Connect with us

Business

Nigeria signs multi-sectoral agreements with Qatar

Published

on

President Bola Tinubu on Sunday witnessed the signing of agreements between Nigeria and Qatar in various sectors of the economy.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement, said the signing, which held in Doha, Qatar, was also witnessed by the Emir of that country, Sheikh Tamim Al-Thani.

The agreement, according to Ngelale, will open opportunities for mutual cooperation in pivotal sectors of education, enterprise development, investment promotion, youth empowerment, mining, tourism and sports.

Tinubu assured his host of Nigeria’s preparedness to welcome investors into the country, citing the ongoing reforms that favoured innovation, return on investments and multiculturalism.

“Our greatest strength is our people. Our strength lies in the capacity of Nigerian youths.

” They have energy, talent and self-belief.
” They are quality partners for Qatari industry.

”They are educated and reliable, and they are proactively seeking to add value wherever they are.

” A few cannot give a bad name to the many. Nigerian youths are ready to be unleashed for the mutual benefit of both nations.

“We have seen clearly the rapid pace and thorough quality of Qatar’s development process. It is impossible not to be moved by what you have accomplished.

” The leadership in the country has proven its mettle, and we are here to gain deeper insight.

“There is nowhere in the world where you will find return on investment at the level of what you will see in Nigeria. A massive market of over 200 million skilled Nigerians, always industrious and ready to work.

“We face some short-term turbulence at the moment, but we have a government today that reflects the dynamism and talent of the Nigerian people.

” We are implementing the right solutions.

” This team works collaboratively with each other and our partners,” the president said.

Al Thani, on his part, said he was open to Nigeria’s investment push, recalling his journey to Nigeria in 2019 due to his belief that the country is an important and strategic ally on its own and in regional affairs.

“I have no doubt about the great capacity of the Nigerian people. Everywhere in the world, they are known for their brilliance and hard work.

” We only need to ensure that this is happening inside of Nigeria rather than outside.

”The investments we have made around the world have been very fruitful.

” This is because we take our time and study opportunities before we invest the commonwealth of our people.

“Mr. President, I am very encouraged by your actions and your passion to create new opportunities.

” We are very open to this, and follow-up is everything at this point. The will is there for both of us, but we must follow up.

”I will send a team of officials to Nigeria after Ramadan, and we will advance discussions on what some of the actionable investment opportunities are,” the Qatari leader said.

Tinubu immediately named the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Mr Wale Edun as the team leader of the government team that would interface with Qatari authorities in investment identification and implementation.

During the bilateral deliberations, the president enabled a brief presentation to the Emir by the Minister of Solid Minerals Development, Dr Dele Alake, who spoke in details about the high-grade of several minerals, including lithium.

Alake spoke about derivable potential across the country with an emphasis on imminent opportunities for local mineral processing and value-additive industry in the sector.

The bilateral engagement was followed by a closed-door meeting between the two Heads of State before they proceeded to the signing ceremony for seven bilateral agreements across multiple sectors.

The seven agreements signed include cooperation agreement in the field of education and regulation of employment of workers with the Government of Qatar.

Also signed was the agreement on establishment of a joint business council between the Qatar Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines, and Agriculture.

Agreements were also signed in the field of youths and sports, tourism and business events and a memorandum of understanding on combating illicit trade in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Business

Nigerian Breweries embarks on strategic recovery plan to boost profitability

Published

on

Nigerian Breweries Plc has embarked on a company-wide reorganisation business recovery plan to ensure a sustainable future for its stakeholders.

The company’s Human Resource Director, Grace Omo-Lamai, said this in a statement signed by Mrs Sade Morgan, its Corporate Affairs Director, to the leadership of some food and beverage associations on Friday in Lagos.

The associations include the National Union of Food, Beverage & Tobacco Employees and the Food Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association.

Omo-Lamai said the move was essential to improve the company’s operational efficiency and return to profitability, in the face of the challenging business environment.

She said the proposed plan would include operational efficiency measures and a company-wide reorganisation that includes the temporary suspension of operations in two of its nine breweries.

“As a result, and in accordance with labour requirements, the company invited the unions to discussions on the implications of the proposed measures.

“It will be recalled that the company recently notified the Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX) of its plan to raise capital of up to N600 billion by way of a rights issue.

“This is as a means of restoring the company’s balance sheet to a healthy position following the net finance expenses of N189 billion recorded in 2023 driven mainly by a foreign exchange loss of N153 billion resulting from the devaluation of the naira,” she said.

Also, the Managing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Mr Hans Essaadi, described the business recovery plan as strategic and vital for business continuity.

Essaadi noted that the tough business landscape characterised by double-digit inflation rates, Naira devaluation, foreign exchange challenges and diminished consumer spending had taken its toll on many businesses.

This, he said, was why the company had taken the decision to further consolidate its business operations for efficient cost management and optimal use of resources for future sustainable growth.

“We recognise and regret the impact that the suspension of brewery operations in the two affected locations may have on our employees.

“We are committed to limiting the impact on our people as much as possible by exhausting all options available including the relocation and redistribution of employees to our other seven breweries; and providing strong support and severance packages to all those that become unavoidably affected.

“We are also committed to supporting our host communities in ways that ensure they continue to feel our presence.

“We remain wholly committed to having a positive impact on our host communities and our consumers; leveraging our strong supply chain footprint; excellent execution of our route to market strategy; and our rich portfolio of brands,” he said.

Continue Reading

Business

FG to provide solar subsidy in Nigeria through $750m World Bank loan

Published

on

The federal government plans to provide subsidy to developers and operators of solar mini-grids in unserved and underserved areas in the country.

The subsidy will be provided through a World Bank approved loan of $750 million under the Distributed Access through Renewable Energy Scale-up (DARES) project.

This was disclosed in the financing agreement for the loan project.

The financing agreement for the loan was signed by the Minister of Finance, Wale Edun, on March 31, 2024, and World Bank’s Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, on February 19, 2024.

The loan project is fundamentally aimed at augmenting the supply of electricity to both households and micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) through a surge in private sector-led distributed renewable energy initiatives.

The document noted that the loan will be partly used to provide “Support to the development and operation of privately owned and operated solar hybrid mini grids in unserved and underserved areas through: 1.1. Minimum Subsidy Tender Carrying out of Minimum Subsidy Tender processes and provision of Minimum Capital Cost Subsidies to selected developers/operators of: (a) Isolated mini grids; (b) Interconnected mini grids; or (c) Solar rooftop solutions in Participating States.”

Asides from providing subsidy, the federal government plans to also provide performance-based grants.

The document noted that there will be “Provision of Performance-Based Grants to eligible mini grid operators based on new customer connections for isolated mini grids and percentage of capital expenditures for interconnected mini grid projects.”

The grant will also cover Standalone Solar (SAS) Systems for Households, MSMEs, and Agribusinesses. This grant will provide “Support to the expansion of SAS systems for households, MSMEs, and agribusinesses in rural areas through: 2.1. Performance Based Grants for Standalone Solar Provision of Performance Based Grants (‘PBGs’) to eligible companies to rapidly deploy SAS solutions in rural and underserved areas, through supply and demand side support and based on independently verified outputs, and to support deployment of solar productive use of electricity (PUE) equipment to MSMEs, agribusinesses and commercial customers.”

There will also be “Catalytic Grants Provision of Catalytic Grants, on a matching basis, to eligible SAS companies that target the poor, remote, or hardest to reach consumers in the country.”

Continue Reading

Business

IMF charges banks to guide against cyber attacks

Published

on

…As hackers make off with $12bn

Following reports that cyber thieves stole $12bn from global financial institutions in the last 20 years, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called on Central Banks across the globe and financial institutions to strengthen resilience in the financial sector by developing an adequate national cybersecurity strategy accompanied by effective regulation and supervisory capacity.

This was contained in the April 2024 Rising Cyber Threats Pose Serious Concerns for Financial Stability report released by The Bretton Wood institution.

The report noted that greater digitalization and heightened geopolitical tensions imply that the risk of a cyberattack with systemic consequences has risen

The fund expressed concern that the rising incidents of cyberattacks on financial institutions globally could affect confidence in the financial system and destabilise economies while expressing worries that cyberattacks have more than doubled since the pandemic.

“Financial firms have reported significant direct losses, totaling almost $12 billion since 2004 and $2.5 billion since 2020,” the IMF stated.

According to the body, financial firms, given the large amounts of sensitive data and transactions they handle, are often targeted by criminals seeking to steal money or disrupt economic activity.

“Attacks on financial firms account for nearly one-fifth of the total, of which banks are the most exposed. Incidents in the financial sector could threaten financial and economic stability if they erode confidence in the financial system, disrupt critical services, or cause spillovers to other institutions.

“Cyber incidents that disrupt critical services like payment networks could also severely affect economic activity. For example, a December attack at the Central Bank of Lesotho disrupted the national payment system, preventing transactions by domestic banks,” IMF stated.

As part of measures proposed to guide against the attacks, the fund called for the periodic assessment of the cybersecurity landscape and identifying potential systemic risks from interconnectedness and concentrations, including from third-party service providers.

It further called for the encouragement of cyber “maturity” among financial sector firms, including board-level access to cybersecurity expertise, as supported by the chapter’s analysis which suggests that better cyber-related governance may reduce cyber risk.

Improving cyber hygiene of firms—that is, their online security and system health (such as antimalware and multifactor authentication)—and training and awareness.

Prioritising data reporting and collection of cyber incidents, and sharing information among financial sector participants to enhance their collective preparedness.

Noting that attacks often emanate from outside a financial firm’s home country and proceeds can be routed across borders, the IMF said international cooperation has also become imperative to address cyber risk successfully.

Continue Reading

Trending