Europe tops US as Nigeria’s capital inflow source …as oil export drops




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The US has been displaced by Europe as the most important source of capital importation into Nigeria, following significant drop in oil exports to the North American giant.
Data analysis carried out by BusinessDay Research and Intelligence Unit (BRIU) capital importation between 2009 and 2012 accumulated from publications of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals that Europe has taken transcendence as a source of capital flows into Nigeria.
This development pulls Nigeria and the US further apart in trade and investment, as imports of Nigerian crude oil by the US continued an earthbound trend in the first quarter (Q1) of this year, with a reduction of 25.1 barrels valued $2.7 billion.
During the period of the analysis, it was discovered that member countries of the European Union (EU) such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Germany, Cyprus, Luxemburg, Sweden and Denmark collectively brought in $19.9 billion or 56 percent of the total capital imported into the country.
The US however trails the EU closely, with US-based investment reaching $8.6 billion during the analysis period. The same was not said in 2009 when out of the $5.3 billion capital imported into Nigeria, $3.3 billion came in from the USA; it was observed that the trend began to change in 2010.
“The fact that capital came in through the London or New York financial markets does not mean that the funds originated from the UK or the US. They are the leading two of the three top financial centres in the world, with transactions originating from the Euro and the Far East Area most likely to be routed through London,” said Ayo Teriba, CEO of Economic Associates.
The ascension of Europe mirrors the trend in the nation’s crude oil destinations. The portion of Nigeria’s crude oil imported by countries in the European Union rose from 17 percent in 2009, reaching 47 percent in December 2013. In contrast, the North America’s (USA) portion of crude oil imported from Nigeria stood at 2 percent by December 2013, down from 47 percent it imported in 2009.
In the breakdown of Nigeria’s GDP, capital importation averaged 3 percent during the period of the analysis. This means is that the nation has to attract $16.3 billion by the end of the year in order to attain the 6.75 percent GDP growth rate projected in the 2014 Appropriation Bill, without being affected by factors.
The NBS figure indicates that $3.9 billion capital was imported into the country in Q1 of 2014, indicating a gap of $12.4 billion still exists. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Nigeria’s oil output to drop by 40,000bpd following Shell facility closure

Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has announced plans to shut down its EA oil field in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria for repair of equipment that was damaged due to bad weather, implying that daily production of over 40,000 barrels is set to be halted.
“Shell is suspending production at its EA Field for repair of Soft Yoke Mooring Platform (SYMP) which connects the Floating Production Storage and offloading vessel”, said SPDC Corporate Media Manager.
Nigeria is expected to lose $4.24 (N678.46 ) daily with the current crude price steady at $106.01 per barrel.
In March this year, shell shut down its 400,000 barrel capacity facility in Forcados oil terminal for 10 weeks due to sabotaged under sea pipeline, costing Africa’s largest economy $40.567 (N6.492 billion) in lost revenue during the period.
The shut down is expected to further derail efforts aimed at boosting oil revenue inflow, as activities including asset vandalism, bunkering and crude theft is said to be costing Nigeria over $2 billion.
Revenue accruing from oil sale took another hit when revealed, this week, that the US – Nigeria’s largest oil trading partner with 40 percent of the country’s crude sale landing in the North American world power – had reduced importation of crude oil from Africa’s largest economy by 25 million barrels in the first quarter of 2014, costing the African nation in excess of $2.5 billion. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Ecobank acquires 96% stake in Mozambican bank

Pan-African banking conglomerate, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), has acquired a 96 percent stake in Banco ProCredit Mozambique, a local credit provider, following the approval from regulatory authorities in Mozambique.
The stake purchased by Ecobank was previously held by ProCredit Holding group and DEON Foundation.
“We are pleased to have concluded this transaction and leaving the Bank in capable hands,” said Alexander Helen, a spokesperson for ProCredit Holding.
The deal allows Ecobank to expand its Southern presence, with the multinational bank set to begin trading the Mozambique exchange.
“Ecobank presence in Mozambique is important as Mozambique is strategically positioned within Southern African Development Community (SADC) as it provides port access to all the member countries that are landlocked” said Albert Essien, Group CEO Ecobank.
Banco ProCredit Mozambique is a financial institution operating under the umbrella of International ProCredit group. It holds more than 67,000 clients through its 14 outlets in Mozambique and is particularly experienced in supporting SMEs, and financing business activities in key economic sectors including agriculture. (VENTURES AFRICA)

African participants can generate $32m from World Cup

Four African countries participating in the 2014 World Cup which started in Brazil on – Cameroon, Nigeria, Algeria and Ghana – have the potential to generate a combined $32 million if they are knocked out in the initial group stages.
This means their underperformance could generate some form of revenue for their respective national football associations.
This is despite the fact that this is not an outcome many Africans are hoping for particularly at a time when many footballers from this continent are doing well in European leagues.
According to FIFA, each of the 16 countries eliminated in the initial group stage, will be paid $8 million in the current World Cup.
However, if each of these African countries up their game and perform much better to advance to the next round of eight teams, each will get paid $9 million even if they are eliminated. This means a combined $36 million could come to Africa.
Additionally, African countries eliminated in the quarter finals will each be paid out $14 million.
In the previous World Cups, African countries have found it hard and tough reach the quarter finals stage and go beyond it. Many believe Africa is still a long way before going beyond this stage and reaching the finals.
About 14 years ago, Pele, one of the greatest soccer players ever to grace the World Cup, predicted that Africa was on the verge of reaching and winning the finals. But 14 years later that has not been achieved yet.
Anyway, in the current World Cup, Fifa has budgeted $576 million in prize money and this amount is 37 percent higher than the one budgeted in 2010 Fifa World Cup held in Africa.
This year’s figures distributed to participating countries show that this current World Cup, like all the others before it, will not improve the lives of ordinary Africans. This was evident in Africa.
However, this World Cup will benefit a couple of the commercial sectors in the African countries that are represented in the current World Cup.
People in these countries are going to spend their hard-earned money for consumption in sport bars and well-known eateries.
Others will buy new TV sets so they can watch their countrymen play in the world’s biggest sports spectacle. This will only benefit that are in these sectors.
But not only citizens of participating countries are going to follow these countries. Africans from all over the continent will be watching and supporting these countries through and through.
This has been corroborated by Ivory Coast and Manchester City midfielder, Yaya Toure in an interview with the Newspaper in the UK recently.
“I represent my country, but I also represent the continent of Africa when I play in Europe,” he said. “That’s why it’s important to try to achieve something big,” he told the , referring to the current World Cup. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Dairy importation cost Swaziland $37m yearly

Swaziland spends more than $37 million on milk imports annually as the agricultural sector still lacks adequate private sector-driven support.
“There is lack of active involvement by the financial services towards funding local farmers as a long-term strategy intended to reduce heavy reliance on imports,” an official of Swaziland Ministry of Agriculture, Robert Thwala said.
Thwala said out of the $37.5 million of imported milk by the southern Africa nation $9.3 million were dairy finished products.
According to him, Swaziland is capable of producing enough to sustain the local food market through partnerships with financial institutions and all stakeholders in the agricultural sector.
Agriculture, forestry and mining account for 13 percent of Swaziland’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Real GDP growth since 2001 has averaged 2.8 percent, nearly 2 percent lower than growth in Southern African Customs Union (SACU) member countries.
Low agricultural productivity, repeated droughts, the devastating effect of HIV/AIDS and an overly large and inefficient government sector are likely contributing factors to the country’s poor economic growth.
With private sector investments, the country will be able to use funds expended on milk imports on improving other sectors of the economy. It is therefore expected that the government will go all out to ensure the private sector gets more involved in its major sectors as it continues to its business environment suitable for direct investment inflow. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Zimbabwe warned against using minerals as security for loans

A World Bank official has warned Zimbabwe against using its minerals as collateral to secure loans, with the debt ridden country currently struggling to meet financial obligations.
Zimbabwe is currently sitting on huge debts and has been struggling to pay its workers. the country’s Finance Minister, Patrick Chinamasa admitted last month that the government coffers are empty.
He indicated that President Robert Mugabe’s administration will put forward its diamonds minerals deposits in Eastern Zimbabwe as security to obtain a loan of over $10 billion from China to finance its pending obligations.
However outgoing senior World Bank country economist for Zimbabwe, Nadia Piffaretti told journalists in the capital, Harare on Wednesday that securitization of minerals is one way of financing things, but it also attracts a lot of risks.
“It’s not an easy solution because you might end up giving away more than you are getting,” said Piffaretti.
Piffaretti added that it would for an unwise decision for a developing country like Zimbabwe to take that route as this might further weaken control of country assets, expected to be managed and enjoyed by future generations.
Zimbabwe, according to her, should be well aware of all costs involved before entering into any loan agreement to ensure its interest is protected. Negotiations should therefore focus on penalties and interest rates and must have a clear picture of the intricacies. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Sawiris sets up investment firm to support growth in Egypt

Egyptian billionaire, Naseef Sawiris has set up a private investment company, Nile Holding Investments (NHI), that will focus on the North African country for investment opportunities.
“I am confident that Egypt is positioned to achieve exceptional economic growth in the years to come, attracting direct investments in key sectors which continue to offer substantial investment opportunities,” said Sawiris in a statement.
Already, the firm has put LE400 million ($56 million) in the healthcare sector, said Sawiris, who expressed confidence that despite the challenges Egypt has faced in recent times, the country is positioned for an unprecedented economic growth in the coming years by “attracting direct investments in key sectors which continue to offer substantial investment opportunities.”
The billionaire also revealed NHI’s initiative of contributing 25 percent to a $300 million capital strategic alliance called Duet-CIC, which exists between UK-based alternative asset management, Duet Group, and Egyptian private equity firm, CI-Capital.
Sawiris however said there will be no conflict in the activities of Duet-CIC and that of family conglomerate, Orascom group. Rather he expressed belief that the partnership formed by the two investment firms will build on the growth prospects a rejuvenated investment environment has presented the Arab nation under “stable leadership”.
Rekindled romance?
The wealthy family had last year announced plans to invest massively in Egypt, following the ouster of former president Mohammed Morsi.
“My family and myself are going to be investing in Egypt like never before – any new projects where we can invest, any new factories that we can , any new initiatives that will provide jobs for the young people of Egypt,” Naguib Sawiris, who runs the family’s Orascom Telecom, Media and Technology.
NHI has investors from the Arab Gulf, Europe and the United States, who will help in identifying growth opportunities in Egypt, a country now its recovery phase, as reserves went down to a critical level last year and budget deficit rose to 14 percent of GDP.
Orascom Group’s operations in Egypt is key in the country’s economy, with the conglomerate employing over 100,000 Egyptians, making it one of the biggest private sector employers in the North African country. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

BCX acquires 30% stake in AppZone

Months after acquiring document management firm, Panabiz Nigeria, JSE-listed Business Connexion Group (BCX) has strengthened its hold in Nigeria by acquiring 30 percent of financial IT service provider, AppZone Limited to enable it provide cloud-based solutions to the monetary sector.
This deal was announced a day before the death of Business Connexion CEO, Leetile Benjamin Mophatlane, due to a heart attack on Wednesday afternoon prior to a meeting on the company’s $260 million takeover by Telkom.
Although the financial details of the AppZone deal was not revealed, the transaction will enable Business Connexion expands its reach in Africa’s largest economy as well as expand its cloud strategy across the African market.
The purchase of a major stake in AppZone will enable the company “seize the financial services opportunities within Nigeria and ultimately across Africa,” says Matthew Blewett, Chief Operating Officer (COO) at Business Connexion.
BCX hopes to dominate the African online payments market. It has identified Kenya and Nigeria –two regional economic giant – as key growth markets. It is also expecting to rake in more acquisition in Ghana whose capital city, Accra was ranked the highest inclusive growth city on the MasterCard African Cities Growth Index (ACGI).
These acquisitions and expansion projects are expected to boost the company’s global revenues by 30 percent in the coming years.
AppZone, a company established to promote financial inclusion among the masses, installs technology solutions to financial institution which enables end-users to access financial services through a wide range of connected electronic devices.
One of its notable products is the BankOne, a cloud-based service which caters for financial and transaction processing for Microfinance . (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Nigeria opts for ‘guided liquidation’  for NITEL, MTEL

After several failed attempts at privatizing national telecom , Nigerian telecommunication Limited (NITEL) and Nigerian Mobile Telecommunication Limited (MTEL), the West African country has opted for a “guided liquidation” of the ’ non-core assets to settle debts owed to stakeholders.
Nigeria Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) – the organisation that supervises sale of national assets – announced that the government has appointed liquidators to oversee the bidding process for assets of both .
The BPE wants bidders with five years of telecom experience and a net worth of at least $200 million. Bids are expected to flow in before the end of June and the assets would be handed over to the preferred bidder in December as stated in a public note.
Nigeria decided to liquidate Nitel in March after attempts to privatize the companies proved unsuccessful.
Privatization of NITEL began as far back as 2001 when the national telecom firm was put up for sale. Ms International London Limited (ILL) emerged the preferred bidder for $1.317 billion but failed to meet the payment deadline. In 2003, Pentascope of Netherlands was contracted by the federal government to manage and reposition NITEL for another round of privatization process which also failed.
In 2006, Transcorp was well placed to acquire the company for $500 million after been victorious in the bidding rounds. The consortium however failed to fulfil its financial obligation .
In February 2010, New Generation Consortium, made up of Nigeria’s GiCell Wireless Limited, China Unicom of Hong Kong and Minerva Group of Dubai was lined up to secure the company for $2.5 billion but the deal also failed to materialize. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Kenya discourages plastic bag usage by charging shoppers

Kenya is joining other environmentally friendly countries like Wales to discourage the use of environmentally unfriendly materials, as it is set to introduce a Bill that will see shoppers pay a fee for carrying goods with plastic bags.
“No retailer shall available to consumers any plastic carry bag free of charge. (This is to) encourage their re-use and minimising plastic waste generation,” reads the Bill.
Charges for plastic bags, which will be set by the county, will depend on quality and size. Money made from this will go to the county and environmental organisations collecting and disposing plastic bags.
Details of the Bill shows that no retailer would be left out as it captures even corner shops and grocery shops.
“My Bill is inclusive and will include even mama mbogas,” Business Daily quoted minority leader and sponsor of the Bill, Mr Abdi Hassan, as saying.
He however said amendments will be made once the Bill becomes law as some members of the parliament wants a total ban to be placed on plastic bag use.
The Bill is aimed at reducing polythene plastic bags use in Kenya, the latest attempt of such by the East African country and the region.
According to the Bill, consumers will be encouraged to use other packaging means if they have to pay for using plastic bags, or reuse the plastic bags they already have.
Plastic bags with 30 microns thickness and above were proposed for use, allowing a minimum size of 8×2 inches. This means an elimination of smaller plastic bags.
Kenya will be banking on the Bill, if passed into law, to help reduce pollution from polythene, which has choked rivers and suburbs in East Africa’s largest economy.
Apart from the challenge of littering, animals can choke to death on plastic bags, mistaking them for food, particularly when they carry food residues or the movement of water animates them. Animals that swallow plastic bags may starve to death or die from infection as they may not be able to digest real food.
With figures from Ireland and Wales showing an 80 percent reduction in plastic use after taxes were imposed, Kenya may be on the right part towards minimizing environmental risk.
Besides, the country’s large wildlife reserve plays a major role in its tourism, a sector that contributes largely to Nairobi’s economy – tourism dominates the services sector, which contributes 61 percent to GDP. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Nigeria loses $2.7bn with drop in US oil exports

Nigeria’s crude oil to the US experienced a shortfall of 25.1 million barrels in the first quarter of this year, a significant drop from last year’s figures of 30.7 million barrels.
Export to the US – arguably the largest importer of Nigerian crude, accounting for 40 percent of the country’s total export – dropped dramatically to 5.6 million barrels in Q1 this year, costing the country $2.7 billion with crude price lingering at $110 per barrel, BusinessDay reported.
Oil revenue has been on a decreasing trend in recent times, largely owing to security and economic challenges domestically including oil theft, sales, vandalism and other activities.
There has been daily decrease of 1 million barrels from 2004 to 2007, according to Osam Iyahen, Vice President of Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).
He also added that the Nigeria crude oil market will be at risk when the Libyan and the Iranian suppliers return to the market.
In a bid to counter this decline and further diversify its export portfolio, Wumi Iledare, the president of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE), advised the country to explore expanding business relations with China – America’s closest competitor for oil imports – as well develop its downstream and mainstream of the oil sector.
Nigeria’s current daily production stands at 2.5 million barrels, making it the largest African producer and 6th largest globally. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

MTN Uganda targets 12% revenue growth in 2014

MTN Uganda, a division of Africa’s telecoms giant MTN Group, expects its revenue to grow by 10 to 12 percent this year, uplifted by its data businesses and mobile money, the company’s chief Executive, Mazen Mroue disclosed on .
With a population of about 34.5 million people, Uganda has seven telecom firms serving its populace as recorded by the industry regulator, Uganda Communications Commission. The economy, now growing at about 6 percent a year, has expanded strongly in the past decade.
The leading provider, MTN Uganda, commands an estimate of 55 percent of the market and as such, anticipates its mobile subscribers increases to 10 million at the end of 2014 as against the 9.5 million recorded in March.
“In 2014, we have an aggressive plan … to increase our 3G and 4G sites coverage across the country to be able to continue accommodating the increased demand (for) access.” Mroue said.
Mazen Mroue told Reuters that the Ugandan unit planned to spend $72.4 million in 2014 to expand its high-speed infrastructure, underpinning its focus on the data market.
MTN Uganda has in prospect, to expand the number of data subscribers from an estimated 2.6million last year, to 3 million by the end of 2014.
Research has shown that mobile penetration in the Ugandan market stands at about 44 percent and as such, offers room for mobile providers to expand rapidly, although competition has eroded margins since 2010 and encouraged some players to sell up.
MTN Uganda’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU), a key industry standard, dropped from $6dollars to about $3.5 to $4 dollars since competition picked up.
“The market could not support more than three operators. This market is quite good … to accommodate two operators,” he said. “More than three (and) it will be a complete loss.” (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Comair appoints new financial director

Johannesburg listed carrier, Comair, on Tuesday said it had appointed Kirsten King as its new financial director effective June 9 this year.
King replaces the firm’s former financial director, Yasas Sri-Chandana, who relocated to Australia at the beginning of this year.
Erik Venter, the current Comair CEO, has been acting as financial director since Sri-Chandana’s move to Australia, while the board searched for a well-qualified individual for the position.
Throughout her time with Comair, King gained exposure to the problems faced by the industry and to “managing the accounting function in the group,” Comair said.
In the six months ended December 31 last year, Comair revenues soared 23 percent on the back of a 15 percent lift in capacity arising from the substitution of Boeing 737-300s with the larger 800s.
The four new Boeing 737-800s that were launched into the kulula.com fleet during the comparative period, contributed for the full six months of the first half of the current financial year.
In September 2013 Comair also implemented its first Boeing 737-800 into the British Airways fleet. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Taxi users to get free wi-fi in South Africa

Taxi users in South Africa will be able to use the for free while commuting as the country’s National Taxi Council (SANTACO) intends to launch free Wi-Fi service into its transport systems across the country today.
Passengers can access the Wi-Fi service by registering their devices and will be subsequently offered a limited quota of megabytes. They can however receive additional megabytes if they interact with adverts.
SANTACO will hope this additional service lures motorists and private vehicle users back into the taxi system. This is because the service is funded through an advertising model.
The introduction of the wi-fi in SANTACO taxis will be a value- added service and commuters do not have to worry about increase in transport fares, said Nkululeko Buthelezi, CEO of SANTACO.
“I can assure you that it won’t cost the consumer extra. If you walk into a taxi rank and you have access to WiFi, they will be able to look for jobs and will be able to interact with their friends on a social basis,” he said in an interview with Talk Radio 702.
Budding entrepreneurs with IT businesses can also leverage on this opportunities by producing unique apps that can help about 50 million South Africa commuters.
SANTACO is launching this initiative in partnership with Telkom Mobile, who will provide the internet access and Wi-Taxi South Africa who will help to supervise the infrastructure.
Telkom, had earlier partnered to supply wi-fi internet service to a fleet of taxis (about 150 taxis) in three key South African cities – Gauteng, Cape Town and Durban about 2 years ago.
The roll out of the wi-fi services will be a gradual process and it would take around 2-3 years to be fully executed across the country with at least 5,000 cabs installed with wi-fi services each month. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Centum secures approval to stop sale of Rae Vipingo

Kenya High Court judge Weldon Korir, has accepted the application filed by Kenyan-based Centum Investment Company, seeking to stop the takeover of Rae Vipingo by its majority shareholders REA Trading Ltd.
Rae Trading Limited, is the investment Vehicle of two brothers who have 57.04 percent stake in Rae Vipingo, one of the Largest Sisal plantation firm in Africa located in Kenya.
The Capital Market Authority (CMA) Kenya, had earlier stated that a proposed takeover of the Sisal Plantation firm would be completed by June end.
Justice Korir said CMA had continued with the takeover process even after the appeal had been filed, which he said is in contravention of clear provision of the law.
He noted that, although it is in the interest of the shareholders and the bidders that the takeover process be completed within the statutory time frame, the process should have been put on hold once an appeal was lodged.
Rea Vipingo controls two sisal estates in Kenya which produces about 12,000 metric tons of Fibre yearly. The sisal is used to make rope and dartboards.
The Kenya firm also owns three estates in , producing a combined 7,500 tons of Fibre annually, according to information on the company’s website. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Analysts want Nigeria’s cashless policy extended to currency transactions

Market analysts have suggested that the cashless policy which has been introduced to 7 states in Nigeria, should be extended to transactions involving currency, as that will aid in the development of the country’s economy and maintain financial stability.
The policy, which was flagged off in Lagos – Nigeria’s commercial hub – at the start of 2012, is aimed at reducing the high usage of cash, minimize the cost of cash management and encourage the use of electronic payment channels by the Central bank of Nigeria (CBN).
The new governor of the CBN, Godwin Emefiele who, at his inaugural briefing early this month, said that the CBN hoped to better align the cashless policy, and analysts have now suggested that extending the policy to transactions involving foreign currencies would allow the operations of the CBN to be transparent and will also enhance data integrity, local newspaper BusinessDay reported.
An analyst at Standard Chartered Bank, London, Razia Khan, believes that a move in the direction of extending the cashless policy would yield positive results.
“The other equally important benefit, of course, is that it boosts transparency and creates an audit trail. Discouraging the use of cash may not completely stamp out payments of an nature, but it can help to minimise such payments,” said Khan.
Also, an Energy analyst, Friday Ameh referring to the new CBN governor, noted that the recent trend of dollarizing the economy needed to be looked into. (VENTURES AFRICA)

Bresson Energy Partners Aggreko On 250MW Power Project In Nigeria

Aggreko plc, world’s largest temporary power generation company, and Bresson AS Nigeria Limited, pioneer energy firm, have signed an agreement to reinforce and boost power generation in Nigeria by 250MW.
The agreement, in the form of an MoU, was signed in Paris, France, By Aggreko Regional Director, Mr. Christopher Jacquin and Bresson AS Chairman and , Mr. Gbenga Olawepo.
Power facilities will be cited in industrial clusters across the country which is expected to enhance power generation capabilities within 9 months.
In line with Nigeria’s plan to boost electricity supply, Mr. Olawepo said that the strategic goal of Bresson was to deliver affordable, cleaner and efficient energy. According to him, the company plans to provide innovative energy services using environmentally friendly technologies tailored to meet the needs of customers and help people become energy sufficient.
This marks another milestone in the involvement of the private sector in power supply enhancement.
Bresson AS already owns Magboro 90MW power project in Ogun State, Western Nigeria and hopes to commission the plant, configured on 2GE LM 6000, in the coming months. The plant will immediately add 20MW to the country’s national grid while providing sustainable energy for the local communities.
“Bresson is determined to further add a total of 500MW within the next 12 months to its daily generation capacity through emergency power generation, particularly in strategic centers in order to arrest acute power shortages,” he added.
Nigeria currently produces between 2000MW to 4000MW, despite an installed capacity that exceeds 6000MW. The country is determined to raise current output and has set sights on an improved target of 40,000MW by 2020. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Industrial action costs South African platinum producers $2.5bn

South Africa’s strike-hit platinum producers, Lonmin, Implats and Amplats, on Tuesday said they have lost total earnings worth R21.7 billion ($2.5bn) since the platinum wage strike started in late January this year.
The firms also admitted that workers had lost R9.6 billion ($895.5 million) in wages during the period of the strike.
The platinum producers disclosed this as talks with the militant Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) hit yet another deadlock on Monday this week.
This forced the minister of mineral resources, Ngoako Ramathlodi, to pull out of his mediation role in the strike as he had threatened at the weekend.
At the weekend, Ramathlodi told news agency, Sapa: “I am pulling out on Monday if they do not find each other. “If they do not find each other I wish them and South Africa luck.”
His decision to withdraw his services as a mediator on Monday has ruined expectations that the strike could wind-up soon. His withdrawal from his role has raised the spectre of yet another negative economic growth in the second quarter.
South Africa’s economy sagged 0.6 percent in the first quarter of this year. If this strike continues, could hit South Africa’s economy. This is in view of the fact that two quarters of negative growth could lead to a fully-fledged economic .
The five-month labour action has brought mines that generally represent 40 percent of the world’s platinum production to a standstill during the period of the strike.
Around 70,000 members of AMCU went on strike in January this year, demanding that their basic salary be raised to R12,500 (about $1,200) a month. (VENTURES AFRICA)

 

Joule Africa to build 100mw plant in Cameroon

International energy developer, Joule Africa has signed an agreement with Cameroon to build 100MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) facilities in up to five different sites close to large-scale solar farms in the country.
The agreement, which was signed at the maiden UK-Cameroon Trade and Investment Forum in London, will see Joule Africa partner with local company Bethel Industrievertretung (BIIL) and the government of Cameroon to set up the facilities in strategic parts of the country, if possible the northern part where solar irradiance are higher.
The project is expected to gulp around $200 million in capital investment and will increase energy supply by 15 percent as well as strengthen the country’s commitment to the use of renewable energy.
The facilities will be developed in phases, with full operation predicted to commence by 2017 . The first commissioning however, is scheduled for 2015.
“The next few months will be devoted to site selection, after which we will conduct detailed feasibility studies, with the phased construction process due to begin during the first half of 2015,” Joule Africa President, Mark Green explained.
Joule Africa is currently developing a 607MW Kpep hydroelectric project in the West African nation. The project is said to cost almost $1 billion. (VENTURES AFRICA)