This Country Recently Became Africa’s Largest Economy, Now It’s Too Big for Businesses to Ignore

Nigeria has overtaken South Africa as Africa’s largest economy. And with over 200 million people, it is the largest market in the continent, its population nearly twice the size of Ethiopia (110 million) or Egypt (102 million).

Yet among many companies, there is a great deal of nervousness around investing in Nigeria. One business development officer of a large company told me recently: “We’re not in Nigeria; one of our guys heard you can’t go there.”

This kind of second hand hearsay is a risky way to make proper business decisions. When firms make what we refer to as accidental decisions—those based on media reports or anecdotal evidence—it is hard to effectively quantify and manage risks.

Nigeria is definitely a challenging place to operate. But ultimately, the nation is too important to ignore.

Investment by the United States in Nigeria is Growing

Foreign direct investment stock from the United States into Nigeria was $5.8 billion in 2017, up 32.8 percent since 2016, according to theU.S. Trade Representative. However, a significant chunk of U.S. FDI in Nigeria and the continent goes into the resources sector.

The Commercial and Investment Dialogue with the Nigerian government, originally recommended by President Obama’s President’s Advisory Council on Doing Business in Africa, is now in full force, and earlier this year, the U.S. Commercial Service hosted the USA Trade Fair in Lagos, Nigeria—attended by more than 4,000 delegates. Many of America’s biggest firms were out in force, as were smaller names in the agribusiness, aviation, consumer, energy, industrials, and security sectors.

Now, other countries are starting to catch America’s lead—notably the Chinese.

China’s Africa Strategy Presents a Formidable Challenge

China is using all of its political, industrial, and financial might to build deep connections in Africa. Engagement is strategic, multilateral, and well-organized under the biennial Forum on China-Africa Cooperation and the Belt and Road Initiative.

Chinese construction firms are building road, rail, port, communications, mining, and energy projects funded by loans from The Export-Import Bank of China or state-owned banks, using Chinese machinery, and with Chinese operators often operating the asset after completion.

Source: UNCTAD World Investment Report 2018

Chinese business development teams visit Africa’s toughest neighborhoods to establish relationships—often long before most American executives have even considered an investment in the country in question. Headlines trumpet Chinese “investment” in Africa, but much of this is actually lending, rather than equity investment. International experience is helping Chinese firms improve their product quality, service delivery, and technological capabilities every day, making them ever-stronger global competitors.

The key to China’s success on the continent is that designing “good enough” equipment for the price their customers will pay. A Chinese-made truck starter will fail after a fraction of the starts a North American truck operator considers normal—but it will also cost a fraction of the price. Likewise, a Chinese-designed smartphone will work on local networks, enjoy long battery life, run the right apps—and come at an affordable price. Despite recent political hiccups, Huawei is the dominant supplier of communications and networking equipment on the continent. Africans benefit from the firm’s low-cost vendor financing, ultra-advanced technology, and turnkey service for modern network installations.

In Nigeria, Demand Exceeds Supply

Nigeria is famous for its power shortages. With only about 5GW of grid power available (on a good day), it’s no surprise that there is an estimated 20GW of captive, backup, and household-level power installed by the private sector.

But this isn’t just a risk. It’s also a business opportunity.

In 2011, Nigeria privatized the power generation and distribution portions of its electricity industry. Performance is well below expectations so far, thanks to gas supply shortages, below-contract tariffs, and poor cash collection. The opportunity? Most manufacturers run their own captive power plants—and they’re investing in advanced gas-fired turbines, high-efficiency production equipment, and renewable energy capacity. Households need prepaid electric meters, energy-efficient appliances, and more cost-effective standby generators.

The continent is becoming a big beneficiary of China’s large-scale investment in renewables—which are now vastly cheaper than they were just a decade ago. In Nigeria, solar, wind, and mini-hydro are rapidly filling in the gaps where grid power is unavailable. Local micro- or mini-grids can deliver power to light homes, charge phones, refrigerate medicines, preserve harvested produce, and bring the internet to schools.

In Nigeria, as elsewhere in Africa, the financial services sector is undergoing a transformation. Mobile money accounts are increasingly popular, led by M-PESA in Kenya. Mobile money has boosted economic activity and brought millions into the financial services sector.

African financial-technology entrepreneurs are testing innovative—and potentially disruptive—services. Where regulations allow, entrepreneurs and mobile operators are introducing low-cost mobile payment, investment, insurance, savings, loans, and cross-border money transfer services using the latest technology.

According to the World Bank, small- and medium-sized enterprises create an estimated 4 of every 5 new jobs in emerging markets, yet traditional corporate banks are still focused on serving large corporate customers.

Can You Create Long-Term Shareholder Value Without Africa?

This isn’t a simple question, but it has to be asked as part of any long-term growth and risk analysis.

Public capital markets are relentless in pushing for short-term earnings and returns. Set aside today’s imperative to meet quarterly earnings expectations, ignore for a minute the potential for activists to disrupt your investment programs because they don’t see an immediate ROI on your long-term strategic investments.

The long-term survival of a business depends on its ability to adapt, grow, and participate in the global economy of the future—and countries like Nigeria are part of this story.

Source: brinknews

Equities Post 0.37% Loss Despite Rise in Trades

The nation’s bourse kicked off transactions yesterday on a bearish note despite the level of activity recording significant improvement.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) closed with a 0.37 percent loss on Monday to expand the year-to-date loss to 4.75 percent.

Despite this, the volume of shares traded by investors broadly increased by 1872.06 percent to 2.9 billion units from 145.3 million, while the value rose by 38.53 percent to N3.9 billion from N2.8 billion in the last session.

The significant growth in the volume of transactions was as a result of the activity around Wema Bank as the company sold a total of 2.7 billion units of its shares worth N1.7 billion.

It was followed by Fidelity Bank, which traded 24.6 million units for N42.9 million, and Thomas Wyatt, which exchanged 22.9 million shares valued at N7.1 million.

Zenith Bank sold 15.6 million equities for N315.2 million, while Access Bank traded 10.4 million shares worth N66.3 million.

At yesterday’s trading session, a total of 20 equities depreciated as against the 16 price gainers, indicating that the market breadth ended negative.

Dominating the losers’ table was Dangote Cement, which lost N1.60k of its share value to settle at N182.40k per share.

It was closely followed by MTN Nigeria, which decreased by the same amount, N1.60k to end at N134 per unit, and Guinness Nigeria, which fell by 55 kobo to settle at N46.95k per share.

Oando went down by 20 kobo yesterday to finish at N3.70k per unit, while NAHCO declined by 19 kobo to end at N2.80k per share.

Conversely, Forte Oil topped the gainers’ chart on Monday after adding N2.90k to its share price to finish at N32.30k per share.

Unilever Nigeria gained N1 to close at N32 per unit, while Dangote Flour rose by 50 kobo to settle at N16.50k per share.

Zenith Bank appreciated by 20 kobo to finish at N20.20k per share, while NASCON also garnered 20 kobo to settle at N15 per unit.

Going through the major market indices reflected that the All-Share Index (ASI) depreciated on Monday by 110.37 points to finish at 29,936.33 points, while the market capitalisation went down by N41 billion to settle at N13.192 trillion.

Source: businesspostng

World population hits 7.7bn as men outnumber women in Nigeria

The population of the world hits an estimated  7,713,468,000,  the United Nations Population Division said yesterday. Population According to the World Population Prospect released by UN yesterday,  the medium-variant projection indicates that the global population could grow to around 8.5 billion in 2030, 9.7 billion in 2050, and 10.9 billion in 2100.

The data also shows that males outnumber females in Nigeria, and the world as a whole, negating the popular belief that women outnumber men in the West African country. Nigeria is estimated to be at  200,964,000 as of mid-year 2019, with 99,132,000 million females and 101,832,000 males. On the globe, there are an estimated    3,889,035,000 males and  3,824,434,000 females.

QUICK FACT: Fertility in Nigerian women equal to or greater than four live births per woman, making Nigeria one of the most fertile countries in the world The population of Africa has risen by over 32 million in the past year, raising the numbers to over 1.308 billion people on the continent.

United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) says “with a projected addition of over one billion people, countries of sub-Sahara Africa could account for more than half of the growth of the world’s population between 2019 and 2050″.

“The world’s population is projected to grow from 7.7 billion in 2019 to 8.5 billion in 2030 (10% increase), and further to 9.7 billion in 2050 (26%) and to 10.9 billion in 2100 (42%). The population of sub-Saharan Africa is projected to double by 2050 (99%),” the report read in part “Other regions will see varying rates of increase between 2019 and 2050: Oceania excluding Australia/New Zealand (56%), Northern Africa and Western Asia (46%), Australia/New Zealand (28%), Central and Southern Asia (25%), Latin America and the Caribbean (18%), Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (3%), and Europe and Northern America (2%)”. The world is getting older, and so are the inhabitants.

In 2018, for the first time in history, persons aged 65 years or over worldwide outnumbered children under age five. Projections indicate that by 2050 there will be more than twice as many persons above 65 as children under five. The UN also revealed that the populations of “both Pakistan and Nigeria more than doubled in size between 1990 and 2019, with Pakistan moving up in rank from the 8th to the 5th position and Nigeria from the 10th to the 7th position.”

Nigeria is still projected to be the third most populous country from 2050 to 2100, with a population of 733 million at the end of the century. “After this re-ordering between 2019 and 2050, the ranking of the five largest countries is projected to be preserved through the end of the century, when India could remain the world’s most populous country with nearly 1.5 billion inhabitants, followed by China with just under 1.1 billion, Nigeria with 733 million, the United States with 434 million, and Pakistan with 403 million inhabitants,” the report read.

Source: Vanguard

Here’s a look at how Nigeria’s Pension Fund performed in Q1 2019

The latest pension statistics have shown that the Nigerian Pension Fund asset crossed the 9 trillion mark in the first quarter of 2019. Most analysts have largely attributed this feat to the growing awareness campaigns which have influenced the willingness of Nigerians to take their retirement plan seriously.

Also, Pension data covering the first quarter of 2019 show that Pension Contributors in Nigeria rose to 8.57 million compared to 8.41 million contributors recorded in Q4 2018. From the foregoing, it can be seen that the number of pension account holders increased by 2% between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019.

However, even though the pension fund asset has reached the 9 trillion naira mark, the breakdown shows that it is largely dominated by total FGN Securities, which several analysts have flawed. Let’s take a look at the breakdown of Nigeria’s Q1 pension fund asset.

Pension contribution by age category

A closer look at the pension data shows that pension contributors within the age group 30-39 years are dominant with 36% (3.06 million) of total contributors in the first quarter of 2019. Between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019, contributors aged 30-39 years increased by 14,873.

  • Also, pension contributors within the age group of 40-49 years old stood at 2.40 million (28% of total) in Q1 2019, rising by 60,341 when compared to what obtained in the previous quarter (Q4 2018)
  • The total Pension contributors within the age bracket of 50-59 years ranked the third with 1.54 million (18% of total) as at Q1 2019. Comparing this to the contributors in the previous quarter (1.52 million), it implies the contributors within the age bracket rose by 60,341 in one quarter.
  • Similarly, contributors aged 60-65 years recorded a 24,161 increase in one quarter, improving the total contributors with this age bracket to 494,826.
  • A further breakdown shows that contributors within the age bracket 65 and above rose by 14,171 contributors in the first quarter to hit 494,826 contributors.
  • Lastly, contributors under 30 grew the slowest with 12,761 contributors with the last quarter, with a total of 816,656 contributors.

Pension Fund Assets Distribution

While the pension statistics remain abysmally low in Nigeria, another critical aspect of pension that analysts have flawed is the investment’s structure of the Nigerian Pension Fund. Over the years, a larger chunk of the pension fund has been invested in FGN securities, which are regarded as safe with low investment returns.

In the first quarter of 2019, FGN Securities still accounted for 72% (N6.5 trillion) of the total pension fund in Nigeria. Items listed under FGN securities include FGN Bonds, Treasury Bills, Agency Bonds, Sukuk Bonds, Green Bonds and so on. Next to the FGN securities is real estate properties with 2.56% (N231.37 trillion) of the total pension fund.

What the future holds for Pension Fund in Nigeria

Analysis of the age distribution of Pension contributors shows that the future still looks bleak despite increasing awareness among Nigerians. Within the quarter under review, contributors under 30 years added only 14,171. A closer look at the data shows that contributors less than age 30 ranks 4th highest contributors in all the six groups.

Ideally, the way pensions are designed, the younger the contributors the better the pension funds asset in any nation. This is because younger people contribute for longer periods, ensuring that pension fund assets are robust enough for investments.

On the other hand, contributors within the age bracket 30-39 years are dominant with 36% (3.06 million). This suggests that the Pension scheme in Nigeria is laced with a high level of growth uncertainties.

  • Again, despite the 8.57million mark contributors, this only represents 12% of the population of employed people in Nigeria.
  • According to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) unemployment data for the fourth quarter of 2018, the total number of Nigerians employed in both full and part-time stood at 69.6million.
  • It implies that 61 million employed Nigerians are not captured under the contributory pension scheme.

Fund Managers’ approach and way out

It has been generally argued that the “conservative” investment strategy of pension fund administrators (PFA) who invest almost exclusively in FGN securities, is the major reason for the low rate of return.

  • While this is worrisome, analysts have also put forward that fund managers are not to blame so much for this, as the regulation requires them to allocate a sizable portion of their assets to fixed income securities.
  • Also, the rationale of trying to preserve the pension fund has always been to invest in secured fixed income securities and this in the meantime is paying off.
  • While one resonates that it is a risk management strategy for fund managers to invest in secured fixed securities, the government and the fund managers should review approaches to ensure that pension asset growth is not sacrificed under the guise of secured investments.
  • Lastly, the dwindling rate of under 30 pension contributors requires urgent action, otherwise, the future of the Pension scheme in Nigeria would further remain bleak.

How FG Created 79,000 Direct Jobs In 3 Years

Records disclosed recently by the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing shows that through road contracts, over 79, 000 persons have been employed directly. ABAH ADAH writes

Nigeria’s high unemployment rate has been a source of concern for many years now, the more worrisome being that it has continued to be on the rise.

The high level of unemployment has created a bloated and unproductive informal sector, replete with millions of underemployed  persons, particularly youths.

Pursuant to its mantra of economic diversification aimed at broadening the economic space for the economy to boom even in the non-oil sector, the Buhari administration, in its first term, came up with an economic development scheme tagged “Economic Recovery and Growth Plan” (ERGP) in which wealth and job creation were primarily in focus.

Although it was intended that much of the wealth and jobs needed to boost the economy and reduce unemployment respectively would be achieved courtesy of agriculture and mines development, empowerment of micro finance banks, an encouragement of small-scale businesses,  infrastructure development was another key area targeted to boost economic activities and provide employment to the teeming unemployed population.

At least executing public works projects with direct labour will go a long way in helping to close the unemployment gap. These projects would provide employment, even if not permanent, for skilled and unskilled workers, and would afford those employed temporarily the opportunity of  gaining experience needed for permanent jobs. In addition, the targeted stimulus spending on productive and value-creating projects would spur growth, while also addressing inclusivity. In this, the Nigerian roads sector (Works) is not left out.

When the immediate past Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola presented to the public a sketch of the achievement of the Buhari-led government regarding road rehabilitation, construction and maintenance recently, he affirmed that  the government has been on its toes in a bid to deliver on its promises of revamping the country’s infrastructure as a gateway to sustainable socio-economic development.

When the ex-Minister assumed office in November, 2015, the lamentation was that the ministry inherited about 206 road projects across the country, most of which were abandoned by the contractors mainly for lack of fund, and in a few cases, insecurity, with the attendant loss of jobs by thousands who were engaged and earning their living from those contracts.

However, while presenting the scorecard of the 3 years (2016, 2017, and 2018), the Minister affirmed that contractors have since been mobilised back to the sites while thousands of jobs lost in the course of abandoning the projects have been recovered.

He explains: “We have recovered the thousands of jobs that were lost to  public works. “This recovery is the result of an expansive infrastructure spending that saw works budget grow from N18.132bn in 2015 to N394bn in 2018.

“The outcome is that there is not one state in Nigeria today where the Federal Government is not executing at least one road project and construction workers are engaged on these sites.

“Difficult or abandoned projects like the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Bodo-Bonny Bridge have been brought back to life.

“Sections of Ilorin-Jebba, Sokoto to Jega, Sokoto-Ilela have been completed, while work progress continues nationwide from Jada to Mayo Belwa, Enugu to Port Harcourt, Lagos to Otta, Ikorodu to Shagamu, Benin to Okene, Lokoja to Abuja, Kano to Maiduguri, Abuja – Kaduna, Kano to mention a few.

“Apart from recovered construction jobs and growth in construction sector of the economy, the feedback from road users is that the journey times are reducing on the completed roads. This is what we promised in my inaugural address.

“We acknowledge that the work is not finished, but as long as we remain able to finance the projects, I have no doubt that it will get better.”

The intervention on roads, as made clear by the Minister, does not stop on interstate highways. It has also entered 14 Federal Universities, where unattended internal roads are now receiving attention.

The universities include: University of Nigeria, Nsukka; Federal University Oye, Ekiti; University of Benin; Federal University, Lafia; Fed University, Otuoke Bayelsa; Bayero University Kano; Federal University of Technology Owerri  (FUTO); University of Maiduguri; Federal University, Lokoja; Federal Polytechnic Bauchi; Federal University, Gashua; Kaduna Polytechnic; Federal College of Education Katsina; and University College Ibadan.

“This is the First Phase under the 2017 Budget and we are preparing to do more under the 2018 Budget,” the Minister noted.

He also stated that even as rehabilitation and reconstruction works were on-going, maintenance of existing roads and bridges was not left to suffer.

“As we build roads, we are also attending to old or damaged bridges and restoring the value of maintenance.

“So, while the Loko -Oweto Bridge is nearing completion, the damaged Tatabu Bridge linking Ilorin and Jebba has been reconstructed and the Tamburawa Bridge in Kano, the Isaac Boro Bridge in Rivers, Eko Bridge in Lagos and the Old Niger Bridge that links Anambra and Delta are receiving regular maintenance attention,” he said.

In the course of the briefing, the ministry gave statistics of road projects for the three years. It said in 2016, 277 kilometres of road was constructed, 345km was rehabilitated and 17,749 people were employed in the process.

For 2017, the federal government constructed 488km of roads, rehabilitated 256km  and engaged 31,227 persons. For 2018 till November, 497km of road had been constructed, while 284km was rehabilitated and 30,402 persons employed. It therefore means that the work sector had given jobs to 79,378 within the years of 2016, 2017, and 2018.

While Fashola was giving account of the  progress in Works, Power and Housing earlier after one-year in office, he disclosed that as a result of paucity of funds, in their 3-year plan for roads across the country, priority was given to roads that allow farmers, businessmen, industries and travellers move their goods, support energy sufficiency and lead to and from the nation’s major sea and air ports.

He said, “Work has commenced on roads and bridges across the six geopolitical zones of the country, even as the Federal Government has developed a three-year plan and earmarked about N277 billion, subject to authorisation by Parliament over the period, to intervene in critical roads and 42 bridges that lead to and from major food producing states in the country.

Briefing the Press on the milestones already achieved and projections going forward in the sectors under his Ministry, Fashola said although the administration inherited 206 federal roads already awarded, with outstanding completion costs in the region of N1.5 Trillion, its share of the 2016 budget for Works was N260 billion adding, however, that although it was “a drop in the ocean against the outstanding liabilities to contractors”, it was a lot more than the 2015 budget of only N18 Billion provisioned in the budget of the last administration.

The Minister reiterated that due to insufficient funds, the roads had to be categorised according to priorities, listing the roads where contractors have been mobilized to include the Port Harcourt- Aba Road, where mobilization was delayed until Monday 31st October because of rains and the difficulty of establishing a works yard; Sokoto – Tambuwal – Makera-Kontagara Road where work is going on; Ilorin-Jebba Road; Loko-Oweto Bridge; Shagamu-Ibadan and Shagamu – Lagos ends of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Fashola also listed other roads and the state they would pass through to include Ogbomosho-Oko-Ilogbo-Osogbo (Oyo-Osun States), Funtua-Katsina (Katsina State), Wukari-Akwana (Taraba State), Abriba–Arochukwu–Ohafia (Abia State), Abuja – Lokoja – Airport (FCT/Kogi State), Oji-Achi-Obeagu-Mmaku-Awgu-Ndeaboh-Mpu-Okpanku (Enugu State), Ajase Ipo – Offa – Erinle – Osun State Boundary (Kwara State) and Ikot Ekpene Border- Aba – Owerri Dualisation (Akwa Ibom/Abia and Imo States).

The Minister gave the basis for the categorisation to include roads that carried the heaviest cargo, “to allow farmers, businessman, industries and travellers move their goods and themselves across the country in order to drive productive activity”, roads that support energy sufficiency such as those leading to and from petroleum tank farms “in order to move petrol, diesel and kerosene across Nigeria”, and roads that lead to and from the nation’s major sea and airports “so that maritime business could go on, to drive the economy”.

Pointing out that the hard choice was also dictated by liabilities accruing from debts already owed from unpaid contracts that had already been executed, Fashola said many of the contractors were not paid for an average of two to three years before the new administration came in adding, “This explained the stoppage of works, by the contractors, the layoff of workers, and consequently poor condition of many roads”.

He said government also paid consultants who were now supervising the roads and who, he noted, were denied payment for two to three years, adding that this has helped to recover lost jobs, and put some money back in circulation, as part of a government strategy to build out of the current recession.

The Minister told the gathering of Senior Journalists, “As I said during our first briefing, our short-term objectives are to complete uncompleted road contracts, restore motorability back to as many roads as possible, improve journey times and reduce the cost of travel for commuters”, adding, “This has clearly started on the roads I have spoken about and the results will accrue as progress on the works improve over time and the roads are completed”.

He said his Ministry, in the medium to long term, intended to cover more roads based on available resources, adding that it would also increase maintenance capacity of road assets “to ensure that we do not neglect our highways again in the manner we have done over the years to our collective detriment”.

To achieve this goal, Fashola said the first step was to restore the authority of all the state controllers of works, to charge them to take responsibility for all federal roads within their states posting, and to bring up an annual budget that would be submitted to Parliament.

“This will help us decentralise authority over road maintenance, vest responsibility on the people who can resurface damaged roads, clear over-grown vegetation, enforce axle-load compliance, install signs and lane marking and gradually restore our highways back to contemporary quality”, the Minister said.

On the three year plan, Fashola said roads also factored into the plan included those in the constituencies of members of Parliament and bad roads seen from the monthly reports of the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) adding, however, that how far this could be achieved would depend on how much money the country could get, and how much government would get approval to spend.

Projecting for the future of the sector in 2017 and beyond, Fashola disclosed that the Ministry had developed proposals for the budget to intervene in critical roads in the six Geo-political zones that lead to and from major food producing states adding that the choices would be based on information supplied by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“We plan to do the same for states that produce minerals from mining activity, and for states where we have strategic fuel depots”, he said noting that because for decades, almost no attention was paid to bridges built across the country, erosion, stress, and in some cases failures and near collapse were becoming evident in some of the bridges such as in Kano (Tamburawa), Lagos (Ijora), Kogi (Lokoja) Ogun (Long bridge on Lagos-Ibadan) Kaduna (Jaji) and other places.

 

Presidency Lists Ongoing/Completed Road Projects In Buhari’s 1st Term Across The 36 States And FCT

Reacting to allegations that the Buhari government has not done well in infrastructure development as it claims, the Presidency recently listed all the ongoing and completed projects done across all the 36 states and the FCT which may have confirmed the ex-Minister’s claim that in every state of the federation and the FCT,  there was at least one road project going on. Here are the road projects included in the list, excluding other kinds of projects mentioned therein:

 

Abia State

Rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Road Section 1, Umuahia-Aba Township Rail/Road bridge crossing;

Rehabilitation and Reconstruction of Enugu-Port-Harcourt dual carriage way Section 1, Lokpanta-Umuahia Tower, Abia;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along umuahia- Bende – Ohafia Road.

 

Adamawa State

Reconstruction off Yola Mubi Bridge at Kaa’a Shiwa and Mile 30- Kwambla Road;

Rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola road, phase 1; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ngurore Mayobelwa road.

 

Akwa Ibom State

Construction of Ididiep-Ekpeyong 10.125km asphalt pavement; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ete-Abak road.

 

Anambra State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Nnewi – Ekwulobia – Umunze – Ibinta Road and the Niger Bridge;  Construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.

 

Bayelsa State

Construction of Ogbia Nembe 25km road; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Mbiama – Yenagoa Road.

 

Bauchi State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Bauchi – Gombe Road;

Construction of Road in Boto Town, Tafawa Balewa LGA, Bauchi State.

 

Benue State

Construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue States; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Makurdi – Nasarawa State Border Road;

 

Cross River State

Dualisation of Odukpani – Itu – Ikot Ekpene Road in Cross River 9.7 Km/ Akwa Ibom State with a spur to Ididep 12.2 Km;

Rehabilitation of Aleshi-Ugep Road, Iyamoyun-UgepSectionin Cross River State; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Calabar – Oban – Ekang Road.

 

Delta State

Construction of 23.6km Asphalt Gbaregolor Ogulagha road with 2 bridges measuring 651m; Construction of Tebu-Gbokoda pavement road network for the Olero Creek indigenes covering about 6 communities; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Amukpe – Eku – Abraka – Umutu – Agbo (Edo State Border).

 

Ebonyi State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Afikpo – Okigwe Road.

 

Edo State

Auchi Poly-Ekperi-Uzea-Ohe with a spur to Fugar-Afuda-Usugbenun road Section 1 and a pedestrian bridge at Auchi poly gate; Construction of Ekpoma-Uhiele 31.1 km road in Esan West; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Benin – Auchi – Okene Road. Construction of 46.5km Udo Ofunama asphaltic concrete road-7.3m wide.

 

Ekiti State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ado – Igede – Itawure – Osun State Border Road.

 

Enugu State

Rehabilitation of Enugu–Onitsha dual carriageway; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Nsukka – Adani – Anambra State Border Road.

 

Federal Capital Territory, Abuja

Murtala Muhammad and Umar Musa Yar’Adua express ways; The Circle Road that envelopes the Central Business District; The Nyanya-Gbagalape road;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along kaduna road.

 

Imo State

Construction and Dualization of Port Harcourt/Owerri Road Junction;

Rehabilitation of Washed Away Internal Road and Rebuilding of Nwaorie Bridge at AlvanIkoku College of Education;

Construction of Isinweke Oriaha, Uboma Road: a 16km road awarded in 2012, and picked by the Buhari-led administration;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ihiala – Umuduru Road interchange at EzeudoAmaokpa and Zimuzo Roads.

Jigawa State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Kano State Border – Garki – Gukel – M/Madori – Hadejia Road.

 

Kaduna State

Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Road Section 1;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Zaria – Pambegua.

 

Katsina State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Katsina – Batsari – Safana Road;

Construction and construction of Daura Township Roads.

 

Kebbi State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Kalgo – Bunza – Kamba – Peka Road.

 

Kogi State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Okene – Ibillo Road.

 

Niger

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Kontagora – Tegina Road;

 

Lagos

Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion of Lagos-Ibadan dual carriage way, Section 1, Lagos-Sagamu;

Rehabilitation, Reconstruction and Expansion of Lagos-Ibadan dual carriage way. Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along 3rd Mainland Bridge (Oworo Toll Gate.

 

Ogun State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Abeokuta – Sango Ota Dual Carriageway.

 

Plateau State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Gimi Road.

 

Rivers State

Construction of KAA-ATABA Road and Bridges: Originally awarded in 2012, Kaa-Ataba road connecting to Andoni/Opobo LGA was picked up by President Muhammad Buhari’s administration;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ahoada – Okoku – Okwuzi Road.

 

Taraba State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Jalingo – MutumBiyu – Wukari Road.

 

Nasarawa State

Completion of the Inner Southern Expressway (ISEX), which is the expressway providing rapid East-West movement to the southern flank of the city linking the Abuja-Keffi road;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Lafia – Makurdi Road.

 

Kwara State

Rehabilitation of Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin-Gwari-Kaduna Road Section 1;

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ilorin – Ganmo – AjaseIpo, Road.

 

Oyo State

Dualisation of Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin Oyo-Ogbomosho-Ilorin, Section II (OyoOgbomosho);

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ogbomosho – Dogo – Igbetti Road;

Construction and rehabilitation of Iseyin – Okeho.

 

Ondo State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ore – Okitipupa Road.

 

Osun State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Ibadan – Ife Dual Carriageway;

Construction and rehabilitation of Elentere Apipontoro Road.

 

Gombe State

Rehabilitation of Gombe-Numan-Yola road, phase 1; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Gombe – Dukku – Darazo Road.

 

Kano State

Dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri road section iv, (Potiskum-Damaturu)

Dualisation of Kano-Katsina Road phase 1; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along KwanarDumawa – KunyaBarubaJigawa State Border Road; Construction and Rehabilitation of Saminaka – Doguwa;

Construction and Rehabilitation of Doguwa – Tiga.

 

Sokoto State

Rehabilitation of Sokoto-Tambuwal-Jega road-Kotangora/makera road in sokoto/Kebbi/Niger States; Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Kajiji – Jabo – Zamfara State Border.

Yobe State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Damaturu – Dapchi – Bayamari Road.

 

Zamfara State

Patching of potholes, pavement strengthening, repairs of failed sections and general maintenance works along Gusau – TalataMarafa – Sokoto State Border Road.

In all these, labour must have been hired, hence the over 79, 000 said to be employed courtesy of road and bridge projects alone.

The multiplier effect is that even as others who were not directly employed may have availed themselves in one business or the other along the chain, many more may have been indirectly employed.

Source: Leadershipng

Hong Kong Tops London as World’s Most Expensive Office Market

Nigeria rental prices remain stable, still highest in Africa
A new report from CBRE, says the rising cost of leasing prime office space accelerated across the globe due to continued economic growth, job gains and limited availability of prime space in certain markets. Of the 122 markets tracked by CBRE, 85 registered cost increases.

CBRE’s annual Global Prime Office Occupancy Costs Report found that average costs for leasing the best office space in each market’s best location increased by 3.6 percent globally in that 12-month period, outpacing the year-earlier gain of 2.4 percent.

According to CBRE, the 10 most expensive markets were the same markets as last year, though several have changed positions within the top category. Hong Kong Central ($322 per square feet per year) and London’s West End ($222.70) retained the top two spots, with the former widening the gap between itself and the field.

The biggest gainer within the top 10 was Midtown Manhattan ($196.89) in New York City, which climbed to the fourth most expensive market this year from the sixth last year as companies sought prime space in Midtown corridors and the new Hudson Yards mixed-use development.

CBRE defines Prime Office Occupancy Costs as the cost – rent, local taxes and service charges – to occupy the highest quality office space in each market’s highest-quality location. Prime real estate costs can be a gauge of a market’s high end – and sometimes of the broader market.

“The race to attract and retain talent by securing office environments of the highest quality lost no momentum despite slower economies in some regions and unpredictable trade discussions,” said Julie, CBRE Americas Head of Occupier Research. “In fact, the cost of occupying prime office space rose at a steeper rate as supply remained constrained in some coveted markets. Demand is notably strong from banking, finance, technology and coworking companies.”

Fifteen of the 122 markets analysed by CBRE posted double-digit percentage increases in prime office occupancy costs in the first quarter in comparison to a year earlier. Many share traits including a central location, modern infrastructure and transit options, prime social amenities, and a relative lack of available prime space.

In Nigeria office markets, the rentals of grade A office spaces have remained stable. While average rents for new commercial developments still hovers between $600-$700 per square metre.

The Chairman, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), Nigeria chapter, Mr. Gbenga Ismail told The Guardian that “office rental has not increased in the last five years. The projected rent five years ago was $1000/$1,200 per square metre. Today it is averaging $650/$700 peak rate so it has come down. It is still relatively expensive.

“Compared to Africa it is very high. However, when compared to New York London, it is still reasonable.  It is not in the top 10 highest world office index.

“One factor why it is expensive is because of the investor yield. Investors expect a minimum yield and have set this target. Therefore rent has been pushed up to reflect this. Cost of building new offices remains very expensive and energy cost is a huge deterent, therefore return on investment will need to be high to reflect this.

“Currently, the economic situation has caused demand to drop which invariably has affected rental prices and put a downward pressure on owners. However because of the factors mentioned above the rents cannot go below a certain threshold,” Ismail said.

The former Chairman of Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers, Lagos branch, Pastor Stephen Jagun argued, “Our rates are among the highest because of the attended costs. Our service charge is also very high because of the cost of providing those essential services. These costs are increasing by the day with revenue not matching.”

Source: GuardianNg

nigeria as the poorest country

Buhari to Nigeria’s universities: You’ve failed the country

President Muhammadu Buhari has taken a swipe at the country’s universities, berating them for failure to develop “ground-breaking researches” in various fields of human endeavour.

Reviewing the Nigeria’s tertiary education development since independence in 1960, the President regretted that, “it is not heart-warming that in our over 58 years of independence, Nigerian universities are slow in discoveries and inventions.”

Buhari, speaking on Saturday in a message he sent at the fourth convocation ceremony of the Federal University (FUDMA), Dutsinma, in his home state of Katsina, challenged, “all universities to come out of their shells to conduct researches that will attract industries to patronise the universities in order to enhance and improve their capacities to produce and diversify their products.”

Fire razes Orita-Aperin market in Ibadan, as goods worth millions of naira destroyed

IBADAN-GOODS worth millions of naira were on Friday midnight destroyed at the popular Orita-Aperin market in Ibadan, following a fire incident that its course was yet to be known.

This sad development came after a couple of weeks a similar fire incident occurred at the Onipepeye bridge, along Lagos/Ibadan express way, where some people were burnt to death. While speaking with newsmen at the scene of the inferno on Saturday, the Babaloja of Orita-Aperin, Abiodun Ahmed, said that goods worth millions of naira were lost, adding that the cause of the incident was yet to be known.

According to him: “The fire started by 12 midnight on Friday, and we immediately called on Oyo State Fire Service but unfortunately, when they got here, the nuzzle of their truck was not functioning, so we have to resolve to self help by putting out the fire ourselves, or else, the loss would have been more than this.”

The Babaloja noted that most of the owners of the shops affected by the fire just bought goods into their respective shops, adding that, that was what made the total value of the goods affected by the fire to be much. “The shops that were affected include shop of a jewelry seller, shop of a food ingredient seller, shop of a provision seller, red oil seller and herbs seller, among others, five million, six hundred thousand was the worth of jewelries that got burnt, and most of the goods affected in the shops of the herbs seller can not be replaced because they were ancient goods that can not be seen on market again.”

He, however, appealed to the Oyo State Government to come to their aide because the loss was too much for the victims to bear. One of the victims, who’s shop was also affected by the fire, Latifat Adegbola appealed to the Oyo State Government to assist them financially because the money they used to procure the goods that were lost was collected based on interest. “All my goods has been consumed by fire and the remaining ones are useless, we are calling on the state government to come to our aide so that we can survive.”

Also speaking to newsmen was a pepper and onion seller, Mariam Oladepo, who said she lost goods worth one hundred thousand to the inferno, adding that her shop has been raised by the fire and nothing remains for her and her children to feed on again.

The market women however alleged that the fire would have not gone to that extent if the Oyo State Fire Service truck that was deployed to the scene of the incident functions properly.

SOURCE: www.vanguardngr.com

Foreign investment into Nigeria drops by 43% – UN report

Foreign direct investment in Nigeria, Africa’s top oil producer, plunged by 43 per cent to $2bn, according to a United Nations report.

Reuters reported on Thursday that investors were put off by a dispute between the government and South African telecom giant MTN over repatriated profits. Banks HSBC and UBS both closed representative offices there in 2018.

That left Ghana, which is in the midst of an oil and gas boom and saw inflows of $3bn, as West Africa’s leading destination for foreign investment. Italy’s Eni Group was behind Ghana’s largest greenfield investment project.

Foreign investment in sub-Saharan Africa rose by 13 per cent last year to $32bn, bucking a global downward trend and reversing two years of decline, according to the UN report.

It said the development of new mining and oil projects, a new US development-finance institution and the ratification of an agreement to create a continent-wide free-trade area could further boost foreign direct investment in 2019.

Africa stands in sharp contrast to developed economies, which saw FDI inflows plunge by 27 per cent to their lowest level since 2004, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development wrote in its ‘World Investment Report’.

Some African countries fared better than others, however. The Southern Africa region performed the best, taking in FDI of nearly $4.2bn, up from $925m in 2017. Foreign investment in South Africa more than doubled to $5.3bn.

 

President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took office last year pledging to revive the economy, is seeking to attract $100bn in FDI to Africa’s most developed economy by 2023.

Though much of the South African jump came from intracompany loans, new investments included a $750m Beijing Automotive Group plant and a $186m wind farm being built by the Irish company Mainstream Renewable Energy.

Ethiopia remained East Africa’s top recipient of FDI at $3.3bn, despite an 18 per cent drop compared with the year before.

Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all saw increases in FDI inflows. Foreign investment in Uganda jumped 67 per cent to a record $1.3bn, boosted by the oil and gas development of a consortium that includes France’s Total, CNOOC of China and London-listed Tullow Oil.

The creation of the US International Development Finance Corporation could help support FDI inflows this year. A replacement for the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, it will be have a budget of $60bn and a mandate to make equity investments.

“The ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement could also have a positive effect on FDI, especially in the manufacturing and services sectors,” the report said.

Source: Punchng

Failed Gas Deal: British Firm Seeks Seizure of $9bn Nigerian Assets

The request is part of a long-running saga over a 2010 deal in which the Nigerian government agreed to supply gas to a processing plant in Calabar that P&ID – a little-known firm founded by two Irish businessmen specifically for the project – would build and run, Reuters reported on Thursday.

When the deal failed, P&ID won a $6.6bn award at arbitration, based on what it could have earned during the 20-year agreement.

The company said the total owed had ballooned to $9bn because of interest accrued since 2013.

Nigeria has tried to nullify the award, saying it was not subject to international arbitration but British courts rejected the argument.

P&ID is now asking the Commercial Court in London to convert the arbitration into a judgement, which would allow them to try to seize international assets, according to Reuters.

A source close to President Muhammadu Buhari was quoted by Reuters as saying that the government was fully aware of the matter and the government “is not sleeping”, adding they were optimistic the matter could be resolved in the courts.

There are also proceedings pending at a US District Court in Washington, D.C.

“This is a problem that the Nigerians are not facing up to in any serious way,” said Andrew Stafford, Q.C. of Kobre & Kim LLP, which is representing P&ID.

Experts said it would be difficult for Nigeria to fully extricate itself.

“Under UK legislation, state immunity does not operate to protect a sovereign state where it has entered into an arbitration agreement,” said Simon Sloane, a partner with UK law firm Fieldfisher.

He added that going after state assets following arbitration had become a well-trodden path over the past 15 years and it would be difficult for Nigeria to avoid paying compensation.

While assets that are used for diplomatic purposes – such as the Nigerian High Commission building in central London – were off the table, commercial assets were up for grabs.

In 2008, a UK court ruled that proceeds of oil sales from Chad held in an international account intended to repay World Bank loans were fair game for seizure.

Experts also said that the involvement of a hedge fund, VR Group, which has a stake in P&ID, signalled that it was unlikely to let the issue drop.

Source: punchng

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