- Terminal Operators blame Smuggling on High Tariffs
The Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STAON) has blamed the huge volume of vehicles smuggled into the country on high import tariff on imported vehicles.
STOAN’s spokesperson, Mr. Bolaji Akinola said this in a statement signed by its spokesman, saying the rate of smuggling in Nigeria especially of vehicles is alarmingly high.
He also said the introduction of the new Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) scheme announced earlier this week by the Federal Government, will not be effective in checking smuggling if tariffs remain unchanged.
“This is essentially due to the high and prohibitive import duty on vehicle which is more than twice what obtains in other countries in the sub-region.
While the VIN scheme sounds like a good idea, it may not do much to check smuggling.
“The main antidote to smuggling is the reduction on Customs duty on vehicles to bring it to the level obtainable in other West African countries.
“The duty should not be more than 10 per cent. Why exactly are people landing their vehicles in the ports of neighbouring countries and smuggle into Nigeria? It is to avoid the high Customs duties at the port.”
Akinola said it is difficult to check smuggling through the land borders because of the preponderance of illegal entry roués into the country.
He said, “There are more than 1,600 illegal entry routes into Nigeria. The borders are porous. It will be difficult for any agency of government to effectively patrol and check the influx of goods and persons through those porous entry points. There is a need to mount barriers and build strong high walls or electric fences at most of those entry points. Most importantly, government must deploy technology to secure our borders.”
He argued that the high rate of import duty on vehicle has made the prices of vehicles rise beyond the reach of many Nigerians as “the prices of vehicles have doubled over the past 18 months”.
“This is due to the high Customs duty, which is 35 per cent plus an additional surcharge of 35 per cent bringing the total government tariff to 70 per cent. This is way too high and when you place it side by side the high rate of foreign exchange, you see why Nigerians are paying more to acquire cars. The ban on importation through land borders is not enough to check smuggling and bring down the prices. Only a reduction on Customs duty will achieve that,” he added.
The STOAN Spokesman also said that there are too many government agencies operating at the port. This, he said, is contributing to the high cost of doing business at the port.
“The high cost of doing business at the port, which many allude to, is not because of high charges by operators but due to high Customs tariff and multiple checks by government agencies.
“Reduce Customs duty, reduce the huge crowd of government agencies operating at the port and automate the Customs clearing process, which is way too manual and regressive. Someone described the Customs clearing process as archaic and way too expensive. There are multiple checks within and outside the port, which must be tackled by government. Former Finance Minister Mrs Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala ejected the agencies a few years ago but they are all back in their multitude,” he said.
Akinola added that Nigerian ports have ample capacity to handle both import and export and to support the federal government’s revenue diversification drive.
Aliko Dangote Remains Africa’s Richest Man With $12.1 Billion Net Worth -Forbes
Nigerian industrialist, Aliko Dangote, is Africa’s richest person for the tenth year in a row.
In the Forbes Africa latest billionaires list, Dangote’s total net worth stood at $12.1 billion, a $2 billion increment when compared to last year. Thanks to the 30 percent increase in the price of Dangote Cement share.
Nassef Sawiris of Egypt followed Dangote with $8.5 billion net worth with the majority of his investments coming from construction and other investments.
In third place was Nicky Oppenheimer of South Africa with an $8 billion total net worth.
Portland Paints, Chemical and Allied Products Plc Agreed to Merge
Portland Paints and Products Nigeria Plc and Chemical and Allied Products Plc have agreed to merge, according to the latest statement from both companies.
In a statement released through the Nigerian Stock Exchange, the Board of Directors of CAP said we are “pleased to inform you that following discussions and negotiations, the Boards of CAP and Portland Paints have reached an agreement to undertake a merger between both entities (the “Merger” or the “Proposed Merger”).
Accordingly, we “hereby present to you the terms and benefits of the Proposed Merger for your consideration and seek your support and approval to effect the Proposed Merger.
“The Proposed Merger presents a compelling opportunity to create significant value for shareholders of CAP and achieve the company’s strategic growth objectives as a larger company with a broader product portfolio, more corporate owned brands and diversified revenues.
“The resultant entity is also expected to benefit from enhanced distribution capabilities in addition to economies of scale and operational efficiencies.”
Tony Elumelu Acquires Shell, Total, ENI Stakes in OML 17
Tony Elumelu owned Heir Holdings Limited and its related company Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc on Friday announced it has completed the purchase of 45 percent stake in Oil Mining Lease (OML 17) through TNOG Oil and Gas Limited.
The acquisition includes all assets of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (30 Percent), Total E&P Nigeria Ltd (10 percent) and ENI (five percent) — in the lease.
It was further stated that TNOG Oil and Gas Limited will also have the sole right to operate OML 17.
The field presently has a production capacity of 27,000 barrels per day. Also, there are estimated 2P reserves (proven and probable) of 1.2 billion barrels and an additional one billion barrels in possible reserves — all of oil equivalent.
A consortium of global and regional banks and investors provided a financing component of $1.1 billion for the largest oil and gas financing in Africa in over a decade.
In a statement released on Friday, Shell said the completion was after all the necessary approvals have were received from authorities.
“A total of $453m was paid at completion with the balance to be paid over an agreed period. SPDC will retain its interest in the Port Harcourt Industrial and Residential Areas, which fall within the lease area,” the SPDC said.
Speaking after the completion of the deal, Elumelu said “We have a very clear vision: creating Africa’s first integrated energy multinational, a global quality business, uniquely focused on Africa and Africa’s energy needs. The acquisition of such a high-quality asset, with significant potential for further growth, is a strong statement of our confidence in Nigeria, the Nigerian oil and gas sector and a tribute to the extremely high-quality management team that we have assembled.
“As a Nigerian, and more particularly an indigene of the Niger Delta region, I understand well our responsibilities that come with stewardship of the asset, our engagement with communities and the strategic importance of the oil and gas sector in Nigeria. We see significant benefits from integrating our production, with our ability to power Nigeria, through Transcorp, and deliver value across the energy value chain.
“I would like to thank Shell, Total and ENI, for the professionalism of the process, the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, and the NNPC for the confidence they have placed in us.”
Tony Elumelu is the Chairman of Heirs Holdings Limited, Transcorp and United Bank for Africa Plc.
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