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Business

AfCFTA: We need African Union protocol on women – AU Chairman

AU leaders called on a treaty to boost female inclusion and small-scale enterprises to trade across borders, as AfCFTA goes into place.

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South Africa High commission in Nigeria shuts its offices, South Africa announces 21-day lockdown following spike in Coronavirus cases

The African Union Chairman and President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, has called for an African Union protocol on women to enable female inclusion in Africa’s economy, as the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) goes into implementation next year.

Mr. Ramaphosa stated this at the virtual extra-ordinary Summit of the African Union (AU) on  Sunday to discuss the implementation of the AfCFTA.

READ: AfCFTA delay: A bane to Africa’s $3.4 trillion economic bloc

The AU leaders called on a treaty to boost female inclusion and small-scale enterprises to trade across borders, as the agreement goes into place. Ramaphosa added that the deal is important, as AfCFTA would see Africa trading with itself and harnessing its economic prowess.

“The treaty would improve Africa as an investment destination and a market of more than one billion people. This treaty (AfCFTA) is more critical than ever. It will expand the productive capacity of countries,” Ramaphosa said.

READ: AfCFTA: African Finance Ministers to discuss payments system for trade bloc

“To support this treaty, we must strengthen the place of women in the economy. We should consider an AU protocol on women. This kind of protocol would be a catalyst to private enterprise in Africa,” he added.

Ramaphosa disclosed that the AfCFTA is also a developmental approach for Africa, as it would enable infrastructure growth to boost value chains in Africa.

READ: AfCFTA: African Customs Officials to draft free trade continental guidelines

“At its core is a developmental approach. It goes to the building of an infrastructure and a value chain for Africa. The AfCFTA brings the promise of a new beginning. We reaffirm our optimism. The AfCFTA would help realize these opportunities by attracting more trade and more investment into Africa.”

READ: AfCFTA: Focus on manufacturing will boost diversification goals – FG

What you should know About Nigeria and the AfCFTA

  • Nairametrics reported that Nigeria became the 34th African country to fully ratify and submit its Instrument of Ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
  • President Muhammadu Buhari said the commencement of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) in January 2021 would fulfil the dreams of post-colonial African founders for a prosperous and united Africa through the continental integration of goods, services, and people.
  • According to PwC, the share of females in the total employment figure for Nigeria has marginally increased.
  • “In 2019, about 51% of females were employed among the total female labour force, compared to 59.8% of males (as a proportion of the total male labour force),” PwC disclosed.
  • The IMF states that in sub-Saharan Africa, only 37 percent of women have bank accounts, compared to 48 percent of men – a gap that has only widened over the last few years.

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

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Business

Lagos seals 35 building sites after visits to Magodo, Ogudu, Eti-Osa, others

This enforcement of its physical planning laws is being carried out by LASBCA and the LASPPPA on behalf of the state government.

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Sanwo-Olu announces Lekki/Ikoyi toll gate to fully go cashless

The Lagos State Government has commenced the massive enforcement of its physical planning laws to prevent building collapse and illegal developments, as it sealed 35 building sites for various contraventions.

This exercise is being carried out by the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) and Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) on behalf of the state government, with the team visiting several construction sites and buildings in Eti-Osa, Magodo, Ogudu, Gbagada Phase II and several other Local Government Areas.

According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), this disclosure was contained in a statement issued by Mr Gbadeyan Abdulraheem, Spokesman for LASBCA, on Tuesday, March 2, 2021.

He said the enforcement was to prevent haphazard construction from preliminary stages and to stop distressed buildings from causing havoc.

Abdulraheem said the enforcement team was led by Mr Gbolahan Oki, the General Manager of LABSCA. He added that LASBCA sealed a distressed building at No. 33 Oko Baba Street, Ebute Metta and dispersed children using the building as a school.

Oki said 35 sites were sealed for various contraventions including illegal demolition, construction without permit and failure to obtain necessary authorisation from LASBCA and LASPPPA.

Oki said, “The enforcement drive will be a continuous exercise.’’

The general manager appealed to Lagos residents to follow proper channels in processing their construction works and obtaining necessary permits from the state government.

He said the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration was committed to ensuring that buildings in Lagos state were designed, constructed and maintained to high standards of safety so as to avoid loss of lives and property, through the existing building regulatory system.

Oki said LASPPPA’s role was to ascertain and validate the approvals obtained by the various construction sites visited, as well as monitor layouts and development schemes.

He added that LABSCA, on the other hand, was for the identification of distressed and non-conforming buildings and inspection/certification of various stages of building construction works.

What you should know

  • The Lagos State Government has for several months been on an enforcement drive of the state’s physical planning laws, so as to restore order and prevent the distortion of the ecosystem of the entire state and preserve the environment.
  • This has led to the demolition of illegal structures that either did not get approval or did not conform to the approved building plan or physical planning laws in such areas as Lekki Phase 1, Ikoyi, Magodo, Ogudu GRA, Ajao Estate, Ikeja and so on.

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Business

Nigeria signs pact with Morocco’s OCP Group to aid fertilizer production

The pact is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers.

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Nigeria has signed a pact with OCP Africa to aid the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative in Morocco. The pact was signed by the Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Timipre Sylva and officials of Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).

This was disclosed in a statement issued by NSIA and seen by Nairametrics on Tuesday.

This is expected to utilize Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and one million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

To achieve the 750,000 tons target, a number of agreements were signed between OCP Africa, the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria, and the NSIA in order to commit to the second phase of the Nigerian Presidential Fertilizer Initiative.

Similarly, a Shareholders’ Agreement was also signed between OCP Africa and the NSIA for the creation of the Joint Venture Company. This agreement would oversee the development of a versatile industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

It stated, “a Memorandum of Understanding between OCP Africa, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, and NSIA was sealed. The objective of this pact is to evaluate the opportunity of an equity investment by the NNPC in the JVC and for its support on gas.”

What you should know

  • The business visit is a follow up to the industrial project which was officially launched in June 2018 following the success of the first phase of the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative supported by OCP.
  • Through these agreements, the OCP Group has confirmed its commitment to the development of sustainable and inclusive agriculture in Nigeria.
  • The project was first announced during the official visit to Morocco of President Muhammadu Buhari and it is aimed at developing a versatile industrial platform in Nigeria.
  • Recall that in 2016, OCP Group first partnered with the Fertilizer Producers and Suppliers Association of Nigeria under the Presidential Fertilizer Initiative, supported by the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority.
  • This collaboration stretched across the entire agricultural value chain, from the introduction of customized fertilizers adapted to local soils and crops to improving the availability of fertilizers in the local market at competitive prices.
  • The partnership also included farmer support initiatives, supply chain development projects along with the strengthening of a close distribution system.
  • These joint efforts have led to the renovation of 13 blending units and packaging for fertilizers and installation by private operators of more than 14 new factories.

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