The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), has emphasised the need to partner with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) in ensuring that transport facilities in the country are modernised for effective utilisation by investors, especially on Inland Container Depots (ICD) projects.
Speaking at a working visit by top officials of ICRC to the Nigerian Shippers’ Council at the weekend, in Lagos, Executive Secretary of the council, Barrister Hassan Bello, stressed the need for government to link rails network with the ICDs, adding that the agency is the coordinator of such connectivity.
Bello noted that both agencies of the government are partners in progress to the development of ports infrastructures, pointing out that transport sector plays a dominant role in economic development.
The council’s boss further added that exportation of Nigerian products have been on the rise and it is important to note that there has been deficit in the transport sector in Nigeria which needs to be revamped.
Stressing the need for infrastructure development in the country in view of economic sustainability and modern investments, the executive secretary reiterated that, “ICRC provides the framework and development of transport infrastructures because transport drives the economy and important to have a modern system of transport in the country”
“Our partnership with ICRC is natural and we need to have one standard system of transport and we need guided partnership from them”
“What we are seeking is for Nigeria to have a world standard transport infrastructure which would drive the economy and trade facilitation”
“The dry ports must be of standard and of course must be state-of-the-art which must be driven by automation”, he stated.
Bello maintained that the ICD project would serve as a port of destination and origin with a view for them to be fully automated.
Responding, Acting Director-General, ICPC, Engr. Chidi Izuwa, said that the commission is the body responsible for regulation of Public, Private Partnership (PPP) in providing infrastructures for investors in the transport sub sector of the country.
Izuwa said that the partnership between both agencies of government is in line with the council regulatory role on Inland Container Depots (ICD) projects and Truck Transit Park (TTP).
The Acting Chief Executive Officers added that building a deep seaport at the moment would take a longer period upon completion adding that the fastest ways to increase port facility is to build dry ports.
He noted that the synergy will address issues surrounding the smooth operations of the ICD and to protect private sector led investments.
“We are working with the council to ensure that in line with the change agenda of his Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari we can bring in the private sector to provide this facilities for the services for Nigeria”
According to him, the commission is to organise a capacity building programme for executive directors of the council as part of effort to boost and grow the transport driven sub sector.
“It is important to work with the council as an economic regulator to protect key projects in the ports”, he added.
Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
Imported Goods Killing Local Production – Presidency
The Presidency has frowned at the rate of consumption of imported goods in the country, and has urged Nigerian consumers to change their mindset and patronise locally-produced goods, especially in the agricultural sector, to boost revenue and job creation.
Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, disclosed this while speaking at a one-day seminar/exhibition with the theme, “Re-orientation towards ensuring preference and consumption of domestic agro-allied products”, which was organised by Zakclair Investment Limited.
Adesina, who was represented by the Special Assistant to the President on New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, said more Nigerians would be financially empowered when people patronise locally manufactured goods.
He explained that no nation could truly develop its production capacity when its economy was based on imported products.
The presidential spokesperson observed that most developed nations of the world were those whose economies were based on the local production of goods.
He said the unbridled importation of products was weighing heavily on the country’s foreign exchange reserve.
“We must also be willing to innovate with our local products in ways that can get us a wider audience.
“Instead of expending scarce resources and importing goods and services, we can channel them to create jobs for people. We need to believe more in the value of what is indigenous to us, as a people.
“When we consume locally made products, there will be less pressure on our foreign exchange. In the same breath, the value addition that happens locally means jobs.
“The economic value of consuming locally made goods is in all the jobs that will be created.
“I think that with the kind of market that we have in Nigeria, 200 million people, you can see there is a lot that we can do with domestic products”, Adesuna said.
Delivering the keynote address, the Executive Secretary of the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Prof. Garba Sharabutu, urged stakeholders to stop paying lip service to the efforts to drive the consumption of made-in-Nigeria products, saying “we need to take it from words to action”.
Earlier, the CEO of Zakclair Investment Ltd, Adelabu Abdulrazak, explained that with the country’s ailing economy, there was a need to direct attention to preference and consumption of locally-made products.
“Consequently, we believe there is a need for a discourse in this aspect of our national life with the aim to infuse patriotism, encourage policies that tackle this lifestyle, reorientate our citizens and massively stimulate the growth of our economy,” he said.
Commission Extends Deadline For Digital Money Operators’ Registration
The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) has announced the extension of deadline for registration of online money lenders and operators, otherwise known as Digital Money Lenders (DML).
Making the registration extension known in a statement that was made available to The Tide at the weekend, the FCCPC Chief Executive Officer, Babatunde Irukera, said the process has been extended to March 27, 2023.
The FCCPC boss stated that the extra time was to ensure that the registration of DML whose registration was still in process was adequately achieved, and to also prevent significant market disruptions.
It is the third time the commission has postponed the deadline for registration, since it enforced compulsory registration in August 2022.
“On December 6, 2022, in furtherance of the collaboration of the Inter-Agency Joint Task Force, the FCCPC extended the deadline for the registration of DML to January 31, 2023.
“This was to ensure the registration of DMLs whose registration was still in process and to prevent significant market disruptions.
“The Commission noted, however, that several DMLs have not yet provided all relevant documentation to complete their registration process.
“To this end, the Commission is further extending the registration deadline to Monday, March 27, 2023″, The statement read in part.
The FCCPC recently released a limited interim regulatory and registration framework for digital lending in order to curb unethical interest rates, violation of consumer privacy, and other unethical lending practices perpetrated by unchecked digital lenders in the country.
By: Corlins Walter
Manager Clarifies PH Airlines Building Occupancy Issues
The Port Harcourt Airport Manager, Mr Felix Akinbinu, has given reasons for the delay by airlines operating at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, in occupying the newly commissioned Airport Building.
Noting that airlines still operate from the Terminal building, he said the nature of business operations of airlines is such that makes them operate from the terminal building in order to meet the boarding requirements for passengers.
Akinbinu, who disclosed this while interacting with aviation correspondents, stated that the newly commissioned airlines building is not just for airlines alone.
He said it’s office space for any group or individuals to use, though it bears the name, “Airline Building”.
According to him, the airlines will still operate from the terminal building because the newly commissioned airlines building is to provide additional office space for airlines to accommodate their other activities and staff.
“To be frank with you, what we have in the new airlines building is just eight office space accommodation, and it is not only for airlines, it is open to everyone or group that need an office space.
“It is not that we are ordering the airlines to leave the terminal building, not at all, because they are to operate at the terminal building for the ease of their business and passengers facilitation.
“It is also not an issue of disobedience on their side for still operating at the terminal building. All they will do is to acquire additional office space for their staff and operations”, Akinbinu said.
The Tide’s check earlier showed that the new airlines building is sited at a distance place from the terminal building, which makes it difficult for airlines to easily access, considering their style of business operations.
Some officials of airlines The Tide interacted with stated that they will not operate from the new airlines building because it was sited across the airport major road, distant from the terminal.
They, therefore, urged the airport management to consider the nature of their operations, and make alternative for them.
It would be recalled that the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Salisu Yadudu, represented by the Director of Operations, Murktar Munye, had at the commissioning ceremony of the airlines building, early December last year, directed the airport manager to ensure that airlines occupy the building immediately.
This, he said, was to decongest the terminal building. But the building is yet to be occupied.
By: Corlins Walter
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