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Federal Government’s Truck Transit Park to gulp N4.8 billion



…As Global factoring volume hits €2.37 trillion***

The planned Truck Transit Park initiative of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), would gulp over N4.8 billion, even as investors are jostling to secure a stake in the project.

The Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, assured that the N4.8 billion Truck Transit Park (TTP), in eight locations across the country, and another six Inland Container Depots (ICD) are aimed at solving the chaos currently experienced in Nigerian ports.

The Truck Transit Park (TTP) project is a modern state-of-the-art facility situated just off the highways, designed to provide temporary rest location where truck drivers can conveniently park their vehicles in a healthy environment, get accommodation, fuel, food, drinks, restrooms, showers and other basic supplies like oil and spare parts as well as services in high use corridors.

Amaechi said, ”the TTPs have worked in the advanced countries and will also work in Nigeria because we are going to follow the international standards.,”

Chief Executive Officer, the Nigerian Stock Exchange, Oscar Onyeama, at NSC’s breakfast meeting in Lagos stressed the need to exploit the bond market to raise fund for infrastructure projects.

He noted that investment prospects for the transport sector is viable, while calling for lunching of fund that primarily focus on transport infrastructure.

Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Adamu Aliero, said: “There is serious deficit in our infrastructure and the only way we can overcome this challenge is by sourcing for funds and relying on the private sector,”

Executive Secretary, NSC, Hassan Bello said: “Investment benefits of TTP includes; guaranteed returns on investment for the investor; Investors will have the benefit of managing an industrial and logistics hub with numerous incentives”

In the meantime, worried by the slow-paced growth of small and medium enterprises in Nigeria and other African countries, stakeholders have argued in favour of adoption of new and structured trade finance instruments that will de-risk SME financing and promote lending to the sector.

Indeed, data from the global factoring industry showed that Africa recorded only €20.39 billion, representing one per cent of the €2.37trillion global volume in 2016.

With factoring yet to gain ground in Nigeria, trade experts have tasked government on the need to pass the factoring bill into law to deepen its penetration in Nigeria and improve the country’s participation in intra-African trade.

Factoring is a financing method in which a business owner sells accounts receivable at a discount to a third-party funding source to raise capital.

In a typical factoring arrangement, the client (you) makes a sale, delivers the product or service and generates an invoice.

The factor (the funding source) buys the right to collect on that invoice by agreeing to pay you the invoice’s face value less a discount—typically 2 to 6 percent. The factor pays 75 percent to 80 percent of the face value immediately and forwards the remainder (less the discount) when your customer pays.

Secretary General of FCI, Peter Mulroy while speaking at the just concluded Advanced Structured Trade Finance Seminar and Workshops organized by the African Export-import Bank (Afreximbank), in Cape Verde, said factoring is emerging as an important mechanism to bridge the gap in the financing of SMEs, adding that developing this mechanism would also contribute to enhancing trade well beyond national borders.

He explained that there are expectations about the Nigerian market, noting that the passage of the factoring bill into law will further aid the realisation of SMEs’ potential and open up the nation to prospects of factoring to support SMEs as actors in the supply chains.

Managing Director, Intra-African Trade Initiative, Afreximbank and Chairperson of the Africa Chapter of FCI, Kanayo Awani, emphasised the need to redefine the landscape noting that factoring as a percentage of GDP is higher in countries that have a well-defined body of factoring statutes.

Awani said the Bank has also partnered with Nigerian Export Import Bank (NEXIM) who are at the forefront of pushing foreign exchange regime in Nigeria to admit Factors as dealers of foreign exchange in a bid to expand the regulatory regime from Letters of Credit to open account modes of payment.

“Regional integration lowers transaction costs and smoothens the functioning of regional value chains presenting opportunities for development. Africa therefore must diversify, enhance production, and move to more complex products, in terms of value addition.

“The potentials for Africa’s value chain to integrate are promising, and so therefore are the prospects of factoring to support SMEs as actors in the supply chains. Consider that, leather production in Botswana is feeding into the car industry in South Africa; dried mangoes from Gambia are being exported to Nigeria to feed its food and beverage industry; and even Cape Verde’s abundant stones and gravels can feed construction across the region, not to talk of its processed fish capabilities”, Awani added.

Minister of Finance of Cape Verde, Olavo Correia, reiterated the need for trade growth saying, Africa should create an environment that promotes trade and investment in order to enable its economies can grow.

“Our continent needs to grow in order fight the problems we have, such as poverty, and we must speed up the transformation if we want to see results. There is no economic growth without trade and we must work to provide a political, economic and social environment in order to reinforce regional exchanges”, he added.

Correia called for increased support for Afreximbank, saying, “The organisation which helps us needs our support so it can be of service to the whole African continent.”

Guardian NG


Troops Destroy 51 Illegal Refining Sites, Recover Stolen Crude Oil – DHQ



….Destroy 7 dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, one outboard engine, others

The Defence Headquarters says  troops of Operation Delta Safe have  destroyed 51 illegal oil refining sites and recovered stolen crude oil and refined products in the Niger Delta in the last one week.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed  in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also apprehended 58 perpetrators of oil theft and denied them of  estimated sum of N668.7 million

He said the troops destroyed seven dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, 141 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, one outboard engine, one tricycle, one speedboat and one tugboat.

According to him, troops recovered 267,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 567,700 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,000 litres of DPK.

“Troops has maintained momentum against oil theft and arrested persons involved in oil theft in Bonny and Ikpoba Local Government Areas of Rivers and Edo States respectively.

“Troops also arrested suspected armed robbers and foiled illegal bunkering activities in Oshimili South and Ukwa West of Delta and Abia States respectively,” he said.

In the South East, Buba said  troops of Operation UDO KA arrested 15 suspected criminals and repelled attacks by IPOB/ESN criminals in Anambra, Abia and Imo States.

He said the troops conducted raids and rescued kidnapped hostages in Ishielu and Igbo Eze North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi and Enugu States respectively.

He said the troops neutralised three criminals, rescued five kidnapped hostages and recovered 14 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo.

In the South West, Buba said  troops of Operation AWATSE foiled armed robbery attacks in Orelope and Olorunsogo Local Government Areas of Oyo State and arrested a gunrunner in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.

According to him, troops rescued 15 kidnapped hostages and recovered two vehicles.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he added.

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NEPZA Boss Says Nation’s Free Trade Zones Not Really `Free’



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the country’s Free Trade Zones are business anchorages that have for decades been used to generate revenues for the Federal Government.

Dr Olufemi Ogunyemi, the Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a statement by the authority’s
Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, on Monday in Abuja, stressing that the the widely held notion that the scheme is a `free meal ticket’ for investors and not a means for the government to generate revenue is incorrect.

Ogunyemi said this public statement was essential to clarify the misunderstanding by various individuals and entities, in and out of government, on the nature of the scheme.

He reiterated the authority’s commitment to enhancing public knowledge of the principal reason for the country’s adoption of the scheme by the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992.

“The Free Trade Zones are not hot spots for revenue generation. Instead, they exist to support socioeconomic development.

“These include but are not limited to industrialisation, infrastructure development, employment generation, skills acquisition, foreign exchange earnings, and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) inflows,” Ogunyemi said.

The managing director said the NEPZA Act provided exemption from all federal, state, and local government taxes, rates, levies, and charges for FZE, of which duty and VAT were part.

“However, goods and services exported into Nigeria attract duty, which includes VAT and other charges.

“In addition, NEPZA collects over 20 types of revenues, ranging from 500,000 dollars-Declaration fees, 60,000 dollars for Operation License (OPL) Renewal Fees between three and five years.

“There is also the 100-300 dollar Examination and Documentation fees per transaction, which occurs daily.

“There are other periodic revenues derived from vehicle registration and visas, among others.

“The operations within the free trade zones are not free in the context of the word,” he said.

Ogunyemi said the global business space had contracted significantly, adding that to win a sizable space would require the ingenuity of the government to either expand or maintain the promised incentives.

“These incentives will encourage more multinational corporations and local investors to leverage on the scheme, which has a cumulative investment valued at 30 billion dollars.

“The scheme has caused an influx of FDIs; it has also brought advanced technologies, managerial expertise, and access to global markets.

“For instance, the 52 FTZs with 612 enterprises have and will continue to facilitate the creation of numerous direct and indirect jobs, currently estimated to be within the region of 170,000,” he said.

Ogunyemi said an adjustment in title and introduction of current global business practices would significantly advance the scheme, increasing forward and backward linkages.

“This is with a more significant market offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

“We have commenced negotiations across the board to ensure that the NEPZA Act is amended to give room for adjusting the scheme’s title from `Free Trade Zones to Special Economic Zones respectively.

“This will open up the system for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

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2023 CLPA: Policy Cohesion Imperative For Implementation Of AfCFTA Agreements, Others



Some policy experts and stakeholders have called for policy cohesion across Africa for the successful implementation of multilateral policy decisions.

They spoke on Wednesday during one of the plenaries at the 2023 Conference on Land Policy in Africa (CLPA), held in Addis Ababa.

The CLPA, the fifth in the series, is organised by the tripartite consortium consisting of the African Union Commission (AUC), the African Development Bank (AfDB), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The 2023 edition has the theme, ‘Year of AfCFTA: Acceleration of the African Continental Free Trade Area Implementation’.

Dr Medhat El-Helepi (ECA), chaired the plenary with the sub-theme: ‘Land Governance, Regional Integration, and Intra-Africa Trade: Opportunities and Challenges’.

Panelists at the plenary included Dr Stephen Karingi, Director, Regional Integration and Trade, ECA; Mr Tsotetsi Makong, Head of Capacity Building and Technical Assistance, AfCFTA Secretariat.

Others were Mr Kebur Ghenna, CEO, of the Pan African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PACCI) and Ms Eileen Wakesho, Director of Community Land Protection at Namati, Kenya.

The event also attracted various stakeholders, including traditional leaders, Civil Society Organisations, and policy decision-makers.

Makong expressed worries over the reluctance of some participants to openly discuss some matters, pleading ‘no go areas of domestic affairs’.

He, however, noted that the issues of land were within the limit of domestic regulations, adding that tenure land security was the solution that would allow intra-African investment that is still low in Africa.

Makong pointed out that the success of the investment protocol under the AfCFTA would depend on countries’ domestic laws that should be in line with the AfCFTA.

“There are guidelines on land reforms that need to be turned into regulations within the domestic systems.

“Policy coherence has to be at the heart of what we do. This can be achieved by engaging everyone including women and youth at the grassroots level.

“Also, you cannot be talking of AfCFTA as of it is just about Ministers of Trade, Economy or Investment. The idea is a totality of the entire governance structure. This is very important,” he said.

Speakers also noted that inclusive land governance was one of the key pillars to enhance Africa’s drive to improve intra-African trade, food security, and sustainable food systems.

They said an inclusive governance system would allow stakeholders to create transparency, subsidiarity, inclusiveness, prior informed participation, and social acceptance by affected communities in land-based initiatives beyond their borders.

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