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NSC, FG committed to reducing shipping cost -Jime



Onne Port

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, has reiterated Federal Government’s commitment through the council to reduce the cost of shipping in the country.

Jime told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the most important component in doing business, particularly trade “is the cost factor’’.

“The Shippers’ Council is in some cases involved in advocacy and at the present time, we are lucky that the Federal Government in its wisdom set up an inter-agency platform called Nigeria Port Process Manual (NPPM).

“And the Shippers’ Council was given the leadership on that particular platform. That is the platform that is now gradually beginning to introduce some kind of sanity in the business place as far as our ports are concerned.

“Any infractions, particularly those that are bothering on corrupt tendencies; we have a responsibility of putting a stop and ensuring as much as possible, we are eliminating incidence of corrupt practices in our ports.

“Whether it is engendered by officials of government or by other private members or private citizens who are doing business in our ports.

“This, and a couple of other things, which if you look at our website, you will be able to appreciate the extent to which Shippers’ Council is involved in ensuring that the cost of doing business in Nigeria is brought to its lowest minimum as far as we possibly can,’’ he said.

According to the NSC boss, if the cost of doing business is high, there are implications in the inability for the business to be conducted in a profitable and efficient manner.

He said that the high cost of shipping, which was not peculiar to Nigeria, necessitated the Union of African Shippers Council (UASC) to organise an experts committee meeting to suggest ways of mitigating it.

“Therefore, as a key requirement for trade, the Shippers’ Councils in Africa, particularly within the West Africa and Central Africa sub-region have recognise the need to engage in cost mitigating measures.

“It is clear that Africa in the sub-region has woken up to the reality to do something fundamental to change that particular factor of doing business in a way that can positively affect the doing of business across our borders.

“We are working together with sister nations to provide solutions as to how we can we mitigate the cost of doing business.

“Now we are waiting for the reports from the committee of experts to come out so that we can speak more directly to the issues that have been canvassed.

“But as a nation, from our own country’s experience, I can say without any question of doubt in my mind that there are several factors that are making it impossible for us to conduct businesses at cost effectiveness,’’ he said.

Jime said that the cumbersome clearance process in the ports, lack of infrastructure, corruption and the like, made it difficult for investors to do business, thus posing a challenge.

He said that the council was however working with the Nigerian Customs to ensure speedy clearance process through electronic means.

“The other issue that the Shippers’ Council is handling is the Border Information Centres that we are establishing all around the border towns.

“This will link us with our neighbours whether it is at Seme, whether it is in Jimia and of course, around the Cameroon-Nigeria border.

“We are putting those border information centres because our belief is that traders need to be offered the information that they may need for them to be successful in trading across our borders.

“ At the moment, there is a lot more informal trading that are going on. In other words, we don’t have a very formal trading network that is in place to assist our traders to be able to maximise the doing of business across our border.

“ In the wisdom of the Shippers’ Council, we felt the need to establish this border information centres so that they are able to assist traders with the necessary information that they may need.’’ (NAN)

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Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu


The Lagos State Government has observed the tension caused by the slow release of cash through Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and within banking halls.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu today joined a delegation that met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja to deliberate on measures to remove the hardship caused by the scarcity of the new currency.

In a statement signed by the Hon. Commissioner for information, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, Mr. Sanwo-Olu urges residents to remain calm as the government is doing everything possible to normalise the situation. The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has promised to put measures in place to ensure residents have access to currency notes released to banks.

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Buhari inaugurates new MOFI Board



President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has charged the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MOFI) to grow its Assets Under Management from the current value of N18 trillion to at least N100 trillion in the next 10 years.

The president gave the charge at the launch of the new MOFI and inauguration of the Governing Council and Board of Directors of the body shortly before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council meeting.

The president also tasked the new board to “be the clearing house for the management of Federal Government’s investments and assets in line with global best practices with a view to ensuring that these investments are delivering superior risk-adjusted returns to the government.”

He also called on the new MOFI to work with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to create a consolidated national assets register with a view to converting them into cash-flow-generating entities.

This, he said, would support the government’s revenue drive.

Buhari urged members of the board to work with the government with a view to using government-owned investments and assets to support the government in delivering on its social and economic obligations to the citizenry.

He, therefore, directed the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr  Zainab Ahmed to commence the process of amending the MOFI Act and other legislations to further institutionalize this reform.

According to him, the amendments when carried out, would ensure that MOFI was restructured and repositioned to become a trusted custodian and manager of Federal Government’s investments and assets.

Buhari said the event was significant as the restructured MOFI would help identify “what we own” and how to get the best out of them.

According to the president, the MOFI Act of 1959, now Cap. 229, Laws of the Federation, 2004, explicitly empowers MOFI to enter into commercial transactions of any description on behalf of the Federal Government in its own name.

He said that MOFI was used as a Special Purpose Vehicle across different sectors to invest in commercial entities over the last 64 years, adding that MOFI was created even before Nigeria’s independence.

In her remarks, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning thanked Buhari for his support and approvals that had made the restructuring and repositioning of MOFI possible.

According to the minister, the council members and board will ensure that the new MOFI delivers on its mandates.

The governing council is chaired by the President, with the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr Zainab Ahmed, as Vice Chair.

It’s members include: The Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva; Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo and Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo.

Others are: Governor of the Central Bank, Dr Godwin Emefiele and three experts appointed by the President, namely: Prof. Muhammad Sagagi, Dr Ayo Teriba and Prof. Ken Ife.

The board members include: Former Finance Minister, Shamsudeen Usman as Chairman, Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance and Petroleum Resources and acting Accountant-General of the Federation.

Others are; Olawale Edun, Fatima Mede, Ike Chioke, Muhammad Nda, Alheri Nyako and an executive from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) are also members of the board

Members of the Executive Management Team are: Dr Armstrong Takang, Managing Director, Eric solo, Executive Director, Chief Portfolio Officer, Sani Yakubu Chief Investment Officer and Oluwakemi Owonubi, Chief Risk Officer.







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Polls: NBC warns broadcasters against compromising national unity



National Broadcasting Commission

The National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) has cautioned all broadcasters against compromising national unity while covering forthcoming  general election.

The Director-General of NBC, Malam Balarabe Ilelah issued the warning in a statement, on Wednesday in Abuja.

He said: ”The National Broadcasting Commission wish to again, remind all broadcasters covering the forthcoming general elections to take note of the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, and other relevant regulations guiding the broadcast of elections in Nigeria.

”The commission has observed, with deep concerns, how ethics and ethos have been thrown to the winds by politicians using broadcast media platforms.

”This is against the provisions of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code, which provides that in using materials for news and current affairs programmes, the broadcaster shall avoid hate speech, inflammatory, derogatory and divisive remarks or allusions.

”The commission notes that some station now glamorise these situations on their platforms. The NBC reiterates that such stations shall pay for their professional misdemeanor.”

Ilelah said for the avoidance of doubt, broadcasters were advised to note the sections of the Nigeria Broadcasting Code which provides that the broadcaster shall promote human dignity.

He added: “Therefore, hate speech is prohibited. Section 3.11.1 (a) states that all broadcasters should ensure that language or a scene likely to encourage or incite to crime, or lead to disorder, is not broadcast.

“Also, section 3.11.1 (b) advice broadcaster to ensure that no programme contains anything which amounts to subversion of constituted authority or compromises the unity or corporate existence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

“Similarly, section 5.4.1 (f) prohibit broadcasters from transmitting divisive materials that may threaten or compromise the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a sovereign state.”

Ilelah said that section 5.3.3 (g) urged broadcasters to ensure that a political broadcast was clearly identified as such, and not presented in a manner that would mislead the audience to believe that the programme was of any other type.

“Also, section 5.3.3 (j) enjoin broadcasters to ensure that the broadcast of a partisan political campaign, jingle, announcement and any form of partisan political party identification or symbol ends not later than 24 hours before polling day.

“The NBC ACT CAP N11, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, also prescribes, in the Third Schedule 12(6) that “A Licensee shall be responsible for the content of the Station’s Broadcast.

”The commission enjoins all broadcasters to desist from using or allowing their platforms and facilities to be used by politicians, their supporters and or sympathisers, for the broadcast of contents that may lead to the breakdown of law and order,” Ilelah

He said that broadcasters were therefore expected to perform the role of peace agents by adhering to the principles of responsibility, accuracy and neutrality.








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