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Look for Better Jobs, Customs Boss Advises Smugglers

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  • Look for Better Jobs, Customs Boss Advises Smugglers

The Controller, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Mohammed Garuba, has advised smugglers to look for a better job other than smuggling.

He specifically urged smugglers to invest their money in legitimate business that would yield dividends for them instead of being involved in smuggling, which he described as an illegal trade.

He said, “Let me seize this opportunity to warn all would-be smugglers to desist from any act of illegal trade and invest their money in a legitimate business that will yield dividend on their investments. There is no amount of resistance from the smugglers and their mob accomplices that will deter us from performing our statutory responsibilities in all aspects, especially in suppression of smuggling within South-West zone.”

Garuba said that between January 1 and January 31, the command recovered N91.3m in unpaid duty and seized contraband worth over N1.6bn, bringing the worth of the total seizures and revenue generation to N1.709bn.

“Also, two containers were seized; one for carrying 537 cartons of Indian whisky as against yeast declared on the Single Goods Declaration form; another was seized for carrying 60 pieces of used chest freezers and 570 bundles of gas hose as against condenser for steam polysomy .This is a clear case of false declaration,” he said.

Also among the items seized, according to him, are 14 trailers of foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, vegetable oil, used clothing, Indian hemp, used tyres and exotic cars.

He said the value of the exotic cars alone was over N1.4bn.

Garuba listed the seized vehicles as four Rolls Royce, a Porche Panamera, a Jaguar, a Bentley worth over N29m, one Lexus jeep, two G-wagon, one Toyota Land Cruiser, five Toyota Corolla, seven Mercedes Benz and among others.

According to him, the vehicles were mostly 2017 models, adding that while some of the vehicles were intercepted along Ijebu Ode expressway, others were evacuated during various raids on Parkview Estate, VI, Banana Island, Alhaji Bankole Crescent, Ikeja and Tola Adewunmi Street Maryland in Lagos.

Garuba urged owners of the exotic cars to come with relevant Customs documents to claim the vehicles or risk losing them.

Speaking earlier while conducting journalists around the seized items on Tuesday, the FOU controller maintained that the Customs and Excise Management Act empowered the service to search people’s premises suspected to house smuggled items and impound those things.

He said, “We urge the owners of these vehicles to come forward with valid Customs clearance documents, otherwise they will be liable to seizure and subsequent forfeiture to the Federal Government in line with laws of the land.

“For the avoidance of doubt, our action is in line with the provisions of Sections 147 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap 45, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004 (power to search premises), Section 158 of CEMA, Cap 45 Laws of Federation of Nigeria (power to patrol freely).”

The seizure of the exotic cars makes it three months of consecutive seizures of such vehicles since November last year.

In a similar raid in November 2017, the command seized 59 vehicles valued at N1.1bn in Lagos. Among them were four bullet-proof cars found in a residence in Ikoyi.

In December, the command also uncovered 57 exotic cars in Omole Estate, among which was one bullet-proof Lexus jeep, all of them valued above N1.3bn.

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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Gold Hit 26.8% ROI YTD, the Highest Increase in Value Among Top Assets

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Gold Delivers 26.8% Return on Investment Year-t-Date

As the world’s earliest form of currency, gold has long been considered a reliable store of value. Unlike banknotes, stock, or other assets, the precious metal managed to preserve the investors’ wealth throughout the years, especially in times of turmoil in the financial markets.

According to data presented by AksjeBloggen, gold hit a 26.8% YTD return on investment, the highest increase in value among top assets.

Gold Return Rate 8.5% Higher than in 2019

Investors tend to focus on gold in times of market volatility, considering it to be a ‘safe haven’ in crises like the coronavirus. In 2019, the value of gold increased by 18.3%, revealed the Blackrock data. The precious metal continued the impressive performance in 2020 with a 26.8% YTD return, 8.5% more than in 2019.

Statistics show that last year, the S&P 500 index increased in value by 31% but was outperformed by Nasdaq, which grew by 35.2%. The MSCI Europe index rose by 26.1% in 2019. China A-shares followed with a 22.3% ROI.

However, the COVID-19 crisis had a massive impact on popular assets, causing a sharp fall in their values during the first half of 2020. The Blackrock data revealed the Nasdaq YTD return hit 23.9%, 11.3% below the 2019 performance. China A stocks reached 10% ROI YTD, much under the 22.3% return in 2019.

Statistics show the S&P 500 index had an 8.4% value increase in the nine months of 2020, almost four times less than in 2019. MSCI Emerging Market Index reached a 4.9% value increase in the same period, compared to 13% in 2019.

The Blackrock data show that crude oil, FTSE 100, and MSCI Europe index witnessed the most significant drop in the nine months of 2020, with their values falling by 34.6%, 22.4%, and 11.5%, respectively.

Global Demand for Investment Gold Surged by 100% YoY

Although many investors value gold as an important portfolio asset, the economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to a surge in global demand for the precious metal.

The World Gold Council data showed the global demand for investment gold increased significantly since the beginning of the year.

In the fourth quarter of 2019, it amounted to 279.2 metric tons. By the end of March, this figure jumped by more than 93% to 539.6 metric tons. The increasing trend continued in the second quarter of the year, with global demand for investment gold hitting 582.9 metric tons, an almost 100% jump year-over-year.

Statistics indicate the global demand for gold for investment purposes hit a record-breaking 1,152 metric tons in the first half of 2020, the highest figure so far.

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Oil Prices News: Oil Gains Following Drops in US Crude Inventories

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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.

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Oil Prices Gain on Tuesday Despite Expected Surge in Global Oil Supplies

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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.

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