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Customs May Lose 50% Revenue to Ban on Vehicles Importation

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Tincan Customs Command
  • Customs May Lose 50% Revenue to Ban on Vehicles Importation

Following the federal government ban on the importation of vehicles through the land borders, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command, is set to lose 50 per cent of its monthly revenue valued at about N13 billion.

The Seme command of the NCS rakes in between N25 billion to N28 billion monthly with 50 per cent of that amount coming from vehicle importation.

The federal government had last year prohibited the importation of vehicles, new and old, through land borders, restricting all vehicle imports to Nigeria Sea Ports only.

However, Customs Area Controller of Seme Border, Victor Dimka said: “You will agree with me that over 50 per cent of our revenue comes from vehicles importation in this command, so that is going to be completely removed and what is left is what we should expect but we will create a very friendly environment just as we have been doing. You will also agree with me that the trade between Nigeria and the countries of the corridors are more or less informal, we will try to perfect on this relationship so as to make the place more business friendly.

“We will have flyers all over the places, we have help desk as you can see, our officers will tell people what must be done and what must not be done. So when you have two or more sources, two are removed, the one remaining we will guide Jealously, so importation on General goods from Benin Republic and other countries of the corridors to see we maximize revenue collection optimally.”

He said the Seme Command raked in over N1 billion a few working days to the take off of the ban following the rush to bring in vehicles into the country by importers.

He said the ban on vehicles as was announced by the federal government meant that the command will re-tighten its belts, “because it very difficult to see vehicles being smuggled through Seme even before the ban. So what is going to happen just to tighten what we have, make sure we deploy officers to all the likely routes they will follow. We have also discovered through intelligence new routes they are creating but by the time we finish, we are going to move officers there permanently.

“Of course there is going to be a combined force from the Command, Federal Operations, Compliance Team and even the military to ensure total blockage. Believe me, the war is going to be fierce because you know most of them in this vicinity see smuggling as a birthright, so they will want to try but we will resist them.

“They attempt justifying the act by saying its buying and selling. For them, it is merely traveling from one end to buy or trade at the other end. They even argue that their fathers have been trading between the Nigerian area and Benin Republic, so stopping them is like stopping what they have known to be doing for hundreds of years.” he said.

He added, “Those at the Nigerian end of the border share lingual, cultural and historical similarities with some communities in Benin. In fact, some Nigerian families have branches in Benin. As a customs officer, I have seen them celebrate, worship and mourn together as one. We tell them daily that what they enjoy is the ECOWAS treaty on free movement and that the family houses they claim to be going fall within the territory of a different state.

“This is where enlightenment comes in. I am regularly educating the people on Nigerian side that the Benin Republic is a different country from Nigeria and the dont share uniform economic policies. I keep telling traditional rulers and youths that every country like Nigeria has policies to protect their economies and import prohibition lists are part of these policies. This is the thrust of our Customs Community Relations efforts. We keep telling them not to see smuggling as a right or a legitimate source of livelihood.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Slip as Japan’s Rising Inflation Signals Rate Hikes

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Crude oil fell in early trading on Friday as concerns over sustained high interest rates in both Asia and the United States weighed on the outlook.

This trend is attributed to Japan’s increasing inflation, which is prompting expectations of imminent rate hikes by its central bank.

Brent crude edged declined by 11 cents to settle at $85.60 per barrel while the U.S. crude oil declined by 9 cents to $81.20 per barrel.

Recent data revealed that Japan’s core consumer prices rose by 2.5% in May compared to the same month last year. This increase marks a growth from the previous month, suggesting that the Bank of Japan is likely to raise interest rates in the upcoming months to curb inflation.

In the United States, data released on Thursday showed a decrease in the number of new unemployment claims for the week ending June 14, indicating continued strength in the job market.

This persistent robustness in employment raises the likelihood that the U.S. Federal Reserve will maintain higher interest rates for a longer period.

Higher interest rates typically have a dampening effect on economic activity, which can subsequently reduce oil demand.

The prospect of prolonged elevated interest rates in two major economies has therefore put downward pressure on crude oil prices.

Despite the downward trend, oil prices received some support from the latest figures from the Energy Information Administration (EIA).

The data showed a drawdown in U.S. crude inventories by 2.5 million barrels in the week ending June 14, bringing the total to 457.1 million barrels. This exceeded analysts’ expectations, who had predicted a 2.2 million-barrel reduction.

Also, gasoline inventories fell by 2.3 million barrels to 231.2 million barrels, contrary to forecasts that anticipated a 600,000-barrel increase.

“Gasoline finally came to life and posted its first strong report of the summer driving season,” remarked Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York, highlighting the surprising uptick in gasoline demand.

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Crude Oil

Nembe Creek Oil Field Halted After Leak, Impacting 150,000 bpd

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Nigeria’s oil output has taken a significant hit following the shutdown of the Nembe Creek oil field due to a major oil leak.

The Nembe Creek oil field, responsible for producing approximately 150,000 barrels of crude oil per day (bpd), was forced to cease operations on June 17, 2024.

The leak occurred on the Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), a critical pipeline that transports oil from the Nembe Creek oil field to the Bonny Oil Export Terminal.

The operator of the pipeline, Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production Company, confirmed the leak and the subsequent shutdown in a statement released yesterday.

Aiteo reported that the leak was discovered during routine operations in the Nembe area of Bayelsa State, located in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta region.

This region is notorious for environmental degradation due to decades of oil spills, which have severely impacted local agriculture and fishing industries.

Following the discovery of the leak, Aiteo activated its Oil Spill and Emergency Response Team and shut down all production from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 29 as a precautionary measure to prevent further environmental damage.

“While we regret the production losses and the potential environmental impact, our current priority is to expedite an efficient spill management process in line with regulatory standards and collaborate with all stakeholders to restore production and mitigate associated risks,” said Victor Okronkwo, Managing Director of Aiteo Eastern E&P.

The exact cause of the leak remains unknown. Aiteo emphasized that the shutdown was a precautionary step to contain the spill and minimize environmental harm.

The company has notified its joint venture partners and relevant regulatory bodies, including the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), about the incident.

This development comes as a setback for Nigeria, which holds Africa’s largest natural gas reserves and is a major oil producer.

The country’s oil sector has faced numerous challenges, including aging infrastructure, theft, and environmental issues, which have hindered its ability to maximize production and exports.

The Nembe Creek shutdown also highlights ongoing concerns about the safety and reliability of Nigeria’s oil infrastructure. The NCTL has been a frequent target of oil theft and sabotage, exacerbating the challenges of maintaining a steady oil output.

Energy analysts believe that the latest incident could impact Nigeria’s ability to meet its export commitments and exacerbate the country’s economic challenges.

The Nigerian government, under President Bola Tinubu, has been making efforts to attract investment into the energy sector to boost production and address infrastructure deficits.

“The government will hope this offers confidence not only in the quality of the Nigerian resource base, but also in the government’s pledge to improve ease of doing business,” said Clementine Wallop, director of sub-Saharan Africa at political risk consultancy Horizon Engage.

As Nigeria works to address the immediate spill and restore production, the broader implications for the country’s oil sector and its environmental impact remain to be seen.

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Crude Oil

Brent Crude Nears Seven-Week Highs as Market Eyes US Inventory Report

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Brent oil, the international benchmark for Nigerian crude oil, remained steady on Thursday, hovering just below seven-week highs as the escalating conflict in the Middle East raised concerns over potential supply disruptions.

At the same time, the market eagerly awaits U.S. inventory data for further indications of demand trends.

August Brent crude rose 28 cents, or 0.3%, to $85.35 a barrel while the U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) oil gained 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $81.70 a barrel.

“There was no WTI settlement on Wednesday due to a U.S. public holiday, which kept trading subdued,” noted Ricardo Evangelista, an analyst at ActivTrades.

“However, oil prices are likely to remain supported around current levels due to a growing geopolitical risk premium driven by conflict in the Middle East.”

Israeli forces have intensified their operations in the Gaza Strip, targeting areas in the central region overnight while tanks advanced into Rafah in the south.

The escalating violence has heightened fears of a broader conflict that could impact oil supplies from the region.

“Expectations of an inventory build appear to be overshadowing fears of escalating geopolitical stress for now,” said Priyanka Sachdeva, senior market analyst at Phillip Nova.

Investors are keenly awaiting the release of U.S. inventory data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) later on Thursday, delayed by a day due to the Juneteenth holiday.

An industry report released on Tuesday by the American Petroleum Institute (API) indicated that U.S. crude stocks rose by 2.264 million barrels in the week ending June 14, while gasoline inventories fell, according to market sources.

The summer season typically sees an uptick in oil demand due to increased refinery runs and weather-related risks.

“Ongoing production cuts by the OPEC+ group, combined with seasonal demand, should tighten oil balances and lead to inventory draws during the summer months,” J.P. Morgan commodities analysts wrote.

Refining margins have also improved, with the ICE gasoil futures premium to Brent crude jumping to $20.63 a barrel on Wednesday, a two-month high.

“Firmer fuel refining margins provide a healthy dose of encouragement for those expecting improvements on the demand side,” commented Tamas Varga, an analyst at PVM.

In other economic news, the Bank of England’s decision to keep its main interest rate unchanged at a 16-year high of 5.25% ahead of the national election on July 4 has been noted by market observers.

Higher interest rates generally increase the cost of borrowing, which can slow economic activity and dampen oil demand.

As the market braces for the upcoming EIA inventory report, analysts and traders are closely watching for any signals that could influence oil prices in the near term.

The delicate balance between geopolitical tensions and supply-demand fundamentals continues to play a critical role in shaping the oil market landscape.

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