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Angola’s capital city, Luanda has emerged, for the third year running, the costliest city in the world, trumping mega cities like New York and London, according to Mercer’s 21st annual Cost of Living Survey. However, unlike other countries represented in the top five, more than half of the Angolan population lives below poverty line.

Luanda is Angola’s most populous and important city, a primary port and major industrial, cultural and urban centre. Expatriates pay as much as $400 per night for a decent hotel room in the city and up to $75 for a basic lunch. In order to keep up appearances, the Angolan government has been clearing the city of its poor, it called it “war against chaotic urbanization.

An estimated one-third of the Angolan population lives in Luanda, where many were forced to run to in order to escape the country’s 27-year civil war. The gap between the rich and the poor in the city mirrors that of the rest of the country. The Angola government has been criticized for fighting the poor rather than fighting poverty.

Although the country currently struggles to fund its budget and growth forecasts have been cut due to falling oil prices. Angola has enjoyed years of wealth from its oil, but during these years of abundance, President José Eduardo dos Santos had been accused of enriching the ruling class at the expense of the poor.

The southern African country’s public facade in Luanda hides the despair of millions of Angolans who struggle daily to access basic infrastructure.

Another African city, N’Djamena made the top ten most expensive cities list. Like Luanda, the Chadian capital has some of the poorest people in Africa. The United Nations’ Human Development Index ranks Chad as the seventh poorest country in the world. Despite this, its capital city came tenth in the ranking. Chad would ordinarily be considered an inexpensive city, but for the cost of imported goods and the fact that safe living conditions in the country are available only at a steep price.

The economic state of the people of the two African cities that made the top ten mirrors the widening gap between the rich and the poor in Africa. Factors considered by Mercer for the ranking include instability of housing markets and inflation for goods and services, which the global consulting firm says impacts the overall cost of doing business in a global environment.

Hong Kong (2), Zurich (3), Singapore (4), Geneva (5), Shanghai (6), Beijing (7), Seoul (8) and Bern (9) are the other cities in the list of most expensive cities for expatriates.

Mercer used New York as the base city for the survey, and all cities were compared against it. Currency movements were measured against the US dollar.

The survey includes 207 cities across five continents and measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each location, including housing, transportation, food, clothing, household goods, and entertainment.
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Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has sold its multi billion Naira airport in Warri, Delta State NIGERIA to an indigenous energy and infrastructure company, Shoreline Energy International Limited. This is part of its divestment plans and an ongoing review of operations in the eastern Niger Delta region of the country. “This does not mean we are reducing our investments in Nigeria. What we have invested in Nigeria in recent years has exceeded the divestment of our interests in the eastern Niger Delta. It is just part of the review of our business portfolio,” A spokesperson for Shell, Mr. Bamidele Odugbesan told local newspaper, Punch. Shell divestment plans After weak refining margins and crude oil theft in Nigeria forced the profit of Europe’s largest oil company to fall, the company announced in 2013 that it would sell $30billion worth of assets of its company in Nigeria starting from its Niger Delta assets. From 2010 to date shell has sold more than twelve Oil Mining Leases (OMLs) in Nigeria. Seplat acquired OMLs 4, 38 and 41 in 2010, while the Nigerian Development Company (NPDC) purchased OMLs 26, 42, 40, 34, 30 in 2011 and 2012. In 2013, Newcross Exploration and Production Limited (Newcross) agreed to acquire OML 24, 25 (Still in Court). Aiteo, Talevaras consortium, bought over OML 29 and Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL). In March 2015, Eroton acquired OML 18. Read More
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oil companies have shut down their operations in some oilfields in the western part of Niger Delta, following vandalization of the Trans Forcados pipeline,

The companies are: Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Seplat Petroleum Development Company and four other Nigerian companies comprising Shoreline Resources Limited, Neconde, First Hydrocarbon Nigeria (FHN) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The Trans Forcados Pipeline (TFP), conveys crude oil produced by these companies from the producing fields to the Forcados Export Terminal.

Vandals had earlier damaged the pipeline, resulting to the shutdown of crude oil production by these companies from late December 2014 to the first week of January 2015, before they struck again in the first week of March and more recently, the last week of April to the first week of May.

“Once Trans Forcados is down, all of us suffer. In 2014 we budgeted 35 days of outage but we ended up suffering 75 days of outage. In the first 30 days of this year, we have already suffered 15 days of outage. So, the Trans Forcados remains a huge problem for all of us, producers in the western Niger Delta, who deliver crude to Forcados. When it is down, everybody suffers; we have production outage and therefore, for the period, there is no production for the country,” CEO of Seplat, Mr. Austin Avuru said.

Shell had earlier declared force majeure on Forcados crude oil stream, effectively disrupting the export of 189,000 barrels per day, following what it described as “series of leaks” in the Trans Forcados Pipeline.

written by; CHRISTIAN OKOLI (brainbox)
ff on twitter @am_brainbox Read More
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According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Nigeria is projected to have the largest economy at more than $1 trillion by 2030

the U.S. Department of Agriculture is saying that, according to their projections, in the next 15 years, Nigeria will continue its lead as the largest economy in Africa.

CNN reports:

    Between now and 2030, experts predict annual growth rates as high as 7.92 percent resulting in a GDP of $1.05 trillion.

    Agriculture, which already makes up 24 percent of the nation’s GDP, is expected to lead Nigeria’s growth.

Global Chief Economist Charles Robertson explains, “A lot of Nigeria’s growth will come from agriculture and services are huge in Nigeria. Banking, retail, telecoms, and Nollywood has been an explosive growth story in past couple of years.”

Here is the full list of African nations– and their projected values — that are expected to share the distinction as the continent’s biggest economies by 2030:

1. Nigeria, $1.05 trillion
2. South Africa, $810.6 billion
3. Egypt, $471.5 billion
4. Algeria, $330.7 billion
5. Angola, $226 billion
6. Morocco, $184 billion
7. Libya, $128.2 billion
8. Ethiopia, $122.3 billion
9. Kenya, $107.5 billion
10. Ghana, $101.4 billion Read More
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The Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has been named one of the 50 greatest leaders in the world by globally-acclaimed Fortune Magazine.
Occupying the 33rd spot on the list, the minister was recognised alongside the Liberian President, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; Catholic Pontiac, Pope Francis; Chinese President Xi Jinping; Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi; Bill and Melinda Gates as well as Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerburg and Apple Chief Executive Officer, Tom Cook.
In the latest edition of the magazine, the minister was described as “a fearless promoter of sound economic policies”, and was also singled out for working hard to usher in a decade in which Nigeria’s GDP trippled.
Fortune Magazine’s annual list celebrates men and women who are transforming lives in all spheres, including government, business and philanthropy.
In compiling the 2015 list, the magazine explained that it gathered advice from more than 24 of the world’s best minds. The leaders were judged by their actions within their professional domain, industries or governance.
“To make this roster, it was not enough to be brilliant, admirable or even supremely powerful. We set out to find singular leaders with vision who moved others to act as well, and who brought their followers with them on a shared quest.
“We looked for effectiveness and commitment and for the courage to pioneer,” the magazine said.
Okonjo-Iweala graduated from Harvard in 1976 and holds a Ph.D in Development Economics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – 1981.
As two-time Finance Minister of Nigeria, she has helped to lay a solid foundation for the Nigerian economy, which is currently the biggest in Africa at $510 billion. Read More
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