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AfCFTA: Continental free trade will reduce value erosion of naira – FG

Anatogu who was speaking in an interview expressed optimism over Nigeria’s a signing of AfCFTA.

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African free trade will boost development of manufacturing in Nigeria - NEPC, Head of States at African Continental Free Trade Agreement

The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement will reduce the erosion of the naira, which has suffered nearly 90% devaluation since 2016, through exports of Nigerian made goods and services, and give exposure of the naira to other currencies.

This was disclosed by Mr. Francis Anatogu, Secretary, National Action Committee on AfCFTA, in an interview with TVC News on Friday afternoon.

On concerns about dumping with the AfCFTA

Mr. Anatogu said, “As a nation, we recognized the need to diversify from oil; we need to improve exports to grow our GDP,”

He added that Nigeria was meant to take preemptive actions before joining the WTO, like the creation of a trade remedy mechanism. He said trade remedy is an area that has been identified by the National Action Committee to ensure Nigeria is not used for dumping.

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“We are starting with short term measures (trade remedies), and eventually submitting the bill to the National Assembly,”

Nairametrics reported last week that the FG is working on trade remedies to protect Nigerian producers from unfair and injurious trade practices from foreign companies that harm domestic industries, which are key factors for the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

This was disclosed on Thursday by the Head, Trade Remedies Unit National office for Trade Negotiations, Tola Onayemi, at the AfCFTA Sensitization Seminar, organized by the National Action Committee of the implementation of the agreement.

On Nigeria’s preparedness for the AfCFTA

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Mr. Anatogu said, “We understand how to deal with preferential trade, and are in a better position than a number of African countries.”

Naiarametrics also reported last week that Yewande Sadiku, CEO of Nigerian Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), said Nigeria is more ready for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), due to Nigeria’s domestic market manufacturing value addition capacity, which is 7 times the average of the top 20 economies in Africa and other.

Mr. Anatogu cited the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization measures, which is not perfect, however, the FG understands the gaps and specific actions that need to be in place to close it.

“Even as trade starts, implementation will take longer time; when implementation is agreed, it needs to be quoted in tariff books,”

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He said preferential treatment won’t be automatic, as products entering Nigeria needs to meet the rule of origin criteria.

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On benefits of AfCFTA to Nigerian Manufacturing industry

Mr. Anatogu says that Africa imports $250billion worth of goods on an annual basis, and it would do Nigerian manufacturers more harm than good to take advantage of African trade.

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“We are going into Africa without paying duties, it will give us an advantage over products that come from outside of Africa,”

He adds that’s it’s a win-win situation for Nigeria, as trades would also boost the value of the naira.

“Since 2016, naira devaluation is about 90%, from a business perspective, how would you stop value erosion? The way to do that is by exporting whatever we produce to Africa, which gives exposure to other currencies,” he said.

He added that manufactured products won’t be the only thing exported, as Services is also a factor.

“We need to play to our strengths, we have banks, movies and lots of informal services trade with Africa. We need to amplify this trade, we need to increase production. A sustainable way to do it is through exports, to maintain the value of wealth, you need exposure to foreign trade,” he concluded.

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: Oxygen demand in Lagos State has risen 5 times – Sanwo-Olu

Governor Sanwo-Olu has lamented the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos as the demand for oxygen increases by 5 times.

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The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has warned that the rising second wave of the pandemic in Lagos has seen the demand for oxygen rise 5 times from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders at Yaba Mainland Hospital alone.

The Governor also urged that all malaria-like symptoms should henceforth be considered as COVID-19 virus infection unless and until proven not to be so.

This was disclosed in a statement released by the Lagos State Government on Tuesday.

“Over the last few weeks, the demands for oxygen has risen from 70 six-litre cylinders per day to 350 six-litre cylinders in our Yaba Mainland Hospital. This is projected to more than double to 750 six-cylinders, before the end of January 2021,” the Governor said.

He added that the State Government has decentralized provision of oxygen and other services needed for Covid-19 patients, citing provision of oxygen kiosks.

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“ln addition to providing oxygen at our isolation centres, the Lagos State Government has decentralized the availability of oxygen across the State through the provision of 10 oxygen and sampling kiosks. Oxygen therapy and other related services will be provided to patients that require them.

“Five of these 10 oxygen centers have been commissioned while the remaining five will be ready for use within the next four weeks. It is our expectation that these sampling kiosks would be easily accessible to residents that require oxygen therapy at the level of LGAs as stabilization points prior to onward transmission to our Isolation centres, if required.

“This strategy is to further increase the fighting chance of Lagos residents that have contracted the virus and require immediate oxygen therapy,” he stated.

The Governor said that Lagos is closely monitoring plans by the FG to acquire vaccines and said the State has also resumed discussion with potential manufacturers. He also said the State is building its own regulatory framework for vaccine distribution.

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“We are closely monitoring ongoing action by the Federal Government to procure COVID-19 vaccines for use in Nigeria. We have also opened discussions with vaccine manufacturers so that when the vaccine comes eventually we can ensure that Lagosians are catered for.

“In the meantime, we are developing a strategy that will articulate the criteria, guidelines and regulatory framework for providing and monitoring vaccinations in Lagos.

“The Lagos State Government is actively partnering with the private sector in the management of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the areas of testing, oxygen deployment, as well as the clinical management of moderate to severe cases. These partnerships have helped enhance the State’s response to the ever-changing circumstances of the pandemic,” Sanwo-Olu added.

What you should know 

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  • The Lagos State Government earlier disclosed that its bed occupancy levels at its public and private COVID-19 care centres increased to 51 per cent.
  • The Federal Government also alerted Nigerians that hospitals across the country are running out of facilities to handle more serious cases of coronavirus infections as the virus is spreading fast with mild symptoms in some victims and severe illnesses and death in others.
  • Nairametrics recently reported that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Finance, announced the sum of N10 billion for the production of vaccines in Nigeria, to fight the coronavirus.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 19th of January 2021, 1,301 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 113,305 confirmed cases.

On the 19th of January 2021, 1,301 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

To date, 113,305 cases have been confirmed, 91,200 cases have been discharged and 1,464 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 1.19 million tests have been carried out as of January 19th, 2021 compared to 1.17 million tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 19th January 2021,

  • Total Number of Cases – 113,305
  • Total Number Discharged – 91,200
  • Total Deaths – 1,464
  • Total Tests Carried out – 1,191,866

According to the NCDC, the 1,301 new cases were reported from 22 states- Lagos (551), FCT (209), Oyo (83), Plateau (65), Kaduna (64), Enugu (61), Rivers (44), Ondo (39), Benue (37), Akwa Ibom (31), Kano (19), Delta (18), Gombe (18), Ogun (16), Edo (15), Kebbi (10), Ebonyi (9), Jigawa (4), Osun (3), Zamfara (3), Borno (1) and Nasarawa (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 41,951, followed by Abuja (14,909), Plateau (6,896), Kaduna (6,389),  Oyo (4,778), Rivers (4,473), Edo (3,335), Ogun (2,928), Kano (2,636), Delta (2,140), Ondo (2,109), Katsina (1,723), Kwara (1,697), Enugu (1,644), Gombe (1,518), Nasarawa (1,336), Ebonyi (1,284), Osun (1,263),  Abia (1,134), and Bauchi (1,107).

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Borno State has recorded 868 cases, Imo (857), Akwa Ibom (698), Benue (694), Sokoto (677), Bayelsa (619), Adamawa (573), Niger (547), Anambra (515), Ekiti (473), Jigawa (429), Taraba (294), Kebbi (261), Yobe (211), Cross River (169),  Zamfara (165), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

Lock Down and Curfew

In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.

The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.

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On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.

On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.

Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.

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READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

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Macro-Economic News

Price Watch: Nigerians paid less for Kerosene in December 2020

NBS Report shows that consumers paid less for Kerosene in December than they did in November 2020.

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Average prices of Kerosene, Diesel and Cooking Gas in Nigeria

The latest National Bureau for Statistics (NBS) Price Watch report for the month of December 2020 indicates that the average price per litre paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene reduced by 0.17% from N353.38 in November 2020 to N352.79 in December 2020.

Also according to the report, the average price per gallon paid by consumers for National Household Kerosene reduced by 3.52% from N1,218.50 in November 2020 to N1,175.59 in December 2020.

Price variations across states

  • In the month of December 2020, States with the highest average price per litre of kerosene include; Benue (N436.81), Ebonyi (N425.83) and Taraba (N423.33).
  • However, consumers in Bayelsa (N235.95), Rivers (N302.04) and Delta (N307.69) enjoyed the lowest average price per litre of kerosene.
  • Consumers in Kebbi (N1,534.21), Nasarawa (N1,488.00) and Benue (N1,450.00) paid the highest average price per gallon of kerosene.
  • While consumers in Sokoto (N733.33), Bayelsa (N773.75) and Adamawa (N822.00) on the other hand, paid the lowest average price per gallon of kerosene.

Prices across zones

  • Consumers in South-East zone paid the highest average price for a litre of Kerosene (N377.53), followed by North East (N370.13), North West (N354.66), North Central (N354.44) while consumers in South West(N337.57) and South South (N325.96) paid the lowest average price for a litre of Kerosene.
  • In respect of the average price paid for a gallon of Kerosene, consumers in North West zone paid the highest (N1,197.54), followed by North Central (N1,305.68), South East (N1,220.66), while consumers in South West (N1,161.00), North East (N1,113.25) and South-South(N1,037.60) paid the lowest average price of a gallon of kerosene.

Why this matters

Kerosene has remained an important source of energy for cooking for most families, both in the rural areas and cities. Kerosene is mostly used in rural areas as a source of lighting.

Considering that food and lighting are very essential to life, it is therefore important that the price paid for Kerosene is quite reasonable and as well as affordable for most Nigerians.

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