By Favour Nnabugwu
The Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) signs its first cooperation agreement with the EMEA division of Invesco focused on an investment strategy in the climate adaptation space.
The agreement, expected to become fully operational at COP27, is specifically targeted at exploring a blended finance strategy that aims to increase adaptation investment in developing markets.
The MoU was signed at the margins of the ongoing Finance in Commons Summit organised by the African Development Bank and the European Investment Bank in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.Invesco is an independent investment management firm that offers a wide range of single-country, regional and global capabilities across primary equity, fixed income, and alternative asset classes, delivered through a diverse set of investment vehicles.
Invesco is a signatory to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosure (TCFD), the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), Climate Action 100+ and CDP2 (score B in 2020); and has adopted the Network for Greening the Financial System’s (NGFS) scenarios to assess physical and transition risks across a broader range of asset classes.
GCA is an international organization that aims to accelerate action and support for adaptation solutions in partnership with the public and private sector.Speaking during the signing ceremony, Professor Patrick Verkooijen, CEO of the Global Center on Adaptation said: “Private sector investments currently make up less than 2% of climate adaptation spending. We hope through working closely with our partners at Invesco we will be able to unlock and mobilize more private capital to prepare for and respond to the physical impacts of climate change.
”Matthieu Grosclaude Chief Operating Officer EMEA at Invesco commented:“We are very pleased to be partnering with the GCA on this important initiative to accelerate climate adaptation finance. It aligns strongly with our strong investment capabilities in emerging markets and our continued focus on clients’ partnerships. We very much look forward to working together to build a climate resilient future.
By Favour Nnabugwu
Nigeria Export Processing Zone Authority (NEPZA) has said that government agencies have not done well to import and export with complicated roadblocks costing the country US$250billon on agro-export produce to the country alone.
This is just as it has said that eleven (11) out of sixteen (16) sundry charges are illegal stressing that some of these has caused international cargo airlines to prefer flying out of Nigeria empty.
In his presentation, Aviation & Cargo Export in Nigeria, at the 2nd Edition of Aviation and Cargo Conference Managing Director/CEO – NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba made this known highlighting some challenges that are militating against import and exports in the country.
He was represented by Assistant Director Investor Promotion, Augustine Onyekwere who presented his paper at the event.
Professor Adesugba said, “Among the 16 sundry charges tracked for goods coming in or departing the country via airports, only five are officially recognised. Nigeria’s import-to- export airfreight ratio imbalance stood at 87:13 from available statistics.
“The implication according to cargo agencies is loss of at least about USD 250 billon on agro-export produce to the country.
He mentioned other challenges to include, lack of modern Infrastructure, lack of corporate governance, policy and regulation, high cost of aviation fuel, inadequate funding and resources, high cost of operation, insecurity, insurance and corruption.
Adesugba noted that the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to support the Aviation Industry and stimulate multiplier effects in the economy in May 2021 designated the four (4) Major International Airports (Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt) respectively as Special Economic Zones to enable the companies operating at these airports enjoy the benefits of the Free zone scheme.
Stating that ASEZ are designed to accelerate investment in the Aviation sector and its value chain, improve the utilization of the airports, generate more revenues for the Federal Government as well as attract more local and foreign direct Investment and increase aviation contribution to the GDP.
According to him, “SEZ can grow the aviation and cargo export in Nigeria with the incentives and concessions available in the Nigeria Free Zones with concepts like tax holidays, one stop approvals as well as 100% foreign ownership of businesses.
He said, “Complete tax holiday from all Federal, State and Local Government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies, one-stop approvals for all permits, operating licenses and incorporation papers. Duty-free, tax-free import of raw materials and components for goods destined for re-export.
“Duty-free importation of capital goods, consumer goods, machinery, equipment, and furniture.
Permission to sell 100 percent of manufactured, assembled or imported goods into the domestic Nigerian market and meeting the 35% value addition.
The NEPZA boss added, “Export duty into the custom territory is calculated based on the value of the raw material or components used in assembling the product not on the finished product’s value.
“100% foreign ownership of investments. 100% repatriation of capital, profits and dividends as well as waiver on all import and export licenses, waiver on all expatriate quotas for companies operating in the Zones
L- Hajia Zainab Aliyu, NEPZA Director of Monitoring & Compliance(left), Engr. David, Engr.David Balami Asst.Director Project & Procurement (NEPZA) middle, and Mr Martins Odeomenem, Director, Procurement ( Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment listening to a contractor during visit to the Calabar Free Trade Zone.
By Favour Nnabugwu
The Joint Projects Monitoring Committee of the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) has concluded inspections of 112 approved projects for the Authority.
These projects, captured under the NEPZA Tender Board of 2017-2021, direct Federal Executive Council approval and the Ministerial Tender Board of Capital Projects are located at Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ), Kano Free Trade Zones (KFTZ) and the newly approved Lagos and Kwara Special Economic Zones respectively.
In a statement released by Head Corporate Communication, Mr Martins Odeh that out of the 112 ongoing projects, a total of 76 have been completed with the CFTZ accounting for 28; KFTZ 38; Lekki SEZ 5; and Ilorin SEZ 5 while others are at different levels of completion.
Some of the projects include: Erosion Control Works & Rehabilitation of Collapsed Perimeter Fence at CFTZ; Construction of Emergency Exit Gates & Access Road to the Jetties at CFTZ; Re-Asphalting of the Exiting Dual Carriageway Road Network at CTFZ; Consulting Services for Masterplan & Architectural Design at Kwara SEZ; Consulting Services for Engineering & Infrastructure Design at Kwara SEZ; Quantity Surveying for Feasibility Studies at Kwara SEZ; and the Development of initial 5MW Power Plant & Electrical Reticulation within the Ilorin SEZ.
They also include: The Construction of Roads with Associated Drainage Work at KFTZ; Construction of Four Standard Size Factory Building & Associated External Works at KFTZ; The Purchase of Property at No.38 Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos; The Re-furbishing & Furnishing of the Newly acquired NEPZA new Lagos Zonal Office among others.
Speaking at the end of the tour in Calabar, Hajia Zainab Aliyu, NEPZA’s Director of Monitoring & Compliance, expressed satisfaction with the level of projects execution across the four zones, adding that the Federal Government had always ensured value-for-money in the execution of its contracts.
Hajia Aliyu, the Authority’s Team Lead, said that the approval for the projects’ inspection tours indicated government priority toward adequate provision of infrastructure in the free trade zones and Prof. Adesoji Adesugba led-management relentless commitment to the interpretation of President Muhammadu Buhari’s policy for a profitable and competitive zone scheme.
“As part of the statutory responsibility of NEPZA as provided in Section 4 of the Authority’s Act 63 of 1992 is the provision that ensures that all zones provide some of the basic infrastructure. We are also obliged to constantly monitor and evaluate both new and old infrastructure.
“The reasons for these monitoring and evaluation exercises were to ensure the right quality of materials were used and the the right quality of jobs are done, just as we also checked the percentage of work done in line with the amount assigned for the project.
“To this end, the Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba decided to set up this committee to access all the projects that have been earmarked from the period he assumed leadership of the Authority.
“ The Authority has, however, decided to carry out the task jointly with our supervising Ministry, which is the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment. So far, we were encouraged by the progress of executions.’’ She said.
Meanwhile, Mr Martins Odeomenem, Director of Procurement, who led the team members from the Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, described NEPZA as a serious agency of government that had always displayed uprightness in the conduct of its affairs.
Odeomenem explained that the ministry was, however, mostly concerned with those projects approved through the Ministerial Tender Board, adding that most of projects under the above category had been completed.
“It is not all about awarding contracts and executing contracts. There is also the need for every office that has the duty of awarding contracts to know that government is seriously after value-for-money.
“The inspections were aimed at ascertaining if the contracts the government awarded within the period under review are achieving the purpose for which they were awarded and executed. This is the essence of our assignment.
“I am fully aware that NEPZA is a serious establishment that abhors shoddy execution of its projects because of the strategic nature of the free zones in attracting foreign investment. We have gone around and I can say with all sense of responsibility that we are satisfied with what we have met on ground so far.’’ Odeomenem said.
The committee is, however, expected to submit a detailed technical report of its evaluation within 21days.
In a related development, members of the House Committee on Commerce who are embarking on their Mid-Term Inspections of projects at free zones across the country concluded a two-day tour of the Kano Free Trade Zone on Monday.
Hon. Richard Gbande, Deputy Chairman of the committee expressed satisfaction on how the Authority had so managed the special economic ecosystem, describing it as a vital economic gateway that should fast track the industrialisation of the Northern region.
Gbande explained that the zone was lucrative going by the presence of 75 enterprises functioning night and day to increase production for the country’s highly competitive markets.
“We are sure production and competition among the enterprises in the zone would increase significantly if the Federal Government finally divests its equity to the private sector as planned. Doing so will help open the space more for job creation.’’ The Lawmaker said.
L – Nadeem Ladki (Binance Executive Director-Regional Strategic Partnerships), Professor Adesoji Adesugba (NEPZA MD/CEO), Sameera Kimatrai (Binance Senior Legal Counsel), Luqman Edu (CEO Talent City), Sikiru Lawal (NEPZA Director)
By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) is in partnership with Binance and Talent City for Nigeria to harbour the first Virtual Free Zone in West Africa.
NEPZA’s Managing Director, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba stated this in Dubai, United Arab Emirates after holding meetings with officials of the two firms on Friday.
Adesugba, also Chief Executive Officer of the Authority, explained that the partnership when agreed would be similar to the Dubai Virtual Free Zone.
The NEPZA boss presented the vision of his management which centres on expanding frontiers of innovations in the operations and management of free zones in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
” We seek to break new grounds to widen economic opportunities for our citizens in line with the mandate of the Authority, the directive of the Honourable Minister and the economic development agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari. Our goal is to engender a flourishing virtual free zones to take advantage of a near trillion dollar virtual economy in blockchains and digital economy,” Adesugba said.
Binance, a leading global digital, blockchain finance services firm operating worldwide with billions of dollars in operating capitalisation, was represented at the parley by Nadeem Ladki, its Executive Director, Regional Strategic Partnerships and Sameera Kimatrai, Binance Senior Legal Counsel.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba MD NEPZA leading members of House Committee on Commerce on tour of Calabar Free Trade Zone.
By Favour Nnabugwu
The House Committee on Commerce says the ongoing process to concession the Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) is a positive approach in unleashing the full potentials of the zone to significantly boost the country’s economy.
Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Richard Gbande said this on Wednesday when he led some members of the committee on an inspection tour of the zone in Calabar.
Recall that the management of the country’s only two public zones located in Calabar and Kano are on the verge of being handed over to private investors.
The lawmaker, representing Katsina-Ala/Ukum Federal Constituency of Benue State, explained that the public must understand what led the Federal Government to adopt the free trade zone scheme, adding that it was basically aimed to spike industrialization and economic growth.
He, however, said that the scheme required a long period of sustained funding to yield any significant benefit to the country.
Gbande further said that the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) had so far performed well within its limited resources, adding that the impact of the scheme had reflected positively on the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“We are in the Calabar Free Trade Zone to see the progress the business ecosystem is making and I can say that NEPZA has done well so far for keeping the country’s pioneer free zone intact and working.
“The committee has noticed some of the challenges which include outside infrastructure and the dredging of the Calabar Port.
“ In spite of these challenges, the enterprises, most of which are foreign companies are still functioning and helping to provide employment for the locals as well as serving the markets.’’ he said
Gbande explained that the zone would be brought to the required optimal level of competitiveness when handed over to private investors.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba had used the occasion to express delight on President Muhammadu Buhari commitment and support in truly revamping the scheme to meet international standards.
The NEPZA boss explained that the Federal Government was committed to ensuring stable electricity supplies in the Calabar and Kano free trade zones, adding that the recent blackout in the Calabar zone had been addressed.
He further said that the government’s approval of funds for the development of infrastructure at the two public zones and two other new ones was an indicator of the president’s commitment to reposition the scheme.
According to him, the Authority has continued the execution of the power and other projects in Kano, Calabar, the Textile & Garment Park as well as the Medical Special Economic Zone in Lagos.
“Already, works are ongoing in these areas as infrastructure development remains the bait that can attract investors to the zones.’’ Adesugba.
Yakusak explained that the figure represents 62.37 per cent increase as against $1.59 billion for the first half year in 2021 and 2020 which stood at $981.442 million, respectively.
He said, “in spite of the global economic recession that affected most businesses in 2021, the sector recorded significant growth in non-oil export.
“A total of 4,146,534 metric tonnes of product worth $2.593 billion were exported between January and June 2022.
By Favour Nnabugwu
House of Representative Committee on Commerce and Trade has described the Lekki FTZ Quadrant of the country as a new economic powerhouse harbouring 25 billion US dollar investment.
The committee also urged the federal government to hasten up the rail-line construction to avoid Apapa Port tragic experience.
The Deputy Chairman of the committee, Hon. Richard Gbande stated this while he led some members of the committee on inspection of the Lagos Free Zone, Lekki Free Zone, and the Dangote Free Trade Zone Enterprises in Lagos yesterday.
Gbande said that the concept of the free trade zone had revolutionised the development of the Lekki axis of Lagos once upon a time considered as an undeveloped “peninsular’’.
The lawmaker explained that the Federal Government had incredibly used the Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) to promote the free zone scheme in an amazing manner.
Gbande also noted that the government’s relentless efforts in trying to diversify the economy resulted in the development of the Lekki Quadrant which would undoubtedly become the country’s new economic powerhouse.
“We have gone round as part of our oversight functions to see this magical economic enclave called Lekki Quadrant and it is indeed a sight to behold.
“The committee is particularly enthused with the conversion of the peninsular to a majestic business city that boasts of the Deep Sea Port, Dangote Refinery, and over 200 other enterprises sustaining the country’s economy.
“For the umpteenth time, NEPZA’s inexorable push to carry out its mandate and mission of galvanising both the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and Local Direct Investment (LDI) must be supported. We can see how difficult these tasks are with the prevailing environment,’’ he said.
The deputy chairman of the house committee on commerce, further pointed out that the Ministry of Transport must hasten the construction of railway lines in the Lekki free zone area for seamless movement of cargoes.
Gbande also explained that the new Minister of Transport should urgently move and work toward implementing the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on the urgent need to construct road and rail infrastructure across that part of Lagos.
“The legislative body is prepared to appropriate funds for the construction of road and rail system for this important national economic gateway without delay. Already, we are late as both the deep sea port and the refinery shall open for operation by September and January respectively.
“The president may want to re-issue that directive again to show the importance he attaches to the development of these all important outside infrastructure in the Lekki free zone quadrant.
“The government must avoid repeating the recurrent gory experience of failed Apapa Sea Port logistic system with the Lekki free zone quadrant,’’ Gbande said.
Prof. Adesoji Adesugba expressed delight on the inspection tour carried out by the committee members, adding that it had obviously spurred them to become advocates of the free zone scheme.
Adesugba said that the NEPZA was up to the task of using the scheme to industrialise the country for the greater good of the citizens.
He corroborated Gbande’s call for the development of both the road and rail infrastructure for the Lekki free zone corridor to avoid catastrophic logistic failures.