The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) has said its Zero Oil Plan has the potential to increase earnings from non-oil sector to $30billion over the next five years.
Its Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mr Olusegun Awolowo who spoke during a visit to the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh in Abuja, said the plan has identified 11 strategic products and sectors in other countries for Nigerian goods. He said if the plan is adhered to, the non-oil sector would possibly move from $2.7 billion it is currently generating to $30 billion.
He said: “More recently, we have developed the Zero Oil Plan, in response to this administration’s charge that Nigeria must begin to look for new drivers of the economy.
“The plan is Nigeria’s strategic effort to build an economy that does not need oil to survive and can serve as a major flagship economic programme for the country.”
Meanwhile, the Council has advised Nigerians to embrace mushroom farming to boost the foreign exchange earnings of the country.
Speaking during a one day export workshop on mushroom development for export for growers in Osun State, the Trade Promotion Advisor at NEPC, Akure Office, Mr. Moruf Salami, said mushroom farming would promote the economic diversification agenda of the Federal Government and also boost food production.
He said:“The NEPC is organising this workshop to enlighten our business community on the rudiments of export trade for economic growth. Nigerians need to tap into the multimillion dollar mushroom business, there is a huge money in this business and Nigerians should explore the opportunities.
“The importance of non-oil sector to our national economy and its pivotal role in industrialisation especially in this period of dwindling oil revenue cannot be downplayed. The intention of this workshop is primarily to expose the farmers to modern ways of cultivating mushrooms to meet international standards thereby bringing out the distinct features of export business as opposed to domestic trade.
“Instead of depending on the old method of picking mushrooms from the wild, farmer could grow it even in the cities and make money from using technology to plant the crop.”
The Director of African Centre for Mushroom Research and Technological Innovations, Prof. John Okhuoya, said mushroom was in demand in the United States, Europe and Asia because of its health benefits.
He explained that African mushroom is sought after because it is being used to produce drugs, adding that it was being recommended for the treatment of ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension and others.
Also, the Regional Coordinator of NEPC, Mr. Babatunde Faleke, who noted that mushroom consumption had taken a global perspective, said that the crop could change the financial fortune of the growers.
IATA Says Nigerian Airlines Loses $2.09bn in April and June
Airlines in Nigeria Loses $2.09 Billion in April and June
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has estimated that Nigerian airlines lost about $2.09 billion in the month of April and June due to COVID-19 lockdown.
In its report titled ‘Quarantine measures threaten aviation restart in Africa and the Middle East,’ IATA stated that the aviation sector in Africa and the Middle East was the worst-hit.
According to the report, the aviation sector in the two regions provides over 8.6 million direct and indirect jobs.
While the report did not provide data for the month of May, it stated that the number of Nigerian passengers declined by 4.7 million in April and 5.32 million in June when compared with the same period of 2019.
Similarly, the report said 125,400 jobs were at risk in April and 139,500 jobs were at risk in the month of June.
Muhammad Albakri, the Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, IATA, said governments in Africa and the Middle East must devise alternative methods to the current quarantine measures in place, saying the two regions have the highest number of government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
He said, “It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
“The region is effectively in complete lockdown with the travel and tourism sector shuttered. This is detrimental in a region where 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods.”
Oando Partners Oilserv to Build Ajaokuta-Kaduna Portion of AKK Project
Oando, Oilserv to Construct Ajaokuta-Kaduna Portion of AKK Project
Oando Plc has partnered Oilserve Limited to construct a 303.4km linear pipeline system for the Ajaokuta to Kaduna portion of the $2.8 billion, 40 inch by 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project, the AKK Pipeline.
According to a statement released by Oando through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the construction of the AKK Pipeline Project approved in 2018 has commenced on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
The statement reads “Oando PLC (referred to as “Oando” or the “the Company”), is pleased to announce to the Company’s attendance as a consortium partner at the flag-off ceremony for the construction of the $2.8billion, 40 inch by 614km Ajaokuta-Kaduna-Kano Gas Pipeline Project (the “AKK Pipeline”), by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari GCFR on Tuesday, June 30, 2020.
“The AKK Pipeline Project, championed by two consortia comprising select indigenous and international companies commenced in 2013 with the announcement for tenders by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC). In April 2018, the Company announced that following an extensive due diligence and bid process, the Oilserv-Oando PLC consortium was awarded the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) mandate for segment 1, accounting for 40” by 303.4km linear pipeline system for the Ajaokuta to Kaduna portion of the AKK Pipeline Project by the NNPC.”
Speaking on the project, Jubril Adewale Tinubu, the Group Chief Executive, Oando PLC, said: “As a proudly Nigerian company, focused on driving indigenous participation we have always been proponents of public private partnership in accelerating the actualization of the nation’s goals.
“We have aspired to play an integral role in the building out of the National Gas Infrastructure and Pipeline Grid, as evidenced by our efforts in 2009, post the Nigerian Gas Masterplan when we participated in the unrealized Calabar- Ajaokuta- Abuja-Kano (CAAK) line.
“We have developed strategic partnerships with both private sector players and the NNPC in bringing sustainable solutions to spur the development of the country via our numerous gas development and distribution projects. We commend the NNPC for spearheading projects that will soften the headwinds occasioned by the global COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are proud to be active participants in driving the country’s industrialization and actualization of the Gas Master Plan which will undoubtedly create employment opportunities and ultimately generate as well as enhance value for the nation.”
Ethiopian Airlines Sustain Profitability Despite COVID-19
Despite COVID-19, Ethiopian Airlines Stay Afloat
Africa’s largest airline, Ethiopian Airlines, manages to stay afloat during the peak of COVID-19 pandemic, Tewolde Gebre-Mariam, the airline CEO, stated.
The Chief Executive Officer said “We may not be as profitable as we expected but we registered some profit. The first half of the year was good and the cargo business has also done very well.”
While the airline is expected to be down by almost $1 billion in ticket sales in the current year ending July 7, it generated enough revenue from the transportation of goods to finance monthly fixed payments between $120 million to $150 million for loans, aircraft leases, salaries and rentals.
According to Gebre-Mariam, the airline is still flying about 40 charter repatriations per week despite other flights completely grounded.
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