Buhari Wants More UK Investments In Nigeria

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari has commended the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May for the effort of the British government towards the training of the Nigerian Army in the fight against Boko Haram insurgents.

Buhari on Monday held a bilateral meeting with UK Prime Minister, Theresa May at 10, Downing Street, London.

The President told the Prime Minister that, “We campaigned on three major issues; to secure the country, revive the economy and fight corruption.

“We have elections next year, politicians are already preoccupied with the polls, but I am bothered more about security and the economy,” he stressed.

Recalling that Nigeria and Britain have a long history of cooperation on several fronts, President Buhari stated: “People ought to know how they arrived where they are, if they would move forward. It was a mistake for us to have stopped the teaching of history as a subject in schools, but we are returning it to the curriculum now.

He commended British companies “who have stood with Nigeria through thick and thin. Even when we fought a Civil War, they never left.

“But like Oliver Twist, we ask for more investments. We are encouraging more British companies to come to Nigeria. We appreciate the support you have given in training and equipping our military, particularly in the war against insurgency, but we want to also continue to work with you on trade and investment.

President Buhari briefed Prime Minister May on the strides in agriculture, which he said has put Nigeria firmly on the road to food self-sufficiency.

“I am very pleased with the successes in agriculture,” he said, adding that, “We have cut rice importation by about 90%, made lots of savings of foreign exchange, and generated employment. People had rushed to the cities to get oil money, at the expense of farming. But luckily, they are now going back to the farms. Even professionals are going back to the land. We are making steady progress on the road to food security.”

On education, President Buhari said more investment was being made, because, “people can look after themselves if well educated. In this age of technology, education is very important. We need well-staffed and well-equipped institutions to move into the next generation.

Climate change and environmental issues also came up for discussion, and President Buhari brought up the necessity of inter-basin water transfer from Congo Basin to Lake Chad.

According to him: “The Lake Chad is now about 10% of its original size, and it is perhaps one of the reasons our youths dare both the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, to get to Europe. But if there is inter-basin water transfer, about 40 million people in Nigeria, Niger, Cameroon, Chad, and other countries stand to benefit.

I made the case during the Climate Change Summit in France. If Lake Chad is recharged, it will reduce the number of youths coming to Europe to increase social problems. We brought back about 4,000 people from Libya recently. Almost all of them were below 30, and Libya was not their final destination. They were headed to Europe.”

Ghana Owes Nigeria $160m For Gas Supply

Ghana is said to be owing a total of $160m for gas supplied to its largest power producer, Volta River Authority, from Nigeria through the West Africa Gas Pipeline.

N-Gas Limited is a company owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Chevron and Shell, and buys gas from oil companies in Nigeria and transport it to Ghana through the $1bn WAGP.

The pipeline, which is operated by the West Africa Pipeline Company Limited, was built to distribute gas from Nigeria to customers from and in  Benin, Togo and Ghana.

N-Gas has an off-take agreement with Ghana to supply 120 million standard cubic feet of gas per day to the VRA. But supply to the country had fallen short of the contractual volume in recent years.

“There is a current arrangement between the gas suppliers and the off-taker that the volume will be 60mmBtu,” the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, West Africa Gas Pipeline Company Limited, Harriet Wereko-Brobby, told our correspondent in response to questions sent via a text message.

She said the off-taker (VRA) had established a payment security arrangement for gas consumed to halt “debt accumulation going forward.”

“There is still an outstanding debt of around $160m to be paid to the supplier, N-Gas, and it is expected that about $30m will be paid shortly,” Wereko-Brobby added.

GhanaWeb recently reported that the volume of gas supplied to Ghana from Nigeria for power production had reduced by about 50 per cent.

It said the situation had been attributed to the inability of Ghana to settle its long-standing debts as stipulated in the gas supply contract, and vandalism of gas pipelines in Nigeria.

The Board Chairman, VRA, Kweku Awotwi, was quoted to have said, “We are at about half of what we have been contractually promised, which is not good enough. There are many reasons for that: the vandalism of pipelines and the fact that we have not paid our bills. We owe them about GH180m; what do you expect them to do?

“Now, we are getting the gas because the VRA is pre-paying for that gas. We are putting in Letters of Credit to get the gas.”

In 2016, Nigeria saw a resurgence of militant attacks in the Niger Delta that caused the nation’s oil production to plummet to a near 30-year low and disrupted gas supply to power plants.

Commenting on the debt owed by Ghana for the supply of gas through the pipeline in May last year on the sidelines of an event in Badagry, the Managing Director, WAPCo, Mr. Walter Perez, told our correspondent, “We are delivering gas now because we have put arrangement in place for Ghana to prepay for the deliveries that they receive, and so that is working. We have every expectation that this will continue to work.”

The Reasons Nigeria Must Wake Up Fast By Dele Momodu

Fellow Nigerians, please, permit me to say it as bluntly and categorically as possible, our dear country, Nigeria, the giant of Africa, is slumbering and snoring deeply. The Federal Government apologists are free to live in delusion and denial, but I stand by this obvious position.

They can continue to deceive President Muhammadu Buhari and although he can continue to suffer under their hypnotic spell for a long time, he would one day wake up to appreciate people like us telling him the unadulterated truth. We were abused black and blue by the Jonathan guys in those days, but where are they today? Anyone who has eyes can see very clearly that we are not moving at the pace God allocated to us. We are inching like snails and millipedes when we are supposed to be speeding like bullet trains.

Nigeria is snoozing and sleeping. I’m not even comparing us to Europe or America. I have travelled sufficiently in Africa. Everywhere I have been, I saw nations at work. I wrote about Rwanda recently, a country that went through one of the most terrible wars ever known to mankind. The Rwanda genocide was gory and ghoulish. An entire nation was almost wiped out. I can see Nigeria has not found any lessons to learn from that atrocity against mankind. We are stoking the fire of ethnicity and stupidity that would never do any good to us. We are so close to the precipice, but we don’t seem to know or just don’t care. Meanwhile, those in far worse situations are busy doing progressive things while we backbite and backstab!

I was in Ethiopia a few years ago at the instance and invitation of Alhaji Aliko Dangote for the launch of his humongous cement plant and was pleasantly surprised this technological wonder didn’t have to invest so much in power generation. This is the same Ethiopia where celebrities were so shocked by the abysmal level of hunger that they had to come together to sing “we are the world.” I flew out of Addis feeling sad and melancholic. It was the same experience in Tanzania, Zambia, Senegal, Benin Republic (next door to us) and others. These countries are marching slowly, but surely, while we are busy fighting and wallowing over frivolities. Once you cross the Seme Border into Cotonou, the reality that hits you instantly is refreshing. Yet most of these countries rely and depend on Nigeria for many things.

The reason for my preamble is simple. Most Nigerians seem not to realise how desperate our condition is. Nigeria can no longer afford to recycle this madness, which Fela Anikulapo-Kuti called “demoncracy”, every four years, as if God has frozen time for us and we can do whatever nonsense we like. No please. Time is no longer on our side and we have over-experimented with saints and sinners. None has performed spectacularly. The essence of my sermon today is to drum it into our ears that we cannot continue along this path of foolishness and foolhardiness. We need all hands on deck desperately and urgently to rescue this country from the throes of imminent death. We have already fulfilled all righteousness by supporting our great incorruptible Muhammadu Buhari, in 2015, despite our avowed rejection of him in the past. It would have been unfortunate if we had not tried and tested him. We would have been lamenting, like the Biblical Jeremiah, from now till eternity, had we not tried him, thinking God was punishing us for ignoring our best solution and gift to mankind.

Now that we have discovered that it is a human being that is behind the mask, and not an ancestor from heaven, we should be bold enough and accept that we’ve misplaced our hopes in gods with feet of clay. What has now been corroborated, unequivocally, is that no one can give what he does not have. Of course, there are always exceptional cases but, unfortunately, this is not one of them. Staying at home, or on a farmland, for the most part of 30 years, would stultify anyone’s worldview without doubt. But I personally love the fact that God has made this day to come, to demonstrate to us that we should not bow before any idols, and we should never ascribe to mortals the powers that belong to God.

No angel is going to come down to save or rescue Nigeria. We must all join hands to do it. I think we are wasting too much time and resources on seeking a God on earth to run our affairs. The time has come to make use of the best brains among us in a united government, strengthen our democratic institutions, stop the charade of selective injustice, promote unity and religious tolerance. I weep every time I see young people insulting themselves on behalf of politicians who are all friends off-radar. They kill themselves for mere pittance while the children of the priviligentsia are living large on the sweat and blood of the proletariat. Those who have ears should please listen.

We need a new orientation. We need leaders who know their onions. We need modern leaders. What belongs to antiquity must be left where it belongs. Those who want this system to continue, understand the game well. They are in control when the leader is weak and cannot perform. It is not about loving the old man. They just want to govern from behind. They are the faceless and unseen cabal.

2019 cannot come and go as business as usual. It won’t be funny. Are we so jinxed that we keep repeating the same mistakes? Why can’t we stand up to our leaders and demand excellent performance? Why can’t we see that the world is leaving us behind and adjust quickly? Truth must be told, as imperfect as our politicians look, they are the ones we must manage, and manage well. We cannot afford to waste another four years worshipping the gods who cannot liberate us from poverty, hunger, diseases, wars, backwardness, and general retrogression.

In summary, I will support Buhari’s government within my modest sphere of influence till 2019. That was my unwritten contract when I voluntarily offered my support, in cash and kind, in 2015. It is nothing personal, I’m just a patriotic and passionate Nigerian who believes we can do much better and there are millions of great Nigerians who can fix Nigeria without making a fetish of what it would take to achieve it. For me, Buhari represents the Mandela option. He has already served a useful purpose as stopgap between the known devil and the unknown. We have now seen that despite the blame games, there is really no difference between six and half a dozen. What is the point in a doctor killing the patient in the process of treating ulcer? That is the situation we have found ourselves. Perhaps, it would have been bearable and endurable if there was no obvious hypocrisy in the whole set up.

I beg, like Mandela, the world’s greatest statesman, one term is enough.

God bless Nigeria.

Commonwealth Games: Five Nigerians Reach Athletics Finals

Seye Ogunlewe and Enoch Adegoke on Sunday have both qualified for the final of the  Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games men’s 100m.

In the  women category, the country’s representatives Jennifer Madu, Isoken Igbinosun and Joy Udo-Gabriel lost in  the semi-finals. Udo-Gabriel was the closest of the women to qualifying after finishing fourth in her semi-final in 11.53secs.

Ogunlewe, who is the national 100m champion, equalled his season’s best of 10.20secs to place third in the third semi-final to qualify as one of the fastest losers in his heat. Adegoke, who is making his debut for Nigeria, won the second semi-final in 10.24secs.

The Nigerians face Jamaica’s Yohan Blake, who is favourite for  gold, and South Africa’s Akani Simbine, who is expected to claim silver in the event, in the final on Monday.

The country’s other representative in the men’s 100m Egwero Ogho-Oghene failed to make the final after placing sixth in 10.42secs.

In the men’s 400m, Chidi Okezie and Samson Nathaniel both qualified for Monday’s  semi-finals  after they finished in 45.84secs and 46.41secs respectively. But Orukpe Erayokan placed fourth in his heat in 47.19secs and didn’t progress into the semis.

Also, women’s 20km race walk national record holder Fadekemi Olude finished 10th in the event after she finished in 1:49:31. Australia’s Jemima Montag claimed gold in 1:32:50.

In the men’s shot put, Chukwuebuka Enekwechi and Eke Kalu qualified for Monday’s final. Enekwechi threw a mark of 20.66m to place second behind New Zealand’s Tom Walsh who threw 22.45m to win in qualifying group A. Kalu threw 17.62m to qualify as one of the best losers from qualifying group B.

In boxing, Nigeria’s Itunu Oriola’s lost 4-1 to Australia’s Kaye Scott in the quarterfinals of the women’s 69kg.

On Monday, Folasade Abugan, Patience George and Yinka Ajayi compete in the women’s 400m heats while in table tennis Nigeria face England in the semi-final of the men’s team event. Goodness Duru competes in the F46 women’s javelin final.

Also, Oyeniyi Abejoye competes in the men’s 110m hurdles while in boxing; Millicent Agboegbulem faces Elizabeth Andiego of Kenya in the quarterfinals of the women’s 75kg and Lukman Lawal fights Uganda’s Regam Simbwa in the round of 16 of the men’s 81kg.

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Nigeria Pays $5.08m Full UN Dues

Nigeria has paid its regular UN dues for 2018, making it the 74th out of the 193 Member States of the global international organisation to fulfill its financial obligations.

The Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said in New York that Nigeria paid its annual dues in full.

Ms Dujarric said: “Nigeria has paid its regular budget dues in full, bringing the Honour Roll to 74”.

Checks by the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in New York showed that Nigeria paid 5,080,178 dollars on April 5.

One hundred and nineteen members are yet to pay their regular budgets.

The records also reports that Nigeria became the 10th country in Africa to pay its UN regular budgets in full.

In 2016, Nigeria had asked the UN to review its assessed contributions to the organisation in view of the economic recession in the country at the time.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, made the call at the UN Headquarters in New York when she visited the Chairman of the UN Fifth Committee, Kingston Rhodes.

The Fifth Committee is the committee of the General Assembly with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters.

Nigeria was expected to pay outstanding contributions of 10. 2 million dollars as at December 2016.

Ms. Oyo-Ita said: “Due to recession, we want something done to review our dues and we want the UN to reconsider our assessment due to the realities of the time.

“What Nigeria is being asked to pay now is on the high side. Nigeria is committed to paying its contributions but we want some considerations.

“We want something to be done to re-adjust our scale.”

Nigeria’s scale of assessment for 2013 to 2015 was 0.119 before the re-basing of the country’s economy in 2014.

However, with the re-basing of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 500 million dollars, the scale of assessment of Nigeria increased to 0.209 for the period 2016 to 2018.

Nigeria has been pursuing the re-adjustment of the scale due to the economic reality of the country.

However, Mr. Rhodes had told Ms. 0Oyo-Ita that the UN was aware of the economic situation in the country but that the effort was hindered by the General Assembly Resolution that cancelled annual review of scale of assessment.

The Fifth Committee Chairman explained that the Resolution now established three years minimum period of scale of assessment.

According to him, therefore, Nigeria’s scale would be due for review in 2018, being the next scale year. (NAN)

Nigeria Pays Regular UN Dues For 2018

Nigeria has paid its regular UN dues for 2018, making it the 74th out of the 193 Member States of the global international organisation to fulfill its financial obligations.

The Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General Stephane Dujarric said in New York that Nigeria paid its annual dues in full saying;

“Nigeria has paid its regular budget dues in full, bringing the Honour Roll to 74”.

Checks by the Correspondent of the News Agency of Nigeria, in New York showed that Nigeria paid 5,080,178 dollars on April 5.

One hundred and nineteen members are yet to pay their regular budgets.

The records also reports that Nigeria became the 10th country in Africa to pay its UN regular budgets in full.

In 2016, Nigeria had asked the UN to review its assessed contributions to the organisation in view of the economic recession in the country at the time.

The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, Winifred Oyo-Ita, made the call at the UN Headquarters in New York when she visited the Chairman of the UN Fifth Committee, Kingston Rhodes.

The Fifth Committee is the committee of the General Assembly with responsibilities for administrative and budgetary matters.

Nigeria was expected to pay outstanding contributions of 10. 2 million dollars as at December 2016.

Ms. Oyo-Ita said: “Due to recession, we want something done to review our dues and we want the UN to reconsider our assessment due to the realities of the time.

“What Nigeria is being asked to pay now is on the high side. Nigeria is committed to paying its contributions but we want some considerations.

“We want something to be done to re-adjust our scale.”

Nigeria’s scale of assessment for 2013 to 2015 was 0.119 before the re-basing of the country’s economy in 2014.

However, with the re-basing of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to 500 million dollars, the scale of assessment of Nigeria increased to 0.209 for the period 2016 to 2018.

Nigeria has been pursuing the re-adjustment of the scale due to the economic reality of the country.

However, Mr. Rhodes had told Ms. 0Oyo-Ita that the UN was aware of the economic situation in the country but that the effort was hindered by the General Assembly Resolution that cancelled annual review of scale of assessment.

The Fifth Committee Chairman explained that the Resolution now established three years minimum period of scale of assessment.

According to him, therefore, Nigeria’s scale would be due for review in 2018, being the next scale year.

 

Commonwealth Games: Nigeria Defeat Belize, Malaysia In Table Tennis

The Nigerian table tennis team started their campaign in the men’s group 4 at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia on a very encouraging note defeating Malaysia and Belize in their opening two ties on Thursday.

Chee Feng from Malaysia was defeated by Olajide Omotayo in three straight sets recording a 13-11, 15-13, 11-7 in his second match of the day.

Omotayo had previously defeated Rohit Pagarani from Belize 11-4,11-2,11-2 in his first game.

Bode Abiodun also beat Mohammed Rizal from Malaysia 11-5,11-7,13-11 in his second game after he had outclassed Devesh Hukmani also from Belize 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 in his first game.

In the men’s team doubles, the pair of Azeez Jamiu and Olajide Omotayo lost 11-4, 11-9 and 11-7 to Javen Choong and Chee Feng Leong from Malaysia.

They had earlier defeated Terry Su and Devesh Hukmani from Belize 11-6, 11-4, 11-5.

Jamiu bounced back from the team’s doubles defeat to edge Mohammed Rizal from Malaysia 3-2 in a keenly contested game.

The 34 year old won the game 11-7, 9-11, 11-5, 7-11, 11-8 to hand Nigeria a 3-1 win over Malaysia in their second group game.

Bode Abiodun will take on Javen Choong from Malaysia and Terry Su from Belize later in the day in his remaining games while Jamiu will Rohit Pagarani from Belize.

The Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games will be Nigeria’s 13th since their maiden appearance in 1950.

The team Nigeria will also be seeking to surpass their best performance at the competition having won a record 37 medals at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Canada.

Nigeria won 36 medals (11 Gold, 11 Silver and 14 Bronze) at the last edition of the Commonwealth Games which held in Glasgow, Scotland 2014.

Brewing Trade Row Between Nigeria And China By Adetayo Adegbemile

frica is going through another phase of self-imposed slavery and colonization. This is especially in the face of the aggressive buy over of the African continent by the Chinese. Yes, the Chinese.

It’s on report that all the major mining business going on right now in Zambia, a country rich in Copper, is being done by the Chinese.

Africa’s indebtedness to the Chinese has also become a source of worry to every right-thinking individual, including the major power blocks in the world. A cursory google of “Africa’s Debt to China” will tell you more of the story.

Closer home, as at December 2017, the official figures for Nigeria-China Bilateral trade stood at over $2.7bn, with the debt profile standing at over $5bn (five billion US Dollars).

This is clear case of trade imbalance, not solely brought on because of Nigeria’s inability to export alone, but also because of economic sabotage, unfair business terms between Chinese Manufacturers, and underhand dealings by Chinese businessmen.

A case that readily came to mind is that of the CIG Motors, importers of the Chinese brand of vehicles, GAC.

The demand for GAC vehicles has been on the increase in Nigeria, due to their rugged nature and functionality. Lot of Nigerians now see the GAC brand as a viable alternative to Japanese, American and European giants.

But there is a snag. According to an ongoing investigation and reports (https://aledeh.com/opinion-diana-chen-and-her-monopoly-of-gac-motors-by-fejiro-oliver/), a Chinese company in Nigeria, CIG Motors, led by one Ms. Diana Chen, has been making trade between Nigerians and the Chinese manufacturers of the vehicle brand impossible.

A Nigerian delegate visited the Management of the GAC in China sometime last year, and came back with the promise that there will be an increased trade with their Nigerian partners, only for Ms. Chen to scuttle everything.

Her primary claim is that she has the sole license to market and sell the GAC brand in Nigeria. WHAT? Who does that? Does BMW or Mercedez Benz, or Toyota, even Honda, gave license to a sole Distributor in a market like Nigeria? Where is that done?

Beyond the simple fact that the claim of sole distributorship, no Monopoly, in Nigeria is ridiculous, can any Nigerian behave in such brazen manner in China?

This is in stark contrast with the bilateral trade agreement signed by both governments of China and Nigeria. It should be noted that in spite of Nigeria’s trade with China increasing exponentially from a paltry $880m in 1998 to a staggering $3bn as at 2006, the trade between the two nations has remained disproportionately in favour of the Chinese.

As noted by Efem N. Ubi, (PhD), a Research Fellow at the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs, Lagos, solving the Nigeria’s trade deficit should go have to beyond rhetoric and diplomatic meeting, with much of the solution having to come from the Nigerian end.

In the four key factors he mentioned, one of them is that the Chinese government has to declare its readiness to encourage Chinese companies to outsource and offshore to Nigeria.

What this simply implies is that we cannot be claiming to be involved in Nigeria-Chinese trade when Nigerian business communities has been handicapped from the start to trade on common platform, as seen in the case of the GAC Motors/CIG edging out Nigerian businessmen in the Motor manufacturing industry trade.

There are other economic implications for Nigeria as well. It is understood that due to the monopoly that Ms. Diana Chen and her CIG Motors enjoys, she has been fixing prices of vehicles arbitrarily, making a model that should not cost more than N7m to be going as high as N20m. It was also reported that Ms. Chen owns over 90% of CIG Motors, how then is her business beneficial to Nigeria and Nigerians?

This issue is beyond Ms. Chen cornering the GAC market from China, it is about economic diplomacy between China and Nigeria. It is about fair trade partnership. It is about economic espionage and sabotage.

Both the Nigerian government and the Chinese government needs to DO SOMETHING before it snowballs into full economic row between the two nations.

Finland Is World’s Happiest Country

Finland is the world’s happiest country, according to an annual survey issued on Wednesday that put Burundi at the bottom of the happiness index and Nigerians at 91st position.

The survey also found Americans were getting less happy even as their country became richer.

The UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s 2018 World Happiness Report ranked 156 countries according to their scores for things such as GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.

Finland rose from fifth place in 2017 to oust Norway from the top spot.

The 2018 top-10, as ever dominated by the Nordics, is Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands Canada, New Zealand, Sweden and Australia.

The U S. came in at 18th, down from 14th place in 2017.

Britain was 19th and the United Arab Emirates 20th.

One chapter of the 170-page report is dedicated to emerging health problems such as obesity, depression and the opioid crisis, particularly in the U. S. where the prevalence of all three has grown faster than in most other countries.

While income per capita has increased markedly in the U. S. over the last half-century, the happiness index has been hit by weakened social support networks, a rise in perception of corruption in government and business and declining confidence in public institutions.

We obviously have a social crisis in the U. S.: more inequality, less trust, less confidence in government,” the head of the SDSN, Prof. Jeffrey Sachs of New York’s Columbia University, told Reuters as the report was launched at the Vatican’s Pontifical Academy of Sciences.

“It’s pretty stark right now. The signs are not good for the U.S. It is getting richer and richer but not getting happier.”

Asked how the current political situation in the United States could affect future happiness reports, Sachs said: “Time will tell, but I would say that in general that when confidence in government is low, when perceptions of corruption are high, inequality is high and health conditions are worsening … that is not conducive to good feelings.”

For the first time since it was started in 2012, the report, which uses a variety of polling organisations, official figures and research methods, ranked the happiness of foreign-born immigrants in 117 countries.

Finland took top honours in that category too, giving the country a statistical double-gold status.

The foreign-born were least happy in Syria, which has been mired in civil war for seven years.

“The most striking finding of the report is the remarkable consistency between the happiness of immigrants and the locally born,” said Prof. John Helliwell of Canada’s University of British Columbia.

“Although immigrants come from countries with very different levels of happiness, their reported life evaluations converge towards those of other residents in their new countries,” he said.

“Those who move to happier countries gain, while those who move to less happy countries lose.” 

NAN

Nigeria Wins Five Medals In Algeria

Nigeria’s representatives at  the All Africa Individual Badminton Championship, won five medals, 3 silver and 2 bronze.

The team is expected in Nigeria on Tuesday

Nigeria lost to host Algeria in the men’s final and Mauritius in the women’s final hence clinching the second position in both men and women categories.

19 countries and 86 players took part in the men’s singles event while the women’s category had 14 countries and 59 participants.

Trade Between Nigeria And Australia Rises To N100bn

Trade transactions between Australia and Nigeria in the last two years have risen to about N100bn.

This was disclosed by the Australian High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr Paul Lehmann, on Thursday, in Lagos. Lehmann said in Lagos that trade relations between both countries in 2016 and 2017 were worth about AUD$343m, approximately about N100bn.

The High Commissioner said that apart from trade in goods and services, many Nigerians had within the two years also taken advantage of educational opportunities in Australia.

“We estimate that Australia’s total two-way trade in goods and services with Nigeria was worth about AUD$343m in 2016 and 2017, which is about N100bn.

“Many more Nigerians are choosing to study in Australia, which is becoming a key part of our trade relationship. A variety of Australian mining companies are also active in Nigeria.

“As the Nigerian mining sector develops, I expect to see even more interest from Australian firms to help to grow the mining industry here, particularly in solid minerals.

“I also see plenty of potential for trade and cooperation in our agricultural sectors, as well as different foods and beverages,’’ he said.

Lehmann, who described Australian investors as “intrepid,’’ said that there would be more opportunities for Australian businesses in Nigeria when conditions for the Ease of Doing Business improve.

He commended the Nigerian Government’s effort at improving the country’s business and investment environment, adding that more Australian companies would want to do business in Nigeria when the environment becomes right.

According to him, beyond mining and agriculture, Australian firms have strong reputations in ICT, logistics and transport, health and financial services, among many other sectors.

“Australian investors are intrepid, and if the conditions are right, there are many sectors that present opportunities for Australian businesses here.

“I expect interest in the Nigerian market to grow even more in the coming years, and I’m certainly optimistic about the direction of Nigeria’s economy and our trade relationships,’’ he added.

Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland and its largest urban area is Sydney.

Australia officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania and numerous smaller islands.

It is the largest country in Oceania and the world’s sixth-largest country by total area.

The neighbouring countries are Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and East Timor to the North; the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu to the North-East; and New Zealand to the South-East.