Racism against Nigerians – and other Africans – is not new in China. Africa-China history is marked by solidarity, but also dented by old and new racism. Nothing at this moment suggests that the current situation will drastically change.

Some recent events are low moments in the ever-oscillating relationship between China and Nigeria.

A video emerged on 10 April of a Nigerian diplomat in China, Razaq Lawal, publicly criticising his compatriots’ maltreatment in Guangzhou by Chinese officials. Lawal protested that Nigerians were kept in COVID-19 quarantine beyond the normal 14 days for Chinese citizens. Chinese officials were also seizing their passports. He pointed out that the Nigerian government did not treat Chinese citizens living in Nigeria any differently from its own citizens.

The video drew the ire of Nigerians and the Nigerian government. The speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, demanded answers from the Chinese ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian. At about the same time the Nigerian Medical Association was protesting a government decision to invite a Chinese medical team to assist in the fight against COVID-19.

Based on my research on relations between the two countries (especially in terms of labour relations) over the past decade, I believe that incidents like this may keep recurring. That’s despite the assertion by Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama, that Nigeria would “take definitive steps against China”.

I identify three main reasons.

Why things won’t change

Official relations date back to February 1971, when Nigeria established diplomatic relations with China. But contact between ordinary Nigerians and Chinese predates the 1967-70 Biafran Civil War. Though some argue that China supported the Biafran forces against the Nigerian government, no post-war government in Nigeria has confirmed Beijing’s involvement.

Along with other African countries, Nigeria supported China as the genuine representative of the Chinese people in 1975. This led to the replacement of Taiwan at the United Nations. High-level bilateral visits followed, setting the stage for increased trade. Although accurate figures are difficult to find, Nigeria-China trade galloped from about $1.8 billion in 2003 to $13.5 billion in 2018.

As the relationship grew, more Nigerians established business and other relationships in China.

Nigerians’ maltreatment must, however, be understood within the broader maltreatment of Africans in China. This can be traced to the 1960s, when African students began to arrive in China. It intensified in the 1970s and 1980s when there were protests against – and by – Africans in China.

Coincidentally, a landmark incident that led to the death of a Nigerian happened in 2009 in Guangzhou, where Nigerians were recently maltreated. It led to protests by Nigerians and other Africans, “demanding justice from the Chinese police after officers chased the man out of a high-rise window in a tightening security crackdown on illegal over-stayers in the city this year”.

In 2012, there was another protest by Africans in Guangzhou over the death of a Nigerian in police detention.

It’s my view that Nigeria’s reluctance to call out Chinese actions over the years is the main reason why the status quo persists.

While publicly painting a picture of equality, China continues to dominate relations with Nigeria, as I observed in a 2015 paper co-authored with Bukola Ajayi. We see this in imbalanced trade, Nigeria’s growing dependence on China, and China’s growing importance in Africa. We also drew attention to the issue of counterfeit, adulterated and sub-standard drugs and other products imported from China into Nigeria.

Back then, I commented on Chinese labour relations in Nigeria and the challenges of fostering the International Labour Organisation’s decent work agenda. My paper pointed to the weakness of the Nigerian government to respond to the maltreatment of its citizens by Chinese companies. I argued that this created a space for both civil and uncivil responses by non-state actors.

In April 2020 – five years later – we witnessed another report of maltreatment.

The second reason is due to Chinese investment in Nigeria.

A good number of Chinese multinationals and small companies operate in Nigeria. Chinese companies in Nigeria are building much needed roads and railways, airports, and telecommunications infrastructure. There are currently about 218 registered Chinese firms in Nigeria. They are involved in construction, furniture, food and beverages, beauty, and product assembling plants, among others.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s trade deficit against China remains huge. Between 2015 and 2018, for instance, the trade deficit stood at N6.83 trillion (which exchanges for about $17.5 billion today) in favour of China. This affirms that China benefits more at the moment. Though accurate data remains difficult to get, it is estimated that total trade between both countries between 2015 and 2018 was about $49 billion. This means that goods imported from China into Nigeria in that period were about $17.5 billion more than those exported from Nigeria to China. In any case, a significant amount of Nigeria’s export to China is a primary product: crude oil.

With the crash in the crude oil price and a global economic downturn caused by the new coronavirus, Nigeria needs Chinese investment and loans now more than ever.

The third reason concerns China’s financing of development projects.

China is a major financier of large projects in Nigeria. These include the $874 million, 187km Abuja-Kaduna rail; the $1.2 billion, 312km Lagos-Ibadan expressway; the $1.1 billion Kano-Kaduna railway lines and the $600 airport terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.

An estimate puts the current cost of Chinese projects at $47 billion. Many of these are financed by Chinese loans. It will be difficult for a country that relies so much on China to take action against Beijing.

With the poor labour standards in China itself and institutions’ weakness in Nigeria to check periodic abuses of Nigerians by Chinese companies, the chances seem low that Nigerian politicians and government will – or can – seriously respond to Nigerians’ maltreatment in China.

What to do?

The latest treatment of Nigerians in China is a dent on Nigeria-China relations. But if relations are to make progress, at least two important issues must be addressed. First, the Chinese government must do more to educate its people, making ordinary Chinese sensitive to issues of racism.

Second, Chinese citizens in China must understand that their actions could have implications for their compatriots in Africa. This could affect China’s long-term relevance in Africa as a partner.

But these issues concern not just ordinary Chinese citizens. Racism may be a symptom of much bigger problems for the Chinese government. This could be an opportunity for the Xi Jinping government to learn, and more importantly act.The Conversation

 

Abdul-Gafar Tobi Oshodi, Faculty member, Department of Political Science, Lagos State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The traditional leadership and redeemer posture of Nigeria in Africa has, in recent years, been put into question.

Issues like corruption and infrastructural decay have held the country down from playing a leadership role in Africa. As have transitions from one poor leadership to another. A visionary leadership is lacking while public institutions are weak, inept and compromised. Decades of political patronage and nepotism have seen a corrosion of quality and performance in the public service.

In addition, the intractable problem of Boko Haram and Islamic State, coupled with kidnappings, have created a security crisis. All continue to shatter the myth of military invincibility and the might of the Nigerian state.

In the beginning, it was not so. From independence in 1960, Nigeria took upon itself the role of uniting Africa against western recolonisation. The continent, from then on in, became the centre-piece of its foreign policy. The fact that nations were living under foreign rule made it possible to galvanise them around a common cause. This led to the creation of the Organisation of African Unity – now the African Union – in 1963 and Economic Community of West African States in 1975.

Nigeria assumed a leading role in these events as it forged a foreign policy with a strong Afrocentric posture. In fact, so frenetic was its involvement in this role that it sometimes paid little attention to the home front.

Nigeria’s leadership role on the continent was a product of the vision, dreams and, sometimes, whims of the founding fathers. They were nevertheless premised on real national capacity. Jaja Wachukwu, Nigeria’s first external affairs minister noted in 1960 that:

Our country is the largest single unit in Africa… we are not going to abdicate the position in which God Almighty has placed us. The whole black continent is looking up to this country to liberate it from thraldom.

This defined the country’s behaviour and continental outlook and has continued to influence successive administrations – weak or effective.

Assuming a leadership role

The sheer size of Nigeria’s population – the largest on the continent which rose from 48.3 million in 1963 to over 200 million in 2020 — gave the country the idea that Africa was its natural preoccupation.

In addition, its colonial experience and the abundance of its oil resources and wealth have empowered Nigeria economically. This made it possible for the country to pursue an ambitious foreign policy. It also permitted Nigeria to finance its Civil War, strengthening its international independence. And oil made possible an unparalleled post-war recovery.

Nigeria has used its influence to good effect and to good ends. For example, it worked with other countries in the West African sub-region to establish the Economic Community of West African States in 1975. It went on to push for the prevention and resolution of devastating conflicts that engulfed Liberia in 1992. The conflict spilled over into Sierra Leone and other countries in the region. Nigeria spearheaded the cessation of hostilities and created the cease-fire monitoring group to bring a total end to the civil strife and restore democracy in both countries.

Many observers agree that the sterling performance of the monitoring group is unparalleled in the history of regional organisations the world over. It has now become a model to emulate for its operational efficiency and for giving regional actors pride of place in the resolution of regional conflicts.

shutterstock

Nigeria exerted similar efforts to ensure that democratic governments were restored to Guinea-Bissau, Cote d’Ivoire and Sao Tome et Principe, after military take-overs in those countries.

It spent over US$10 billion in these peace campaigns and also lost soldiers in the process.

Nigeria has not limited its peacekeeping role to West Africa. It has also been engaged in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia-Eritrea.

The country also played the most important role in fighting apartheid in Southern Africa and supporting liberation movements on the continent.

Disappointments

But Nigeria has not been immune to challenges facing countries on the continent. Corruption, misappropriation of public funds, electoral malpractices, insurgency and terrorism have devastated its capacity and weakened its moral fortitude to lead the continent.

Amidst enormous wealth, poverty in Nigeria is endemic . It could even become the poverty capital of the world, according to The World Poverty Clock. Nigerians have been reduced to the behest of the politicians that tie them to gridlock of “stomach infrastructure”. This is a new trend which reflects institutionalised and structural poverty. Deprivation puts people in a vulnerable and compromised position where the desperation for survival makes them sell their votes and conscience.

The slow movement of the current administration is also killing the Nigerian spirit and leadership posture. South Africa, Ghana and even Madagascar have acted faster in continental and global politics, including during times of emergency such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. But Nigeria seems content with a spectator position.

What next?

Nigeria has been relegated to the background of international affairs. To turn this around requires a revisit to the roots – and mowing the lawns afterwards. Nigeria must take stock of its own performance and capacities and re-position itself – first from within.

If Nigerian leaders are increasingly determined to proffer African solutions to their problems, then political structures and institutions must be reformed to reflect conditions suitable for sustainable development. Without a formidable political base, the economy will remain weak and fragile. The political base is crucial, because, the state is the repository of all ramifications and dimensions of power – political, economic, technological and military. And the purpose of the state is to authoritatively allocate these resources.

There is also a need to empower people to mobilise their local resources and to use them for development. And, of course, public funds should not be concentrated in the hands of few individuals, who may be tempted to steal them. An accountable system is one in which money management has several checks.

Oil wealth has been the country’s nemesis, a curse that has promoted corruption and blatant bleeding of the economy. But it is declining in value and as source of national revenue. Now is the time for Nigeria to make good its repeated and well-advertised intentions to diversify the economy.

A de-emphasis on oil would open the door to smarter ideas about how to create wealth. It would also herald in getting rid of a great deal of the phlegm of corruption which has played such a central role in Nigeria’s infrastructural decay, eroded its influence and given it such a negative image.

Added to this is the succession of weak rulers since 2007.

African leaders do not look towards Nigeria anymore for counsel, inspiration and help. They think Nigeria has a lot on its plate already and needs help. The potential is still there for Nigeria to return to power; but it takes leadership to (re)build the auspicious atmosphere and to activate the country’s potential – the two steps required to regain that enviable frontliner spot on the continent.The Conversation

 

Sheriff Folarin, Professor of International Relations, Covenant University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

The crew of the UK-based Company, Flairjet plane impounded by the Federal Government on Sunday for breaching flight ban in the country has been quarantined in Lagos to ascertain if they have the dreaded coronavirus.

This is even as investigations into the incident by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, is still ongoing.

In a telephone chat with Vanguard yesterday, the Director of Information and Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu, confirmed that investigation by the regulatory authority was still ongoing.

He also said the crew of the aircraft was currently undergoing the mandatory 14 days quarantine in Lagos where the aircraft landed. Meanwhile, NCAA yesterday said only the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, or Aviation Ministry officials could make public comments on the issue. The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, yesterday directed Vanguard to channel all enquires to the Minister or the Ministry officials.

Recall that the Flair Aviation aircraft operated a commercial flight into Nigeria, despite airspace closure in the country due to COVID-19 pandemic, when it was granted permit to operate a humanitarian flight. READ ALSO: FG impounds UK-based aviation company’s aircraft for violating flight ban Information available revealed that the aircraft, an Embraer Legacy 600, with the registration number G-ERFX and 13 passengers’ seats, piloted by Captain Andy Bell, had applied for humanitarian evacuation to London in support of the Federal Government’s efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 on May 12, 2020.

A document showed that the “request was approved on May 13, 2020 by M.S. Noibi, the Director of Air Transport Management, Ministry of Aviation and notified all agencies available. “The aircraft, according to its flight plan, was scheduled to depart London Stansted Airport on Saturday 17, 2020 at 08:00hrs with the flight number FLJ611 and six passengers onboard. “It had a first landing at Alcante El Abet Airport in Spain with six passengers at 12:25hrs. From Spain, the jet departed for the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos with the same flight number: FLJ611 and landed at the airport with seven passengers at 13:05hrs under the guise of essential flight.

“The jet was scheduled to leave Nigeria with seven passengers to Alcante El Abet airport in Spain at 20:20hrs and was to be handled by Execujet Aviation Nigeria Ltd at the Lagos Airport,’’ the document read.

It was when the plane landed in Nigeria that government officials discovered that the company actually operated commercial flight into Nigeria, with a plan to return with another seven passengers onboard.

The aircraft has been impounded by security officials while its cabin crew was arrested and interrogated by security agencies who accused them of flouting the approval given to them by the Nigerian authorities.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had in his official twitter handle, confirmed that the ministry gave the airline an approval for humanitarian operations only to be caught conducting commercial flights into the country.

Sirika twitted: “COVID-19. Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations, but regrettably we caught them conducting commercial flights. This is callous! The craft is impounded, crew being interrogated. There shall be maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!” Vanguard

 

Read more at: Vanguard

How much money has been generated to fight the spread of coronavirus in Africa? It's hard to keep track.

The continent has more than 63,000 cases of the virus, according to the World Health Organization. In response, private individuals, governments, and other organizations have donated extensive funds to provide protective gear, test for the virus, and provide relief materials for people in vulnerable countries on the continent.

                                                    Government, banks and wealthy individuals contribute billions to fight coronavirus in Nigeria
In Nigeria, the government approved a 10 billion naira grant (about $27 million) to fight the spread of coronavirus. And in Ghana, $100 million was released by the government to expand the infrastructure needed to curtail the virus in the West African country.

Nigeria-based nonprofit Follow the Money is compiling a list of all the pledges and funds donated to minimize the spread of the virus in Africa. It is also tracking how the money is spent by contacting donors and government agencies for detailed information on spending plans.

With a presence in Nigeria, Kenya, the Gambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Malawi, and Liberia the group has a focus on tracking government spending and international aid in rural communities, according to co-founder, Hamzat Lawal.

"Follow the Money tries to answer where funds that have been donated to rural communities in Africa are coming from, where they are going and most importantly, how they are being utilized, particularly at the grassroots level," he told CNN.

According to Lawal, the group monitors announcements of grants and donations for low-income communities, and for transparency, they contact the government, agency, or individual responsible for the grant to provide a breakdown of how they intend to spend the money.

"We also visit these communities to find out if they have received any funding or palliatives based on the information we get from the donors. We make sure we empower them with information we have on the donation so that they are able to demand accountability from the government or agency involved in the donation," he explained.

Monitoring donations in Nigeria

In Nigeria, Follow the Money created a database with information on more than 250 grants and other funds released to fight the spread of coronavirus.

According to Lawal, the team has traced coronavirus interventions worth up to 87 billion naira (about $222 million) in the country.

The database has information on how much was donated, who donated it, date it was announced and whether or not it has been disbursed for use. Lawal said the information was sourced from publicly available sources, including news reports.

"We created a hashtag called #followcovid19money. Through the hashtag, we are engaging private individuals and companies on social media to give us a breakdown of how they intend to use the money to fight coronavirus," he said.

On social media, agencies including the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Federal Capital Territory, which administers Nigeria's capital, Abuja, have so far responded to Follow the Money's questions on how its donations will be spent.

"We know for example through responses that the NNPC is going to different parts of the country donating facemasks, ambulances and protective gear for health workers," he explained.

But as a result of curfews and lockdowns in certain parts of the country, Lawal said it's hard to trace whether the grants are being used the way they are supposed to be used.

The team usually goes into communities to find out if funding is being allocated the way it's supposed to be. However, in the wake of the virus, it has had to minimize contact with people, he said.

 

Credit: CNN

Nigeria’s five-year naira futures slid past 550 to the dollar on Thursday after the central bank weakened the currency on the derviatives market across maturities, traders said.

The bank weakened the currency on average by 73 naira across tenors, traders said, with the one-year maturity revised by 27 naira. The 5-year naira future weakened to 569 per dollar, traders said, from 413 naira in the previous session.

 

Reuters

Since President Muhammadu Buhari came to power in Nigeria in 2015, anti-corruption has been at the heart of his administration. However, a lot of effort is focused on grand corruption at the higher levels of governance and politics. There is less emphasis on the less-talked-about but vulnerable areas such as the health sector.

We have been involved as researchers in an extensive study of health sector corruption in Nigeria. The study interacted with front-line health workers and health policy makers and managers. The aim was to systematically identify the different types of corruption occurring in the Nigerian health sector, and rank them based on how damaging they can be to the health sector.

The drivers and potential solutions to these health sector corruption problems were also identified, as well as recommendations on how to mitigate corruption in the sector. In the end we hope to explore and bring to the fore feasible grassroots solutions to the problem of health sector corruption in Nigeria.

In the war against COVID-19, health system resilience, accountability and integrity are more important than ever. The health systems of some high-income-countries have become overwhelmed by the rising number of infected persons and deaths from the disease. Weaker, corruption-prone and less resilient health systems of many low and middle income countries are even more vulnerable. Some may even collapse.

Research has underscored the vulnerability of Nigeria’s health system. A consistently solid and accountable health system has eluded the country. The requisite health resources are also in short supply.

The reality is that citizens, health workers and international development partners worry that Nigeria’s health system is very weak and may be unable to adequately combat COVID-19.

Money management issues

Contributing to the weakness of the system is the federal and state governments’ very low budgetary allocation to the health sector.

Nigeria’s health sector appropriation in the 2020 budget is 4.5% of the total federal budget, about N427.3 billion. This is far below the 15% agreed in the 2001 Abuja Declaration, when African Union member countries pledged to improve spending on their health sector and urged donor countries to scale up support.

Following recent collapse in the international price of crude oil, the budget has now been revised downward.

Concerns about budget are valid. But of equal weight is the issue of the optimal management of presently allocated funds. This continues to be an underlying problem.

In a paper published last year health workers and decision makers set out to explain the reasons that corruption persists in the healthcare sector.

They identified the top 49 corrupt practices in the Nigerian health system. These included absenteeism, procurement-related corruption, under-the-counter payments, health financing-related corruption, and employment-related corruption.

Discussions with health workers in an ongoing study on COVID-19 spanning different regions in Nigeria echo these findings. Health workers have indicated that there are structural and facility-level corruption and accountability issues that they have to work with routinely. These compromise their efforts to do their jobs as healthcare providers, including containing COVID-19 and its impacts.

We also found that there were high levels of distrust in the government, poor welfare conditions for health workers and health service users, and a lack of proper equipment.

What needs to be done

Patricia Garcia, a leading figure on global health issues, believes that for most developing countries, “with more money comes more corruption”.

Nigeria is certainly a case in point.

So what can be done about it?

The previous journal publication on Nigeria noted that front-line workers and policymakers agreed that tackling corrupt practices requires a range of approaches.

Garcia herself advocates an incremental approach to tackling the problem.

We could start from the bottom up, taking small steps. We need rigorous research methods to prove or disprove that a strategy works. Addressing and ending corruption will require the participation of researchers from several disciplines and multiple approaches, and the commitment of funders to supporting serious research. Corruption in global health should not continue as an open secret, it has to be confronted and brought to light.

The rapid spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria calls for sincerity on the parts of the authorities, the health workers and citizens. It also demands vigilance from civil society organisations and the mass media to foster accountability.

During the Ebola outbreak, Transparency International reported how systemic corruption in West Africa’s health sector undermined the response. Unfortunately, the lessons seem to have parted with the epidemic. We hope that lessons from dealing with COVID-19 will strengthen the health system in Nigeria and put in place stiff anti-corruption measures.

We will undertake further studies on health system corruption and accountability through a new project that is funded by the UK’s Joint Health System Research Initiative, entitled “Understanding and eliminating health sector corruption impeding UHC at district level in Nigeria and Malawi: institutions, individuals and incentives”.​The Conversation

 

Obinna Onwujekwe, Professor of Health Economics and Policy and Pharmaco-economics/pharmaco-epidemiology in the Departments of Health Administration & Management and Pharmacology and Therapeutics, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria; Charles Orjiakor, Lecturer , University of Nigeria, and Prince Agwu -, Researcher in the Department of Social Work, University of Nigeria

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

Access Bank Plc plans to cut salaries to avoid job losses as a lockdown to contain the coronavirus hampers the operations of Nigeria’s biggest lender, according to people with direct knowledge of the matter.

The reductions are expected to start from May unless business conditions improve, said the people, who were briefed on the matter during a conference call and asked not to be identified because they’re not authorized to speak publicly. Some management will get as much as a 40% decrease, they said.

A spokesman for Lagos-based Access Bank declined to comment.

Nigerian banks are facing the threat of rising bad-debt levels as a crash in oil prices and the risk of a naira devaluation coincide with the Covid-19 pandemic that has shuttered businesses.

Access Bank, which acquired rival Diamond Bank Plc last year, had 6,898 permanent staff at the end of 2019, according to a presentation on its website. The acquisition partly contributed to a 31% increase in operating expenses. Personnel, recruitment and training costs account for more than a third of overheads after the deal boosted employee numbers and resulted in “wage harmonization” across the businesses.

 

- Bloomberg

Foremost composite e-commerce giant, Konga has recorded another first in Africa’s e-commerce market, with the launch of a live online product auction.

The initiative, another ground-breaking innovation from Konga, will debut this Friday, May 1, 2020 by 5pm on its online platform – www.konga.com and across its social media channels – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Equally important, the live auction is a monthly feature which will afford eager shoppers a chance to stake their claims for the exciting products on offer on a monthly basis.

Already, anticipation and excitement is sky-high for the debut edition of the auction tagged Konga Last Price.
Prince Nnamdi Ekeh, Co-CEO, Konga Group, says the initiative is further proof of Konga’s boundless strategies to raise the bar in the e-commerce market and excite its customers globally without stories.

‘‘This live online auction across social media and our website is another first from Konga. This is another addition to being the first to pioneer the marketplace structure in the African e-commerce market six years ago for others to follow and the fusion of online and offline in creating a world-class composite retail platform, among others.

‘‘With this live auction – Konga Last Price, the first in Africa, we are further expanding the scope of e-commerce and giving our customer base an additional reason to smile. It has certainly come to stay as a monthly feature and we encourage all Nigerians to join us on the various social media channels and on the Konga website for this exciting initiative. It promises to be a world-class and unforgettable experience, with a huge number of genuine products across categories to be auctioned at mouth-watering prices,’’ he said.

For this inaugural edition, Konga has put up a number of eye-catching products across multiple categories for Nigerians to smile home with after weeks of the lockdown occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also in store for participants is a surprise product. As a matter of fact, the Konga Last Price live auction will feature three sessions.

They include a live auction across its social media channels – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube; a timed auction on the Konga website and a flash sale on social media involving no bids which will run concurrently with the social media live auction.

For the latter two – the timed auction on the Konga website and flash sale on social media, price slashes will be announced at the commencement of the live auction. Bid winners will follow the regular check-out process and can use the Payment on Delivery option.

However, intending participants on the social media live auction are expected to submit their bids via comments with their name, phone number, product and bidding price, with each participant allowed to purchase a maximum of three products per category.

Subsequently, bid winners will be contacted for payment confirmations via bank transfers at the end of the social media live auction.

 

 

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari is seeking approval to borrow 850 billion naira ($2.36 billion) from the domestic capital markets to fund the 2020 budget, according to a request read in the upper house of parliament on Tuesday.

Buhari said the debt is needed to replace previously approved external loans, as conditions on international capital markets are “not conducive” to borrowing.

Parliament’s upper house - the Senate - had approved foreign borrowings of $22.7 billion before the coronavirus outbreak forced nations worldwide, including Nigeria, into lockdown. 

The shutdowns have decimated global economic growth and slashed oil consumption by roughly a third.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest crude producer, has already cut nearly $5 billion from its 2020 budget. The revised version uses a benchmark of $30 per barrel oil, though Brent crude was trading at just under $20 on Tuesday. 

Nigeria is also seeking almost $7 billion in emergency loans from multilateral institutions including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the African Development Bank. 

Tuesday is the first day that lawmakers have conducted a full session since late March, when the capital Abuja went into lockdown.

 

Reuters

The Lagos State Government has shortlisted 10 firms from the 32 respondents to the expression of interest that applied for the construction of the Fourth Mainland Bridge.

The firms include CCECC Nigeria Limited; CGGC-CGC Joint Venture; China Harbour Engineering Company Limited; China State Construction Engineering Corporation Nigeria Limited; IC ICTAS Insaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.S. and Ingenieros Consultores, S.A., through Makais Energy.

Others are Julius Berger Nigeria Plc; Mota-Engil and CCCC Consortium; Mutual Commitment Company Limited and Power Construction Corporation of China.

This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Aramide Adeyoye and the Director-General, Office of Public-Private Partnerships, Ope George.

“Following the issuance of request for qualification to the 32 shortlisted and eligible respondents to the expression of interest, we are pleased to announce that the Lagos State Government has received a total of 10 responses to the request for qualification (the applications) from the applicants,” the statement said

“The Lagos State Government will now proceed to evaluate the applications in line with the evaluation criteria set out in the request for qualification and thereafter announce the successful pre-qualified bidders, who shall be eligible for participation in the next stage of the selection/bidding process, being the request for proposals stage.”

 

- The Guardian Nigeria

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