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Ghana received $7 million direct investment from Nigeria in six months: Envoy

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Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) from Nigeria hit $7.07 million in the first half of 2021, says Ghana High Commissioner to Nigeria, Rashid Bawa, at the Africa Special Day of the ongoing 2021 Lagos International Trade Fair (LITF) on Wednesday in Lagos.

Mr Bawa, represented by Samata Bukari, Consul General, Ghana Consulate, Lagos, said Ghana was not new to Nigerian investment.

“Virtually all internationally oriented Nigerian business establishments have footprints in Ghana either directly or indirectly in all sectors.

“According to the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC), even in the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, Nigeria FDI in Ghana from January to June 2021 amounted to 7.07 million dollars.

“These are recorded investments in new projects,” he said.

The high commissioner emphasised the need for intra-African trade especially with the coming on board of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

He said Africa’s share of trade with the rest of the world was insignificant while the level of intra-regional trade was equally low with its attendant unfavourable impact on economic growth and development of the region.

Mr Bawa said: “It is largely to address this situation through the stimulation of intra-African trade that the African Continental AfCFTA was established.

“It is to provide countries in the region with the opportunity to harness the collaborations and interrelationships of their economies to fully take advantage and utilise the socio-economic benefits market integration would provide.

“Indeed, stimulating intra-African trade and deepening African market integration would, hopefully, lead to increased volume of trade among African countries.”

According to him, this is essential for achieving sustainable economic development, and ultimately paves the way for increased capacity to compete effectively on the global market.

He said it was expected that when African countries trade with themselves, they would exchange more manufactured and processed goods, have more knowledge transfer and create more value.

“Let me quickly add that the gains of the AfCFTA will elude Africa without investments in African countries.

“It is in this light that Ghana is positioning herself to take full advantage of the benefits of AfCFTA and to become Africa’s investment destination of choice,” Mr Bawa said.

He said investment opportunities in Ghana included energy, manufacturing, agriculture, information communication technology, education and transport infrastructure, among others.

He said the government of Ghana was committed to implementing policies that reduce the general cost of doing business to promote investor confidence in the country.

Also, Amr Altantawy, Commercial Secretary, Embassy of Egypt, said Egypt plays a vital role in the African economy, adding that the AfCFTA would boost the country’s export to other nations in the continent.

Mr Altantawy said Egypt was positioning to attract more investors from Africa and other continents.

He added that the country was putting policies in place to sustain its position as one of Africa’s best investment destinations.

On his part, Muyiwa Akinyemi, Group General Manager, United Bank for Africa Plc (UBA), said there could not be a viable intra-African trade without a reliable and efficient payment platform.

Mr Akinyemi said UBA was one of the bank’s working with the AfCFTA secretariat to establish the Pan-African Payments and Settlement System (PAPSS) which would begin operations in early 2022 in Nigeria and five other pilot countries.

He said: “PAPSS is a centralised payment and settlement infrastructure for intra-African trade and commerce payments.

“This project, which is being developed in collaboration with the African Export-Import Bank, will facilitate payments as well as formalise some of the unrecorded trade due to prevalence of informal cross-border trade in Africa.

“It will also provide alternatives to current high-cost and lengthy correspondent banking relationships to facilitate trade and other economic activities among African countries.”

In his remark, Gabriel Idahosa, Chairman, Trade Promotion Board, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the Africa Special Day was an opportunity for networking, trade partnership development, and promotion of intra-African trade.

He said it was also an effective platform that supports the vision of AfCFTA in creating the much-needed awareness toward achieving the key mandates of the agreement. 

(NAN)

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Brothers docked for beating police superintendent

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Hakeem Odumosu

Two brothers, Claire Alaga and Vincent Alaga, appeared before an Ojo Magistrates’ Court in Lagos State on Wednesday.

They are accused of alleged assault on an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP).

The defendants were arraigned before Magistrate Ademola Adesanya on a four-count charge of conspiracy, assault, breach of peace and resisting arrest.

They, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The prosecutor, Simeon Uche, told the court that the defendants committed the offence on December 1, at ABS Bus Stop on Isashi Road in Ojo.

According to the prosecution, the defendants resisted arrest by a police officer, Adeniyi Clement.

He told the court that the defendants also slapped the police officer and injured him on the left hand in a bid to resist arrest.

The alleged offence contravenes the provisions of Sections 168, 117, 172 and 411 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2015.

The court granted the defendants bail in the sum of N50,000 each, with two sureties each in like sum.

He adjourned the case until February 11, 2022. 

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Wakanow evolves business model, now offers protection services to South-East travellers

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Renowned travel Agency Wakanow has added a new tactic to its travel menu, offering protection services to South-East travellers in its new package.

In a flyer advert seen by Peoples Gazette on Tuesday, the travel agency named the new plan Home Coming to the East. The new plan is expected to motivate South-East travellers of the habit of visiting their hometown to embark on their customary trip despite security worries.

Priced N320,000 for trips from Lagos to any southeastern state, the package is expected to cater for the safe commuting and welfare of passengers and details attached to the trip.

The organisation said the fee will cover transportation in a Toyota Hilux vehicle, two police escorts and a driver.

The travel agency also revealed that those travelling within the South-East region could get access to the special service at a reduced cost of  “N260,000 per day”.

Confirming the development to The Gazette via the organisation’s official WhatsApp page, a customer care representative  who corroborated the travel rate on the flyer said “if you want a one way, then it is NGN 320,000, if it is a round trip then it is NGN640,000.”

“If you require the service within the East, the fee is NGN 260,000 per day,” the care rep added.

Wakanow’s new strategy comes amidst the expected influx of Igbos to their country homes this Yuletide. The parlous security situation of the region remains dreaded for multitudes of indigenes  who traditionally return home from abroad for end-of-year festivities.  

In May, Inspector General of Police Usman Baba to launched Operation Restore Peace in the region as strategy to quell incessant attacks on the police and other government establishments by unknown gunmen.

However, the in security in the region did not abate, even threatening the conduct of Anambra governorship election which eventually held after back channel negotiations with separatists.

Though attacks on government facilities have largely quietened since the conduct of the November 6 election, cases of violence and fatal confrontation continue to occur between gunmen and security operatives.

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Benin Republic grants Nigerian company 30,000 hectares for rice production

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Benin Republic Government has granted 30,000 hectares of land to a Nigerian company, Labana Rice Mills, for the cultivation of rice in that country.

The general manager of the company, Abdullahi Idris-Zuru, disclosed in a statement on Wednesday.

He said the company would, in 2022, finance farmers in the country through the Benin Republic government, to produce 20,000 metric tonnes of paddy rice during the dry season. 

“A total of 30,000 hectares of farmland are being made available in the Benin Republic to Labana Rice Mills for the cultivation of rice.

“These resolutions were made during a joint meeting of Beninous Government officials with Labana Rice Mills delegation to Cotonou, the country’s capital, last weekend.

“The meeting with the Labana delegation led by the chairman, Abubakar Abbah-Adamu, was chaired by the Benin Minister of Agriculture, Gaston Dossouhoui,” Mr Idris-Zuru said.

He said that the Beninouis government granted the farmland after an assessment of the company’s rice mills and farms in Kebbi, Nigeria.

“The report has convinced the government of Labana Rice Mills’ capacity to be a reliable partner in agriculture,” the general manager added.

He said that the chairman of the company expressed his gratitude for the trust and confidence the Benin government had in Labana rice mills and the government and people of Nigeria.

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