Monday, 25 September 2017
Business and Economy

Business and Economy (692)

The Trade and Tariff Department of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it has recovered N5.2 billion revenue from direct notices issued by its valuation unit from January to September, a report stated.

The report is contained in the NCS publication, Monthly Order. The valuation unit is saddled with the valuation of imported goods in Nigeria using the World Trade Organisation (WTO’s) agreement on customs evaluation.
It also coordinates activities of all the valuation officers in the Area Commands by ensuring maximum collection of duties through issuance of demand notices.
According to the report, from January to September, the unit issued 6,645 demand notices out of which N5.2 billion was recovered.
On the resolution of trade disputes, the report said the unit adjudicated and resolved 18 value-based disputes between the service and importers on one hand and between Customs clearing agents and service providers on the other.
During the period, the unit attended to seven requests for vessel assessments, the report stated. The report recommended that the service should create a comprehensive and electronic valuation databank of all commodities, which could be updated.
 It also called for more training of customs officers in view of the NCS take-over of the function of service providers by the end of the year.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NCS will assume full control of Destination Inspection (DI) across the country hitherto contracted to service providers seven years go from Jan. 1, 2013.
The service providers are SGS Nigeria Limited, Global Scan Limited and Cotecna Destination Inspection Limited. Meanwhile, the report also listed 15 agencies, whose licences were revoked by NCS during the period.
It said that the agencies licences were revoked due to offences ranging from fake documentation, fraud and abuse of clearing process.
 All customs agency licences and permits expire on Dec. 31 of every year and renewable yearly except otherwise suspended or revoked as the case may be.   


Posted On Monday, 31 December 2012 13:24 Written by

The cleanup of the Atlantic Shoreline, contaminated by an oil spill on Dec. 19, within Qua Iboe oil fields, has yet to begin, according to residents.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that at the spill site on Friday, tidal wave was spreading the oily deposits back and forth along the coastline.
The oil field from where the spill emanated, is operated by the Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN). Residents at the coastal settlement said that they started noticing oil deposits at the shoreline since Dec. 16, and reported the development to the MPN.
``We started seeing fresh oil deposits since Dec. 16, and we reported to Mobil and they came to inspect and collected samples of the oil.
``But up till now, they have not responded to clean it up. ``The tide has been flushing the oil to other places and this is worsening the situation,’’
 John Etim, a resident said. MPN had, in a statement on Dec. 21, confirmed a reported spill within its operations at the Qua Iboe oil fields in Akwa Ibom and pledged to clean up the impacted areas immediately.
The statement made available to NAN in Eket was signed by Mobil’s Communications Manager, Nigel Cookey-Gam. ``Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited (MPN), operator of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/MPN Joint Venture, confirms that on Dec. 19, community representatives notified the company of slight oiling on short sections of the shoreline of Ibeno, Akwa Ibom.
``MPN immediately deployed a team to inspect the site and samples of the oiling were taken for analysis to help determine the source.
``Sections of shoreline with any oiling will be cleaned immediately. ``MPN restates its commitment to maintaining high safety, health and environmental standards in our operations and is committed to the well-being of our neighbouring communities,’’ Cookey-Gam said.
 It was gathered that the oil firm also suspended mop up exercise at the areas affected by an earlier spill incident which occurred on Nov. 9.
NAN recalls that oil spill incidents had been recorded at the oil field on Aug. 13, Aug. 24. Nov. 9 and Dec. 19.



Posted On Saturday, 29 December 2012 19:56 Written by

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) says the nation’s external reserves has dropped by 80 million dollars (about N12.4 billion).

 The drop, reported on the bank’s Website on Friday, represented a 2.81 per cent decrease.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that by the drop, the nation’s external reserves now stand at 44.26 billion dollars from 44.34 billion dollars reported on Dec. 24.
 NAN reports that the nation’s external reserves have been growing grow since August, but started declining on Dec. 10. Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, has stressed the need for Nigeria to shore up its external reserves.
Okonjo-Iweala, at a meeting with the Organised Private Sector in July, said that there was the need to build up the reserves to 50 billion dollars before the end of December.
She said that high external reserves would help the country in the event of any economic recession. 


Posted On Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:19 Written by

The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) on Friday advised lawmakers to ensure prudent management of the country’s resources in 2013.

Mr Alade Lawal, ASCSN’s General Secretary, said at the association’s end of the year meeting in Lagos that legislators should monitor the usage of the nation’s economic resources to limit wastage.
``The legislators should insist on prudent management of our resources through diligent oversight,’’ Lawal said.
He urged the lawmakers to discourage plans to go for more foreign loans in the new year.
The ASCSN scribe said that many structures built with loans, such as the fertilizer plants, as well as those in the steel and petrochemical areas, were not functioning. Lawal said that Nigeria’s daily earnings from crude oil sales, if judiciously used, could provide the necessary infrastructure needed for the development of the country.
He recalled that in 2005 and 2006, the country was saved from a multi-billion dollar debt overhang by the Paris Club and it was over blowing debt repayment.
Lawal noted that the debt buy back arrangement was a great relief that allowed the country to use the resources that were being used to service the debt for other needs.
On promotion of workers, the union scribe said that the ASCSN would address the continuous delay in the payment of arrears to workers who had passed their promotion examinations in some of the 103 Unity Colleges.
He also said that while some workers have yet to be upgraded for three years, some of the workers who passed their examinations were not placed in their right positions.
He gave an assurance that in 2013, the association would settle all outstanding issues as well as nascent ones in line with the trade union practice.


Posted On Saturday, 29 December 2012 15:07 Written by

Textile sellers in Switzerland have expressed concern over low patronage by Nigerians, especially in the month of December, The News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) gathered on Friday in Bern.

Nigeria is Switzerland’s largest market in fabrics such as Swiss lace, and Filtex among others. Mr Abdullahi Isah, President of Nigerians in Diaspora (NIDO) Switzerland, told NAN that some Swiss textile merchants complained of low patronage, which he said they described as unusual especially during festive seasons.
Isah said the quality of Swiss fabrics had made its textiles very popular among Nigerians, thereby boosting trade relations between the two countries.
 He noted that with the ban on importation of Hollandais, if Nigerian textile companies could improve on their quality of the local fabrics to become more attractive, it would be well patronised.
He urged government officials to promote indigenous companies by patronising them, rather than buying foreign textiles.
A visit by NAN`s Western Europe Correspondent to St. Gallen, a popular Swiss textile city, saw most shops closed for business following the Christmas holidays. With an annual trade volume of over 200 million dollars, Nigeria imports mainly machinery, chemical, textile and pharmaceutical products from Switzerland, on the other hand, Switzerland imports crude oil from Nigeria. 
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 14:41 Written by

Some shareholders have urged the Federal Government to pump more funds into the capital market to stabilize the economy for better performance.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that government should also review its tax on dividends and speed up privatization of companies to facilitate their listing on the bourse.
Mr Timothy Adesiyan, President, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association (NSSA), said that the 10 per cent withholding tax being paid by investors on dividends should be abolished.
He said that the incidence of multiple taxes was discouraging more investors from coming into the market.
Adesiyan said that the regulatory authorities should ensure that shareholders were compensated before delisting any company on the Exchange from 2013. Alhaji Gbadebo Olatokunbo, a shareholder, said that government should support activities of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to sustain investor confidence.
He said that stability and consistency of government’s policies would enhance recovery of the capital market. Olatokunbo advised the executive and legislative arms of government to work together to facilitate the development of the market. "It will be proper to end hostilities over the leadership of SEC now," he said.
Mr Boniface Okezie, President, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, urged the Federal Government to revisit the nationalization of Afribank, Spring Bank and Bank PHB.
Okezie said that shareholders of the three nationalized banks were dissatisfied with the manner their compensation was being executed.
"Government needs to resolve the issue of compensation to investors of those nationalized banks to restore their confidence in the nation's capital market," he said.
"The interest of shareholders should be protected at all times to increase their participation in the market," he said. Mr James Osoka, another shareholder, said that government should source long-term funds from the market to development the infrastructure. "It is not profitable to go borrowing at high interest rates from the money market," he said


Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 14:23 Written by

Chief Edem Duke, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, on Thursday said that tourism remained a critical contributor to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of major economies.

Duke, who stated this when he hosted Mr Yahuma Obika, the High Commissioner of the Republic of Trinidad and Trimago to Nigeria, in Calabar said that Nigeria was an industry beneficiary.
He expressed the desire of his ministry to continue to collaborate with the Cross River Government to maximise the potentials of tourism to boost its economy. The Minister also donated N20 million to the state government to sustain and move the Calabar Carnival 2012 forward.
Duke lauded the hosting of the various Carnivals across the country to boost Nigeria’s tourism potentials. According to him, it will afford the different segments of the society including the youth and the women the opportunity to explore their creative abilities. "We are almost like 37 countries all in one and, therefore, you cannot limit the expression of people’s creativity; in fact, we want to encourage as many more because it engages our youth. "It takes them off the street, reduces restiveness and provides a platform where political, traditional  and religious leaders, the youth, women and children converge for a common goal,’’ he said.
In his remarks, Obika recalled the existing cultural ties between Nigeria and his country and sued for its sustenance for mutual benefits. He described 2012 Calabar Carnival as unique and capable of turning around the economy of the state.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the get together, which took place at the Mirage Hotel, Calabar featured steel band from Trinidad and Tobago.

Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 14:15 Written by

Prof. Rukkayyatu El Rufai, Minister of Education, has advised the Federal Polytechnic, Offa, Kwara, to commercialise its research products in order to complement government’s effort to reduce poverty.

The Minister gave the advise in a statement issued by Mr Wole Alawode  Head of Public Relations and Protocols of the institution after the completion of National Education Innovations Exhibition, in Abuja.

“The Federal Polytechnic, Offa, should explore the possibility of commercializing her research products and train people for the benefit of the national economy”, she said.
The statement said that the Minister commended the institution for its series of scientific and technological breakthroughs and advised the management to sustain it.
The innovations and research products exhibited by the institution included Sweet potato for bread and other confectioneries, password enabled security doors, automatic dust bin and micro-controller based home appliance control system.
Others were model house built with expanded polystyrene wall as a substitute for concrete block, animal waste to biogas for domestic heating, solar electric system and solar cooker.
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 13:58 Written by

The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) in Abuja urged the Federal Government to implement the 2010 African Union Declaration on the health sector.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the AU Declaration stipulates that 15 per cent of the budget should be allocated to the health sector. The Executive Director of CISLAC, Malam Auwal Rafsanjani, told NAN that it was imperative for the government to allocate more resources to the health sector to ensure the attainment of the MDGs.
"We at the level of the civil society organizations have advocated increased funding for health sector to ensure the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
NAN recalls that the 2010 Abuja Declaration also called for accelerated action towards Universal Access to HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria Services by 2010 and the African Health Strategy 2007-2015.
He said that many countries were looking up to Nigeria for the implementation of the declaration.
"It is rather disappointing that most of the ratified instruments still lie on the shelves of government's Ministries, Departments and Agencies awaiting implementation," he said.
Rafsanjani noted that the 2013 budget gave little attention to the health sector, adding ``this shows that the government is failing to accord the sector the needed priority.
"Much priority is not given to the areas that Nigerians will appreciate which can help to reduce poverty and improve social amenities.’’ The director said that the bulk of the 2013 budget was allocated to recurrent expenditure, compared to what was allocated to capital expenditure.
"We cannot continue to run the nation’s economy that way.’’
According to him, there is need to re-examine the budget to enable lawmakers to correct some mistakes that can affect its performance before it is harmonized.
"This will ensure that the objectives of the budget are achieved and boost the country's economic growth and development. "CISLAC will continue to engage the legislature to review the budget and highlight some of the likely implications that can arise as a result of flaws.’’
He said that the legislature had a responsibility to carry out oversight functions on the executive and judiciary, adding that NASS should endeavor to discharge its duties effectively.
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 13:42 Written by

The  National Emergency Management Agency ( NEMA) has called on Nigerians to imbibe the culture of disaster risk reduction.

The North-West Zonal Coordinator of NEMA,  Alhaji Musa Ilallah, made the call in Sokoto at the opening of the 2012 workshop on strengthening disaster preparedness and mitigation at the state and local government levels.

Represented by Alhaji Aliyu Kafin-Dangi , Head , Training in the North-West zonal office , Kaduna, Ilallah also stressed the need for coordinated efforts by stakeholders in disaster management.

" These are those at the federal, state and local governments and other stakeholders . This is necessary for an overall success in disaster management.

" We must continue to see ourselves as partners in progress in disaster management in the country," Ilallah said.

He said the workshop was to coordinate and facilitate a process for development of appropriate systems , procedures , expertise and resources at all levels for effective mitigation and efficient response to disasters.

" It is also aimed at improving the capacity of local government officials in providing a mechanism for integration and coordination at the state and local government levels," he said.

The Director-General, Sokoto State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA), Alhaji Hassan Maccido, who was represented by Alhaji Mustapha Umar, commended NEMA for its sustained efforts in the prevention and mitigation of disasters.

Maccido said the workshop would improve the knowledge of the participants and facilitate disaster prevention and management at the grassroots.

Alhaji Tukur Ladan, from Silame Local Government, on behalf of the participants, lauded NEMA for the conference.

 "We are appreciative of NEMA's efforts and we are determined to ensure the success of all its activities at all levels,"
Posted On Friday, 28 December 2012 12:44 Written by
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