NIGERIA: Enugu woos Swiss firms on coal exploration

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Read Time:1 Minute, 15 Second

Enugu State government has expressed its readiness to collaborate with Swiss investors interested in reviving the coal industry in the state.

Governor Sullivan Chime gave this assurance when he met with Dr. Hans-Rudolf Hodel, the Ambassador of Switzerland to Nigeria, Chad and Niger at Government House in Enugu, yesterday.

Chime expressed regret that coal industry had become moribund, even though it was a major source of income to the country and was the trade mark of the state.

The governor said: “Coal was the major source of income to the state and the country in time past, but it is no longer effective now.

“If there is any Swiss company interested in reviving the coal industry, it is welcomed. We have not had any collaboration with Switzerland and we will look out for areas where we can do that to have closer ties.”

Earlier, Hodel said the embassy would organise a seminar for Swiss businessmen and women based in Lagos in September.

He commended the state government for its giant strides in the development of infrastructure as well as tourism.

The ambassador said: “Since you have asked for ways to collaborate with us, we will look at how to partner with you.

“I want to applaud you because I have seen some stores and other things in Enugu, which I have not seen in Abuja and Lagos.”

Nigeria’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Mrs Fidelia Njeze, was present on the occasion.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: MTN partners NIBSS on cashless society

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Read Time:1 Minute, 46 Second

MTN Nigeria has bought into the Cashless Nigeria initiative by engaging its Business to Business, B2B, division into a partnership with the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System (NIBSS).

The partnership kicked off with MTN’s recent rollout of effective point of sale (POS) services at the popular Oke-Arin market in Lagos and other shopping districts in the metropolis.

Explaining MTN’s exploits with the deal, Chief Enterprise Solutions Officer, Bob Osho, said that several tests were conducted on the deployed POS terminals at the market and they were all found to be effective and successful.

He added: “This is just the beginning as we have resolved most of the connectivity issues. In all, we have provided 80,000 SIMs to NIBSS, and we are empowering POS merchants by giving them options for service delivery in the malls. We will also provide prompt and top-class after sales support and proactively work together to ensure network quality is desirable where necessary.”

Apart from the Oke-Arin deployment, Osho said that network quality optimisation has been completed at the Silverbird Mall, while work was on-going at Alaba International, ASPAMDA, Ikota and Computer Village markets respectively. According to him, apart from MTN’s extensive fibre network, the company has perfected its local processing power, local data storage, networking and graphical user interface which made it possible to develop flexible and highly functional POS systems.

For him, the key requirements that must be met by modern POS systems included high and consistent operating speed, reliability, ease of use, remote supportability, low cost, and rich functionality all of which, he said, have been perfected by MTN Business.

MTN however said that it was not only the wired connectivity in selected shopping malls that gave it the confidence it would succeed in the venture , but also the fact that it now has the cutting-edge technology to deploy cloud-based POS devices, which have the advantages of instant centralization of data, ability to access data from anywhere there is internet connection, lower costs and ability to expand POS systems to mobile devices.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Shell to shut Nembe Creek pipeline

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Read Time:1 Minute, 47 Second

Shell plans to temporarily shut a key oil pipeline in southern Nigeria later this month to repair damage caused by oil thieves, leading to a cut of around 150,000 barrels per day, the company said Tuesday.

The Nembe Creek Trunkline in Nigeria, will be closed for a nine-day period.

The pipeline has been repeatedly hit by sabotage and theft. Oil theft has been estimated as costing Nigeria some $6 billion (4.7 billion euros) per year.

“We plan to shut it down this month to remove some bunkering points,” said Precious Okolobo, spokesman for the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), a Nigerian subsidiary for the Anglo-Dutch firm.

Bunkering is the local term for oil theft.

“In April, we will shut down the entire NCTL for a nine-day period to remove a number of bunkering points, which of course is a massive deferment of oil but needs to be done,” said Jurgen Jonzen, SPDC corporate pipeline asset manager.

Shell declined to provide the exact days of the shutdown of the pipeline.

The pipeline was shut for 10 days last month following a major leak of Bonny Light crude, one of the main grades of crude oil produced in Nigeria.

The company had then declared force majeure, a legal term releasing it from contractual obligations due to circumstances beyond its control.

The planned closure of the pipeline this month was programmed for its regular maintenance, contrary to the earlier one which was decided as an emergency measure, said Jonzen.

The company removed 157 points of sabotage on its pipelines last year, but 90 points still exist, he said.

SPDC managing director Mutiu Sunmonu said last month that oil theft in Nigeria had reached unprecedented levels, rising to 60,000 barrels per day for Shell alone.

A 2009 amnesty deal led to a sharp decline in unrest in the oil-producing Niger Delta region, but criminal activity has since flourished.

While Shell blames most of the spills on sabotage, activists argue that the company does not do enough to prevent such incidents and effectively clean up the damage when they do occur.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria loses over $40bn investments in 2 years

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Read Time:3 Minute, 43 Second

Nigeria is estimated to have lost more than $40 billion or N6.3 trillion investments in the last two years as a result of uncertainties in the oil and gas sector. Specifically, oil companies have held back over $40 billion worth of investment while waiting to see what happens, sequel to regulatory uncertainty. Sweeping reforms to taxes and royalties, transparency, local participation and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, have been promised since 2007.

According to estimates from the Senate Committee on the upstream oil industry, investments of at least $28 billion in the oil and gas sector have been lost or deferred since 2010. Similarly, uncertainties are holding back Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC) planned investment of about $30 billion in two offshore deep water projects in Nigeria.

At the just concluded Nigeria Oil and Gas (NOG-13) conference held in Abuja, Mutiu Sunmonu, Managing Director of SPDC, said it was regrettable that Nigeria was losing huge revenues and investments, due to oil theft and bunkering because of uncertainties. Though Sunmonu did not mention the projects where the fund would be deployed to, he stated that “SPDC would rather wait for stable and right conditions before committing finances.”

According to him, “Perhaps Nigeria’s oil and gas industry is slipping into the era when it took Mexico about 50 years to recover from such challenges in its oil industry. I recall the Mexican story where it took the country 50 years to recover from the loss in its oil production and my worry is that we are slipping towards that.”

Divestments

While Shell may have held back further investments in the sector, Conocophillips, a Houston Texas-based oil group, sold its assets after 46 years of operation in Nigeria to Oando Group. Some of these assets included its 17 percent stake in Brass Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG facility and its joint venture stakes in OMLs 60, 61, 62, 63, 131, as well as Kwale-Okpai independent power plant.

The company was estimated to have realized more than $1.7 billion from the sale of its assets in Nigeria. The sale of its Nigerian business unit was part of ConocoPhillips’ plan to increase value for shareholders through portfolio optimization, focused capital investments that deliver growth in production and cash margins, improved returns on capital, and sector-leading shareholder distributions.

Earlier, British Gas (BG) Exploration and Production, citing Nigeria’s turbulent oil and gas sector, pulled out of Nigeria, despite investing more than $500 million in its exploration activities on the offshore blocks OPLs 332, 286, 284 and Olokola Liquefied Natural Gas (OK LNG).

While announcing the divestment from OK LNG, Frank Chapman, Chief Executive Officer, said, “We are switching properties to development of projects elsewhere, most probably the expansion of our new assets in Australia. At the appropriate time, there would be further opportunities in Nigeria. For today, it is a low priority.”

International Oil Companies, IOCs are finding it easier to bye-pass Nigeria in their investment decisions, due to what they termed unfriendly oil sector operating environment. Consequently, Nigeria is estimated to have lost about $2.7 billion or N426 billion from decline in crude oil production in the last quarter of 2012 – October to December.

According to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Fourth Quarter Economic Report, Nigeria’s oil revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 dipped by N112.6 billion, as gross oil receipts in the Federation Account stood at N1.824 trillion. That showed a 5.8 percent reduction from N1.936 trillion recorded in the third quarter of 2012.

The CBN report also stated that Nigeria’s crude oil production, including condensates and natural gas liquids stood at 2.00 million barrels per day (mbpd) or 184.00 million barrels during the fourth quarter of 2012, compared to the 2.26 mbpd or 207.92 million barrels recorded in the third quarter, thus representing a decrease of 0.26 mbpd or 11.5 per cent in production level.

The report said the average price of Nigeria’s reference crude, the Bonny Light stood at $112.73 (N17,811.34) per barrel, with crude oil export at 1.55 mbpd or 142.60 million barrels in the fourth quarter, compared with 1.81 mbpd or 166.52 million barrels in the preceding quarter, representing a decline of 14.4 per cent.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Oil workers threaten to suspend production over crude oil theft, insecurity

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Read Time:4 Minute, 8 Second

WORKERS in the nation’s petroleum and gas industry, have expressed concerns over the alarming rate of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, saying it should no longer be tolerated

The workers, uderthe aegis of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and  Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association, PENGASSAN, also decried the level of insecurity in the country, especially kidnappings, killings and attacks by the  Boko Haram members and resurgence ofviolence in the Niger Delta.

They threatened to suspend production of crude oil and supply of petroleum products should government fail to take concrete steps to address the issue.

Speaking to Vanguard on behalf of both unions, President of PENGASSAN, Babatunde Ogun, said crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism was becoming scandalous and a national embarrassment that needed drastic solution.

According to him: “Despite the presence of the Joint Task Force, JTF, to combat illegal bunkering and granting the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, the power to bear arms to combat product pipeline vandalism, the practice has continued not only unabated but brazenly.

“Our security forces have been unable to arrest this unwholesome practice as attested to by the running battle they keep having in Arepo, Ogun State for example over product pipeline vandalism .  Also, few days ago there was a shut down by Shell Petroleum Development Company SPDC, of the Nembe Creek Trunk Line where an estimated 60,000 barrels per day of crude oil was stolen and Agip’s suspension of production activity in Bayelsa State where 60 percent  of its production of about 90,000 barrel per day was stolen.”

“By government’s own admission about 10 percent of Nigeria’s total crude oil production of about 2.5million a barrel per day (MMBPD) i.e. about 250KBPD is stolen, this is almost two and a half times the total production of our neighbour, Ghana. The nation therefore loses about $6billion yearly to crude oil theft and another N165billion to theft of refined products. This is a threat to our national security and our democracy as people who are making such humongous amount of money can destabilize both our democracy and our National security. The experience of Columbia, Afghanistan and other countries where criminal gangs have established organizations should prompt the federal and state governments to act very fast before the situation get out of hand.”

Continuing, he said “although the Miscellaneous Offences Act provides for life imprisonment for anyone stealing crude oil or petroleum products or vandalizing the pipelines, hardly is anyone caught or prosecuted. We believe the security agencies are complicit in this menace of our national resource and government needs to step up to the plate and summon the required will to fight this patent threat to our nation. If nothing concrete is done, we may be forced to suspend production of crude oil and supply of petroleum products until appropriate action is taken.

“In ensuring the continuous existence of the oil and gas industry and the growth of our national economy, we demand that the government must endeavour to create a template in the PIB that will give room to re-investing part of the proceeds from oil back to the industry, diversify into development of other sector of the economy, especially the solid mineral sector, and save for the future generation.”

On insecurity, Ogun said “The security situation in the country has deteriorated to the level of dragging Nigeria into the precipice as well as threatening the political stability of this nation. The several kidnapping, killings and attacks by the members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram and resurgence of kidnapping in the Niger Delta as well as other various crises that engulfed some parts of the country are testimonies of insecurity in the country. We are totally condemning the helplessness of our security agencies to check as Nigerians are beginning to lose faith and trust in the government. We are calling on the Federal Government to without delay evolve the political will to deal with the situation and stop sacrificing Nigerians while paying lip service to the issue of security.”

“We are also calling on political office holders, especially the governors and local government chairmen to channel their security votes to step up intelligence gathering and surveillance to nip crime in the bud at the planning stage. We are equally asking all appropriate agencies charged with the orientation and enlightenment to redouble their efforts at steering our youths to channel their energies towards National Development by giving up crimes. Again, we advise Mr. President and his Federal Executive Council not hesitate to seek foreign help in ending the insecurity menace. We want President Goodluck Jonathan and all political officer holders as well as their gladiators to know that the survival of this country depend largely on peace and political stability.”

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Conflict resolution in capital market, where to go to

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Often times, conflicts arise in the course of buying or selling shares, or even transacting business in the capital market. That of course, should be expected since capital market transaction involves complexities of human nature. It is understandable that no matter what is done to stop some malpractice in the capital market, some people are always loking for opportunities to abuse the system and defraud others especially ignorant investors.

But conflicts  involving stockbrokers, registrars and investors is not peculiar to Nigeria; they  occur in other  countries too. The difference however is the attitude and response of the regulators.  this implie the commitment of the the regulators to ensuring that investors, who are defrauded in the course of their business with  unscrupulous operators , do not feel   cheated at the end of the day, by ensuring prompt resolution. Perhaps, this is where regulators in the  Nigerian capital market will have to really sit up and do something that will put the market in good light.

In this regard , the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria, ASHON, recently said that it is planning quick resolution of conflict that will last for not more than five days.

Also, the Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, Ms Aruma Oteh, said that the Commission in conjunction with the Consumer Protection Council is working on a new Complaints Management Framework that will outline ‘where to go, what to do and what to expect’ in lodging and following up on complaints related to capital market transactions.

According to her, the new framework will make resolution of complaints efficient and investor friendly. Specifically, Oteh said that SEC intends to leverage the expertise of both the SEC and the CPC in delivering the desired result of efficiency, speed and cost effectiveness in complaints resolution, which she noted constitutes the roots of investor confidence in the market. However, for investors that are having challenges on how to go about channeling their complaints, further details will be provided on that next week.

About Post Author

Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: Staco Insurance targets N8.5bn premium income

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Read Time:2 Minute, 17 Second

Staco Insurance plc has set in motion all strategies within the ethical limits to gross premium income of not less than N8.5 billion in the current year 2013, as against N6.7 billion generated in 2012.

The company’s Managing Director Mr. Sakiru Oyefeso, hinted during an interaction with journalists in Lagos recently that, though it is difficult make premium projection due to the enforcement of “no premium, no cover” law contained in section 50 of the Insurance Act 2003, the insurance company has a guide it is working with.

He said “Projection is very difficult to work on with this new law until the dust is settled. However, we have a guide to operate with. Last year, we end our business with N6.7 billion gross premium income. This year, we believe we should grow to N8.5 billion. But with the new trend of activities going now, it could be hard.”

Oyefeso added that the insurance outfit is, however, optimistic of meeting its premium target especially as “there could be opening in the economy with the seriousness of the Federal Government that the energy sector will come up, road network will be good, and there will be provision of potable water in all nooks and crannies of the country. These are all gigantic projects that will need insurances. These are the areas that could help the insurance industry to generate more income. The oil and gas is there for us to take advantage of too.”

Again, as individuals are getting more aware of the need to buy insurance policies, the Staco boss stated that more members of the insuring public might eventually buy into the existing micro-insurance products before long.

He also explained that the change of the company’s name from Standard Trust Assurance plc to Staco Insurance plc during the last re-capitalisation exercise in the nation’s insurance industry which ended in February 2007, has also helped the insurance outfit to become a household name in the country.

The Staco boss further stated that the company is not resting on its oars because “We cannot say we have got to maturity, we are still in the process. It takes a longer time to get there. We want to see this company living like Nigeria to reach 100 years and beyond like First Bank.”

To improve on the fortunes of the insurance company in the market, Oyefeso stressed that the organisation has put in place what it called seven “S”, adding that if the seven “S” are pursued vigorously and nobody changes the game, Staco will be better for it at the end of the day.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: FG to earn more revenue from gas

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Read Time:2 Minute, 11 Second

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC Group Managing Director, Mr Andrew Yakubu, said Nigeria will rake-in about $10 billion as Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, from gas-based industries as a result of government’s determined efforts to position the gas sector for aggressive growth.

He said that Nigeria is transiting from an essentially oil based country to an integrated Oil and Gas one.

“In clear terms, the Jonathan’s administration has outlined three aspirations for gas, which are, gas to power; gas based industrialization; and high value gas export, which will undoubtedly generate as much revenue and other economic benefits as oil,” Yakubu said at the just concluded Offshore West Africa conference, OWA, in Accra, Ghana.

According to him, Nigeria has a total gas reserve of 187 Trillion Cubic Feet (TCF) with potential to grow to as high as 600 TCF, and this positioned the country as Seventh among countries with natural gas reserves.

The NNPC boss noted that between now and 2015; over 2 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas would be deployed in the country to triple the existing power generation of 4.5Giggawatts to 13.5GW.

He said government’s focus on gas development and ensuring its availability for power generation was based on the belief that the spin-off effects of reliable power supply would provide a solid base for industrialisation as well as attract Foreign Direct Investment into the country.

Yakubu said Nigeria would continue to maintain its presence in High Value Gas Export by pursuing two additional Greenfield Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) projects at Brass (10 Million metric tons per annum) and Olokola LNG (10 MTPA) in addition to the existing 22 MTPA NLNG in Bonny, Rivers state.

He said in a bid to earn more revenue from gas, the nation also supplies 130 million cubic feet of gas to Togo, Benin Republic and Ghana and that given the envisaged growth of the gas sector, government had commenced reforms geared towards attracting more investment and enhancing and ensuring bank ability of projects.

“The combined impact of Developing Commercial Frameworks for Gas Pricing, Domestic Supply Obligation and Gas Infrastructure Blueprint, will stimulate rapid transition of the Nigerian Gas sector,” Yakubu  who was represented by the NNPC Group General  Manager, Corporate Audit, Mr. Isa Inuwa said.

He added that the main policy initiative of government in the downstream sector was full deregulation of the sector and implored investors from Africa and around the World to come and participate in the Nigerian Oil and Gas sector given the huge potentials there-in.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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NIGERIA: FG moves to harness sea ports for economic development

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Read Time:2 Minute, 33 Second

THE Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has commenced moves to develop three deep sea ports across the country with a view to growing the economy. Disclosing this in Onne, near Port-Harcourt, Information Minister Mr Labaran Maku, said that the government was partnering with private investors to bring about these developments because, that, according to him is the only way to grow the economy.

Maku who visited the on going port extension work at the Federal Ocean Terminal currently being operated by Intels, also disclosed that the firm will hand over the facility to NPA after twenty years, so as to allow for enough time for the investor to recoup its investment. He explained that the new strategy by government to partner the private sector was paying off as the construction work has remained consistent unlike when government contractors are made to handle these kinds of jobs.

“We are doing a prime project for the economy of Nigeria, this port covers about 90,000 hectares of land which is a huge area and you can see the land reclamation going on it is all part of the port project. In less than one year, this contract has been virtually executed to about 70% percent and it will be completed in August and you can see because this is government private sector partnership (PPP) you can see the speed at which the project is being executed.

“If it were an entirely government contract , contractors will wait, they will delay, they will bring back papers for re-validation and they will keep working for years, but this new strategy to engage the priavte sector to develop our ports is really working.

This port as it were, still has phase 4B, which will follow as the concluding part of the port project. Intels will manage this port for twenty years and recover its money so government has not invested any thing in this port and that is indeed a good policy of government.

“The infrastructures of the fast growing economies are provided by the private sector, all the government do is to provide the legal framework. He noted that every aspect of the Nigerian economy is crying for attention as the economy grows and that government does not have the funds to do all of these at the same time, so the need for private sector participation.

Maku stated that the government will continue to use the private sector for the purpose of developing the economy.

The information Minister stated that it was the vision of government to make Nigeria the leading economy in Africa in the two or three decades. He however urged the media to continue to monitor these on going projects and report the development as they unfold.

Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mr. Habib Abdullahi, said that the project was in response to the upsurge in maritime operations at Onne Port Complex due to the increasing need to serve the oil and gas sector in West and Central Africa.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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Nigeria targets $1bn trade with Pakistan

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Read Time:1 Minute, 25 Second

 

ISLAMABAD: Nigeria would enhance two-way trade with Pakistan to $1 billion by the end of 2013 by enhancing interaction between the business communities of both the countries.
High Commissioner of Nigeria to Pakistan Dauda Danladi Mni at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) attached great importance to boost economic interaction with the government of Pakistan, particularly the business community.

Nigerian economy largely dependent on oil which accounts 40 percent of country’s GDP, 90 percent of its export revenue and 80 percent of government’s budget. 

Nigeria is amongst the Africa’s 10th largest economies that contribute 77 percent of Africa’s GDP. He said in order to boost foreign investment, Nigerian government created free zone in its territories to favour foreign investments as no custom duty applicable within the free zone.
Dauda said trade with Nigeria was also quite beneficial for Pakistan as Nigeria could serve as a window of business opportunity to the whole of West Africa. 

He said great opportunities were being explored by the Nigerian High Commission in the area of agricultural machinery like tractors, pharmaceuticals and export of garments including electro-medical apparatus to Nigeria from Pakistan.
Nigeria offers great investment opportunities to Pakistan in a number of areas including oil and gas, minerals and mining, agriculture and livestock, poultry and fisheries.

Zafar Bakhtawari President ICCI said Pakistan wanted to enhance its trade and economic relation with Nigeria, therefore both the countries should practice liberal visa policy and grant multiple visa of at least 5 years to businessmen of Nigeria and Pakistan so that they could visit each other’s country freely and enhance their mutual relations.

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Anthony Claret

Anthony-Claret is a software Engineer, entrepreneur and the founder of Codewit INC. Mr. Claret publishes and manages the content on Codewit Word News website and associated websites. He's a writer, IT Expert, great administrator, technology enthusiast, social media lover and all around digital guy.
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