The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has announced its decision to distribute relief materials valued at N3.2 billion to Nigerians. The items are meant to be distributed in a bid to cushion the negative economic effects of the ongoing lockdown in the country due to Covid-19.
The approval to distribute the materials was given by the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd), according to a statement that was released by the NCS’ Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah.
The items, according to Attah, include 46,000 metric tons of (158 trailers), 30 trucks of vegetable oil (25l) 36,495keg, one truck of Palm oil 3,428 kegs, and 54 trucks of tomatoes paste 136,705 cartons. Other items include Spaghetti/Noodles (2,951 cartons and 1,253 packets), one truck of wrappers (Ankara) comprised of 828 bales, and one truck of lace fabric comprised of 2,300 rolls.
Reasons for the decision: Attah explained that the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic had elicited various reactions from Nigerians. According to him, many people advised the Service to share the seized items at its disposal to help Nigerians during this period.
Some people also insinuated that the Nigerian Customs Service had shared the seized items among themselves. However, this notion is false. And that is one of the reasons the approval was given to share the items. According to Attah, the approval was the Service’s way of contributing its quota to the Federal Government’s ongoing efforts to provide relief for Nigerians during this difficult time. He said:
“Reacting to pains associated with the effects of the lockdown in some parts of the country, some Nigerians have taken to the social media to call on Nigeria Customs Service to share seized rice and other edible items to members of the public.
“While some of these calls appear well intended, others had attempted to create the impression that Customs Officers have the liberty to use seized items as they deem fit. Some even mischievously impugned that the items may have already been shared to cronies. Nothing can be further from the truth.
“It is, therefore, necessary to explain that in line with the provision of section 167(2) of CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004, seized items upon condemnation and forfeiture to the Federal Government by a competent court of jurisdiction are kept in government warehouses pending Government directive on its disposal.”
The outbreak of the deadly Corona Virus (Covid-19) necessitated various and continuous actions by Government at different levels to prevent/stop the spread of the virus in Nigeria. pic.twitter.com/3DImjnPodu
— NIGERIA CUSTOMS (@CustomsNG) April 7, 2020
In the meantime, some Nigerians have taken to Twitter to berate the NCS for deciding to distribute the items which were apparently seized from importers. According to some of those who have criticised the decision, the Customs’ DG had at some point argued that foreign rice is poisonous and unfit for consumption. Why then is he deciding to distribute the poisonous rice at this point?
The only problem is that the CG of customs has said imported rice is poisonous.Why distributing?
— Galatians 6 :7 (@Dave_Suc) April 8, 2020
CG of customs said imported rice is poisonous. Now Buhari said that customs should share 150 trucks of rice for us. Who should we obey now? why are these my brothers putting us inside confusion?
— Danjuma Adubad (@Mallamgaskiyaa) April 7, 2020
They claimed imported rice is poisonous and now they want to share the same poisonous rice to the masses!
— Modebolanle (@modebolanle) April 7, 2020
Godwin Obaseki wins Edo State governorship election
Incumbent governor, Godwin Obaseki emerged winner in the Edo State gubernatorial election.
INEC has declared Godwin Obaseki the winner of the Edo State gubernatorial election. Mr. Obaseki will return as Governor for a second term.
The results were declared by INEC on Sunday afternoon after the results were counted from all LGA’s on Saturday.
Obaseki had 307,955 votes, which was enough to be declared a clear winner over Ize-Iyamu’s 223,619 votes.
Obaseki took to his Twitter handle to thank the people of Edo State. He stated, “”Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory!”
Words fail me in saluting our teeming supporters who displayed immense courage in the face of threats, intimidation and brutalization. The collective will of Edo people made it possible for us to triumph over godfatherism. Congratulations to all Edo people. This is our victory! pic.twitter.com/4X4Lfk3wMb
— Godwin Obaseki (GGO) (@GovernorObaseki) September 20, 2020
TikTok’s owner seeks $60 billion valuation in US deal as Oracle, Walmart take stakes
Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global.
TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance is seeking a valuation of $60 billion for its video-sharing app, as Oracle Corp and Walmart Inc take stakes in the technology firm’s US operations to address the security concerns of the Trump administration.
According to a report from Bloomberg, Oracle and Walmart have rights to buy 12.5% and 7.5% respectively of a newly established TikTok Global under an agreement that has gotten the approval of President Donald Trump.
The duo US firms would be paying a combined amount of $12 billion for their stakes if they reach an agreement with TikTok for the asking price of $60 billion.
The final valuation had not been set as the parties worked out the equity and measures for data security.
It was also stated that China is yet to approve the deal, although regulators are said to have expressed support for any transaction in which BtyeDance still maintains control of its valuable recommendation algorithms and other proprietary technology.
It would be recalled that President Donald Trump, had threatened to ban the ByteDance owned TikTok, over national security concerns, but which some analysts see as part of the row between US and China. This pressured ByteDance into the deal as they looked to avoid the ban by the US government.
The US officials had expressed concern that the personal data of as many as 100 million Americans that use the app were being passed on to the Chinese government.
ByteDance turned down the proposal of a full buyout from Microsoft Corp but rather agreed to Oracle’s offer in which the Chinese parent company will still maintain a majority stake in the technology firm.
Trump told reporters on Saturday, ‘’I approve the deal in concept. If they get it done, that’s great. If they don’t, that’s ok too.’’
Trump’s new stance appears to conflict with his earlier executive order for China’s ByteDance to divest from the video-sharing app’s operations in the United States.
ByteDance is in a race to avoid a ban on TikTok after the US Commerce Department said on Friday that it would block new downloads and updates to the app from Sunday.
According to market researcher, CB Insights, ByteDance is the most valued private start-up in the world at $140 billion. Under the proposed deal, ByteDance may end up owning as much as 80% of TikTok Global, which include the app’s operations in the US and the rest of the world excluding China. Venture firms like Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic may also acquire equity in the new business.
Lagos to shut Ojota’s axis of main carriage way of Ikorodu road for 3 months
The Commissioner advised all motorists to utilize alternative routes suggested during the stipulated time.
The Lagos State Government has announced the shutdown of the entire length of the main carriageway of Ikorodu Road from Ojota interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge from Monday, September 21, 2020, for a duration of 3 months.
This is development is part of the next phase ongoing rehabilitation work on Ikorodu Road which is set to commence from the Ojota Interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge and the Service lane inbound Lagos.
While making the disclosure, the Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederick Oladeinde, advised all motorists to utilize alternative routes suggested during the stipulated time for the repairs following the closure of the entire length of the main carriageway for reconstruction work.
Oladeinde in his statement said, “Vehicles coming from Maryland will be diverted at Odoyalaro into the Service lane and the BRT Corridor to link back the main carriageway at Ketu bus stop and Demurin junction respectively.’’
The commissioner gave an assurance that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and other law enforcement agencies will be available to direct traffic for free vehicular movement during the entire period of construction work.
While soliciting for the cooperation and support of residents and motorists that ply the axis, the Commissioner stated that the project is aimed at finding a lasting solution to the ever-busy road as well as to achieve the present administration’s traffic management and transportation policy objectives.
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The Lagos State Government is set to commence the next phase of repairs from Ojota Interchange to Ojota Second Pedestrian Bridge and the Service lane inbound Lagos, from Monday 21st of September, 2020 for a duration of three months.@jidesanwoolu @dr_oladeinde#ForAGreaterLagos pic.twitter.com/8mzYGauqpi
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) September 18, 2020