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Nigeria Loses N9bn Revenue Annually to Illegal Fish Importation

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West Africa Fisheries
  • Nigeria Loses N9bn Revenue Annually to Illegal Fish Importation

The Association of Indigenous Sea Food Stakeholders says the country loses N9bn revenue annually to illegal fish importation and smuggling.

The association’s national chairman, Mr Lamina Rasheed, said in Abuja on Wednesday that the members of the association paid import duty of 14 per cent, which amounted to millions of naira to the Federal Government while the illegal importers paid next to nothing through the land borders.

According to him, it is difficult to compete with them in the market because these illegal importers slash their prices to the detriment and loss by the genuine fish dealers.

He frowned at the development which he said had discouraged so many genuine importers and local fish farmers across the country.

The chairman appealed to the Federal Government to expedite action toward setting up a task force that would stop the illegal importation of fish and other sea foods into the country.

Rasheed said that the illegal importation was still ongoing through the borders, but setting up the monitoring and prosecution task force would help curb the menace.

He said that some of the sea products which were being produced in Russia, Norway, Mexico, were being smuggled into the country through the Republic of Benin.

“The government loses about N9bn revenues to this act.

“We are still trying to create awareness to let the government know that the illegal act is still persisting.

“Until they arrest somebody and apply the penalties, the perpetrators will not stop.

“The government said they will set up a monitoring committee but up till now, we have not seen any committee.

“As long as the committee is not in place, we will not make any meaningful progress in the seafood business.

“Local production of fish is currently still very minimal,’’ he said.

Rasheed appealed to the Nigeria Customs Service to assist in regulating the operations of smugglers.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture had in March promised to set up a committee that would be responsible for arresting and prosecuting illegal importers.

It would also seal cold rooms where the imported products were being sold.

The Minister of State for Agriculture and Rural Development, Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri, had earlier announced a fine of $250,000 or five years’ imprisonment or both as punishment for offenders.

Lokpobiri said this was in addition to the forfeiture and destruction of the product.

He said that the country’s annual demand of fish was currently at 3.2 million tonnes and deficit at 1.9 million tonnes.

The minister said that the ministry’s department of fisheries and aquaculture is the only competent authority empowered by the Nigeria Sea Fisheries Act to issue distant water fishing licences for the importation of frozen fish into Nigeria.

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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Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations

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air peace

Number of Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations

The number of air passengers dropped despite Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu lifting the curfew imposed to address looting and destruction of properties in the state.

The busiest airport in the country, Murtala Mohammed Airport, resumed full operations on Monday, however, passengers are cautious about flying, especially because of the tense situation across the nation.

Some of the officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria as well as those of domestic airlines confirmed that domestic passenger volume had been on a slow start since they commenced full operations.

Okwudili Ezenwa, the spokesperson for Dana Air, said “We are hoping that by next week, everything should have settled down because right now, people are still trying to be sure of their movements.

“Passengers are being cautious before they come out. So, things have not balanced. People are not leaving Lagos as such from the airport now; rather, they are being careful.”

He added, “In locations where no curfew was announced, other places will still have to feed such locations. So since we have curfews here and there, ultimately it affects areas where we don’t have curfew.

“But we hope everything settles down well before next week.”

Similarly, Stanley Olisa, the spokesperson, Air Peace, explained that even though domestic flight operations had resumed, passengers were still wary of flying.

Yes domestic flights have resumed out of the Lagos airport but it is something that is only picking up gradually,” he said.

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333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000

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MSME

FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans

The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.

In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.

The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.

“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.

“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”

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Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG

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Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG

The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.

The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.

He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.

He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.

“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.

“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.

“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.

“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.

The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?

“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.

“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.

“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.

“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.

“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.

“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.

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