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NIPC Strategises To Boost Investment, Economy

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The Nigerian Investment
Promotion Commission (NIPC) says it will deepen the existing investment and inject fresh capital into the economy through its newly inaugurated committees.
The commission’s Executive Secretary, Mrs Uju Baba, disclosed this in Abuja at the inauguration of the technical committees on Doing Business and Competitiveness and Investors After-Care.
Baba, represented by Mr James Ebuatse, Director, Department of National Competitiveness and Policy Advocacy, said the committees would come up with strategies to ensure that recommendations advanced were adopted by government.
She said the committees were composed of heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of the Federal Government whose mandates were directly related to regulating the act of doing business in the country.
Baba said the objectives of the committees on Doing Business and Competitiveness were to review the causes for unimpressive ratings of the economy by various global rating agencies which had affected investors’ confidence.
“Others are to take an in-depth review of global reports in the context of the mandate of your various MDAs coupled with the comments from investors and organised private sector.
“Then, recommend improvement on existing policies and legislation that govern the act of doing business in Nigeria,’’ Baba said.
According to her, the committee on investors care is a problem solving organ constituted to appraise complaints from investors operating in the country.
The executive secretary added that it would also proffer interventions by government for the purpose of ameliorating the day to day challenges faced by investors.
Baba lamented that with the abundance of potential possessed by the country, it should attract more fresh capital than it currently did.
“According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the economy attracts an annual average of six billion dollars foreign direct investment.
“Whereas the economy agenda demands an annual minimum private capital inflow of about 13 billion dollars,’’ she stressed.
The Chairman of the Committee on Investors After-care, Mr Amos Sekaba, said it would ensure that the six billion dollars foreign direct investment would be doubled.
Sekaba said existing investors would be supported to encourage new investors in the country.
“We will ensure that challenges faced by investors are properly addressed because our economic development plan is hinged on private sector development,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Craig Giesze, Senior Operations Officer, Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, said countries that had improved significantly in their investment climate had committees such as the ones inaugurated by the NIPC.
Giesze said inauguration of the committees was the right step, adding that it was a process, and changes would not happen overnight.
He lauded the country for its regulation which ensured that a company could be established within 24 hours.
“Right now in Nigeria, a company can be established within 24 hours, which is progress,’’ Giesze 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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