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Food Import Price Skyrockets By 71%

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The price of importation for food and beverage for rose by 71.12 per cent between the third quarter of 2018 and the corresponding quarter of 2022 despite the foreign exchange crisis in the country, according to findings by The Tide source, based on data from the Q3 2022 Foreign Trade Statistics report by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).
Food and beverage imports were classified into primary and processed foods for households.
The source recalled that in Q3 2018, the primary food and beverage imports were put at N84.84billion while that of processed foods were about N77.41billion, making a total of N162.25billion.
By Q3 2022, the primary food and beverage imports were about N153.82billion, while that of processed foods were about N123.82billion, making a total of N277.64billion.
The development came amid the shortage of foreign exchange the nation is currently grappling with.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently said the food crisis currently ravaging Nigeria and other Sub-Saharan countries has been exacerbated by over-reliance on imported foods.
In a new report titled, “Africa Food Prices Are Soaring Amid High Import Reliance,” the Washington-based lender said staple food prices in sub-Saharan Africa surged by an average 23.9 per cent in 2020 to 22, the most since the 2008 global financial crisis.
The report noted that the increase was commensurate to an 8.5 per cent rise in the cost of a typical food consumption basket (beyond generalised price increases).
It said global factors were partly to blame because of the region’s imports of top staple foods, noting that the pass-through from global to local food prices was significant.
The report noted that in Nigeria, the prices of both cassava and maize more than doubled, though they were mainly produced locally.
“We estimate that a 1 per cent increase in the consumption share of a staple food raises the local price by an average 0.7 per cent. The effect is even bigger when a staple is mostly imported, raising the price by about 1.2 per cent.
“When a country’s net import dependence increases by one per cent, the local real cost of a highly imported staple is expected to increase by an additional 0.2 per cent.
“The relative strength of a country’s currency is another driver as it affects the costs of imported food items. We find that a 1 per cent depreciation in real effective exchange rates increases the price of highly imported staples by an average 0.3 per cent”, the report stated in part.

Nigeria’s headline inflation has continued to rise this year, hitting a new high of 21.47 per cent in November 2022 from 21.09 per cent in October 2022, according to the Consumer Price Index report released by the National Bureau of Statistics this month.

The source observed that this was the highest rate in about 17 years.

According to the NBS, the reason for the increase year-on-year was the increase in the cost of importation due to the persistent currency depreciation and a general increase in the cost of production, including an increase in energy cost.

The month-on-month increase recorded was attributed to the sharp increase in demand usually experienced during the festive season.

The food inflation rate also increased to 24.13 per cent on a year-on-year basis, a 6.92 per cent higher compared to 17.21 per cent recorded in November 2021.

The World Bank recently said Nigeria might have one of the highest inflation rates globally in 2022, with increasing prices diminishing the welfare of Nigerian households.

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Western Marine Command Intensifies Anti-Smuggling Operations … Intercepts N8.75m Worth PMS

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For officers and men of the Western Marine Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), the battle is not over until smuggling is over.
In the wake of Wednesday May, 8, 2024, the ever vigilant officers, acting on a tip-off, intercepted 177 sacks and 61 kegs of 25 litres containing petroleum products, valued at about N8.750,000million.
The items were intercepted along Isalu Creek, Badagry Waterway en-route Benin Republic.
While briefing newsmen, the Command’s Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Paul Bamisaiye, said: “This seizure is most economically significant to the Command at this period of scarcity of Petroleum Products, especially Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) in our cities, and shows the anticipatory posture in our response to economic saboteurs.
“At about 2:330hrs on Wednesday 8th May 2024, while on joint patrol by teams in the Command, credible intelligence was received of the movement of 2 boats laden with what was suspected to be petroleum products concealed in sacks. Upon receipt of the information, the team moved into Isalu creeks, Badagry waterway.
“On sighting the approach of the Officers, the smugglers took to their heels through the shore of the Creek. The loaded boats were then towed to the station at Badagry where preliminary examination was conducted and transferred to Western Marine Command Headquarters, Ibafon, Apapa, Lagos.
“Careful examination at the Command Headquarters revealed that the arrest was found to contain One Hundred and Seventy Seven (177) Sacks and Sixty One (61) Kegs of 25 Litres Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) containing Twelve Thousand Five Hundred (12,500) Liters with a total Duty Paid Value standing at Eight Million Seven Hundred and Fifty Thousand Naira (N8,750,000) only”.
Bamisaiye noted that the action of the smugglers is a contravention of Section 245 & 254 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 which the service, through Western Marine Command, is responsible for enforcing.
“The Command, under the leadership of Compt. PK Bamisaiye, is poised more than ever to rid the waterways of all acts of smuggling and economy sabotage for the benefit of the growth of economy of Nigeria”, he said
Bamisaiye said so far, no suspect was arrested in the Command’s anti-smuggling operations.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Illegal PMS Trading Booms In Lagos

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Petroleum products  being sought by motorists have disappeared from virtually all filling stations within Lagos and its environs, but are now booming in business in retail outlets.
Investigations by our correspondent revealed that while the product could not be got at some of the petrol service stations, activities are in top gear in the local retail outlets where the price has gone beyond the reach of users.
It was also gathered that in some filling stations supplied with the products, preference are often given to retail outlet operators by petrol attendants against the consuming public.
A source, directly involved in the business, said some petrol dealers are cashing on the irregular supply to divert the products to retail outlets where they could easily make their gains.
It was also gathered that some sales representatives in the service of major oil marketing firms indulged in the diversion exercise because of their personal interest.
At the retail outlets a liter goes for N950,00 against the normal N760,to N800 at some stations.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Customs Board Appoints Five DCGs, Eight ACGs

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The Nigeria Customs Service Board (NCSB) has confirmed the appointment of five Deputy Comptroller-Generals (DCGs) and eight Assistant Comptrollers-General (ACGs) of Customs during its 59th regular meeting.
The meeting, chaired by the Honorable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, was held at the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters in Abuja last Tuesday.
National Public Relations Officer of the Service, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, gave details of the confirmed appointments as: O.O. Peters (DCG /Commander, Training and Doctrine Command (rtd); B.M. Jibo (DCG Enforcement Inspection & Investigation); and B.U. Nwanfor (DCG Excise, Free Trade Zone & Industrial Incentives).
Others are: S.A. Bomia (DCG, Commander Training and Doctrine Command); and C.K. Niagwan (DCG, Tariff & Trade).
The Assistant Comptrollers General (ACGs) are: B. Imam (ACG Board); A.A.S. Oloyede (ACG, Trade & Tariff); S.K. Dangaldima (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘B’); A. Abdul Azeez (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘D’); S.A. Yusuf (ACG, Human Resource Development); N.P. Umoh (ACG, Training and Doctrine Command); C.O. Obih (ACG/Zonal Coordinator, Zone ‘C’); and S. Chiroma (ACG, Strategic Research and Policy).
The new appointments, according to the statement, were made to fill the vacancies created by some senior officers who recently retired from the Service, noting that the principles of federal character, seniority and merit guided the appointments approved by the board.
“These appointments are a testament to the officers’ exemplary services and dedication to the Nigeria Customs Service. The NCSB remains committed to providing strategic leadership to ensure effective and efficient service delivery for optimum performance”, he said.
While thanking the retired members of the management for their meritorious services, the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, congratulated the newly confirmed officers and charged them to redouble their efforts to ensure the service attains greater heights in its mandates of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, and trade facilitation amongst others.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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