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Nigerian pencil industry in dire need of investment, govt support – stakeholder

BAMIB Resources and Investments Company Limited has asked the FGN to support the manufacturing of Made-in-Nigeria pencils.

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Nigerian pencil industry in dire need of investment, govt support - stakeholder

BAMIB Resources and Investments Company Limited has asked the Federal Government of Nigeria to invest in and support the manufacturing of Made-in-Nigeria pencils.

According to Punch sources, the Chief Executive Officer of BAMIB, Mr Muideen Ibrahim, the production of homemade pencils would save the country hard-earned foreign exchange to the tune of $2.4 billion. He also said the Federal Government should ban the importation of products which could be easily produced here in Nigeria.

Mr Ibrahim, while speaking on the benefits of discouraging importation of pencils and the support of the Federal Government, said with the above in place, the Nigerian pencils industry would contribute massively to the growth of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and reduce unemployment among people within the labour population.

Nigerian pencil industry in dire need of investment, govt support - stakeholder

There are a lot of multiplier effects we shall give the country, some of which are backward integration of our major raw materials and basic components and massive employment opportunities and contribution to the gross domestic product (GDP). It will also aid strategic investments in other sectors and boost foreign direct investments, among others,” he said.

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Meanwhile, Ibrahim reportedly urged the Federal Government to move swiftly to save the pencil industry as government’s support is crucial for the survival of the industry. He asked for the enforcement of Executive Order 3 and Executive Order 5 to the letter for effective patronage of local products.

[READ MORE: Cross River to launch rice mill by December, set to boost local rice production]

“Unfortunately, the government is still paying lip service to these very good and apt Executive Orders. There must be a committee that will drive these orders and make them work. 

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“Not only that, the government must walk the talk on ease of doing business. This is one of the ways to help local manufacturers. Aside from that, there must be aggressive promotions on patriotism.” 

However, Mr Ibrahim said even though BAMIB’s production capacity was in excess of 450 million pencils yearly, the company had not broken even and could not even meet its financial obligations as at when due because of many challenges faced by the manufacturer.

According to the CEO, if the Federal Government intervenes, sustainability will be ensured.

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Hospitality & Travel

COVID-19: Over 70% of jobs lost in aviation, tourism industries in 2020 – AfDB

The AfDB has stated that about 5 million jobs have been lost in the aviation and tourism industries in Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Aviation in Africa

About 5 million out of Africa’s 7 million aviation and tourism industry-related jobs have been lost in 2020. Also, as much as $15 billion in revenue, half of this to African airlines.

This was disclosed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in a statement issued and seen by Nairametrics on Friday.

Vice President for Infrastructure, Industrialization and Private Sector, AfDB, Solomon Quaynor explained that the pandemic’s effect was felt more in Africa, a claim that was backed up by numerous panelists at the just concluded AfDB’s webinar themed ‘African Aviation Recovery Conference: coordinating an efficient response to the COVID-19 crisis’s effects on the Aviation sector in Africa.’

He said, “The air transport system is really at the forefront of all our collective objectives to realize Africa as a single economic bloc. The centrality of the aviation sector to Africa’s long-term goals by referencing three flagship projects of the AU’s Agenda 2063 that aim to advance open skies and closer connectivity: SAATM, The African Continental Free Trade Area, and the African Passport-Free movement of people.

“The air transport system is really at the forefront of all our collective objectives to realize Africa as a single economic bloc of 1.3 billion people with a GDP of almost 3 trillion dollars, for which we want to begin to really focus and increase trade among ourselves, as well as investment.”

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Also at the event, Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika called on African governments to embrace full liberalisation of the aviation sector, invoking the Yamoussoukro Decision, which established an arrangement for the gradual liberalization of intra-Africa air transport services.

He said, “Nigeria today has all its bilateral air service agreements with the YD and was also among the first ten countries that signed a commitment to implement the Single African Air Transport Market.”

Dr. Amani Abou Zeid, African Union Commission for Infrastructure and Energy, explained that Africa’s aviation industry represents a huge market that the continent’s airlines need to exploit more fully, with technology and AI offering the way forward for expansion, regional development experts.

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“Technology and smart technologies are offering this fantastic opportunity, so let’s make use of AI, let’s make use of the Internet of Things, let’s capacitate our people to revamp and to rethink our industry, to make sure that both our airports and our airlines cater for the very near future,” said Zeid.

What they are saying

A key takeaway was the urgent need for coordinated action among the sector’s actors, including governments, aviation authorities and multilateral stakeholders such as the Bank.

“The time is now. All of us who have really been working on upstream issues such as SAATM, the World Bank, ourselves, the AU and others, now is the time to really pool our advocacy and resources to make this happen once and for all because if we continue to operate as a federation of 54 states as opposed to an integrated market, our economies will continue to be sub-optimal,” said Quaynor

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Energy

Autogas: Nigerians will not pay N250,000 for conversion, it is free – FG

The FG has clarified an earlier statement about Nigerians having to pay N250,000 to have their vehicles converted from diesel/fuel use to autogas.

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FG says vehicle owners to pay N250,000 to convert from petrol to autogas

The Federal Government has said that news reports of Nigerians having to pay N250,000 to convert their cars from diesel/petrol engines to gas is false and incorrect.

This was disclosed by Justice Derefaka, the Technical Adviser on Gas Business and Policy Implementation to Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva, to newsmen on Friday.

On Friday, Derefaka clarified his position as wrong and said the FG plans make the conversion for free. He added that the FG plans to convert 1 million vehicles for free by the end of 2021.

“I granted an interview on Channels Television, where I stated the auto conversion of vehicles to gas will amount to N250k and Nigerians will need to pay for that. That statement is not correct, it is wrong.

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“On that note, I will like to state the position that has been made by my boss, Timipre Sylva, that FG will convert those vehicles for free for Nigerians, and we are looking at 1 million vehicles by the end of 2021,” he said.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported earlier this week that  Justice Derefaka had said vehicle owners in the country would have to pay N250,000 to have their cars converted to autogas from petrol.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19: Moderna says it will produce 500 million vaccines by 2021

Moderna Inc, has said that the company has the capacity to produce up to 500 million coronavirus vaccines by 2021.

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Moderna COVID-19 vaccine passes safety test on animals

Stéphane Bancel, CEO of pharmaceutical company and Covid-19 vaccine maker, Moderna Inc, has said that the company has the capacity to produce up to 500 million coronavirus vaccines by 2021.

The CEO disclosed this at the Nasdaq Investor Conference, as reported by Reuters.

What you should know 

  • Nairametrics reported last month that the pharmaceutical company had stated that its Covid-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in treating coronavirus, after preliminary analysis of a large late-stage clinical trial.
  • UK Health Secretary, Matt Hancock announced in November that the UK had secured 5 million doses of the vaccine.

The company disclosed that they had applied for emergency use of the vaccine in the United States and EU after finalizing clinical trials which showed 94.1% efficacy, and would hold a December 17 meeting with the American Food and Drug Administration to discuss emergency use.

For 500 million, I am very comfortable we are gonna get there (2021),” Bancel said at the Nasdaq Investor Conference.

The CEO added that the price for its vaccine would remain at $37 per dose, but expected it to fall to $25 as purchase volumes rose.

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Moderna says up to 125 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine will be supplied globally by the first quarter of 2021.

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