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90% of Imported Products Not Verified – SON

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The Standards Organisation of Nigeria has disclosed that it had no opportunity to verify 90 per cent of the products imported into the country between September and December 2015.

The Acting Director-General, SON, Dr. Paul Angya, disclosed this during a two- day capacity building   workshop organised by the SON for media executives in Lagos recently.

Angya said September to December 2015 was a-three-month window that was provided for importers to be able to register on the Nigeria Customs electronic platform, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System.

He said, “The NICIS platform allowed all stakeholders in the maritime sector to view data on shipment.  But because the World Trade Organisation required that we should allow time for importers to register on the NICIS platform, we left a window of three months between September and December and issued them Electronic Provisional Clearance Certificate as an alternative.

“EPCC permitted importers to bring in their goods without the mandatory SON Conformity Assessment Programme certificates.

“But when this window of opportunity was created, criminal-minded importers took advantage of the situation and brought in substandard products which they were able to take out of the Nigerian seaports without the SON’s verification. So, between the periods of September and December 2015, 90 per cent of the goods imported into this country had no SON verification.”

Angya disclosed that after observing how importers had taken advantage of the  EPCC platform  to bring harmful products into the country, the agency had gone ahead to close it and as a result, the management and staff of SON are now facing threats and blackmail from importers.

“When we tried to communicate this fact, they resorted to blackmail, threatening that if we close down the EPCC   platform, they will react. So we shut down the platform in July and directed that whatever they were bringing into Nigeria should go through the SONCAP regime.

“So they have now gone to the Internet to vilify SON.  My staff and I have also been threatened by some of them, violently.”

Angya added that the major challenge the agency faced was being able to intercept containers right from the arrival point noting that since 90 per cent of substandard products come into Nigeria through the seaports, the absence of the SON’s agents at the ports had made the job more difficult.

He said since they were not allowed at the ports, they resolved to chase containers on the highway any time they received information that the container carried harmful goods.   “My officers who are all graduates and engineers chase trailers on the highway like touts,   risking their lives to jump on trailers to try and catch them,” he stated.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Communities in Delta State Shut OML30 Operates by Heritage Energy Operational Services Ltd

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The OML30 operated by Heritage Energy Operational Services Limited in Delta State has been shut down by the host communities for failing to meet its obligations to the 112 host communities.

The host communities, led by its Management Committee/President Generals, had accused the company of gross indifference and failure in its obligations to the host communities despite several meetings and calls to ensure a peaceful resolution.

The station with a production capacity of 80,000 barrels per day and eight flow stations operates within the Ughelli area of Delta State.

The host communities specifically accused HEOSL of failure to pay the GMOU fund for the last two years despite mediation by the Delta State Government on May 18, 2020.

Also, the host communities accused HEOSL of ‘total stoppage of scholarship award and payment to host communities since 2016’.

The Chairman, Dr Harrison Oboghor and Secretary, Mr Ibuje Joseph that led the OML30 host communities explained to journalists on Monday that the host communities had resolved not to backpedal until all their demands were met.

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Crude Oil Recovers from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

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Oil Prices Recover from 4 Percent Decline as Joe Biden Wins

Crude oil prices rose with other financial markets on Monday following a 4 percent decline on Friday.

This was after Joe Biden, the former Vice-President and now the President-elect won the race to the White House.

Global benchmark oil, Brent crude oil, gained $1.06 or 2.7 percent to $40.51 per barrel on Monday while the U.S West Texas Intermediate crude oil gained $1.07 or 2.9 percent to $38.21 per barrel.

On Friday, Brent crude oil declined by 4 percent as global uncertainty surged amid unclear US election and a series of negative comments from President Trump. However, on Saturday when it became clear that Joe Biden has won, global financial markets rebounded in anticipation of additional stimulus given Biden’s position on economic growth and recovery.

Trading this morning has a risk-on flavor, reflecting increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the Senate,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets in Sydney.

“The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes are largely off the agenda.”

The president-elect and his team are now working on mitigating the risk of COVID-19, grow the world’s largest economy by protecting small businesses and the middle class that is the backbone of the American economy.

There will be some repercussions further down the road,” said OCBC’s economist Howie Lee, raising the possibility of lockdowns in the United States under Biden.

“Either you’re crimping energy demand or consumption behavior.”

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Nigeria, Other OPEC Members Oil Revenue to Hit 18 Year Low in 2020

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Revenue of OPEC Members to Drop to 18 Year Low in 2020

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) has predicted that the oil revenue of members of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) will decline to 18-year low in 2020.

EIA said their combined oil export revenue will plunge to its lowest level since 2002. It proceeded to put a value to the projection by saying members of the oil cartel would earn around $323 billion in net oil export in 2020.

If realised, this forecast revenue would be the lowest in 18 years. Lower crude oil prices and lower export volumes drive this expected decrease in export revenues,” it said.

The oil expert based its projection on weak global oil demand and low oil prices because of COVID-19.

It said this coupled with production cuts by OPEC members in recent months will impact net revenue of the cartel in 2020.

It said, “OPEC earned an estimated $595bn in net oil export revenues in 2019, less than half of the estimated record high of $1.2tn, which was earned in 2012.

“Continued declines in revenue in 2020 could be detrimental to member countries’ fiscal budgets, which rely heavily on revenues from oil sales to import goods, fund social programmes, and support public services.”

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