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Group Bemoans Revenue Loss On Oil, Gas Cargoes

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A group, Nigerians
Against Theft in the Maritime Sector (NATIMS), on Saturday, said the Federal Government will continue to lose huge revenue if it allows illegal discharge of oil and gas cargoes in undesignated terminals.
The group stated this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.
It expressed disappointment with the comments made by terminal operators at the Tin Can Island, Lagos against other operators outside Lagos, when the Comptroller- General of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Retired Col. Hameed Ali, recently toured their facilities.
The terminal operators alleged that Nigeria was losing billions of naira due to a monopoly which allowed for the discharge of oil and gas related cargoes only at designated terminals.
The Chairman of NATIMS, Dr Jonas Bankole, had repeatedly said that some private jetty operators still allowed illegal discharge by ships in their terminals.
“NATIMS in the statement, said that, “Two of the companies that complained about monopoly are notorious for the illegal diversion of vessels.’’
It said that while one of them was closed for 36 days between December 2015 and January 2016 for illegally diverting a vessel, the other paid N2.5 billion in February, 2016, before a ship which was diverted to its terminal was released.
“It is the same group of companies that were dealt a blow in March 2016 when a Federal High Court in Lagos struck out their suit against the Federal Government on grounds of lack of jurisdiction.
“In the suit, Ports and Terminal Operators Nigeria Ltd. (PTOL) had alleged that vessels meant for their jetties were being diverted to other terminals since October 2013.
cargoes at designated terminals.
Ali said, “I have listened to your presentations. I would like to assure you that President’s Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is one of fairness, equity and transparency.’’
The Customs chief said that said that in the past certain things were done in accordance with the laws.
He noted that the administration believed in doing business in accordance with the law.
“We as the Customs Service have no choice but to toe that line. We have to walk the path of equity and justice.
“We will look at the laws that exist. If we find anything contradictory to the laws, we will address it but if it is in accordance with the law, we are also in a position to let you know,’’ Ali added.
The Chairman of the SIIFZ, Mr Anwar Jarmakani, said that Nigeria was losing billions of naira due to a monopoly which allowed for the discharge of oil and gas related cargoes only at designated terminals in the country.
The SIIFZ is the location of Nigerdock, a ship repair, fabrication, supply and logistics facility offering maritime, logistics and oil and gas services.

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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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