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Customs Moves to Reform Import, Export Processes

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Nigeria Customs Service
  • Customs Moves to Reform Import, Export Processes

In a bid to ensure trade facilitation at the nation’s ports and all entry points in line with the federal government’s ease of doing business in Nigeria agenda, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has taken steps to modify import and export processes.

As part of the reform, the customs command has ameliorated cargo examination stress for importers by reducing announced cargo placement notice for examination given to terminal operators from 24hours to 12 hours.

This means that after customs agrees with all parties on a suitable time for physical examination, terminal operators now require only a 12-hour notice to place the cargo for examination.

Also, the NCS command said it would now schedule and coordinate the mandatory joint examinations and sign-off form to ensure that there is only one point of contact between importers and officials.

This move, top industry players believe, is expected to contribute in eradicating various delays associated with importation and export in Nigeria.

The NCS spokesman, Joseph Attah, in a statement, expressed the service resolve to reform import and export processes in Nigeria.

Attah, who listed some African countries where significant progresses have been made in the processes and duration for export said various causes of hitches, which he called bottlenecks in the trade process are being removed to achieve seamless transactions.

Customs have taken the burden of reaching out to agencies from importers as this has been identified as part of the challenges confronting the system.

”Before this intervention, the burden was on importers to reach out to all relevant agencies and the Terminal Operator to schedule a suitable time for the joint examination of cargo. We have however decided to take this tedious process off the backs of the importers and coordinate same,”Attah said.

He said Nigeria ranked 14th out of 15 Economic Community of West African States( ECOWAS) economies and 182nd out of 190 economies worldwide in the ‘Trade Across Borders’ indicator on the most recent World Bank “Doing Business” Rankings.

“Factors responsible for this low ranking, according to some port users, includes delay in export processes in Nigeria which takes up to two weeks, compared to some other countries like Kenya, it takes four days to complete same process. While Nigeria hitherto required up to 14 documents for imports compared to just five in Rwanda, government reduced the documentation recently to eight,” he said.

Attah said Nigeria will stay on the path of this reduction until it achieves a standard comparable with its peers on the continent.

He added: ”Nigeria’s desire to restore growth through economic diversification, as enunciated in the recently released Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) of the Federal Government requires a holistic reformist approach. Reforming procedures is required to stimulate important sectors of the Nigerian economy like agriculture and manufacturing, which contribute 23.1 and 13.3 per cent respectively to its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).”

Attah said: ”As a key stakeholder in the FG’s quest to make businesses work, the NCS joined other MDAs in making commitments towards delivering reforms that would progressively make it easier for businesses in Nigeria to start and thrive. Our commitments at the NCS are focused on “Trade Across Borders,” where a target was set to reduce import and export time by up to 50 percent, and ensure that import procedures adhere to international standards.”

Under a newly released revised guideline from the Federal Ministry of Finance, Shipping Lines are required to electronically transmit advanced manifest of their cargoes to the NSC and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as soon as the vessel departs the last port of call. This is to ensure enough time for risk assessment, profiling and optimised placement of cargo.

Attah said Customs Officers will circulate the cargo manifests to other examination agencies and the Terminal Operators as soon as they are received from the Shipping Line.

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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NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi

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NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi | investorsking.com

Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi Resumes Work With NAHCO

The Board of Directors of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has recalled Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, who was suspended over Management’s failure to diligently secure the delivery of a purchased equipment from vendor within the contracted period and Management’s inability to provide satisfactory/acceptable reason for the unreasonable long delay.

Mrs. Fagbemi was suspended by the Board at a meeting held on 27th of January 2021 in line with the Board’s earlier decision that if a certified bill of lading for the equipment was not received by 2nd February 2021, the GMD/CEO shall proceed on suspension with half pay until receipt of acceptable evidence of equipment shipment from the manufacturer.

Since Mrs. Fagbemi commenced her suspension on February 3rd, 2021, Mr. Olumuyiwa A. Olumekun, the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, has been acting as the GMD/CEO, according to a statement put out by the company.

It said “the Board is however pleased to inform the investing public and the Exchange that on, Tuesday, February 24, 2021, a satisfactory evidence of departure and arrival dates of the equipment has been received by the board from the equipment manufacturer.

“Consequently, the Board at its emergency meeting today, February 24, 2021, has recalled the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi from the suspension and she has resumed work.”

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Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

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Petrol Importation

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

Businesses have started feeling the negative impact of the rising price of Automotive Gas Oil, known as diesel.

A single litre now goes for N250 in some parts of Lagos, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos had increased the price of the product to N250 per litre, while many others sold it at between N220-N245.

Northwest Petroleum along the Oshodi-Apapa road increased the pump price of diesel to N250 per litre; AP (Ardova Plc), along Airport road, Ikeja, N248; and Oando, along Acme Road, N240.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its AGO price report on Tuesday, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.22 per cent to N224.86 per litre in January 2021 from to N224.37 in December 2020.

It said states with the highest average price of diesel were Adamawa (N268.33), Zamfara (N262.78) and Kebbi (N257.50).

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N194.60), Anambra (N195.83) and Enugu (N198.24),” the NBS added.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has risen by more than 25 per cent this year from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It rose to $65.25 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw material is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in particularly manufacturers,” he told our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, it is difficult for businesses to factor all the increase in diesel price in their final product prices.

Egbesola said, “That is why a lot of companies are downsizing and are making sure that they only produce products that they are so sure will sell in the market.

“Many companies have reduced their product lines significantly just to be able to cope. And that is not good for us because by the time this goes on, unemployment will increase. I believe government should be able to do something about this.”

He said although the downstream petroleum sector had been deregulated, there should be checks and balances.

Egbesola said many small businesses’ savings had been eroded already because ‘we keep spending our savings to make sure we don’t close shop’.

He said, “If things continue this way, there is no way we are not going to close shop. We are still struggling with the recent increase in electricity tariff.

“Many small businesses still depend so much on diesel generators because there is no alternative power supply. It is only the big players that have the facilities to use gas. And we cannot use solar installation because it is very expensive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years.

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United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

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United-capital

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

United Capital Plc has been appointed, Tolu Latunji as its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

In the new role, he is expected to drive a strategic communications, marketing and brand management programme for the investment banking group.

Latunji is a communication and marketing expert with 12 years’ experience in products development, marketing, brand & franchise building, effective management and communication of strategic objectives whilst ensuring adequate visibility for both organisation and product/service offerings through product, content and brand initiatives.

“With a 360 degree knowledge of communications and marketing, which includes but not limited to – brand management and initiatives, corporate affairs, internal and external affairs, product and brand marketing, event management and experiential marketing, cluster/segment marketing, Tolu has served at various capacities on government constituted sub-committees on financial inclusion,” a statement explained.

Prior to joining United Capital Plc, he was the Managing Partner of Ten & Square Media Co., a bespoke creative ideation and brand/crisis management firm, based in Lagos, Dakar and London.

Latunji was recently the Strategic Communications lead at FMDQ Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s first integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI), where he had the responsibility of effectively positioning the group, together with its subsidiaries, as the most sophisticated and technologically driven securities exchange in Africa.

Prior to that, he worked in Guaranty Trust Bank for nine years with roles in brand management & monitoring, events and experiential marketing, products and content marketing and user experience.

He led the marketing team to the successful development and launch of various retail, SME and corporate products. He was also instrumental in curating and developing the bank’s social footprints. Outside the corporate environment, Tolu engages in various humanitarian activities with food banks and empowerment programmes. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from University of Lagos.

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