America’s $1.3bn investment in Nigeria threatened – Consul General

United States High Commission Consul General John Bray has said an estimated $1.3billion American businesses in Nigeria are currently under threat.

The threats, according to him, are coming from instability in exchange rate, policy inconsistency, poor electricity, dearth of infrastructure, regulatory and security issues.

Bray spoke in Lagos at the 2018 International Investment Conference with the theme, “Promoting Investment, Connecting Business” organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce & Industry (LCCI).

He said American investors have issues with how policies are made and changed, noting that the listed threats have the capacity to discourage investors from coming into the country.

The envoy said there seems not to be a clear-cut obedience to rule of law to protect investors.

He also regretted that the country has image problem which needed to be addressed urgently, stressing that though security concerns remain an issue, it was not always enough to discourage genuine investors as what they needed to do was just to take care of their personal or corporate existence.

On infrastructure, Bray encouraged the building of competitive infrastructure and stressed the need to connect cities and states for easy movement of goods and services.

Meanwhile, oil prices rose on Monday as U.S. sanctions against Iranian fuel exports began but were softened by waivers allowing major buyers to import Iranian crude for a while.

Tehran said that it would defy Washington and continue to sell.

Brent crude oil was at $72.83 a barrel by 1230 GMT while US light crude was 15 cents lower at $62.99.

At 2.00 a.m. commodities, U.S. crude was $62.91 per barrel and Brent was last at $72.62.

At 3.00 a.m. U.S. crude was $62.68/barrel while Brent was last at $72.41.

“Oil bulls have long pinned their hopes on the Iran factor and today’s (yesterday) dearth of upside potential will be a major source of concern,” Stephen Brennock, an analyst at brokerage PVM Oil, said.
Washington imposed sanctions against Iran on Monday, restoring measures lifted under a 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama.

In response, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said, in a speech broadcast on state media that Iran would break the sanctions and continue to sell oil.

But Washington said on Friday it will temporarily allow eight importers to keep buying Iranian oil.

“U.S. sanctions against Iran … created serious concerns with traders earlier in September.

“But they are turning into a damp squib,” said Fiona Cincotta, market analyst at City Index.

South Korea said on Monday it had been granted a waiver, at least temporarily, to import condensate, a super-light form of crude oil, from Iran. It was also allowed to continue financial transactions with the Middle East country, it said.

China’s Foreign Ministry expressed regret at the U.S. decision but would not directly say if China had or had not been granted an exemption.

Oil markets have been anticipating the sanctions for months and the world’s biggest producers have been increasing output.

A joint output from Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia rose above 33 million barrels per day (bpd) for the first time in October, up 10 million bpd since 2010, with all three pumping at or near record volumes.

In the Middle East, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co plans to increase its oil production capacity to four million bpd by the end of 2020 and to five million bpd by 2030, it said on Sunday, from an output of just over three million bpd.


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