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ANLCA Seeks Speedy Clearing Of Cargoes At Ports

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The Association of Nigeria Licenced Customs Agents (ANLCA),  Apapa unit has appealed to terminal operators to ease the burden of clearing cargoes at  the ports.

The chapter Chairman, Mr Olumide Fakanlu, made the appeal in an interview with  newsmen in Lagos.

Fakanlu alleged that some operators were taking up to five days to clear a container.

“The situation is worse at the Tin-Can Island Container Terminal (TICT) where a container takes up to seven days to be cleared in most cases.

“The delay in the positioning of a container has taken toll on the business of clearing agents.

Stressing that: “Besides, the charge for clearing a container differs among the operators.

“For instance, where an operator will charge N100,000, another would accept N60,000 for the same clearance,” Fakanlu said.

He urged operators to follow strictly the rules laid down by the ministry of transport to check congestion at the terminals.

“I am of the opinion that there should be a monitoring team to ensure that the measures put in place by ministry are followed,” he said.

The Managing Director of TICT, Mr Yehuda Kotik, refuted the claim that TICT was charging higher tariffs than other port operators.

“Our charges are the same as other terminals because we offer port services just like others do,” Kotik said.

He said that the congestion at the ports was being caused by clearing agents.

“The clearing agents should be blamed for the congestion because they don’t come to remove their containers after clearance.

He said: “They forget that the terminal is not a warehouse for container storage.”

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External Reserves Drop By $1.4bn In Two Months

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The country’s external reserves fell by $1.4 billion in two months, the latest data from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) showed on Wednesday.
The reserves, which stood at $35.25 billion as of April 16, fell to $34.23 billion as of May 31 and $33.85 billion as of June 15.
Speaking on the decline in external reserves at the recent Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting, the CBN Governor, Godwin Emefiele, said, “This reflects sales to the foreign exchange market and third-party payments”.
In March, the reserves lost $178 million after dropping from $34.99 billion as of March 1 to $34.82 billion as of March 31.
In February, the reserves dropped by $1.1bn, falling from $36.19 billion as of February 1 to $35.09 billion on February 26.
The CBN, in its January economic report, said, “As a consequence of the lower foreign exchange receipts, the official external reserves declined.
“External reserves stood at $35.44bn at the end-January 2021, a decrease of 2.8 per cent and 3.5 per cent from $36.46 billion in December 2020 and $36.73 billion in January 2020.”
Meanwhile, the naira fell to 500 against the dollar at the parallel market on Wednesday from 495 last week.
Figures obtained from the naijabdcs.com, the CBN’s official website for the Bureau De Change operators, showed that the dollar was bought and sold for N499 and N500, respectively.
The CBN recently adopted the NAFEX rate of N410/$ as the official exchange rate on its website.

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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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