China invites Nigerian students to global IT contest


The China Association of Science and Technology has reached out to three secondary school students to represent Nigeria at the upcoming World Adolescent Robotics Competition in China.

The students Tawakalitu Giwa, Oluwaseun Omotayo and Ayomide Adetunji were members of Team Nigeria to the First Global Robotic Olympics in Washington DC, United States (US.) last year, sponsored by Aramex and Doculand Nigeria.

The students were picked based on their outstanding performance at the First Global Robotic Olympics where Nigeria placed 25th out of the 163 teams from 157 countries, emerging third of the 41 African countries in attendance.

Similarly, five students will be representing Nigeria at the next First Global Robotic Olympics coming up in Mexico City this  month.

Founded by philanthropic inventor Dean Kamen to inspire a passion for science and technology leadership and innovation among the world’s more than two billion youths, FIRST Global provides the framework for an Olympics-style robotics event that drives home the importance of obtaining the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) skills needed by future leaders to overcome the greatest challenges facing our world – today and tomorrow.

National Coordinator of the programme Mrs. Remi Willoughby, CEO, Roboglobal Educational Consulting said: “Without any doubt, Nigeria is slowly but gradually establishing herself on the map of technology developed nations. This may not be presently evident, however, it is an indication that progress is being made.”

According to her, “we have the right talents to compete successfully on the global stage and move Nigeria to a technology advanced nation, but we need the right support and encouragement and to do this, we need to quickly address the evident deficit in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in our educational system.”

Aramex  and Doculand Nigeria  Managing Director and co-sponsor of the First Global Project in Nigeria, Faisal Jarmakani said: “These children are building the foundation blocks for a technology advanced nation and in the next few years will become global icons paving the way for other children to follow. If they keep getting the right support and encouragement, without any doubt, we will soon join other countries of the world where science and technology have become the backbone of their economic development.”

South African rand falls after China manufacturing growth declines




South Africa’s currency, Rand weakened on Tuesday, along with most emerging- market currencies, as slowing growth in Chinese manufacturing sector re-ignited fears about the impact of a trade dispute between China and the United States.

The rand was 0.23 percent weaker at 13.1850 per dollar compared with a close of 13.1550 in New York.

Data showed on Tuesday that growth in Chinese manufacturing slowed more than expected in July, as the worsening trade dispute with the United States and weaker domestic demand weighed on factory activity.

China, a major source of foreign earnings for commodity exporters like South Africa, is engaged in a tariff war with the United States, which earlier this month imposed tariffs on $34 billion of Chinese imports.

Bonds were also weaker, with yield on the benchmark debt due in 2026, adding 0.5 basis points to 8.595 percent.

Stocks opened weaker, with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange’s Top-40 index down 0.28 percent to 51,805 points.

Earlier, South Africa’s statistics office on Tuesday said that the country’s unemployment rate rose to 27.2 percent of the labour force in the second quarter from 26.7 percent in the first quarter.

Abia Secures Investors for Enyimba Economic City



Investors are now ready to stake their funds in the Enyimba Economic City having certified the viability of the project designed to create a huge industrial zone on a 9, 800 hectares of land straddling Ukwa East, Ukwa West and Ugwunagbo local governments, the Abia State government has disclosed.

Both Abia state government and the federal government have joined hands to create the enabling environment for the take-off of the industrial project, which is expected to help propel the industrialisation of the South-east zone and the country in general.

A member of the Abia State Economic Enhancement Team, Mr. Chinenye Nwaogu told journalists in Umuahia that a Chinese conglomerate, the Ruyi Group has agreed to invest $2.5 billion in the project.

He said that the memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with the Ruyi Group, representatives of Abia government and the federal government at a ceremony in China recently.

“Ruyi is coming with its subsidiaries of over 20 companies,” Nwaogu said, adding that with the coming of the Chinese industrial giant, many other big investors now have the needed confidence to key into the Enyimba Economic City project.

Aside from the establishment of a chain of industries, including a big textile industry, Ruyi Group has also planned to invest in the power sector to provide stable power supply to the Enyimba Economic City.

According to Nwaogu, Ruyi Group has earmarked $12.5 million for investment in the Geometric Power Limited, which has been licensed to generate and distribute electricity to the commercial city of Aba to enhance the growth of the SMEs the city is noted for.

Though the federal and Abia state governments are excited about the project and have been facilitating its take-off with the issuing of appropriate licences to investors and enacting the enabling laws, respectively, the investors are in the private sector with Crown Realities having the controlling shares.

“We have given so many free hands to private sector to drive this project,” he said, adding that millions of jobs would spring up from the Enyimba Economic City project when it comes on stream.

Nwaogu, said the controlling shares are held by Crown Realities, which has already invested $1.3 billion into the industrial project.

On the compensation for the communities that donated their lands for the project, the governor’s special adviser said the 30 communities have been taken care of by the investors, explaining that part of the compensation was that they would be made part owners of the project.

Abia state commissioner for information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu said the state government was committed to the realisation of the Enyimba Economic City project, describing it as an economic legacy that would be beneficial to the present and future generations of Abians.

“This is the best thing that will happen to Nigeria in terms of industrialisation,” he enthused.

Report: Nigeria to Benefit from Trade War





President Donald Trump’s trade protectionist measures will ultimately benefit Nigeria, as escalating global trade tensions are expected to give additional support to Brent Crude prices, a report has stated.

The latest round of trade wars saw the US imposing tariffs on Chinese imports worth US$34 billion, with the Chinese government responding by imposing retaliatory tariffs on US imports of a similar amount.
President Trump had also threatened to impose tariffs on additional US$200 billion worth of Chinese imports and there could be counter measures by China if Trump make good on his threat.

But analysts at Lagos-based CSL Stockbrokers Limited, believe that, “heightening US-China tensions could have far-reaching implications on global energy markets.”
They added, “Indeed, considering China’s position as US’s second largest crude importer, retaliatory tariffs on US oil imports becomes more likely should the US continue to raise tariffs on Chinese imports.

“This would see Chinese refiners seeking to source a higher proportion of their inputs from non-US crude suppliers such as those from Russia and Saudi Arabia.
“In effect, we could see Brent Crude’s (global oil price benchmark) premium over West Texas Intermediate (WTI; US price benchmark) widen, with Brent breaking past US$80/bbl resistance levels,” they stated.

Meanwhile, in a separate report on their macroeconomic outlook, analysts at the investment bank noted that rising commodity prices would continue to benefit commodity exporters such as Russia, Brazil and Nigeria, will help to drive emerging markets growth.
They anticipated that oil prices were likely to remain in the US$70-75/bbl range over the remainder of the year.
“Although the OPEC/Russia production agreement may well be unwound before the end of the year, geopolitical risks (deteriorating US-Iran relations in particular) and robust demand from the US and EMs will keep prices supported.

“Our main views on FX and fixed income from the start of the year have played out, with depreciatory pressures on forex building and yields on treasury instruments declining, particularly at the short end of the curve.
“Looking ahead, we believe the CBN will have the willingness and the ability to hold the NAFEX rate at its current levels, despite fundamental and valuation depreciatory pressures.

“We hold a neutral view on fixed income from a duration perspective but believe that carry trade will remain attractive for foreign investors amid currency stability,” they added.
CSL Stockbrokers Limited maintained its 2018 real Gross Domestic Product growth forecast of three per cent despite the relatively disappointing first quarter 2018 data that was released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

“At this stage, we keep our baseline assumption at an average of two millionbpd in 2018 despite recent disruptions to production. A higher oil price environment will boost the sector and we forecast oil prices are likely to remain in the US$70-75/bbl range over the remainder of the year.
“Higher oil prices and adjustments to planned spending in the approved budget have led us to revise down our estimate for the budget deficit to N2.4 trillion from the N2.7 trillion that we expected at the start of the year.

“We retain the view that the authorities will rely more heavily on domestic markets for budget financing than the budget suggests.
“Inflation, which has declined more rapidly than we were expecting, is close to bottoming and we expect that the CBN will reduce the monetary policy rate by 100 basis points monetary policy rate to 13 per cent during the second half of the year,” it added.

They, noted however, that the CBN may not make any rate cuts given its concerns about inflationary pressures from fiscal spending.
“The current account surplus returned to near pre-oil crash levels in first quarter 2018 although this was largely due to weak import demand as opposed to a recovery in oil exports.

“We expect the surplus to decrease during the second half of the year as oil export revenues remain around current levels while import demand increases.
“We continue to expect investment inflows to slow relative to late 2017 and early 2018 and, in conjunction with a smaller current account surplus, this will lead to reserves plateauing or even declining slightly during the second half of the year.

Nigeria partners with China on Hydropower Project



The project will among others, create a synthesis of Reverse Engineering of latest Chinese Small hydropower technologies adaptable to Nigeria.


Nigeria and the People’s Republic of China are partnering on hydropower project through the 2018 training courses on construction and management of water conservation.

Nigeria’s Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonna Onu says the gap in energy generation and water conservation have been identified for low industrial activities, unemployment, urban and rural migration in Nigeria.

The Minister disclosed this while declaring open the 2018 training in Abuja.

Dr. Onu says the training is aimed at “enlightening core engineering staff of relevant Ministries and Agencies in construction and management of water conservancy and Hydropower projects in Nigeria.  The training is an initiative of the Government of the People’s Republic of China in collaboration with the Federal Ministries of Budget and National Planning and Science and Technology.

He further said that the training would deepen their understanding of small hydropower and also enhance their capacities while building a lasting cooperation and friendship between the governments and the peoples of China and Nigeria.

“The Ministry in 2016 signed MoU with the International Centre for Small Hydropower (ICSHP) China in implementing its wasting assets of small hydropower plants survey in Nigeria project. The project will among others, create a synthesis of Reverse Engineering of latest Chinese Small hydropower technologies adaptable to Nigeria.

“This will be applied in bringing back to life some moribund small hydropower plants spread all over the country. Small Hydropower Plant inclusion will also be introduced into some of the nation’s dam sites for electricity generation,”the Minister explained.

Boosting electricity
According to him, the collaboration is expected to boost the nation’s electricity generation, boost industrialisation, create jobs and wealth, enable Nigerians conserve and strengthen foreign trade with its multiplier benefits to our national economy.

Dr. Onu called on all Nigerians to join hands to enable this administration succeed in the new direction aimed at uplifting Nigeria through Science, Technology and Innovation.

Dr. Ogbonna Onu was represented by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry Mr. Bitrus Nabasu.

Huge potential
The Economic and Commercial Consular of Chinses Embassy in Nigeria, Mr. Zhao Linxang said that Nigeria has “huge potential in hydropower”, but how to make use of the potential was the issue.

Mr. Linxang further said that, the 2018 Seminar on Construction and Management of Water Conservancy and Hydropower for Nigeria, would focus on the power generation, especially hydropower generation across the country.

“The training course is the first time the Chinese government is holding overseas hydropower training course in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr. Linxang added that the Organiser, National Research Institute for Rural Electrification of Ministry of Water Resources had rich experience in training.

The aim
The managing Director of International Centre on Small Power, Mr. Fu Zilong said that the aims of the seminar was to improve capacity on hydropower development and promotion of local development resources as well as refurbishment of old power stations.

According to Mr Zilong, Chinese advanced technology and equipment will be promoted to going global for cooperation between Chinese enterprise and Nigerian government department as well as enterprises.

He added that, “The experience and lessons of China in this filed can be valuable for development in Nigeria and the development of small hydro power as well sustainable energy should be the key focus of power industry for Nigeria.”


Arsenal sponsorship deal hit by Chinese fraud





English Premier League club Arsenal has launched an investigation after it was caught up in an alleged fraud involving its sponsorship deal with Chinese carmaker BYD.

Arsenal said the deal, which was launched with great fanfare in May, was among those affected after BYD revealed what it described as a plot to defraud advertising agencies.

BYD said last week that a woman posing as the marketing manager of its Shanghai branch signed multiple contracts with advertising agencies to promote the company.

One of the affected ad firms, Shanghai Jingzhi, has said BYD had been forced to refuse payment on contracts worth 1.1 billion yuan ($165 million).

“BYD has informed Arsenal that they believe they have been the victim of a fraud in relation to various advertising agreements, This includes our partnership with BYD which was formally launched by both parties at an event at Emirates Stadium on 8th May.” Arsenal said .


The team said it was “investigating the situation” but that it would make no further comment. The statement gave no details of the alleged fraud or its impact on the sponsorship deal.

BYD, however, has said that ads were indeed produced for the BYD-Arsenal partnership earlier this year as a result of the alleged fraud.

BYD, based in the southern city of Shenzhen, is one of China’s biggest carmakers and a leading producer of electric vehicles.

The woman involved was arrested by Shanghai police on suspicion of contract fraud and faking company seals, BYD said earlier this week.


Chinese oil corporation to invest $3bn in Nigeria



The China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC) is to invest an additional three billion dollars in its existing stakes in offshore oil and gas operations in Nigeria.

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) spokesman Mr Ndu Ughamadu, who made this known in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, the nation’s capital explained that the Chief Executive Officer of the Beijing-based Corporation, Mr Yuan Guangyu, made the pledge when he led a team of CNOOC top executives on a visit to the NNPC.

“Guangyu described its investment in Nigeria as the most strategic important overseas business undertaking and its largest investment destination. He said CNOOC had invested more than 14 billion dollars in its Nigerian operations, even as he called on the management of the NNPC to seek common grounds of beneficial interest with CNOOC for enhanced productivity,’’ Ughamadu said.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Dr Maikanti Baru commended the CNOOC for its interest in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

Baru said the corporation was open to new investments and would foster meaningful and mutually beneficial relations with credible entities like CNOOC.

Founded in 1982, the CNOOC which is one of the three big Chinese national oil entities is originally focused on offshore upstream exploration and production.

SEC reiterates commitment to improve Nigeria’s capital market




The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), has reaffirmed its commitment to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to strengthen Nigeria’s capital market.

The Acting Director-General of SEC, Ms Mary Uduk made this known when members of the Association of Stockbroking Houses of Nigeria (ASHON) met with the management of SEC at the weekend in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

According to her, a well-functioning capital market was essential for Nigeria’s economic development.

“The country must have a world class capital market that was strong, sustainable, effective, and played a central role in economic. SEC is open to suggestions and actions that will make the capital market vibrant,” Uduk stated.

She, however, added that such collaborative efforts would only be with associations and persons that were fit and proper to operate in the market.

Uduk commended members of the group on their efforts so far in deepening the market, especially for their support toward the financial literacy campaign of SEC.

The Director-General pledged SEC’s willingness to collaborate with the association to lift the market and re-position it among leading capital markets that met international standards and best practices.

“Its good that we work together to take our capital market to the height we want it to attain. We are ready to engage with you to give us clarity on several issues relating to the market. We are also open to discussions that will benefit the market, because the market is the most important in all our engagements,” Uduk explained.

The Chairman of ASHON, Mr Onyewechukwu Ezeagu pledged the commitment of the group to ensure growth of Nigeria’s capital market.

“We have always worked with SEC and will continue to do so and accord you all the co-operation you require to succeed. Whatever needs to be done to make the market work is of concern to the association,’’ Ezeagu said.

The ASHON Chairman also said the group would continue to collaborate with the commission to ensure financial literacy in the country.