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FG Set to Open Fresh Bid for Lagos Container Terminal

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  • FG Set to Open Fresh Bid for Lagos Container Terminal

The Tin Can 11 container terminal, also known as Lilypond Terminal, is about to be advertised for public bidding.

Lilypond was concessioned in 2006 to AP Moller Terminals.

Our correspondent learnt that the concession arrangement between the Nigerian Ports Authority and APMT, which lasted for 10 years, ended in 2016.

The NPA, which confirmed the planned fresh bid round for the terminal on Monday, said the terminal would soon be open for fresh bidding as soon as the Public Private Partnership department of the agency concluded the paperwork.

“The PPP department is working on the modalities for placing adverts for new bids. Whoever is successful in the bid will be given a concession of the terminal. The terminal is originally designated as an agricultural export terminal,” the Assistant Manager, Corporate and Strategic Communications, NPA, Ibrahim Nasiru, told our correspondent in a telephone chat on Monday.

The Head of Communications, APMT, Mr Austin Fischer, confirmed to our correspondent that the terminal concession to APMT expired in 2016.

He also said the firm had an intention of bidding for the terminal in the new arrangement but that it did not intend to use the facility as a dry port terminal but as an agricultural hub for its new Cold Chain project aimed at preserving perishable goods coming from the north.

Fischer said the terminal was originally designated as an overflow facility for containers coming to APMT in Apapa Port, adding that when the firm later increased the capacity of the Apapa Port from 200,000 Twenty Equivalent Units to one million TEUs, the firm saw no need to use Lilypond Terminal as an overflow facility because the Apapa Port was big enough for all its containers.

The terminal, which is located opposite the busy Ijora Bridge, was used in the past to house containers conveyed by rail from the seaport, stakeholders told our correspondent, saying that the mode of transportation was cheaper and faster and helped ease the traffic gridlock along the port access roads.

The Chairman, Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, Lilypond Chapter, Femi Olabanji, lamented that the terminal had remained idle since and even transit containers that were to be sent there were not delivered since August.

Our correspondent learnt that Lilypond, which is a bonded terminal, still has a full complement of all the government agencies including Customs, Department of State Services, Port Health Authority and other agencies working there to facilitate cargo clearing process.

Some Customs officers were seen in their offices inside the facility but mostly dosing off on their desks or watching television.

An officer, who spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, said there was not much work to be done at the terminal.

The Controller, NCS Lilypond Command, Mrs Lami Wushishi, declined to grant an interview, saying she was working on reviving the terminal first.

“For now, I am not ready to grant an interview until we have explored all our options. After that, I will call a press briefing,” she told our correspondent.

The Command had, in August, said that it generated N12bn in the first half of 2018, representing 73.4 per cent of its N17bn revenue target for the year.

Its spokesperson, Farouk Abubakar, said that the revenue was generated from tariff collected on the Free Trade Zone.

On the possibility of resuming the movement of containers from the Apapa Port to the Lilypond Terminal, Nasiru said there was no such possibility for now because the place was vacant in the eye of the law in view of the plan to open it for bidding.

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.

Economy

FIRS Sets N5.9 Trillion Revenue Target for 2021

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FIRS to Generate N5.9 Trillion Revenue  in 2021

Mohammed Nami, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Friday said the agency is projecting total revenue of N5.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.

Nami stated this while meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance led by Hon. James Falake on the Service’s 2021 budget defence of its proposed Revenue and Expenditure Estimates.

According to the Chairman, N4.26 trillion and N1.64 trillion were expected to come from non-oil and oil components, respectively.

However, Nami put the cost of collecting the projected revenue at N289.25 billion or 7 percent of the proposed total revenue for the year, higher than the N180.76 billion spent in 2020 to fund the three operational expenditure heads for the year.

He said: “Out of the proposed expenditure of N289.25 billion across the three expenditure heads, the sum of N147.08 billion and N94.97 billion are to be expended on Personnel and Overhead Costs against 2020 budgeted sum of N97.36 billion and N43.64 billion respectively. Also, the sum of N47.19 billion is estimated to be expended on capital items against the budgeted sum of N27.80 billion in 2020. The sum is to cater for on-going and new projects for effective revenue drive.

Speaking on while the agency failed to meet its 2020 target, Nami said “There’s lockdown effect on businesses, implementation directive also for us to study, research best practices on tax administration which involves travelling to overseas and we also have to expand offices and create offices more at rural areas to get closer to the taxpayers, we pay rent for those offices and this could be the reason why all these things went up.

“And if you have more staff surely, their salary will go up, taxes that you’re going to pay on their behalf will go up, the National Housing Fund contribution, PENCOM contribution will go up. Those promoted you have to implement a new salary regime for them. There’s also the issue of inflation and exchange rate differential”, he said.

 

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Economy

Gov Emmanuel Attracts $1.4b Fertilizer Plant to Akwa Ibom

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The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has signed an agreement for the citing of a multi billion fertilizer plant in his State.

Governor Emmanuel was part of a Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, that visited Morocco to set out the next steps of the $1.4 Bln fertilizer production plant project launched in June 2018.

The agreement between the OCP Africa, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the Akwa Ibom State Government will birth one of the biggest investments in the fertilizer production industry worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UMP6).

Mr. Emmanuel signed one of the agreements of the partnership, which covers a memorandum of understanding between OCP Africa, the Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria and the NSIA on land acquisition, administrative facilitation, and common agricultural development projects in the Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking while signing the agreement, Governor Emmanuel said, “Our state is receptive to investments and we are prepared to offer the necessary support to make the project a reality.

“With a site that is suitably located to enable operational logistics and an abundance of gas resources, all that is left is for the parties to accelerate the project development process”, Mr. Udom said.

The agreement reached between the Nigerian Government and the OCP further links OCP, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the NNPC, the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN), and the NSIA.

The two partners agreed to strengthen further their solid partnership leveraging Nigerian gas and the Moroccan phosphate.

This project will lead to a multipurpose industrial platform in Nigeria, which will use Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and 1 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

The visit of the Nigerian delegation to Morocco takes place within the frame of the partnership sealed between OCP Group and the Nigerian Government to support and develop Nigeria’s agriculture industry.

Following the success of the first phase of Nigeria‘s Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and the progress of the fertilizer production plant project launched in 2018 by OCP and NSIA, the Moroccan phosphates group and the Nigerian government delegation have agreed on the next steps of their joint project which is rapidly taking shape.

Several cooperation agreements were inked on Tuesday at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) by OCP Africa and the Nigerian delegation. Through these deals, OCP reaffirms its unwavering support of agricultural development initiatives in Nigeria including PFI.

OCP Africa and the NSIA have agreed, inter alia, to set up a joint venture which will oversee the development of the industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

The OCP has also pledged to supply Nigerian famers with quality fertilizers adapted to the needs of their soil at competitive prices and produced locally.

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Economy

ICPC Says Nigeria Loses $10bn to Illicit Financial Flows 

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or 10 billion dollars (N3.8 trillion) of the estimated 50 billion dollars that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said this during a virtual meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson for ICPC, said in a statement released in Abuja on Friday.

The ICPC Chairman said, “the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone.”

The ICPC boss explained that taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”

He said the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness on IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation.

The ICPC boss added that the meeting would give participants the opportunity to openly discuss how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through risk-based approach.

“Risk-based approach, that is: monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds and intelligence sharing among revenue generating, regulatory and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Owasanoye also stated that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.

The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Muhammad Nani, expressed concerns that IFFs posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources that were needed for development.

Nani declared that tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base and improve revenue generation, which was required for development.

He consequently pushed for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.

Other discussants at the event identified weak regulatory framework, opacity of financial system and lack of capacity amongst others as some of the factors that fuelled IFFs.

The discussants emphasised the need for capacity building of relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to stamp out illicit financial flows.

They commended ICPC for leveraging its corruption prevention mandate to open a new vista in IFFs discourse in Nigeria. (NAN)

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