- Customs Intercept Indian Hemp Worth N379.2m
The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, has disclosed that it seized 3792 kilogramme of cannabis (Indian Hemp) worth N379.2m.
While announcing the seizure to journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, the Controller of the zone, Mohammed Aliyu, said it was the largest consignment of cannabis ever seized in the history of the FOU Ikeja.
He added that between August 17 and December 10, 2018, the Command recorded a total seizure worth N5.1bn.
Other items seized in addition to the Indian hemp, within the period under review, according to Aliyu, included 58 used vehicles popularly known as Tokunbo, 39,664 bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent of 66 trailers), 3,252 frozen poultry products, 2,887 jerry cans of vegetable oil, 5x20ft containers of unprocessed wood, 2,520 bales of used clothing and 710 cartons of tramadol.
Lamenting the dire consequences of illicit substance intercepted by officers and men of the Nigeria Customs Service, Aliyu said no one knew the potential victims that might use the dangerous substances as they could be any member of a Nigerian family.
He said the men of the NCS made sacrifices to combat the menace of the illicit substances.
Aliyu noted that fighting the menace of drug abuse was fighting for the future of endangered youths and any would-be user of the illicit substance.
“As an enforcement unit of the service, the FOU will not rest on its oars until there is a total compliance that will translate to effective revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, facilitation of legitimate trade and protection of our national security.
“We are determined to stem the tide of those who have decided to be non-conformists to legitimate process of importation and exportation clearance processes.”
Speaking further, the FOU Controller said that the desire to complement the Comptroller- General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali’s, (retd) policy of entrenching transparency and integrity was the determining factor for his uncompromising stance on smuggling.
He stated that FOU was the head of the second layer of defence in enforcing the role of the service and complementing the activities of the area commands.
The Customs helmsman said the unit intended to accomplish the enforcement of the Federal Government’s policy across the border commands.
According to him, the proactive steps of enforcement are truly achieving the desired result in sustaining agriculture and self-sufficiency in food production, revamping the economy, protecting national security and ameliorating the potential health hazards of the negative impact of smuggled items on Nigerians.
Nigeria Allotted $3.35bn From IMF’s Special Drawing Rights(SDRs)
Nigeria has secured about $3.35 billion as part of a historic general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
This is part of the general allocation of about SDR456 billion – an equivalent of $650 billion – by the IMF Board of Governors.
This will help to boost liquidity in Nigeria that is currently battling declining revenue.
The allocation which was approved on Monday aims to boost global liquidity at a time when the world is grappling with the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis,” said IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva.
Although it is not a currency, the SDR is an international reserve asset created by the IMF to supplement the official reserves of its member countries.
It is a potential claim on the freely usable currencies of IMF members and can provide a country with liquidity. The SDR is defined by the US dollar, Euro, Chinese Yuan, Japanese Yen, and the British Pound.
The amount allocated to Nigeria is as a result of the exchange rate of reference which is 0.702283 SDR to a dollar as of July 1, 2021, and Nigeria has 2.4545 billion SDRs.
“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy,” the IMF managing director added.
“It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
According to the IMF, the general allocation of SDRs will become effective on August 23 and the newly created SDRs will be credited to IMF member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the Fund.
It stated that about $275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.
UN Chief Welcomes Historic’ IMF Liquidity Boost for Governments in Need
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to exacerbate restrictions on government spending throughout the world, the UN chief on Tuesday welcomed the decision by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to approve a $650 billion allocation of Special Drawing Rights to “boost liquidity”.
Secretary-General António Guterres issued a statement on the policy change towards Special Drawing Rights or SDRs, a type of foreign reserve asset that is IMF defined and maintained, as additional funding that could help to pay down debts.
He also underscored that economies not in need of access to cash should “consider channeling these resources to vulnerable low and middle-income countries that need a liquidity injection by replenishing the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust Fund”.
Yesterday’s IMF’s allocation makes new borrowing available to the fund’s 190 member countries, roughly in proportion to their share of the global economy.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis”, said IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
“The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.”
Halting debt default
The Secretary-General stressed that it is also “critical to quickly establish the proposed Resilience and Sustainability Trust at the IMF…[for] a comprehensive response and recovery, including providing more support for vaccinations and debt management and to support the efforts of developing economies in restructuring for inclusive growth”.
Last month, he urged the world’s largest economies to spearhead a global COVID-19 vaccination plan and expand debt relief to developing countries battered by the pandemic.
Bulwark against default
He also advised supporting a new $50 billion IMF investment roadmap aimed at ending the pandemic and driving a fast recovery.
As many developing countries are “teetering on the verge of debt default”, the UN chief encouraged the G20 leading industrialized nations to channel unused SDRs to the Fund’s new resilience and sustainability plan, for these nations.
“Special Drawing Rights also need to be considered as additional funding, not deducted from Official Development Assistance”, he reminded.
IMF Approves Largest SDR Allocation In History to Boost Global Liquidity
The Board of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a general allocation of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) equivalent to US$650 billion (about SDR 456 billion) on August 2, 2021, to boost global liquidity.
“This is a historic decision – the largest SDR allocation in the history of the IMF and a shot in the arm for the global economy at a time of unprecedented crisis. The SDR allocation will benefit all members, address the long-term global need for reserves, build confidence, and foster the resilience and stability of the global economy. It will particularly help our most vulnerable countries struggling to cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis,” IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said.
The general allocation of SDRs will become effective on August 23, 2021. The newly created SDRs will be credited to IMF member countries in proportion to their existing quotas in the Fund.
According to the IMF, about US$275 billion (about SDR 193 billion) of the new allocation will go to emerging markets and developing countries, including low-income countries.
“We will also continue to engage actively with our membership to identify viable options for voluntary channeling of SDRs from wealthier to poorer and more vulnerable member countries to support their pandemic recovery and achieve resilient and sustainable growth”, Ms. Georgieva said.
One key option is for members that have strong external positions to voluntarily channel part of their SDRs to scale up lending for low-income countries through the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT). Concessional support through the PRGT is currently interest-free.
The IMF is also exploring other options to help poorer and more vulnerable countries in their recovery efforts. A new Resilience and Sustainability Trust could be considered to facilitate more resilient and sustainable growth in the medium term.
In April last year, Nigeria collected $3.4 billion—equivalent to 100 percent of its quota— under the IMF’s Rapid Financing Instrument, RFI, to tackle the funding gaps created by COVID-19, especially when the crude oil market stagnated.
The financial support, approved by the IMF Executive Board on April 28, 2020, provided critical support to shore up Nigeria’s healthcare sector and shielded jobs and businesses from the shock of the COVID-19 crisis while helping to limit the decline in the nation’s external reserves.
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