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‘Govt Should Audit Terminal Operators’

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Seaport
  • ‘Govt Should Audit Terminal Operators’

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to constitute a committee that will take an inventory of the number of cargo equipment at the ports to eradicate redundancy, boost efficiency and make the ports competitive in the sub-region.

The exercise has become necessary because of the unattractiveness of the nation’s sea ports.

Stakeholders are convinced that for Buhari to succeed in repositioning the sea ports for greater efficiency, there is a need for him to mandate the Ministry of Transport, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) to conduct a performance audit of the con-cessioned seaports to determine their progress and challenges since 2006.

Almost 13 years after the ports were concessioned to private operators, importers and clearing agents claim that most of them have failed to keep to the terms of agreement.

According to the Vice-President, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Dr Kayode Farinto, most of the concessionaires have failed to “develop, market and promote cargo throughput and cargo-related business of the lease property.

Farinto said the concessionaires make huge amount from service charges and over N10 billion annually from storage and demurrage charges on importers and clearing agents without a corresponding improvement on their terminals.

He regretted that 13 years after the ports concession agreement was signed by the NPA and the operators, some operators have not added value to their services and terminals.

He explained that most of the terminals were stocked with old equipment inherited from the NPA, adding that the inherited buildings are dilapidated and serving no purpose apart from occupying space that would have been converted for cargo delivery and process procedure.

Huge demurrage and other sundry factors, he said, are making the ports uncompetitive and unattractive for business, urging the President Buhari to address the problem.

Farinto said: “The un-competitiveness of the ports, Farinto said, has made it difficult for them to attain world-class status.

“This is the correct time for President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council to constitute a committee that will take inventory of all the equipment at the ports.

“Mr President must also direct the Managing Director of NPA, Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, to carry out the performance audit of each of the terminals to show the areas where they have deliberately violated the concession agreement they signed with the government.

“NPA, in collaboration with the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) need to take inventory of the number of cargo equipment in each of the terminals to show how the operators have been running the ports.

“There is an urgent need for NPA to publish data on operations equipment of each of the terminal operators and see how they have boosted efficiency at ports.”

He added that equipment such as cranes, forklifts, straddle carriers, reach stackers and other vital equipment available at each berth facility (quay apron, yards, terminals, sheds and warehouses), their number, technical charac-teristics, first service year and expected life time “need to be known by the government and the public, in whose interest they claimed to be operating the port.

While carrying out the inventory, he said senior media officers from the Presidency must be involved, and equipment code marked on its parts for easy identification.

Also speaking at the weekend, a senior official of the Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMoT), who craved anonymity, said there was need for the ‘NPA to carry out performance audit of the port.

“Performance measurement and improvement are essential activities that Port Authorities uses to enhance their productivity and competitive position. Certain indicators concerning port services and operations can be evaluated from financial and operational points of view, to serve the overall port management, especially the middle-management in its day-today strategy implementation.

“Among various performance monitoring systems helping the port authority to achieve its strategic objectives include the Balanced Scorecard (BSc), which serves to create, select and present performance to highlight the main performance indicators (PI) used today by port authorities, and to underline the BSc contribution on improving port efficiency.

“To improve the quality of its services and operations, NPA should consider their ports as part of a multimodal transport, while needing efforts concentrated in: identifying the information and data requested to prepare the key performance indicators; locating the sources, type and range of data required; storing, retrieving and processing the required data; monitoring the improvement process and maintaining the best results obtained,” he said.

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.

Business

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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Business

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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