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Franco-Nigeria bilateral trade drops by $2.2b dollar in 2020 — Minister

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Franco-Nigeria bilateral trade drops by $2.2b dollar in 2020 — Minister

…As Chelsea see off Porto to reach semis despite Taremi stunner***

France, on Tuesday, announced that its volume of trade with Nigeria in year 2020 dropped to $2.3 billion dollars, from $4.5 billion in 2019, as a result of COVID-19.

The French Minister in charge of Foreign Trade and Attractiveness, Mr Frank Riester, disclosed this at a meeting he held with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), in Abuja, as part of his two-day official visit to Nigeria.

“We are optimistic of the future, when the crisis will be ending, because we have many companies that have settled here. We want a win-win partnership between our two countries.

“We have 100 companies that are settled in Nigeria, representing 10,000 people working in these companies and we want to increase our investments in Nigeria”, he said.

Riester added that the French Government wanted to help in the development of different states, by investing in both the private and public sectors, so as to deepen the relationship between the two countries.

Also read: Adebayo seeks establishment of Nigeria-France business council

He said that as the largest economy in Africa and the economic engine room of West Africa, Nigeria is indeed a major partner for France.

The minister said that the French Government was also putting in place measures that would allow more Nigerian companies to operate and invest in France.

“Tomorrow, I will meet some Nigeria companies that have already invested in France, as others are willing to invest in the country.

“These companies will be invited to a specific meeting in Paris in June, where President Emmanuel Macron will welcome many companies all over the world, and some of the companies will be from Nigeria, because we want more Nigerian investments in France.”

Riester added that the government was also putting in place policies that would encourage more Nigerian investment in France, while the French government was also willing to assist Nigeria to tackle insecurity.

The Chairman of the NGF, Gov. Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, commended the French government for its interest in Nigeria, especially in the states of the Federation.

Fayemi, represented by Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, described the meeting, aimed at strengthening the bilateral relationship between Nigeria and France, as fruitful.

He said that the meeting sought ways of boosting France’s collaboration and investment in Nigeria, in particular with the state governments.

Speaking later in an interview with newsmen on the ongoing strike by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) who are protesting the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the nation’s judiciary, Lalong said that state governors were not against financial autonomy for the judiciary.

Lalong, who said that the governors were already consulting with JUSUN, added that the NGF would be meeting on Wednesday, to finalize the issue, as they did not need any Order 10, to implement financial autonomy for the judiciary, since they played key role in the passage of the financial autonomy legislation.

He, however, said that certain criteria had to be put in place, for financial autonomy for the judiciary to commence at the state level.

Lalong said that financial autonomy was not about finances, but to strengthen the institution.

“You don’t wake up one day and say you are doing financial autonomy, because a law is passed, there must be processes.

“For instance, as a former Speaker, I will tell you that you cannot do financial autonomy until you establish a service commission. You must establish a state Allocation Committee. All these are steps towards autonomy.

“You don’t achieve autonomy in a day. We did it in the National Assembly, and there was no Order 10 for implementation. It took them stages. The federal government is aware.

“Members of the National Assembly, who are Governors today were members who fought for the autonomy, so how can we be against the autonomy”, Lalong asked.

In another development, Chelsea hung on to reach the Champions League semi-finals with a 2-1 aggregate win, despite Mehdi Taremi’s stunning overhead kick in added time handing Porto a 1-0 victory in the quarter-final second leg on Tuesday.

The substitute had been responsible for his side’s only attempt on target as they chased a 2-0 deficit from last week’s first leg, but he provided an emphatic response to in a cagey game with his acrobatic strike deep into added time.

Thomas Tuchel’s side had a healthy lead from last week’s away game in Seville and had to withstand an intense start from Porto in their home leg back at the Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, the venue of both games due to Portugal’s coronavirus restrictions.

Porto’s Jesus Corona closed down Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy early on, but failed to make the most of the keeper’s botched pass.

The Mexican winger missed another good chance later in the half when he shuffled past Ben Chilwell in the area only to blast over the crossbar.

Chelsea’s Mason Mount and Christian Pulisic each came close to breaking the deadlock after the interval but the Londoners were more focused on keeping Porto at bay.

“We accepted what was needed, it was a tough, tough fight,” Tuchel told reporters.

“Maybe on the television, it was not so nice to watch, but on the sidelines, it was a very intense game, a very fast game.

“It was very hard to play against them to escape the pressure but with every minute we did it better and better.”

Taremi’s last-gasp strike prevented them from keeping a clean sheet, but Chelsea still managed to reach the semi-finals of Europe’s top competition for the first time since 2014.

They will meet either Liverpool or Real Madrid in the last four, with the Spaniards holding a 3-1 lead in the other tie ahead of Wednesday’s second leg.

“We’re buzzing, it doesn’t get better than that,” said Chelsea’s Mount.

“We could have played better but just getting through was at the forefront of our minds and we did that tonight.

“We knew as a team we had to work our socks off. We knew what the final result was if we won.”

Porto coach Sergio Conceicao said he was “extremely proud” of his side for going toe-to-toe with the richer Premier League side, who spent more than 10 times as much money as his side in last year’s transfer window.

“We did not let Chelsea’s players, who are of the highest level, create many chances,” he said.

Goalscorer Taremi added: “We played a great game, we showed that we are a great team, but unfortunately my goal wasn’t enough.”

Taremi was suspended for the first leg along with top scorer Sergio Oliveira and started the game on the bench after picking up a knock in Porto’s win at Tondela, at the weekend.

The Iranian striker was introduced midway through the second half and instantly gave his side more bite in attack, becoming their first player to test Mendy, even though his header lacked enough venom to beat the keeper.

Mendy was powerless to stop his thunderous volley, but Porto had less than two minutes of added time to find another goal to force extra-time and Chelsea clung on to their advantage.

 

 

 

Reuters

Economy

NGX Weekly: Cadbury Lists 402.1m Additional Shares, Investors Lose N54bn

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NGX Weekly: Cadbury Lists 402.1m Additional Shares, Investors Lose N54bn

 Additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each per share of Cadbury Nigeria Plc (Cadbury) were listed on the Daily Official list of Nigerian Exchange Ltd. (NGX) last week.

A weekly report of the NGX made available to newsmen in Lagos stated that the Cadbury additional shares were listed during the week.

The NGX explained that the additional shares listed on NGX arose from Cadbury’s conversion of N7,036,446,501.26 intercompany loan to equity.

“With this listing of the additional 402,082,657 ordinary shares, the total issued and fully paid up shares of Cadbury has now increased from 1,878,201,962 to 2,280,284,619

ordinary shares of 50 kobo each,” the regulator said.

Also in the course of the week under review, the NGX suspended trading in the shares of Arbico Plc on Friday.

The Exchange said the suspension was necessary to prevent trading in the shares of the company in preparation for the delisting of the securities of the company in line with the approval obtained from NGX.

Meanwhile, the April 2024 Issue of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) Savings Bonds was listed on the NGX on Monday.

In the course of trading for the week, trade turnover settled 15.8 per cent lower than the previous session.

Specifically, investors traded a total of 1.652 billion shares worth N42.677 billion in 38,123 deals this week on the floor of the Exchange, in contrast to 2.187 billion shares valued at N50.667 billion that exchanged hands last week in 45,277 deals.

Consequently, the NGX All-Share Index which opened the week at 98,233.76 lost 0.11 per cent to close at 98,125.73.

The market capitalisation also depreciated by 0.10 per cent or N54 billion to close the week at N55.508 trillion, as against N55.562 trillion posted in the previous week.

Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of NGX Main Board, NGX Lotus II, NGX Industrial Goods and NGX Pension Broad which appreciated by 0.97, 0.58, 0.01 and 0.12 per cent respectively, while the NGX ASeM and NGX Sovereign Bond indices closed flat.

Meanwhile, the Financial Services Industry measured by volume led the activity chart with 979.479

million shares valued at N16.647 billion traded in 20,708 deals.

This contributed 59.30 per cent

and 39.01 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

The Conglomerates Industry followed with 239.825 million shares worth N2.879 billion in 2,178 deals.

The third place was the Consumer Goods Industry, with a turnover of 148.685 million shares worth N3.525 billion in 4,757 deals.

Trading in the top three equities namely Custodian Investment Plc, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc and Access Holdings Plc measured by volume accounted for 500.343 million

shares worth N11.768 billion in 6,551 deals.

This contributed 30.29 per cent and 27.57 per cent to the total equity turnover volume and value respectively.

Also, 28 equities appreciated in price during the week lower than 40 equities in the previous week.

51 equities depreciated in price higher than 37 in the previous week, while 76 equities remained unchanged, lower than 77 recorded in the previous week.

On the losers’ table, PZ Cussons Nigeria led by 22.16 per cent to close at N21.60, NEM Insurance followed by 18.36 per cent to close at N8.45 per cent per share.

Eterna Plc lost 18.32 per cent to close at N11.15, United Bank of Africa(UBA) shed 17.23 per cent to close at N21.85 and The Initiates Plc dropped N15.22 per cent to close at N1.95 per share.

Conversely, International Energy Insurance led the gainers table by 11.49 per cent to close at N1.65, McNichols Plc trailed by 9.89 per cent to close at one Naira per share.

Custodian Investment Plc rose by 9.68 per cent to close at N10.20, Julius Berger advanced by 9.53 per cent to close at N79.30, while Airtel Africa Plc gained 8.97 per cent to close at N2,150 per share.

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FAAC: FG, States, LGs Share N1.208trn Revenue For April

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FAAC: FG, States, LGs Share N1.208trn Revenue For April

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC), has shared the sum of N1.208 trillion as revenue for April among the Federal Government, states and Local Government Councils (LGCs).

The revenue was shared on Thursday at the May meeting of FAAC in Abuja.

A communiqué issued by the committee said that the N1.208 trillion total distributable revenue comprised statutory revenue of N284.716 billion, and Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N466.457 billion.

It also comprised Electronic Money Transfer Levy (EMTL) revenue of N18.024 billion, and Exchange Difference revenue of N438.884 billion.

The communique said the total revenue of N2.192 billion was available in April.

“Total deduction for cost of collection is N80.517 billion; total transfers, interventions and refunds is N903.479 billion.

The communique said the Gross statutory revenue of N1.233 billion was received for the month under review. This was higher than the sum of N1.017 billion received in March by N216.282 billion,” it said.

It said that the gross revenue available from VAT in April was N500.920 billion, which is lower than the N549.698 billion available in March by N48.778 billion.

The communiqué said that from the N1.208 trillion total distributable revenue, the Federal Government received N390.412 billion, the state governments received N403.403 billion and the LGCs received N293.816 billion.

“A total sum of N120.450 billion (13 per cent of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting states as derivation revenue,” it said.

It said that on the N284.716 billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N112.148 billion, the state governments received N56.883 billion and the LGCs received N43.855 billion.

It said that the sum of N71.830 billion (13 per cent of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting states as derivation revenue.

“The Federal Government received N69.969 billion, the state governments received N233.229 billion and the LGCs received N163.260 billion from the N466.457 billion distributable VAT revenue.

“A total sum of N2.704 billion was received by the Federal Government from the N18.024 billion EMTL, the state governments received N9.012 billion and the LGCs received N6.308 billion.

“The Federal Government received N205.591 billion from the N438.884 billion Exchange Difference revenue; the state governments received N104.279 billion, and the LGCs received N80.394 billion.

“The sum of N48.620 billion (13 per cent of mineral revenue) was shared to the benefiting states as derivation revenue,” it said.

According to the communiqué, Oil and Gas Royalties, Companies Income Tax (CIT), Excise Duty, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT), EMTL and CET Levies increased significantly.

It, however, said that Import Duty and VAT recorded considerable decreases.

“The balance in the ECA was 473.754 million dollars.

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Extension Of Nigeria’s Continental Shelf As Lesson On Continuity

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Extension Of Nigeria’s Continental Shelf As Lesson On Continuity

On May 14, the High Powered-Presidential Committee on Nigeria’s Extended Continental Shelf Project was in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The committee came to brief President Bola Tinubu on recommendations given to Nigeria regarding its submission for an extended continental shelf by the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

The briefing was led by veteran diplomat, Amb. Hassan Tukur, the Chairman of the committee.

The update with the president featured technical presentations by Prof. Larry Awosika, a renowned marine scientist and Mr Aliyu Omar, Member/Secretary of the Committee and former staff of the National Boundary Commission (NBC).

Omar also served as the Desk Officer for the project office in New York for several years.

Worthy of note, Nigeria’s request to have it continental shelf extended was approved by the CLCS in August 2023.

The project, which aims to extend Nigeria’s maritime boundaries under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), has granted Nigeria sovereignty over an additional 16,300 square kilometres of maritime territory.

This is roughly five times the size of Lagos State.

The CLCS is mandated to, inter alia, consider the data and information submitted and provide recommendations on the outer limits submitted by the coastal state.

Article 76 of UNCLOS (1982) allows a qualifying coastal state to extend its continental shelf up to a maximum of 350M (350 nautical miles) or 150m nautical miles beyond its traditional Exclusive Economic Zone of 200 nautical miles.

Extension Of Nigeria’s Continental Shelf As Lesson On Continuity
President Bola Tinubu receiving Nigeria’s CLCS report from the committee

The continental shelf is the natural submerged prolongation of its land territory.

The journey to extend Nigeria’s continental shelf project began in 2009 with the country’s submission to the CLCS.

The project faced delays due to a lack of funds and administrative challenges; in 2013 the Senate of the Federal Republic in its resolution of Feb. 14, 2013, urged the Federal Government to fund the project and set up an independent body to handle it.

However, it was only in November 2015 that the then President Muhammadu Buhari revitalised it.

Subsequently, he appointed the High-Powered Presidential Committee (HPPC), headed by the former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Malam Abubakar Malami, to oversee the project.

The HPPC operated as an independent technical body, effectively managing the project by cutting down on government bureaucracy.

Omar had led the Nigerian Technical Team through the question-and-answer sessions with the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS).

He was also the Member/Secretary of the HPPC with a strong institutional memory of the project, highlighted this during the committee’s briefing to President Tinubu on May 14.

Omar said that when the HPPC briefed Buhari in 2022 on the status of the project, the United Nations Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) was still considering Nigeria’s submission and having technical interactions with the HPPC.

”These interactions and consideration have now culminated in the approval for Nigeria to extend its continental shelf beyond 200M (200 nautical miles).

”As it stands now, the area approved for Nigeria is about 16,300 square kilometres, which is about five times the size of Lagos State”, he said.

Nigeria’s extended continental shelf is in an area that is referred to as the ‘Golden Triangle of the Gulf of Guinea’ due to its abundance of natural resources such as hydrocarbons, natural gas, and a variety of solid minerals.

Awosika, a pioneer member and former Chairman of the CLCS, explained that the technical team’s work involved lengthy processes.

He said it also required highly technical steps in the acquisition, processing and analysis of extensive marine scientific data offshore Nigeria’s margin for the submission to the UN CLCS.

He said that the Nigerian team had to defend the submission with the CLCS which involved highly technical question-and-answer sessions and provision of additional data and information.

Receiving the report, Tinubu commended the members of the technical team for working tirelessly.

He applauded their high technical and scientific expertise and solidarity to national cause throughout the eight years of service to the nation before an agreement was finally reached with the UN CLCS in August 2023.

It is instructive to note that Tinubu highlighted the interactions he had with his predecessor, Buhari, on the project; given that it was he, Buhari, who set up the HPPC to oversee the project in 2015.

Tinubu recounted how Buhari briefed him on the importance of the project.

”This is a big congratulations for Nigeria. I commend the team and we must take advantage of this and invite you again to have a repeat of this knowledge exploration on geography, hydrography and marine life.

”Nigeria is grateful for the efforts that you put into gaining additional territory for the country without going to war; some nations went to war; and lost people and economic opportunities.

”We lost nothing but have gained great benefits for Nigeria; we will pursue the best option for the country,” Tinubu said.

Tinubu has also promised to ‘pursue the best option for the country’ on the project, even though the CLCS recommendations fall short of Nigeria’s submitted claim.

Perceptive observers say the achievement is a lesson on the importance of continuity in government projects. Abandoning projects due to changes in administration can lead to wasted resources and lost opportunities.

The extended continental shelf is a significant achievement of Tinubu’s administration and to Nigeria.

According to experts, this is something that has never happened in the nation’s history, and may never happen again.

By learning from the ECS project, Nigeria can improve its approach to governance and project management, ensuring that with perseverance and continuity strategic initiatives are completed despite challenges.

The ECS project, initiated in 2009, faced delays and funding issues but persistence through the efforts of the immediate past administration paid off, and was finally approved by the UN in August 2023, shortly after Tinubu assumed office.

The country has taken note of articles 7 and 8 in Annex II to the Convention on the Law of the Sea concerning recommendations received from the CLCS.

The project also demonstrates the importance of long-term thinking in governance.

Discerning stakeholders hold that while the project’s benefits may not be immediate, it will surely have a significant impact on Nigeria’s economy and maritime boundaries in the future.

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