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Business

Kano-Maradi rail would serve import and export of goods in W’Africa through Nigerian ports – FG

When completed, the Kano-Maradi rail will serve West African countries as they pass their goods through Nigerian ports, Buhari has said.

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President Muhammadu Buhari has disclosed that the Kano-Maradi rail project when completed, would serve import and export of goods for the Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through Nigerian ports.

Buhari disclosed this at the groundbreaking ceremony of the Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi rail line with a branch line from Kano to Dutse on Tuesday.

Buhari said the rail line traverses the major commercial and administrative center of Kano and will pass through other economic hubs of the country including Kazaure, Daura, Katsina, and up to the border town of Jibiya and the Niger Republic city of Maradi.

READ: Nigeria to import petroleum products from Niger Republic, sign MoU on transportation, storage

“This vital infrastructure line will establish an end-to-end logistic supply chain in railway transport services between Northern and Southern regions of the country, reaching Nigerian southern ports of Lagos and Warri,” he stated.

He added that the FG identified rail lines as an important route that would boost the movement of passengers and freight to the hinterland, especially raw materials from both agricultural and mineral resources for industries.

”  The project, when completed, would serve import and export of goods for the Niger Republic and other countries in the sub-region through Nigerian ports.

“The country would earn revenue through expansion of trade and commerce, while the people of Niger Republic will benefit from the ease of transportation logistics at an affordable cost in their import and export business,” he said.

READ: Ticketing, social distancing, seat drama, my experience on Lagos-Ibadan train ride

Buhari said the FG has also embarked on the completion of the 1,424 Kilometer Lagos–Kano rail line to join the Kano-Maradi rail for the country’s Western axis.

“On the Eastern corridor of the country, the Port Harcourt – Enugu – Makurdi – Maiduguri rail line with branches to Owerri, Imo state and Damaturu, Yobe state have been awarded for reconstruction to include a deep seaport in Bonny Island and a Railway Industrial Park in Port Harcourt,” he added.

Buhari revealed that the FG is concluding financial arrangements for the development of the West-East Coastal rail line from Lagos to Calabar and linking Onitsha, Benin, Warri, Yenegao, Port Harcourt, Aba, and Uyo.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported on September 2020 that the Federal Executive Council approved the disbursement of $1.96 billion, for the railway line from Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in the Niger Republic.
  • Nairametrics also reported that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said that the Kano-Maradi (Niger Republic) railway project will cost the Federal Government the sum of $1.9 billion, with the funds expected to be mostly sourced from Europe

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Business

FG moves to appoint fund manager for $37 billion infrastructure company

The FG has arranged to engage an asset manager for its newly set up Infrastructure Company of Nigeria Ltd.

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The Federal Government has concluded plans to engage an asset manager for its newly set up Infrastructure Company of Nigeria Ltd. (Infra-Co), to raise about N15 trillion ($36.7 billion) for projects and accelerate growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

This is coming barely 2 weeks after President Muhammadu Buhari approved the government’s N1 trillion initial seed capital for the Infrastructure company, which will be set up under a Public-Private Partnership.

According to a report from Bloomberg, a source who wants to remain anonymous said that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and its funding partners, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and state-owned Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, are seeking proposals from companies to independently manage the infrastructure company’s fund-raising plan.

The sought after fund manager will be responsible for coordinating the total equity capital and associated debt raise required by the company with the asset managers seeking the role expected to have been active in infrastructure financing.

The CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had earlier said that the government needs to be innovative in its approach to developing infrastructure in the country and believes that InfraCorp will be a major game-changer in this regard.

Some firms such as PricewaterhouseCoopers, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey and KPMG have expressed interest in getting the role of transaction advisers on the deal with Ukiri Lijadu and Co. and Kenna Partners appointed legal advisers.

This is as the report says that the firms were either not available to confirm the development or could not make any comment yet.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had earlier approved the government’s seed capital of N1 trillion for InfraCo, an infrastructure company, which will be wholly focused on critical infrastructure investment in the country, under a Public-Private Partnership.
  • The President had said that InfraCo will be raising funds from the CBN, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Pension funds, and local and foreign private sector development financiers.
  • This will help boost infrastructure investments to stimulate economic growth after exiting its second recession in 4 years in the fourth quarter and bridge the infrastructural gap in the country, with Nigeria needing at least $3 trillion over 30 years to close its infrastructure deficit.

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Business

Afreximbank sets up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries

African Export-Import Bank has set up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries.

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AfDB, Chinelo Anohu

The African Export-Import Bank (Afrexim Bank) has set up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries as the continent faces a challenge to effectively monetize its creative output.

This disclosure was made by Afreximbank President, Benedict Oramah at a virtual “fireside chat” on Tuesday organized by the Africa Soft Power Project, entitled “The New Face of African Collaboration.”

According to Africa Investment Forum Senior Director, Chinelo Anohu,

READ: Afreximbank set to commit $200 million to Africa’s export fund

“Digital platforms in Africa should scale up to take advantage of the continent’s surging demand for creative content, and the African Development Bank flagship entity is providing advisory services and investment support to creative players.

“The Africa Investment Forum was working to promote content deals as well as digital infrastructure projects to advance creative industries, including support to smaller players.

“At AIF 2019, we had a very interesting entrepreneur scheme which saw those that were not as big get the kind of funding they needed to get beyond getting a feasibility study done.

READ: Tesla loses $200 billion in market value following Bitcoin investment

“Data is one of the African Development Bank’s strong points. They have a fantastic research division, and what we’re trying to do is mainstream that data culled from 55 countries and distill it in such a manner that the investors can easily access the information they need.

“Support for intellectual property rights and equipping investors with the data they need to tackle negative perceptions about investing in Africa are key priorities for Africa Investment Forum.

 What you should know

  • The event was held against the backdrop of the recent coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
  • Discussion at the event primarily focused on the role of infrastructure and connectivity in advancing Africa’s creative industries, including film, textiles and design.
  • It is important to note that 2021 is also the African Union’s year of arts, culture and heritage.
  • In January 2020, Afreximbank set up a $500 million fund to support Africa’s creative industries.
  • It is strongly believed that AfCFTA would help address some of the key challenges to boosting Africa’s creative output.
  • The Africa Investment Forum, championed by the African Development Bank and its founding and institutional partners, works to accelerate the closure of the continent’s investment gaps. The Forum currently has a growing portfolio of 118 deals valued at $114 billion.

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