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CREFFPON Warns: Port Business May Suffer in 2022, except High Tariff is addressed



CREFFPON Warns: Port Business May Suffer in 2022, except High Tariff is addressed

CREFFPON Warns: Port Business May Suffer in 2022, except High Tariff is addressed

… Says Forex, Unstable Policies make Nigerian Ports unattractive!***

The Congregation of Registered Freight Forwarding Practitioners of Nigeria (CREFFPON) has warned that the Nigerian ports stand to lose out in 2022, except there’s urgent adoption of strategies to tackle the challenges of high tariffs and attract new investors in the African Continental Free Trade Area regime.

The CREFFPON highlighted this, bemoaning the unstable foreign exchange which characterized the ports in 2021 while pointing out that the nation’s ports in 2021 actually experienced an investments glut and cargo was diverted to West African ports due to high tariffs and the Government’s unstable foreign exchange policies.

Stressing that the issue of high tariffs must be timely addressed, the group in its forecast for the year 2022, therefore, cautioned barge operators to streamline their tariffs for efficiency and advised the Federal Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Nigeria to revise the policy which denied importers access to foreign exchange.

The group equally maintained that the essence of an economic regulator in the industry was gradually losing steam.

“We hope that the new agenda (of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council) will revamp the industry by instituting an industry pricing system that promotes competitiveness and meets the International best practices,” CREFFPON stated, noting that the cost of doing business in Nigerian ports was still too expensive and does not add up towards a healthy economy.

It cautioned that ports within the region were targeting Nigerian bound cargo and have positioned themselves to transshipment hub and were ready for prompt participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area regime.

It further pointed out that the increase in cargo throughputs of Lome, Cotonou, Cameroon, Ghana ports attests to the fact that Nigerian bound imports are being diverted.

CREFFPON decried the directive of the Finance Ministry /Central Bank of Nigeria on Trade Fiscal Policies.

Rather, it said the trade policy of uploading more than 41 import items and denying importers access to Forex on the basis that they should source for their foreign exchange from the parallel markets is inimical to business growth.

The group criticized the CBN Forex administration for not impacting both the nation and the trading public positively, saying that the policy promotes all manners of trade irregularities and noncompliance on the part of the trading public, especially in its quest to break even in trade transactions, in relation to profitization.

It added that the policy and the poor administration of the forex regime (persistent forex fluctuations) is a contributory factor in the ailing economic hardship in the country, as the nation is still import-dependent.

CREFFPON called on the CBN and the supervisory ministry to reevaluate the impact of this fiscal policy with a view to reviewing it.

While commending barge operators for their interventionist services undertaken to remedy the port congestion, it cautioned on the need for a streamlined tariff system and efficiency.

For the port industry to progress in the new year, CREFFPON charged the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)  to redouble its commitment to tackling vehicular traffic in and around Apapa ports by refining the e-truck call-up system as many streets of surrounding towns around the ports have been taking over by trucks.

“NPA should be concerned about its port rating globally, especially in relation to port friendliness, costs and efficiency,” it also stated.


While commending the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) on combating piracy, CREFFPON said “the doggedness of the agency (NIMASA) to combat piracy activities on Nigerian territorial waters had ensured reduction in the sea crime.

It demanded that the Blue Economy project should be communicated further to the stakeholders, especially, in the area of research and human capacity development, as enshrined in the AIM-Strategy content development.”

The group described the declaration of excess revenue and profits amidst low cargo throughputs by the Nigeria Customs Service, shipping companies, terminal operators, and others as depressing, saying it truly “equally speaks volumes that something is wrong somewhere in their mode of operations.”

On the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) Governing Council Election, CREFFPON urged the Ministry of Transportation to take a firm stand and conclude the electioneering process.

“The freight forwarders cannot continually afford to stay divided by mere trivial issues.

Time to think more of our profession other than our individual interests is now.

“The haulage sector of the freight forwarding profession requires an intervention.

The present trucking system needs better reorganization, and the CREFFPON shall be at the forefront to drive this objective in the year.

The importance of a transport logistics services cannot be overstated, as it touches the lives of Nigerians significantly”, it explained further.



Makinde Presents N434.2bn 2024 Budget Proposal For Oyo State



PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

 Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Tuesday presented a budget of N434.2 billion for 2024 to the State House of Assembly for consideration and approval.

According to Makinde, the budget is made up of N222.3 billion for capital expenditure, and N211.8 billion for recurrent expenditure.

Presenting the budget tagged: “Budget of Economic Recovery”, the governor said the capital expenditure is 2.4 percent higher than the recurrent expenditure.

He added that the 2024 budget was estimating an increased Internally Generated Revenue of N72 billion with an average of N6 billion monthly.

Education gets the highest share of the budget with N90.6 billion or 20.8 percent of the budget, followed by Infrastructure which gets N74.3 billion or 17.1 percent of the appropriation bill.

The health sector takes the third position with N40.9 billion, which is 9.4 percent and Agriculture has N15.8 billion, which is 3.6 percent of the total budget proposal.

PDP’s Agboworin wins House of Representatives re-run election in Oyo

*Governor Seyi Makinde

He promised that the 2024 budget would cover projects, policies, and actions “which when implemented will cushion the effect t of the hardship the people are facing as a result of fuel subsidy removal.”

Makinde further said that his administration would continue to use technology to block loopholes, saying his government has no plan to increase taxes.

He urged the House of Assembly to see to the speedy passage of the budget proposal for the state’s economic growth and benefit of the people of Oyo State.

Responding after the presentation, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mr ‘Debo Ogundoyin (PDP Ibarapa East) assured the governor of speedy consideration of the Appropriation Bill.

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Troops Destroy 51 Illegal Refining Sites, Recover Stolen Crude Oil – DHQ



….Destroy 7 dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, one outboard engine, others

The Defence Headquarters says  troops of Operation Delta Safe have  destroyed 51 illegal oil refining sites and recovered stolen crude oil and refined products in the Niger Delta in the last one week.

The Director of Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. Edward Buba, disclosed  in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Buba said the troops also apprehended 58 perpetrators of oil theft and denied them of  estimated sum of N668.7 million

He said the troops destroyed seven dugout pits, 25 boats, 47 storage tanks, five vehicles, 141 cooking ovens, one pumping machine, one outboard engine, one tricycle, one speedboat and one tugboat.

According to him, troops recovered 267,700 litres of stolen crude oil, 567,700 litres of illegally refined AGO and 5,000 litres of DPK.

“Troops has maintained momentum against oil theft and arrested persons involved in oil theft in Bonny and Ikpoba Local Government Areas of Rivers and Edo States respectively.

“Troops also arrested suspected armed robbers and foiled illegal bunkering activities in Oshimili South and Ukwa West of Delta and Abia States respectively,” he said.

In the South East, Buba said  troops of Operation UDO KA arrested 15 suspected criminals and repelled attacks by IPOB/ESN criminals in Anambra, Abia and Imo States.

He said the troops conducted raids and rescued kidnapped hostages in Ishielu and Igbo Eze North Local Government Areas of Ebonyi and Enugu States respectively.

He said the troops neutralised three criminals, rescued five kidnapped hostages and recovered 14 rounds of 7.62mm NATO ammo.

In the South West, Buba said  troops of Operation AWATSE foiled armed robbery attacks in Orelope and Olorunsogo Local Government Areas of Oyo State and arrested a gunrunner in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.

According to him, troops rescued 15 kidnapped hostages and recovered two vehicles.

“All recovered items, arrested suspects and rescued hostages were handed over to the relevant authority for further action,” he added.

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NEPZA Boss Says Nation’s Free Trade Zones Not Really `Free’



The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says the country’s Free Trade Zones are business anchorages that have for decades been used to generate revenues for the Federal Government.

Dr Olufemi Ogunyemi, the Managing Director of NEPZA, said this in a statement by the authority’s
Head of Corporate Communications, Martins Odeh, on Monday in Abuja, stressing that the the widely held notion that the scheme is a `free meal ticket’ for investors and not a means for the government to generate revenue is incorrect.

Ogunyemi said this public statement was essential to clarify the misunderstanding by various individuals and entities, in and out of government, on the nature of the scheme.

He reiterated the authority’s commitment to enhancing public knowledge of the principal reason for the country’s adoption of the scheme by the NEPZA Act 63 of 1992.

“The Free Trade Zones are not hot spots for revenue generation. Instead, they exist to support socioeconomic development.

“These include but are not limited to industrialisation, infrastructure development, employment generation, skills acquisition, foreign exchange earnings, and Foreign Direct Investments(FDI) inflows,” Ogunyemi said.

The managing director said the NEPZA Act provided exemption from all federal, state, and local government taxes, rates, levies, and charges for FZE, of which duty and VAT were part.

“However, goods and services exported into Nigeria attract duty, which includes VAT and other charges.

“In addition, NEPZA collects over 20 types of revenues, ranging from 500,000 dollars-Declaration fees, 60,000 dollars for Operation License (OPL) Renewal Fees between three and five years.

“There is also the 100-300 dollar Examination and Documentation fees per transaction, which occurs daily.

“There are other periodic revenues derived from vehicle registration and visas, among others.

“The operations within the free trade zones are not free in the context of the word,” he said.

Ogunyemi said the global business space had contracted significantly, adding that to win a sizable space would require the ingenuity of the government to either expand or maintain the promised incentives.

“These incentives will encourage more multinational corporations and local investors to leverage on the scheme, which has a cumulative investment valued at 30 billion dollars.

“The scheme has caused an influx of FDIs; it has also brought advanced technologies, managerial expertise, and access to global markets.

“For instance, the 52 FTZs with 612 enterprises have and will continue to facilitate the creation of numerous direct and indirect jobs, currently estimated to be within the region of 170,000,” he said.

Ogunyemi said an adjustment in title and introduction of current global business practices would significantly advance the scheme, increasing forward and backward linkages.

“This is with a more significant market offered by the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCTA).

“We have commenced negotiations across the board to ensure that the NEPZA Act is amended to give room for adjusting the scheme’s title from `Free Trade Zones to Special Economic Zones respectively.

“This will open up the system for the benefit of all citizens,” he said.

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