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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

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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