Investment lawyer tasks elected officials on robust economic policies
Lagos, March 11, 2019 Mr Iyke Agwu, a Lagos-based investment lawyer, has urged elected officials to put in place robust economic policies to drive the nation’s economy.
Agwu said that with the end of the 2019 general elections, the various elected representatives of the masses, both at the federal and state levels, must live up to their responsibilities of providing basic amenities for the citizens.
He said that innovations and policies were major drivers of any economy, adding that the electorate will look upto their leaders in this regard.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the country’s Presidential and National Assembly elections were held on Feb. 23, while the Gubernatorial and House of Assembly elections were held on March 9.
While congratulating various winners in the elections, Agwu urged them to ensure that major drivers of the nation’s economy were enhanced and prompted.
His words: “The elections have come and gone, there are winners and there are losers, there are also expectations as well as reasons why these electorates voted for their candidates.
“Going by what happens in developed countries elected officers are judged by their first 100 days in office.
“So, the issue now is, how do we hold the elected officers accountable.
“Let’s take it from the critical areas of the economy.
“It is prevalent that there are hardship and hunger in the land and the question is what policies can be put in place by the federal, the state and to the local government?
“How are jobs to be created? These are the critical circles; if jobs are created, the populace will be happy but if there are no jobs, the hunger continues.
“Elected officials must focus on that area of the economy and ensure that jobs are created’’.
Agwu also underscored the need for foreign investment, which he said, could assist in job creation.
“Foreign direct investment should be encouraged both at the federal and state levels.
The lawyer said it was important for Lagos State Government, for instance, to create good access roads, so that the electorate can benefit from their elected officers.
On agriculture, Agwu urged a resort to farming, saying “the cost of food was high and as such, there is need to encourage people to go back to farming’’.
He suggested that the government could initiate a system of agronomy, where government creates agricultural segments in large and extensive areas.
This, he added would also assist in job creation.
Pandemic expands investment opportunities in Africa’s health sector: report
According to the report by global property consultancy firm, Knight Frank, the pandemic has presented the world including Africa with its greatest challenge as a global healthcare and economic crisis but has also presented us with opportunities.
“It has allowed each country to carefully examine the infrastructure gaps, consider alternative mediums such as telemedicine, a longstanding concept which is only now becoming mainstream, and this, in turn, has caught the attention of a broader pool of investors to take a closer look and deploy funding towards healthcare,” said the report dubbed Healthcare in Africa report 2020.
The inaugural edition of the report highlights the opportunities for investing in Africa’s healthcare by focusing on the demographic and economic factors driving demand in the sector across the continent.
The findings show that Africa’s overall economic and demographic fundamentals present a strong case for investment in healthcare with the private sector playing a pivotal role.
“With increasing urbanization and a rising middle class, the need for specialized care continues to be prevalent. Across the continent, the need for governments to facilitate investments in this sector cannot be over-emphasized,” the report said.
According to the review, the healthcare sector in Africa will continue to be driven through consolidation, public-private partnership opportunities, international operator interest and the introduction of highly specialized health services.
S.Korea’s institutional investment in foreign securities falls in Q1
Outstanding foreign securities, owned by local financial institutions, stood at 317.8 billion United States dollars as of the end of March, down 9.6 billion dollars, or 2.9 percent, from three months earlier, according to the Bank of Korea (BOK).
Domestic asset managers reduced their holdings of foreign securities by 7.3 billion dollars, while the ownership by insurers and securities firms declined by 2.3 billion dollars and 10 million dollars each.
The holdings of foreign stocks and bonds diminished by 5.2 billion dollars and 4.9 billion dollars respectively during the first quarter, but the ownership of Korean Paper grew by 0.5 billion dollars.
Volkswagen announces two-bln-euro investment in electric mobility in China
Germany’s largest carmaker Volkswagen announced on Friday that it would invest around two billion euros (2.22 billion U.S. dollars) in electric mobility in China.
Volkswagen would invest one billion euros by increasing its stake in the e-mobility joint venture with Chinese JAC Motors from 50 to 75 percent and also acquire 50 percent in JAC‘s parent company JAG, the company stated.
“Together with strong and reliable partners, Volkswagen is strengthening its electrification strategy in China,” stated Herbert Diess, chief executive officer (CEO) of Volkswagen.
Founded in 2017, the JAC Volkswagen joint venture is an all-electric company which develops, produces and sells new energy vehicles (NEV). According to the German carmaker, an expansion of up to five additional battery electric vehicles (BEV) models by 2025 is planned, as well as building a “full-scale e-model factory.”
Furthermore, Volkswagen announced to acquire a 26 percent stake in Chinese battery manufacturer Gotion High-Tech Co., Ltd. also for around one billion euros, thus becoming the Chinese company’s largest shareholder.
Volkswagen would become the first global automaker to invest directly in a Chinese battery supplier, said the company. The partnership with Gotion, was an “opportunity” for Volkswagen to “achieve deeper know-how in the field of batteries.”
The electric car segment was “growing rapidly” and offered “a great deal of potential for JAC Volkswagen,” said Diess. With the investment in Gotion, Volkswagen would be “actively driving forward the development of battery cells in China.”
According to Volkswagen, Gotion would maintain its projects over the entire battery value chain from sourcing, development and production to recycling and was “in the process of becoming a certified Volkswagen Group battery supplier in China.”
U.S. investment projects in Germany down 12 pct in 2019: EY study
The number of international investment projects in Germany stagnated in 2019 “mainly due to the reluctance of U.S. companies,” according to a study published by the consulting firm Ernst & Young (EY) Germany on Thursday.
The number of U.S. investment projects in Germany fell by 12 percent year-on-year in 2019 to 197, noted the EY study on investment projects of international companies in Europe.
In contrast, projects announced by Turkish companies more than doubled to 77, and Chinese investment projects rose by 27 percent to 84, noted the EY study.
Most of the investment projects in Germany last year took place in the trade and logistics sector, while most of the new jobs were created by the automotive industry, the study found.
In the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, German companies were “traditionally by far the most important investors,” EY noted. In 2019, the German companies slightly increased the number of such investment projects to 253.
Of the 6,412 international investment projects announced in Europe last year, EY estimated that 65 percent had already been realized before the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, while 25 percent of projects were postponed and 10 percent even canceled.
Because of the coronavirus crisis, investments were “reduced to a minimum,” said Hubert Barth, chairperson of the management board of EY Germany. “Now, for many companies, the primary concern is to maintain liquidity in the company.”
Overall, EY expects a decline in international investment of 35 to 50 percent in 2020, although the trend is likely “to vary considerably” depending on the sector.
“Mechanical engineering and the automotive industry, for example, are currently putting the brakes on investments massively, while pharmaceutical companies are, in some cases, increasing their capacities,” stressed Barth.
Angola records 269 investment bids since 2018: statistics
Angola’s Private Investment and Export Promotion Agency (AIPEX) received 269 private investment bids between August 2018 and April 2020, which have helped create nearly 19,000 jobs, the AIPEX‘s statistical office said on Wednesday.
The investment proposals mainly fall to sectors including industry (116), trade (66), service (53), agriculture (12), construction (8), health (4), hotels and tourism (4), education (3) and fisheries (3), according to the AIPEX.
The industry sector is expected to absorb the largest amount of investment with over 1 billion U.S. dollars, followed by the construction sector with 686 million dollars, agriculture with 199 million dollars, trade with 138 million dollars, health with 131 million dollars, service with 93 million dollars, fisheries with 74 million dollars, and education with 30 million dollars.
A total of 204 projects are underway, totalling over 1 billion dollars. The three projects to be implemented are budgeted at 10 million dollars, while five others that have given up its implementation were budgeted at 33 million dollars.
The capital Luanda has attracted the most investment, with 211 proposals.
The AIPEX aims to promote exports, attract private investment, register investment proposals, provide institutional support, and monitor the implementation of investment projects and internationalization of Angolan companies.
Portugal announces 7-bln-euro investment plan for hydrogen energy over next decade
The Portuguese government on Thursday announced a plan to invest 7 billion euros (7.67 billion U.S. dollars) to increase hydrogen-based power generation over the next 10 years.
Minister for the Environment and Climate Action Joao Pedro Matos Fernandes told reporters after a meeting of Council of Ministers that the objective is to renew Portugal‘s energy matrix.
The Council of Ministers on Thursday approved the “National Energy and Climate Plan 2030” and the “National Hydrogen Strategy” (EN-H2).
Among the projects and initiatives, one of highlights is the construction of a “green energy” production unit in the city of Sines with an investment of more than 2.85 billion euros (3.12 billion U.S. dollars).
With these measures, the government plans to gradually introduce “hydrogen as a sustainable pillar of the transition to a decarbonized economy.”
The goal for 2030 is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by between 45 percent and 55 percent, preserving more forests, taking care of rural areas and reducing large fires.
Fernandes pointed out that Portugal managed to reduce the emissions by 21 percent by 2018, and just last year there was a reduction of 8.5 percent, higher than the European Union average.
According to the minister, “the creation of new business models and the relaunch of the economy opens up new opportunities for economic and industrial development,” in addition to creating more jobs in the country.
COVID-19: Israel tasks ECOWAS on investment in orphanages
Mr Shimon Ben-Shoshan, Ambassador of Israel to Nigeria, has underscored the need for ECOWAS to invest in the development of orphanages, to promote children wellbeing in post Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The items, which included rice, beans, groundnut-oil, pasta and maize, were put together in collaboration with ChabadAid, MAG Tech System Ltd. Kings of the World and Brand Life Vision Foundation.
He said that the need to focus on children has become important because they are the future of every country, irrespective of their religious background as Muslims, Christians or Jews.
“To remember this kind of brotherhood; efforts to overcome COVID-19 and take it to another level, which means to fight climate change that affects the food, starvation, water and air we breathe.
“Fight climate change and prevent other virus we do not know from coming, this is not the last and it is not the first.
“So, we need to prepare ourselves to take efforts to these children and also think about them.
He expressed appreciation to the management of the orphanage, saying he feels glad to see orphans well catered for by amazing people.
Receiving the items, Sen. Eze Ajoku, Managing Director and Founder of the orphanage, expressed appreciation to the Ambassador, saying he was the first visitor to the place since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ajoku, also a former Senator representing Imo-East, said that preventive measures were observed to guard against spread of the virus by keeping people from interacting with the children.
Ajoku said, “These are children who for one reason or the other their parents could not take responsibilities for them.
“We do this as a charity to give back to the society; orphanages in Nigeria are not funded by the government.
“We started this operation in 2015 and have not received one naira as support from the government, so we rely on donations and what we can afford ourselves to sustain our operations.”
Ajoku, who is President of the Coalition of Orphanages and Children Homes in Nigeria, said that they were 14 inmates, 4 Nannies, 1 Security operative and 1 driver, saying 15-children were already adopted.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Saudi Arabia grants 348 investment licenses in Q1
Saudi Arabia has licensed 348 new foreign investment projects in the first quarter of 2020, according to a report by investment authorities on Thursday.
New foreign investor projects grew by 19 percent year on year to 348 in the first quarter in 2020, which represented the country’s strongest period for inward investment since 2010, while month-to-month growth began to slow down in March due to the impact of COVID-19 on global investment, the Ministry of Investment said in the report.
Saudi Minister of Investment Khalid Al Falih said in the report that the first quarter of 2020 was Saudi Arabia’s strongest period for investor interest in ten years.
The report also revealed a 20 percent quarter-on-quarter increase in foreign investment projects from the final three months of 2019.
The report highlighted the government’s measures to support the business community and the role of investors in dealing with the pandemic‘s economic and societal challenges.
Saudi government entities have implemented stimulus packages and COVID-19 funding relief programs worth 45 billion U.S. dollars for the private sector, the report said.
“We are confident that our resilience and commitment to business continuity will keep investors coming to the kingdom as the business community recovers and activity gains momentum in the post–COVID-19 era,” Al Falih added.
Delta Investments Dev. Agency promises to attract more investors
The Chairman, Delta State Investments Development Agency (DIDA), Mr Paul Nmah, says the agency will continue to attract more Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) as well as Domestic Direct Investments to the state.
Nmah gave the assurance when he led the management team of the agency to the site of the recently-demolished Abraka market in Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area of the state on Tuesday.
He recalled that Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa, immediately after inspecting this site, directed that DIDA should facilitate the best suitable investment for the place.
“It is on the strength of this directive that we have come here to assess the site with a view to ascertaining its viability and marketability.
“Delta State is an investment hub in Nigeria where many investors are jostling to come to invest.
”The state is blessed with both human and natural resources which have made it the preferred investors’ haven,” he said.
Nmah noted that already numerous investors had started indicating interest, saying that DIDA would collate proposals that would be received and due diligence conducted.
“In DIDA, once investment proposals are received we would have to interface with the investors and conduct due diligence on their claims.
”This will enable us to have a grasp of their technical and financial capabilities and thereafter advise the governor appropriately,” he said.
Nmah further said that DIDA was currently championing the drive for investments away from oil.
”We have taken cognisance of so many yardsticks and this will guide us in the aspect of taking an informed decision on the most suitable investments that will suit the site.
“Therefore, considerations have been made to drive investments that will cater for the well-being of the people of the state,” he added.
Edited By: Kamal Tayo Oropo/Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)
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