African briefs

29 March 2018 | Economics

Nigeria and Switzerland sign agreement to return assets

Nigeria and Switzerland signed a memorandum of understanding this week to pave the way for the return of illegally acquired assets, the west African country said.

Switzerland said in December that it would return to Nigeria around US$321 million in assets seized from the family of former military ruler Sani Abacha via a deal signed with the World Bank.

-Nampa/Reuters

Cocoa farmers in Ivory Coast may miss out on surging prices

Cocoa prices have surged by a third this year, but that’s still unlikely to translate into big gains for farmers in top producer Ivory Coast.

The West African nation uses forward sales to determine the minimum farmer price, so recent gains may have come too late for the smaller of two annual harvests that starts next week. That will limit President Alassane Ouattara’s ability to boost farmer rates.

Ivory Coast’s cocoa sector is also recovering from a crisis last season, when plunging prices led exporters to default on thousands of tons of contracts, pushing prices even lower and costing the nation more than US$500 million in support payments.

-Fin24

Djibouti plans new container terminal

Djibouti is in talks with French shipping company CMA CGM to develop a new container terminal at an initial cost of US$660 million as part of the tiny African country’s bid to expand into a sea and air transport hub for the continent.

Aboubakar Omar Hadi, chairman of the Djibouti Ports and Free Zone Authority (DPFZA), told Reuters on Tuesday that the authority hopes to award the concession in July. It was also prepared to buy out DP World’s stake in an existing container terminal to end a row with the Dubai port operator and avoid arbitration, he said.

Djibouti’s strategic location has led the United States, China, Japan and former colonial power France to build military bases there.

-Nampa/Reuters

Nigeria's finance minister calls meeting with state oil firm

Nigeria’s finance minister called on Tuesday for an emergency meeting with the head of state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation over revenue payments, the minister’s office said.

The emailed statement said Kemi Adeosun had called for the meeting to be held next week with Maikanti Baru, group managing director of the state oil firm, and senior management “over revenue payment into the Federation Account”.

-Nampa/Reuters

SA parliament hear latest on Steinhoff matter

Parliament committees were set to hear updates on investigations into Steinhoff on Wednesday.

The Financial Services Board (FSB), JSE, the Hawks, the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors and the Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission and PwC will make presentations before the committees on finance, public accounts, trade and industry and public service and administration.

The committees however will not hear from former CEO Markus Jooste. His lawyers De Klerk and Van Gend Incorporated wrote to the portfolio committees declining the invitation to appear before Parliament.

Jooste’s reasons were that he has resigned as CEO and was not in a position to provide meaningful assistance to the committees.

-Fin24

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