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Customs Accuses Banks of Sabotaging e-Auction

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  • Customs Accuses Banks of Sabotaging e-Auction

The refusal of Deposit Money Banks (DMB) to participate in the recently launched e-auction bidding exercise of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) on Tuesday unsettled its Comptroller-General, Col. Hameed Alli (rtd), who accused the banks of sabotaging the service’s effort at collecting revenue for the federation.

He said that: “I am surprised and I don’t know what to say. This is an economic sabotage. The money you are going to collect is not coming to Customs, it is not coming to me as a person, it is going to the federation account that will be distributed to the three tiers of government. So, you deny that.”

The Customs boss spoke in an interactive session with the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of 17 banks that honoured his invitation to his office in Abuja.

He expressed surprised that the same banks that participated in auction exercise when it was run manually distanced themselves from the ongoing automated auction system, leaving only Jaiz Bank as the sole participants.

With the participation of one bank, the process was cumbersome for the bidders, who concluded that the exercise was skewed to favour Northners and Muslims.

He was surprised that the same banks that collect duties for the NCS were reluctant to be part of the e-auction bidding process.

Alli said that “for us to initiate this process and the banks pull out calls for concern. One is that we want to get some funds from there.

Two, it’s going to ease the process of what we do, and it will encourage transparency in what we do. And the essence of what we do is to ensure that there is transparency collected revenue for the federation.”

The Customs boss who said the banks took the e-auction exercise aback, however said he was glad that 17 banks CEOs were in the session to lay bare their minds on the issue for possible solution.

“I want to know if there are problem, and what are the problems?” he asked.

He noted that fraudulent bidders had infiltrated the process by conniving with one another to circumvent the transparency and integrity of the exercise.

According to him, whoever cuts corner will be delisted from the system.

So far, he said he could not readily state how much the service has lost as a result of the non-participation of the banks in the exercise.

He however dropped the hint that the bidding process has yielded N25,375,500.00 to the federal government.

The bank chiefs however took turn to explain their challenges with the e-auction bidding which were mostly technical issues.

Zenith Bank Plc said it was still trying to work on its software to participate in the exercise.

Guaranty Trust Bank, said no bank would deliberately sabotage the process. But Citi Bank noted that the agreement it had with the NCS that elapsed in December 2014 was yet to be revalidated.

According to the bank, the gap is that the banks were not involved.

All the parties resolved that a technical committee that has all their representatives would meet from time to time to iron out all the technical issues until the stabilization of e-auction process.

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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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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Dangote Shelves Steel Project to Prevent Monopoly Allegations

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Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, announced the company’s decision to halt plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry.

The decision comes just two months after the conglomerate had initially unveiled its intentions to invest in the sector as part of efforts to expand the economy.

Addressing journalists at his refinery in Lagos, Dangote explained that the board’s decision was driven by concerns over potential accusations of creating a monopoly.

“We have decided against pursuing the steel business to avoid being labeled a monopoly,” Dangote stated.

He explained that the company’s operations focus on adding value by transforming local raw materials into finished products.

The industrialist dismissed claims that his group enjoys monopolistic advantages, pointing out that their business practices have always fostered a competitive environment.

“When we entered the cement market, Lafarge was the only player, yet no one accused them of being a monopoly,” he stated.

Dangote further encouraged other Nigerian investors to explore opportunities in the steel industry, suggesting that there are ample resources and space for new entrants.

“There are many Nigerians with the financial capacity to invest. They should seize this opportunity to contribute to our nation’s growth,” he urged.

The billionaire’s call to action extended to Nigerians living abroad, inviting them to invest in their homeland.

“Bring your resources back from Dubai and other parts of the world and invest in Nigeria,” he said, reinforcing his commitment to seeing the country’s economy thrive through diverse contributions.

This decision marks a strategic shift for Dangote Industries, focusing on dispelling monopoly myths and promoting a collaborative business landscape.

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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