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Port loses N84 billion to SON’s system failure in 14 days

The server of SON cost the port industry to lose N84 billion in the past two weeks after it failed to link importers to the Customs server.

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SON’s system failure costs port N6 billion in 14 days, clearing agents threaten lawsuit 

The system failure witnessed by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) at the port has caused the industry to lose N84 billion within the past two weeks. The failure, which hindered the link between importers and Customs’ server for clearance of goods, led to an estimated loss of N6 billion daily for the past 14 days.

The system failure occurred due to an upgrade being carried out on it. Uploading the SON’s Conformity Assessment Programme code into the system to get the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report has been unsuccessful for importers.

What’s the problem? It was disclosed that the applications used by government organisations were not developed for Nigeria and the processes were also not domesticated. This boils down to why the new system was problematic for importers, who were used to the former system.

This was disclosed by an Information and Communication Technology expert, Tunji Olaosun, who advised that SON needed to contact the developer of the application in order to resolve the problem because, without the involvement of the developer, all proffered solution would not solve the problem.

“If it is sending error message back, it means there is a problem in the connection between the developer and SON. If the person is not in Nigeria, they either reach them or build the system from scratch,” he told Punch in a report.

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[READ MORE: Nigerians react as 7.5% VAT increase affects phone calls, SMS)

Short-term solution to the problem: According to Olaosun, the immediate solution to such system failure is to switch back to manual. He said this would enable SON to clear the importers to get their Pre-Arrival Assessment Report

“There is always a sail safe mode so that in an unlikely situation that the electronic system breaks down, you could switch to the alternative.”

Meanwhile, the Vice-President of Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, Kayode Farinto, agreed to the manual process. He said that clearing agents should be allowed to clear regulated cargo while Customs can send their officials later to the consignees’ warehouses for further checks.

SON threatened with a lawsuit: SON is being threatened by the clearing agents. Farinto said the body would have no choice but to take the matter to court if the system failure continues after 24 hours. Farinto made the threat after suggesting that the Customs should assist with solutions to the system failure.

He opined that the system failure could have been caused because SON engaged a system analyst that isn’t familiar with its software or didn’t carry along the Customs during the upgrade. Farinto said the failure in SON’s system had constituted an impediment to cargo clearing because the organisation’s regulated cargo was about 35%.

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Farinto disclosed that clearing agents had been paying huge demurrage for a problem they didn’t cause. Demurrage is a fee charged by the owner of a chartered ship for failure to load or discharge the ship within the time agreed.

[READ ALSO: See the impacts 2019 Finance Act will have on the capital market)

He stated that “Nigerian port is losing N6 billion daily as a result of the system collapse in SON, if this is not addressed in 24 hours, there would be chaos in cargo clearance.”

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Meanwhile, another stakeholder, Ayokunle Sulaiman, disclosed that due to the situation, N20,000 was paid daily by clearing agents as demurrage.

But Farinto said that clearing agents can’t afford to pay demurrage anymore, so the government needs to declare force majeure to prevent the loss of billions of naira. Companies often declare force majeure when an unforeseeable circumstance prevents them from fulfilling a contract.

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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Just-in: Air Peace to recall some sacked pilots after Minister’s intervention

Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots, giving its staff the best remuneration package.

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Boeing 737 Max crash, Air Peace crash, Ethiopian Airlines crash, Lion Air crash, Allen Onyema, Chairman and CEO Air Peace

Air Peace would soon recall some of the pilots that were sacked recently. This coming after the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had intervened.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Aviation via its Twitter handle on Tuesday.

The recall was the fall-out of an intervention meeting called by the Minister between the airline management and the leadership of the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) held in his office on Tuesday.

Back story: Nairametrics reported as Nigerians woke up to the news that Air Peace had sacked about 70 pilots under its employment across its fleet and also reduced staff salaries by 40%. The airline said the exercise was due to the devastating impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on its business.

It added that the move was made to protect the majority of the existing jobs and the possibility of creating new ones in the future, as well as ensuring the survival of the airline.

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In the verbal agreement, Chairman, Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema acceded to the Minister’s appeal for the recall of the maximum number of pilots that the airline can accommodate without going under.

Chairman, NAAPE, Galadima Abednego explained that as a union it was a painful thing to see a large number of their members thrown into the labour market, and further appealed to employers of labour to see the union members as partners, and not adversaries.

On his own, Onyema expressed his sadness and disappointment over what he called the ingratitude of some of the airline’s pilots after everything is done to make them comfortable on their jobs.

He recalled how Air Peace had trained over 80 pilots and an equal number of aircraft engineers, giving its staff the best remuneration package within the sector only for them to disappoint at a time their understanding was needed.

He however commended Senator Hadi Sirika for providing the required leadership to the industry and promised his full cooperation in ensuring the growth of the aviation sector in Nigeria.

The Aviation Minister called for the understanding of everyone, especially the Labour unions, of the prevailing situation in the aviation industry, saying it was not the time for unnecessary upheavals.

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He commended Chief Onyema for his enormous contributions in developing the industry, but appealed to him to recall the maximum number of the sacked pilots that the airline can comfortably accommodate in the prevailing circumstances to which airline operator agreed.

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Coronavirus

WHO gives condition for approving Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as the vaccine gets a name

Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V for the foreign markets.

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Vaccine, COVID-19: Russia to roll out vaccine in September ahead of the West 

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that any form of approval of prequalification of the Russian vaccine will require rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.

This disclosure was made by the spokesman of the WHO, Tarik Jasarevic, during a United Nations briefing in Geneva about clinical trials.

He said that the UN health agency and the Russian health authorities are currently discussing the process for possible WHO prequalification for its newly approved COVID-19 vaccine.

Tarik Jasarevic, during the UN briefing in Geneva said, “We are in close contact with Russian health authorities and discussions are ongoing with respect to possible WHO prequalification of the vaccine, but again prequalification of any vaccine includes the rigorous review and assessment of all required safety and efficacy data.”

Meanwhile, in a related development, Russia has named its first approved COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V and it is available for foreign markets. The name references the world’s first satellite, which marked a symbolic accomplishment for the USSR during the cold war and space race era. Now, the Russian Government basks in its success at becoming the first country to approve a vaccine for COVID-19.

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The head of Russia’s Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) pointed out that Russia had already received requests from more than 20 countries for 1 billion doses of its newly registered COVID-19 vaccine.

Nairametrics had earlier reported today the announcement of the registration of the first COVID-19 vaccine in what could be described as a step ahead of other vaccine developments. The Russian President, Vladimir Putin, who made the disclosure during a televised government meeting, said that Russia had become the first country in the world to grant regulatory approval to a COVID-19 vaccine after less than 2 months of human testing.

However, the speed at which Russia is moving to roll out the vaccine has prompted some western countries and international scientists to question whether the Russian government is putting national prestige ahead of solid science and safety.

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Business

Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement

The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched to provide risk solutions for investors.

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Nigeria signs African Trade Insurance Agency agreement, Xenophobia, FG returns tollgates sixteen years after Obasanjo scrapped it from federal roads

President Muhammadu Buhari has signed the instrument of accession agreement for Nigeria for the establishment of the African Trade Insurance Agency. This was announced by the Federal Government on Monday night.

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The agreement is coming after the Federal Executive Council ordered that an instrument be prepared and forwarded for execution.

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The African Trade Insurance Agency was launched in 2001, to provide risk solutions for investors, after the East African economic Union (COMESA) executed a World bank funded study to discover why Africa does not attract more Foreign Direct Investments.

READ ALSO: GEEP provides COVID-19 palliative microloans to 87,614 traders

The organization said it added credit insurance to its portfolio in 2006 after its members identified global trade as a major pillar of growth in the continent which has seen it grow as a market leader for risk mitigation in Africa.  The ATI also attracts funding from the African Development Bank and World Bank

Nigeria joining the agreement would provide Nigeria with the necessary insurance financing to increase investment inflows into the country and improve economic productivity.

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