Latest News in Nigeria: Expert says way out of downturn, agricultural export
Mr Offon Udoffia, an export expert, on Friday, stressed the need for increased processing and storage of agricultural products for export as one of Nigeria’s way from the present downturn.
Udoffia said this within an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja as he proposed moves that may be taken to pull the economy from depression.
He included that "40 per cent of our harvests are squandered due to the insufficient export value chain; we need to process more for export.
He said that an aggressive promotion of agricultural value chain wouldn't only restore economic buoyancy but create job opportunities.
"We must think of means of keeping our agricultural products so as to prevent wastage.’’
Udoffia, who's the Chairman of Rivers/Bayelsa Shippers Association (RIBASA), said it was time for Nigeria to look inwards for economical initiations and activities for a virile market.
The expert, who is into cashew and palm oil exportation, said more than 500 youths will get occupations, if a 250 metric tonne of cashew nuts factory is created in Nigeria.
He noted the siting of cashew nuts and pawpaw processing companies for exports wouldn't only create wealth, but employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the country.
" will obtain employment.’’ If, nevertheless, we establish a 500 metric tonne of the cashew nuts factory, certainly over 1,000
But he reiterated the need for renewed export value addition to avert wastage.
NAGAFF hails Customs’ N95.7bn sales in August
The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Friday commended the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) for creating a record sales of N95.7 billion in August.
He advocated the sales collecting service to do all it could to improve the figure in the interest of the economy and described the figure, the maximum in a decade, as an effort.
"This is a huge feat. We commend the Customs with this accomplishment and we're encouraging them to keep up the tempo and even improve to help the economy in these recession times.
"In just as much as the Customs are being congratulated by us on this, we enjoin them to go about their operations with a human face.
"They ensure that their company was conducted in ways the interests of stakeholders are not hurt and should check the activities of the bad eggs.
We wish them well within their efforts to improve revenue and commend the Customs for the feat, " he said.
The NAGAFF's National Publicity Secretary, Mr Stanley Ezenga, gave the commendation within an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos.
Ezenga described NAGAFF as a major stakeholder in the marine industry and called for a much better business relationship between freight forwarders and the Customs.
Murray Bruce backs FG’s strategy to concession airports
Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, on Friday backed the plan of the Federal Government to concession the four major airports in the state.
Murray-Bruce also said his committee was prepared to facilitate whatever laws were required to fast track the procedure.
He spoke at a Stakeholders’ Seminar on Privatisation/Concession of Nigerian Airports.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the authorities had indicated interest to concession the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports, towards increasing their capability and efficacy.
The senator said: The most successful and greatest airports and all the countries with thriving aviation businesses are countries that have privatised their aviation industry and their airports "As I speak to you personally now.
My committee is prepared to facilitate whatever laws are required to track the privatisation of our airports.
"we're also determined to ensure that Nigeria’s privatisation laws have irrevocable and irreversibility clause, in order that no new government can simply come in and revoke what the previous government did with the strike of a pen."
According to him, Nigeria cannot make progress if the privatisation exercise is in danger every time there is change of authorities.
He said that international and local investors must be made to have assurance in the system.
"It's my job and the job of the Senate Privatisation Committee to ensure Nigeria has great, practical and workable laws for the progress of her national economic interests.
"We are committed to this endeavor in addition to to supervision obligations for the reason for ensuring that what needs to be done ends up being done," Murray-Bruce said.
The lawmaker also urged the authorities to find an urgent solution to the challenges in the aviation industry.
"The alarming rate where airlines are either failing or leaving Nigeria must be halted.
Company will suffer, the economy will not improve, If folks cannot transfer from point A to point B quickly, and the downturn will last longer. This really is an emergency!
I urge the authorities to take firm actions to save our aviation industry; help them reduce their taxes.
"Government officials should patronise national airlines rather than foreign airlines. Help them secure insurance.
"But above all, we must do something to intervene before we have no choice than to drive from spot to place."
Additionally talking, Dr Harold Demuren, former Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) urged good corporate governance, transparency and reduction of government interference in the actions of the aviation industry agencies.
Demuren said that though concessioning of the airports was a development that was good, the failure of authorities to honour previous concession agreements had led to unending court cases in the sector.
"My advice is that authorities must review all present dilemmas before getting into another concession arrangement with investors that are new and litigations which arose from preceding concessions," he said.
Nevertheless, Capt. Noggie Meggison, Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria and Capt. Dele Ore, a former President of the Aviation Round Table, said concessioning of the airports was the greatest move by the government.
According to them, this increases the operational efficiency and profitability of the airports, stimulate growth in the non-oil sector and make Nigeria more appealing as a regional hub.
Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Michael Chikeka, Checkin Nigeria, Chief Executive Officer, said the convention was organised to debate on the current issues affecting proffer options and the aviation industry on the way forward.
Restructuring to nurture economic growth, says Nigerian aviation minister Rotimi Amaechi
Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, said on Friday that the Government embarked on "restructuring various parastatal agencies to cultivate an economy that's responsible, transparent and robust ’’.
"The FG in its attempts to creating an economy that is vibrant and sustainable and in line with best international practices, embarked on repositioning and restructuring various parastatals including the NPA and NIMASA.
Amaechi made the statement at the inauguration of the governing boards of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Abuja.
"NIMASA has two broad mandates — to encourage the development of indigenous commercial sending capability in international and coastal shipping trade.
"And, to also regulate and promote maritime maritime labour and safety, security, marine pollution.
"Your responsibilities as governing board members include setting operational administrative policies in accordance with government policy directives aimed at assisting the bureau.
"To attain its mandate, your assignment will also demand formulation of comprehensive policies targeted at attaining the set goals of the agency,’’ the minister declared.
Amaechi, nevertheless, encouraged the board of NIMASA to ensure that the cabotage fund was completely utilised for the correct purpose and the fund correctly accounted for.
The minister said that the boards were responsible for establishing operational administrative policies in accordance with government’s policy directives, targeted at helping NPA and NIMASA to achieve their mandates.
He said that they were charged with responsibilities of executing the mandate of the authority to assemble, develop ports, docks, harbours, piers, wharves, canals, water courses, jetties, revetment and embankment.
Mr Emmanuel Adesoye, the Chairman of the NPA board, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for granting the board members the privilege to serve the state.
"Indeed, the role of NPA in increase and the industrialisation of Nigeria’s market particularly at Please visit this site period of economic recession cannot be overemphasised.
When it truly is realised the maritime sector is one of the most significant revenue earners after the oil sector ", it behoves on our board to develop definite policies,’’ he said.
He said that the target of the board members was to ensure the NPA was elevated to a higher pedestal that would make it the heart of maritime company in both the west and central African sub-region.
Adesoye said the board and the management of the ministry of transport would be collaborating to ensure swift passage.
Also talking, the Chairman of the NIMASA board, Mr Jonathan Garba, said that the board members would work collectively to reach the objectives of setting up NIMASA.
He said that they'd review the operations of other critical issues and Regulatory Agency and the Maritime Security Implementation to actualise the mandate of NIMASA.
Garba said that they'd also work diligently to ensure conformity with extant laws to reach the president’s vision and mandate of liability.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that members of the governing board of NPA and NIMASA were made by President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 26.
Other members of the NPA board are Olasupo Shasore, Suleiman Halilu, Constance Mashal, Umar Shu’aibu and Charles Sylvester.
The other members are Idris Abubakar, Mohammed Koko, Sekonte Davis, Hadiza Usman and Uche Okoro.
Members of the NIMASA board are Mohammed Muazu, Bashir Jamoh, Joseph Fashakin, Gambo Ahmed, Asekomhe Kenneth and Adeniyi Osinowo.
Other members are Ebele Obi, S. U. Galadanchi, Nene Dike and Dakuku Peterside.
Federal Government of Nigeria prepared to pay for Chibok Girls’ release
The government would explore the alternative of paying for the release of the Chibok Girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, special advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and marketing, Femi Adesina told BBC Friday.
If it needed paying the president said,, Nigeria was prepared to pay. He has said that in the public domain that if they needed money, Nigeria could even give money," Adesina said.
The girls were kidnapped from their school in Chibok town, Borno by Boko Haram.
Why was the government willing to pay a ransom for the girls to be released inquired, the presidential spokesman said Buhari was willing to pay the ransom because he desired the girls from captivity at all cost.
"Whatever must be done to get those girls back alive, he was not unwilling to do," Adesina said.
You need to contemplate these girls have already been in captivity for over two years. Their parents have been traumatised, the entire country has been traumatised. The president himself is a daddy. He set himself in the position of the parents of those girls."
Buhari had vowed to rescue the kidnapped women but their families and a movement that's been campaigning for purposeful government action on the rescue of the girls, Bring Back Our Girls, aren't convinced the government was doing enough.
" I 've made a number of remarks on the Chibok girls and it seems that much of it's been politicised," Buhari said during an interview with journalists in Nairobi.
‘What we said is that the authorities which I preside over is prepared to discuss to bonafide leaders of Boko Haram.
If they do not need to talk to us directly, let them decide an internationally recognised Non-Governmental Organisation to convince them that the girls are being held by them and which they desire Nigeria to release.