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Reps to include revitalisation of Gele–Gele Seaport in 2024 budget

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The House of Representatives says it will include the revitalisation of Gele-Gele Seaport in Edo in the 2024 budget estimates.

This followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Esosa Iyawe (LP-Edo) at the plenary in Abuja on Tuesday

In his motion, the lawmaker noted that the maritime industry remained the second largest contributor of revenue to Nigeria’s economy.

He said it had been touted as capable of surpassing the oil sector in terms of revenue generation.

He said the Gele-Gele Seaport in Edo had an important place in history, saying that it was where the first European travellers to visit Benin landed.

Iyawe said that the subsequent diplomatic and trade relations between the Portuguese and the great Benin Kingdom were carried out via the same seaport.

He said that in spite of its relevance as an international trade route, the Gele-Gele seaport was abandoned after Nigeria’s independence.

The lawmaker further said that attention was diverted to Lagos ports which were currently overwhelmed, adding that the need to focus on other ports had become imperative.

Iyawe said that maritime industry remained one of the most lucrative industries in the world, saying that it sets the pace of growth experienced in other industries.

He said that Nigeria’s economic growth through the industry would largely depend on the development and expansion of its seaports to accommodate the demands of the sector.

He said maritime transportation needed quick response and the labour market in the industry required both skilled and unskilled workers for the sector to function properly.

Iyawe said that this would help in the revitalisation of the Gele-Gele seaport, adding that it would create huge employment opportunities.

He said this would not be limited only to the people in the South-South zone but also for the teeming unemployed youths in Nigeria.

According to him, if Gele-Gele seaport is revived and developed to meet international standards, it will play a significant role in boosting Nigeria’s ailing economy.

“This is because Edo State is geographically connected to various parts of the country, which makes it an economic hub for international trade and investments,” the lawmaker said.

Adopting the motion, the House urged the Federal Government to, in line with its diversification agenda, leverage the huge economic potential in the maritime sector.

According to the House, this is by including the revitaliation of the Gele-Gele Seaport in Edo State in the 2024 budget estimates.

The House also mandated the Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, when constituted, to ensure compliance

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Nigeria to raise $30bn from inaugural forex bond

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Nigeria targets up to $30 billion from its inaugural foreign currency-denominated bond issuance planned for June, 2024.

Patience Oniha, Director-General of the Debt Management Office, disclosed this recently in an interview with newsmen.

Accordingly, the government authority said the sovereign domestic foreign currency issuance aligns with moves to attract more forex inflows to stabilise the naira, which had suffered immensely from dollar shortages.

“It’s when we appoint the advisers that we can probably do a projection.
Oniha said: “But the assumption is that many Nigerians hold dollars in their domiciliary accounts, and not just individuals but institutions including banks and Nigerians in the diaspora as well.

“So it’s a way of bringing dollar liquidity into the system; the federal government of Nigeria (FGN) will get needed dollar liquidity. The target investors are individual Nigerians and institutions, and if Nigerians in the diaspora want to invest, they can also.”

The development comes as the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the economy, Wale Edun, recently announced that a debut forex bond is planned for the second quarter of 2024 and will be a short to medium-term instrument.

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UBA America hosts Diplomats, Business Leaders at World Bank Summit

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UBA America, the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc hosted diplomats, government officials and business leaders to a networking reception in partnership with the esteemed Business Council for International Understanding (BCIU) and the U.S. Department of States in Washington DC on Monday.

The event which was held on the sidelines of the ongoing IMF World Bank Spring Meetings was organised by the BCIU and US Department of State to enhance collaboration and fortify commercial diplomacy among nations, institutions and individuals.

Speaking during the event, UBA’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Alawuba, noted that the bank’s co-hosting of the event via its American subsidiary, underscores its commitment towards cultivating robust relationships within the development communities in the United States.

He said, “As a distinguished member of BCIU, a non-profit organisation providing customised commercial diplomacy services, UBA Group and UBA America share BCIU’s vision of actively pursuing strategic opportunities, contributing to global economic cooperation, deepening of economic diplomacy, facilitating ideas, forging partnerships, and adding value for all stakeholders.

“Our resolve to co-host this Networking Reception symbolises our dedication to fostering inclusive economic growth and partnership across borders. By leveraging platforms like this, we can collectively address shared challenges and seize opportunities for sustainable development,” he stated further.

BCIU is a non-profit Association comprising of policy experts, strategic advisors, and trade educators, and offers bespoke commercial diplomacy services to the world’s governments and leading organisations, from Fortune 100 companies to global investors and multilateral institutions.

Only last year, the CEO UBA America, Sola Yomi-Ajayi, was appointed to the Board of BCIU, where she collaborates with fellow board members to ensure the organisation operates in alignment with its by-laws and New York 501(c)3 non-profit legislation.

Yomi-Ajayi has been committed to nurturing long-term organisational growth and sustainability, thereby reinforcing the bond between UBA America, BCIU, and the broader international community.

UBA America is the United States subsidiary of United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, one of Africa’s leading financial institutions with presence in 20 African countries, as well as in the United Kingdom, France, and the United Arab Emirates. UBA America serves as a vital link between Africa and the global financial markets, offering a range of banking services tailored to meet the needs of individuals, businesses, and institutions.

As the only sub-Saharan African bank with an operational banking license in the U.S., UBA America is uniquely positioned to provide corporate banking services to North American institutions doing business with or in Africa.

UBA America delivers treasury, trade finance, and correspondent banking solutions to sovereign and central banks, financial institutions, SMEs, foundations, and multilateral and development organisations. Leveraging its knowledge, capacity, and unique position as part of an international banking group, the Bank seeks to provide exceptional value to our customers around the world.

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NASENI, Nasarawa Govt, firm to establish tractor manufacturing plant in North-Central 

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…As Gov Sule visits NASENI to facilitate discussions on the project

The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI), is set to collaborate with Nasarawa state government and Bobtrack Tractors, a division of Saint Bob Motors Limited to start the manufacturing and assembling of tractors in the north-central geo-political zone.

The facilities and infrastructure available at one of NASENI’s Institutes, Agricultural Machinery and Equipment Development Institute (AMEDI), Lafia, Nasarawa state will be used for assembling and manufacturing of the tractors.

According to the Executive Vice Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, NASENI, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, the project which is aimed at creating wealth and jobs for Nigerian youths is in line with President Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda of ensuring food security and promotion of mechanised farming and agro-business in the country.

Halilu disclosed this when the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdulahi A. Sule led a delegation comprising of Bob Track Tractors to pay a visit to  the Agency’s headquarters in Abuja on Monday, April 22nd, 2024.

Mr. Halilu who assured Governor Sule and the delegation of  NASENI’s readiness to do business with them, said, “the Agency is willing to partner with you and sign the memorandum of understanding (MoU) so that in the next couple of weeks we will move into action.”

He disclosed that Mr. President had recognised NASENI as a national brand and its National Tractor Recovery Programme wherein 55,000 tractors would be refurbished for mechanized farming nationwide.

In his remarks, Governor Sule said he aligned with NASENI’s vision of collaborating and promoting made-in-Nigeria goods and also believed that the government’s role is to provide a level playing field necessary for businesses to thrive.

The  objective of his visit, he said, was to introduce the Bob Track Tractors which deals in assembling and manufacturing of tractor and farm implements with offices in Port Harcourt to NASENI so that it could utilise the existing facilities at AMEDI, Lafia for assembling of tractors instead of acquiring a new land for the business.

The CEO of Bob Track Tractors, Mr. Ibifiri A.C. Bob Manuel said, “We are ready to take up the facility that you have in Nasarawa State, create employment and wealth for the youths in the area and also use it as a hub to drive mechanised agricultural vision of the present administration. We are willing to invest in Nasarawa state with the help of His Excellency, his team and NASENI.”

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