Efforts by the Government to curb importation of sugar has failed as report shows that Nigeria currently spends N57.2 billion on sugar importation.
Consequently, the Government’s poor protection of the local industry is stifling Nigeria’s sugar output, thereby leading to increased reliance on importation.
What measures were taken: In order to curb importation, the Government created incentives to boost domestic production of sugar which include the following: a five-year tax for investors in the value chain, 10 percent import duty and 50 percent levy on imported raw sugar, as well as 20 percent duty and 60 percent levy for imported refined sugar.
However, despite the incentives, current local production is just seven percent of the total consumption demand.
Heavy importation is affecting the Government: In 2012, the Nigerian Government created the Sugar Master Plan aimed at boosting domestic production of sugar to attain self-sufficiency by 2020. The plan also aims to contribute to the production of ethanol and the generation of electricity.
However, in view of recent developments, it appears Nigeria will not be able to meet up with its target by 2020 as importation rate keeps going high.
Factors responsible: According to several reports, factors that caused the decline in the production of sugar range from poor funding to insecurity in some of the sugar-producing areas.
A closer look at how this affects local industry: Recall that Nairametrics reported that Dangote Sugar Plc reported 44.8% profit decline for FY 2018. The company’s profit after tax dropped from N39.7 billion in 2017 to N21.9 billion in 2018. This is just as revenue dropped from N204.4 billion in FY 2017 to N150.3 billion last year, representing a 26.4 percent decrease.
Note that the activities of sugar importers and smugglers contributed immensely to this rather lacklustre performance by the company.
The Government needs to secure the border: In order to curb excess importation, the Nigerian Government must secure the country’s porous borders and implement the ban on all goods and commodities that threaten domestic production.
Unfortunately, Nigeria is expected to import about 1.7 million tons of sugar to meet local demand. Data from the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)’s shipping position revealed that two terminals at the Lagos Port Complex have taken delivery of 285,299 tons or 16.78 percent of the projected 1.7 million tons imports. The imports are valued at N57.2 billion ($156.9 million).
Note that the commodity accounts for the largest import bill in sub-Saharan Africa.
Sugar importation rate over the years: Last January, the shipping data indicated that 95,600 tons of sugar were discharged at Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) and Greenview Development Nigeria Limited (GDNL) of the port.
At GDNL, Cressida berthed with 46,900 tons, while Pearl Island offloaded 48,400 tons at Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited of the port.
Also in February and March, 2019, SFL Humber and Glovis Maine offloaded 45,600 tons GNDL and 44,900 tons at GNDL respectively.
Florinda 1 and Ocean Eagle ferried 46,599.254 tons and 52,600 tons into ABTL respectively in April.
Brazil currently controls 80 percent of Nigerian market share. Between 2017 and 2018, no fewer than 3.69 million tons of sugar were imported into the country.
School Resumption: Parents commend Lagos Govt, request e-learning infrastructure support for public schools
Government reopening of schools has no doubt been welcomed by concerns by some parents.
Parents of students in leading private schools in Lagos, including Meadow Hall, RMS, Wellspring College, Christ College, Children International School, Alpha Soteria, and many more, are happy with the Lagos State Government’s resolution to re-open schools on the 21st of September.
72.73% of parents surveyed expressed confidence that their children’s schools are COVID-19 complaint and ready, while 27.27% are not sure the schools are ready. The above stats show that the efforts of the government in making sure the schools are well-prepared to resume during this pandemic are paying off and parents are grateful for this; however, 54% of the parents want a new session to start from 21st of September, effectively canceling the 3rd term like other state governments have done.
About 60% of the parents surveyed said that they got value for money from online schooling for their wards, but the challenges were many. They implored the Lagos State Government to work with the schools in solving these challenges, which include:
- Contents not rich and extensive enough
- Work overload without assessment
- Feedback mechanism from teachers and performance ratings for the children not properly done
- No time focused /attention per child, making lecture times ineffective
- Some parents also said it was stressful navigating the platforms
- The greatest of all issues mentioned was data, as many lectures were held via video streaming for hours daily
In all, the parents commended the efforts of the teachers who, regardless of the challenges, tried their best to get the children engaged during the lockdown period. They did this, even without proper warning or planning for online schooling.
Over 90% of the parents surveyed had attended public schools in the past; they encouraged the state government to do more for the public schools in this new normal digital education era, so that public school children wouldn’t be disadvantaged and lag behind.
The parents asked that public schools be equipped with e-learning facilities, internet access for teachers, an internet library for the students, training to skill up teachers in the use of Information Technology for teaching, and laptops for the schools. They also requested that government provides low-cost funding for required resources.
In all of this, 60% of the parents surveyed said they are willing to support the government, in a bid to digitally empower the public schools in the state.
Speaking to Sobowale Temiloluwa, CEO, Intelligent Interactive Limited, a digital analytics and technology company on the survey, he said:
“There can be no progress without measurement and feedback, whilst the government is doing their bit, they need to get feedback from all stakeholders, including parents, in order to innovate and improve. The pandemic came as a shock to all, and we were all forced to go online, without adequate preparation. Having done this for months, we need to look back, see where we performed well, and where we performed poorly and improve.”
On public schools he said:
“In the new normal, everyone needs access to the internet, and these resources must be provided, else, the public school children will lag behind. However, this Government cannot do it alone, parents that have benefited from the public schooling system in the past must also support the government to achieve the task of empowering all children with access to digital tools for education.”
“Many global technology giants in Nigeria and Globally, are supporting governments with grants and tools to aid e-learning, the government can reach out to these top companies for help and partnerships. But it must be known that digital education has come to stay, and there must be moves to scale up, so we can meet up with the demands of this new normal period,” he concluded.
Below are the results of the survey conducted:
Lagos shuts 3 container terminals, hotel in Amuwo Odofin, seals 17 buildings in Lekki
The government has moved to seal illegal terminals and unapproved structures in the state.
The Lagos State Government has moved to stop activities of the illegal container terminals with the sealing up of 3 illegal locations along Festac Link Bridge, Amuwo Odofin. This also includes the one used for batching sand underneath the bridge, among others.
The state government, in its continued clampdown on illegal structure, sealed off 17 buildings at Oniru Estate, Lekki and several others along Oniru Beach. It also sealed the Festival Hotel and a 9-floor serviced apartment illegally renovated in Amuwo Odofin.
This disclosure was made by the Lagos State Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr. Idris Salako, while supervising the sealing off of the facilities, in the company of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Urban Development, Ganiyu Adele Ayuba, and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Arc. Foluso Dipe.
Salako noted that the existence of container terminals and docks must be controlled in order to forestall abuse of the physical environment and ensure environmental sustainability.
He explained that the container terminals, some of which also operated unapproved docks, are located indiscriminately in apparent contravention of the Lagos State Urban and Regional Planning Law 2019 which stipulates that prospective developers must obtain Planning Information and Planning Permit as necessary conditions for locating such facilities.
While ordering the removal of the container trucks along Festac-Mile 2 link-bridge, the Commissioner said that the State Government would not condone the existence of illegal terminals or similar facilities across the metropolis in view of their impacts on the infrastructure and natural resources of the State.
Salako urged anyone interested in setting up such facilities to approach the Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development for Planning Information, which would give informed advice on approvable locations, and also obtain a Planning Permit from the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA).
The Lagos State Government, on Thursday, sounded a note of warning to all illegally operated container terminals in the State as it sealed three illegal locations along Festac Link-Bridge, Amuwo-Odofin, including the one used for batching sand underneath the bridge, among others. pic.twitter.com/KuekLY5pXG
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) September 18, 2020
Fire guts fuel tanker, vehicles at Anthony, Lagos
The tanker conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
There is a fire outbreak, which has gutted a fuel tanker, at Anthony inward Gbagada, Lagos State.
This was disclosed by the Federal Fire Service via its Twitter handle on Friday evening. The incident, which occurred around 10 pm, has razed at least two vehicles.
First responders and other Emergency agencies are already at the scene of explosion in Anthony, Lagos State, Nigeria. Please avoid the area, take alternative routes.
— Federal Fire Service (@Fedfireng) September 18, 2020
The agency urged road users to avoid the area and take alternative routes.
Also, the Director-General of the Lagos State Emergency Agency, Dr Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu, confirmed the incident.
He said, “The Agency responded to distress calls and upon arrival at the scene of incident, it was discovered that a tanker with unknown registration number conveying PMS lost control while in motion and subsequently fell sideways.
“This led to an explosion in which two unidentified vehicles were burnt.”
A joint team of responders led by the Federal Fire Service, LASEMA, LASG fire service, LRU fire unit, Nigeria Police and LASTMA are working together to curb the inferno from escalating further.
Details soon …