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Lagos to invest N200bn in Ilubirin Foreshore project

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Lagos State government is planning to invest N200 billion in Ilubirin Foreshore Housing Estate in the next five years, New Telegraph has learnt

According to Commissioner for Housing in the state, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, the money will be injected into the project in phases to fast-track its development into mixed used development.

He stated that the government had signed a Public- Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with First Investment Development Company (FIDC) to transform the scheme into a live, work and play environment.

He said: “We are working with the private sector and the investor that has come up.

Government is investing $500 million on redesigning and completion of housing units at Ilubirin and Ijora-Badia.”

Debunking insinuation that government has abandoned the multi-billion naira project sitting on a 28-hectare, Lawal said the private firm had resumed and work was ongoing on Ilubirin site.

He said: “We want to scale it up and the idea is to make this place a live, play and work environment and so we are projecting 500 housing units instead of 1,260 that the scheme was formerly designed for.

“There is need to redesign and expand the mass housing units at Ilubirin and Ijora Badia to allow for efficient utiisation of resources and for better quality delivery. According to the commissioner, ventures with the private sector would create 10,000 direct jobs.

The commissioner disclosed that all phases of the scheme were expected to span between five to seven years, but that there would be a lot of improvement on the project before May 2019.

The estate is planned with amenities such as shopping centre, water works, fire station, clinic, sewage treatment plant and an Independent Power Plant (IPP) when completed.

It would be recalled that preparation for Ilubirin Housing project actually started under the administration of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu with sand filling, while his successor, Babatunde Fashola, continued with the project.

According to Housing Needs Assessment Survey prepared by TNS RMS Nigeria Limited, Lagos has 2.5 million housing deficit and currently needs at least 187,500 new homes over the next five years.

Meanwhile, the state government has also disclosed plans to invest fresh N20 billion in the provision of affordable houses to residents under the Rent-to-Own policy.

Handing over keys to another 200 set of allottees under the policy, Commissioner for Housing, Mr. Gbolahan Lawal, hinted that 10 private real estate developers had been engaged on Public Private Partnership (PPP) basis in order to increase housing stock in the state. According to him, inauguration of PPP in housing provision in the state will hold this month (May) to signal the seriousness of government in combating accommodation challenges in the state.

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Nigerians alerted on new EU’s data protection guidelines

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has alerted Nigerian businesses on the implications of a new European Union (EU) General Data Protection Regu- lation (GDPR).

 

According to the agency, the alert on the has become necessary as it might have huge impact on Nigerian businesses and/or individuals that use Information Technologies to collect, store, process and transact on EU citizens personal data in EU territory or elsewhere.

 

NITDA in a statement, called on Nigerian businesses, especially those carrying out online transactions and meet the GDPR compliance criteria to put in place appropriate measures to observe the provisions of this regulation to avoid being sanctioned for a liable breach.

 

 

Organisations are also required to note the provisions of the NITDA Guidelines on Data Protection, issued in 2013 and currently being revised. In an effort to make the agency’s rule making process transparent and industry-focused, NITDA said the revised guideline will soon be presented for stakeholder consultation as stipulated in the Rule making Process Regulation of NITDA.

 

 

The new GDPR particularly concerns those that collect, store and process personal data of EU citizens for the provision of goods and services.

 

The GDPR (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the EU and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU). Explaining the implementation of the GDPR, Director General of NITDA, Dr. Isa Pantami, said though the implementation has commenced, 25th of May 2018 is the day that all data protection arrangements in companies have to be changed accordingly.

 

 

“It does not only affect European businesses, but every company or enterprise that processes personal data of European citizens,” Pantami said.

 

He explained the general principles of processing personal data require that it is processed transparently.

 

He said : “It is in the utmost interest of the agency to protect Nigerian businesses from unnecessary exposure to the risks of this regulation and/ or any regulations that might have negative impact on their businesses as well as the rights of Nigerians that have dual citizenship of any EU member state.”

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African govts rush to beat higher borrowing costs

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Governments across sub-Saharan Africa are hitting international debt markets hard and fast to try to beat rising borrowing costs, pushing the region’s debt levels to new highs, according to Reuters.

 

Nigeria has raised $5.5 billion over the past three months, Kenya wants to borrow at least $1.5 billion, and Angola, Ivory Coast, Ghana and Senegal are all queuing up.

 

The flurry of issuance adds to an already-record debt tally for sub-Saharan Africa, which has ballooned to over $200 billion from less than 30 billion in 2007, Bank for International Settlements (BIS) data shows.
“If you have a lot of issuance in a short period of time, that tells you something,” said Kevin Daly at asset manager Standard Life Aberdeen.

 

“Maybe these guys are realising that their borrowing costs are going to potentially go higher over the course of the year if we get a continued rise in Treasury yields and further rate hikes by the Fed.”

 

With investors busy assessing where U.S. Federal Reserve interest rates are headed, the focus is now on just how vulnerable the region may be to such an increase, especially with a large pile of repayments also looming.

 

Rating agency Moody’s calculates Ghana has $4.5 billion of bonds due between 2020-2026, Gabon has $2 billion maturing between 2022-2025 and Zambia has $3 billion between 2022-2027.

 

Meanwhile, Kenya’s first Eurobond payment of $750 million, representing roughly 1 percent of its annual economic output or GDP, is due in June next year followed by $2 billion in 2024.

 

“For sovereigns which do not have long track records of repaying international bonds, this will represent a significant test,” Moody’s said in a statement.

 

The increase in international debt issuance means “sub-Saharan African borrowers are now more exposed to shifts in global risk sentiment and external financing conditions,” they added, stressing the risk of rising borrowing costs.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, is pushing ahead regardless. The country’s 2018 provisional budget has laid out plans to raise some $2.8 billion this year.

 

Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun also wants to lift the proportion of dollar debt to 40 percent from its current level of 27 percent, to replace expensive naira bonds with 10-year interest rates as high as 14 percent.

 

“Nigeria is focused on reducing the cost of our debt portfolio and ensuring we have the optimal mix between domestic and international debt,” she told Reuters.

“The proceeds of the dollar issuance … will be used to re-finance domestic debt, which is high-cost and short-term, with lower-cost international debt with a longer tenure.”

 

Debt levels in the region are still low compared to many other parts of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa’s average public debt level surpassed 50 percent of GDP in 2017, according to The Institute of International Finance.
But there has been an explosion since 2005 when rich countries, for a second time in a decade, wrote off billions of dollars to help the continent out of its debt trap.

 

Part of the recent big run up in debt levels came as commodity exporters such as Nigeria, Zambia or Angola were forced to fill the gaps in coffers left by a 75 percent slump in oil and some key metal prices between 2014 and 2015.

 

Combined with the related hit to growth rates, this triggered an outsized fall in sovereign credit ratings in the region, which only now looks to be levelling off. S&P Global’s sub-Saharan Africa ratings have dropped around two notches on average since 2008 from BB- to B, whereas across all emerging markets the fall has been only about half a notch, from just above BBB- to just below. Moody’s downgrades in sub-Saharan Africa have outnumbered upgrades 21 to 2 since the beginning of 2015.

The region is not out of the woods. In 2017, at least three countries – Mozambique, Congo-Brazzaville and Chad – defaulted or tried to renegotiate debt. Angola announced it wanted to extend maturities in 2018.

 

But thanks to attractive yield offers, investor interest seems unabated. Nigeria’s $2.5 billion offering attracted bids in excess of $11 billion.

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Japaul to get $350m funding from Milost

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Japaul Oil & Maritime Services Plc has signed an agreement with private equity firm Milost Global Inc. for $350 million in shares and loans for business expansion.

 

Milost according to a statement, will invest $250 million in equity and add another $100 million in convertible loans, Japaul Chairman Jegede Paul said in a notice to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE)..
The fresh injection of capital will enable the company to fix grounded vessels, finance new contracts and expand into mining, he said.

 

Japaul’s oil and gas operations suffered a setback with the 2014 plunge in crude prices, which forced exploration and production companies to scale back their activities. As prices are recovering, the company wants to take advantage of new business opportunities in the industry. The company plans to be able to absorb future oil and gas price shocks by diversifying into mining, Paul said.

 

“Japaul therefore seeks the understanding and cooperation of its stakeholders, as it will soon commence the transaction by going through all the laid down rules and regulations of Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) and The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), because the commitment is still subject to regulatory approvals. The Company shall be communicating this financing commitment to the Shareholders as necessary,” he said.

The stock rose 6 per cent in Wednesday’s trading at the NSE, the most since June 25, 2014, to close at 37 kobo.

 

Milost Global, founded by Mandla J Gwandiso in 2015 is an American Private Equity firm that is headquartered in New York City, with more than $25 billion in committed capital. Milost is also a provider of alternative capital, mezzanine finance and alternative lending to a broad range of industries across the globe including Technology, Transport, Cannabis, Education, Distribution, Mining, Oil & Gas, Financial Services, Healthcare, Pharmaceuticals, Real Estate, Alternative Energy and Infrastructure Development.

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