Category Archives: Business

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European companies to recruit skilled labour from Enugu

Ten European companies will on 8 November launch a youth programme in Enugu to train, empower and recruit skilled labour.

Launch Skills Acquisition Programme
– Establish European Business Park
, and
Entrepreneurship Promotion Centre

The private sector partners are collaborating with Godfrey Okoye University, Enugu on an integrated project that benefits them, the youths, and Nigerian teachers.

Their overall goal is to empower the youths with skills that will give them opportunity to be legally employed as skilled labour in Nigeria and Europe.

The partners hope that this will discourage migration of unskilled youth labour to Europe.

It is an ambitious integrated programme comprising a European Business Park, the skills acqusition training, and an entrepreneurship support centre.

The three projects will be co-located within and around GO University’s second Campus in Enugu, Nigeria.

Consequently, GO University has established a Centre of Practical Skills (CoPS) to train youths under the programme.

The European partners expect the University to train and award vocational certifcates “that address the needs of the private sector.”

About120 youths will initially be trained in five high-demand technical job areas, especially in the construction sector.

Subsequently, the number will increase to 200-250 persons per year with “additional job profiles for agriculture, food processing, textiles, and IT.”

The training will eventually be conducted nationwide as affiliate training centres are established in other zones of the country.

Prof. Christian Anieke, Vice Chancellor of GO University, confirmed the development in Abuja yesterday, 19 October.

He described the centre as a unique intervention that helps Nigerian youths to compete favourably with their European counterparts.

He also announced that the skill acquisition training will begin 18 November 2021 with a groundbreaking performance in Enugu.

He believes that up to 5,000 youths could be trained in various skills needed by the 10 European partners in the project within five years.

The training, he said, will be aligned with the needs of the European companies to make it easy for trainees to gain employment.

Encouraging skilled migrations

The European private sector partners

GO University trainees under the programme will be awarded European certifications to ensure that they are employable in Europe, if they chose to leave the country.

The partners however plan to employ majority of the trainees in the local Business Park.

Budding entrepreneurs among them will be referred to the Start-Up Centre to apply for loans to start their own business. They could also be encouraged to create joint ventures with the European investors.”

Documents sighted by Enugu Metro show that the skills training will combine theoretical classroom sessions with practical traineeships at partner companies’ facilities.

Its curricula were also said to have been jointly developed with European training institutions and companies.

European companies recruit from Enugu

Anambra joins oil states as Buhari approves status

Anambra joins league of oil bearing states following a presidential approval conveyed to Gov. Willie Obiano yesterday, 8 September 2021.

State Govt spokesperson, Chief C. Don Adinuba, broke the news of the approval in a statement last night.

States where crude petroleum oil and gas are extracted are entitled to 13 percent of profit from the sales.

The much needed extra revenue for the state will come from the sale of petroleum resources in 11 oil wells, Adinuba said.

He listed the wells located in Anambra territory as Nzam-1, Alo-1, Ameshi-1, 2, and 3, and Enyie-1, 2 , 3 and 4.

The letter that confirms Anambra’s new oil status was endorsed by President Buhari’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari.

Kogi, Edo, Delta share wells

Adinuba disclosed that President Buhari’s decision resolves the boundary disputes over areas where natural oil has been found.

The resolution affected four States that have now been officially approved as territories where disputed oil wells are located.

The National Boundary Commission has been mediating the dispute on the area that hosts Anambra-1, 2 and 3 oil wells.

The Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission subsequently ruled that Anambra and Kogi share derivation from the three wells.

The President yesterday attributed other disputed wells – Okpo-1 and Oda River-1 to Edo, and Iji-1 to Delta State. Both Delta and Edo are oil bearing States.

The journey, as Anambra joins oil States

Anambra’s tough journey to becoming an officially recognized oil-producing State began in 2013.

Orient Petroleum Company, a private firm supported by the state government, began driling for oil in Aguleri, Anambra East LGA.

“No sooner we began,” recalled Mr. Marcel Ifejiofor, “than the Aguleri Otu people were attacked by their neighbours in Ibaji LGA of Kogi State.

Ifejiofor, Anambra’s Commissioner for Works, was a senior engineer on the staff of Orient Petroleum at the time.

The incident led to loss of lives and huge assets as well as other serious developments, he recalled.

Governor Obiano also accosted an Indian company “illegally and surreptitiously” extracting oil since 2014 in Ogwuaniocha and Ogwuikpele in Ogbaru LGA.”

Adinuba said the company carried out operations without a community impact assessment and attributed the oil to neighbouring Delta.

“Despite all we did to resolve the matter amicably with the Indian firm, it refused to cooperate” with the government.

The issue was escalated to federal agencies including NNPC, the petroleum industry regulator DPR, environment Ministry, and office of attorney-general.

‘It has been a long walk to retrieve what belongs to us,” Ifejiofor said.

Anambra joins oil bearing states in Nigeria

CBN ban on BDCs: 10 things to note if you’re buying dollars

Based on recent CBN forex trading ban on Bureau de change, BDCs, here are 10 things to note if you’re planning to buy dollars from the banks.

The CBN announced the ban on Wednesday 28 July. Consequently, Naira fell against the US dollar immediately after the announcement, according to The Punch newspaper.

Expectedly, Naira’s fall against major currencies continues to date as the BDC alternative forex window shut down.

However, the Central Bank followed up with a circular asking deposit money banks to quickly set up forex teller windows.

This is to ease the pressure as more bank branches open teller windows to serve customers at designated branches.

CBN instructions contain the following information for those planning to approach the banks for forex transactions.

10 things to note


  1. Bureaux De Change will no longer buy or sell sell foreign exchange to customers.
  2. Therefore, only commercial banks (Deposit Money Banks) will henceforth source forex from the CBN to sell to retail customers.
  3. However, policy doesn’t affect the parallel (black) market, which now plays critical role supplying forex to SME travellers and businesses.


  1. Only those travelling for leisure and for business will be attended to.
  2. You can also approach the banks for forex to pay school fees or hospital bills abroad.
  3. SMEs with legitimate business transactions are to be assisted too by the banks.


  1. DMBs are authorised to pay either cash or transfer forex electronically to customers who meet the requirements.


  1. The CBN emphasizes proper documentation for access to forex from DMBs. We imagine that – for those seeking to obtain Personal or Business Travel Allowance – document that prove one has been granted access to visit a foreign country (Visa) and travel ticket would suffice.


  1. CBN says it will police the new system to ensure that they do not frustrate the policy. Banks will be penalised for “undue delays, rationing, (and) diversion of forex.”
  2. In addition, CBN also set up a toll-free number for forex seekers to report unresolved issues with their DMBs.

Implications of CBN ban on BDCs

It remains to be seen how effective this policy reversal will turn out to be. Yesterday, Friday 30 July, Naira traded N520 to the dollar in the parallel market. Meanwhile, it sold for around N460 in the official window. The huge margin of N60 between the two markets presents a great temptation for greedy banks to go into roundtripping. Top government officials have in the past given in to the temptation.

The biggest worry is that retail traders and small-scale importers now depend on the parallel market for their forex needs. Most will not be able to provide adequate documentation to buy forex at the official window. The implication, of course, is that costs of imported goods are likely to continue to rise as Naira weakens.

Bakers increase prices of bread by 30%

Nigerian master bakers will shortly increase the prices of flour products, such as bread and biscuits, by about 30 percent.

Rising costs of flour products account for the forced increases, a statement from the bakers said on Monday 24 May.

The increase is a major decision reached at the NEC meeting of the Association of Master Bakers and Caterers of Nigeria (AMBCN) held in Abuja.

AMBCN specifically directed members nationwide to aim at 30% price hike to manage rising production and raw materials procurement costs.

In particular, it said the jack-up will help members adjust to sudden increases in production, sugar, butter, yeast and flour.

AMBCN President, Mansur Umar, said members’ businesses are “bleeding” from the impact of skyrocketing prices of production and raw materials.

He gave an example with the current cost of flour, a major baking item.

“In the last six months, one truck of flour that we used to buy at less than N6.0m is now N9.0m,” the association said in a statement.

It also blamed high tariff regime imposed by NAFDAC for the problem of pricing and purchase of baking materials.

AMBCN asked the Federal Government to intervene by reversing high tariff regime and streamlining regulation to allow only NAFDAC regulate bakers.

Incessant increases in price of flour have forced some of their members to shut their businesses, the Association said.

In particular, AMBCN asked Government to take immediate steps to reduce high price of flour as this is killing business.

“The incessant increase of prices of flour and other baking materials is responsible for the decision.

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Nigerian master bakers direct members to increase by about 30 percent the prices of bread and biscuits, .

Okonjo-Iweala appoints 4 DGs for WTO

World Trade Organisation (WTO) Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appoints four new DGs today 4 May 2021. She tapped former WTO permanent representatives (from France and China) and two outsiders from USA and Costa Rica.

Appointed as deputy directors-general are Angela Ellard (United States), Anabel González (Costa Rica), Jean-Marie Paugam (France) and Xiangchen Zhang (China).

The appointments come nearly three months after she was picked as the first African and first woman manager of the global organisation.

Their profiles, as released by the WTO on its website today are as set out below:

Ms Angela Ellard

Angela Ellard WTO Deputy DG

Ms Angela Ellard (United States) has a distinguished career working at the US Congress as Majority and Minority Chief Trade Counsel and Staff Director. She is internationally recognized as an expert on trade and international economic policy, negotiating trade agreements and supporting multilateral solutions as part of an effective trade and development policy. Ms Ellard negotiated and delivered significant bipartisan trade policy outcomes and legislation for well over 25 years with Members of U.S. Congress during the Trump, Obama, Bush, and Clinton Administrations. As a private sector lawyer, she worked on trade litigation and strategy, policy and legislative issues. Ms Ellard obtained her Juris Doctor, cum laude from Tulane University School of Law and her Master of Arts in Public Policy also from Tulane. She’s a frequent lecturer at law, graduate, and undergraduate classes and has published articles on trade law and policy.

Ms Anabel González

Anabela Gonzales, WTO Deputy DG

Ms Anabel González (Costa Rica) is a renowned global expert on trade, investment and economic development with a proven managerial track record in international organizations and the public sector. In government, Ms Gonzalez served as Minister of Foreign Trade of Costa Rica; as Director-General for International Trade Negotiations; as Director-General of the Costa Rican Investment Promotion Agency (CINDE); and as Special Ambassador and Chief negotiator of the US-Central America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement. She also served at the World Bank as a Senior Director, the WTO as Director of the Agriculture and Commodities Division and as Senior Consultant with the Inter-American Development Bank. More recently, Ms Gonzalez has worked as a Non-Resident Senior Fellow with the Peterson Institute for International Economics. She obtained her master’s degree from Georgetown University Law Center with the highest academic distinction and has published extensively on economic issues and trade.

Jean-Marie Paugam

Jean-Marie Paugam

Ambassador Jean-Marie Paugam (France) has held senior management positions in the French Government on trade, most recently as Permanent Representative of France to the WTO. He has also held a number of senior positions in the French Ministry of Economy and Finance, including as a member of the Executive Committee of the French Treasury. He served as Deputy Executive Director of the International Trade Centre in Geneva. Paugam has accumulated a deep and practical knowledge of government practices on trade as well as being familiar with high-level dialogues on trade and international economic operations. He has published a number of articles on trade-related issues, in particular when serving as Senior Research Fellow on International Trade at the French Institute for International Relations (IFPRI). Ambassador Paugam graduated from ENA in Paris and obtained degrees in Political Science from the Institute of Political Science in Aix-en-Provence and in Law from the Faculty of Law Aix-Marseille III.

Xiangchen Zhang

Xiangchen Zhang

Ambassador Xiangchen Zhang (China) is currently serving as Vice Minister in the Ministry of Commerce of China. He has long and extensive experience on WTO issues, international negotiations, and policy research. Ambassador Zhang served until recently as China’s Permanent Representative to the WTO and previously as Deputy Permanent Representative. He has had an extensive career of more than 30 years in international trade, serving as Director of the Department of International Trade and Economic Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation; as Director-General of the Department of WTO Affairs of the Ministry of Commerce; and as Director General of the Department of Policy Research of the Ministry of Commerce. Ambassador Zhang holds a bachelor’s degree in Law, a Master’s degree in International Relations and a PhD in International Politics from Peking University.

WTO Director-General, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala appoints 4 new DGs today from China, Costa Rica, France and the United States to help run the global organization.

Second Anambra car manufacturer steps in

A second Anambra car manufacturer joins Innoson Motors to manufacture gas-powered buses for Nigeria and Africa.

The assembly plant located at Igbo-Ukwu in Aguata LGA, produces buses branded as OMAA bus. The first to roll out of the assembly line is known as the OMAA T Series bus.

The buses are uniquely designed as a dual gasoline and natural gas-powered vehicle which is more cost-effective than the more commonly used gasoline cars.

It’s uniqueness comes from being designed to also run on compressed natural gas (CNG) available in Nigeria.

Proprietor Chinedu Oguegbu says the bus can be used for passenger, school shuttle, cargo transport, ambulance, and logistics services. It can also serve as utility vehicles for businesses, he said.

He said the product will “revolutionize not just the transportation industry, but the energy industry in Africa, by transforming the way we utilize the abundant energy resources available to us, namely natural gas.’’

Although he drew technical experts to produce, Oguegbu said he is relying 100 percent on local talent.

The company’s ambition, he said is to help Nigeria reduce gas flaring and drive more investments in the gas value chairn. This he reasoned, will “drive the fuel cost down, thereby leading to increased consumption.

“It also means that electricity, transportation and even food prices will go down’’.

More affordable that gasoline-only vehicles

Oguegbu said that the OMAA T Series being unveiled will reduce 30-40 percent costs for transporters.

“For most fleet operators gasoline cost is the largest operating expense. Imagine how this would translate to cost of transport or total cost of doing business across the value chain?’’

In addition, he said because gas is also cleaner, the technology will reduce engine knocks by 90 percent as well as reduce carbon emissions, and “particulate matter.”

“This means that we build healthier and more sustainable communities as we grow.”

“We are proud to show case our completed state-of-the-art assembly plant today equipped with modern tools and passionate human capital as we strive to make a difference in producing natural gas-powered buses.”

The OMAA assembly plants is running semi knocked down (SKD) operations but will quickly scale up to completely knocked down (CKD) factory.

At the CKD stage, the company will be able to not only assemble but also localize some components as it gets set to market beyond Nigeria to the continent.

Nigeria suspends cargo exports from Lagos ports

Management of Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) suspend cargo export trucks from Lagos Ports for two weeks to free traffic gridlock.

The ban took effect from 22 March 2021, NPA Chief Executive Hadiza Bala Usman announced during a Monday radio programme.

Non-oil exporters yesterday criticized the decision, which they said reflects inefficiency in the management of the ports.

NPA is however standing by its decision.

“We have a backlog of over 600 trucks that have approached the port coming out of their truck parks and are currently in that location within the port corridors, within the Lilypond,” Usman complained.

“So, we are suspending all export cargoes.”

Usman said the problem is improper harmonization of procedures for export and that NPA has invited stakeholders to explore solutions.

Exporters, she said, do not wait for terminal operators to give them clearance to approach and do not get all required certifications from supervisory agencies.

She specifically listed “several custom certifications and CBN documents” among the documents that exporter need to complete before dispatching trucks.

“If any of your documents are not ready, you must remain within your location. Actually, you shouldn’t even start your journey to the ports,” she warned.

The Network of Practicing Non-oil Exporters of Nigeria (NPNEN) complained that the suspension has damaged the credibility of Nigerian exporters.

NPNEN President Alhaji Ahmed Rabiu said at a conference event yesterday that the ban affects existing export orders and production.

“When you ban exports for two weeks, you can imagine the ripple effects. The person who has products in his warehouse has to stop production. Orders that were made have to be delayed, creating loss of confidence,” he said.

“These are issues that wouldn’t have happened if things were done right,” he said.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala is DG of WTO, makes history

Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes history as she is appointed first woman and first black to head the World Trade Organisation(WTO).

Her tenure begins 1 March 2021, according to a twitter flash from the organisation.

WTO’s General Council began meeting by 3.00 pm today in Geneva and wasted no time to announce her as new Director General of the organisation.

WTO Makes History. NOI accepts appointments

She plans to hold a press conference in a matter of hours from now.

Hurdles on the path to this appointment were cleared last week when South Korean withdrew her remaining rival and the United States endorsed her candidacy.

The organisation has been without a leader since August 2020 after Brazilian Roberto Azevedo threw in the towel, a year to the end of  his tenure.

The support of former US President Donald Trump for the South Korean candidate threw a spanner in the works for the Nigerian who was coasting to victory with overwhelming support from every other country.

The process was stalled because the choice of who becomes DG is made by the members through a consensus.

She now enters the final stretch with strong support from the European Union, the United States, and the African Union.

It is a difficult job which the Brazilian abandoned out of frustration that the organisation was unable to conclude trade talks and manage trade disputes.

Okonjo-Iweala, a Harvard-trained development economist rose to Number Two position in the World Bank and had a  glorious career as a public servant in Nigeria.

She managed the nation’s finances in two administrations and briefly served as foreign minister.

Her strong battle against corruption and its enablers nearly cost her mother her life when she was abducted.

She promises to lead the WTO with “boldness and courage” to make it relevant to fast evolving challenges of trade, including those promoted by the Covid-19 pandemic

She is also on the board of Twitter and chaired the Vaccine Alliance, Gavi.

In two hours, Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes history as first woman and first black to head the World Trade Organisation(WTO).

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala makes history in 2 hours

US finally backs Okonjo-Iweala for WTO job

The United States of America finally backs Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala to become Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The US Trade Representative’s Office in a statement yesterday 5 February moved out this final hurdle for the Nigerian candidate.

The statement expressed President Joe Biden’s “strong support” for the Nigerian candidate who also holds US citizenship.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala thus emerges as consensus candidate, following the withdrawal yesterday of her remaining rival, South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee.

Here is the full Statement from the Biden Administration:

“The United States takes note of today’s decision by the Republic of Korea’s Trade Minister Yoo Myung-hee to withdraw her candidacy for Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

“The Biden-Harris Administration is pleased to express its strong support for the candidacy of Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala as the next Director General of the WTO. Dr. Okonjo-Iweala brings a wealth of knowledge in economics and international diplomacy from her 25 years with the World Bank and two terms as Nigerian Finance Minister. She is widely respected for her effective leadership and has proven experience managing a large international organization with a diverse membership.

“The Biden-Harris Administration also congratulates Minister Yoo Myung-hee on her strong campaign for this position. She is a trailblazer as the Republic of Korea’s first female trade minister and the first candidate from Korea to advance this far in the Director General selection process. The United States respects her decision to withdraw her candidacy from the Director General race to help facilitate a consensus decision at the WTO.

“It is particularly important to underscore that two highly qualified women made it to the final round of consideration for the position of WTO Director General — the first time that any woman has made it to this stage in the history of the institution.

“The United States stands ready to engage in the next phase of the WTO process for reaching a consensus decision on the WTO Director General. The Biden Administration looks forward to working with a new WTO Director General to find paths forward to achieve necessary substantive and procedural reform of the WTO.”

The imminent emergence of a first female and first black person to head the WTO has tickled the imagination of reform advocates and media worldwide.

South Korea pushes Nigeria closer to WTO hot seat

South Korea’s Trade Minister, Yoo Myung-hee, quits WTO race today and pushes Nigeria, represented by Okonjo-Iweala closer to director-general’s seat.

The exit of South Korea removes one of two hurdles preventing Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala from occupying the WTO driving seat.

It remains to be seen whether new US President, Joe Biden, will remove the final hurdle by endorsing the Nigerian who also holds US citizenship.

BREAKING: US Finally endorses Okonjo-Iweala

Former President Donald Trump had put a spanner in the works by blocking Okonjo-Iweala’s adoption when it became obvious that almost all other member nations back her.

She and Yoo made the final list among a slew of candidates that contested for the World Trade Organisation (WTO) job

The US under Trump said it preferred second finalist, South Korea’s Yoo Myung-hee, effectively blocking Okonjo-Iweala and halting the entire selection process.

But Yoo, South Korea’s trade minister, said today in a concession statement that the leadership tussle has made WTO’s future “uncertain.”

Her statement also indicated tacit support for her former rival.

“South Korea will actively contribute to reaching consensus for the next WTO chief and co-operate with her and participate in the WTO reform process,” she said.

She said the decision was made in consultation with the United States which constitutes the remaining hurdle for Okonjo-Iweala.

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South Korean candidate, Yoo Myung-hee quits race for WTO top job clearing way for Nigeria, represented by Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to move closer to the hot seat

Photo: Yoo Myung-hee, South Korea Trade Minister.