- Overloaded Heavy Duty Vehicle Owners to Pay N10m Fine – FG
Owners of overloaded heavy duty vehicles that ply federal highways will start paying fines ranging from N1m to N10m, the Federal Government has announced.
It stated this in an official gazette dated February 6, 2018, entitled: ‘Federal Highways (Control of Dimensions, Weights and Axle Load of Heavy Duty Goods Transport Vehicles) Regulations, 2018’.
The gazette, which was put together by the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and obtained in Abuja on Monday, outlined several regulations to be enforced in the roads transport sector across the country.
The FMPWH stated that the objective of the regulations was to set standards and establish procedures for the control of dimensions, weight and axle load of heavy duty goods transport vehicles plying federal highways and to impose sanctions for non-compliance with those standards.
For instance, one of the regulations states that a vehicle operator who violates the dimension standards resulting wholly from the vehicle load is liable to a fine of N10m payable at the temporary area or fixed control post.
Another states that a vehicle operator who overloads a vehicle beyond the regulated total laden weight of the vehicle or assembly of vehicles on a federal highways (after five per cent allowance on total laden weight for margin of error has been taken account of) commits an offence and is liable to a fine of N10m payable at the temporary area or fixed control post.
“A vehicle operator who fails to comply with the standards relating to the weight or size for the transportation of hydrocarbons, explosives and other dangerous goods, commits an offence and is liable to a fine of N10m,” another regulation in the gazette, which was officially made public in Abuja on Monday, stated.
Speaking on why it was important to have rules against overloading of heavy duty vehicles, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, stated that compliance with the regulations would not only increase the lifespan of the roads, but would open a massive door of opportunities in the sector.
Fashola noted that treaty obligations now existed within the West African sub-region that regulated the amount of load any goods’ vehicle could put on an axle and by extension on the road in order to do business within ECOWAS and beyond.
He said, “I must thank you Mr. President for finally signing the instruments of ratification as soon as it was brought to his attention after many years of delay prior to his tenure. Our compliance with these regulations will open a massive door of opportunity and prosperity of cross-border trade to Nigerians engaged in the transport business.
“All over the world, one common thread of prosperous societies is their level of compliance with laws and regulations. In those societies, you will see trucks carrying specified tonnage of cargo, because it protects the road and allows for it to be used again and again.”
He added, “Therefore, while the temptation to overload and carry more with one truck, against regulation and good practice may be appealing, it is ultimately a barrier to prosperity. Such practices may provide cheap and perhaps corrupt riches and income, but they do more damage to the roads from which the cheap income is made.
“Our ministry is convinced that voluntary compliance by stakeholders takes us further and nearer to the prosperity that is beckoning; and this is why we convened our meeting before the process of enforcement commences.”
Barclays Tell High Net Worth Investors to Shun Africa and Other Emerging Economies
Barclays to High Net Worth Clients, Stay Off Africa and Other Emerging Economies
Barclays, one of the world’s largest investment banks, has started advising high net worth clients to stay off Africa and other emerging economies.
According to Barclays, despite the recent recovery noticed in emerging-market stocks, investors are better off avoiding the risks that still abound in emerging nations. Barclays Plc, however, advised high net worth clients to focus on U.S equities despite the S&P’s breakneck rally.
The investment bank said emerging economies do not have enough fiscal buffers to spend their way out of the COVID-19 pandemic and will likely continue to struggle in the near-time compared to the US with 12 percent of gross domestic product fiscal-support.
It said the huge US stimulus may halt rebound in emerging-markets stocks as more money is expected to flow into the world’s largest economy and its European counterparts.
“Compared to the U.S., emerging-market economies appear more vulnerable,” said Haider, the London-based managing director and head of global growth markets. “Their central banks have less room to maneuver, their governments may not be able to provide unlimited support and equity markets, given their sector mix, can be more challenged by an economic slowdown.”
Barclays added that even after 33 percent rebound in stocks of emerging markets since the panic selloff subsided in March, stocks are still down by 9 percent from year-to-date while the US S&P 500 stocks are up by 45 percent. Presently, their stocks trading at a 36 percent discount to US stocks, up from 25 percent three months ago.
Crude Oil Rises to $43.1 Per Barrel on Production Cuts Extension
Crude Oil Hits $43.1 Per Barrel Following OPEC’s Production Cuts Extension
Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil price is measured, rose by 1.25 percent on Monday during the Asian trading session following OPEC and allies’ agreement to extend crude oil cuts to the end of July.
OPEC and allies, known as OPEC plus, agreed to extend production cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day reached in April to July on Saturday.
In the virtual conference, delegates agreed that members, including Nigeria and Iraq presently struggling to attain a 100 percent compliance level must keep to the agreement or be forced to do so in subsequent months.
Nigeria, Iraq and others failed to keep to the cartel’s agreement in May after reports show that Nigeria only managed to attain a 19 percent compliance level during the month while Iraq struggled to attain just 38 percent in the same month.
Russia and Saudi Arabia, the two largest producers of the group, warned members to stick to the agreed quota if they want to rebalance the global oil market.
“While the errant producers such as Iraq and Nigeria have vowed to reach 100% conformity and compensate for prior underperformance, we still think they will likely continue to have some commitment issues over the course of the summer,” said Helima Croft, head of global commodity strategy at RBC Capital Markets.
“The potential return of Libyan output could also cause considerable challenges for the OPEC leadership.”
Earlier on Monday, Brent crude oil hits $43.1 per barrel, more than a month record-high, before pulling back slightly to $42.83 per barrel.
Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report
- Gold Dips by 2 Percent on Better Than Expected Job Report
Gold prices declined by 2 percent on Friday following a better than expected US non-farm payroll report.
The report showed an increase of 2.5 million payroll numbers against a decline of 7.5 million predicted by many experts.
The surprise number boosted investors’ confidence in US recovery as many dumped their haven investment (gold) for the stock market.
“We had significantly stronger-than-expected U.S. payroll numbers – an increase of 2.5 million versus an expectation of a decline of 7.5 million – that 10-million swing has brought forward expectations of the economic recovery in the United States,” said Bart Melek, head of commodity strategies at TD Securities.
Spot gold immediately declined by 1.9 percent per ounce to $1,678.81 while the U.S. gold futures slid 2.6 percent to settle at $1,683.
Gold was also being pressured by stronger yields and a slightly firmer dollar, “meaning the opportunity cost to hold gold in the portfolio has gone up,” Melek added.
The surprise didn’t stop there, US Dow Jones was up 614 points despite the protest going on the US and US-China tension.
Also, NASDAQ rose by 29 points while the S&P index added 50 points increase.
Note: Investors generally increase their investments in gold and other haven assets during a crisis to avert risk exposure and do the opposite once they sense a better economy.
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