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Foreign Investments: Osinbajo Canvasses Reposition Of Africa’s Economy

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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has called on Africa to reposition its economy in the direction that will attractive investors because investment depends on the advantages derivable.
Osinbajo made the call while interacting with a committee of African Ambassadors to Indonesia led by the dean of the group, Ms Alice Mageza of Zimbabwe, on the sideline of his two-day working visit to Jakarta.
The Ambassadors include those of Egypt, Ethiopia, Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan and Tunisia.
Spokesperson to the Vice President on Media and Publicity Mr Laolu Akande, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide source on Tuesday in Abuja.
The statement quoted Osinbajo as saying that Africa’s indices of having the lowest integration statistics as well as the lowest GDP ratio can only be reversed by preparing the continent for quality investments that will benefit the people.
The vice president, who was responding to questions from the Ambassadors on the future of Africa’s economic prosperity, said, “the quality and quantum of potential investors in Africa is huge.
“But that the way that such investments will go will depend on the advantages that the investors get from investing in such economies.
“We in Africa must prepare our economies in that direction that attracts such huge and qualitative investments. It is for us to push and we must push:, he said.
On the kinds of investments that Africa desires, Osinbajo said Africa must focus on the manufacturing sector.
He noted: “the most important thing for Africa is that whoever wants to invest in our countries should start in manufacturing.’’
He, however, urged African diplomats in Indonesia to work together in the quest for attracting investment opportunities to Africa.
Osinbajo said, “if you negotiate together, it is probably going to be more effective than if we negotiate separately.’’
Earlier, Vice President met with Indonesian business leaders under the auspices of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, where he stressed the need for Indonesian companies to increase their investment portfolios in Nigeria.
“Nigeria would like to see more Indonesian companies invest in the manufacturing sector even though there are quite a few activities going on in Nigeria; there is also room for more collaboration and cooperation.
“The opportunities in the various sectors comprising oil and gas, manufacturing are huge because the major incentive lies in the market, the Nigerian and the West African markets.’’
Giving an overview of ongoing projects in Nigeria and collaborations between Indonesian and Nigerian businesses, Osinbajo said Nigeria would need a rolling stock in its railway revitalisation project.
He outlined the various incentives given by the Federal Government to attract investors into Nigeria as government’s efforts at increasing foreign exchange availability through the NIFEX market.
Others he said include approval of pioneer status for some category of companies to enjoy a range of incentives; establishment of special economic zones; initiatives to increase foreign exchange availability and opening up of marginal fields.
Earlier, some members of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry also expressed concern about the declining value of the Indonesia-Nigeria trade which currently stands at $1.70 billion dollars from $3.18 billion in 2012.
The chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Rosan Roeslani said, “being the 15th largest economy in the world, Indonesia through its investors is desirous of increasing its portfolios to levels that justify Nigeria’s position as the country’s biggest trading partner in Africa.’’
He said Osinbajo’s visit to Indonesia and meeting with the business leaders are strong indications that Nigeria is ready to take her pride of place among Indonesia’s biggest trading partners in the world.

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Karu Market Inferno: Re-Allocate Shops To Original Owners, Senate Tells FCDA , AMAC

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The Senate yesterday expressed concern over recent spate of fire outbreak in markets while commiserating with traders in Karu Main Market over the huge losses.
Considering the plight of the traders, the Senate urged the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) and Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), to re – allocate shops affected by fire outbreak at Karu Main Market to original owners after reconstruction.
The upper chamber also urged the federal government through its Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, Social Development and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), to urgently make emergency palliative and relief provisions to cushion the effect of fire disaster on the victims.
The Senate consequently mandated its committees on Environment and Legislative compliance, to ensure strict compliance with the resolutions and report back within four weeks.
The resolutions were sequel to a motion sponsored to that effect by Senator IretiKingibe( Labour Party FCT) .
Senator Kingibe in the motion titled : “ The Karu Fire Outbreak and the Need for Safer Public Places “ , informed the Senate that the fire outbreak that occurred at Karu Main Market on June 27, 2024, left scores of traders in tears after goods worth billions of Naira were destroyed .
She specifically lamented that as disclosed by eye witness accounts, the inferno razed almost all the shops and destroyed food stuff, electronics, cosmetics, clothes among other consumables and non-consumable items worth billions of Naira.
‘ These fire outbreaks have become one too many already; with attendant losses running to billions of Naira. In the last six months, there have been several incidents of this nature. From Idumota Market Area in Lagos; to the Police Shopping Complex, Mararaba, Nasarawa State; to the Yan Katako Market, Rijiyar Lemu Area of Fagge LGA, Kano State, just to mention a few.
“ These fire outbreaks all had the same causative factors which hinged on basic building safety regulations that were either inadequate or not adhered to or out rightly not in place.
“This state of unpreparedness in safety management cuts across private homes, government buildings, open parks and gardens, markets, shopping malls, warehouses, sawmills, fuel tankers, gas and fuel stations, educational establishments, shops, clubs, hospitals, hotels, and restaurants: thereby exposing ourselves to avoidable mishaps”, she said .

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Support Nigeria’s Economic Reforms, Minister Urges UN

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Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, Senator Abubakar Bagudu, has called on the United Nations (UN) to show more deliberate support for Nigeria’s economic reforms.
He said such support would encourage other nations to make similar adjustments necessary for sustainable growth and development.
Bagudu made this appeal during a courtesy visit by the Deputy Director-General of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Ms. Fatou Haidara, in Abuja.
Despite the substantial economic reforms introduced by President Bola Tinubu’s administration aimed at revitalising Nigeria’s economy, Bagudu expressed disappointment over the UN’s slow response in backing these initiatives.
“Over the past year, Nigeria has undertaken what we consider very bold and courageous reforms, almost at risk to our leadership. But we don’t think the system, particularly the United Nations system, has responded fast enough.
“We feel that we are missing maybe an element which will encourage other countries to embark on reforms if they don’t see the support”.
The Minister told Haidara that many developing countries believe the UN has not been meeting their expectations. She urged the UNIDO deputy director-general to relay this message to the UN system for corrective measures.
“This issue was discussed at the Non-Aligned Movement Summit in Uganda. Many countries thought the United Nations system was deviating from the ideals of its founding fathers. We are telling you this, so you can find a way of communicating the challenge or doing something about it”, he stated.
Despite these concerns, Bagudu expressed gratitude for UNIDO’s support for Nigeria’s industrial sector over the past 40 years, particularly highlighting the establishment of one of its investment and technology promotion centres in the country.
In her response, Haidara acknowledged Nigeria as a significant founding partner of UNIDO and noted the rewarding cooperation between the two entities over the years.

Her visit is intended to provide a status report on the ongoing cooperation and seek further guidance to enhance their partnership.

“My colleagues told me that all the meetings to design the Programme for Country Partnership (PCP) were held with your ministry and here.

“We are very honoured to be able to talk today about what we will be doing under this Programme for Country Partnership”, she said.

Haidara revealed that UNIDO had developed ‘Agenda 2063,’ a strategic framework aligning with the developmental priorities of African leaders, to support the continent’s growth and development.

The meeting underscored the importance of mutual support and collaboration in achieving sustainable economic growth, with Nigeria urging for more proactive engagement from the UN system to bolster its ambitious reform agenda.

Nneka Amaechi -Nnadi, Abuja

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FG Threatens To Revoke Sold Ikoyi Liaison Quarters

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The Minister of Interior, Mr. Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, has expressed the Ministry’s determination to recover its liaison residential quarters allegedly sold by an undisclosed Director of the Ministry.
He gave the hint in Lagos on Monday while on tour of some facilities in the Federal Marriage Registry, Immigration Service, and Ikoyi Correctional Centre, all in Lagos, to be abreast with their operations.
The Minister said the sales of the properties will be revoked, not minding who is involved, because “we can not mortgage our future”.
According to him, “the government of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda would not let go of those involved in the illegally acquired government properties”.
In the same vein, while addressing journalists after the facilities tour at the correctional center, Ikoyi, he stated that “President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope agenda will continue to tackle and address all inherited jumble of problems of the past administration”.
He further explained that Mr. President as a patriot is braced up to address all inherited problems since assumption of office, adding that as a listener, he has showed concern about the inherited problems and never rested on his oars.
On Correctional Centre, Tunji-Ojo said, “I have always said, that urbanisation is real. So far, we have looked at some of these correctional centres across the country and we have been very keen on repositioning them.
“We want a real correctional centre in actual deed, not a place that will be psychologically damaging. We want offenders to come to correctional centres and be reformed.
“We think that the change of name from Prisons, which is a place of incarceration, to correction, simply means a place of transformation, and should take effect really.
“We want a change of ideology, a change in orientation, and change in our approach of methodology of formation so that people will see this place as a place of hope, and leave with the renewed hope”.
He further assured that the Ikoyi Correctional Centre will soon be relocated to a designated area properly deemed fit by the Federal Government.
Industry watchers commended the minister for making time to assess some of the dilapidated buildings and offices  warehousing his officials.
A senior officer of Immigration Service who did not want his name in print, said the Minister’s visit was not a witch hunting exercise but an assessment of performance of the ministries under his watch to enable him assess the problems inherited, adding that the Minister had an ample opportunity of critically observing activities on facilities visited and even said officialdom would not permit him to see.
The Minister was accompanied on the tours by the Director, Citizenship and Business, Mr. John Adinoron; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Interior, Dr. Aishatu Gogo Naayako; and the Comptroller-General of Immigration Service, amongst others.

Nkemenyie Mcdonminic, Lagos

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