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Nigeria, Africa’s most attractive investment destination, First Bank, BOI say

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With a population above 200 million people and access to market across the continent, Nigeria is the most attractive destination for investment in Africa, say the First Bank of Nigeria and the Bank of Industry.

The CEOs of First Bank of Nigeria, Adesola Adeduntan and Bank of Industry, Olukayode Pitan, stated this respectively at a Nigeria International Partnership Forum in Paris.

Presenting a paper at the forum, Mr Adeduntan said with the coming into effect of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, investing in Nigeria would give access to markets across Africa.

He said with a GDP of about $500 billion and the projection that the Nigerian population would grow from more than 200 million to 450 million people by 2050, the country was an investors’ haven.

Besides, the banker said there was an abundance of natural resources, hydrocarbon, and other solid minerals deposits in Nigeria.

“Last year, Nigeria recorded the best stock exchange in terms of performance. Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, was ranked as the best city for technology starts up of the continent, boasting of three of the world-known telecoms in the continent,” added the bank CEO. “Nigeria also attracted about 39 per cent of the venture capital investments that came to the continent in 2020.”

Mr Adeduntan further explained that Nigeria had recorded significant growth in the Ease of Doing Business, with potential investment in the ICT sector.

He added that the government had created some financial institutions that are essentially geared towards providing long-term financing to aid foreign and indigenous investors.

The institutions, according to him, include the Bank of Agriculture, Bank of Industry, Development Bank of Nigeria, and the Central Bank of Nigeria. 

Speaking in the same vein, Pitan, the BoI boss, said on average, Africa imported about $594 billion worth of goods and $152 billion in services.

Breaking it down, he said African countries imported about $138 billion of refined petroleum products, $1.7 billion of crude oil, and $18 billion of plastics. He added that $28 billion of iron and steel, $12 billion of textile, $6.9 billion of sugar, $6.7 billion of rice, and $5.7 billion of rubber and oil palm.

The banker said Nigeria, being the biggest market in Africa, any smart businessman should look at any of the areas to invest, using Nigeria as the base.

“The BOI is the oldest policy bank with 52 years experience, and it is there to support investors who are ready to establish in the country,” he said.

(NAN)

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APC Crisis: Ex-Gov. Yerima calls for unity in Zamfara

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Ahmed Sani Yerima

Former Governor Ahmad Yerima of Zamfara has called for unity in the All Progressives Congress (APC) family in the state, urging those challenging the party’s leadership in the state to stop in the interest of peace.

Mr Yerima said this when he received newly inaugurated state executives of the party at his residence in Gusau.

Yusuf Idris, APC’s publicity secretary in Zamfara, disclosed this in a statement in Gusau on Monday.

The statement said the executives’ visit was to show appreciation to APC stakeholders in Zamfara over their emergence under the chairmanship of Tukur-Umar Danfulani.

“During the visit, Danfulani promised to show leadership by example, promising that all loyal members will be fully engaged in party activities,” said the statement.

It added that the executives also visited former Governor Mahmud Shinkafi, serving and former lawmakers at the National and State House of Assembly, among others.

(NAN)

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COVID-19: Botswana confirms 19 Omicron cases

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Botswana Health Minister, Edwin Dikoloti, has confirmed 19 cases of the newly-discovered Omicron variant of COVID-19.

“Such detection should not be confused with Botswana being the country of origin of the strain,” the Botswana health minister said.

Mr Dikoloti disclosed this at a briefing that additional assessments and analyses of other positive COVID-19 samples had revealed 15 more cases of the Omicron variant on Sunday after four foreigners were declared infected.

“We will continue to expand our conduct tracing to ensure that no potential cases go undetected,” Mr Dikoloti stressed.

He further stated that the initial cases of the Omicron variant in Botswana were detected after four foreign nationals, who had briefly visited Botswana, tested positive for COVID-19 on November 11. 

The variant was confirmed as the Omicron variant on November 24.

(NAN)

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Omicron: Philippines launches ambitious vaccination drive

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1637324641 Coronavirus

The Philippines on Monday launched an ambitious three-day vaccination drive to give COVID-19 shots to up to nine million Filipinos amid the threat of the highly mutated Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

Thousands of security forces and volunteers were deployed nationwide to implement the campaign, which was being held as the country again imposed international travel restrictions.

“The national vaccination day is very timely and truly a milestone in our COVID-19 pandemic response and mitigation efforts,” Carlito Galvez, the country’s vaccination chief, said. “Inoculating nine million individuals in three days is our most ambitious target so far.”

According to the Department of Health, three million people would be vaccinated a day or nearly four times the average of 813,734 daily doses in the past week.

The department said before Monday, more than 35.78 million Filipinos had been fully vaccinated, or over 32 per cent of the country’s total population of 110 million.

The government aims to vaccinate 54 million people by the end of 2021 and 77 million by next March.

Mr Galvez said with the country’s increasing supply of vaccines, the key was now to “accelerate and expand the capacity” of local government units, especially those outside the capital region of Metro Manila.

The Philippines banned flights from 14 countries, including seven European nations, due to rising COVID-19 cases and the detection of the Omicron variant.

The government also indefinitely delayed a previous decision to start accepting some foreign tourists again from December 1. 

(dpa/NAN)

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