News & Events


Jun 2014

Nigerian economy ‘significant,’ says Utomi

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Pat Utomi

Pat Utomi

FORMER presidential aspirant and Director of Lagos Business School, Prof. Pat Utomi, is optimistic about the Nigeria’s economy despite the odds, stating: “There is no question about the fact that ours is a significant economy, it does not mean that everything is well with it, but it has a great prospect.”

Utomi, who spoke on Monday in Calabar after chairing an economic summit organized by the University of Calabar Students’ Union, emphasized the need for managers of the nation’s economy to have a clear national approach towards this growth phase, as doing otherwise might foreclose an opportunity to grow it further.

He noted: “We are in a growth phase, it is important to be able to have a clear national strategy to approach this growth phase, otherwise we would find that the windows of opportunity might close before us.”

Utomi advised undergraduates to always think outside the box, noting that education is not all about certification but rather an opportunity to broaden the human mind. To that end, he charged students to be “creative, passionate and committed while doing the right things at all times.”

Meanwhile, in his keynote address at the summit tagged, “Cross River Beyond Oil: New Economic Realities and Youth Inclusion,” a governorship aspirant in the state, Mr. Emmanuel Ibeshi, advocated job creation policy in the state.

This, he said, would not only check the growing rate of unemployment among graduates but as well encourage skills acquisition. The former member of the House of Representatives, who tied the alarming rate of unemployment among graduates to non-professional courses, also called for a policy focusing on professional retraining.

He implored graduates to take advantage of several opportunities that abound in agriculture and tourism, among others, and canvassed scholarship programmes that would help develop graduates in other profitable fields of specialization.

The summit, according to the SUG President, Comrade Bassey Eka, advocates a shift of paradigm from oil as the nation’s most critical economic resource to setting agenda for creative alternatives.


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Jun 2014

Nigeria, Pakistan sign bilateral agreement, target $1bn trade volume

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Nigeria and Pakistan have signed a number of mutual agreements to boost bilateral trade which is expected to rise from less than $100 million to $1 billion within the next few years.

The deals were reached following bilateral talks on Tuesday at the State House, Abuja between Jonathan and President of Pakistan, Maroon Hussain, who is on a three-day state visit to Nigeria.

The bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding meant to deepen ties between Nigeria and Pakistan cover agricultural development, industrial cooperation, cultural exchanges and trade/chambers of commerce, narcotics, anti-terrorism/security, poverty reduction and human capacity development.

Nigeria's President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan

Briefing the press after the meeting with the Pakistani leader, Jonathan noted that despite the good relations between Nigeria and Pakistan, the volume of trade had remained low at less than $100 million.

He express his conviction that with faithful implementation of the bilateral agreements reached now, the trade volume would spike in the next few years to no less than $1 billion.

The President described Hussain’s visit as important given the fact that both countries are both suffering the scourge of terror attacks, and with Nigerian government battling to rescue young schoolgirls recently abducted by terrorists in Chibok, Borno state.

In his remarks, the Pakistani President underscored the need to institutionalise existing economic partnership, air services agreement and exchange of prisoners, in addition to the agreements on oil and gas, education, dairy/agricultural and industrial development.

Hussain disclosed that he would open a Pakistan Commercial Station in Lagos to give fillip to the cooperation efforts, which would extend to enhancing counter-terrorism measures of both countries.

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May 2014

Investors show growing interest in Nigeria’s rebased economy

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The recent rebasing of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP), which makes Nigeria the largest economy in Africa and 26th in the world, has generated increased interest in trade in the country, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has disclosed.

“We have been receiving requests for participation from both regular and new foreign exhibitors since the rebasing outcome was made public. The exhibitors expressed the desire to take advantage of the benefits offered by Africa’s biggest economy,’’ said Michael Olawale-Cole, vice president of the chamber and chairman, Trade Promotion Board, organiser of the Lagos trade fair.

Nigeria’s GDP was recently rebased by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), an exercise that increased GDP to $510 billion, from previous $263 billion. So far, there has not been official data on the number of recent investments or new entrants, but analysts say there will likely be new investments.

Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga, Nigeria's Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

Olusegun Olutoyin Aganga, Nigeria’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment

Francisco Ferreira, World Bank chief economist, African region, said the rebasing of Nigerian economy would attract more investors into the country, stressing it had exposed sectors where Nigeria’s economy recorded dynamic growth. Analysts see further investments coming to manufacturing, agriculture, construction and insurance, among others.

On his part, Olawale-Cole said that currently investors were calling and were eager to enter into business relationship with prospective local partners.

“This becomes particularly germane with the reinforcement of the new status of Nigeria by her classification by Ernst and Young as one of the top three economies in Africa to invest in,” he affirmed, disclosing that everything was being put in place to ensure a successful outing.

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