Nigeria-British International Trade Relations have been slated for serious bi-lateral trade discussions during the Bradford Initiative II Conference & Seminars. It can be recalled that during the Bradford I Proceedings in 2012, prominent business leaders of the Bradford Chambers of Commerce presented detailed strategies to strengthen and promote Nigeria British economic ties. This was in response to the Osun State Government’s Economic Plan for the development of Osun State in particular and Nigeria in general. The Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola’s Economic Team led by the Special Adviser, Dr. Charles Akinola extensively discussed with leading members of the Bradford Chambers of Commerce and some Nigerian entrepreneurs who attended the Bradford Initiative Conference I held at both the Hilton Hotel and at the University of Bradford. It was generally agreed by officials that the prospects for bi-lateral British-Nigeria economic relations were very good.
The Conference agreed that because of the rickety governmental system in place under the then administration, there was need to hope and wait for a NEW DAY which has now come. Building on the new enabling environment, the Managing Director of Huron Blue Company and some leading officials of the Bradford Chambers of Commerce met in Bradford recently, to put in place new strategies for improved Nigeria-British economic relations. The approved modus operandi for poverty alleviation, favorable policies framework favoring manufacturing industries, health care, education and agriculture would be unfolded on 24th November, 2015 during the Bradford Initiative II Conference & Seminar. The discussions participants agreed to organize trade fairs regularly thereafter, to promote economic growth between Nigeria and Great Britain.
Businessmen from the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce and Industries have expressed the determination to cooperate with the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to promote international trade and work out concrete mechanisms to achieve the nation’s economic growth objectives. In order to ensure the safety of investments and protection of intellectual properties leading insurance companies such as NICON Plc, Nigeria Reinsurance Corporation have designed new products which would be unveiled shortly. As Nigerian business companies foray into international markets, Nigerians in Diaspora, especially in the United States of America, many of whom have expressed confirmed willingness to attend the Conference, will introduce new proprietary information technologies, some of which they would establish in Nigeria shortly after the Bradford Conference & Seminar II.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, under its learned Honorable Minister of State for Petroleum Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, would meet with and discuss intensively with international Oil Companies’ topmost Executives including some Board Chairmen and Senior Vice-Presidents. Despite the lingering slump in the world market prices of crude oil, there exist a high interest in obtaining supplies of Nigeria’s Bonny light type of crude oil. It is for this reason that oil prospecting and field hardware and logistics companies especially from the new and thirsty Asia markets including China and India have expressed firm interest in participating in the Bradford Initiative II Meetings. There are strong indications that a number of high-powered discussions and negotiations would be held unilaterally and multi-laterally among participants and with representatives of the Nigerian upstream sector.
On a recent trip to Houston, Texas and northern California to drum up interest in the Bradford II Meetings, a Senior Vice-President of Huron Blue Company the think-tank corporation that hold the proprietary rights to the Bradford Initiative business promotions and discourse Platform, identified a bullish sentiments to invest, fresh in the Nigerian Upstream sector or resuscitate their erstwhile moth-balled operations from which they had walked away in the face of the opaque oil patch bidding and licensing atmosphere that prevailed in the corrupt Nigerian environment. Their excitement over the prospects of and actual changes that has happened in Nigeria was very welcome and palpable.
Internally, the downstream Oil Marketers are experiencing changes because the deliberate, profiteering bottlenecks that were imposed in the supply of refined petroleum products at the depots and in the supply chain are being vigorously and incisively cleared.
Already, there is strong evidence that Nigeria’s Oil Minister has introduced measures on unbundling the PPMC system and has resolved other oil issues making the system more efficient and well regulated. He would inform the Conference & Seminar of new and better strategies to make the Nigerian crude oil to be competitive in the global oil market in the wake of the continued turmoils in the Middle Eastern Oilfields and the lingering problems between Iran and the West over nuclear matters. These two factors have elevated the prospect of Nigeria’s brand of low-sulphur Bonny Light crude in the international market place. With the intrepid national and international naval determination to blow sea-pirates clear out of the Gulf of Guinea waters, the erstwhile pirates who migrated from Somalian waters or provided the inspiration to the local buccaneers are definitely on the run with their souped-up, surface-to-surface mounted missiles. The waters are now safe for peaceful, unmolested flow of crude oil laden tankers and super tankers.
It is this fresh era of plumbing and blocking the leakages which had corruptly strangulated the petroleum industry that the exhilarating news came that the much maligned and orphaned PIB would be represented to the Nigeria’s Legislative arm to be passed into a Bill in the first half of next year 2016. Passage of the piece of legislation would provide a terrific boost to the national petroleum industry and promote, facilitate is a better word; the involvement of local content and entrepreneurship into the industry. The gains would be worth billions of dollars to local investors and operators.
Informed pundits privy to the spirit and legal framework and content of the Bill believe that field works service providers, offshore platforms provisioners, maritime logistics operators as well as barges, pipelines excavators and metallurgical works outfits would benefit the most as will Cabotage and Admiralty Law and arbitration practitioners whose services would now be more required in contracts drafting, abutting fields and oil patches disputes’ out of court win-win resolutions and operating rights interpretations. It’s truly a new and promising day in the Oil and Gas horizon.
The Nigerian President, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari spoke. He spoke eloquently from the podium of the United Nations Assembly. He spoke the minds of his nations. He articulated the aspirations of his newly liberated populace – a brilliant and gifted amalgam of 170 million people. Often restive, yes. Sometimes impatient, yes. But their hopes and frustrations, which come cyclical, are honest and deserved. They are not asking for the unattainable. They are simply asking for honest leadership that would lead them if not to the Promised Land would at the very least take them across the red Sea bobby-trap by asphyxiating corruption. They seek not Uhuru, but simply asked for the barest guaranteed minimum that their God-endowed nation can furnish them.
They are saying, please leaders, give us righteousness and we will come to equity with your leadership. Come, leaders come to that equity with clean hands and we would march with you, stride for stride and hand in hand, to where in the comity of nations, we belong. And that should definitely be alongside Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, Brazil and South Africa. The Christians of his nation are taught by their Holy Book that: “Righteousness begets a nation and sin is a reproach”. The Muslims of his nation are taught that: “Whoever holds firmly to God would be shown a road that is straight”. Corruption is not a road and it is not straight, as despite huge bank accounts that deny electricity, health-care and education to the poor masses, it leads to international exposure, loss, shame and a possible time in the cold maws of foreign or local prisons.
There he stood ramrod straight, in the mould of his primary profession, exuding the confidence of a man justified by the incontrovertible electoral mandate of the vast of his compatriot yearning for change, if not exactly a messiah. He modestly but proudly reminded the gathered diplomats and Heads of States plus the global network-television billion-strong audience that: ‘As a young officer, I was privileged to serve in the United Nations Peace keeping missions in Congo and in Lebanon’. His message was not lost in the thunderous ovation: that those who invested much including self in bringing about peace to other regions of the world must not be left orphaned at a time when their own peace is threatened. The world understood and the emergent cooperation, empathy and assistance would soon make Nigeria’s troubles a thing of the past.
His message brought it clearly home, in an unspoken manner, that the emergent new Nigeria is a changed one devoid of the opacity that guided economic policy atmosphere with deliberately strewn with impediments that promotes corruption in business dealings. Nigeria has demonstrated willingness to the comity of nations that it would respect all existing international treaties and conventions, both bi-lateral and multi-lateral and the United Nations Charter and Statute of the International Court of Justice. Nigeria would now better focus on our diplomatic concerns on AU and ECOWAS, on the free movement of ours and neighbors’ peoples. The Foreign Direct Investment purveyors are enthused, as is shown in the recent upsurge in expressed investment interest in Nigeria. This is what the Wall Street banks, Investment Houses and business press have been reporting.
It is auspicious that it is under this vibrant, hopeful and business friendly environment that the Bradford Initiative II Conference & Seminar 2015 is holding. We wish the participants from all parts of the world a happy, fruitful and profitable discourse and deals.
The Curatorium of BOSAS International Law Bureau in collaboration with the Board of Huron Blue Company Limited for the purposes of this and subsequent Bradford Initiative Conferences & Seminars invite Consulting firms, Economic Consultants, Senior Research Fellows; Junior Research Fellows are invited to apply to fill the existing vacancies in our organization. The Conveners wish also to invite the Chief Executives of the leading International Oil Corporations such as Exxon-Mobil, Chevron-Texaco, Conoco-Philip, Elf-Total-Fina, ENI Group, CNOC and others to this important and timely forum the second in the Series. The Fellows from The Jerusalem Post, Der Spiegel, Radio Deutch Welle, The London Financial Times, The New York Times, The Business Desk of CNN, Aljazeera, BBC and The Washington Post, International Herald Tribune Business Editor, South West Yorkshire Radio have all indicated interest in participating.
Full coverage is anticipated from the local Nigerian media such as Channels Television, MITV, NTA, Silver Bird Media Group, Ray-Power Radio and Africa Independent Television, The Guardian Newspapers, Newswatch Times Newspaper, National Mirror, The Daily Independent, The Nation and The Sun Newspapers,
Also invited are The Chairman Bradford Chamber of Commerce, The Chairman Lagos Chamber of Commerce, The Emir of Kano, Mr. Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holding Worldwide, Chairman J. P Morgan, The Oba of Lagos. Barrister Akin-Olugbade.
“Affirmining Re-statement of the constitutional, jurisprudential and Sociocratic bases for Nigeria’s corporate existence which must be strengthened not only through party political actions, but cardinally through sound economic thoughts and sociocratic praxis’
In the General provisions of the Constitution it states and we quote:
1.(1) This Constitution is supreme and its provisions shall have binding force on all authorities and persons throughout the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
(2) The Federal Republic of Nigeria shall not be governed, nor shall any person or group of persons take control of the government of Nigeria or any part thereof, except in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.
(3) If any other law is inconsistent with the provisions of this constitution, this constitution shall prevail, and that other law shall to the extent of the inconsistency be void.