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US Ambassador Advises Nigeria To Diversify Economy

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US Ambassador Advises Nigeria To Diversify Economy

U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Stuart Symington, has advised Nigeria to diversify its economy to experience deeper growth and development.

The ambassador gave the advice at the annual dinner of the Nigeria-American Chamber of Commerce annual dinner in Lagos on Sunday.

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In a statement delivered by Ebuka Igochukwu, the chamber’s communication manager, Symington said Nigeria should reduce its dependence on crude oil.

Another speaker at the event, Chief Olusegun Osunkeye, a former Nestle Foods Chairman, said Nigeria has to unearth the golden opportunities for economic growth and development. To do that, he recommended Agriculture and ICT which he said are viable alternatives to crude oil.

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Honeywell chairman, Oba Otudeko, expressed concern bout the low performance of non-oil nigerian businesses in taking advantage of African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA.

NACC president, Otunba Oluwatoyin Akomolafe, said the Chamber was committed to improving trade relations between Nigeria and the U.S.

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Shell, Total Shut Down Four GenCos Over Debts

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Shell, Total Shut Down Four GenCos Over Debts

Four Gas Generating Companies (GenCos) have shut down production as a result of their failure to pay gas debts owed Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and total, as well as their inability to access fresh loans for gas.

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Some of the GenCos have now resorted to securing credit facilities from commercial banks to sustain their production.

 

The executive secretary, Association of Power Generation Companies (APGC), Joy Ogaji said the power plants shutdown production because of lack of access to take loans.

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Ogaji says the 700 billion naira power assurance guarantee, which the federal executive council approved for the companies in the first quarter of 2017, has been exhausted.

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But there are hopes that the federal government would make the Electricity Distribution Companies (DISCOS) pay at least 80 per cent of their invoices.

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China Transportation Authorities Prepares For Spring Festival Travel Rush

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China Transportation Autourities Prepares For Spring Festival Travel Rush

Transport authorities across China are getting into high gear in preparation for the spring festival travel rush.  Three billion trips are expected to be made during the period.

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During the forty-day travel rush season from January to March, the country expects to see at least three billion persons moving across the country by rail, air and road.

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The China railway Guangzhou group is expected to transport thirty-seven million passengers during this period with more than one thousand pairs of trains.  For more convenience, the group has also decided to optimize passenger routes by establishing free service desks, providing more emergency lanes.

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Russia Becomes World Fifth Biggest Bullion Holders

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Russia Becomes World Fifth Biggest Bullion Holders

Russia became the world’s fifth largest official sector holder of gold  as Western sanctions drove buying by its central bank to record highs in 2018 , its data showed on Friday. China dropped to sixth place as it reported an increase in gold reserves just once in more than two years, with its holdings rising to 59.6 million ounces in December 2018 from 59.2 million ounces in October 2016.

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With support from Russia President Vladimir Putin, the central bank in Russia has been betting heavily on bullion, often seen as a safe haven or a natural hedge against the dollar, with active purchases in the last 10 years. “It seems that there is an aim to diversify from American assets,’’ said a source at one Russian gold producer, referring to the central bank’s holdings.

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In 2018, Russia’s buying jumped further as holdings of U.S. Treasury securities were reduced after Washington imposed sanctions on Russian entities in April, the toughest since Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.

Russia’s central bank is buying domestically produced gold from commercial banks.

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