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Foreign Investment: EU-Nigeria Trade Hit €35bn In 2023 – Envoy



The European Union (EU), says it remains Nigeria’s largest trading partner, with a total trade of almost €35 billion in 2023, accounting for about one-third of Nigeria’s foreign investment.
Ms Samuela Isopi, the European Union Ambassador to Nigeria and ECOWAS, made this known in Abuja, yesterday, at the 9th Edition of the Nigeria-EU Business Forum 2024.
The Tide source reports that the theme for this year is “Investing in Jobs and Sustainable Future”.
According to Isopi, the 2024 edition of the forum is the first being held outside Lagos to highlight the importance of the role of the government in supporting business, private sector and private investments as drivers for inclusive and sustainable economic development.
He said, “The EU is by far Nigeria’s largest trading partner with a total trade of almost €35 billion last year, accounting for about one-third of Nigeria’s foreign trade, and a balance at more than 10 billion euros in favour of Nigeria.
“The European Union is also Nigeria’s biggest foreign investor with a stock estimated at €26 billion, representing one third of Nigeria’s FDI stock.
“In collaboration with our member states and with EUROCHAM Nigeria, the European Chamber of Commerce, we have carried out the first-ever mapping of EU companies present in Nigeria and the findings are quite extraordinary.
“More than 230 companies, from 18 EU member states are present in Nigeria with France, Germany and the Netherlands making up 60 per cent of the companies captured by the survey.”
Isopi also said that in the past, much of this investment used to go into the oil and gas sector, adding that today, the largest sector for EU companies operating in Nigeria was manufacturing, accounting for almost 20 per cent of total EU investments in Nigeria.
She said that this was followed by professional services, logistics and constructions while the extractive industries, oil and gas represented less than 10 per cent.
Isopi added that the EU companies had a turnover of four billion euros in the last fiscal year due to employment, through the creation of more than 130, 000 jobs and skill development with 6,000 Nigerians trained annually.
The Ambassador said that the EU and its member states was also a top development partner and the European Investment Bank was also increasingly active, with an important ongoing portfolio on innovation, renewable energies, and private sector development among others.
She said that if Nigeria reconsidered its position on the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA), it would also open up full and immediate access to the EU market with more than 400 million consumers.
Isopi said the forum would focus on fostering concrete investments in Nigeria, in line with the Renewed Hope Agenda in economic openness and investment, agriculture, digitisation, health among others.
She commended the Central Bank of Nigeria”s decision to remove foreign exchange restrictions for the import of 43 items.
In the same vein, Ms Myriam Ferran, Deputy Director- General, Directorate for International Partnerships, European Commission, said that the EU resolution was to strengthen ties across the globe especially this period of global crisis.
“The Global Gateway Initiative is a strategy by the EU to invest in infrastructure projects worldwide; it is the European offer to support sustainable connectivity around the world looking at the best opportunities for further investments.
“Global Gateway is a tool box with a toolkit where you can find what is needed. We work a lot with the government to assist in implementing and improving the business environment,” she said
Similarly, Sen. Abubakar Bagudu, Minister of Budget and Economic Planning, said that the current administration was interested in encouraging investments and willing to do better in international trade.
Bagudu said that the EU concept was a model for the world and it showed that the world could do better when prosperity was shared, and commended the EU for its initiative and support to Nigeria.
“Nigeria has undertaken bold economic reforms most importantly in order to enable us to combat our reality which includes among others decades of under investment in every area of our national life.
“We are mindful that capital is out there. So what we need to do is to ensure policies that motivate capital funders with confidence to invest in our economy,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Dele Oye, President, Nigerian Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), said that the chamber was the biggest in Africa with more than 90 members.
Oye said that the chamber should therefore be contacted before any foreign direct investments.
He emphasised the need for the government to always carry the chamber along especially during international trips to negotiate better business deals.
Oye lamented the departure of some foreign companies from Nigeria and urged those still available to always dialogue with the chamber to seek ways to resolve their challenges rather than exiting the

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG



The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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Expedite action on minimum wage – NAAT tells Tinubu



The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has called on President Bola Tinubu to expedite action on the new national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nwokoma said the union was worried over the continuous delay by the President in transmitting the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

“NAAT, as an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stands by the position of the organised labour and call on the federal government to expedite action on the matter to avoid industrial action,” he said.

He said the union condemned in strong terms, the unpatriotic position of State Governors claiming inability to pay even the N62, 000 proposed by federal government, though, rejected by the organised labour.

“The refusal of the Governors Forum to recognise the efforts of workers in creating wealth and prosperity in the states and the country in general, is most unfortunate.

“This undermines the essence and model adopted for national minimum wage. We therefore, demand that the Governors Forum should reconsider the position and toe the path of honour.

“The proposal by the governors to pay minimum wage based on their peculiarities is condemnable and rejected in its entirety,” he said.

He stressed that the constitutional provisions, on issues of minimum wage is contained in the exclusive legislative list.

The NAAT president also called on the federal government, to immediately implement the payment of the withheld salaries of its members and the resolutions of all other outstanding issues.

“NAAT is compelled to issue this press statement as a response to the non-payment of five and half months withheld salaries, non-payment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent salary increment arrears.

“Others issues are, the non-payment of Occupational Hazard and Responsibility Allowance arrears, release of enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15.

“Also, the non release of arrears of Earned Allowances as contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Nwokoma recalled that the union embarked on a three-day warning strike in March, 2024 and had also met with the Minister of Education, Prof.Tahir Mamman and the
the House Committee on University Education and yet nothing came out of the steps taken

He added that in all the meetings, assurances were given, especially the withheld salaries, but, unfortunately, nothing had been done in that respect by the federal government.

“Having waited this far, the National EXCO at the end of its emergency meeting held at the National Secretariat, University of Abuja, resolved to toe the path of diplomacy and advocacy in actualising its demands.

“However, if this fails, the issue will be referred to the National Executive Council (NEC) at her regular meeting scheduled to hold this July 2024 for next line of actions,” he said.

Nwokoma, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, National Assembly, among others to prevail on government and ensure implementation of all the outstanding issues for a sustainable industrial harmony.

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