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NNPC Halts Tickets Recycling At Depots

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has discovered the illegal recycling of loading tickets used by petrol transportation trucks at depots operated by the Pipelines Products Marketing Company, a subsidiary of NNPC.
It was also gathered that the national oil firm had effectively stopped the illegality, which had made it lose about N52m daily during the period when it was perpetuated by oil marketers.
NNPC is currently the only importer of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly known as petrol, into Nigeria and other oil marketers lift the commodity from its depots for onward distribution to final consumers.
The Tide source learnt that the use of paper tickets at PPMC depots had made it easy for oil dealers to fraudulently recycle the tickets and use it at the expense of the corporation.
But in a document obtained from the corporation in Abuja over the weekend which focused on developments at the firm in April 2019, the Group General Manager, Information Technology Division, Danladi Inuwa, said NNPC had discontinued the paper-based ticketing at PPMC depots, a development that had helped the subsidiary to save about N18bn annually.
He explained that with the introduction of technology at the depots and other arms of NNPC, the oil firm had been able to save a lot of costs, as many processes at the corporation were carried out manually and were subjected to manipulations because they were paper-based.
Inuwa said, “For example, in PPMC, Marine Logistics and NPSC (Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company), they were using paper tickets for loading trucks at the depots. Each of those tickets had six copies which came with high printing cost.
“Because of the manual system which allowed for human interference, it was discovered that the tickets were being recycled. At a point, the corporation was said to be losing an estimated N52m daily due to the fraudulent recycling of tickets.”
He added, “If you compute that for one year, it comes to about N18bn in revenue loss. Today paper-based tickets have been discontinued in PPMC. We are now generating tickets online on the system and that has saved money on printing and at the same time resolved the leakages through the fraudulent recycling of tickets.”
Inuwa said the new technology had also enabled PPMC, Marine Logistics and NPSC to monitor stock levels at the depots in real time.
“Before now, it was a herculean task for PPMC to get information about the stock levels and sales at the various depots in a timely manner,” he stated.
According to him, there had been instances where, because of lack of information, vessels were sent to depots that had no space for products resulting in huge demurrage cost for the corporation.

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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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