Connect with us


KCCI: Group urges FG to weigh advantages, disadvantages of border closure



KCCI: Group urges FG to weigh advantages, disadvantages of border closure

…As Cattle Dealers lament over multiple taxations, harassment***

Kano Concerned Citizens Initiative (KCCI) on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of closing the country’s land borders with a view to reviewing the policy.

The Chairman of the KCCI, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, made the call while addressing a news conference in Kano, stressing that the call had become imperative, seeing that the border closure would not solve the entire problems bedeviling the country or hindering its economic growth and development.

“There is need for the Federal Government to examine the advantages and disadvantages of border closure in view of the fact that the policy has negatively affected many businesses,” he said.

Tofa, who was the Presidential candidate of the defunct National Republican Convention (NRC), said the policy should be reviewed in order to ensure that those conducting their legal businesses were allowed to do so.

He advised the Federal Government to set up a committee that would meet with the governments of neighbouring countries, to ensure strict adherence to all the rules and regulations governing movements of people and goods.

“The Federal Government should also take stringent measures to ensure that our borders are fully protected and secured.

He disclosed that the KCCI had planned to establish a comprehensive business Centre in Kano that would offer consultancy and other services to businessmen and women, as well as other interested people across the north.

He said the centre, when established, would afford business people the opportunity to be informed about other businesses with a view to promoting theirs.

“In the last few weeks, a delegation of the KCCI had gone round 30 Industries and farms within Kano Kano Central, on an assessment tour.

“We decided to make these strenuous visits because of our state and people’s deteriorating economic situation,” he said.

Tofa said based on its findings, the delegation was giving its opinion and solutions it felt would solve the problems.

He said the group would soon forward a report to the Kano State Government, the presidency, northern state governors, as well as institutions concerned for necessary action.

Meanwhile, the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers of Nigeria has raised an alarm over multiple taxation from illegal gangs in some parts of the country.

Its National President, Alhaji Taheer Ibrahim, told journalists in Abuja on Tuesday that multiple taxations had led to hike in prices of some commodities which ought not to be.

He said such practices were severe in Benue, Plateau, Nasarawa, Kogi, Taraba, Cross River, Enugu, Anambra, Imo, Abia and Ebonyi states.

According to him, there are instances that its members were beaten while transporting goods to different parts of the country.

“We want to inform the world of the widespread harassment of the members of the Amalgamated Union of Foodstuffs and Cattle Dealers all over the country by illegal gangs.

“Their mode of operation is that they disguise as private revenue collectors for some state and local governments; their habits are to mount road blocks in the night and demand for taxes and levies from our members under severe duress.

“We have had incidences where our members were beaten to a state of stupor by the illegal gangs; we believe the rampant defiance of good conduct by the gangs who claim to have been outsourced for revenue collection by states and local governments is contrary to all laws of the land.

Also read:  Border closure: Mixed reactions in South-West, as Kano, Kebbi Farmers commend Government

“The multiple taxation for a truck load of cattle often amount to about N450, 000, which is higher than the transportation cost of N330, 000,” he said.

Ibrahim said that the union had reported the cases to the Inspector General of Police, Ministers of Agriculture and Labour to stop the menace, adding that its members would not hesitate to withdraw their services if nothing was done about the matter.

He said that the lawful conduct of all would ensure that consumer goods were supplied to Nigerians at affordable prices and for the general well being of the country.

Earlier, Mr Emmanuel Ugboaja, Secretary General, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), expressed concern over the matter, urging states and local governments to streamline their revenue collection methods to ensure transparency.

According to him, it is important for the tiers of government to check excesses of illegal road blocks in guise for revenue collection, pledging NLC’s commitment to help to stem the tide.

“There is no need for the tiers of government to pretend that this issue is not happening, the unions have said severally that they are not averse to tax payments, but this must be according to the law.”



Fuel Scarcity Will Soon Disappear, NMDPRA Tells Unbelieving Nigerians; Depot Managers Disagree 



…Insist there is still serious supply gap***

The Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) has assured Nigerians that the prevailing fuel crisis ravaging various parts of the country would soon disappear. His audience largely disbelieved him.

NMDPRA Coordinator in Delta, Mr Victor Ohwodiasa, gave the assurance when he led a team of the regulatory authority on an unscheduled inspection visit to some petroleum depots at Ifiekporo, on Thursday evening and Friday in Delta.

The Ifiekporo Community is in Warri South Local Government area of Delta.

Ohwodiasa said that a lot of vessels laden with Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) known as Petrol were already coming into the state.

He said the regulatory authority would ensure that the vessels discharge products as quickly as possible.

“We will ensure that the depots receiving these products lift them out to the end users.

“By the time we have all the depots wet with PMS and they are lifting regularly, the looming scarcity we are experiencing will disappear,” Ohwodiasa said.

Nigeria, 99 others Back Agreement Against Illegal, Unregulated Fishing

The agency’s coordinator said the essence of the visit was to ensure that depots with the products dispensed to licenced retail outlets, eliminate middlemen and also avoid diversion.

“Once we get our daily manifest, we send our men out to make sure that those trucks get to their actual locations.

“There might be one or two infractions; we have apprehended about two persons for product diversion and they were made to face the full wrath of the law.

“As a regulatory authority, saddled with the responsibility of regulating the Midstream and Downstream of the Oil and Gas sector in Nigeria, we will continue to do what we need to do.

“This is to ensure that the products are available and adequately and fairly distributed within Delta and neighbouring states,” he said.

Ohwodiasa said the NMDPRA would carry out intense routine surveillance, adding that it would sustain the tempo to ensure that the right things were done in the Midstream and Downstream sectors of the oil and gas industry.

He, however, urged people to stop panic buying, assuring that the Federal Government was doing everything possible to ensure the availability of petroleum products in the country, particularly during the Yuletide season and beyond.

Ohwodiasa added that NMDPRA would ensure that the products get to the consumers at the right price, quality and quantity.

Among the depots visited were: Matrix Energy Group, Pinnacle Oil and Gas Ltd. and AYM Shafa Ltd.

Speaking on behalf of Matrix Energy, Mr Francis Ibe, the Terminal Manager, Matrix Energy, said that the PMS stock level at the Warri Depot was 14 million litres on Thursday.

Ibe said as of the evening of Thursday, it had trucked out over four million litres.

“With what I am pushing out, I know it will not be enough. Before now on weekly basis, we were receiving 40 million litres of PMS, but at the moment, we barely received 40 million in two weeks. So you can see the difference.

“Forty million litres in one week as against receiving one vessel in two weeks cannot solve the problem. There is a serious supply gap,” Ibe said.

Also, Mr Luke Nnajieze, the Depot Manager, Pinnacle Oil and Gas, Warri Depot, said that the current stock level of the company in Warri as of Thursday morning was 3.1 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS).

Nnajieze added that the Automated Gasoline Oil (AGO) was 2.9 million litres. At the moment, we are out of stock of Dual Purpose Kerosene (DPK).

“On daily basis, we trucked 2.5 million litres to 3 million litres of PMS,” he said.

Nnajieze identified heavy vehicular gridlock as a major challenge confronting their business in the area, calling on the government to assist in expanding or fixing the bad access road.

He also called for the dredging of the Escravos Bar to allow bigger vessels to navigate and bring in petroleum products.

A respondent who spoke on condition of anonymity however said: “What I hate is telling innocent people deliberate lies. We all know supply is grossly inadequate; and yet, we keep hyping lame duck assurances!”, he said, adding that it was like the government, knowing that it was now on its last lap, has seemingly relaxed…!

Continue Reading


Oyo Govt efforts in agribusiness already yielding positive results- OYSADA DG



Oyo Govt efforts in agribusiness already yielding positive results- OYSADA DG

…Fails to indicate how OYSADA positively tinkers with availability of agricultural products*** 

 The Director-General, Oyo State Agribusiness Development Agency (OYSADA), Dr. Debo Akande, on Friday stated that the state government efforts in agribusiness were already yielding positive results.

Akande made this known at Fasola Farm in Oyo while welcoming Mr. Ben Langat, the Managing Director, Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, who led other members of the company on a facility tour of the farm.

The Maritime First learned that Ben Langat’s visit may be connected to his company’s readiness to set up a milk collection centre through dairy livestock farming within the facility.

Akande, who is also the Executive Adviser to Gov. Seyi Makinde on Agribusiness, said that the state agribusiness venture had been thriving evidently through increment of internally generated revenue and jobs creation opportunities.

Addressing journalists shortly after the facility tour, Akande said: “We have ensured that our agricultural hubs are going to be completely private sector driven.

“One of the things that created problems for all of those farm settlements we had in the past was that they are public sector driven.

“And in so doing, we are attracting the investors that can run the hub.

“Fasola Farm was known for livestock farming for many years and the work we’ve been doing in terms of livestock has created impacts across the state.

“What we are doing now is to bring back the glory of the past, but in a different way, because our milk collection partner investors are known for our dairy and livestock.

“So, we will see a manifestation of a modern approach in livestock and dairy production within this particular facility that we have and to me, I think that is quite significant.”

Oyo State Logo

According to him, the state government is already generating revenue, because this farm is not given free to our milk investor company.

“They are paying leases on the land they are using; they have already paid and they will be paying annually for the next 20 years,” he said.

Akande said this was not limited only to the milk collection partner, but also to other investors in the hub.

“All of them are here on a lease, the government is going to generate a chunk of their lease at the first year.

“And also be generating lease payment for the next 20 years from all these private companies, that is part one of the revenue, ” he said.

The Director-General said the hub would generate taxes and employ people within the state, especially youths.

During the tour, beneficiaries of the Oyo State Youth Entrepreneurship In Agribusiness Project (YEAP), which had already cultivated up to 45 percent of the hundred hectares of land allocated to them, were also on ground.

Offering an insight, the Managing Director of Friesland Campina WAMCO Nigeria PLC, Ben Langat

said the company is in partnership with the Oyo State Government in developing an Agribusiness hub, which is very important to all the parties concerned.

“We are a dairy company that is ready to ensure that we produce quality dairy for Nigerians to consume every day.

“We are developing 300 hectares of land now, that was part of the land allocated to us.

“We have developed pasture, which is part of the process before we bring cows in; we built sheds where they will feed, also bunkers and boreholes as well as other things,” Langat said.

Continue Reading


IMPRUDENCE: Oyetola Left N76bn Salary, Pension Debts- Official



IMPRUDENCE: Oyetola Left N76bn Salary, Pension Debts- Official

…Salary: N29,875,191,128.64; Pension Arrears: N45,375,237,693.40; Life Assurance Scheme: N554,644,028.97***

 Mrs. Bimpe Ogunlumade, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance in Osun, says the state government has discovered salary and pension-related debts, amounting to over N76 billion, left by the immediate past Gov. Adegboyega Oyetola’s administration.

A statement by Malam Olawale Rasheed, the Spokesperson of Gov. Ademola Adeleke of Osun, calling attention to the former Governor’s imprudence on Thursday in Osogbo, highlighted that Ogunlumade made the revelations while briefing officials of the new administration on the state’s financial status.

According to Rasheed, the Osun Government has uncovered a monumental debt in salaries, pensions and insurance commitments incurred by the administration of Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, amounting to N76 billion.

“This revelation was made by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Mrs. Bimpe Ogunlumade, while briefing officials of the new administration on the financial status of the state on Thursday.

“The disclosure was contrary to the claim by the former governor that he left N14 billion in cash for the new government, among other bogus claims that have now been found to be an outright falsehood.

“The breakdown of the salaries and pension-related liabilities as disclosed by the Permanent Secretary are as follows:

“Salary: N29,875,191,128.64; Pension Arrears: N45,375,237,693.40; Group Life Assurance Scheme: N554,644,028.97, Total: N75,805,072,851.01.

“The public is hereby advised that this is not the total debt left by the past administration as briefings on other sources of liabilities continue tomorrow,” he said.

Continue Reading

Editor’s Pick


Simply Easy Learning
Simply Easy Learning