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We’re repositioning NPA for efficiency, safety – MD

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The Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, has pledged management’s determination to reposition the nation’s seaports for greater efficiency, safety and accountability.

Bello-Koko made the pledge in a statement signed by Mr Olaseni Alakija, General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications, on Monday in Lagos.

The Acting MD, while speaking at the just-concluded strategic retreat organised for NPA top management, said that the organisation was currently poised to creating and sustaining competitive advantage by offering its best in port operations.

The statement said that the retreat was designed to allow management staff to strategise and come up with “smart actionable steps“.

This, according to Bello-Koko, is with the view to ensuring growth, competitiveness and future readiness of the nation’s seaport systems.

“As part of efforts to position the agency towards greater efficiency, safety and accountability, the management has outlined factors that will enhance such prospects, as well as the capacity to garner greater market share.

“This will include infrastructural renewal and expansion, the introduction of barge operations, automation of truck transit through the electronic call up system and improvement in the sources of revenue and collection.

“Others include plugging income leakages and reducing overhead costs, elimination of monopolistic conduct, formulation and implementation of policies aimed to incentivise patronage of the Eastern Ports and encouraging competition,” he said.

Bello-Koko said that management was also keeping up with the dictates of Consolidated Revenue Fund and Fiscal Responsibility Act, compliance with international best practices, elimination of red tape, boosting workers’ morale and capacity building, among others.

He disclosed that these initiatives had laid the groundwork for some milestones with great potential for more as some of the reforms continue to transform into success evidenced by improved cargo throughput and revenue growth.

“Because excellence is a moving target, we cannot afford to rest on our laurels, we must redouble our commitment to continuous improvement as an organisational culture.

“Surpassing internal and external stakeholders’ expectations, which constitute a cardinal objective of this management, will require your unalloyed support as heads of directorates, divisions, locations, departments, port sections and units.

Bello-Koko said he expected that the retreat would churn out specific, realistic, measurable, achievable and time-bound goals and objectives by which NPA would be benchmarking itself in the next five years.

He said that the last time an event of this magnitude was held to chart a new direction for NPA was over a decade ago where the organisation’s present vision, mission and core values were crafted.

“We must, therefore, go beyond rhetoric to churn out implementable strategies aimed at making us equal to the exigencies of the very competitive edge and sector that we operate in,” he said.

Bello Koko pointed out that the disruptions caused by the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic present a learning curve, especially for organisations such as NPA that operate in a sector that was global in scope to be constantly ready for dynamics in the form of increasing competition and innovation.

“Improving the turnaround time of vessels and reducing cargo dwell time is critical to attracting more vessels to our seaports.

“Optimising the business opportunities that the landlocked countries with whom we share borders presents a critical success factor in actualising our growth projections.

“The need to attract larger vessels and maximally benefit from the economies of scale that come with them show that the ongoing efforts to have deep seaports in Lekki, Badagry and Akwa Ibom, among others, are steps in the right direction,” he said.

He noted that in the meantime, NPA is constantly scaling up its responsibility of dredging the country’s channels to safely berth vessels of reasonable sizes whilst encouraging the use of flat bottom vessels (FBV) in areas of low draught.

He said that the current management would leave no stone unturned in its commitment in implementing the outcome of the retreat.

A highpoint of the event was the presentation of awards of excellence by Renner & Renner, in which the MD was honoured with the visionary leadership award.

The Executive Director Engineering, Prof. Idris Abubakar, was also honoured with the exemplary leadership award.  (NAN)

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President Buhari transmits Business Facilitation bill to N’Assembly

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President Muhammadu Buhari
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The Senate has received the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provisions) Bill 2022, forwarded to the National Assembly by President Muhammadu Buhari, for consideration and passage.

The bill was accompanied by a letter dated 17th June, 2022.

The letter, addressed to the Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, was read during plenary on Tuesday.

President Buhari, in the letter, explained that the expeditious consideration and passage of the bill would promote the ease of doing business in Nigeria.

It reads, “Pursuant to Sections 58(2) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended), I forward herewith the Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 for the kind consideration of the Senate.

“Business Facilitation (Miscellaneous Provision) Bill 2022 seeks to promote the war of doing business in Nigeria by amending relevant legislation.

“While hoping that this submission will receive the usual expeditious consideration of the Senate, please accept, Distinguished Senate President, the assurances of my highest consideration.”

 

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N5 trillion urgently needed to cushion effects double digits increase on ordinary Nigerians – World Bank

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The World Bank has warned that Nigeria could lose about N5trillion in 2022 from gasoline subsidies.

The bank also said that N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities.

The World Bank said in it Nigeria Development Update (NDU) released on Tuesday in Abuja.

The report said: “When we launched our previous Nigeria Development Update in November 2021, we estimated that Nigeria could stand to lose more than N3 trillion in revenues in 2022 because the proceeds from crude oil sales, instead of going to the federation account, would be used to cover the rising cost of gasoline subsidies that mostly benefit the rich”.

World Bank Country Director for Nigeria Shubham Chaudhuri, however noted: “Sadly, that projection turned out to be optimistic. With oil prices going up significantly, and with it, the price of imported gasoline, we now estimate that the foregone revenues as a result of gasoline subsidies will be closer to 5 trillion Naira in 2022.

“N5 trillion is urgently needed to cushion ordinary Nigerians from the crushing effect of double-digit increases in the cost of basic commodities, to invest in Nigeria’s children and youth, and in the infrastructure needed for private businesses small and large to flourish, grow and create jobs.”

The report noted: “Nigeria is in a paradoxical situation: growth prospects have improved compared to six months ago but inflationary and fiscal pressures have increased considerably, leaving the economy much more vulnerable”.

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Nigeria’s banking sector now immune to economic shock – NDIC

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Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) has said that the banking sector is now immunized to withstand shocks that may impact the economy and the financial system.

Mr Bello Hassan, Managing Director of NDIC said this at a retreat for members of the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions with the NDIC, in Lagos.

Any change in fundamental macroeconomic variables or relationships that has a significant impact on macroeconomic outcomes and measures of economic performance, such as unemployment, consumption, and inflation, is referred to as an economic shock.

Mustapha Ibrahim, Executive Director (Operations), who represented the NDIC boss, said Nigerian banking industry was currently resilient to most of these difficulties, particularly external shocks over which the Corporation had no control.

He said: “We have tried to immunise the system to withstand shocks that may be impacting on the economy and the financial system”.

Hassan, further said that effective risk-based management remained critical to a safe and sound financial system.

“The NDIC and the Central Bank of Nigeria have a very robust supervisory framework under the risk-based supervisory format the risk-based approach is actually proactive. For the most part, we try to anticipate all these risks – Macro, micro, domestically and globally – to address them continuously.

“So, it is so dynamic that we also are constantly on a real-time basis, monitoring the industry continuously and fine-tuning our supervisory tools, both onsite and offsite, to mitigate some of the challenges the banks may be facing,” he said.

On his part, Chairman, Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance and Other Financial Institutions, said the retreat demonstrated progress in creating lasting and workable relationships in the national interest.

Sani, who was represented by Senator Olubunmi Adetunbi, was optimistic that the outcome will aid in the strengthening of the financial and banking sectors, particularly the corporation’s supervisory and regulatory role.

“The National Assembly and NDIC are key institutions critical to the growth and development of the Nigerian economy. While we provide the legal and institutional frameworks, NDIC carries out its regulatory or supervisory responsibilities in order to safeguard the banking sector.

“Engagement of this nature gives us the platform to deeply look into our activities and responsibilities and also examine how far we have gone in carrying out our mandate as required. It helps in injecting fresh ideas into our operations which will materialise into an improved, effective and efficient service delivery to Nigerians,” he said.

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