It is no longer news that the closure of Nigerian borders would affect traders generally, especially the ones that import goods/wares, but what is news is the effect of the development on the on-going Lagos International Trade Fair organised by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Several foreign exhibitors, who spoke with Nairametrics in separate interviews, said that the efforts of the Federal Government would boost patronage of Made-in-Nigeria products/services. They, however, argued that the interests of foreign traders exhibiting at the international fair were not considered.
According to them, preferences should have been given to the exhibitors in order to ease the burden of spending fortunes to importing their goods into the country.
A dealer in malaria prevention products and Chief Executive Officer, Exa Ventures, Doris Adoboe, called on the government to open the borders as she said it was affecting her sales.
She made known that apart from the fact that coming down for the fair wasn’t an easy feat, she had not been able to sell her products effectively because of the border closure.
Another exhibitor, Managing Director, Julicraft Creations, Juliet Anane, the producer of beads and garments based in Ghana, lamented that the border closure was terrible and narrated her encounter with the customs officials while coming to the fair.
She said, “The closure is very terrible they seized our goods, there were many challenges we faced coming here, they seized the goods and later returned them. The way they embarrassed us is not good even our dummies and everything, when we got to the station they said they aren’t taking any goods in.
“Apart from the one brought from the cargo, no dummy nothing else was allowed in. They said the border is closed. Meanwhile, your chamber sent us an invitation to come so it was a whole embarrassment here why would you invite me to come to trade Fair when I cannot bring all my goods in.”
Did the closure affect the exhibitions?
There is no guarantee if the border closure affected patronage on the part of exhibitors, but going by traders’ experience while trying to bring in their goods to the trade fair, Nairametrics understands that many of them faced different challenges just to ensure their goods were available for the fair and even at that, they were unable to bring all their goods.
Recall that Nairametrics had reported when the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) called on the Nigeria customs and Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA) to consider opening the borders for exhibitors coming to the fair from other West African countries.
Despite the challenges faced by exhibitors due to the border closure, many of them came in from Japan, Ghana, Cameroun, Ethiopia, among others. They were spotted bringing in goods, setting them up and putting finishing touches to their boots, stands and exhibition pavilions from furniture, to appliances, African fabrics, natural ingredients and so on.
Present at the International Trade Fair opening ceremony was the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr Obafemi Hamzat who restated that the vision of the fair was to promote trade and bilateral relations as well as creating favourable business conditions for all stakeholder in the country. He also praised the LCCI for being consistent with the fair over the past years.
He made known that the fair had been providing Lagos with marketing support through trade networking and he assured that the Lagos State Government would continue to be a partner so as to ensure that business empowerment is made more conducive for business and investment to thrive in the state.
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) boss, Babatunde Ruwase, during his address urged the government to create the right economic policies that would boost investors’ confidence in the country.
He said that no economy could thrive without a good composition of trade and commerce. Hence, he called on the government to create more opportunities for its rapidly growing population.
The LCCI President also advised the government to support the growth of Small and Medium Enterprises which would, in turn, drive employment.
Just in: Fuel scarcity looms as NUPENG directs Tanker drivers to withdraw services in Lagos
This was disclosed in a press statement by NUPENG on Friday, August 7, 2020.
The scarcity of petroleum products appears to be looming in Lagos as the leadership of Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has directed its members to withdraw its services in Lagos with effect from Monday, August 10, 2020.
This is due to the failure of government authorities to address the various issues that have been causing serious pains and harrowing experience on the petroleum tanker drivers in the state for several months now.
This was disclosed in a press statement by NUPENG on Friday, August 7, 2020.
NUPENG LEADERSHIP DIRECTS WITHDRAWAL OF SERVICES BY PETROLEUM TANKER DRIVERS IN LAGOS STATE WITH EFFECT FROM MONDAY, AUGUST 10, 2020
Read more:https://t.co/TV5sFoBOcO@followlasg#Lagos pic.twitter.com/tAuOpsMc3a
— NIGERIA UNION OF PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS WORKERS (@officialNUPENG9) August 7, 2020
President Buhari signs amended Companies Allied Matters bill
The President’s action on the document repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990.
President Muhammadu Buhari has assented to the Companies and Allied Matters Bill 2020, which was recently passed by the National Assembly.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by a media aide of President Buhari, Femi Adesina and shared by the Personal Assistant to the President, Bashir Ahmad, via his Twitter handle.
According to the statement, the President’s action on the document repealed and replaced the extant Companies and Allied Matters Act, 1990, and introduced several corporate legal innovations geared toward enhancing ease of doing business in the country.
— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) August 7, 2020
Key innovations in the new Act:
* Filing fee reductions and other reforms to make it easier and cheaper for small and medium-sized enterprises to register and reform their businesses in Nigeria;
* Allowing corporate promoters of companies to establish private companies with a single member or shareholder, and creating limited liability partnerships and limited partnerships to give investors and business people alternative forms of carrying out their business in an efficient and flexible way;
* Innovating processes and procedures to ease the operations of companies, such as introducing Statements of Compliance; replacing “authorised share capital” with minimum share capital to reduce costs of incorporating companies; and providing for electronic filing, electronic share transfers, e-meetings as well as remote general meetings for private companies in response to the disruptions to close contact physical meetings due to the COVID-19 pandemic;
* Requiring the disclosure of persons with significant control of companies in a register of beneficial owners to enhance corporate accountability and transparency; and
* Enhancing the minority shareholder protection and engagement; introducing enhanced business rescue reforms for insolvent companies; and permitting the merger of Incorporated Trustees for associations that share similar aims and objectives.
NNPC signs agreement with CNOOC, SAPETRO to end OML 130 disputes
The agreement is expected to help resolve disputes stemming from Oil Mining Lease (OML).
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), said it has signed a Head of terms (HoT) agreement with China National Offshore Oil Corporation(CNOOC) and an indigenous oil production firm —South Atlantic Petroleum (SAPETRO).
A statement that was issued by the state-owned oil company via Twitter, yesterday, noted that this is part of the efforts that have been undertaken towards resolving all the disputes stemming from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 130 Production Sharing Contract.
Today,@NNPCgroup signed a Head of Terms (HoT)with its partners CNOOC & SAPETRO,signifying a major milestone towards the resolution of all disputes related to Oil Mining Lease (OML)130 Production Sharing Contract.OML 130 consists of producing fields such as Akpo & Egina pic.twitter.com/VnLga9qmm9
— NNPC Group (@NNPCgroup) August 6, 2020
Nairametrics understands that the agreement, which is temporary, could also be instrumental towards resolving similar disputes between the NNPC and other oil companies. The NNPC had previously accused some of these oil firms of under-declaring crude exports for three years between 2011 and 2013.
Specifically, the NNPC alleged that the likes of Shell, Total, Chevron, and Eni under-reported crude oil exports in their oil fields to the tune of 57 million barrels. The NNPC even sought repayments valued at $12.7 billion from the oil companies, according to a suit filed before the Federal High Court in Lagos. The companies denied the accusations.
The new agreement is now expected to help resolve such disputes. Even the NNPC’s Group Managing Director, Mele Kyari. was quoted to have said the agreement is “a major milestone toward the resolution of all disputes.”