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2011Remittances To Nigeria Hit $351 bn

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Flow of remittances into Nigeria and other developing countries is expected to hit $351 billion this year, while worldwide remittances, including those to high-income countries, will reach $406 billion for the current calendar year, according to a newly updated World Bank brief on global migration and remittances.

The top recipients of officially recorded remittances, estimated for 2011, are India ($58 billion),

China ($57 billion), Mexico ($24 billion), and the Philippines ($23 billion). Other large recipients include Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Vietnam, Egypt and Lebanon.

While the economic slowdown is dampening employment prospects for migrant workers in some high-income countries, global remittances, nevertheless, are expected to stay on a growth path and, by 2014, may hit $515 billion. Of that, $441 billion will flow to developing countries,

according to the latest issue of the Bank’s Migration and Development Brief, released today at the fifth meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development in Geneva.

“Despite the global economic crisis that has impacted private capital flows, remittance flows to developing countries have remained resilient, with an estimated growth of eight per cent in 2011.

Remittance flows to all developing regions have grown this year, for the first time since the financial crisis,” said Director of the bank’s Development Prospects Group, Hans Timmer.

High oil prices have helped provide a cushion for remittances to Central Asia from Russia and to South and East Asia from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries.

Also, a depreciation of currencies of some large migrant-exporting countries (including Mexico, India and Bangladesh) created additional incentives for remittances as goods and services in these countries became cheaper in U.S. dollar terms.

Remittance flows to four of the six World Bank-designated developing regions grew faster than expected – by 11 per cent to Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 10.1 percent to South Asia, 7.6 per cent to East Asia and Pacific and 7.4 per cent to Sub-Saharan Africa, despite the difficult economic conditions in Europe and other destinations of African migrants.

In contrast, growth in remittance flows to Latin America and the Caribbean, at seven per cent, was lower than expected due to continuing weakness in the U.S. economy, while the Middle East and North Africa, affected by civil conflict and unrest related to the “Arab Spring”, registered the slowest growth (2.6 per cent) among developing regions.

The Bank expects continued growth in remittance flows going forward, by 7.3 per cent in 2012, 7.9 per cent in 2013 and 8.4 per cent in 2014.

There are, however, some serious downside risks to the bank’s outlook for international remittance and migration flows. Persistent unemployment in Europe and the U.S. is affecting

employment prospects of existing migrants and hardening political attitudes toward new immigration. Volatile exchange rates and uncertainty about the direction of oil prices also

present further risks to the outlook for remittances.

More recently, some of the GCC countries, which are critically dependent on migrant workers, are considering tighter quotas for migrant workers to protect jobs for their own citizens.

“Such policies may impact remittance flows to developing countries in the longer term,” said.

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Trade Modernisation: Customs’ CG Tours Huawei, Port In China

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The Comptroller-General  of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently led his team to the Headquarters of Huawei, a famous information and communications technology company in Shenzhen, China, where he discussed opportunities embedded in Nigeria Customs Service Trade Modernisation Project.
This was disclosed in a press release made available to our correspondent in Lagos by the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, CSC Maidawa yesterday.
According to the release, the CGC’s visit to Huawei Headquarters was part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China for the 6th Global AEO Conference that took place in the city of Shenzhen between Wednesday, 8th May, Friday, 10 May, 2024.
Stating the purpose of his visit to the company’s office on behalf of his team, CGC Adeniyi said, “We are also delighted to associate with the Global Leader Technology Services through the Team of Trade Modernisation.”
It would be recalled that the Service had, during the Huawei Connect 2023 held in Shanghai in October, 2023, expressed readiness to deploy some of the company’s latest products for use in its trade modernisation project.
The CGC, who urged Huawei’s company leadership to sustain their digitalisation services to NCS, also sought their support to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to maintain their transformative journey with the company.
On his part, Xujing Xu, the Huawei Company’s Vice President of Smart Transportation, welcomed the delegation of the NCS led by Adeniyi and the Management Team of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.
He expressed confidence that their collaboration will benefit all parties involved, noting that “the foundational work for this transformation is already underway”.
The TMP Chairman, Saleh Ahmadu, during his address, said Huawei is living up to expectations to deliver its mandate under the auspices of Trade Modernisation Project Limited.
He appreciated the support accorded to him by the CGC and his management team towards the success of the NCS Trade Modernisation Project.
In his bid to upscale the level of NCS modernisation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, alongside members of the Trade Modernisation Project led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu, visited Lantan Port to witness the level of automation and technological solutions provided by Huawei and other tech partners.

In a related development, a training programme on Trends and Digital Solutions for Customs officials and the TMP team was organised by Huawei the same day, which focused on equipping officials with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape of modern trade.

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NERC Declares Most Discos Insolvent 

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Most of the lectricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have been said to be technically insolvent and unable to not only pay for invoices sent to them from the electricity market, but also invest in network expansion projects.
Speaking at the 8th Africa Energy Market Place 2024 in Abuja, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba, said the poor financial state of the DisCos makes it difficult for them to raise the needed capital to invest.
Garba noted that the challenges facing the sector were a culmination of past inactions and missteps by those saddled with the responsibilities of managing the sector, both at policy and operational levels.
According to him, “Today when you look at distribution companies, they are clearly and technically insolvent, and you also want them to raise capital in terms of debt or equity. It’s a herculean task.
“I also want to mention that implementing the power sector reform requires powerful political will to implement decisions that impact the wider public”.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, said the government was working to get the distribution companies solvent and effective by unbundling their operations along state boundaries.
Adelabu insisted that the areas covered by the current DisCos are too large for them to deliver effective services to consumers.

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PH To Get Two CNG Refuelling Stations, Vehicle Conversion Parks

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Rivers State Capital, Port Harcourt, is set to have two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations as well as two Vehicle Conversion Parks.
The Chief Executive Officer, FEMADEC Energy Limited, Fola Akinola, revealed this at the South-South/South-East Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on Presidential Initiative on CNG held in Port Harcourt, Weekend
Akinola, who stated that modalities have been concluded on the project, stressed the need for investment by stakeholders as a way of driving home the initiative of the Federal Government to ease the gas plight of its citizens.
Akinola said, “CNG is an old technology. We want to tell you that you have the opportunity to convert your vehicle from fuel to CNG. The stations will be launched in Port Harcourt and we are launching a refueling unit alongside. Rivers State is going to have a micro refuelling unit at Stadium Road and in GRA.
“For those that want to invest in CNG refuelling units, it is available. Even those who have fuel station facilities can as well invest in this”.
Earlier, the Programme Director, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Michael Oluwagbemi, noted that Rivers State was the heart of oil and gas Region, insisting that the initiative was for the good of the nation as a whole.
“The initiative of the government is critical to our national development and to the well-being of the people. Rivers State is the heart of the oil and gas region”, he stated.
Oluwagbemi, however, expressed regret that over the last five to six decades, these resources have continued to waste.
“Nigeria is the second largest waste of oil and gas. We exploit it and waste it, then continue to suffer poverty. The President has set us on natural gas features and set up the nation on the path of growth. The use of gas ensures we have energy savings. Mind you, the price of Natural gas is controlled by the government.
“What the President is asking is to do more with the blessings God has given us. If we are able to move three million vehicles in the next three years, we are going to end the era of environmental degradation”, he said.
The Programme Director further said, “We will stop subsidising poverty, importing unemployment and exporting jobs.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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