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Farmers Give Reasons For Increase In Production Costs

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Experts, including farmers, have said that duties payable on imported agricultural products are partly responsible for the hike in the production costs of players in the sector by up to 70 per cent in the last two years.
In a chat with The Tide’s source in Lagos, the State Chapter Chairman of the All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), Mr Femi Oke, said the levies payable on the importation of agricultural inputs were hurting the sector.
”The increase in the importation cost of agricultural products is not really encouraging at all. We believe the Federal Government should waive every levy and tax on agricultural imports.
“That would solve a lot of problems. These things are having about 70 per cent effect on the agricultural products and also the taxes on the importation of agricultural products”, he said.
Also speaking, the Deputy Lagos Chairman, AFAN, Mr Shakin Agbayewa, stressed the need for the country to start producing most of its daily needs instead of depending wholly on imports.
“Wheat is one of the most consumed products in Nigeria and 90 per cent of wheat is imported into the country. Why can’t we start farming  wheat in the country?
“Now, few people move into the importation of wheat in Nigeria, going against us planting the product. Today, the countries we import wheat from are at war and we cannot bring wheat into the country again,” he said.
He noted that the country should leverage the present opportunities in the wheat market by farming the crop.
Meanwhile, the President of AFAN, Kabir Ibrahim, said the raw materials used to blend the fertilizers were imported, which was one of the major reasons for the high cost of agricultural products in the country.
He said over-dependence on importation of agricultural products and inputs was greatly affecting the country negatively.
Ibrahim, who identified high cost of fertilizer as a major challenge for farmers, fingered insecurity as another challenge.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Center for the Promotion of Private Enterprise, Dr Muda Yusuf, said farmers should not be talking about duties on wheat and sugar, but must focus more on cost of imported inputs.
“Farmers should not be talking about duties on wheat and sugar. What they should be talking about is the cost of imported inputs like agrochemicals and machineries. They can’t be complaining about the fact that they are paying high import duty on wheat because they are supposed to be planting it and not importing it. Farmers’ should take advantage of the high import duty.

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NOSDRA Blames Drop In Gas Export On Vandalism

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The drop in Nigeria’s gas export by as much as five million standard cubic meters per day (MMSCM/d) has been blamed on the activities of vandals operating in Azikoro community of Bayelsa State.
It was gathered that the drop was sequel to an explosion which occurred at the 24 Ogboinbiri and OB-OB gas pipeline, the gas export feed to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) plant.
The Director-General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), Mr Idris Musa, confirmed the pipeline blast to newsmen, last Wednesday.
He said that the blast was reported to the agency in the early hours of Tuesday, noting that the damaged facility normally evacuates an average of five MMSCM/d.
Musa said following the notification, a team of officials comprising the Secretary of Azikoro community, the Bayelsa commissioner for Mineral Resources and representatives of NOSDRA visited the incident site early Wednesday.
He said that the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), the operator of the facility, was promptly notified of the incident.
“Due to the high pressure, NAOC was directed by NOSDRA to depressurize the facility preparatory for a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) which will follow immediately to ascertain the cause and extent of the incident.
“NAOC is already at the incident site, with the agency among other stakeholders working to contain the explosion and secure the incident site preparatory to JIV and other remedial measures,” Musa said.
He said that NOSDRA would conduct the investigations in a transparent manner, and pledged that its findings would be made public in due course.
Meanwhile, officials of NAOC declined comments when contacted for reaction.
Some of the residents near the incident site said that they heard sound of explosions on Tuesday morning in the area.
They also alleged that some small batteries and wires suspected to be used by the vandals to detonate improvised explosive device were found in the area.
The gas pipeline was vandalised three times in April, 2022.

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ANLCA Seeks N200bn Compensation From Bank Over Demurrage 

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The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has called for the payment of over N200 billion compensation on demurrage and storage charges incurred by customs brokers and freight forwarders as a result of Guarantee Trust Bank’s suspension over alleged non-remittance of import duty collected on behalf of the Federal Government .
The foremost customs brokers association insisted that its members have lost about N200 billion in the line of duty.
Speaking in Lagos recently on behalf of the association, the National Secretary of ANLCA, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, expressed dissatisfaction over the slow responses by management of GTB on the suspension with Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Mukaila noted that the association was aware that NCS gave GTBank two weeks notice to resolve their challenges.
The scribe said despite the marching order from the NCS, GTB has not resolved the issue or made alternative arrangement for the interest of their clients.
The ANLCA chieftain said its members won’t bear the cost of demurrage incurred, while insisting  that they won’t let go of the losses.
He recalled that in the past, some banks have had similar problems, but quickly appointed a receiver bank pending the resolution of the matter.
Speaking with representatives from GTBank in Lagos, Mukaila stressed that the approach of the Gtbank  amounts to negligence on their.
“Where there is negligence, someone or group suffers the detriment and as such in every detriment there must be compensation.
He reiterated that the aims and objectives of the association is to protect its members, while asking the bank officials how they intend to mitigate the losses.
Other members of the association in attendance also took turn to  condemn the bank’s attitude and concluded that there will be no stand down on demand for adequate compensation.
In his response, the representative of GTbank, Lanre Kola-Banjo, apologised to the customs brokers, explaining that  the problem was a result of technical fault from the server.
He however debunked that they were given two weeks notice.
Contrarily, he said, “we woke up one morning only to discover that we had been disconnected”.
Meanwhile, he said they have contacted their customers who were directly involved, apologised and explained the circumstance to them.
He further explained that it was after they had been suspended from accessing the NCS portal that they were given 2 weeks to fix the technical problem or face serious sanction.
According to him,”the problem has been resolved since the 9th September”.
He promised to take ANLCA’s demands to the top management of the bank for further action.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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BOT Registration: ANLCA Acquires CAC Certificate

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As further confirmation of recognition, the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has issued fresh certificate recognising Dr. Taiwo Afolabi and Chief Ozo Chukwura as Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Registered Board of Trustees (BOT), Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) .
The certificate issued recently with registration number 6754, also listed Onyenaechi Offor, Emmanuel Azodo, Eniola Igbaroo, Ayokunle Abel, Aliyu Isa, Shamsudeen Awopeju and Christian Igwe as members.
Chairman of SIFAX Group and proprietor of Marriot Hotel, Lagos, Dr Taiwo Afolabi, was elected the Chairman of the BOT of ANLCA.
Afolabi was chosen by other BoT members in Lagos last year.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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