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Friday, 26 October 2018
Friday, 26 October 2018 16:44

We have invested $76m in Nigeria – Huawei

The senior Energy Solutions Expert, Nigeria Enterprise Business Development, Mr. Samuel Orji, has revealed that the company has put up a 76 million dollars investment in Nigeria so far, with two training centers in Lagos and Abuja, where they build capacity.
Orji stated this yesterday at the Huawei Nigeria Oil & gas summit 2018 holding at Transcorp Hilton, Abuja. He also stated a total of $786 million has been spent in Nigeria by the company in the area of procurement. According to him, this is in terms of the local involvement and investment of the company. Most of these procurements, he said were done locally to help grow the economy. He added that the company had also been able to partner with the federal government in up scaling the IT skills of Nigerians, stressing that their corporate social responsibility activities are top-notch. ‘‘It is not about taking the money back to china. As we are the products and solutions, some scope of it is more localised.’’ However, with a record of $92billion global revenue recorded at the close of business in 2017, Orji said Huawei has set a new target of $100 billion for 2018. ‘‘We have the global capacity and sales formation to achieve this. 
The expectation is that after speaking with the key stakeholders today and they come to trust our brand, we will be able to achieve this set target,’’ he said. On 5G network, he said the company is already on the pre-commercial testing stage for 5G network for voice, data and video services. ‘‘We as a company is currently changing the construction model of the industry from investment driven to value driven. We are bringing some more value to the existing investment to enable the carriers’ give the subscribers a richer experience in terms of voice and video communication. On the launch date for the 5G networks, I don’t have an exact date but it would be announced.
‘‘The DG and ES also confirmed there is some form of collaboration between us. We have delivered some solution and systems to them in the past ranging from data center, to IP telephony system. The idea is to really do more collaboration with them, help them improve efficiency, reduce their cost and sustain revenue’’ he added. 5G network has to do with Internet surfing and all intelligent, and connected networks as it stands today. It is the key driver. Remember in 2017, there was no much investment in the telecom sector. He said the key challenge the company faces in Nigeria is that of investment and decision making. He said the stakeholders must actually put the right investment and at the right time for the Nigerian oil and gas sector to strive.
Another challenge, according to him, is decision making. ‘‘We found that the oil and gas industry is still left in the hands of the government. So decision making, bureaucracy hampers effective and timely implementation of projects.’’
Source: Vanguard
Published in Economy
The Nigerian Federal Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed a total of N689.71 billion to the federal, state and local governments as revenue allocation for the month of September.
The amount, which was distributed in the monthly FAAC meeting in Abuja on Thursday, is N51.13 billion lower than N741.84 shared among the three tiers of government in August despite increase in oil export sales.
Finance Minister Zainab Ahmed, who presided the meeting, stressed the need for the governments to save for the rainy day.
“In view of the situation of the economy at the moment it is important to restate the need for governments at all levels to maintain transparency and instil a saving culture for the rainy day. We have to save, not only saving for today, but for tomorrow,” the minister said.
In a communique by FAAC Technical Sub-Committee at the end of its meeting held on Wednesday and signed by the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, gross statutory revenue for the month was N569.281 billion, indicating N57.858 billion when compared to N627.139 billion shared in August.
Details of the disbursement from the document showed that crude oil export sales increased by 0.17 million barrels, resulting in increased revenue of $8.48 million to the federation.
However, the average unit price dropped from $77.10 per barrel to $75.69 per barrel in the review month.
The document noted that shutdown of pipelines in the Niger Delta during the month resulted in shut in of production at various pipelines.
The details further revealed revenue from Royalties increased significantly while Value Added Tax (VAT), Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Companies Income Tax (CIT) decreased significantly.
A breakdown of the figures for the month of September showed that the gross revenue available from the VAT was N79.154 billion as against N114.542 billion distributed in the preceding month, resulting in a decrease of N35.388 billion.
According to the document, the federal government received about N277.197 billion, the state and local governments got about N172.810 billion and 130.534 billion respectively, while the nine oil producing states received about N52.596 billion as 13 percent derivation.
The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) got about N15.572 billion as cost of collection/transfer.
Meanwhile, the report of the committee on the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was stepped down and withdrawn to enable the committee to rework and represent it at the next meeting.
Source: Vanguard
Published in Bank & Finance
New data from the Central Energy Fund of South Africa shows that the petrol price is set to drop by 3c in November. 
The possible decrease is attributed to a strengthening rand and a decrease in Brent crude oil prices. 
South Africa’s petrol price jumped to a record-breaking R17.08 in October; this would be the first decrease in eight months.
The South African petrol price is set to drop by 3c per litre in November, the first drop in eight months, new data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF) shows.
But the news is not all good: the diesel price is set for a massive 35c per litre hike. 
The possible decrease in the petrol price is attributed to a strengthening rand, and the global decrease in Brent crude oil prices, data from the CEF released on Wednesday shows. 
The CEF is a state-owned entity mandated to manage PetroSA and Strategic Fuel Fund (SFF) to secure South Africa’s national energy security. 
Hugo Pienaar, senior economist at the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University, said things are looking increasingly promising for consumers in South Africa. 
“It is not only that the rand, on average, performed stronger against the US dollar, but the oil price also fell sharply from around $86 a barrel in early October, to around $76 today,” Pienaar told Business Insider South Africa. 
He said the petrol price may decrease slightly or remain the same as October prices when a formal determination is made.
The local petrol price jumped to a record-breaking R17.08 inland in October, and R16.49 at the cost. 
“I think the most important point is that the price [of petrol] will stay roughly the same, which in itself is positive after the sharp increases,” said Pienaar. 
President Cyril Ramaphosa set up an inter-ministerial committee in July to investigate possible interventions the state can make to lessen the effect of petrol price hikes on South Africans. 
The initial report was set to be completed by September, but has now been postponed to the end of November, energy minister Jeff Radebe said this week. 
Source: Business Insider
Published in Business
The shares of Diamond Bank trading on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) rose to their highest level in four (4) months on Thursday after the bank’s key board members resigned.
The stock, which joined the biggest gainers and extended its bullish trend into the fourth trading session today after records of bearishness last week, rose by 7.19 percent to close at N1.49 per share, the highest level since June 25, 2018.
The bank announced the resignation of the Chairman of its board, Oluseyi Bickerseth, and three other directors of the bank in a notice sent to NSE and signed by its Secretary and Legal Adviser, Uzoma Uja, on Thursday.
The three other directors of the bank include Rotimi Oyekanmi, Mrs. Juliet Anammah and Mrs. Aisha Oyebode.
“We wish to notify the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) and the public that the following Non-Executive Directors have resigned from the Board of Diamond Bank Plc with immediate effect.”
“The directors are resigning for varied personal reasons, which will include focusing on their priorities. Diamond Bank will update the market with any further development in due course,” the notice read.
The financial institution had in July appointed Bickerseth as the Chairman of its Board of Directors. Bickerseth took over from Prof. Chris Ogbechie who retired on March 31, 2018 after completion of his tenure.
Diamond Bank is faced with serious liquidity challenge as a result of rising non-performing loans and high operational cost.
In 2017, the bank recorded its first loss in six years as it embarked on sale of assets to manage its capital.
An analysis of its earnings results for the year ended 30 June 2018 showed that the company post-tax earnings fell from N8.02 billion in the period ended June 2017 to N1.80 billion when compared with the corresponding period in 2018.
The stock is expected to rise further in the short term on strengthening investors’ confidence ahead of new capital injection.
The bank, which was incorporated on December 20, 1990, commenced its operation in 1991 as a private limited liability company, but in 2005, the bank got listed publicly on the NSE.
Meanwhile, the NSE key market indicator, the All-Share Index (ASI), rebounded by 44 basis points to 32,545.06 points after yesterday’s negative performance.
The positive performance was triggered by bargain hunting in highly capitalised stocks like Nigerian Breweries, Dangote Cement and Nestle Nigeria.
In view of this, investors gained N51.6 billion as market capitalisation of all traded equities rose to N11.9 trillion, while the year-to-date return improved to -14.9 percent.
Source: The Ripples
Published in Bank & Finance
In 2003, the Akwa Ibom State Government of Nigeria began a journey of many miles, a journey that will not only be arduous and expensive but a journey that is promising and prospering if properly sojourned.
The State Government proposed having a deep seaport. It decided to take advantage of the depth Ibaka waters offer- 16.5 meters deep without dredging. But is there a need for a seaport?
Reason for a Seaport
Recent reports show that the seaports currently serving the country, West and Central African sub-region are reaching saturation. In August 2018, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State had to cry out to the Federal Government to ensure that seaports in other parts of the country become functional to decongest and ease gridlock in Lagos State.
Besides, the need for viable alternatives has become critical for major shipping lines sailing the West African coastlines. With limited land to expand the existing seaports in Lagos and the inhibiting conditions against the development or expansion of other ports, the proposed Ibom Deep Seaport offers an ultra-modern deep seaport with modern cargo handling equipment, facilities and systems that can address the capacity challenges constraining other seaports across the region. The greenfield site has substantial land available for future expansion.
Due to its proximity to target markets in West and Central Africa, neighbouring hinterland countries and major shipping lines calling West/Central Africa, large gateway market size to attract direct vessel services and sizeable transhipment cargo hinterland for feeder shipping network connection, as well as its capacity to handle post and New Panamax vessels at its specialized terminals, the IDSP is in an enviable position to emerge as the first major transhipment hub for the region. 
According to Maritime experts, the transhipment container market for the IDSP is estimated to grow from about 1.2 million TEUs in 2021 to about 4 million TEUs in 2040. Immense potentials you may say! But what gives the seaport this vast potential you may wonder.
Features of the Ibom Deep Seaport
Strategically located in the South East of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria (a leading oil and gas producing state in Nigeria), the approximate coordinates of the IDSP scaled from the British Admiralty Chart No. 1387 are Latitude 4° 32’ 35’’ N; Longitude 8° 14’ 7’’ E and UTM coordinates 415168 m E; 502,199 m N (UTM Zone 32N). According to the project official website, the 2,565 hectares greenfield port area is designed for New Panamax Class vessels with channel (18.24m); turning basin and berth depth (16.72m) and quay length of about 7.5 km. When fully developed, the container terminals will be able to accommodate up to 13 New Panamax Class container vessels and two very large feeder vessels. With immense business potentials that abound, giving the project the attention it requires for its realization would be seen as a wise course of action.
Since its conceptualization, contributions have been made by successive administration towards its realization. Obong Victor Attah's administration designed the seaport. Out of 10 million US Dollars, his administration paid 5 million US Dollars for its designed and had negotiations with São Tomé for the development of Industrial City for the Seaport. 
The Akpabio's administration took it up from there. He said he acquired 14, 900 hectares of land for the take-off of the Seaport. Just weeks before the end of his tenure, Akpabio obtained approval from the Federal Executive Council for the commencement of the project. Discerning that time was against him, and that the task for the realization of the project will be in the hands of his successor, Governor Udom Emmanuel, he assured that his successor has the capacity to handle the task. 
While commissioning a drainage system in Uyo on 19th May 2015, Governor Akpabio said " As we have commissioned numerous projects today, by the Grace of God we will start the Ibom deep seaport so that Akwa Ibom will be taken to the rest of the world and I am assuring you today that Udom Emmanuel will perform creditably well to make us realize this project and others about to come". Will his successor, Governor Emmanuel live up to expectations?
Governor Emmanuel in the Dock
Just like Biblical Joshua who was given the weighty responsibility of taking the Israelites into the promised land, Governor Emmanuel perhaps understood the expectations ahead of him. 
Taking cognizance of the economic benefits the Ibom Deep Seaport Project will have on the people of the state and the country in general, as he took over the administration of the State, Governor Udom Emmanuel put in place motions towards the realization of the project. 
14 days into his administration, the Governor inaugurated the first committee of his administration, the Technical Committee for the Actualization of Ibom Deep Seaport Project thus offering clear indication that this is the flagship project for his administration. The Governor ensured that the 10- Man Committee is imbued with men of experience especially as the committee was headed by Barr. Mfon Usoro, a one-time Director-General of Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). Results were expected.
Six months into office, in November 2015, during a media chat, the State Governor assured that before 2018 runs out, the State should be able to have a deep seaport. Intensive work began. However, a State cannot develop a seaport alone. Seaport development is in the Exclusive List. 
The State Governor then had the herculean task of convincing the Federal government on the need to invest in the project. At every opportunity, Governor Emmanuel became enmeshed in preaching the gospel on the gains the Federal Government could have if they invest in the project. 
In one of those moments, the result of his gospel bore fruits. While addressing a Town hall meeting of the government and people of the State on Thursday, 2nd March 2017, the Acting President, Prof. Yemi  Osinbajo, announced that Federal Government was fully committed to the Ibom Deep Seaport Project and has made provision of N1 billion in Nigeria Port Authority 2017 budget  for the development of the project. He added "This is a project Federal Government is taking seriously". The assurance served as the icing on the cake. It signaled the birth of the long awaited partnership. How did the Udom Emmanuel's administration embrace this development?
The current Transaction Advisers, Global Maritime and Port Services (GMAPS) of Singapore had commenced work on the procurement stage.
On 24th of December 2017, the procurement Process for the Seaport development was approved by Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee ( MPDSC). On the 8th of January 2018, the Request for Qualification (RFQ) from interested investors was published. 
According to the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Housing and Special Duties, Mr Akan Okon, this was done through a virtual data room.
The Commissioner says that at the end of the exercise, 174 downloads of the RFQ were received. Out of that 174, he explains that only 40 bidders registered that they will submit their RFQ but at the end of the day, only eight were able to submit their RFQ. 
Okon says that based on the submission, on the 20th of March, 2018, that RFQ was opened and evaluation done by MPDSC. He offered insight to the fact that at the end of the evaluation, three of the companies were pre-qualified, meaning that they met the requirement that was published. The three international firms who met the requirements are the consortium of Bollore and Power China, China Road Breach Corporation, CRBC and China Harbour Engineering Company of Nigeria. You may wonder then, at what level does this development keep the project?
The Commissioner explains " At this stage, we have been able to come up with the preferred bidder and the reserved bidder for the project and as soon as this is approved, the full business case will be sent to the Federal Executive Council for further approval. I can assure you that as soon as that is done, the construction of the project will commence.”
Elucidating further, Okon states “The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Transport set up Ministerial Project Development Steering Committee (MPDSC) which is made up of representatives from the same Ministry, the Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), ICRC, the programme Manager, representatives of ICPC and EFCC, members of the Technical Committee and Akwa Ibom State Government. Every process leading to where we are now is being approved by the Federal Ministry of Transportation."
He adds that before the end of the year, they should come to the end of the entire transaction since everyone involved in the project was showing great commitment.
Interestingly, the Commissioner announces that with the level reached with the project and government's timetable, by the end of November 2018, the groundbreaking of the project should take place. But is the Federal government also ready for its commencement? In his recent visit to Akwa Ibom State Government House, after the bid conference of the project,  the Chairman, Project Development Steering Committee and Director, Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Sani Umar Galadanchi said the Minister of Transportation has passion for the project and promised to continue to work with the state Technical Committee and other stakeholders to achieve result.
He added, " this project is not just for Akwa Ibom State, it is for the country and Africa in general. I wish to inform you that we have been working in a way that by God's grace, the project may commence sooner than later."
Nevertheless, for such magnitude of project to thrive when it commence, there must be certain supportive imperatives put in place by the State government. Has provision been made for them?
In June 2018, while brainstorming with stakeholders and Investors at Government House, Uyo over the realization of the project, the State Executive noted that the State Government had met with the communities and fulfill all their obligations. 
On road infrastructure, work has began on 55.1km,12 Lane Superhighway leading to Ibom Deep Seaport.
This is a carriageway which starts from Esit Urua in Eket/ Ukpenekan Junction in Ibeno , criss -crosses Esit Eket, Mbo and ends at East west road in Oron Metropolis with a Fly-Over that empties into Uyo-Oron Daulized Road .
The project is a State government project undertaken by the Udom Emmanuel's administration under the Alternative Project Funding Approach. It is prosecuted by Elba construction firm. According to the Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Works, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang, the project is specially designed to serve the seaport, taking cognizance of its durability to withstand heavy duty trucks.
The Chairman of the Committee for the realization of the Ibom Deep seaport, Barr Mfon Usoro adds that in collaboration with the Federal government, the State is vested with the task of developing 2565 hectares for the project. She says the State Government has acquired a license for a free trade zone which is part of the building blocks for an industrial city. She explains that the industrial city will have features like agriculture, oil and gas, petrochemicals, marine-related industries, auto assembly plants, power plants, as well as real estate developments.
Barr Usoro mentions that plans are in motion by the Udom Emmanuel's administration to relocate residents around the site of this project to a more comfortable location as the project is set to begin in full scale. 
Assessing contributions made towards the project, an indigene of Mbo, the host community of the project, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem who also serve the State as the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State government notes that the strides attained by the Udom Emmanuel's administration towards the realization of the project has been plausible.
In his remark recently in his office in Uyo when he played host to the people of his community, under the aegis of Uda Community Development Union, Ekuwem added “His Excellency, the Governor has spent Millions of Dollars on the Ibom Deep Seaport. It is a fact. There are seven steps to this seaport. We are now on step seven which is the last step."
Also bearing her mind on the  project, the Technical Committee Chairman for the Realization of the Project,  Barr Mfon Usoro says past leaders of the State deserve commendations for the initiative and contributions they have made towards the project. She adds that Governor Udom Emmanuel has lived up to expectation evidenced in the strides he has achieved in the project within his three years in office. The Chairman further points out that the Udom Emmanuel's administration is also deserving of commendation over his commitment, strategic push and go-getting spirit, a gesture she insist is responsible for the critical milestone attained  in the implementation of the Ibom Deep Seaport (IDSP) project.
Published in Opinion & Analysis

Harare City Council and its parking unit, City Parking, have embarked on a $2 million programme of installing surveillance cameras at traffic lights in the central business district (CBD) to deal with congestion and traffic offenders. The cameras will help identify traffic offenders, especially those who impede the smooth flow of traffic.

It is also envisaged that the cameras will assist police in identifying those who commit various crimes in the CBD. City Parking, which has been financing the marking of roads and parking bays, will also adopt Julius Nyerere Way with a view of beautifying it.

In an interview during a tour of some of the roads, which were being marked, Harare chief engineer of works George Munyonga said the installation of the gadgets was 70 percent complete.

"This programme which we are undertaking of marking the road signs and beautifying the streets is a first step of the project that we are working on with City Parking. We are going to be installing monitoring and enforcement cameras at all intersections and along all routes so that any traffic violations, which are to the detriment of good traffic movement, will be dealt with," he said.

"Controllers will just ticket offenders. On the installation process we are around 70 percent and it will be monitored in a control room at the Harare Parkade so all roads within the central business district will be monitored.

"All intersections within the CBD will be monitored. All parking spaces within the CBD will be monitored."

He said they were targeting to recoup their $2 million investment from traffic offenders within a year.

Eng Munyonga said City Parking was in the process of equipping the control room, putting up the servers and the next phase, which constitutes 10 percent, would involve the mounting of the cameras and making sure the traffic system is linked to the technology.

"We would also want to link the system with Zinara and Central vehicle Registry so that we can follow up on those issued with tickets," he said.

City Parking marketing manager Mr Francis Mandaza said the initiative was part of the Mayors' 100-day plan.

"We are embarking on massive road markings. We are doing both lane marking and bay marking.

"We have started with Julius Nyerere Way. We are going to Cameron Street and from there we will go to Chinhoyi Street and Mbuya Nehanda Street. These efforts are meant to try to contribute to the success of the Mayors 100 Day plan," he said.

"Apart from the road markings, we have also adopted Julius Nyerere Island from Second Street down to Kenneth Kaunda for beatification."

The City and City parking are using thermoplastic paint, which is more durable.


Credit:  The Herald 

Published in Economy

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Upstream, Donald Omotayo Alasoadura, has said that Nigeria has lost no less than $10 billion revenue in the last 18 years due to obsolete laws in the sector.

Alasoadura, the senator representing Ondo Central Senatorial District, stated this Thursday in Akure, Ondo State while delivering the 12th Annual Lecture of the School of Engineering and Engineering Technology of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA).

The lecture was entitled "Framework for the Development of Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry; Challenge and Opportunities".

Alasoadura said the present law in the petroleum sector was passed in 1950 and is ineffectual. 

He said the country may lose more if the four bills presented before the National Assembly is not passed and assented to by the president.

He lamented that despite the loss of the revenue running into billions of naira, the previous sessions of the National Assembly have failed to conclude the legislative consideration of the petroleum industry reform.

According to the senator, the four bills before the National Assembly, which aim to reform the oil sector, included Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, Petroleum Industry Administration Bill, Petroleum Industry Fiscal Bill and Petroleum Host and Impacted Communities Bill.

Alasoadura said there are imminent dangers if the bills are not passed or signed into law before the end of the present legislative year.

He identified the negative consequences of not passing the bill to include the steady and progressive decline in revenue accruable to government, continuous decline in production and reserves, deferment or core investment and increase in the divestments by the oil majors.

Others, he said, included Nigeria's loss of regional and global competitiveness, continuity and increase in the crisis in the midstream and downstream, steady industry-wide loss of jobs, insufficient gas for power generation and other domestic use and the possibility of the return of destructive militancy activities and community agitation.

Alasoadura said the legal framework being proposed provides "a robust framework consisting of legal, institutional, operational and fiscal framework for the development of the Nigeria oil and gas industry".

He expressed optimism that the four bills if passed into law would provide the opportunities for the total transformation of the Nigerian oil and gas industry, attract substantial investment at this critical time that such investments are required to stimulate growth in the industry with its concomitant effect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The senator asked the traditional rulers, academics and the oil producing communities to put pressure on President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the bill of Petroleum Industry Governance Bill which had been passed into law by the National Assembly.

Also, he said the outdated law made it possible for several agencies to carry out the same regulatory functions which have resulted in inefficiency, conflict of roles and multiplicity of regulatory shops.


- ThisDay

Published in Business
  1. Opinions and Analysis


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