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BPP Probes Road Contract Award In Edo

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The Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, in the presidency, Abuja may have commenced investigations into the circumstance that led to the award of a multibillion naira road contract in Edo by the NDDC after it refused to grant the commission a valid due process certificate of ‘’No objection’’ in favour of Messrs Caesars Engineering and construction limited for the construction of the Obazogwe Niro-Ikumweke-Idunwebo- Abudu Road in Orihiomnwon Local Council area of Edo State, with the total sum of N2,979,175,643.06.

The BPP decision is sequel to the court order halting further construction work on the road project pending the determination of the matter before the court brought by Messrs. Madona construction limited, Benin. Investigations show that it was the firm of Meaars. Madona construction limited, Benin city, which the BPP granted the NDDC a due process certificate of ‘’No objection’’ for the award of the contract for the construction of the road in the total sum of N2,979,175,643/06, ‘’with a completion period of 18 months, being the lowest evaluated responsive bidder.’’

The BPP also advised the NDDC to ask the contractor to submit a performance bond as a precondition to the contract award, in a decision signed by Messrs. Emeka Ezeh, the Director-general of BPP and five others after sighting such documents as the advertisement for the job, the 2009 appropriation bill, the checklist for project procurement review, bidders bill of quantities, financial bid records, attendance of pre-qualification exercise by contractors, tender evaluation report and drawings.

It was gathered that Messrs. Caesars Engineering and Construction limited tendered sum for construction of the road, was found by the BPP to be wrong and the BPP corrected same bringing the total to N4.7billion.

Source said at the time the NDDC asked the BPP for a due process certificate of ‘’No objection ‘’ for the Obozogwe Niro-Ikumweke-Idunwebo-Iguobodo-Abudu Road in Orhiomnwon Local council area of Edo state, it also did so for such other roads across the state such as the 12.1km Oben-Umogun and the Ulohor/ Ogba link road and bridges.

The BPP denied the NDDC the certificate it asked for in favour of Messrs. A,C, Egbe in the total sum of N3,767, 443,243.80 since its tendered sum of N3,005,182/70 was wrongly computed, it granted the NDDC the certificate for the ward of the contract for their construction of the 122.1km Oben- UMOGUN road with a completion period of 26 months to Messrs Askay construction company limited. In the same vein, the BPP had denied the certificate NDDC asked for in favour of Messrs. Xapon limited in the total sum of N2,191,528,134.14. for the Ulohor/Ogba link road and bridges, as the corrected tendered sum based on the original scope stood at N2,259,683.88. instead it granted the NDDC the certificate in favour Messrs. Jireh Link Nigeria Limited in the total sum of N1,262,915,628.71 with an unspecified completion period for being the lowest evaluation bidders.

 

Ben-ose Ogbemudia, Benin City

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South-East Traders Petition CBN Over Illegal Bank Deductions 

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The South-East Amalgamated Markets Traders Association has frowned against what it called “multiple and indiscriminate charges and deductions on customers” by commercial banks.
The association, in an open letter to the Governor of Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele, complained about the bank charges.
The letter was signed by the association’s President-General, Chief Gozie Akudolu, and Secretary-General, Mr Alex Okwudiri.
The letter read in part, “Part of the major responsibilities of the commercial banks, we know, is to accept money deposits from customers and keep safe custody of the same, and perform such other transactions for and as directed by the customer through various bank instruments.
“Most of the transactions, we also know, are the social responsibility of the banks. But today, the banks make deductions and charges for virtually every transaction ranging from deposits to even confirmation of signature”.
The association particularly decried indiscriminate charges and deductions in online transactions, calling on the CBN to put a stop to it.
According to it, ”When a customer makes an online transfer of funds, the transfer is charged a certain amount of money deducted from his/her account and the recipient’s account is also charged and deductions made for receiving the money.
“In addition, charges and deductions are also made for SMS, which most of the time were not received. Finally, at intervals, charges and deductions will be made on the same account as service charge”.
The association said its members had individually approached the banks to complain but without success.
It, therefore, appealed to the CBN governor to prevail on the banks to stop “the indiscriminate charges and deductions and, if possible, refund all the deductions”.
The association, however, noted that the cashless economy policy of the CBN had been of immense benefits to its members, especially as it curtailed to the barest minimum armed robbery attacks on them.

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Rising Food Prices Fuelling Inflation In Nigeria, Others  – IMF 

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) says rising food prices is the major factor fuelling inflation in Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan African countries.
IMF made this known in a blogpost on Monday, saying inflation is rising around the world, but because food accounts for about 40 per cent of the SSA’s consumption basket, it plays a major determining role in inflation.
According to the body, “Food inflation increased throughout 2019, on average, across 25 countries in the region where monthly food price data are available.
“After remaining stable around seven to eight per cent (year over year) since the beginning of the pandemic, food inflation started to rise again from April this year to some 10 per cent in October. The chart shows how food inflation is outpacing and contributing to the pick-up in overall consumer price inflation in sub-Saharan Africa, which rose to about eight per cent in October, up from around five per cent in 2019”.
The global body attributed the recent increase in food inflation to rising oil prices (which raise fertilizer prices and transportation costs), droughts and export restrictions imposed by some major food exporters, and stockpiling in some countries.
It said, “In addition, pandemic containment measures disrupted production and imports of seeds and fertilisers and caused labour shortages during planting seasons.
“Importantly, there is diversity across the region—food inflation in Chad is near zero but around 30 per cent in Angola. This suggests that domestic factors such as weather and exchange rates are important contributors to food inflation in sub-Saharan African countries”.
IMF added that food inflation and consumer price index inflation could moderate if commodity prices eased and pandemic-induced global supply chain disruptions were solved.
The international fund body said on the average, inflation would continue to rise in 2021 before dropping in 2022 depending on commodity prices and the resolution of supply-demand mismatches.
It said higher food inflation would worsen the situation for countries already facing food insecurity and shortages, and largely impact poor households.
“The number of undernourished persons in the region is projected to have increased by 20 per cent in 2020, encompassing 264 million people.
“Fighting food insecurity through targeted social assistance and insurance can help populations cope. Avoiding trade barriers and improving access to finance, seed stocks, insecticide, fertilizer, anti-erosion measures, and irrigation are also important”, IMF said.

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Nigeria Records N8.9trn Trade Deficit In Nine Months

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Nigeria recorded a negative trade balance of N8.9 trillion, between January and September, 2021, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) have shown.
Within this period, total foreign trade stood at N35.09 trillion, comprising N22 trillion imports and N13.1 trillion exports, leading to N8.9 trillion trade deficit.
A breakdown of the trade data by quarters shows that Nigeria’s total merchandise trade stood at N9.76 trillion in the first quarter of the year representing 6.99 per cent increase over the value recorded in Q4 2020.
The export component of this trade stood at N2.91 trillion, representing 29.79 per cent of the total trade in Q1 while import was valued at N6.85 trillion representing 70.21 per cent.
The higher level of imports over exports resulted in a trade deficit (in goods) of N3.94 trillion in Q1 2021.
The value of crude oil export stood at N1.93 trillion representing 66.38 per cent of the total export recorded in Q1, 2021, while non-crude oil export accounted for 33.62 per cent of the total export.
The data also showed that majority of the goods imported during this period originated from China, valued at N2 trillion, followed by the Netherlands (N726.09 billion), the United States (N608.12 billion), India (N589.1 billion) and Belgium (N238.5 billion).
Similarly, Nigeria’s top export trade partners in Q1 were India (N488.1billion), Spain (N287.2 billion), China (N190.1 billion), the Netherlands (N160.billion) and France (N133 billion).
However, in the second quarter of the year, Nigeria’s trade deficit fell to N1.87 trillion as exports jumped to N5.08 tillion against imports of N6.95 tillion.
The value of imports and exports in Q2 brought total merchandise trade to N12.03 trillion, representing a 23.28 per cent increase from the N9.7 trillion recorded in Q1.
The NBS said crude oil, the major component of export trade, stood at N4.08 trillion (80.29 per cent) of total export.
It further said crude oil value had a sharp increase of 111.32 per cent in Q2 compared to the N1.93 trillion recorded in Q1 2021, while the non-crude oil goods recorded N1 trillion (19.71 per cent) of total export trade during Q2 2021.
Further analysis of data from the bureau shows that the majority of imported goods in Q2 2021 originated from China with a value of N2.08 trillion, followed by India with N570.01 billion, Netherlands (N557.15 billion), United States (N526.92 billion), and Russia (N284.36 billion).
Meanwhile, most goods were exported to India (949.05 billion), Spain (N524.49 billion), Canada (N355.60bn), Netherlands (N298.29 billion), and the United States (N256.63 billion).
The NBS on Monday revealed that Nigeria’s trade deficit rose to N3.03 trillion in the third quarter of the year.
According to the Statistician General of the Federation, Simon Harry, who disclosed this in a press briefing held in Abuja, total trade in the review period rose to N13.3 trillion, comprising N8.2 trillion imports and N5.1 trillion exports.
The NBS noted that the rise in imports was driven majorly by increase in the importation of commodities such as motor spirits (N1.1 trillion), Gas Oil (N225.6bn), imported motorcycles and cycles and CKD valued at N116.3 billion from N94.7 billion respectively.

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