- Importers, Cargo Handlers Fight as Demurrage Hits N2bn
Many importers were dumbfounded following the imposition of demurrage on their goods despite knowing that the COVID-19 lockdown enforced by the Federal Government had prevented them from clearing their goods since March.
According to our checks, goods worth billions of naira brought into the country since March remained in the warehouse of cargo handlers and have accumulated storage fees of over N2 billion.
At a daily storage fee of about N12 per kilo, some of the cargoes had accumulated storage fees in excess of N4 million during the five weeks they had been in storage.
Speaking on the situation, the Managing Director, Skynet Worldwide, a major courier service provider, Tayo Ogundare, said, “Since the lockdown, our goods have been in the warehouses at the airport. The Customs were not working; the airport staff were not working.
“There are billions of naira worth of goods in the warehouses. Importers cannot access their goods now that the lockdown has been lifted because the handling companies are asking for demurrage.
“The Federal Government should intervene and waive the demurrage. There are people that have 20,000 kilogrammes, 3,800 kg and other cargo weights in the warehouses. Some of them will pay up to N3m; others, N4m or more in demurrage if it is not waived.”
The Logistics Manager, Smile Communications, a leading Internet service provider, Danjuma Okeme, said, “We shipped our network-related items before the lockdown.
“We were in the process of clearing them; we had to go to Apapa to pay the Customs duty since the banks at the airport were not open.
“The agency needed just one or two documentation to complete the clearing process before the lockdown.”
Okeme whose company has more than three tonnes of routers stuck in the warehouses insisted that the cargo was a special duty cargo that was not supposed to be affected by the lockdown.
He said, “Now the line is handicapped and we cannot service our customers.
“The situation is affecting our network. Customers are calling from everywhere because everything, including schools, is now online.
“It is a pity that at this critical time, Smile cannot stand for its customers. Some people have gone ahead and paid for the service, but we cannot work because our equipment is in the warehouse.”
According to him, if demurrage should be calculated on the cargo belonging to the firm, it will have to pay over N4m for the period.
He said, “I think the government should call a stakeholders’ meeting and let everybody know that during lockdown or war, people are not supposed to pay any kind of demurrage,” he said.
Another agent and a member of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, Kayode Agimati, pointed out that the lockdown was not the fault of the cargo owners, saying that the Federal Government had asked people to stay at home and away from the airports.
He said, “When the lockdown was lifted, we were expecting to be told to pay the handling charges. We did not expect them to ask us for demurrage on the cargo that we could not clear during the lockdown.
“During the lockdown, all the warehouses at the airport were locked and nobody could clear goods.”
He said some of his clients’ goods had accumulated N2.4m while others had accumulated N800,000 and more in demurrage.”
Nestlé Nigeria: Maggi Supports Over 100,000 At Ramadan
As has been its tradition in the past 10 years, Maggi supported over 100,000 households across Nigeria during the Ramadan season. From the start to the end of the season, the Maggi team was fully involved in providing healthy and nutritious food products for families at Sahur and Iftar.
Working with nutritionists and food enthusiasts, the brand also provided nutrition education to help them make healthy nutrition choices.
In the spirit of sharing and performing acts of service, the brand gave out to shoppers one million gift items through the Ramadan Shopper Promo starting from two weeks before Ramadan until the end of the season. Over 100,000 consumers were also given free food items: rice, vegetable oil, spaghetti and Maggi Seasoning, including donations to 160 charitable organizations and mosques, and door to door (Gida Gida) visits to 1,250 homes to share healthy food items.
To support healthy nutrition, it launched the Maggi Ramadan Diaries, a TV and radio programme that aired for all 30 days of the fast across multiple television stations, radio stations and online platforms. The cooking show provided tips on healthy lifestyles, shared knowledge about quick and delicious recipes and nutritious tips on Iftar and Sahur.
To round off the Eid celebrations, Nestlé Nigeria hosted consumers at a sumptuous dinner themed, ‘Maggi Food and Everything Else.’ Participants shared in a delicious Eid experience, with meals showcasing the best of Northern cuisine prepared by foremost chefs and food enthusiasts.
Speaking on Nestlé’s commitment to supporting individuals and families during Ramadan over the past ten years, Category Manager for Culinary, Nestlé Nigeria, Mrs. Nwando Ajene said, “Ramadan is a special season for renewed dedication to the values of service and sharing goodness; values which Maggi also firmly represents. Looking back on the past year, 2021 brings a fresh appreciation of the joy and privilege of coming together.
“Today, therefore, we want to share goodness with our consumers, stakeholders, and influencers who have been a part of this Maggi Ramadan experience over the past ten years. We are happy to have been a part of the Ramadan journey, and we will continue to support individuals and families to make healthier and tastier food choices every day.”
Jamilah Lawal, a Social Media Influencer had this to say about her experience; “Participating in ‘Maggi Dairies’ is an opportunity for me to share nutrition tips with countless people during Ramadan.
This year is special as we all recover from the impact of the pandemic. If there is anything we learned from 2020, it is the importance of healthy nutrition every day. Over the past years, I have seen the impact of improved nutrition on many families, and many more food enthusiasts have joined the campaign to promote healthier nutrition. I cannot thank Maggi enough for this platform which I will always support.”
MAGGI is an iconic brand from the stable of Nestlé, the good food, good life company committed to unlocking the power of food to enhance the quality of life for everyone today and for generations to come.
Box Office Revenues Plunged by $30B in a Year, US Market The Hardest Hit
The COVID-19 has had a devastating impact on the global film industry. With cinemas closed amid the lockdowns and millions of people practicing social distancing, ticket sales plunged to the lowest point in decades.
According to data presented by Stock Apps, global box office revenues amounted to $12bn in 2020, a catastrophic $30bn plunge in a year.
US Box Office Revenues Plunged by 80 percent in a Year
The COVID-19 hit came after the best year for the film industry in its history. In 2019, box office revenues hit $42.3bn, revealed the Motion Picture Association`s 2020 Theatrical and Home Entertainment report. In fact, this was a peak of impressive revenue growth that had been ongoing for over a decade.
However, cinema closures in 2020 caused a sharp decline in annual box office revenues, with the figure plunging by 71 percent year-over-year.
Statistics show that North America, as the world’s leading box office market for several decades, has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, North American box office revenues amounted to $11.4bn, a slight drop from $11.9bn in 2018. After the pandemic struck, revenues plunged by 80 percent YoY to only $2.2bn in 2020.
Although the smallest of all regions in terms of box office revenues, the Latin American market witnessed almost identical revenue loss last year. Statistics show box office revenues in Latin American countries dipped by 81 percent in a year, falling from $2.8bn in 2019 to $500 million in 2020.
Asian Market Witnessed $11.8B Revenue Drop, EMEA Countries Lost $7B in Box Office Revenues Amid Pandemic
Over the years, Asian countries have started making their mark on the global movie industry. Bollywood movies, in particular, are gaining popularity outside of India. Still, while India’s film industry is releasing far more movies than China and the United States combined, its box office revenues are comparatively small.
Statistics show box office revenues in the Asia Pacific region grew steadily for the last decade, with the figure rising from $7.2bn in 2009 to $17.8bn in 2019. However, the closure of cinemas and theatres caused revenues to plunge by $11.8bn or 66 percent YoY in 2020.
EMEA countries lost around $7bn in box office revenues due to the pandemic. In 2019, cinemas across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa generated $10.3bn in ticket sales. Statistics show that last year, box office revenues plunged by 67 percent YoY to $3.3bn, one-third of pre-COVID-19 value.
Dangote Cement Invests in New Line to Increase Supply, Reduce Price
Following the surge in the price of cement and demand, Dangote Cement Plc on Monday said it has invested in a new line at Obajana, Kogi State as well as in Okpella, Edo State and plans to reactivate its Gboko plant that has been shut for four years.
The leading manufacturer plans to rein in price and meet rising demand through an increase in supply.
Dangote Group’s new Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Rabiu Umar, disclosed at a media briefing in Lagos.
Umar said: “There is a surge in demand immediately after COVID-19 disruption. This surge in demand is not a localised Nigerian phenomenon as a couple of countries around the world like Pakistan and Mexico, among others are seeing a rising incident of demand for cement.
“So the question is what is the Dangote Cement Plc doing to bring it down? First and foremost we have invested in a new line that has been completed in Obajana, which is waiting for the power plant for us to start bringing out more cement.
“We also have a new line in Okpella, Edo State, which is going to start operation very soon. Also we have restarted one of our plants in Gboko, Benue State that has not worked for almost four years all in a bid to make sure that there is enough production to supply the market.”
He added: “What drives price is the interplay of the market forces of demand and supply. As a business, we have not increased our price. And the only way to deal with this upsurge is to have adequate capacity to supply the market by producing more to prevent a break in the supply chain that will lead to arbitrage.
“So, what we are trying to do is to ensure that we increase our supply of cement in the market and we believe that will help to manage the skyrocketing prices of cement.
“We have also stopped exporting cement to ensure that we meet local demand in spite of the fact that the foreign exchange from exports is very valuable in times like this.”
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