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Osinbajo tasks Canadian investors on opportunities in Nigeria

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Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has urged Canadian investors to explore the opportunities that abound in Nigeria’s education, health and transport sectors.

Osinbajo made the call while declaring open the Nigeria-Canada Investment Summit 2018 on Monday in Abuja.

The theme of the 2-day summit is “Fostering Strong Business Partnership into the Future.’’

He said that already Canadian investors were familiar with opportunities in the power generation, renewable energy, development of gas to power, mining of solid minerals, agriculture and food processing, manufacturing and real estate sectors.

Osinbajo said that Nigeria and Canada had a long history of friendly relations as Commonwealth countries, as Federations, as well as a shared commitment to promoting global peace.

READ ALSO: Saraki appeals to FG, labour over proposed strike

According to the vice president, the summit further confirms the mutual desire for deeper engagement not just between both governments but also business communities in both countries.

He said Nigeria was Canada’s largest trading partner in Sub-Saharan Africa, adding that there were opportunities and scope for increased trade and investment ties between the two countries.

“Our medium-term economic plan, documented in the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP) identified some of the sectors that many Canadian investors are already very familiar with as priority sectors.

“Power generation, renewable energy, development of gas to power, mining of solid minerals, agriculture and food processing, manufacturing and real estate.

“However, opportunities also abound in social infrastructure (education and healthcare) as well as physical infrastructure (air, land and sea transport).

“While we formulate the policies in government, we expect the private sector to make the necessary investments and encourage Nigerians and foreign investors to work with us towards the realisation of these opportunities.’’

Osinbajo said that to accelerate the mobilisation of private capital towards the achievement of the ERGP, the Federal Government conducted ‘Focus Labs’ over a period of 17 weeks in the first half of 2018.

He said that the Focus Labs were special interventions targeted at resolving specific bureaucratic bottlenecks facing large-scale investments in Nigeria.

The vice president said that in the labs, investors sat with relevant Ministers, regulators and government agencies to resolve the investor’s specific problems.

“The Focus Labs identified 22.5 billion dollars worth of private investments in six of our priority sectors, with the potential to create half a million jobs by 2020.

“10.9 billion dollars of these investments are -most ready to go- meaning that the issues delaying them can be resolved – and are being resolved – speedily. We intend to continue the use of focus labs to resolve problems investors may have.

“I also encourage Canadian investors interested in any of these sectors to reach out to the team at Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) who are here for the summit for additional information.

“Given Canada’s strengths in these areas and the potentials of the Nigerian economy, I am certain that this Summit will lead to positive outcomes for all participants.’’

He said that all of the efforts he outlined, around Ease of Doing Business and the resolution of bureaucratic issues could be summed up as `soft infrastructure.’

According to him, the Federal Government was making aggressive interventions in the ‘hard infrastructure’ elements as well as roads, rail and power.

He added that government fully understood the very vital catalytic role that these would play for private investment.

Earlier in his remark, Mr Ryan Ward, Deputy High Commissioner of Canada to Nigeria, said that the forum was crucial going by the significant economic ties between Nigeria and Canada.

READ ALSO: Group petitions US to intervene over IMN violent protests

He said that Nigeria was Canada’s biggest trading partner in sub-Saharan Africa as well as the largest investor into Canada from the region.

He said aside economic ties; there was an ever increasing personal ties between the two countries.

“From over 70,000 Canadians of Nigerian descent to over 11,000 Nigerian students in Canadian schools.

“We are here to talk about how to bring more Canadian investors and business to Nigeria.

“If you look at sectors of growth in Nigeria, they are in line with Canadian expertise whether in infrastructure, telecommunication, natural resources extraction, aviation or technology,’’ he said.

The post Osinbajo tasks Canadian investors on opportunities in Nigeria appeared first on The Sun Nigeria.

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CATHOLIC WORLD

Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump – CAN fumes

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Killing of Christians: Buhari lied to Trump - CAN fumes

The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s revelation of his conversation with United States President, Donald Trump, on the massacre of Christians in Nigeria, saying President Buhari was economical with the truth.

President Buhari had on Tuesday, revealed that at the heat of the bloody clashes between herdsmen and farmers in Nigeria, the United States President, Donald Trump, unequivocally accused him of killing Christians.

Buhari said these in his closing remarks at the two-day ministerial performance review retreat held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Tuesday.

At a point, the President digressed from his prepared speech and narrated his encounter with Trump on the bloody clashes.

He said he managed to explain to the American leader that the clashes were not about ethnicity or religion.

He said, “I believe I was about the only African among the less developed countries the President of United States invited.

“When I was in his office, only myself and himself, only God is my witness, he looked at me in the face, and asked, ‘Why are you killing Christians?’

“I wonder, if you were the person, how you will react. I hope what I was feeling inside did not betray my emotion, so I told him that the problem between the cattle rearers and farmers, I know is older than me not to talk of him. I think I am a couple of years older than him.

“With climate change and population growth and the culture of the cattle rearers, if you have 50 cows and they eat grass, any root, to your water point, then they will follow it. It doesn’t matter whose farm it is.

“The First Republic set of leadership was the most responsible leadership we ever had. I asked the Minister of Agriculture to get a gazette of the early 60s which delineated the cattle route where they used meager resources then to put earth dams, wind mills even sanitary department.

“So, any cattle rearers that allowed his cattle to go to somebody’s farm would be arrested, taken before the court. The farmer would be called to submit his bill and if he couldn’t pay, the cattle would be sold, but subsequent leaders, the VVIPs (very important persons) encroached on the cattle routes. They took over the cattle rearing areas.

“So, I tried and explained to him (Trump) that this has got nothing to do with ethnicity or religion. It is a cultural thing.”

However, CAN’s Vice President and Chairman of the association in Kaduna State, John Hayab, was not impressed with Buhari’s submission, saying “Buhari and his government will never stop from amusing us with their tales by moonlight because what is happening in Zamfara, Sokoto, Katsina, Birnin Gwari, Southern Kaduna, Taraba, Plateau and others cannot be described as a cultural thing.

He told Punch correspondent in an interview: “President Buhari’s weak story about his conversation with President Donald Trump further confirms why his government does not care about the killings in our country by calling them cultural things.

“Just this (Tuesday) evening, I received a report from the Kaduna Baptist Conference President about the number of their members that have been killed by bandits in Kaduna State from January 2020 to date to be 105 and our President will call it a cultural thing? All we can say is may God save our Nigeria.”

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NATIONAL NEWS

CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

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CAMA: Bishop blasts Christian lawmakers

The Catholic Bishop of Nsukka, Most Rev. Godfrey Onah, has blamed Christians in the National Assembly (NASS), for the passage of the 2020 Companies and Allied Matters Bill (CAMA), signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.

Bishop Onah, said in a remark during the Sunday Mass that if Christians in NASS had opposed the bill, it would not have been passed into law.

President Muhammadu Buhari had on Aug. 7, signed the CAMA bill into law, giving provision for religious bodies and charity organizations to be regulated by the registrar of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), and a supervising minister.

“The question many Christians have been asking is, where were Christian legislators during the debate of this bill and its passage in the National Assembly?

“Because, if they had opposed this bill on the floor of the house, it would not have been passed and sent to the president for assent.

“I blame Christian legislators for doing nothing and allowing the passage of the 2020 CAMA Act,” he said.

“When I say that Christians are too divided and too selfish, don’t forget that the second in command in this country is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, a professor of Law and a pastor.”

Onah, however, wondered what the Federal Government wanted to achieve in monitoring how the finances of churches in the country are managed when it contributed no dime to the church, NAN reports.

“Government should focus and monitor its ministries, agencies and other government institutions where it budgets billions of Naira annually and not church offerings.

“Had it been that the government gave allocations to churches and decided to monitor its usage, nobody will question the government,” he said.

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NATIONAL NEWS

Nigerians spit fire over fuel, electricity prices hike

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Increasing Fuel and Electricity Prices

Anger and condemnations, across the country, have continued to trail last week’s take off, of new increases in pump price of petroleum products and electricity tariffs, as directed by Federal Government.

Recall that the Petroleum Products Marketing Company (PPMC) official, D.O. Abalaka announced on Wednesday September 3, on behalf of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) that the new price of petroleum is now N151.56k per litre instead of N149 – N150 per litre which it was previously.

The new electricity tariff which the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) tagged “Service Reflective Tariff” has also come into effect. It requires consumers to pay N53.87 – N66.422 per kwh of electricity.

Outraged consumers of fuel and electricity have therefore warned government to get ready for collision with the masses if it fails to rescind these new prices.

Those who have expressed outrage over the new prices regimes include, the Organized Labour, Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Nigerian main opposition political party, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Nigeria Employers Consultative Association (NECA) and the Major Marketers Association of Nigeria (MOMAN).

Others are: Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria, the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN) and the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce (NACCIMA).

The NLC said, “The frequent fuel price increase will no longer be accepted. We will not allow Nigerians fall victim of government ineptitude and negligence to make the country self-sufficient in terms of refining petroleum products at home.”

On its part, the PDP has described the price hike as “callous, cruel and punishing” and demanded an immediate reversal to avert a national crisis.

The All Industrial Global sees the incessant increase as a confirmation that deregulation means just price increase.

“This is unacceptable! Under a pandemic, we should put money in the pockets of citizens to revive collapsed livelihoods and preserve lives.” In its reaction, NECA said it has always urged Federal Government to adopt deregulation policy in the oil and gas downstream sector.

The MOMAN in its statement insists that monthly price variation of fuel was no longer sustainable. It urged PPRA to adopt quarterly price mechanism which would save the market the hassles of price volatility. The statements by IPMAN and NACCIMA also followed along the same line that the hike “…serves only to increase the severity and duration of the looming economic recession.”

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