- Senate Faults $1.6 Billion Lekki Deep Seaport Project
The Senate has raised concerns on the approvals granted for the construction of the Lekki Deep Seaport without due consideration for intermodal railways services.
The Senate Committee on Marine Transport discovered during the oversight function at ports facilities in Lagos, that the all-important project was approved without train channel, which is key to shipping business.
The committee led by its Chairman, Ahmad Sanni, said the current situation of road gridlock experienced in the Apapa axis might replicate itself at the Lekki Deep Seaport, if necessary consideration was not given to a good road network including rail haulage.
The multi-billion dollar project was approved by the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in 2009, with a Chinese firm Tolaran Group as the promoter. Other partners in the project include the Lagos State Government and NPA.
The Director, Lekki Deep Seaport, John Mastoroudes, said the company has discovered the shortfall in the master plan and is presently ready to inculcate the railway network in the project, if the Federal Government decided to include it in the plan.
Mastoroudes said the company is currently working with Lagos State government to improve the road network linking the seaport, which is located within the Free Trade Zone (FTZ).
“We are very much aware that railway is a good means of transport to shipping business, unfortunately Nigeria has lag behind in railway. The Ministry of Transport and Lagos State Government know much about railway. It is very important and we are making a definite discussion on the railway, although it has not been finalised but it is definitely in our thought,” he said.
The Port Manager, Stephen Herculum, said Lagos State government has promised to construct some roads around the port commencing from 2017. These include the expansion of the Lekki road, construction of Eleko road, a new link road and bridge that will be connecting Lekki expressway to Lagos (Victoria Island).
He stressed that the company is much more interested in the road construction now, but the railway is not in the master plan.“As soon as Nigeria incorporated the railway, we are ready to comply and take it as priority. This will guide against the replication of the traffic congestion that we are seeing in Apapa now” he said.
The project is designed to be a mega seaport with three jetties with a 14 meter draft to be dredged to 19 meters progressively. It has a 300 meter dry bulk facility with capacities to import/export different products including solid minerals and petroleum products.
Construction has commenced and the project is expected to be completed and commissioned by November/December 2019.He said the hydraulic studies (which are in five stages are on going, while mobilisation of plants and equipment have started.
Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies
Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies
Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.
According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.
The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.
It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.
“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”
Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.
Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension
Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.
OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.
In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.
Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.
Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.
“While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
“The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.”
Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.
Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report
- Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report
Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.
The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.
The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.
“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.
Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.
Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.
The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.
Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.
Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.
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