A United Nations’ report shows that Foreign Direct Investment in Nigeria has dropped by 43 percent to $2 billion. This, according to Reuters, is as a result of investors’ withdrawal from the country after being put off by a dispute between the government and telecom giant MTN over repatriated profits. The country’s FDI inflow closed at $2.0 billion in 2018, down from $3.5 billion in 2017, according to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, a development which the report said, came as two global financial giants, HSBC and UBS, closed their representative offices in Nigeria. In its World Investment report, the UNCTAD also said FDI in sub-Saharan Africa rose 13 percent to $32 billion, and the rise in the FDI inflow into sub-Saharan Africa bucks a global downward trend, reversing two years of decline. The report said Africa stands in sharp contrast to developed economies, which saw FDI inflows plunge by 27 percent to their lowest level since 2004. Some African countries fared better than others, however. The Southern Africa region performed the best, taking in FDI of nearly $4.2 billion, up from $925 million in 2017. Foreign investment in South Africa more than doubled to $5.3 billion. The situation in Nigeria left Ghana, which is in the midst of an oil and gas boom and saw inflows of $3 billion, as West Africa’s leading destination for foreign investment. Italy’s Eni Group was behind Ghana’s largest greenfield investment project. Ethiopia remained East Africa’s top recipient of FDI at $3.3 billion, despite an 18 percent drop compared with the year before. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania all saw increases in FDI inflows as Foreign investment in Uganda jumped 67 percent to a record $1.3 billion, boosted by the oil and gas development of a consortium that includes France’s Total, CNOOC of China and London-listed Tullow Oil. According to the report, the ratification of the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement could also have a positive effect on FDI, especially in the manufacturing and services sectors.
The European Union observer mission has said that the Nigeria’s 2019 general elections won by President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress were not transparent. The observer mission added that the elections, which the presidential aspect is currently being challenged by opposition candidate in court, were marred by violence, harassment and intimidation of voters. The EU observers said in their final report on the 23 February and 2 March votes, that the irregularities during the process were with the role of the security agencies, which became more contentious as the process progressed. These election malpractices, the EU said damaged the integrity of the electoral process and such may deter future participation. During the elections themselves, at least 58 people, including election officials, were killed in voting-related violence, according to the Nigerian Civil Society Situation Room, a coalition of civic groups that monitored the vote, the EU said.
Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria has threatened to shut down the country’s ports if the Federal Ministry of transportation within the next 14 days does not compel the International Oil Companies to pay all outstanding bill on stevedoring owed dockworkers, which it claimed was over a year. The union’s President and Secretary General, Prince Adewale Adeyanju and Felix Akingboye, said that the dockworkers had served for over a year without being paid any money as the IOCs had refused to process their invoices. According to the union leaders, the Nigerian Ports Authority appointed stevedoring contractors on 1 June, 2018, to provide stevedoring services at various offshore jetties and onshore locations to the IOCs and other operators. The association noted further that during a stakeholders’ meeting organised by the NPA in February last year to sensitise the IOCs, jetty owners and terminal owners, the NPA management made it clear that in line with section 27 of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act, 2007, only government-appointed stevedores and registered dock workers were empowered by law to solely handle discharge and loading operations at the port, jetties and oil platforms. The union is, however, worried about the position of the operators on NPA’s directive because the same operators had processed and paid the former stevedoring contractors since 2010 through a foremost terminal operator. It is surprising that they are refusing to cooperate with the newly-appointed stevedoring contractors since the modus operandi remains the same, the union said.
NASCON Allied Industries, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries, says it has moved some of its operations away from Apapa to Oregun in Lagos and Port Harcourt, due to the gridlock in Apapa. Addressing shareholders at the firm’s Annual General Meeting in Lagos on Thursday, the Managing Director, NASCON, Paul Farrer, said that the Apapa gridlock was a major risk in the company’s business last year. The gridlock, described as unending, affected the movement of raw materials to Oregun, timely delivery of finished goods to customers and increased turn-around time of the company’s trucks. The company, a refiner and distributor of household, food processing and industrial salt, with an installed production capacity of 567,000 metric tonnes per an um, relocated 60 percent of its Apapa Plant production capacity. The firm said it also engaged third-party transporters to ensure timely delivery of its finished goods. The Apapa refinery of the firm was inaugurated in 2001 with an installed capacity of 275,000MT per an um while the Port Harcourt’s was inaugurated in 2003 with an installed capacity of 210,000MT per year. The Oregun plant was inaugurated in 2004 with an installed capacity to refine 82,000MT of salt per year, the company said in its 2018 annual report.