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Nigeria Loses N59bn To Textile Smugglers…NTMA Urges Govt Intervention

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The United Nations (UN) says Nigeria has lost about N59 billion to smuggling and fake textile products in the country leading to the collapse of more textile industries in Nigeria.

Consequently, the Nigerian Textile Manufacturers Association (NTMA) has called on the federal government to urgently take stringent measures to check the ugly trend.

The Director-General of NTMA, Paul Olarewaju who made the call in Lagos also spoke of the problems facing the sector. He said there has been a general distress in the nation’s manufacturing sector with the textile industry worst hit because it is a major player in the sector.

“Although these problems have been presented to the appropriate government agencies, these has been no action from the government especially concerning the N70 billion revival funds set up about two years ago, which is yet to materialise, “Olarewaju said UNIDO report revealed that from the $ 1.3 billion (234 billion) revenue accruable to the federal government from duties and taxes from imported textiles, over $325 million (59 billion have been lost to smugglers whose activities have gone unchecked for so long.

Olarewaju noted that smugglers now produce fake and counterfeit products in the country. In order to beat customs check at the border, he said most smugglers import fake made-In-China textile materials with the inscription of a Nigerian brand name.

According to him, the textile industry has its unfair share of Nigerians’ penchant for foreign goods, smuggling, faking and counterfeiting of Nigerian-made fabrics. He said the industry currently faces problems of infrastructural decay, inconsistent government policies, multiple taxation and high cost of doing business among others.

At a meeting of textile stakeholders in Abuja, UNIDO Consultant, Navdeep Singh Soani, lamented that between 2003 and 2008, the number of active textile mills in Nigeria declined from 50 to 25, with a sharp drop in direct employment from 60,000 to 24,000.

Within the period, he said these was a steep fall in cotton lint production from about 90,000 tons to 60,000 tons, attributing the situation to the deterioration in supply of power, black oil, and the escalating influx of smuggled and counterfeit textile.He, however, noted that the textile industry was the most important in the agro-based industry and called for the full enforcement of the ban on importation to check smuggling.

The UNIDO report, called for the release of N70 billion intervention funds by September, just as stakeholders want government to address urgently and on a sustainable basis, the energy problem and take immediate step to halt the unabated rise in diesel prices as most industries are generator-driven.

Managing Director, Rivers State Microfinance Agency, Sir Victor Halliday (right) welcoming Hon. Magnus Abe, Secretary to Rivers State Government to RIMA Stand at the 1st South-South Economic Summit in Calabar, recently.

Managing Director, Rivers State Microfinance Agency, Sir Victor Halliday (right) welcoming Hon. Magnus Abe, Secretary to Rivers State Government to RIMA Stand at the 1st South-South Economic Summit in Calabar, recently.

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Israel, Nigeria Sign Bilateral Agreement On Green Energy

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The State of Israel and Nigeria on Wednesday signed bilateral agreement in the field of green energy development.
The agreement was the outcome of a closed door meeting between Mr Yotam Kreiman, Deputy Head of Israeli Mission to Nigeria, Dr Ogbonnaya Onu, Minister of Science and Technology in Abuja.
Yotam told newsmen that “Dor” Group is one of the leading companies in Israel in the field of energy.
He expressed appreciation to both the Dor partners and the ministry over success of the signing of the agreement.
According to him, the company had excelled in production of methanol as a safe, clean and green substitute for fuel in Israel and now in Nigeria.
Yotam said: “Both Dor and the diplomatic relations and friendship between Israel and Nigeria are now 60 years old.
“The process that brought us today has neither been short nor simple, after many test and checks of possibilities and probabilities, it is commencing.

“Israel is happy to bring technologies and knowledge to Nigeria, especially in this dire time, when job opportunities are scarce and much needed.
“We believe this project will change the future of Nigeria and Africa in general, particularly when it comes to green, clean energy.
“We know West Africa region looks up to Nigeria and we are happy to celebrate the beginning of this bilateral relation.”
He extolled Onu and other partners of Dor in Nigeria for their belief in the project to have contributed to the success of the agreement since the inception, meanwhile, Onu commended Israel’s remarkable achievements in the development of technology. According to him, Israel had always excelled in whatever they set their minds on and thereby commended the signing of the bilateral agreement as a win-win situation for both countries.

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How To Fix Nigeria Power Sector – Expert

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An energy expert,  Engineer Samuel Kwelle has called for more drastic reforms in the power sector to address the energy needs of the people.
Kwelle who spoke with The Tide in an exclusive interview in Port Harcourt recently, said  states and local governments across the country should be encouraged to invest in the power sector to meet up the power need of the people.
He pointed out that placing power generation on the exclusive list of Federal Government was not in the best interest of the people as: “Only the full liberation of the Sector can raise productivity in energy generation and consumption. There is need for an indigenous driven power policy where Nigerian experts will be given the opportunity to make key inputs.
States and local governments should also be encouraged to seek effective measures of providing power for the majority of Nigerians domiciled at the rural area,” the Technical Secretary of Port Harcourt branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers pointed out. The key to industrialisation and economic development of any society is the efficiency of the energy sector, any society that depends on generator to drive its economy will fail. What is required for Nigeria to spin on into the global economy is to upgrade its power sector to tackle  the peculiar power needs of the people, this requires drastic reforms divestment, Nigeria is yet to explore its potentials in renewable energy.”
He emphasised that the Federal Government should encourage the States and other stakeholders and entrepreneurs to be actively involved in, “power sector service delivery and development.”
Kwelle, who is a Senior Member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, said the development of renewable energy and the non oil sectors should be given priority attention adding that fossil oil was becoming obsolete as the global  economy was geared towards the non oil sectors.
He also stressed the need to explore alternative sources of energy for power generation such as renewable energy.

 

Taneh Beemene

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Middle East Airline’s Aircraft Collides With Turkish Plane At MMIA

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A passenger plane belonging to the Middle East Airline was last Wednesday involved in a minor accident with a Turkish plane at the Muritala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
Eyewitnesses said the Turkish Cargo flight was parked on the tarmac when the Middle East airbus ran into it.
Spokesman for the Accident Investigation Bureau, Tunji Oketumbi, confirmed the incident but said that the bureau was yet to determine the level of involvement as of press time.
He said: “I am aware that it happened but officially I do not have the details. We at the AIB investigate aircraft accidents and serious incidents. Right now I do not know the level of involvement.”
“We are yet to ascertain our level of involvement now. If it is a minor incident.
“It will be determined by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.
“It depends on the level of damage. If it does not affect the flight operation of either of the airport, we may not be involved.”
It was learnt that the MEA was preparing to take off on an evacuation operation. It was also learnt that the incident prevented the flight from taking place.

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