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Economy

Dirty Fuel Import Ban Effective July 1 – FG

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petrol
  • Dirty Fuel Import Ban Effective July 1

The enforcement of the ban on the importation of dirty fuel with high sulphur content from Europe to Nigeria will begin from July 1, 2017, the Federal Government has said.

The government also announced that beginning from December 31, 2016, it would suspend the exportation of rosewood from Nigeria to other countries in a bid to address the increasing level of deforestation across the nation.

The Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, stated this at an event organised by the ministry in Abuja on Friday to mark her one year in office.

On December 1, 2016, Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire agreed to introduce strict standards to ensure cleaner, low sulphur diesel fuels and vehicle emission standards, effectively cutting off Europe’s West African market to export its dirty fuels.

Commenting on the issue, Mohammed stated that the Federal Government had decided that the sulphur in fuels imported into the country should be reduced from 3,000 parts per million to 50 parts per million, as this would result in major air quality benefits in Nigerian cities and would allow the country to set modern vehicle standards.

She said, “From July 1, 2017, we will commence the enforcement of the 50ppm sulphur in fuel. And the July deadline is on all fuels, your diesel, petrol and kerosene. Everybody knows that this is going to take some efforts, which is why we gave the six months’ notice. What is more important is that we are working with the refineries on a long-term approach.

“Some of the new refineries that are coming into position in Nigeria are coming in at 10ppm; South Africa is 15ppm. But for us, it is a West African problem and we hope that we can lead in West Africa by reducing it. So, there is no reason why we can’t do that.”

On deforestation and the suspension of rosewood export, the minister stated that over a million trees were being cut down per day in the country without any alternative in terms of afforestation.

According to her, the suspension on exports of rosewood would last for three months, beginning from December 31, 2016.

Mohammed said, “On the suspension of wood export as a result of deforestation, let me make it clear that first of all, it is a suspension on rosewood and any semi-processed rosewood that goes out. For it goes out in thousands of containers. So, what we are saying is that we do not see any alternative to replenishing what is going out hugely.

“It is not that this is the worst part of deforestation; the use of trees as fuel is one, the logging is another, which is illegal in most cases, but we must find alternatives. So, we say suspension because we intend to continue to see better performance when we want to deal with the export of semi-processed wood.

“This involves factories, young people, trade revenues and more. We don’t want to stop it in a way, but we don’t what to do it at the cost of taking down all our forest cover in this country. Which was why we had enough consultation before the date of December 31, 2016 was arrived at.”

Mohammed explained that the ministry had met with the National Assembly and other stakeholders on the need to effect the suspension, but noted that not all those consulted were happy with the decision.

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.

Economy

FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

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FG Launches E-ticketing Platform to Deepen Train Usage and Convenience

In a bid to improve the usage and enhance the convenience of train transport in Nigeria, the Federal Government on Thursday announced the launching of the Electronic Ticketing platform for the Kaduna-Abuja rail services.

The N900 million E-ticketing platform was introduced by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike R. Amaechi, and the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Amaechi said the new platform would improve efficiency, promote accountability, reduce leakage and enhance economic growth, as well as save time.

The E-ticketing platform was a Public-Private Partnership project done in conjunction with Secure ID Solutions, who provide and would manage the system for 10 years in an effort to recoup its investment before the Nigerian Railway Corporation take charge.

Kofo Akinkugbe, the Chief Executive Officer, Secure ID Solutions, said as the new E-platform issued 25,000 tickets after a successful pilot test on Thursday.

Potential Travelers can book via three ways:

1. Mobile app
2. Website
3. POS or Cash at the station

A validator would be used to scan the ticket barcode to ascertain its authenticity before boarding.

Amaechi further announced that self-service ticket vending machines at various train stations would be introduced soon.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

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Zainab Ahmed Finance Minister

Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) Balance Now $72.4 Million

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, on Thursday said Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) stood at $72,411,197.80 as of January 20th, 2021.

The minister disclosed this at the first National Economic Council (NEC) meeting of the year presided over by Yemi Osinbajo, Vice President and had in attendance State Governors, Federal Capital Territory Minister, Central Bank Governor and other senior government officials.

Ahmed said “Excess Crude Account (ECA), balance as at 20th January, 2021, $72,411,197.80; Stabilization Account, balance as at 19th January, 2021, N28,800,711,295.37; Natural Resources Development Fund Account, balance as at 19th January 2021, N95, 830,729,470.82.”

The minister also said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved N6.45 billion for the setting up of gas plants in 39 locations nationwide in an effort to increase COVID-19 treatment.

What is Excess Crude Account (ECA)

Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save the disparity in the market price of crude oil and budgeted price of crude oil as stipulated in the Federal Government Appropriation Bill.

Key Takeaways of Excess Crude Account (ECA)

  • Excess Crude Account (ECA) was established in 2004 by the Federal Government to stabilize Nigeria’s economy and smooth out the effect of crude oil fluctuation on Africa’s largest economy.
  • The ECA rose to its highest of $20 billion in November 2008 during the global oil boom when prices were above $100 per barrel.
  • Controversy, allegations of corruption, and uncertain performance have trailed the ECA since creation.
  • The balance plunged from $20 billion in 2008 to $72.4 million in January 2021.

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Economy

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

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Container Shipping

AfCFTA: Nigeria Customs Service Requested For Detailed Role In The Free Trade Agreement

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) requested for a proper and detailed role expected to be carried out in the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement.

The NCS said detailed explanations of roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the free trade agreement should be spelled out to avoid overlapping of duties and to achieve a seamless implementation of AfCFTA.

Mr. Joseph Attah the Public Relations Officer, on behalf of the Comptroller-General of the NCS, Col Hameed Ali (Rtd.), issued a statement to address the call for a detailed role of the Customs.

“Our functions are highly automated and primarily systems-driven, hence the need to methodically harvest and integrate all data associated with AfCFTA into our system for easy deployment, access, and use by the trading public.

“We, therefore, await the National Action Committee (NAC) on the list of duties and charges waived for liberalised goods under AfCFTA. The list of the 90 percent liberalised national trade offers (NTOs); list of the 70 percent non-liberalised exclusive goods at the regional level; and list of the 3 percent non-liberalised sensitive goods.

“The appointment of a competent authority responsible for issuing and authenticating certificates of origin and registering enterprises and products within the region.” He said.

In the statement, NCS pledges commitment to the success of the trade pact and also identifies the transformational impact the free trade agreement would have on businesses in Nigeria and the Africa continent at large.

“Also, it is pertinent to inform the public about steps which must be taken to enable its smooth and full implementation,” He added

NCS recommended that the member-country of the free trade agreement should have a representative in the continental chamber, this is to ensure transparency and build the confidence of the members in the system.

“This, in our view, should be complementary to the activities of the various chambers of commerce of each country in the region. While awaiting clear directives concerning tariffs for all goods covered by this agreement, we want to assure the public of our preparedness to fully deploy our services at the shortest notice.

“Our desire is to imbue trust in the system while guaranteeing the economic safety and wellbeing of businesses within the country,”  NCS noted.

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