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TINUBU ATTRACTS $14 BILLION IN NEW INDIAN INVESTMENT IN NIGERIA

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday commended Indian investors for significant investment pledges amounting to nearly $14 billion U.S. dollars committed during the Nigeria-India Presidential Roundtable and Conference in New Delhi, India, saying, “we are ready to give you the best returns for investment possible, there’s nowhere else like our country. Nigeria offers the best returns for investment today, so invest now.”

Among these many new investments, Indorama Petrochemical Limited has pledged a new investment of $8 billion U.S. dollars in the expansion of its fertilizer production and petrochemical facility in Eleme, Rivers State.

A statement by the Special Adviser to the President (Media & Publicity), Chief Ajuri Ngelale said Jindal Steel and Power Limited, one of India’s largest private steel producers, has committed to investing $3 billion in Nigeria, following discussions with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in New Delhi, India.

Founding President of SkipperSeil Limited, Mr. Jitender Sachdeva announced that, following President Bola Tinubu’s personal intervention, he is investing $1.6 billion U.S. dollars in the establishment of twenty 100MW power generation plants across the states of Northern Nigeria, amounting to 2,000MW of new power within the next four years.

Additionally, the President has approved finalization on a new $1 billion U.S. dollar agreement to bring the Defense Industries Corporation of Nigeria (DICON) to 40% self-sufficiency in local manufacturing and production of defense equipment in-country by 2027 through a comprehensive new partnership with the Managing Arm of the Miltary-Industrial Complex of the Indian Government.

Another Indian firm, Bharti Enterprises, which is a major first-generation corporation in India with interests in telecom, space communications, digital solutions, insurance, processed foods, real estate, and hospitality, has expressed its commitment to invest an additional $700 million in Nigeria, with work set to begin immediately.

Emphasizing that under his pragmatic leadership, agreements must now manifest in industries and jobs on the ground in Nigeria, President Tinubu expressed gratitude to all Indian companies and individuals who have responded positively to his administration’s efforts to improve Nigeria’s macroeconomic and investment climate.

“Do not procrastinate. Don’t be frightened about investments in Nigeria. Bring it on. Ask your questions and make your requests. The trade and investment opportunities are enormous. I have a team, and I am the captain of that team, and I assure you that we solve problems,” the President affirmed.

Prospective investors were informed by the President, that in Nigeria, there is no free lunch or shortcuts, but that he has “good economic policy for the investors as well as able men and women in leadership and on the ground, who can drive the goal of broad prosperity through investment and infrastructure.”

“I will captain and lead the course of investment, development, and prosperity for the largest democracy in Africa and for investors from the rest of the world,” the President added, reiterating that Nigeria is open for business with intelligent, innovative, capable, and highly committed individuals in government, who are ready to drive the largest economy in Africa to destiny.

The President also told the Summit that “he is proud” that the Nigerian stock market had broken records in its consistent bullishness since he assumed office.

Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, who addressed the roundtable themed, “Building Partnerships with Renewed Hope for a Diversified and Prosperous Economy,” thanked Mr. Naveen Jindau, Chairman of Jindal Steel and Power Limited, for the new $3 billion investment in iron ore processing and steel development in Nigeria.

Commending the Tata group and so many others who have immediately responded to Mr. President’s bold and decisive moves to correct the major systemic faults in the macro-economic and investment climate in Nigeria, the Finance Minister noted, “I also wish to thank Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Founder and Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, for his continued commitment to invest in the first phase at least $700 million dollars more in Nigeria,” Mr. Edun said.

Minister Edun further used the opportunity to explain the underlying principles of President Tinubu’s eight-point strategy, emphasizing that his agenda aims to promote growth and job creation, poverty reduction, food security, improved access to capital, inclusivity, business and citizen security, and fair play on a foundation of rule of law and anti-corruption.

On behalf of investors, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal told the President, “You have unified the FX market. You have freed up crucial capital to upgrade your public infrastructure. Now, you have just dropped your prepared remarks and have spoken from your heart. Our investors have heard from a leader who is doing everything possible to attract capital to Nigeria for the benefit of Nigerians and our companies. Mr. President, we will bring these investments to Nigeria, and with your inspiring leadership style, we can only do more and more.”

Also, at the event, Nigeria’s Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani, and his counterpart from India’s Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for Co-operation in the field of Sharing Successful Digital Solutions, to be implemented at total population scale for digital transformation.

The Minister also signed an MoU with Central Square Foundation for Co-operation in the field of Sharing Successful Ecosystems, which involve interventions relating to education technology, to be implemented at population scale for digital economic transformation.

Under the watch of Nigeria’s Industry, Trade and Investment Minister, Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, a third MoU on Infrastructure Development was signed between the Infrastructure Corporation of Nigeria Limited (InfraCorp) and Invest India, the National Investment Promotion and Facilitation Agency of India, which helps investors looking for investment opportunities and options in India.

Closing the interactive session, Mr. Chandrajit Banerjee, the Director-General of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), noted that the Presidential Roundtable serves as a robust foundation for Indian businesses looking to engage with Nigeria and would encompass cooperation across key areas, such as capacity building, skills development, agriculture, and the enhancement of digital and physical infrastructure, among others.

“Under the determined leadership of President Tinubu, the CII is prepared to dispatch a high-level delegation to Nigeria, and we are keen on establishing a second presence in Africa, with Nigeria as our target destination,” he concluded.

The Presidential roundtable, attended by President Tinubu, also had in attendance Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State; Amb. Yusuf Tuggar, Minister of Foreign Affairs;
Dr. Bosun Tijani, Minister of Communications, Innovation, and Digital Economy; and Dr. Doris Uzoka-Anite, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment; along with industry leaders from both India and Nigeria.

Following the Roundtable, the President met individually with each of the top pledging investors to finalize on the next steps to ensure that no environmental encumbrance stands in the way of their success in Nigeria.

September 6, 2023

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Economy

Currency Speculators in Trouble as Naira’s Resurgence Continues

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Currency speculators are in trouble as the Naira has continued to gather strength in the market in recent times.

It would be recalled that the US Dollar exchanged for nearly N2,000 in February this year, same with the Pounds, Euro and other foreign currencies.

However, the Naira has continued to gather strength and is currently hovering around N1,480 and N1,520 for a Dollar.

To that end, the Presidency has warned forex speculators to discard their Dollars, saying that the Naira will soon appreciate more and may depreciate their savings.

President Bola Tinubu’s Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, made this call in a statement via his X handle on Thursday.

The presidential aide urged speculators to quickly dump their dollars to avoid “tears.”

He stated, “With backlog FX settled, Naira is set to appreciate further, faster. Currency speculators should quickly dump their stock of dollars to avoid sorrows and tears.”

Onanuga was reacting to the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, disclosure that it had cleared the $7 billion foreign exchange backlog inherited by Governor Yemi Cardoso.

Yemi Cardoso, CBN Governor

In a statement on Wednesday, CBN’s Acting Director of Corporate Communications, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, confirmed the settlement of all valid FX backlog claims.

Ali said the apex bank employed Deloitte Consulting, an independent auditing firm, to meticulously assess the transactions, ensuring that only legitimate claims were honoured.

“Any invalid transactions were referred to the relevant authorities for further investigation,” she stated.

The CBN’s commitment to tackling the FX backlog appears to be paying off, with the external reserves seeing a significant rise, reaching $34.11 billion as of March 7, 2024, the highest level in eight months.

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Economy

CBN Uncovers $2.4b Invalid FOREX Claims

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CBN Governor Yemi Cardoso

Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor Yemi Cardoso said the apex bank has discovered $2.4 billion invalid forex outstanding claims pressuring the naira and causing anxiety in the currency market.

Cardoso disclosed this in an interview with Arise Television on Monday.

According to Cardoso, this was uncovered during an audit by the consultant the CBN hired, which exposed a number of dubious transactions.

The CBN Governor stated that the apex bank commissioned Deloitte to look into the FX allegations to provide a true picture of the situation.

Cardoso said, according to the Deloitte assessment, up to $2.4 billion of the backlog consists of fictitious claims, with claimants in certain cases being unable to provide import documentation.

“We had had reasons to believe we needed to take a harder look at these obligations. So we contracted Deloitte management consultants to do a forensics of all these obligations and to actually tell us what was valid and what was not,” Mr Cardoso said.

“The result that came out of this was startling in a great respect. It was startling. We discovered that of the roughly $7 billion, about $2.4 billion had issues, which we believe had no business being there and the infractions on that ranged from so many things, for example not having valid import documents and in some cases entities that do not exist,” he said.

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Economy

We are Determined to Stabilise Forex and Boost Economic Growth. -FG

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By Christopher Sunday

Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has said the Tinubu administration is committed to implementing macroeconomic reforms.
aimed at curbing inflation, easing the cost of living, and stabilising the foreign exchange as part of the broader objective of boosting economic growth.

The Minister stated this on Saturday in Minna, Niger State, at the 2024 Press Week of the Niger State Chapter of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).

Represented by the Director General of the Voice of Nigeria, Mallam Jibrin Baba Ndace, the Minister said the year 2024 holds a lot of prospects for Nigerians as some of the promising initiatives of the administration begin to bear fruit.

“Permit me, distinguished invited guests, as chief spokesperson of the Federal
Government of Nigeria, to use this hallowed platform to tell Nigerians, at this early and auspicious time of the year, that 2024 would be a great year for Nigeria as thepolicies of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu under the Renewed Hope Agenda takefirmer roots for the growth of our nation’s economic development, our invaluablehuman assets, and national security.

“The Tinubu administration will continue to implement macroeconomic reforms.
to achieve broad economic objectives of sustained economic growth aimed at
bringing down inflation, easing the cost of living, and stabilising foreign exchange
and job creation, among others,” he said.

Idris said, against the backdrop of the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, liberalising the foreign exchange regime, and the fight against corruption, the Tinubu government is showing fidelity to the rule of law and the independence of institutions, as demonstrated in the recent judgements of the courts.

The Minister explained that the recent Federal Government decision to relocate certain departments of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the headquarters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to Lagos is part of a broader strategy to enhance operational efficiency, streamline processes, ensure a responsive financial system for Nigeria, and cut operations costs. He emphasised that the government’s directive aligns with global best practices and has no political motivation, however wrongly propagated.

The minister assured that no policy of the present administration would put any part of the country in a disadvantageous position. “President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s commitment to fairness and equitable development, as outlined in his oath of office, ensures that no policy under his administration will disadvantage any region. His dedication to fostering national unity and inclusivity is reflected in policies guided by principles of fairness and equality,” he said.

The Minister, who also used the occasion to enlist the support of the media in the fight against fake news, said the hydra-headed menace of fake news is ravaging the media space. “My dear colleagues, we need to rise against the elements of fake news that are deliberately designed to misinform Nigerians,” he said.

Idris also announced to the gathering that the Federal Government would soon unveil comprehensive details of the National Values Charter, which are aimed at inculcating values in the citizenry.

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