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LCCI Seeks Reversal of New Import Duty Exchange Rate

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  • LCCI Seeks Reversal of New Import Duty Exchange Rate

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has called for an immediate reversal of the new import duty exchange rate set by the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The President, LCCI, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, made this call in Lagos on Wednesday during a press briefing to review the state of the economy for the first quarter.

The Central Bank of Nigeria had three weeks ago, changed the exchange rate for Customs duty from N306 per dollar to N326/$ without explaining the reason for the action.

The action had attracted wide condemnation from operators and stakeholders in the maritime sector, with some saying that this would have a huge negative impact on importers who had conducted their transactions at the exchange rate of N306/$ before the sudden increase, adding that it would amount to losses as they tried to grapple with the difference.

Ruwase said, “Coming at a time when the government has repeatedly stressed its commitment to investment growth and economic diversification, this policy action is a negation of what the present administration professes as far as economic management is concerned.

“Investors are currently grappling with a difficult operating environment manifesting in high infrastructure deficit, weak purchasing power, increasing poverty incidence, high unemployment and fragile economic growth. This is not a time to introduce a policy measure that would impose an additional cost on investors. Already, the sharp depreciation in the exchange rate in the last few years had resulted in high import duty across all sectors, including duties on raw materials and intermediate products used in the industries.”

Pointing out that the CBN in its five-year plan had underlined the imperative of growth, investment promotion and job creation, he remarked that the recent exchange rate review for import duty was not consistent with the aspirations of the CBN as contained in that plan.

He said, “The loss to the economy and the welfare cost to citizens will certainly outweigh the revenue gains to the government. Excessive focus on revenue drive could undermine the realisation of the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan, especially from an investment and poverty reduction perspective.”

Ruwase listed some of the implications of the foreign exchange rate review to include high cost of raw materials, inflationary pressure on products and services across sectors, erosion of profit margins for investors, negative welfare effect on citizens as general price level increases.

Others are the weak capacity of businesses to create jobs, and weaker purchasing power of citizens leading to higher poverty incidence.

“On account of the foregoing adverse implications for the Nigerian economy and the welfare of citizens, we call for an immediate reversal of the exchange rate increase for the purpose of computation of import duty,” 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.

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Npower News Today: Npower Salary Update, Npower Latest News on Permanency

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Latest Npower News Today: Npower Salary Update and Npower Latest News on Permanency

The Federal Government continues to engage private businesses and organisations on the absorption of exited batch A and batch B of the Npower program.

The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Farouq, disclosed this in Abuja.

On continuity and sustenance, the Federal Government allocated N420 billion to Npower and other social investment programmes in the 2021 proposed budget before the National Assembly.

President Muhammadu Buhari also made mention of it in his last speech regarding the #EndSARS protest.

Buhari said, “In furtherance of our inclusiveness agenda, the sum of N420 billion has been provided to sustain the Social Investment Programmes, while N20 billion has also been set aside for the family homes and our Social Housing Programme.”

Speaking on unpaid exited Npower beneficiaries of batches A and B, the minister said “the ministry has directed that opportunity be given to the affected beneficiaries to verify and re-validate their eligibility so that qualified beneficiaries can be paid for their participation in the N-Power Programme.

“Beneficiaries are hereby directed to report to their State Focal Persons immediately with their bank account details including bank statements from March 2020 to date, NYSC Discharge Certificates, birth certificates and other related screening documents.

“The deadline for verification is October 13, 2020. Beneficiaries who fail to attend the verification exercise will forfeit their stipends.”

The fresh verification has now closed, however, the list of the successful candidates for Batch C would be announced soon according to the minister while the Federal Government continues to work on permanent placement for exited Npower beneficiaries.

On fake Npower news flying across social media, Rhoda Ishaku Iliya, the Deputy Director Information of the ministry, said the attention of the ministry has been drawn to series of fake news trending on social media.

She said “the attention of the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development has been drawn to the fake news trending on social media that President Muhammadu Buhari will broadcast to the nation the absorption of N-Power Volunteers Batch A, into the Federal Civil Service,” the statement reads.

“The Ministry is hereby calling on the public to disregard the message and consider it as fake news. Any information on N-Power or the National Social Investment Programme will be issued through the appropriate Federal Government channels.”

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Soldiers, Police Battle Hoodlums to Prevent Looting of Computer Village

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Soldiers and Police Battle Hoodlums Trying to Loot Computer Village

Hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protest and turned it into a broad day robbery have continued to attack business districts, offices and properties of known establishments to loot and destroy years of labour despite the negative impacts of COVID-19 on these businesses.

Soldiers that were later joined by the Nigerian Police Force have been trying to repel hoodlums looking to break into computer village in Ikeja, Lagos State since the #EndSARS protest was hijacked.

According to residents and business owners contacted, the armed looters are still making an attempt to overpower security agents knowing there are valuables in the shops.

Right now they are still making an attempt (to overpower security agents) and considering the sensitivity of the business that we do, we sell very valuable commodities and they understand the liquidity of these products,” said Adeniyi Ojikutu, president, Computer and Allied Products Dealers Association of Nigeria (CAPDAN) said on the phone.

Ojikutu said the hoodlums, who were more than 500 in number, had shot in the air when they were discovered and remained close by for an opportunity to eventually break into the largest computer, mobile devices and ICT accessory market in Africa.

Also, because computer village is within close proximity to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), a new BRT station, Jara Mall, the Lagos State Police Command, Lagos State High Court and both the local and international Airports, it becomes imperative to protect it as a break-in by looters may spell disaster for other top establishments in the vicinity.

A resident said ‘Benin Boys’, a group of hoodlums, had earlier tried to invade computer village around 1 am but were prevented by security operatives. However, those that have been making attempts between the morning and afternoon of Friday were the Agege boys.

“The security were using megaphones to shout and warn all of us to stay inside,” said this resident.

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Dangote Sugar Refinery Postpones Board Meeting Amid Social Unrest

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Dangote Sugar Refinery Has Postponed Board Meeting Scheduled for Today Amid Social Unrest

The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc on Friday said they have decided to postpone the company’s board meeting scheduled to hold today October 23, 2020 to a date they will communicate soon.

The management said the decision was due to the ongoing precarious situation in the country, especially the attacks on various establishments since governor Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state.

In a statement signed by the company secretary, Mrs. Temitope Hassan, Dangote Sugar Refinery said “Further to our announcement made on October 8, 2020, the Company wishes to notify the Exchange and the investing public that the meeting of the Board of Directors of the Company earlier scheduled to be held on Friday October 23, 2020 to consider the draft unaudited financial statement of the Company for the Q3 ended September 30, 2020 has been postponed in view of the current precarious situation in the country.

“The new date for the meeting will be communicated as soon as normalcy returns. The Closed Period which has already commenced will continue till 24 hours after the filling of the Results.

“No insider of the Company, including its Directors, Employees, Advisers and Consultants and their connected persons may deal directly or indirectly in the Shares of the Company during the Closed Period.

All Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc Insiders have been duly informed.”

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