Economy

Lawmaker urges privatisation of C’ River moribund industries for efficiency, income generation

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Mr Peter Odey, member representing Ogoja state constituency in the Cross River House of Assembly on Wednesday called for privatisation of  the moribund state-owned industries for greater productivity and increased income generation.

Odey, also the House Leader made the call on the floor of the House.

According to him, government had failed to manage the state’s industries and enterprises effectively.

He opined that if privatised, the industries would become optimally productive.

“Go to the garment factory, it is not yielding anything for the state, we are all aware of the case of Tinappa Business and Leisure Resort and how that enterprise died.

“Transcorp, Unicem and Flower Mill were all privatised, today they are all doing well.

“The House should set up a privatisation council to advise it on how to go about the privatisation of the cocoa factory, the rice seedling factory, Calapharm and other newly created industries by the governor of the state.

“The state should seek core investors who specialise in different areas to invest in the industries in the state where they have expertise in.

“We must start looking beyond 2023, what if the next administration comes into power and does not follow the blueprint of this present administration?

“It means all the monies invested in these industries are gone,’’ he said.

In his contribution, Mr Friday Okpechi, member representing Obubura 1 Constituency and co-sponsor of the motion, urged the House to be ready to accommodate criticisms on the matter under discourse.

Okpechi noted that there was likely going to be backlash of criticism that the House members were planning to sell government establishments to themselves.

He nonetheless maintained his argument that it was important to privatise the industries in the state for optimum productivity as many of them had become moribund.

“Today, Water Board is not running the way it should because government business is no man’s business, hence, we see the lackadaisical attitude of people.

“We will have a lot of stones thrown at us for the privatisation of the industries in the state, but I strongly believe that if this House align with the executive to privatise these ventures, it will be of immense benefit to the state.’’

Other members of the House in their contributions in support of the motion, said all over the world, government does not do business, but only created policies and the enabling environment that allowed businesses to thrive.

The lawmakers urged the state government to take a second look at the privatisation law passed in the state in 2001 and commence effective privatisation of industries in the state to raise money to cater for social amenities.

The, however, warned that if industries in the state would be privatised, it should be done with sincerity of purpose and honesty.

Speaker of the Assembly, Eteng Williams said that some of the structures penciled for construction could not be actualised due to dwindling revenue of the state.

“The Garment Factory alone takes between N18 million and N20 million monthly to maintain and pay salaries, yet the state is not getting anything from it.

“There is the need for us to act now because when this government leaves in 2023, what will be left for our children?

“The House Committee on privatisation has a lot of work to do in looking into this issue and bringing out recommendations on how these  industries would be effectively privatised to benefit the state,’’ he said.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Special Committee report on the crisis in the Department of Public Transport (DOPT) was put on hold because the matter was in court.

Meanwhile, the House has proceeded on a one-month recess which commenced on Wednesday.

 

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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