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Maritime Operator Predicts Increase In ECOWAS Trade

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A maritime operator in
Port Harcourt, Chief Henry Chima, has predicted that there will be an increase in trade between members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) region in 2014.
Chima, who made this prediction while interacting with The Tide in Port Harcourt, also said the increase would depend largely on reliable maritime transport in the area.
According to the former chairman of the association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) Rivers Seaport, there is hope for increase in trade at the Port Harcourt Wharf given the efforts being made  by the terminal operators to attract business to the port.
He said “This is why ECOWAS is supporting sea-link project which aims at facilitating transportation of goods and persons through water”.
The maritime executive posited that an efficient sea transportation system would go a long way in addressing infrastructure problem which was a major hinderance to trade within West Africa.
Chima maintained that the project would ease the burden on road and contribute meaningfully to the economic growth of the region.
He said that the maritime project, expected to link West African countries by sea would likely start operation before the end of 2014.
The former ANLCA boss also said “Before the end of this year, we expect that the company will start operation and will have headquarters in one of the member-states, and offices in other member states.
The road conditions are not good. The vehicles themselves are not so good to satisfy the volume of business”.

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Nigeria, Saudi Arabia Collaborate On Air Safety

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Bodies involved in investigating air accidents in Nigeria and Saudi Arabia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding MoU) to share knowledge and improve air safety in both countries’ airspaces.
The MoU was signed in Abuja, Monday, aa part of events marking the ongoing 14th International Civil Aviation Organisation Air Services Negotiation event tagged “ICAN 2022”.
Speaking to the media shortly after signing the agreement, the Director-General, Accident Investigation Bureau of Saudi Arabia, Abdulelah Felimban, said the intention is to promote safety and prevention of the reoccurrence of air accidents.
“We came to meet our counterpart in Nigeria, the Accident Investigation Bureau of Nigeria, to open the channels of communication, cooperation, sharing experiences, learning from each other and benefiting from the capabilities that each of us has”, he said
He stated further that the purpose of investigation is to ensure and promote air safety.
“Our business is to collect data, evidences, analyse them, and put forward recommendations to make our skies safer”, he stated.
Also, the Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria, Akin Olateru, said there was one aviation in the world, noting that the rule of the game was cooperation.
“There is no one country that is an island. We need to work together as a team to enhance safety.
“Saudi Arabia will help us in human capital development, we can engage ideas and its all about improving safety for the flying public”, he said.

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Minister Tasks SON To Improve Quality Of Local Products

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The Federal Government has charged Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON) to ensure that good produced or imported into Nigeria can compete globally.
Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, said this in Lagos at an event to mark the 50th anniversary of SON.
Adebayo, who was represented at the event by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dr Evelyn Ngige, urged the agency to stick to its role in maintaining standards to support industrial and facilitate trade, while  promoting investments in the nation’s economy.
Ngige said the government was aware of the innovations by SON in making access to the agency by business owners efficient and effective.
“I want to add here that SON has a vital role to play in facilitating trade and ensuring that local goods and services compete favourably in international market by guaranteeing that excellence is maintained across all production lines in the country.
“This is even more important now that African Continental Free Trade Area has opened up the domestic market to all commerce in the African continent”, she said.
She charged the agency to remain committed to ensuring quality and continuous improvement of all goods produced locally or imported.
According to her, “As Vice Chairman of the PEBEC, I am well aware of the remarkable innovation of the SON that makes businesses access its services in an efficient and effective manner.
“This has resulted in the consistent and regular high ranking of SON by PEBEC. The constant high ranking of SON is heart-warming, especially to the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Investment”.
She said the 50 years of SON had been remarkable in promoting value in every aspect of industrial production in Nigeria, and also ensuring that products imported into the country were of high quality.
Earlier, the Director General of SON, Mallam Farouk Salim, had said the agency’s last two years concentrated on some critical areas in the industry.
“SON has ensured faithful implementation of the Nigerian National Standardisation Strategy as the framework of the development and publication of National Standards and increasing our technical competence in conformity assessment services through the accreditation of our Product Certification Department”, he said.

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Nigeria’s Oil Production Increases To 1.6m Barrels

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Crude oil production in Nigeria is gradually improving, following an increase to about 1.6 million barrels.
The Chief Upstream Investment Officer, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Upstream Investment Management Services, Bala Wunti, who disclosed this at the 11th Practical Nigerian Content forum in Uyo, Akwa-Ibom State, said Nigeria’s oil production as at Tuesday was 1. 6 million barrels per day, from 937, 000 barrels per day reported in September.
Wunti stated that the output increase was a result of the government’s rectangular approach to the fight against crude oil theft.
“Crude theft affects all architecture that funds the country. When the oil theft reached its peak, everything including gas production was affected,” he said.
He continued that, “One, we have security agencies in which the Navy, the police, and everyone within that space was involved. The second is the regulators angle. At this stage, all regulators are made to fully be part of the efforts.
“Third is the operators’ angle. And, of course, all operators were involved. The fourth angle is the community angle in which all impacted communities have to be brought under the umbrella of a structured arrangement in the collective effort against crude oil theft.
“In all, these efforts were able to do three things; Detect, deter and respond appropriately.
“As at today, oil production is at 1.59 million barrels per day,” he said.
Recall that Nigeria has been unable to meet OPEC production quota in the last one year.
At the September Federation Account Allocation Committee, an NNPC Limited presentation said Nigeria lost as much as 8.14 million barrels in August.
The Tide’s source had reported how the contribution of the oil sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country fell to 5.7 per cent in the third quarter of this year, according to data sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics.
The Bureau, in its GDP Sector Report, had said the oil sector’s contribution of 5.7 per cent in Q3, 2022, was a decline when compared to a 6.3 per cent real GDP contribution recorded in Q2-2022.
The report stated that Nigeria’s average crude oil production in Q3-2022 was 1.2 million barrels per day (including condensates), lower than Q3-2021’s 1.6 million barrels per day, a 23.6 per cent decline.
A statement by the Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning, last Wednesday, said the excess crude account crashed by 89 per cent in the last eight years, moving from $4.1bn in November 2014 to $472,513 in the same period of 2022.The balance as of November 23, 2022, stood at $472,513.64.
The account has depleted in the last eight years as a result of lack of inflows, oil market vagaries and the country’s revenue crunch, according to economists.
Speaking to The Tide’s source when the Federal Government made the  announcement, Professor of Economics at Covenant University, Ogun State, Jonathan Aremu, said, “It is a simple fact that when you spend money from an account and you are not adding to it, it will deplete”.
According to him, “For you to increase the ECA, the oil price must rise above the budgeted price. If it does not, nothing goes in.
“Also, if what you are spending is higher than what goes in, it depletes. This is the situation”.

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