The Federal Government of Nigeria has reiterated its interest towards keeping existing investors while also seeking to attract potential investors in the country.
Vanguard reports started that the announcement was made by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, during the 2019 USA-Nigeria Business and Investment Summit held in Atlanta, Georgia, United States.
Adebayo who was represented by the Director of Infrastructure Investment and Policy Matters, Olajide Bamidele, said that Nigeria is committed to addressing issues of corruption, political instability and insecurity in the country.
He said that the government was fully aware of the challenges in the country’s investment and business environment and was making concerted efforts to tackle them.
Speaking further, Adebayo highlighted various reform initiatives by government to further ease the country’s business environment and protect investments. While stating that Nigeria’s improvement in the latest World Bank ease of doing business index, which has seen the country move 15 steps upward, was evidence of government’s efforts, he said the summit was timely, as it came amid the implementation of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP).
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Adebayo also stated that the United States was key among 20 nations identified as critical to the actualization of the ERGP, hence the need for deeper economic and business ties between both countries.
While commenting during the summit, the Consul General of Nigeria in Atlanta, Aishatu Musa, urged Americans to invest in Nigeria saying it was a wise choice to make.
“Nigeria is Africa’s biggest economy and most populous nation with estimated Gross Domestic Products of 375 billion dollars, and a strong human capacity of about 200 million people. Nigeria is strategically positioned in the development equation of the West African sub-region and indeed the entire African continent.
“With all the indicators pointing to a desirable future, and abundant human and material resources, investing in Nigeria will not only be the right thing to do but the wise thing to do,’’ she said.
What you should know: The summit was a three-day event organised by the Nigerian consulate in Atlanta in collaboration with the ministry to promote investment opportunities in Nigeria. It hereby provided a platform for private and public sector players from both countries to exchange, compare policies, network and review economic relations, among others.
It also attracted officials of the host state of Georgia, American business leaders and entrepreneurs, and government representatives from Nigeria at the federal and state levels.
SpaceX says it’s pursuing necessary licenses to bring Starlink to Nigeria
Broadband penetration of 70% which covers 90% of the population is the FG’s target in its National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025.
American private space exploration company founded by Elon Musk, SpaceX says it is working to pursue all necessary licenses needed to bring the Starlink Satellite internet services to Nigeria.
This was disclosed by Mr Ryan Goodnight, SpaceX’s Starlink Market Access Director for Africa in a meeting with NCC’s Executive Vice-Chairman (EVC), Prof. Umar Danbatta on Friday in Abuja.
What SpaceX is saying about Starlink in Nigeria
“SpaceX has been in discussion with NCC virtually over the past several months to begin the process of pursuing all necessary licences to bring Starlink, its satellite-based broadband services, to Nigeria.
Having made substantial progress in the discussion, the commission granted SpaceX’s request for a face-to-face discussion to gain better insights on the prospects,” they said.
The NCC stated that it has listened to SpaceX’s presentation and will review it vis-à-vis its regulatory direction of ensuring an effective and sustainable telecoms ecosystem where a licensee’s operational model does not dampen healthy competition among other licensees.
“As the regulator of a highly dynamic sector in Nigeria, the commission is conscious of the need to ensure that our regulatory actions are anchored on national interest,” they said.
NCC added that broadband penetration of 70% which covers 90% of the population is the FG’s target in its National Broadband Plan (NNBP), 2020-2025. This is also in line with its National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy (NDEPS), 2010-2030.
What you should know
Starlink is an internet service launched by SpaceX to improve internet coverage in rural and underserved areas globally. Starlink satellites are over 60 times closer to Earth than traditional satellites, resulting in lower latency and the ability to support services typically not possible with traditional satellite internet.
Nairametrics also reported this month that the Federal Government announced a deal with Microsoft through the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy for the development of high-speed internet infrastructure across the six regions in the country.
What FGN Free Meter Program means for the power sector
Without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.
According to news reports, the Minister of Power, Mamman Saleh on Wednesday said the distribution of the four million free electricity prepaid meters pledged by the Central Bank of Nigeria would soon begin across the country.
According to him, the government is wrapping up the distribution of its initial one million meters, which he labelled phase zero, and would soon begin the distribution of the four million sponsored by CBN, which he tagged phase two. He also noted that the Federal Executive Council approved N3bn for the execution of six major electricity projects in the country to upgrade Nigeria’s electricity facilities and improve power supply across the country.
Ineffective metering remains a major drawback to the success of power sector reforms in Nigeria. While some consumers avoid paying for power consumed through meter bypass, some other consumers are made to pay for what they have not consumed through estimated billing by DisCos.
DisCos have been largely unsuccessful with metering their customers.
As far as inadequate metering is concerned, DisCos over time, have used this situation to their advantage via estimated billings. It appears that fully metering customers are currently being viewed as a disincentive, given that estimated bills can easily be manipulated.
According to a report by the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), only 4,234,759 (40.27%) of the total customer population of 10,516,090 were metered as of 30 June 2020. Clearly, this validates the widely held view that there are a wide number of customers on estimated billing which gives room for illegal connection to the networks and in turn corrupt practices. NERC further revealed that only three out of 11 Electricity Distribution Companies in the country had metered more than 50% of electricity customers under their coverage areas as of June 2020.
Effective metering in our view is one step ahead in solving the myriad of problems embattling the Nigerian power sector. Though supposed to be unpaid for, many customers in a bid to avoid the bureaucracy associated with getting meters have paid to get their own meters. We believe the provision of meters to all end-use customers will go a long way in ameliorating the liquidity squeeze in the power sector whilst also providing cashflow to the DisCos for investment in equipment needed to evacuate unused electricity to consumers nationwide.
We laud the FG’s efforts at distributing meters freely to end-users, but we note that without effective penalties for erring DisCos and consumers, progress may still remain very slow.
CSL Stockbrokers Limited, Lagos (CSLS) is a wholly owned subsidiary of FCMB Group Plc and is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria. CSLS is a member of the Nigerian Stock Exchange.
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