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Siemens Nigeria Builds €3m Facility, Boosts Local Content

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Siemens Limited Nigeria has inaugurated a new facility in Port Harcourt to increase local capacity in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

The company said it invested about €3m in the facility and developed it according to international specifications and standards.

It said the Siemens Port Harcourt Service facility was equipped to repair and overhaul highly sophisticated equipment that would previously have been sent overseas.

The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Siemens Limited, Onyeche Tifase, while speaking at the opening of the new Siemens Port Harcourt Service Workshop on Wednesday, described it as the first facility of its kind for Siemens in West, East and Central Africa, and a major investment for the global Siemens service business.

Noting that Siemens registered its business in Nigeria 46 years ago, she said, “Siemens Service Centre stands as a shining example of how leading Original Equipment Manufacturers can localise their services, increase value-addition and contribute strategically to the much-needed diversification of Nigeria’s economy.

“We recognise this as a groundbreaking moment, not just for Siemens, but for Nigeria and Nigerians.”

Tifase said with over 160 years of engineering history across the world, Siemens had remained at the forefront of technological advancement through the supply of sustainable and efficient automation, digitalisation and electrification solutions and lifecycle services.

She said, “Siemens equipment outperforms in various oil and gas, manufacturing, utility and infrastructure facilities worldwide. In Nigeria, our vision for many years has been to create a world-class facility and workshop environment where service excellence is fostered to align with our client’s ever-changing needs.

“We are proud to have developed a facility that is ISO 9001 accredited and offers a modern working environment for our partners and employees.”

She said it had become even more critical in today’s economy to ensure that industrial plants and facilities run at maximum capacity and efficiency over an extended lifecycle.

“The technical experts and other employees located in the Siemens service workshop are well trained, certified and capable of developing and delivering precisely the right support to ensure maximum results and address all our customer’s service needs.

“This will ensure we remain even closer to our customers and can provide greater responsiveness, reduce turnaround time and optimise costs for undertaking maintenance programmes.”

According to Tifase, future development plans for the workshop include provision of electrical repair services for equipment such as motors, drives, switchgear, transformers, distribution boards, etc.

The Vice President, Region South and West Europe and Africa, Siemens, Mr. Philipp Kurney, said, “The capital investment in this facility is right about three million euros. That is one element to it. I think the second and potentially more important element is the amount of training and investment in people.

“We have taken a lot of people locally and put them on training programmes, allow them to learn in our factories at Europe and America.

The Maintenance and Integrity Manager, Shell Exploration and Production Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Oji Eberechukwu, described the workshop as a critical milestone.

He said it would support the Nigerian Content Development agenda and position Siemens as a more responsible and corporate business citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said, “We will collaborate more in the utilisation of this workshop for some extraordinary maintenance and of course in the sharing and transfer of technical competencies in this space; like the just-concluded Bonga FGCs inspections in this workshop.

“Though they were preliminary, we look forward to a time when we can do complete major overhauls of our compressors and turbines and also do high speed balancing in-country.”

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.

Investment

Check Your Financial Plans Are You ‘Negative Interest Rate Ready’: deVere CEO

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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.”

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Despite COVID-19 Pandemic, Africa Still a Prime Investment Destination

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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.

 

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Consortium of Western Investors Plan to Invest Over $5bn in Power Sector

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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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