forced importers and many households in Nigeria to embrace Chinese products as they struggle to adjust to two currency devaluations in one single year.

A recent report from the National Bureau of Statitics (NBS) shows that 31.41 percent of goods imported into the country in the second quarter were from China.

In the report titled ‘Foreign trade in goods statistics’ for second quarter of 2020, Spain led Nigeria’s exported nations for goods.

The report read in part, “Nigeria’s imports, by country of origin, shows goods were imported mainly from China (N1.26tn or 31.41 per cent), United States (N428.9bn or 10.66 per cent), India (N322.3bn or 8.01 per cent), and the Netherlands (N202.9bn or 5.04 per cent) respectively.

“The value of exports in Q2, 2020 stood at N2.22tn, a decrease of 45.64 per cent compared to Q1, 2020 and 51.73 per cent compared to Q2, 2019.

“The year to date export amounted to N6.3tn, representing a 31 per cent decline compared to 2019.

“Exports by section revealed that mineral products accounted for the largest portion of exports, amounting to N1.87tn or 84.35 per cent, mainly due to the crude oil component.”

The increase in Chinese import is likely due to the plunge in Naira against the US dollar and the general dollar scarcity that prevent importers from accessing the greenback. This, coupled with two devaluations of the local currency forced many businesses and mini-importers to embrace Yuan goods against the usual US dollar.

Further breakdown of the report showed that Nigeria export mostly to Europe with goods valued at N976.5 billion or 44 per cent exported in the second quarter. Asia followed with goods worth N734.1 billion or 33.08 per cent.

While African nations accounted for N401.4 billion or 18.1 per cent, America received N105.8 billion or 4.8 per cent export goods and Oceania imported N1.7 billion or 0.08 per cent from Nigeria during the period under review.

Within Africa, Nigeria exports goods valued at N149.3 billion to ECOWAS member nations.

While all regions recorded declines in the value of exported goods during the quarter, China and Japan recorded increased in export activity.

The NBS stated, “Exports by country of destination showed that Nigeria exported goods to Spain valued at (N310.8bn or 14 per cent), Netherlands (N243.7bn or 10.98 per cent), China (N220.4bn or 9.9 per cent), India (N195.6bn or 8.8 per cent) and South Africa (N172.2 or 7.7 per cent).

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Economy

FG Launches New N25bn Youth Fund to Address Some of the Concerns Raised by #EndSARS Protesters

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Zainab Ahmed

FG Introduces N25 Billion Youth Fund

The Federal Government has introduced a new N25 billion youth fund to address some of the issues raised by the Nigerian youths who took to the street to demand good governance, among others.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed, disclosed this at a stakeholder meeting held with the Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr. Hadiza Balarabe, in Kaduna.

Ahmed said the fund would be increased from N25 billion to N75 billion within three years to ensure new job creation for the youths.

The meeting was constituted as part of the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to ministers and governors to dialogue with stakeholders on some of the concerns raised by #EndSARS protesters.

The finance minister said the aim was to support the Nigerian youths to actualise their innovative and entrepreneurial minds in business and general development of the nation.

On her part, Balarabe said the essence of the meeting was to brainstorm on how to tackle security challenges faced during the #EndSARS protests.

Dr Mohammad Abubakar, the Minister of Environment, who was also at the meeting, reiterated Federal Government’s commitment to people-friendly policies and reforms.

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