Livestock Dealers Suspend Nationwide Strike
The Livestock Dealers Association of Nigeria (LISDAN) has suspended its nationwide strike to pave way for meaningful dialogue between it and the federal government.
Speaking to The Tide on the matter in Port Harcourt, the chairman of LISDAN Diobu, Prince Wigodo said the association embarked on the strike to protest the high level of extortion their members face on the road, on the cause of doing their business.
According to him “there is a high level of extortion of money from our members by touts claiming to be representing various state governments in the collection of veterinary fees, and over time the federal government has not done any thing about it, and the amount they force us to pay is not a small sum per vehicle load of livestock, and it varies from state to state.”
He said that the major thing that made the association to embark on strike was the recent increase of this veterinary fee, they use to pay the sum of N2,000 per vehicle load, but that now, they are asked and forced to pay between N7,000 and N10,000.
The same thing, he said, is what obtains in Enugu State where they are compelled to pay N10,000.
Apart from the veterinary charges, Prince Wigodo also explained that the police also add to the problem of extortion of livestock dealers on the road, saying that all these charges put together has added to the cost of transportation which will make the cost of livestock higher, and that when add these to cost, it makes selling price higher.
The strike which he said started on Monday last week, was suspended yesterday March 15th 2010 because of the intervention of the federal government who already has set up a committee to address the problem.
Asked if the Jos crisis has anything to do with the strike, the chairman said that the Jos mayhem has nothing to do with the strike.
Also speaking to The Tide on the strike matters, one of the livestock dealers, Mr. Nse Obong said that within the period of the strike, that there was rush on the few goats that were available, and as such made the price to increase.
Obong said that even in Lagos that there was scarcity of meat apart from beef, adding that the Union stopped any form of transportation of goats from the areas where they are purchased.
He said that it is not the intention of livestock dealers to increase the price of goats, stressing that the least goat that use to cost N7,000, is now sold at N10,000 minimum.
According to him “the most annoying thing is that these people collecting the money are not veterinary officers and are not known by government.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
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