There have been pleas from different associations regarding the containers trapped in various ports across Nigeria following the ban of third-party clearance by the Nigeria Customs Service.
The Vice-President, Western Zone of National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders(NAGAFF), Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim, and the National President of Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), Mr. Lucky Amiwero have urged Customs to relax the sanction to enable the trapped containers offload.
The customs Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), had directed all Area Controllers to suspend the release, forthwith till further notice, any cargoes with discrepancies in their documentation. This order was passed through a circular signed by Deputy Comptroller General of Customs in charge of Tariff and Trade, Mr. Isa Talatu.
Third-party clearance is the hawking of operating license by a licensed customs agent for financial gains. This practice is said to allow the agent to cut corners and short-change the government.
Impact of delay in offloading
Various associations in the container and port business are groaning over the ban, arguing it’s causing more pain than good. Ibrahim has suggested Customs lift the ban to allow containers already underway before the announcement of the order offload, while containers that embarked on the journey after the circular can be punished.
Ibrahim who serves as the Vice-president of NAGAFF warns that the delay of the offloading of these containers could result in a ripple effect across value-chain, increasing the cost of goods in the market. Stating that customers will be the one to bear the cost of operation.
“If this action is not reversed to allow those trapped containers to go, this will lead to port congestion, accumulation of overtime cargo and huge demurrage at shipping companies and terminal operators. It will also lead to high cost of goods in the market as the final costs will be transferred to the consumers,” Tanko said.
The Vice-president of NAGAFF, Ibrahim, believes the move by customs is fair, but plead with Customs to temper justice with mercy, citing about 5000 containers are currently trapped in the Lagos ports and many more across the country.
“Unless customs grants amnesty for this category of containers and allow them to go, they will rot away at the port because it is not possible to issue another PAAR on them.
“As leaders of the association, we are pleading for clemency. We know those freight forwarders involved in this practice are wrong while the customs is right on its decision. However, the instant enforcement of this directive has paralysed the port activities.
The vibrancy of the port has slowed down and grounded to a standstill. We appeal that the customs should give time to stop this unwholesome practice, “Tanko added.
NCMDLCA advise to the Federal Government
The Federal Government have been urged by the National President of NCMDLCA, Lucky Amiwero to tailor the import and export procedure to meet international practice. He stressed the need to resolve the challenges resulting from the import, export and transit regulatory procedure.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 58,062 confirmed cases.
On the 25th of September 2020, 213 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 10,526 samples across the country.
To date, 58,062 cases have been confirmed, 49,606 cases have been discharged and 1,103 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 494,577 tests have been carried out as of September 25th, 2020 compared to 484,051 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 25th September 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 58,062
- Total Number Discharged – 49,606
- Total Deaths – 1,103
- Total Tests Carried out – 494,577
According to the NCDC, the 213 new cases are reported from 17 states- Lagos (51), Plateau (51), FCT (29), Rivers (18), Ondo (12), Oyo (9), Osun (8), Gombe (7), Ogun (7), Kaduna (5), Enugu (4), Edo (3), Jigawa (3), Kano (3), Benue (1), Delta (1), Sokoto (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 19,174, followed by Abuja (5,644), Plateau (3,373), Oyo (3,248), Edo (2,620), Kaduna (2,389), Rivers (2,305), Delta (1,801), Ogun (1,796), Kano (1,737), Ondo (1,620), Enugu (1,289), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,028), Abia (881), Gombe (864). Katsina (848), Osun (826), Borno (741), and Bauchi (692).
Imo State has recorded 566 cases, Benue (481), Nasarawa (449), Bayelsa (397), Jigawa (325), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (259), Adamawa (237), Anambra (234), Sokoto (162), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Lagos launches N5 billion support fund for 2,000 low-cost private schools
The Governor said the facility will benefit low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.
Lagos State government has launched a N5billion support fund to help reduce the impact of Coronavirus pandemic on low-cost private schools in the state.
This was disclosed by the Governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu via his Twitter handle on Friday.
According to him, the educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March.
He said, “With access to funding for privately owned schools and vocational training centres in the state, we are confident that this programme, under the partnership between First Bank Nigeria and Lagos State Education Trust Fund (LSETF) will help accelerate a sustainable return to learning and skills acquisition.”
Today, I launched a N5bn support fund to help reduce the impact of #COVID19 on low-cost private schools in Lagos. The educational sector is one of those severely impacted by the pandemic, with schools and vocational learning-centres shut since March. #EducationMeetsFunding pic.twitter.com/PrKjLhxBXq
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) September 25, 2020
He explained that the facility will benefit 2,000 low-cost schools with amounts ranging from N500,000 to N5 million.
“As a responsible Government, we are obligated to provide interventions that would enable learners in schools study in line with the new normal,” the Governor Sanwo-Olu added.
The Chief Executive Officer, First Bank Nigeria, Dr Adesola Adeduntan, said “With this partnership, we are sure that registered educational institutions in Lagos State will have access to funds at subsidised interest rates to meet their needs as they reopen at this auspicious time.”
Paga Group relocates to the UK
Oviosu announced that he is very excited about moving to and working with the UK government.
Paga Group has redomiciled from Mauritius to the United Kingdom (UK). The group is the holding company for its operations in Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the UK.
This was disclosed by the Chief Executive Officer and founder, Paga, Tayo Oviosu on Friday.
The Paga Group has redomiciled to the UK 🇬🇧!
The Paga Group is the holding company for our operations in all countries – Nigeria, México, Ethiopia, and the United Kingdom.
Very excited about this move and look forward to working with @tradegovuk to promote trade with the UK!
— Tayo Oviosu (@oviosu) September 25, 2020
Why it matters: The company took the decision due to bureaucratic challenges it faced last year.
He said, “The laws and courts of Mauritius are not very fast-moving, and the rules are difficult. I’ve had one court case that was eventually thrown out after a year.
“In the UK it would have been thrown out immediately, and the person would have had to pay us for our lawyer fees.
“Basically, not an easy place to do business. It is more painful than useful. I say stick to good ol’ America or UK or Netherlands or Luxemburg. Where you know there are professionals, and the legal system works.”
Oviosu said he is very excited about the move, looks forward to working with the UK government to promote trade with the UK.
The Paga Group has raised $34.7 million in funding so far, according to Crunchbase.