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PEF Registers 11,287 Trucks

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The Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management) Board, says11,287 trucks have so far been registered in the fund’s electronic loading scheme, tagged “Project Aquila”.

The Fund’s General Manager, Corporate Services, Mr Goddy Nnadi, disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Abuja last Thursday.

Project Aquila is an automated electronic loading scheme introduced by the Fund aimed at providing accurate data for petroleum products distribution and ensure transparency and efficiency in the management of bridging claims to marketers.

He said that four major marketers – Conoil, Total, MRS and Mobil – had been captured and were now being paid their bridging claims electronically.

Nnadi said that 1,779 independent marketers had also keyed into the scheme, with 31 depots and 2,579 outlets across the country now fully operational.

He said payment of bridging claims to marketers under the scheme now takes about two weeks as opposed to the four months or more it used to take with the manual process.

“Any serious marketer that wants his claims paid promptly must key into Aquila because once you get registered and you deliver the product, you receive your claims through e-payment in two weeks,’’ Nnadi said.

He, however, appealed to marketers, who have yet to key into the project to ensure the registration of their trucks to fast track the payment of their claims.

“We want to appeal to marketers that have yet to comply to do so in their interest.

“This project is a gift that PEF wants to give the government as an agency working to get the downstream sector organised,’’ he said.

Nnadi said the registration, which is free, entails the registration and tagging of trucks used for the transportation of petroleum products across the country to ensure proper monitoring and delivery of the products.

He gave assurance that the project, when fully operational, would go a long way in eliminating all the bottlenecks associated with the processing and payment of bridging claims.

According to him, the project will ensure a win-win situation for marketers, PEF and the nation at large.

“This project will ensure that marketers’ claims are processed faster; it will bring about transparency, eliminate wastages and ensure reduction in human errors in the processing.’’

Nnadi also said the process would help check diversion of products, enhance uniformity in price and adequate supply of the product across the country.

He said that plans were underway to completely phase out the manual process of paying claims by the end of the year, so that the electronic loading system would become the order of the day.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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