Category Archives: Consulate Information
In conjunction with the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC and the Consulate Generals in Atlanta Georgia and New York, Nigerians living outside the country will soon be establishing a National Diaspora Trauma Center in Abuja in order to make health care delivery more accessible to the people.
According to the Nigeria’s Consul-General in Atlanta, Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe while briefing participants at the conference on the Trauma Center which was recently held at The Westin Hotel in Atlanta, the multimillion dollars project would be made an outstanding facility in the entire Africa as a center of medical excellence as well as a reference point.
Teneilabe added that he was convinced, after a deep reflection that, the Trauma Center should be run as a business but with special provision for under-privileged and indigent patients for the purpose of sustainability, stressing that it should also be 100 Per Cent owned, manned and managed by the Diaspora worldwide.
While, the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC and the Consulate Generals in Atlanta Georgia and New York will be acting as patrons to provide guidance rather than being chairs of any of the project Committees, there are also plans to consider the formation of the Committee for Mobilization for all Nigerians in the Diaspora as well as the Audit and Accounts Committee which will effectively take stock of contributions and as well audit the funds that are being contributed.
He stressed that it was now time for all the Nigerians living outside the country to rise up and give back to their nation by donating immensely towards the project, stressing that the National Trauma Center would serve as a life-saving facility for all Nigerians.
In a brief chat with LEADERSHIP after the event, the Chairman of the Project Committee, Dr. Toks Onabanjo, said that the Trauma Center if established, would deliver the best patient available, promote research, education and prevention for all traumas, accept all appropriate referrals of injured of all ages, and as well provide educational opportunities for nurses, pre-hospital providers and physicians on trauma and related issues.
Dr. Onabanjo also added that there were enough expertise among Nigerians in the Diaspora to ensure a standard product delivery.
BY AMBASSADOR GEOFFREY TENEILABE
Let me start by thanking you for granting me the audience to speak on the Nigerian Economy and opportunities therein.
The State of the Nigerian Economy
Nigeria has a population of 170 million people, 33.5% of whom are middle class;
It is now the biggest economy in Africa with the recent rebasing of the GDP;
The GDP is over USD509.9 bn;
The GDP growth rate is 6.5% – 7% and the economy is among the 10 fastest growing in the world;
It is also Africa’s biggest market;
By virtue of its membership of the Economic Community of West Africa State, Nigeria has further market access to 180 million more people;
The sovereign rating is BB-;
Inflation is 7.8%;
Debt to GDP ratio is now 11%;
It has transited from low income country to a middle income country;
It is one of the world’s emergent economies, classified under the acronym (MINT) Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey;
Economic policy is pursued under Vision 202020 expected to transform the Nigerian economy to the 20 biggest in the world from its current 26th biggest by year 2020;
The President Goodluck Jonathan’s Administration adopted the Transformation Agenda as a platform to achieve the goals of Vision 202020, complemented by the Foreign Policy objective of Economic Diplomacy;
In 2012, Nigeria attracted USD8.7 billion investment, the highest in Africa and the 4th highest in the world;
The return on investment is very encouraging as confirmed by Aliko Dangote, business tycoon, richest black man in the world as well as a Nigerian, who emphasizes that the average return on investment in Africa is 30.2%;
Nigeria has the 4th highest rate on investment in the world;
The exchange rate of the currency, the Naira, to Dollar have been stable for over several years;
Nigeria practises the open market economy and lays emphasizes on the private sector as driver for economic growth and wealth creation;
The Government has undertaken extensive economic liberalization reforms including privatization, ease of the regulatory environment, repatriation of profits, laws for the protection of foreign investment, one-stop-shop for investors, ease of registration of companies, among others;
Nigeria has huge human and natural resources including 44 different types of minerals; over 36.5 billion barrels of crude oil and 186 trillion cubic feet of natural gas;
Areas for investment include but not limited to infrastructure development, agriculture, agro-business, waste management, education, healthcare, tourism, power, real estate, Telecoms especially broadband, petrochemicals, fertilizer production, with details as follows:
To recapture its former enviable position as a major player in the world agric market, as well as to reduce high food import of about $11 billion, create employment and generate wealth, importance is attached to revamping agricultural production as a business rather than a subsistence enterprise;
Nigeria is endowed with uncultivated fertile land of over 48 million hectares. In order words, vast opportunities exist in the agricultural sector particularly in the production of cotton, palm oil and produce, cocoa, groundnut, cassava, rubber, sorghum, gum Arabic, rice, wheat, sugar, aquaculture, rice milling, horticulture, food processing, etc.
Incentives in the agricultural sector include: liberal allocation of land to investors through partnership or under long-term leases by various State Governments, revamping the irrigation system – (42 dams and over 12 River Basin authorities of various water bodies in the country), creating a local market for products such as cassava, rice and other products, and more efficient fertilizer distribution;
Others are the distribution of hybrid seedlings; facilitation of export market for agricultural products; co-operate tax rebate; zero percent on imported agric equipment for targeted products; prohibition of the importation of some related products, i.e., cassava flour since March 31st 2012; the political will to drive agricultural production at the highest level of government with the President heading the Agricultural Transformation Council and a more liberal fiscal regime with the availability of 450 billion naira ($2.9 billion) for the agricultural sector;
Related are opportunities in agriculture business in Nigeria; from tomato paste production, making of fruit concentrate, beef canning, etc., for a market of over 170 million people.
Power and Energy:
The provision of electricity is a pivotal agenda of government and for that reason Government launched the Power Road Map in 2010. Electricity is central to the growth of the economy and industrialization;
The aim is to increase generating capacity from 4,000 megawatts, (but with an installed capacity of 8,000 megawatts) to 40,000 by 2020;
To this end, Government has privatized the generation and distribution of electricity to 14 companies;
National Transmission Grid is contracted to Manitoba of Canada;
It has also set up various regulatory and pricing framework to further encourage investments in the market;
It has similarly reviewed the electricity tariff regime with a view to making the sector attractive for profit.
Nigeria has no less than 44 different solid minerals of various commercial quantities including Gemstones, Gold, Uranium, Columbite, Coal, Byrites and Bitumen (oil sands), among others, that could be found in many States of the Federation. Encouraging the exploration of these minerals, the government has put in place the Solid Mineral Policy to guide investors.
Oil and Gas:
For decades, Oil and Gas have remained crucial to the Nigerian economy, as revenue earner and major export products. Nigeria has an estimated 36.5 billion barrels of oil on reserve and 186 trillion cubic feet of gas. The country has more gas than oil but the problem is that 24% or 1.5 billion cubic feet per day of gas produced is flared, resulting in colossal loss of revenue of about $2.5 billion per year and environmental pollution;
However, the government has been making efforts to reverse this unhealthy situation by putting in place the Gas Master Plan for more utilization of gas for power generation, urea fertilizer production, gas for more domestic and industrial usage and uses in petrochemical industry, etc.
There are therefore huge opportunities for investors in the areas of:
i. Gas infrastructure,
ii. Liquefaction of gas for export,
iii. Production of equipment and materials under the Local Content Act,
iv. Establishment of refineries and petrochemical,
v. Establishment of urea fertilizer plants, etc.
Nigeria is undoubtedly deficient in infrastructure required for the socio-economic development of the country. Thus the government has given priority to its development in order to close the infrastructure gap in pursuit of the Transformational Agenda as well as to facilitate the rapid development of the country, with a view to making Nigeria one of the 20 biggest economics by the year 2020;
In this regard, investors are encouraged to invest in such areas as roads, railway, communication, airport development, etc. through various forms of arrangements in liaison with the Infrastructure Concession Commission of the Federal Government;
Some State governments are also interested in the development of infrastructure in their states through Private/Public Sector partnership arrangements;
Government is working on a legislation to remove its monopoly of the ownership of railways in order to provide an enabling law for private sector participation in the sector.
With a 17 million housing deficit in Nigeria, the real estate market is one of the most robust for private sector participation – an area government is keen on the provision of infrastructure and regulatory framework for the maintenance of standards and safety as well as social housing;
The return on investment in this sector is quite encouraging especially where high standard is maintained and facilities are provided. This is not surprising because of the high taste of the Nigerian elite, the rising middle class and the demand for good quality products;
It therefore serves the interest of investors who may wish to go into the area to do so in urban areas such as Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri, etc., in terms of the provision of high-end and low cost accommodation for lease as well as for office use.
Manufacturing is synonymous with industrialization but in recent times, because of inadequate electricity supply and dumping of imported products there is an apparent de-industrialization in Nigeria. However, with the Transformation Agenda of government the Industrial Revolution Plan and the Auto Manufacturing Plan have been launched focusing on 15 targeted areas of manufacturing including automobile, the textile industry, petrochemical, agro allied, refineries, fertilizer, pharmaceuticals, etc.;
Other areas with great potential for growth and development are building materials, milling, paper and paper products, vegetable oil, processing of solid minerals; basic metals, ship and boat building, cement production, wood processing and furniture making, etc., are also viable investment options.
Economic Free Zones:
Economic Free Zones are areas clearly demarcated within the territorial boundaries of sovereign states for economic activities under specific rules and regulations. In Nigeria, four kinds of export processing zones exist, namely: Special Trade Zone, Free Trade Zone, Export Processing Zone and Special Economic Zone. Currently, 24 of such zones exist;
Six others border Trade Free Zones are also being proposed. Investors, as private sector operators, could also take advantage of the numerous available advantages stated here below, besides government participation;
Incentives available at the export processing zones are:
i. Complete tax holiday from all Federal, State and Local government taxes, rates, customs duties and levies;
ii. One-stop approvals for all permits, operating licenses and incorporation papers;
iii. Duty-free introduction of capital goods, consumer goods, machinery, equipment and furniture; and;
iv. Permission to sell some of the manufactured, assembled or imported goods into the domestic Nigerian market;
v. 100% repatriation of capital, profits and dividends;
vi. Waiver of all import and export licenses;
vii. Waiver on all expatriate quotas for companies operation in the zones;
viii. Prohibition of strikes and lockouts; and
ix. Rent free land at construction stage within the zone.
Nigerian tourism sector remains pristine and largely unexplored;
Nigeria is rich in culture and arts with principalities and ancient nation states spread across the over 250 ethnic groups;
Besides the sun, sands and beaches along the Atlantic coast in places such as Badagry, Lekki, Calabar, Port Harcourt, there are also other areas of tourism attractions, namely the Yankari Game Reserve, Obudu cattle ranch, National war museum, Imuhia ancient Kano dying pits, the River Niger-Benue confluence, the Terracotta of Kaduna State, Arugugu fishing festival, Olumo rock, ancient art work of Benin and Ife, etc.;
There is inadequate tourism infrastructure in the country including hotels, rest houses and resorts;
Other areas for attention are infrastructure for the development of specific tourism sites, establishment of tour agencies as tour operators, infrastructure for safari games reserve and gorilla viewing.
In April 2006, Nigeria became the first African country to pay off its $30 billion dollar debt. Nigeria is regarded today as under-borrowed country and now occasionally borrows from the international financial market through the issuance of Bonds at attractive interest rates of between 15.05% to 16.16%. The Bonds are normally over-subscribed but investors could still be interested to check out the bond options particularly at the London and New York financial markets.
Generally, besides sectors-specific incentives, general investment incentives include the following:
a) Grant of Pioneer Status (tax holidays for 7 year period);
b) Tax Relief for R & D (expenses on R & D are Tax deductible);
c) Capital allowances (up to 75% in a year);
d) In-plant Training (2% tax concession for a period of 5 years);
e) Investment in Infrastructure (20% of expenses is tax deductible);
f) Investment in Economically Disadvantaged Areas (100% tax holiday for 7 years and 5% capital depreciation allowance);
g) Labour Intensive Mode of Production (Graduated tax concessions are applicable);
h) Local Value Added (10% tax concession for 5 years);
i) Minimum Local Raw Materials Utilization (Tax credit of 20% is granted for 5 years);
j) Export Expansion Grant (EEG);
k) One-stop Investment centre.
The challenges facing the Nigerian business sector include the following:
i) Inadequate Power;
ii) Weak access to production inputs especially finance;
iii) Expectation of unearned rewards;
iv) Multiplicity of Taxes and levies plus red tape;
v) Low access to information;
vi) Low capacity to invest in R & D, ICT & E-commerce;
vii) Restricted access to credit;
viii) Infrastructural deficiency and weak logistics to support supply chain;
ix) Inadequate export-oriented manufactures and low productive capacity;
x) Poor standardization of product (quality, labeling, packaging);
xi) High production costs;
xii) Lack of export culture.
Beside the above, perhaps the greatest challenge being faced by Nigeria today is the Boko Haram menace. It should however be noted that Boko Haram operation is limited to only a small part of Nigeria not more than three of out of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory;
The United States and other friendly countries and development partners are in collaboration with the Nigerian government to find a solution to the Boko Haram menace. The optimism is that it will soon be an issue of the past – an optimism shared by the United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, Wendy Sherman in a Press Interview granted on his recent visit to Nigeria.
CONSULATE-GENERAL OF NIGERIA
By: Abiodun Oluwarotimi on July 8, 2013 – 1:09pm
The Honorable Minister for Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, yesterday at the Nigerian Consulate-General in Atlanta Georgia, said that Nigeria was not a problematic or failed nation but a country that is facing the challenges that almost all the countries in the world face. He added that those challenges would go off with time.
Addressing The Nigeria Conversation jointly organized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Information and the Nigerian Consulate-General in Georgia, Mr. Labaran Maku said that there was no society without its own problem just as he asked the public to stop describing Nigeria as problematic.
“People should stop lamenting about problems, they should look for ways to solve such problems and by so doing, they will turn all these problems to investment opportunities in Nigeria. This is what America has been doing to make the country look the best despite the challenges it faces as well. America does use its problems to achieve reformation” he said.
He further asked Nigerians to stop listening to negative information about the country, urging them to always go to the Social Media websites of the country in order to be properly informed about what is happening in different sectors and then find a way to actualize what they could do to help the federal government in all the sectors.
Speaking on power, Minister Labaran Maku said that there would be a power revolution between the next two and three years just as there was a revolution in the Telecommunication sector which he said had opened a lot of business opportunities and as well created employments and made communication easier in Nigeria.
- See more
By: Abiodun Oluwarotimi on July 24, 2013 – 3:51pm
- See more at: http://leadership.ng/news/240713/no-faction-pdp-usa-chapter-national-chairman#sthash.WWUWwbVd.dpuf
By: Abiodun Oluwarotimi on July 16, 2013 – 4:21am
Ambassador Goeffrey Teneilabe is the Nigeria’s Consul-General in Atlanta and the Consulate covers 17 States in the United States of America. Recently, the Nigerian Consulate-General in Atlanta, the Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and its Information counterpart co-organized a Nigeria Conversation Summit. Shortly after the summit, Ambassador Geoffrey Teneilabe, spoke with our correspondent, ABIODUN OLUWAROTIMI, on the relationship between the Consulate and Nigerians living in America, the Nigeria-US relationship, Diaspora Voting Right among other issues.
Excerpts: – See more
The Nigerians in Diaspora Organization Americas (NIDOA), Atlanta Chapter, in partnership with the Consulate General of Nigeria-Atlanta, Georgia is delighted to extend a special invitation to you. NIDOA – Atlanta Chapter is hosting its first Annual NIDOA-ATLANTA Chapter Convention & Empowerment Day on August 31, 2013 and will be honored to have your presence as a Special Guest of honor.
Presented by Ambassador Geoffrey I. Teneilabe, Amb/Consul-General of Nigeria, Atlanta, to the Interactive Forum of the America-Nigeria International Chamber of Commerce
March 18, 2011
1, Olu Aboderin Street,
Onipetesi, P.M.B 21204,
Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria.
The attention of this Consulate-General has been drawn to a damaging, libelous, and ridiculous feature entitled, “Alleged Exploitation at Nigerian Embassy in the US” written by one Gbenga Adeniji and contained in your daily edition of Thursday, March 17, 2011. In this publication, you erroneously described the Nigerian legation in 8060 Roswell Road, Atlanta, Georgia USA as an Embassy, which we are not. You claimed that “the embassy oozes Nigeria”, that for those “who intend to process their travel documents”, our Mission sees “it as an opportunity to exploit them to the maximum”.
2. Furthermore, you stated that “like merchants the officials are accused of asking the applicants to purchase envelopes from the Embassy while a printout costs $5”. We have no grudge with your claim that “a Nigerian guy in another building” transacts whatever business he chooses with his fellow Nigerians at whatever cost suits his purpose. Perhaps, if your newspaper established since the 70s could be a bit painstaking, it would have seen the posting in the website of the Consulate-General of Nigeria, Atlanta Georgia, USA that this Mission has no office annex within or outside its premises and that whoever does business with such an outfit does so purely in his or her own interest.
3. It is sad and highly unedifying for your highly revered newspaper to engage in a campaign of calumny and disdain against an establishment without cross checking and double checking your facts. The conclusion of this your unfortunate article in which you “accused us of not processing forms according to given dates and not giving directions on where to put the forms’” is the greatest height of yellow journalism. It is instructive for you to tarry awhile and weigh the consequences of your libelous publication in an era in which several government agencies may be looking for scapegoats in an environment where innocent civil servants bear the brunt of sensational reportage like this publication which is grossly inaccurate and false in its entirety.
4. The wish is yours, Editor, if you would choose the path of honor to verify your facts before going to press and in this case, published an inaccurate rejoinder to exculpate us of your libel and damaging unnecessary exposure to public ridicule and contempt. Let it be known to you that apart from our disclaimer on our website of any underhand dealings, the United States of America is a law and order society which does not practice business as usual. Anyone, be it Nigerian or of any other nationality is not a sacred cow when it comes to unfair business practices but please dissociate this Consulate-General from collusion with anyone wherever to defraud anyone.
5. As civil servants, we may be incapacitated to institute a libel suit against you but your conscience shall be your judge and you will meet your match in your avowed destructive mission if this is your objective.
6. Best regards.
CONSULATE-GENERAL OF NIGERIA,
It has come to the notice of this Consulate-General and as has been noticed by fellow nationals that the previous online mode of payment for new e-Passports has been suspended. The new method observed is that Money Orders would substitute for the online payment via credit card of US$65.00 and such money order would be addressed and mailed to SW Global LLC, 50 Albany Turnpike, Canton, CT 06019.
This organization would in turn post a payment confirmation advice to the applicant’s e-mail address provided in the transaction, the applicant would download this confirmation with other e-Passport forms filled online and present himself/herself to the Consulate-General in Atlanta for Biometric Data Capturing pursuant to the issuance of an e-Passport. For purposes of clarity, the only change in the e-Passport issuance procedure is the method of payment of the US$65.00 e-Passport application fee, while all other processes involved in the issuance of these passports remain unchanged.
Fellow nationals are advised to adhere strictly to this new payment method of the US$65.00 as no other method of payment shall be accepted. If this procedure is disregarded, the application form procedure shall be impeded and inchoate. However, this change does not affect the US$30.00 administrative charges in Money Order payable to the Consulate-General of Nigeria in Atlanta. It is strictly advised that the Money Order shall as usual accompany the submission of application form and appearance at the Consulate-General for completion of the application procedure.
It is assumed that the circumstances that led to this new method shall be addressed in due course and a less cumbersome and less tedious mode of payment shall be re-introduced.
Consulate-General of Nigeria,