EDC provides$30-mn credit to Afreximbank to boost Africa-Canada trade

Export Development Canada (EDC) has announced that it has provided a USD 30 million (N4.7 billion) five-year line of credit to the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the proceeds of which will be used to provide financing toAfrican companies procuringCanadian goods … Continue reading

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Nigeria must scrap fuel subsidy to fix refineries -Study

Nigeria will struggle to attract the investment it needs to get its refineries working unless it scraps a fuel subsidy that keeps domestic fuel prices artificially low, a government commissioned report seen by Reuters on Wednesday said. Diezani Alison-Madueke, Petroleum … Continue reading

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Do you know you can get paid for taking surveys?

Technology and the internetin general have evolved somuch that those who move along with the trend get to absolutely profit from it. Being technology and internet savvy in this age and time means you do not have to pace the … Continue reading

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Agco to invest$100m in Africa

Agco Corp., the world’s third- largest farm-equipment maker, plans to invest $100 million in Africa over the next three years to capitalize onan agricultural boom and a shift to commercial farming. The company, based in Duluth, Georgia, opened a$35 million … Continue reading

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Raumplus to promote investment growth in Nigeria’s furniture market

Raumplus, a global interior furniture designer has underscored its commitment to promote investment growth and opportunities in Nigeria, through the establishment of a manufacturing company. Thegoal is to commence the production of furniture, as part of its strategic business goals … Continue reading

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Nigeria tops Africa’s FDI with$8.9bn

Nigeria, still riding on the strength of ongoing reforms, has become the leading investment destination in Africa after recording a foreign direct investment (FDI) of $8.9 billion in 2011, said Olusegun Aganga, Minister of Trade and Investment, atthe ongoing FBN Capital Conference which kicked offThursday in Lagos.
The $8.9 billion represents 16 percent of Africa’s total FDI of $55 billion in 2011.
Aganga, who was represented by Joseph Odumodu, director general, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), said the government was committed to consolidating on the gains so far recorded by
strengthening the one-stopinvestment centre of the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC). “Our target is to achieve 48 hours responsefor all investment linked enquiries,” he said.
Attributing the FDI growth tothe growing investor confidence, Aganga noted that the creation of the Trade and Investment Ministry by President Goodluck Jonathan had impacted on the country’s economic growth through itsstrategic trade and investment policies and programmes.
Commending FBN Capital for organising the conference, the minister said the nation has the potential to sustain its drive towards emerging as one of the world’s leading economies given thecontinuous cooperation of all stakeholders.

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RIM to introduce new BlackBerry 10 devices on Jan. 30

Research In Motion Ltd plans to introduce its new line of BlackBerry 10 smartphones on January 30, the company said, giving investors a measureof confidence that the long-awaited devices are nearing completion.
The Waterloo, Ontario-based company, a one-time pioneer in the smartphone industry, is betting its future on the new products,which will be powered by itsnew BlackBerry 10 operating system. Its shares rose 5.5 percent to$9.01 in trading before the U.S. stock markets opened.
RIM has struggled over the last two years as its devices lost ground to snazzier and faster smartphones like Apple Inc’s iPhone and Samsung Electronics’ Galaxy line.
RIM said the twice-delayed launch would take place simultaneously in multiple countries. It will introduce two BlackBerry 10 smartphones as well as the platform that powers them.
The company has said the first devices will have touchscreens. Phones with the mini QWERTY keyboards that many long-time BlackBerry users rave about will come a few weeks later.
The company did not say when the devices will be available in stores. RIM says its new devices will be faster and smoother and have a large catalog ofapplications that are now crucial to the success of any new line of smartphones.
Last week, RIM said the newplatform and devices had received U.S. government security clearance, potentially allowing U.S. and Canadian government agencies to deploy the new smartphones as soon as they are available.
These were the first BlackBerry products to win Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 certifications ahead of their introduction, the company said.

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ICAN stops automatic membership for foreign professionals

N igerian foreign trained chartered accountants would no longer be granted automatic membership of theInstitute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
Adedoyin Owolabi, presidentof the institute, said this much at the 50th induction ceremony of new members held in Lagos, saying the holders of foreign qualifications would be madeto write examinations in specific papers for Nigerians needs.
The council, he continued has been tinkering with the idea for a while and only arrived at the decision recently.
“The Council of our Institutehas considered for some time the modality of admitting foreign trained accountants into the membership of ICAN; and has decided to subject the practice to a review. Consequently therefore, theinductees from the last exercise held in October 2012 who are being inducted today (Wednesday), will be the last set to be offered directmembership of the Institute.”
Also, Owolabi warned the newly admitted members notto run foul of the ethics of the profession as anyone caught shall be made to face the disciplinary panel of the council.
According to him, there can be no better time to uphold the ethics of the professionthan now as the profession now suffers credibility problem due to corporate failures in all jurisdictions.
“The recent incidents in ourbanking sector have again re-echoed the need for transparency in our corporate activities. Professionals across a widespectrum of professions have demonstrated indiscretion in their application of regulatory and ethical standards and within the accountancy profession; there is concern of inconsistencies and failure to comply with accounting and other regulatory requirements.

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PZ-Cussons, Wilmar International complete Calaro – Ibiae & Biase Oil palm plantations in Cross River

President Goodluck Jonathan on Monday inaugurated the Calaro – Ibiae and Biase Oil Palm plantations in Cross River State, a multi-million naira agribusiness joint venture between PZ-Cussons and Wilmer International Limited of Singapore.
The plantations occupying 50,000 hectares of land would produce oil palm produce that would further be processed into various consumer pack edible oil, cosmetic ingredients and chemicals.
Jonathan, who was represented by the ministerof Agriculture, Akinwunmi Adesina, said the investment in Calaro – Ibiaeand Biase is “an important milestone in our national investment drive that will stimulate economic diversification, agricultural transformation and rural based economic development.”
The president described the venture as perhaps Nigeria’s great leap into return to oil palm productionand processing.
Meanwhile, the ministry of Agriculture provided N36 million to cover 250 hectares to wipe out existing deficit, and provided 4 million palm nutsto nursery estates for planting next year.
Cross River is getting 166,123,000 seedlings at N25 million, to raise seedlings as well as support for the replacementof several wild grove plants in pilot areas.
The venture according to Governor Liyel Imoke, wouldcreate clusters of job opportunities in excess of 20,000 new jobs.
It would also create a cluster of agricultural productivity in the state, which has now turned to agriculture and tourism, to grow its lean economy, following the loss of its entire crude oil resources to Cameroon (in Bakassi in August 2008) and neighbouring Akwa Ibom State (176 oilwells in July 2012).
Wilmar International Group of Singapore is the largest global processor and merchandiser of palm and lauric oils, and a major oil palm plantation owner.
The conglomerate is also Asia’s leading Agribusiness Group: In China, the Group is the leading producer of consumer pack edible oil, oilseeds crusher, edible oil refiner as well as manufacturer of specialty fats and oleo chemicals. While in India, it is one of the largest refiners of edible oils, as well as leading producer of consumer pack edible oils.
The investment in Calaro – Ibiae and Biase plantations is part of a new joint venture partnership between PZ-Cussons and Wilmar
International Limited of Singapore.
President Jonathan said thejoint venture serves to harness natural resources in Nigeria, and actualise thecollective dream of strong local content and far reaching backward integration that will conserve precious foreign exchange earnings and create rural employment

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Naira firms as Barclays adds to bond index

N igeria’s naira snapped two days of declines against the dollar as Barclays Plc said it will add the nation’s debt to its emerging-market local-currency government bond index from March 2013.
The currency of Africa’s biggest oil producer gained 0.2 percent to N157.05 a dollar by 12:18 p.m. in Lagos, the commercial capital last thursday. The naira has increased 3.3 percent this year, the second-best performer in Africa.
Barclays follows JPMorgan Chase & Co., which added the West African nation’s bonds to its benchmark indexes last month. Barclays made the decision after reviewing changes in the market and polling investors on governance and market accessibility. The London-based bank’s EM Local-Currency Index includes securities from 20 eligible countries with a market value of $1.62 trillion.
“It is a very positive development and the Nigerian economy is getting more credibility,” Jide Solanke, an analyst at FirstSecurities Discount House Ltd., said. “Everybody knows they have strict criteria for the inclusion to any government bond index.”
Borrowing costs for Nigeria’s federal government dropped since JPMorgan’s announcement in August to add the bonds to its GBI-EM index series. The yield on the 16.39 percent naira debt due January 2022 fell 324 basispoints to 12.89 percent since the start of August, according to Friday’s pricescompiled by the Lagos-based Financial Markets Dealers Association.
The yield on the nation’s$500 million of Eurobonds due January 2021 was little changed at 4.45 percent Friday.
The central bank, led by Governor Lamido Sanusi, has left the benchmark interest rate unchanged at a record 12 percent this year, increased lenders’ reserve requirements and limited access to money auctions to stop dealers from buying foreign currency using naira purchased from the central bank at a discount.
The regulator, based in thecapital Abuja, last week sold $29.88 million at the first of its regular twice-weekly foreign- currency auctions, the lowest amountin more than three years.
The naira strengthened 0.3 percent last week “partly due to lower corporate demand to pay for imports,”Ecobank Transnational Inc. strategists, led by Paul-Harry Aithnard in Paris, wrote in an e-mailed note to clients today.

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