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NSC, FG committed to reducing shipping cost -Jime

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Onne Port
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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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Oyebanji Is Back From USA

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Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
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Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji this morning returned from his working visit to the United States of America.

A statement by the Special Adviser ( Media), to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode said Oyebanji arrived the Muritala Mohammed Airport, Lagos around 10am and was received by some government officials.

The Governor will attend to some scheduled meetings in Lagos later today and head to Abuja on Thursday for other scheduled assignments.

Governor Oyebanji, in the course of the working visit to America, had extensive talks with some heads of governments and institutions, business leaders and development partners, exploring investment opportunities for the state’s power infrastructure, the Special Agriculture Processing Zone and the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, among others.

“These were outside his participation in the US-Africa Business Summit and the signing of MOU with CAVISTA Holdings for a multi billion naira 100,000 hectares cassava farm in the state.” the statement said.

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Labour Rejects FG’s Fresh ₦54,000 Minimum Wage Proposal

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The Federal Government has proposed to pay N54,000 as minimum wage, as the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage returned to the negotiation table after the Organised Labour pulled out of the negotiations last week.

At the reconvened meeting this week, the Federal Government made a fresh proposal to pay N54,000 as against the initial N48,000 it proposed during the last sitting.

However, a reliable source at the meeting said that the Organised Labour refused the new proposal, as it is a far cry from the N615,000 proposed by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

According to the source, the meeting which held behind closed doors at the Nicon luxury hotel in Abuja on Tuesday has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 22 to continue with negotiations.

The Organised Labour comprising the NLC and the TUC had on Tuesday given the Federal Government up till the end of May to conclude negotiations for a new minimum wage.

The unions also directed their members in states that are owing the N30,000 minimum wage to gear up for industrial action.

May 31 Deadline
The Federal Government had failed to present a nationally acceptable minimum wage to Nigerians before the May 1 Labour Day.

The situation has forced labour to be at loggerheads with the government. In the wake of the tussle, NLC President Joe Ajaero insisted on the N615,000 minimum wage, arguing that the amount was arrived at after an analysis of the economic situation worsened by the hike in the cost of living and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

With the cost of living rising following the removal of fuel subsidy, calls for a new minimum wage have continued to make headlines in Nigeria.

Ajaero and labour leaders gave the Federal Government a May 31 deadline to meet their demands.

 

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EFCC Arrests 78 Internet Fraudsters In Enugu, Imo

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Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede
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The operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 78 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu and Imo States.

EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Oyewale noted that 29 suspected internet fraudsters were arrested in Enugu metropolis on May 15, while 49 others were nabbed in Imo State on May 17.

He said the suspects were arrested following actionable intelligence about their suspected involvement in online criminal activities.

The EFCC spokesperson listed items recovered from the suspects to include 13 cars, mobile phones, and laptops.

Oyewale added that the suspected internet fraudsters would be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigations.

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