Matt Armstrong's blog on public diplomacy, international journalism, and the struggle against propaganda

More investment in Nigeria

Briefly, the People’s Daily in China is reporting that

India has agreed to invest six billion U.S. dollars in power plants and other projects in Nigeria, Indian Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria Anil Trigunayat said at the weekend.

The money continues to flow in and the ‘partnerships’ continue to expand.

…the Indian diplomat said as the most populous countries in Africa and Asia respectively, both Nigeria and India had a lot to learn and gain from each other.

Is the motivating factor altruism or business opportunity?

"We are also interested in investing in the development of infrastructure, but any such projects would have to be identified first by the Nigerian government," he said

Or energy?

Trigunayat expressed India’s desire to collaborate with Nigeria for the benefit of both countries, saying that India was also interested in engaging in joint venture projects with Nigeria in the oil and gas sector.

Nigeria, Chinese firm sign investment MOU

Expanding the essential presence of Chinese companies in Nigeria across a variety of sectors. An MOU is one thing, let’s see the partnership deliver.

Nigeria has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on economic cooperation and investment with the Guangdong Xinguang International Group of China.

The MOU would herald at least two-billion-dollar worth of investment in the agriculture, health, education, transport, industry, commerce and housing sectors of the economy.

Link to article…

Nigeria: Retail’s “Sale of the Century”

Briefly, Foreign Direct Investment reports…

The early success of the Nu Metro Media Store in Lagos, which opened in June
this year, selling books, music CDs and DVDs, was the first proof of the massive
pent up demand for world-class retail that exists in Nigeria. Until then, the
largely-untapped buying power of Nigeria’s 130-million strong consumer market
had gone untested. In the face of a maddening number of challenges of setting up
business in the country, it is this virgin market that is one the greatest draw
cards. Before Nu Metro, there was nothing in the retail space that could be
described as modern let alone world-class. For Nu Metro’s owners, Johnnic
Communications, the push into Nigeria – which includes taking a stake in local
newspaper Business Day – has not been without frustration.

Link to article…

Nigeria Economy: Privatisations make headway

EIU Newswire reported on 2 December 2005:

In August the BPE also unveiled a shortlist of six potential bidders for a 51% stake in Nigerian Telecommunications (Nitel) and its mobile unit, M- Tel. The potential buyers are South Africa’s MTN and Telkom, Chinese equipment maker, Huawei Technologies, Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, Celtel International and Newtel. They were picked out of 22 companies that expressed interest in Nitel. Nigeria’s communications minister said in September that one of the bidders will be chosen by the end of the year. Analysts expect the stake to fetch substantially less than the US$1.3bn offered by the preferred bidder in the 2001 sale, which collapsed after the buyer failed to pay the purchase price.

Link to original…

The Role of Transparency and Accountability for Economic Development in Resource-rich Countries,

Address by the Deputy Managing Director of the IMF

Transparency and accountability are critical for the efficient functioning of a modern economy and for fostering social well-being. In most societies, many powers are delegated to public authorities. Some assurance must then be provided to the delegators—that is, society at large—that this transfer of power is not only effective, but also not abused. Transparency ensures that information is available that can be used to measure the authorities’ performance and to guard against any possible misuse of powers. In that sense, transparency serves to achieve accountability, which means that authorities can be held responsible for their actions. Without transparency and accountability, trust will be lacking between a government and those whom it governs. The result would be social instability and an environment that is less than conducive to economic growth.

Link to article…

Nigeria: $10 Million to Fertilize African Farms

Briefly from the New York Times comes an appropriate use of oil money in Africa:

More than 40 African nations met in Nigeria and agreed to lift all cross-border taxes and tariffs on fertilizers needed to replenish the continent’s severely degraded soils. Nigeria’s president, Olusegun Obasanjo, committed $10 million to a fund to finance wider use of fertilizers. Three-quarters of Africa’s farmland is severely depleted of basic nutrients needed to grow crops.