Perishable cargoes/vegetables exporters have counted their losses over the recent shut down of export sheds at the cargo areas of Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos by the Nigeria Customs Service without considering its effect on delicate exports.
The exporters expressed worry that such interruptions portend grave danger for the economy’s agro-allied produce, adding that as a country that is encouraging exports, Customs and other government agencies at the airport should provide them incentives rather than discourage such efforts.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) last week closed the export shed for days over allegation that prohibited items meant for export were hidden in the sheds.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, the CEO of ABX World, a major agro-allied exporter, Captain John Okakpu said that the agro-allied exporters numbering over 100 were hurt by the decision of Customs to shut down the sheds although the facilities were re-opened two days later.
Captain Okakpu, who said the exporters lost over N100 million worth of goods within 48-hours the export warehouses were shut, called on the federal government through the various Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to urgently commence full-scale investigations into the immediate and remote causes of the warehouses closure to avoid future occurrences.
He said that with government’s focus on agriculture as one of the panaceas to the rising inflation, restrictions in capital flows and depleting forex reserves, agro-allied exporters deserve protection as partners.
“The truth is, we have made fundamental mistakes in the past as a nation by becoming a mono-economy. But, we cannot continue to lick the wounds. We have to reverse the case and agriculture provides us with a better option to grow. That is why as agro-allied exporters, we are seriously worried over the actions of some government officials, who seem not to underestimate the peculiarities of perishable items for export.
“Shutting down the warehouses was actually an indictment on Customs, as its officials ought to have carried out surveillance before shutting down all export businesses at the Lagos Airport. If such act is not checkmated in future it will compound issues and create a logjam in the system. Or, do we prefer to ship our cargos to countries like Ghana or Cameroun before they can be shipped to Europe and other markets? Presently, the yam sold in Europe as Ghana yams are actually from Nigeria,” Okakpu said.
He remarked that any action contradicting federal government’s agricultural road map, which was launched by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo recently should not be treated with levity.
“We made efforts to reach relevant authorities. For instance, the Nigerian Export Promotion Council was outraged because they understand the bad image the incidence will create at the international market. The agricultural road map by the government is a step in the right direction hence we are in full support of the programme. However, we pray for its implementation and not, like in the past after drafting tiger-paper legislations, conferences and researches, they end up in the shelves,” he said.
Oil Prices News: Oil Gains Following Drops in US Crude Inventories
Oil Prices Gain Following Drops in US Crude Inventories and OPEC High Compliance Level
Global oil prices extended their 2 percent gains on Thursday after data showed U.S crude oil inventories declined last week.
The price of Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is measured, gained 0.2 percent or 7 cents to $43.39 a barrel as at 12:10 pm Nigerian time. While the U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude appreciated by 8 cent or 0.2 percent to $41.12 barrels.
Oil prices extended their three days gain after the American Petroleum Institute said the U.S crude inventories declined by 5.4 million barrels in the week ended October 9.
The report released after the market closed on Wednesday revealed that distillate stockpiles, which include diesel and heating oil, declined by 3.9 million barrels. Those stated drawdowns almost double analysts’ projections for the week.
“Much of the fall is due to the effects of Hurricane Delta shuttering U.S. production in the Gulf of Mexico, and as such, will be a transitory effect,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst, Asia Pacific at OANDA.
“Therefore, I am not getting too excited that a turn of direction is upon markets, although both contracts are approaching important technical resistance regions.”
Also, the report that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, referred to as OPEC+ attained 102 percent compliance level with their oil production cuts agreements bolstered global oil outlook. Suggesting that demands for the commodity are likely not growing and could drag down prices in few weeks, especially when one factor in the reopening of Libya’s Sharara oil field, workers returning to operation in Norway and the Gulf of Mexico.
Oil Prices Gain on Tuesday Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies
Oil Prices Rise Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies
Oil prices gained on Tuesday despite Libya opening Sharara oil field for production, labour in Norway reaching an agreement with oil firms to return back to work and oil workers in the U.S returning to the Gulf of Mexico region after the Hurrican Delta.
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, gained 1.77 percent to $42.46 per barrel as at 11:15 am Nigerian time on Tuesday.
While the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil gained 2 percent to close at $40.22 per barrel.
The improvement in prices was after oil prices plunged as much as 3 percent on Monday following a resolution reached by Libyan rebels and government to commence oil production at the nation’s largest oil field, Sharara Oil Field.
This coupled with labour agreement with oil firms in Norway was expected to boost global oil supplies and eventually weighed on prices and disrupt OPEC+ production cuts strategy.
However, prices surged after Nancy Pelosi said she would commence talks on $1.8 trillion stimulus package following President Trump’s return to the White House after he was rushed to hospital following a positive COVID-19 test.
Joe Biden Win Could Boost Oil Prices, Says Goldman Sachs
Oil Prices to Surge Once Joe Biden Wins -Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has said Joe Biden win could boost global oil prices despite weak global economic outlook and COVID-19 negative impacts on the world’s growth.
The investment bank, however, remains bullish on both oil and gas prices regardless of the election outcome in November.
The bank sees oil and gas demand rising enough in 2021 to supersede election results but explained that Biden win could bolster prices by making production more expensive and more regulated for producers in the U.S.
In a note written by the bank’s commodities team on Sunday, it said “We do not expect the upcoming U.S. elections to derail our bullish forecasts for oil and gas prices, with a Blue Wave likely to be in fact a positive catalyst.”
“Headwinds to U.S. oil and gas production would rise further under a Joe Biden administration, even if the candidate has struck a centrist tone.”
Goldman Sachs explained that if incumbent, Trump, is re-elected with pro-oil and gas policies in place that “its impact would likely remain modest at best,” Goldman’s analysts wrote, “given the more powerful shift in investor focus to incorporate ESG metrics and the associated corporate capex re-allocation away from fossil fuels.”
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