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Harnessing Africa’s natural resources for industrial and economic growth



Harnessing Africa’s natural resources for industrial and economic growth

Companies grow through proper funding and investment and nations develop through good policies that inspire investment and industrialisation.

A nation is said to be underdeveloped if it is unable to meet the economic, social, health and other needs of its citizens. Unfortunately, this is the fate of most African countries today.

According to experts, development is achieved by improving the standards of living of citizens, and raising their per capita income; industries and investments are the factors that drive that goal.

Industries enhance productivity, generate employment, and create wealth.

Countries invest in activities and policies that engender economic development and increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Industrial development remains one of the instruments to realise that.

Conversely, countries lacking in industries risk mass unemployment, low per capita income, extreme poverty and under-development.

It was against this background that the United States Latino American Chamber of Commerce (USLACC), organised African and Foreign Investment Trade Summit (AFRIFITS) in Abuja to stimulate Africa’s economic growth.

The theme of the event was “Promotion of African Businesses, Synergy and Match Making Foreign Investments.”

Speaking at the event, the President of USLACC, Dr. Manolo Cevallos, said the goal of AFRIFITS was to market Africa as the world’s hub of industrialisation.

He said that African economic growth was achievable if only foreign investors, Africans in Diaspora and African business communities unite to invest in the continent.

Cevallos represented at the event by Mrs. Ifeoma Ejiogu, a USLAAC staff, said that AFRIFITS also aimed to contribute to the reform of African nations’ economies with a view to accelerating international trade and investment.

He said that an African Region of USLAAC was meant to promote Africa’s international trade potential.

Ejiogu said the world’s attention was now turning to Africa to unlock the next wave of global business and economic opportunities with its largely untapped human and material resources.

Mr. Bethran Uzodinma, an industrialist advised that to make Africa one of the global industry hubs policymakers need to project its market strengths such as its largely youthful population and huge mineral deposits to the investing community.

Mr. Uche Egenti of the Nigeria Building and Road Research Institute (NBRRI) called on Nigerian entrepreneurs to rise to the challenge of the continent’s socio-economic development.

“It is time for Africa to be industrialised. The government cannot do everything. It is time to reason together and develop concepts that will catapult Africa to the world,” Egenti said.

This view has been echoed by African leaders at different fora.

For instance, at the just 2022 UN General Assembly (UNGA77) in New York, the Ghana President, Nana Akufo Addo, urged investors to support Africa’s lucrative agro-industry.

He told the world leaders that Africa is ready for business in new frontiers such as manufacturing, technology and food processing and production.

Local manufacturing will ensure that African economies benefit from reduced dependence on imported products from countries like China, Japan and European nations with positive implications for the market value of their local currencies.

There is also the need for increased investment in oil and gas to guarantee that the sector benefits the people of Africa.

Zamfara is one of the states in Nigeria where numerous mineral resources in commercial quantity have remained largely under-utilised, leading to very low industrialisation.

At a recent investment stakeholders’ meeting organised by the Indian Government in Abuja the state’s Deputy Governor, Alhaji Hassan Nasiha urged the Federal Government to connect the state with foreign investors for optimum utilisation of its numerous mineral resources.

Nasiha, who made the appeal through his Director-General of Press Affairs, Babangida Zurmi, said the state has huge deposits of gold, iron ore, tantalite, zinc, copper and gypsum, among other numerous solid minerals.

He said that both its metallic and non-metallic resources were untapped in almost all the 14 local government areas of the state.

Nasiha said it was the desire of the state government to ensure that these mineral deposits had positive impact on the lives of the people of the state.

Similarly, at a colloquium marking Nigeria’s 62nd Independence, the keynote speaker, Mrs Ibironke Adeagbo, a Chartered Accountant and Chief Executive Officer of a UK-based charity, IA-Foundation said investment in education was key to unraveling Nigeria’s industrialisation puzzle.

She argued that Nigeria has not adequately funded an education system capable of producing young entrepreneurs with the know-how to maximize the nation’s resources for industrial growth.

But all is not gloom as some states have taken initiatives towards creating the enabling environment for industrialisation to blossom.

One of such states is Gombe which said recently that it is planning to organise an investment summit to attract investors to tap into business opportunities in the state.

In Katsina State, the state government is preparing to host a groundbreaking Economic Summit for its two mega Economic Zone Projects.

The move the government said is intended to project the potentials of the state in textile and other agricultural produce that the state is endowed with.




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465 returned migrants to benefit from IOM intervention project in Edo



465 returned migrants to benefit from IOM intervention project in Edo

No few than 465 returned migrants and community members are to benefit from International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Managing Migration through Development project MMDP 2.0 in Edo.

The two-year project would be funded by the Italian government to empower returned migrants to acquire skills and education.

The Chief of Mission, IOM Nigeria, Laurent De Boeck who made this known during the inauguration of the project on Monday in Benin, said that the first phase of the MMDP 1.0 impacted about 500 youths in the state.

465 returned migrants to benefit from IOM intervention project in Edo
Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo

De Boeck noted that the project which would be carried out in collaboration with the Italian and Edo government was designed to help reintegrate returnees into society.

He explained that the project would provide need-based economic assistance to 225 returnees, vocational training to 150 beneficiaries, and rehabilitation of 90 victims of trafficking.

He said the project would contribute to the state government’s efforts to prevent human trafficking and protect vulnerable migrants and community members across the 18 local government areas of the state.

He noted that the choice of Edo for the implementation of the project was because the state accounted for the highest figure of over 30,000 returned migrants since 2017.

“It is an honour to welcome you all to the launch of the project MMDP 2.0 in Edo. The project was developed in collaboration with Edo government.

“This launch is to introduce the project to stakeholders that are involved in strengthening the socio-economic reintegration of returned migrants and providing livelihood support for local communities.

“Edo pioneered the establishment of a state Taskforce Against Human Trafficking in 2018 with a mission to combat human trafficking and irregular migration.

“This laid the foundation for MMDP 1.0 initiated by Edo government support by the European Union and world Bank which established shelter for returnees.

“This MMDP 2.0 will first all support the development of a migration management strategy for the state. The strategy is to define a coordinated approach for Migration Management,” he said.

According to him, the intervention will not only help returnees to better integrate into the society but will also create jobs by harnessing entrepreneurial drive of migrants and community youths.

De Boeck, however, appreciated Italian government for the generous financial support to the project.

The Ambassador of Italy to Nigeria, Stefano De Leo, said that the aim of the two-year project was to support Edo government to provide skills and education to returned migrants and to prevent human trafficking in the state.

“Partnerships and networks are increasingly important tools to tackle challenges in the long term.

“I am happy to inform you that the Governor of Veneto Region, Luca Zaia, has expressed his desire to explore opportunities of partnership with Edo State.

“I will discuss further with the governor and government representatives the best ways to move forward on this roadmap,” he added.

Also speaking, Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo said that the huge numbers of Edo youths travelling abroad to seek greener pastures was due to systemic collapse which his administration has addressed in the last six years.

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Nigeria Will Meet OPEC Quota by May 2023 – Sylvia



Nigeria Will Meet OPEC Quota by May 2023 – Sylvia

…Fails to indicate why Quota can only be met in May***

The Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylvia has assured that Nigeria would meet the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) crude oil production quota of 1.8 million BPD by May 2023. He however did not explain why Nigeria would only meet the quota, in the very last month of this administration.

Sylvia, in a statement on Monday by his Senior Adviser, Media and Communications, Horatius Egua, highlighted this, after OPEC agreed to maintain its production cut among member countries to maintain market stability.

He said the Federal Government would continue to improve security along the tracks of the major crude oil pipelines and block every leakage through which crude oil are stolen by oil thieves and pipeline vandals.

Sylvia said that the inability of Nigeria to meet the current OPEC quota was not due to lack of production capacity on the part of crude oil producers.

He said it was because a lot of producers decided not to inject into the pipelines because they were losing a lot of their production when they inject into the pipelines.

“Once we are able to build enough confidence in the security of the pipelines, they (producers) will then be able to inject into the pipelines once again and once that happens, we will be able to meet up with our OPEC quotas.

“That is where we are going and the early signals are there that we are making very good progress.

“Our pipelines have issues and we put security structure in place involving the communities, the security, oil companies and government and we are beginning to see some early signs of improvement.

“Our production for example has improved from where we were in the past.

“We are producing over a million barrels now and we believe that when we have built confidence enough on the pipelines and all the producers begin to inject into the pipelines that have been secured, we will be able to meet our OPEC quota,” he said.

He said that with the current rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt, Warri refineries as well as the planned fixing of the Kaduna refinery and the coming onstream of the Dangote Refinery, Nigeria was sure of guaranteed crude production to ease the incessant fuel crisis.

According to him, between Port Harcourt, Warri and Kaduna there are over 410,000 barrels and if we have all that refined in-country that will be at least half of our consumption and with Dangote refinery which is expected to come on stream by the first quarter of next year.

He expressed hope that even before the third quarter of 2023 Nigeria should be able to exit the importation of refined products.

Speaking on the discovery of crude oil in Kolmani, a border town between Bauchi and Gombe states, the minister said Nigeria should brace up for more oil adding that only the Niger Delta region had been explored for oil despite potentials in other regions.

“Nigeria is a very prolific territory, so far only the Niger Delta has been proven as an oil-bearing territory but we have a lot of other basins within Nigeria; we have the Benue trough, the Gongola Basin, the Sokoto Basin and the Dahomey Basin.

“We have a lot of Basins that have not been proven. We are targeting to get to see how we can explore oil especially now that the world is transiting.

“We want to see how we can quickly take advantage of what we have on the ground because coal didn’t finish on the ground before the world moved on to oil but we don’t think that the world is going to wait for us,” he said.

Sylva said Nigeria would not be dealing with crude oil as only an income earner but as an economic enabler to avoid the crisis that hallmarked oil discovery in the Niger Delta region. 

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NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 



NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 

 …Explains reason for increased train fares***

The Federal Government has assured Nigerians of the collaboration of the various armed forces in the country to ensure the safety of passengers and trains as the Abuja—Kaduna train service readies to resume on Dec.5.

The Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, gave the assurance on Saturday in Abuja.

Okhiria said aside from the security personnel involvement, government had deployed technology among other things to ensure the incident of March 28, does not reoccur in the country.

“I appreciate the contributions of the Chief of Defence Staff, the Chief of Army Staff, the Airforce, and the Inspector-General of Police.

“The way they have taken up this challenge, we are confident that such a thing will never happen on our rail system again based on the attention they are paying to the track now.

NPA: Minister lauds Bello-Koko's Pragmatic style, Revenue Increase, Enhanced Service Delivery
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Mu’azu Sambo,

“We are human beings and we have done our own and they’ve contributed their own. we will ensure that we will not slack.

“The government has put forth some measures and this is the best we can do for now while we continue to improve on security and safety of the train.

“The best thing is for us to open our eyes and report anything we suspect. We cannot disclose all that we have put in place as I said earlier.

“And security is the duty of everybody, you don’t need to carry guns or arms to be a security man, if you report any suspicious thing perhaps you can save lives,” Okhiria said.

The NRC boss reiterated that every passenger willing to board the train must be profiled with the use of the NIN so as to obtain the passenger’s information on the NIMC platform.

He said,” The information will be displayed, you can see it yourself. If your picture is not displayed when you put your ticket to get to the platform you cannot gain access.

On patronage, the NRC boss expressed optimism that there would be an influx of customers as passengers were eager for the trains to commence operation on the route.

“From what I have seen and from the people calling my phone, even before we tried to commence the train, people are still very enthusiastic about using the train.

Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Warri Rail Line to Link Abuja – Minister

“So many people have been calling to ask, when are you starting?

“But we are going to start gradually, by deploying two trains up and two trains down and we will ensure that we don’t run night for now.

“We expect that in no time, people will sit back and watch and the normal services will commence on the route,” Okhiria said.

 In the meantime, the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) has highlighted that the increased cost of diesel and other logistics would definitely be a significant determinant in the new price of train services in the country.

Mr. Fidet Okhiria, the NRC’s Boss said this in Abuja on Saturday, adding that the increase in price would be done with great consideration to the interest of Nigerians and other commuters at heart as the service cannot be halted because of high diesel cost.

Okhiria, therefore, called on its esteemed passengers to make some sacrifices and collaborate with the corporation to ensure the continued provision of the service in the country.

He said, “It is better to have it operating than not operating. it is the service we are providing but in order to provide it, everybody has to make some sacrifices.

“The major cost should be the cost of diesel. Because we require diesel to operate the trains.

“The cost of diesel has gone up by more than three times and it is costing us to mount human and material security that it requires to keep the trains operating.

“We need to service the infrastructure we put in place for the additional security we secured and the additional personnel that will be going up and down to assist; they need some incentives.

“So everybody should collaborate to ensure the trains are working because we can’t afford to fold up because we cannot buy diesel.

“So I think that Nigerians should bear with us. We are still working on the best way out.

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