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ECONOMY

What U.S. will do to counter Chinese loans to Africa — Tillerson

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The United States is developing mechanisms in the form of ‘Public Private Partnerships (PPP)’ for infrastructure development as alternatives to Chinese loans for African nations, an American official said Monday.

The United States Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, disclosed this when speaking at a press conference after a closed-door meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in his office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

When responding a question on alternatives to Chinese loans, he said if the Nigerian government could create the right conditions around infrastructural investments, it could access loans from the U.S.

“There are also great potentials for public-private sector co-investing in infrastructure and we are developing mechanisms and the President (Donald Trump) has charged some of his executive staff back home to begin to develop alternative financing mechanisms that will also create alternative opportunities to what China is offering,” he said.

Mr. Tillerson said the U.S. government does not seek to stop funds flowing into countries that need investments but to encourage countries borrowing to be cautious.

“I think it is important to clarify that we do not seek to stop Chinese investments from flowing to countries that need those investments but what we are cautioning countries to do is to look carefully at the implications of the level of debts, the terms of the debts, and whether the arrangements around the local financing are in fact creating local jobs and local capacity or are the projects being carried out by foreign labour being brought to your country?

“Is the structure of the financing such that you will always be in control of your infrastructure? Are there mechanism to deal with the faults so that you do not lose ownership of your own assets? These are national assets whether there are ports, railways, or major highways.

“We have seen this occur in other countries that were not so careful and as a result they got themselves in a situation where they awfully lost control of their infrastructure, lost the ownership and the operation of it.

“And that is the precaution that we talking about. That there are international rules and norms and financial structure to deal with unforeseen circumstances and I think we are just cautioning countries to look carefully.”

The secretary of state, before embarking on the African tour had earlier warned African countries to be wary of the Chinese government and its loan facilities .

China has since replied the U.S ., saying it hopes other countries can emulate China’s role in helping Africa develop.

The Americans and Chinese have over the years, been intense rivals in the unending search for durable investments in the business terrain of the African continent.

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ECONOMY

Nigeria signs 5,660km gas pipeline agreement with Morocco

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Nigeria has signed an agreement with Morocco for the construction of a 5,660km gas pipeline.
The agreement was signed on Sunday by President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently on a working visit to the North African country, and Mohammed VI, king of Morocco.
Earlier in December 2016, both countries agreed on the pipeline and carried out feasibility studies.
“For economic, political, legal and security reasons, the choice was made on a combined onshore and offshore route,” Morocco’s national office of hydrocarbons and mines (ONHYM) and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said in a joint declaration.
“The pipeline will be 5,660 kilometres (3,516.96 miles) long and its CAPEX has been defined,” the declaration said, adding that construction will last 25 years.
Both countries say they will launch a front-end engineering design (Feed) to involve countries that will be crossed by the pipeline and to determine the amount of gas available for export to Europe.
According to the declaration, funding for the project will come from development banks.
The project is expected to help West African countries meet their energy needs and boost Nigeria’s export potential to Europe.
At the same event, Uche Orji, managing director of Nigeria Sovereign Wealth Authority, and Mostafa Terrab, the CEO of the Management of Phosphate in Morocco, to build a plant for the production of ammonia and derivatives.

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ECONOMY C’River residents panic as multiple kerosene explosions wreak havoc

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CALABAR- SERIES of kerosene explosions in Cross River Sate in recent weeks have caused indescribable disaster, leaving five persons dead and several others battling for their dear lives at health institutions in the state.

Nine of the victims are lying critically ill at the General Hospital, Calabar and four are at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, both in Calabar, the state capital.

Family of 4, others perish

In one of the tragic incidents, a family of four, Mrs. Nseobong Uduak (mother), Miracle 10, Silas 3 and a two-month old baby, whose name could not be ascertained were seriously burnt, leading to their death.

Ogolo Eke, a 21-year-old Microbiology student of the Cross River State University of Technology, who was rushed to private hospital for burns suffered on her face and chest in an explosion, could not make it. Hardly a week passes without two or more cases of kerosene explosions in Calabar and other areas of the state caused chiefly by adulterated kerosene. The two-bedroom apartment occupied by Mrs. Uduak and her family was also razed and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Rachael Akpan, who witnessed the incident that razed Uduak’s rented apartment, blamed it on adulterated kerosene, which ignited as one of the deceased’s children, Miracle, was about filling the lantern with kerosene.

How my husband was burnt – Wife
In another incident, Emane, wife of Michael Eze, who also lives at 8 Miles, Calabar, asserted: “I bought the kerosene at a petrol station and had been using it until penultimate Sunday morning. I used the kerosene last in February to cook beans, but at about 5.00 am on Sunday, last week, the kerosene in our lamp ran out and my husband refilled it with the kerosene and when he tried to light it again, an explosion occurred. He was caught in the fire that resulted from the explosion.”

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ECONOMY

C’River residents panic as multiple kerosene explosions wreak havoc

Published

on

CALABAR- SERIES of kerosene explosions in Cross River Sate in recent weeks have caused indescribable disaster, leaving five persons dead and several others battling for their dear lives at health institutions in the state.

Nine of the victims are lying critically ill at the General Hospital, Calabar and four are at the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH, both in Calabar, the state capital.

Family of 4, others perish

In one of the tragic incidents, a family of four, Mrs. Nseobong Uduak (mother), Miracle 10, Silas 3 and a two-month old baby, whose name could not be ascertained were seriously burnt, leading to their death.

Ogolo Eke, a 21-year-old Microbiology student of the Cross River State University of Technology, who was rushed to private hospital for burns suffered on her face and chest in an explosion, could not make it. Hardly a week passes without two or more cases of kerosene explosions in Calabar and other areas of the state caused chiefly by adulterated kerosene. The two-bedroom apartment occupied by Mrs. Uduak and her family was also razed and property worth millions of naira destroyed. Rachael Akpan, who witnessed the incident that razed Uduak’s rented apartment, blamed it on adulterated kerosene, which ignited as one of the deceased’s children, Miracle, was about filling the lantern with kerosene.

How my husband was burnt – Wife
In another incident, Emane, wife of Michael Eze, who also lives at 8 Miles, Calabar, asserted: “I bought the kerosene at a petrol station and had been using it until penultimate Sunday morning. I used the kerosene last in February to cook beans, but at about 5.00 am on Sunday, last week, the kerosene in our lamp ran out and my husband refilled it with the kerosene and when he tried to light it again, an explosion occurred. He was caught in the fire that resulted from the explosion.”

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