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Poor Knowledge of GI, Lack of Specific Legal Framework Makes Nigeria Products More Vulnerable – Adebayo

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Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo - Minister of Industry Trade and Investment
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By Ossom Raphael

Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otumba Adeniyi Adebayo, Thursday said poor knowledge of the Geographical Indications (GI) and absence of a specific legal framework has continued to render Nigeria’s products more vulnerable to misappropriation.

The Minister however said that the Federal Government will collaborate with the European Union to intensify campaigns for product specification in the country to boost exportation of Nigerian unique products.

Adebayo said this at the National Conference on Creation of Legal and Institutional Framework for Geographical Indications in Abuja.

According to him, “the AfriPI Project has gone a long way in supporting African companies, creators and inventors to generate value from their intellectual property.

“For many years, stakeholders from both the public and private sector in Nigeria have worked hard to promote and draw attention to geographical indications and other forms of intellectual property protection in Nigeria.

“The benefits obtainable from geographical indications in Nigeria are immense. Nigeria Is one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world. We can boast of a wide variety of products that can be classified as GI.

“These range from the popular Ijebu garri to Nsukka Yellow Pepper, the Sokoto Red Skin Goat and the famous Yauri Onions.

“Unfortunately, poor knowledge of geographical Indications and the absence of a specific legal framework has rendered our unique products more vulnerable to misappropriation”.

Adebayo further said that Nigeria is one of the most culturally diverse societies in the world, and added that the nation boast of a wide variety of products that can be classified as Geographical Indications.

According to him, these products, range from the popular Ijebu garri, Nsukka yellow pepper, the Sokoto Red Skin Goat and the famous Yauri Onions.

“Nigeria has a strategic ambition to position itself as a major supply chain partner to key off-taker nations.

“Geographical Indication will play a major role in helping Nigerian producers generate greater value for their products.

“Agri-food and drink products which have names that are protected by the European Union as Geographical Indications represent a sales value of about £75billion,” Adebayo said.

The minister however reaffirm the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring that Nigeria exports more finished and hope that the onference will go a long way in helping Nigeria establish an enabling environment for the growth and expansion of the GI products

Also speaking, the Director General of World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO), Daren Tang, said Geographical Indication is emerging as an important tool for developing countries to create jobs, attract investments and grow the economy.

Tang, who spoke virtually, commended the Nigerian government for its commitment to institutionalising a legal framework on the geographical indication, noted that it would benefit farmers, artisans, among others.

On his part, Head of European Union Intellectual Property, Ignacio Medrano said: “we have important and specific product with quality in Nigeria. We are here to support the country to establish legal framework, to establish protection for agricultural products with specific links to tradition and culture.

“We are convinced that here in Nigeria, with the protection of the Geographical Indications, there will be an increase in agricultural product price, export and tourism,” he said

In his remarks, the Director-General for Agriculture and Rural Development for the European Commission, John Clarke said Agriculture has huge potential for export in Nigeria.

Clark said with a proper framework for farmers, the country’s economy will grow rapidly due to abundant agriculture unique varieties that will be exported.

Also speaking, the National Coordinator of the National Technical Working Group, Sand Mba Kalu, said Geographical Indication, even though relatively new in Nigeria, is a hope for the common man to be able to promote his or her product to the global market

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Business & Economy

Senate To Probe CBN’s Anchor Borrowers, Ways And Means

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Nigerian Senate
Nigerian Senate
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The Senate on Tuesday, resolved to further investigate N10trn Anchor Borrowers’ Programme by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), as well as accountability in the Ways and Means loans by the Apex Bank.

The Red Chamber said the move was to plug loopholes in future development finance activities of the CBN.

The Senate resolved to set up an ad hoc committee to investigate the details of the Ways and Means, including the various intervention programmes such as the Anchor Borrowers’ Programme, monies given to state governments, manufacturers, aviation, banks, excess funding in the power sector, amongst others which raised the current debt profile of the country.

This was part of resolutions of the Senate after a debate over the report of the National Assembly Joint Committees on Banking, Insurance and other Financial Institutions (BIOFI), Finance, National Planning, Agriculture and Appropriation on the state of the economy.

On the compliance and transparency of economic actions, the Senate equally resolved that the CBN ensured compliance with the provisions of the Act in respect of Ways and Means and accountability through timely submission of its budget, financial statements and report of its activities to the President and National Assembly as stipulated in the Act.

In an extensive debate, Senator Adamu Aliero argued that some state governors, including some retired ones in the Senate, were beneficiaries of N18bn as shock absorbers under the Ways and Means since 2015.

Some lawmakers suggested that a special committee be set up to scrutinize the N30trn intervention disbursements (some of which were grants) and ways to mop them up.

Deputy Senate President Barau Jibrin also explained that the intervention monies were expended outside appropriation without the knowledge of the parliament and noted that lawmakers have a right to interrogate the expenditure.

Senator Victor Umeh, however, deferred, as he enquired to know how the money was spent before approval by the Senate. The issue of whether or not to investigate the matter raised another furore in the Red Chamber.

Senate President Godswill Akpabio thereafter maintained that owing to the current economic situation, it has become expedient to thoroughly examine the Ways and Means funds.

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Oil marketers get approval to sell Dangote fuel

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Aliko Dangote
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The seven major oil marketers in Nigeria have registered with the Dangote Petroleum Refinery for the lifting and distribution of refined petroleum products produced by the $20bn plant.

Dealers under the aegis of the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria confirmed on Sunday that with the registration, they would commence the distribution of fuel produced from the facility once the commercial terms are sorted.

This came as the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria also revealed that they would meet with the management of the Dangote refinery this week to discuss terms of product loading.

Similarly, the Petroleum Products Retail Outlets Owners Association of Nigeria stated that PETROAN had been engaging the management of the multi-billion dollar refinery for the supply of products from the facility.

As IPMAN and PETROAN engage the refinery, major marketers who are members of MOMAN have already registered with the plant and are set to start buying products.

The seven major marketers include 11 Plc, Conoil Plc, Ardova Plc, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, OVH Energy Marketing Limited, Total Nigeria Plc and NNPC Retail.

Last Friday, the Dangote Petroleum Refinery announced the commencement of production of Automotive Gas Oil, also known as diesel, and JetA1 or aviation fuel.

The President of the Dangote Group, Aliko Dangote, had in a statement issued by the firm, thanked President Bola Tinubu for his support, encouragement, and thoughtful advice towards the actualisation of the project.

He also thanked the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission, Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, and Nigerians for their support and belief in the historic project.

“We have started the production of diesel and aviation fuel, and the products will be in the market within this month once we receive regulatory approvals. This is a big day for Nigeria. We are delighted to have reached this significant milestone.

“This is an important achievement for our country as it demonstrates our ability to develop and deliver large capital projects. This is a game changer for our country, and I am very fulfilled with the actualisation of this project,” Dangote stated.

The refinery, located in Lagos, has so far received six million barrels of crude oil at its two SPMs located 25km from the shore. The first crude delivery was done on December 12, 2023, and the 6th cargo was delivered on January 8, 2024.

The refinery can load 2,900 trucks a day at its truck-loading gantries. The products from the refinery will conform to Euro V specifications, according to the firm.

“The refinery design complies with the World Bank, US EPA, European emission norms, and Department of Petroleum Resources emission/effluent norms, employing state-of-the-art technology,” the company stated.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery and Petrochemical Project, a subsidiary of Dangote Industries Limited, is a 650,000 barrels per day crude oil refinery, located in Dangote Industries Free Zone, Ibeju-Lekki, Lagos, Nigeria.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is an industrial plant that transforms crude oil into various usable petroleum products such as diesel, gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene.

Dangote Petroleum Refinery with a capacity to refine 650,000 barrels of crude oil per day covers an area of approximately 2,635 hectares in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos.

When contacted and asked whether major oil marketers would be involved in the lifting of refined products from the Dangote refinery, or whether the facility would distribute the fuel itself, the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer, MOMAN, Clement Isong, replied, “I confirm that we (major marketers) have met with him (Dangote).

According to Isong, all MOMAN members have registered with Dangote Petroleum Refinery to become marketers of its products

Punch

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Senate Gives Kyari, NUPRC Boss 24 Hours To Appear For Budget Defense

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Mele Kyari
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The Chairman of the Senate Appropriation Committee, Senator Adeola Olamilekan, on Wednesday, directed the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mele Kyari, to appear before the committee in 24 hours.

Olamilekan, who asked Kyari to appear in company of the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), warned that failure to appear undermines the legislature and sabotages the process.

They are required to present the list of all individual companies operating with OML licenses in Nigeria as well as total production output approved on a daily basis.

The lawmaker expressed concerns that some of the revenues required to drive the 2024 budget was attributed to the NNPCL, which according to him, was owned by the Federal Government and responsible to it, and by extension the three arms of government.

The NNPCL, had earlier shunned for a second time, summons by the Senate to appear before its committee probing over N11trn expenditure on turn around maintenance of refineries in the country between 2010 and 2023.

The absence of Kyari, whose entity is at the centre of the investigation, stalled efforts by the Senate panel to make progress on the matter.

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