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AfCFTA: Nigeria Won’t Be Dumping Ground For Unidentified Products, FG Warns

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The Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr Niyi Adebayo, has assured that Nigeria would not be a dumping ground of unidentified products from other African countries when the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) is activated.

Adebayo, who led the National Action Committee (NAC) on AfCFTA on a two-day tour of Delta State, gave the assurance in Asaba, the state capital, at a press briefing.

The visit to Delta, which is the sixth state so far visited, was to discuss opportunities abound for made-in-Nigeria products in the larger African market.

According to Adebayo, who was represented by the Director of Trade in the Ministry, Aliyu Abubakar, AfCFTA has provided a platform to ensure that every product has an identifiable place of origin.

He explained that other countries through AfCFTA agreed to liberalise 90 per cent of their products to the market.

“The remaining 10 per cent is left under special and sensitive products that they may wish to keep.

“But the main objective of the agreement is to liberalise trade so that African countries can trade more among themselves and through that, African economies will be integrated.

“As regards flooding of the market with substandard products, there are mechanisms in place in the agreement.

“The rule of origin is a criterion where participating countries must source their products locally. There is also a provision to guide against transhipment of products outside the African market,” he said.

He urged Delta State to key into the AfCFTA to showcase its potentials in oil palm, aquaculture and other products in a larger African market.

The Chief Economic Adviser to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Dr Kingsley Emu, said the AfCFTA offered an avenue for private individuals to explore opportunities at the larger market.

According to Emu, the demand push or pull, particularly when there is an off-taker agreement, is a game-changer for the private sector.

He said the trade and job creation ability of the agreement would be unprecedented in Africa.

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Reps, NDA Commandant Parley Over Bandits’ Attack

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The House of Representatives Committee on Defence, yesterday, met with the Commandant of the Nigeria Defence Academy, Maj-Gen Ibrahim Yusuf, on the bandit attack on the academy.
It would be recalled that the bandits had carried out an audacious attack against the foremost academy and abducted some military personnel at the institution.
Yusuf informed the committee that the military is working to prevent future occurrence of the attack.
The committee, chaired by Babajimi Benson from Lagos State, had an executive session with the commandant to get the details of the attack.
Also, the committee met with the Minister of Defence, Bashir Magashi, to discuss the impact of the recent military agreement between Russia and Nigeria.
It would be recalled that Nigeria and Russia signed a defence agreement which was announced by the Nigerian Embassy in Russia.
The agreement, which is a technical agreement between the two countries, will involve sales of Russian made equipment to Nigeria.
The committee had the session behind closed doors.

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Ember Months: FRSC Set To Inaugurate ‘Operation Show Of Readiness’

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The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), says it is set to inaugurate” Operation Show of Readiness’’ as part of efforts to reduce road traffic accidents during the 2021 ember months.
The Corps Public Education Officer (CPEO), Mr Bisi Kazeem told The Tide yesterday that the operation would involve massive sensitisation campaign ahead of the corps’ annual “Special Patrol’’.
Kazeem said that operation show of readiness followed the review of the FRSC’s 2020 ember months’ performance and the need to break new grounds.
“To achieve this, we have deployed public enlightenment teams to motor parks, Churches, Mosques, town hall meetings and we will use motorcade for awareness where possible.
“From the 2020 review, the corps realised that night travels are prevalent during this time (ember months) with overwhelming negative results.
“Speeding is also known to be responsible for over 60 per cent of crashes.
“As such, the corps will deploy energy to discourage people from indulging in these deadly road use behaviour (night travels and speeding),’’ he said.
Kazeem said that the corps would use Special Marshals, first responders, celebrities, traditional rulers and involve road safety clubs for the special operation in view of the COVID-19 travel advisory.
“Operation zero tolerance to road traffic crash carried out annually by the FRSC is also part of strategies to reduce crashes aside the maiden operation show of readiness,’’ he said
Kazeem said during the exercise, visual acuity test/screening for drivers would be conducted as well as free safety checks on vehicles.

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VAT Bill Scales Second Reading At Ogun Assembly

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A bill for a law to impose and charge Value Added Tax (VAT) on certain goods and services, provide for administration of the tax and for related purposes yesterday scaled second reading at Ogun State House of Assembly.
 Clerk of the Assembly, Mr Deji Adeyemo, read the bill for the first time during plenary session in Abeokuta, while the Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sherif, moved the motion for the second reading which was seconded by Mr Ganiyu Oyedeji.
 While opening debate on the bill, Mr Olakunle Sobukanla, the Chairman, House Committee on Finance and Appropriation, noted that the bill was an avenue for the state to generate more revenue for its development.
 Sobukanla added that the more internally generated revenue by the state, the more infrastructure development in all sectors of the state.
 In his submission, Oyedeji explained that collection of VAT would allow the state to generate more revenue and meet needs of the people.
 The lawmaker stated that the people’s needs included fixing of bad roads and the construction of new ones, provision of healthcare facilities among others, which all required finance.
 Other lawmakers who spoke supported the quick passage of the bill, saying that it would boost the socio-economic development of the state.
 They noted that passage of the bill would be a financial restructuring and a form of redistribution of internally generated revenue.
 In his response, Mr Olakunle Oluomo, the Speaker of the house, commended the lawmakers for the deliberation, adding that the VAT law was needed in the state for more economic development.
 The speaker committed the bill to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for further legislative actions.
 Also during yesterday plenary, the Ogun State Anti-Corruption Law 2021, scaled first reading.

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