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Customs boss, Hameed Ali, discloses reason border reopening is delayed

The Comptroller-General of Nigerian Customs Service, Col Hameed Ali (retd.), said Nigeria’s land borders may not be opened soon, as some agreements are not made to curb smuggling activities. 

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Border closure retaliation: Nigerian goods get dumped by West African countries, Customs boss, Hameed Ali, discloses what’s delaying FG from reopening border 

The Nigerian land borders have been shut for about four months and it may be longer, as the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs Service, Col. Hameed Ali (retd) said they might not be opened soon.

Ali said Nigeria and the neighbouring countries were still developing strategies to combat the insecurity and smuggling activities in the border areas. It was reported that the conclusion had not been made on the border security involving Nigeria, Benin, Niger and Cameroon.

The Customs boss said he believed an agreement would be sealed soon but until then, the closure of the land border would remain. He said:

“We are still working with them (neighbouring countries). There are some parameters and we have reached a certain understanding by refining some of those things. 

“We need a process and a situation where our borders are secured and all the menace experienced at our borders will no longer be.”

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According to him, the Customs is still working on those parameters and certain policies would be relaxed at the borders as soon as it begins to get to the concluding stage. 

“But for now, we are still conducting our partial border closure under the drill and we are expecting that not too long from now when we get responsive adherence from our own neighbours, we will see how we can work together to fortify our border. 

“We are not only talking about Nigeria but we are also asking them to ensure that their own borders are fortified against illicit activities,” Ali said in a Punch report.

[READ MORE: Border Closure: Nigerian rice farmers are struggling to feed a rice-hungry nation)

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Buhari on border closure: Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed that he would not order the reopening of the country’s land borders till the final report of the committee set up on the matter was submitted and considered.

He insisted that the borders were not only shut to prevent smuggling of food items but to also combat the smuggling of arms and ammunition, as well as hard drugs being ferried into the country.

President Buhari said it was regrettable that the border closure was having a negative economic impact on the neighbouring countries but Nigeria cannot afford to endanger its people, particularly the youths.

 

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Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Companies

Multiverse forecasts N39.5 million profit in Q1 2021

The management of Multiverse Plc has projected a revenue of N76 million and a profit of N39.5 million in Q1 2021.

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Multiverse Mining and Exploration Plc has projected that in the first quarter of 2021, the mining and exploration company will generate N76 million in revenue, and post a profit of N39.5 million.

These projections were made by the company in a recent earnings forecast issued by the Management, and signed by the Corporate Secretaries of the company.

Key highlights of the earnings forecast for Q1 2021

  • Total revenue is projected at N76 million.
  • Turnover from agency sale is projected at N1 million.
  • Agency cost is s projected at N850 thousand.
  • Total expenses are projected at N7.8 million.
  • Operating Profit is projected at N67.3 million.
  • EBIT (Earnings Before Interest and Taxation) is projected at N67.3 million.
  • Interest Expense is projected at N27.8 million.
  • Profit after tax is projected at N39.5 million.

Key assumptions made to support the earnings forecast and projection of the company

The earnings forecast was made on the ground that there won’t be any significant change in the economic policies of the Federal Government, while the monetary policies of the CBN would not be altered significantly.

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The company also maintained that there would not be any industrial unrest that would affect its production and sales volume, while the profit of the company would not be pressured by rising costs of inputs, as prices of materials used in production shall be stable in the period under review.

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Companies

GCR affirms Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG)

Global Credit Ratings has affirmed Dangote Cement issuer ratings of AA+(NG) and A1+(NG).

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Dangote Cement Plc has announced that Global Credit Ratings has affirmed the cement manufacturer a long-term and short-term national scale issuer ratings of AA+ (NG) and A1+(NG) respectively.

According to the press release issued by the company, the rating which maintains a stable outlook on Dangote Cement would expire by November 2021.

In line with this, GCR reviewed existing bonds of the company and assigned the N100bn Series 1 Fixed Rate Bond of Dangote Cement a rating of AA+.

Why this matters

  • The ratings reflect Dangote Cement Plc’s status as Africa’s leading integrated cement manufacturer with a group-wide installed capacity of 45.6 million metric tonnes per annum across ten countries.
  • The stable outlook which was maintained by GCR reflects the extensive distribution network, significant scale economies and position as the largest corporations on the Nigerian Stock Exchange, with sound access to capital.
  • It is important to note that a rebound is expected within 18-24 months, on the back of strong base domestic demand.

What they are saying

Michel Puchercos, Chief Executive Officer, said:

  • Dangote Cement has shown great resilience in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a challenging environment. The Group continues to report strong cash generation while maintaining strong financial discipline. As Africa’s leading cement producer, we are committed to maximizing shareholder value creation.”

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Governor Sanwo-Olu says 24,000 students yet to resume in public schools

24,000 students in public schools are yet to return back after the reopening of schools, according to Governor Sanwo-Olu.

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Lagos orders removal of all unapproved street gates in the state to ease traffic, Sanwo-Olu to stop pension for former governors, deputies, #EndSARS: Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution to include Lekki toll gate incident – Sanwo-Olu, Lagos approves resumption of all classes in public, private schools, Lagos takes major step towards delivery of Fourth Mainland Bridge, Lagos to construct rail line to airport terminal for international passengers, COVID-19: Lagos State to begin curfew on Sunday to disinfect metropolis, Lagos state government discharges 7 more coronavirus patients, Lagos state will reverse to full lockdown, Sanwo-Olu to virtually inaugurate projects as he presents scorecard of first year in office, Lekki regional road: Sanwo-Olu revokes land titles of Elegushi Royal family, Lagos pays N1.3 billion into the RSA of 246 retirees, Lagos State to empower 2.5 million youths in Arts and Crafts

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has revealed that about 24,000 students in public schools are yet to come back after the reopening of schools following last year’s lockdown necessitated by the first wave of Covid-19 across the country.

This is as the governor said that resumption of school activities Monday, January 20, 2021, was a difficult decision to make in light of the second wave of Covid-19.

This disclosure was made by the governor while peaking during a press conference on Covid-19 update at the Lagos House, Ikeja on Tuesday.

Sanwo-Olu assured that it was the best decision for the children’s safety and long-term development, especially the most vulnerable ones.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu in his statement said, “Last year after the first lockdown and kids have to come back to school, we are still looking for about 24,000 of them that have not come back to school. So, there is a challenge if you keep them out for that long and their parents or guardians now turn them to other things instead of ensuring that they have time to come back for learning even if it is twice or thrice a week.

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“At least they have been registered since the beginning of a session and they can be monitored. If not, they will just be roaming the streets and become endangered. We have seen incidents of child abuse and all unprintable things that are being done to these children. So, we believe to a large extent that schools sometimes happen to be the safe haven for them. We have done the roster in which we ensure they keep social distance and we are monitoring,” he said.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that public and private schools below the tertiary level in Lagos State, On Monday, January 18, 2021, reopened for academic activities despite opposition from some stakeholders due to the second wave of coronavirus pandemic in the state.
  • Following the surge in the number of infections in the state, which is the epicentre of the disease in the country, there were complaints about the state of preparedness of the schools, especially the public ones, in adhering to the strict Covid-19 protocols and guidelines.

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