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Nigeria’s largest economy in Africa – UAE

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Nigeria's largest economy in Africa – UAE

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) on Wednesday, said Nigeria remained the largest economy in Africa.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Embassy of UAE in Abuja and made available to the newsmen.

It stated that the Embassy had commenced a series of trade and investment promotion activities aimed at bolstering the bilateral trade and investment volume between Nigeria and the UAE.

It was reported that the trade promotion initiative, was coordinated in collaboration with the UAE International Investment Council (UAEIIC), the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Nigeria.

According to the embassy, the initiative focuses on attracting key industry stakeholders and investors across all sectors in Nigeria and the UAE in a bid to develop and explore future trade opportunities.

“Nigeria has been chosen among the 34 selected countries globally participating in the initiative because of its pivotal position as a top investment market in the West African region and its overall economic influence in Africa,” said the statement.

The UAE Minister of State, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (MOFAIC), Sheikh Shakhboot Al Nahyan, expressed satisfaction with the level of trade, political and cultural partnership that existed  between both countries.

“UAE is the ninth-largest exporter to Nigeria globally, the UAE continues to see Nigeria as the largest economy in Africa and also an important, trusted partner.

“For decades, both countries have continued to nurture strong bilateral relations, particularly in the areas of trade and investment.

“To date, we remain Nigeria’s largest trade partner in the Middle East region, accounting for 35 per cent of Nigeria’s total trade with the region,” he said.

He added that over the past few years, there had been high-level political exchanges amid continuing mutual trust between both countries, which led to the signing of several key agreements aimed at solidifying overall bilateral relations.

Also read:  Technology, Innovation Expo 2021 starts March 15 – Minister

“It is my desire that the existing relationship continues to grow as the global economy gradually recovers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Valued at 1.4 billion dollars in 2019, I will  like to see this increase and look forward to working toward this in a mutual beneficial manner, ” he said.

In his remarks, The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, was confident that the UAE/Nigeria ties would continue to grow in areas of trade and investment.

“UAE and Nigeria relationship is witnessing a positive development dominated by cooperation, respect and mutual interests.

“The two countries are enjoying growth rates of bilateral trade, while the volume of non-oil trade exchange reached 1.45 billion dollars by the end of 2019.

“Our goal is to increase non-oil bilateral trade based on huge trade and investment potential and promising opportunities in the two countries’ markets and vital sectors,” he said.

He also added that the Embassy actively partnered with several Nigerian government ministries, parastatals and the private sector in the UAE and Nigeria in the execution of media campaign of the trade and Investment promotion.

The Nigerian Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, reaffirmed Nigeria’s readiness to make UAE a top destination for exports because of its strategic position in the middle east region.

He said: “Moving forward, we hope to further strengthen our economic ties for economic development with common interest for both countries.

“We reaffirm Nigeria’s readiness to make UAE our preferred leading export markets because of her positioning as a strategic global and regional trade and investment hub.”

The Nigerian Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Arch Olamilekan Adegbite, said, “Trade between Nigeria and UAE had been on for a long time, albeit informally.

“I look forward to this collaboration to enhance what has been and to open up new vistas.”

The UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Dr Fahad Altaffaq, underscored the need for both countries to jointly expand the spectrum of trade activities in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While approaching the 40th anniversary of UAE-Nigeria relations, which began in 1982, we plan to continue providing platforms where UAE and Nigerian businesses can connect to identify ventures and opportunities particularly in emerging sectors.

“This includes Artificial Intelligence (AI) FinTech and Space Exploration. The UAE is a top global investment hub and I encourage Nigerian investors to take advantage of the wide trade and investment opportunities,” he said.

 

Economy

Fuel Scarcity Will Soon Disappear, NMDPRA Tells Unbelieving Nigerians; Depot Managers Disagree 

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…Insist there is still serious supply gap***

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has assured Nigerians that the prevailing fuel crisis ravaging various parts of the country would soon disappear. His audience largely disbelieved him.

NMDPRA Coordinator in Delta, Mr Victor Ohwodiasa, gave the assurance when he led a team of the regulatory authority on an unscheduled inspection visit to some petroleum depots at Ifiekporo, on Thursday evening and Friday in Delta.

The Ifiekporo Community is in Warri South Local Government area of Delta.

Ohwodiasa said that a lot of vessels laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as Petrol were already coming into the state.

He said the regulatory authority would ensure that the vessels discharge products as quickly as possible.

“We will ensure that the depots receiving these products lift them out to the end users.

“By the time we have all the depots wet with PMS and they are lifting regularly, the looming scarcity we are experiencing will disappear,” Ohwodiasa said.

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President-Muhammadu-Buhari

The agency’s coordinator said the essence of the visit was to ensure that depots with the products dispensed to licenced retail outlets, eliminate middlemen and also avoid diversion.

“Once we get our daily manifest, we send our men out to make sure that those trucks get to their actual locations.

“There might be one or two infractions; we have apprehended about two persons for product diversion and they were made to face the full wrath of the law.

“As a regulatory authority, saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Midstream and Downstream of the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria, we will continue to do what we need to do.

“This is to ensure that the products are available and adequately and fairly distributed within Delta and neighbouring states,” he said.

Ohwodiasa said the NMDPRA would carry out intense routine surveillance, adding that it would sustain the tempo to ensure that the right things were done in the Midstream and Downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

He, however, urged people to stop panic buying, assuring that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to ensure the availability of petroleum products in the country, particularly during the Yuletide season and beyond.

Ohwodiasa added that NMDPRA would ensure that the products get to the consumers at the right price, quality and quantity.

Among the depots visited were: Matrix Energy Group, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd. and AYM Shafa Ltd.

Speaking on behalf of Matrix Energy, Mr Francis Ibe, the Terminal Manager, Matrix Energy, said that the PMS stock level at the Warri Depot was 14 million litres on Thursday.

Ibe said as of the evening of Thursday, it had trucked out over four million litres.

“With what I am pushing out, I know it will not be enough. Before now on weekly basis, we were receiving 40 million litres of PMS, but at the moment, we barely received 40 million in two weeks. So you can see the difference.

“Forty million litres in one week as against receiving one vessel in two weeks cannot solve the problem. There is a serious supply gap,” Ibe said.

Also, Mr Luke Nnajieze, the Depot Manager, Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Warri Depot, said that the current stock level of the company in Warri as of Thursday morning was 3.1 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Nnajieze added that the Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO) was 2.9 million litres. At the moment, we are out of stock of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).

“On daily basis, we trucked 2.5 million litres to 3 million litres of PMS,” he said.

Nnajieze identified heavy vehicular gridlock as a major challenge confronting their business in the area, calling on the government to assist in expanding or fixing the bad access road.

He also called for the dredging of the Escravos Bar to allow bigger vessels to navigate and bring in petroleum products.

A respondent who spoke on condition of anonymity however said: “What I hate is telling innocent people deliberate lies. We all know supply is grossly inadequate; and yet, we keep hyping lame duck assurances!”, he said, adding that it was like the government, knowing that it was now on its last lap, has seemingly relaxed…!

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Economy

Oyo Govt efforts in agribusiness already yielding positive results- OYSADA DG

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Oyo Govt efforts in agribusiness already yielding positive results- OYSADA DG

…Fails to indicate how OYSADA positively tinkers with availability of agricultural products*** 

 The Director-General, Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr. Debo Akande, on Friday stated that the state government efforts in agribusiness were already yielding positive results.

Akande made this known at Fasola Farm in Oyo while welcoming Mr. Ben Langat, the Managing Director, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, who led other members of the company on a facility tour of the farm.

The Maritime First learned that Ben Langat’s visit may be connected to his company’s readiness to set up a milk collection centre through dairy livestock farming within the facility.

Akande, who is also the Executive Adviser to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Agribusiness, said that the state agribusiness venture had been thriving evidently through increment of internally generated revenue and jobs creation opportunities.

Addressing journalists shortly after the facility tour, Akande said: “We have ensured that our agricultural hubs are going to be completely private sector driven.

“One of the things that created problems for all of those farm settlements we had in the past was that they are public sector driven.

“And in so doing, we are attracting the investors that can run the hub.

“Fasola Farm was known for livestock farming for many years and the work we’ve been doing in terms of livestock has created impacts across the state.

“What we are doing now is to bring back the glory of the past, but in a different way, because our milk collection partner investors are known for our dairy and livestock.

“So, we will see a manifestation of a modern approach in livestock and dairy production within this particular facility that we have and to me, I think that is quite significant.”

Oyo State Logo

According to him, the state government is already generating revenue, because this farm is not given free to our milk investor company.

“They are paying leases on the land they are using; they have already paid and they will be paying annually for the next 20 years,” he said.

Akande said this was not limited only to the milk collection partner, but also to other investors in the hub.

“All of them are here on a lease, the government is going to generate a chunk of their lease at the first year.

“And also be generating lease payment for the next 20 years from all these private companies, that is part one of the revenue, ” he said.

The Director-General said the hub would generate taxes and employ people within the state, especially youths.

During the tour, beneficiaries of the Oyo State Youth Entrepreneurship In Agribusiness Project (YEAP), which had already cultivated up to 45 percent of the hundred hectares of land allocated to them, were also on ground.

Offering an insight, the Managing Director of Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, Ben Langat

said the company is in partnership with the Oyo State Government in developing an Agribusiness hub, which is very important to all the parties concerned.

“We are a dairy company that is ready to ensure that we produce quality dairy for Nigerians to consume every day.

“We are developing 300 hectares of land now, that was part of the land allocated to us.

“We have developed pasture, which is part of the process before we bring cows in; we built sheds where they will feed, also bunkers and boreholes as well as other things,” Langat said.

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Economy

IMPRUDENCE: Oyetola Left N76bn Salary, Pension Debts- Official

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IMPRUDENCE: Oyetola Left N76bn Salary, Pension Debts- Official

…Salary: N29,875,191,128.64; Pension Arrears: N45,375,237,693.40; Life Assurance Scheme: N554,644,028.97***

 Mrs. Bimpe Ogunlumade, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance in Osun, says the state government has discovered salary and pension-related debts, amounting to over N76 billion, left by the immediate past Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration.

A statement by Malam Olawale Rasheed, the Spokesperson of Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun, calling attention to the former Governor’s imprudence on Thursday in Osogbo, highlighted that Ogunlumade made the revelations while briefing officials of the new administration on the state’s financial status.

According to Rasheed, the Osun Government has uncovered a monumental debt in salaries, pensions and insurance commitments incurred by the administration of Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, amounting to N76 billion.

“This revelation was made by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Bimpe Ogunlumade, while briefing officials of the new administration on the financial status of the state on Thursday.

“The disclosure was contrary to the claim by the former governor that he left N14 billion in cash for the new government, among other bogus claims that have now been found to be an outright falsehood.

“The breakdown of the salaries and pension-related liabilities as disclosed by the Permanent Secretary are as follows:

“Salary: N29,875,191,128.64; Pension Arrears: N45,375,237,693.40; Group Life Assurance Scheme: N554,644,028.97, Total: N75,805,072,851.01.

“The public is hereby advised that this is not the total debt left by the past administration as briefings on other sources of liabilities continue tomorrow,” he said.

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