Economy

Edo Govt, motor dealers to establish world-class automobile park – Obaseki

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Gov. Godwin Obaseki of Edo, says his administration will partner the state chapter of the Motor Dealers Association of Nigeria, to establish a world-class automobile park in the state.

The governor, made this known while receiving executive members of the association on a courtesy visit at Government House in Benin on Wednesday.

Obaseki said that the idea was to have a one-stop shop automobile market that goes beyond sales of `second-hand’ vehicles.

He said the state government had acquired a 20-hectare parcel of land, for the development of the proposed automobile park which would be close to the Benin Industrial park.

“We have done some preliminary designs of the automobile park but we want to partner the Motor Dealers Association on the execution of the park.

“The park will accommodate motor dealers, have workshops and other supporting businesses such as spare parts sales and manufacturing and car-testing services,’’ the governor said.

Obaseki said that the Government Science and Technical Colleges in the state were training people who would provide some of the needed technical skills in the automobile park.

“The automobile business is a key life of the economy and it is one area that can help us a lot in terms of economic growth.

“When you encourage more businesses to thrive, you will have more taxes to carry out developmental projects,’’ he said.

Earlier, the Edo Chairman of the association, Elder Aisimiewe Isiramen, commended the governor for creating employment in the state by establishing the Benin Production centre and other laudable initiatives.

Isiramen appealed to the state government to link the association to funding opportunities and acquire a parcel of land for the association, to help reduce the burden of rent payment.

OOJ/OOA/AJA

Edited by Olabisi Akinbode/Adeleye Ajayi

Economy

FG reiterates commitment to give priority to development of textile industry

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The Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, Amb. Mariam Katagum, said that the Federal Government would give priority to development of the textile industry.

The minister said this in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja by Mrs Oluwakemi Ogunmakinwa, the Assistant Director of Press in the ministry.

The minister of state said that it was essential to make Nigeria an exporter of finished products.

Katagum spoke when a delegation of investors from China led by the Treasurer of Kano State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Alhaji Umar Ibrahim visited her in Abuja.

She expressed delight with the Chinese investors who indicated interest to develop the textile industry in Kano.

According to her, Kano is known to be a historic centre for the textile industry, particularly the traditional dying art technology that has been there for many decades.

Katagum further assured of the Federal Government’s commitment to support the Kano State Government and the Chinese investors for the development of the textile industry.

She added that the support was in line with the current administration’s Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (ERGP) policy.

Earlier, Ibrahim said the purpose of the visit was to seek collaboration with the ministry for the development of the country’s textile industry.

He explained that Kano State Government in partnership with Dantata Group of Companies was working assiduously to ensure that Nigeria’s textile industry was developed to support the country’s economic diversification plan.

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama

(NAN)

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Economy

Maintenance: AEDC notifies power interruption in parts of Abuja, Kano

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The Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC),  says customers in parts of Central Area, Abuja will experience power interruption on Dec. 14 and 15 due to maintenance of its facility. .

AEDC’s General Manager, Coporate Communication, Mr 0yebode Fadipe said this in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

Fadipe said that the areas to be affected by the interruption  which would commence from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. include Wuse Zone 1-7, Maitama and some parts  of Kano.

He said that the interruption was to enable the Abuja Region of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) maintenance team in conjunction with AEDC undertake the replacement of a punctured 132 kilo Volt  XLPE cable on the Katampe – Central Area 132kV Line 1.

Fadipe  said  that the  scope of work had  been planned to last for three weekends in order to minimise the period of interruption of power supply to  customers within the affected areas.

“The decision to embark on the replacement of the cable is gratifying as it will engender improved service  to customers.

“Our customers who had hitherto been experiencing loadshedding can now look forward to longer hours of power supply after the replacement of the cable, which is situated at the back of the IBB Golf Course

“We appeal for patience and understanding of the affected customers as the replacement of the cable is expected to be completed on Dec. 29,” he said.

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama

(NAN)

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Economy

AfDB approves $124.2m loan for water sector reforms in Akure

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The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a 124.2 million dollars loan to finance the urban water sector reform and Akure water supply and sanitation projects in Nigeria.

the bank’s active portfolio in Nigeria comprised 61 operations, of which 54 were national and seven were regional.

“The total commitment to these projects is 4.8 billion dollars and includes water and sanitation projects worth 606.0 million dollars.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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Economy

2019 Q3: MAN pegs CEOs Confidence Index at 51.7 per cent

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The Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) on Friday pegged the composite Manufacturers CEO’s Confidence Index (MCCI) for the third quarter of 2019 at 51.7 per cent.

The percentage was given in a statistics report made available to newsmen in Lagos.

According to the report, the value presents a marginal increase of 0.8 index point over 50.9 index points as recorded in the second quarter of the year.

It also indicates some level of improvement in the nation’s ports operations following some ongoing government reforms.

Notwithstanding, the CEOs said that poor access, heavy traffic and undue congestion at the ports still prevalent were recorded.

Additonally, local sourcing of raw materials gained traction due to the backward integration policy and import substitution strategies of the government.

The CEOs urged government to sustain the implementation of the backward integration policy by properly funding relevant institutions, initiating policies that would prioritise development of local raw materials in commercial quantities.

“The slight increase is a welcome development as it depicts upstick in the performance of the manufacturing sector and shows that manufacturers confidence in the economy improved in the third quarter.

“Nevertheless, the slight improvement in performance was attributed to doggedness of manufacturers as the operating environment remains very challenging,” the report reads in part.

It also states that the indexes of the current business conditions dropped to 41.5 per cent from 43 per cent recorded in the second quarter.

In addition, current employment conditions which stood at 35 per cent in the second quarter also improved to 42.3 per cent in the third quarter, while production expectations for the next three months increased marginally from 64 per cent to 66.4 per cent.

The CEOs, in the report, however, urged the government to make conscious efforts at addressing the challenges currently rocking the manufacturing sector.

They identified and ranked poor electricity and gas supplies first; multiple taxation and frivolous demands by government agencies  second; high interest rates and difficulty accessing loans, poor accessibility to ports and high demurages ranked third; and poor economic infrastructure fourth.

Difficulty in sourcing forex, low patronage, counterfeiting and inflation, high cost of spare parts, high government bureaucracy, lack of skilled labour, insecurity, high cost of production, poor environmental management systems ranked fifth to twelfth respectively.

The CEOs recommended urgent resolution of the Nigeria-Benin border disputes, resuscitation of domestic refining to conserve forex for industry needs, and proper implementation, monitoring of government laws, regulations and Executive orders.

They also callee for deliberate channeling of economic infrastructure to strategic economic hubs across the nation.

The CEOs urged government to address the observed port-related challenges, dilapidated infrastructure, inadequate space, weak trade facilitation infrastructure, poor road network and the associated gridlock to enhance competitiveness.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the MCCI was created to gauge the pulse of the economy on a quarterly basis.

The data presented in the report was generated from the responses of over 200 CEOs of MAN member-companies across the country focusing on their positions on macroeconomic and business operating environments as well as perception on the earlier mentioned diffusion factors.

The MCCI report took into account manufacturers’ perception on a set of diffusion factors including current business condition and business condition for the next three months.

Additionally, the current employment condition, rate of employment, employment condition for the next three months and production level for the next three months were also measured.

It also considered the general macroeconomic condition inclusive of foreign exchange, business operating environment, lending rate, credit to the manufacturing sector and capital expenditure of the government in the analysis.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle

(NAN)

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Economy

27 ships laden with petroleum products, food items awaiting to berth — NPA

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says 27 ships laden with petroleum products, food items and other goods have arrived Tincan port waiting to berth.

NPA made this known in its publication, `Shipping Position’, a copy of which was made available to the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos on Friday.

According to it, the ships are carrying containers, bulk salt, used vehicles, bulk sugar, new vehicles and automobile gasoline.

The publication said that 30 ships were expected at the ports with automobile gasoline, fuel, containers, bulk malt, general cargo, lab/base oil, crude palmolien and used vehicles.

Also, the organisation said that 11 other ships were at the ports discharging general cargo, containers, bulk wheat and vehicles.

Edited by: Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa

(NAN)

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