From Abuja to Davos & Addis Ababa: Special Economic Zones (SEZs), Continental Free Trade Agreement(CFTA)…


Federal Executive Council Meeting – Wednesday, Jan 24, 2018

The Meeting presided over by President Buhari, took stock of practical results achieved from approvals given to various Ministries by the Council, since 2016.
At the end of the meeting, Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu, Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbe, Minister of Health Isaac Adewole, and Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing Mustapha Baba Shehuri, briefed the press. Minister of Information Lai Mohammed presided over the FEC briefing.

Highlights of the briefing:

  • Ministry of Water Resources – Minister of Water Resources Suleiman Adamu revealed that the FEC approved a memo for the completion of an abandoned irrigation project benefiting Kano and Jigawa States. He said the project, which has been abandoned since 2000, at 50 percent completion, will increase irrigation hectarage in Nigeria by more than 2,000 hectares. According to him, it is one of the 116 large-scale abandoned/uncompleted projects inherited when he took over as Minister in 2015. The estimated completion period for the project is 24 months.
  • Ministry of Health – Minister of Health Isaac Adewole said that the Ministry sought and got 9 FEC approvals – one of them is the new National Health Policy (the third so far – 1988, 2004 and 2016), which provides the framework for implementation of many of the Ministry’s activities for Nigeria’s health sector. Other approvals include the inclusion of NYSC members in the National Health Insurance Scheme; the Bill for an Act to give legal backing to the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC); ratification of a Joint Venture between the Federal Government and May & Baker Nigeria Plc for the production of vaccines in Nigeria (first batch of local vaccines expected within two years); and the rollout of new, improved Yellow Cards (Vaccination Certificates) – machine-readable and possessing advanced security features.
  • Ministry of Agriculture – Minister of Agriculture Audu Ogbeh said the Ministry has since 2016 implemented FEC approvals in pest control and the training and distribution of high-yielding seed varieties to farmers. According to him, 11 states benefited from pest control during the harvest season, following the attacks of quelea birds and locusts from the Niger Republic.
  • Ministry of Power, Works, and Housing – Minister of State, Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Baba Shehuri, briefed that the FEC gave two new approvals for road construction in the Northeast.


a. From Bloomberg: “Net foreign inflows to Nigerian equities totaled 337 billion naira ($940 million) last year, the first time flows have been positive since at least 2013. December was the best month since Bloomberg started compiling data at the beginning of 2014, with net inflows of 140 billion naira, signaling a switch in sentiment toward equities in Africa’s biggest oil producer.”

b. From the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing: The capacity of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) to transport energy has grown to 7,125 MW as at December 2017, up from about 5,000MW in 2015.

c. As part of efforts by the Federal Government to block revenue leakages (about N100 billion was discovered as tax revenue shortfall by contractors between 2012 and 2017), on January 9, the Ministry of Finance ordered vendors of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to display their Tax Identification Numbers (TINs) on their invoices before payments are affected by the MDAs. Details here.

d. Minister of Health: “By the end of the April, eight million Nigerians stand to benefit from basic health care through the first phase of implementation of the Basic Health Care Provision Fund, BHCPF.”

e. Impact of the 1st Phase of the Federal Government’s Energizing Education Programme (EEP), planned for 2018. The EEP, being implemented by the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) aims to provide dedicated and reliable electricity to a total of 37 Federal Universities and 7 University Teaching Hospitals across Nigeria.

Nigeria at the 30th African Union Summit:

President Muhammadu Buhari traveled to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to take part in the 30th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU). On the President’s delegation were the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami; the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazau; the Minister of State (Aviation), Hadi Sirika; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ibrahim Magu.

The highlight of the President’s engagements at the 30th AU Summit was his statement under the historic theme for the AU Summit, namely: “Winning the Fight against Corruption: A Sustainable Path to Africa’s Transformation.” Recall that on July 25, 2017, during the 29th Session of the AU, African leaders unanimously endorsed President Buhari to champion the fight against corruption on the continent. Read the Speech here

On Saturday, January 27, he made a Speech at the AU Peace and Security Council Meeting in which he emphasized the need to curb the flow of terrorist financing. Read the Speech here

The President also presented Nigeria’s position in favor of the Report on the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area (CFTA) and related issues, submitted by President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger Republic. Nigeria’s position is that “as African leaders and principal architects of [the African Union], we must now speed up action to conclude the negotiations and establish the CFTA.” Details here

Nigeria at the World Economic Forum (WEF):

On January 23, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo led Nigeria’s delegation to the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. On the delegation were the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment Okechukwu Enelamah, Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma, and Special Adviser to the President on Economic Matters, Dr. Oluyemi Dipeolu.

At various events and bilateral meetings with global business leaders at the Forum, the Nigerian delegation marketed the potentials of Nigeria and encouraged investors to take advantage of the opportunities on offer, based on Nigeria’s positive growth in the past year and the economic outlook for 2018.

Highlights of #NigeriaInDavos: 

  • On January 23 – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo met with a delegation of the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) led by its Chairman and CEO, Mr. Hiroyuki Ishige. The meeting was aimed at building on the existing long relationship and trade between both Nigeria and Japan. Details here
  • On January 24 – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo interacted with select investors, on the sidelines of the Forum. The Vice President told them that as part of plans to stimulate Nigeria’s economic development, the Federal Government will partner with the private sector to create Special Economic Zones (SEZs), starting with the textile and garment industry. Read more here
  • Also on January 24, Vice President Osinbajo took part in an Interactive Session titled “Stabilizing the Mediterranean”. Details here
  • January 25 – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo concluded his participation at the 2018 WEF with a meeting with Mr. Bill Gates of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and an interview with CNBC. Watch the interview here

Last Week:

  • January 22 – President Muhammadu Buhari received the Board and Management of the Nigeria Economic Summit Group (NESG).
  • January 22 – President Muhammadu Buhari hosted a delegation of All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders from the Southeast at the State House. Read our Factsheet on the Federal Government’s interventions in Southeast Nigeria—
  • January 22 – Vice President Yemi Osinbajo represented Nigeria at the swearing-in of President George Weah of Liberia in Monrovia.
  • January 23 – President Muhammadu Buhari held bilateral talks with the President of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo.
  • January 24 – President Muhammadu Buhari presided over the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.
  • January 25 – President Muhammadu Buhari chaired a National Security Council Meeting at the State House. The National Security Adviser, Service Chiefs, Intelligence Chiefs and Inspector General of Police attended.
  • January 25 – President Muhammadu Buhari held a meeting with some members of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) led by its Chairman, Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State.
  • January 26 – Before he traveled to Addis Ababa for the AU Summit the President signed eight new legislative bills into law:
  1. National Senior Citizens Center Act, 2018.
  2. Legislative Houses (Powers and Privileges), 2018; 
  3. National Institute of Legislative Studies (Amendment) Act, 2018; 
  4. Avoidance of Double Taxation Agreement between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Kingdom of Spain (Domestication and Enforcement ) Act, 2018;
  5. Rail Loan (International Bank) (Repeal) Act, 2018; 
  6. Chartered Institute of Project Managers of Nigeria (Establishment) Act, 2018; 
  7. Chartered Institute of Local Government and Public Administration Act, 2018; and
  8. Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service (Establishment), Act, 2018.