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
BUA Cement to commission second Kalambaina Cement Line in July 2021
BUA’s 3 million metric tpa cement line is set to be launched in July this year to help increase supply and stabilize prices of cement.
The second Kalambaina Cement Line of 3 million MTPA in Sokoto State, owned by one of the leading Cement manufacturing company, BUA Cement Plc, looks set to be commissioned in July this year.
In line with BUA Cement’s strategic midterm expansion programme, the cement plant will help to effectively scale up cement production, with the look to meet current and projected demand, as the Nigerian market is still greatly underserved.
Images of the plant surfaced on social media platform -Twitter- suggesting that the official launching of the plant could be imminent.
Why this matters
- The cement line when commissioned will add to the robust infrastructure of the cement tiger, and expand its installed capacity from 8 million MTPA to 11 million MTPA.
- This should help in cementing BUA’s position as the second-largest cement producer in terms of installed capacity, ahead of Lafarge Africa with 10.5 million MTPA capacity.
- This move will also help to unlock Pan-African opportunities for the company across the African Continent.
What you should know
- Recall that the Billionaire, Abdul Samad Rabiu, the founder of the BUA Group revealed in his statement at 2020 Institute of Directors Dinner, that BUA’s cement line of 3mmt per annum in Sokoto is expected to be commissioned in the middle of 2021.
- BUA has also signed a contract with the Chinese construction company, Sinoma CBMI, for the construction of additional three production lines, with an installed capacity of 3 million metric tonnes per annum each.
- According to Abdul Samad Rabiu, the 3 cement plants in Sokoto, Edo and Adamawa which will be constructed at the cost of $1.050billion, will be completed by the end of 2022.
- When completed, BUA’s total installed capacity of BUA Cement is expected to expand to 20 million MTPA.
BUA Cement at the moment is the third most capitalized company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange with a market capitalization in excess of N2.5 trillion behind MTN and Dangote cement.
Covid-19: US economy grappling with 10 million job losses, adds 379,000 jobs in February
The Covid-19 pandemic has led to the mandatory lockdown of major businesses and factories in the US.
The World’s biggest economy is grappling with the loss of 10 million jobs due to the Covid-19.
The Covid-19 pandemic led to the mandatory lockdown of major businesses and factories in the country. This meant downsizing for most companies who could not continue paying salaries with no incoming revenue
According to the Nasdaq, the unemployment rate in the United States economy was at its highest in April last year, reaching a record high of 14.7%. The unemployment rate dropped to 6% but that is still a significant number.
According to CNN, the US economy added 379,000 Jobs in February this year. This is a clear sign of the world biggest economy getting back on track. Although the US economy is still missing around 9.5 million jobs since the beginning of Covid-19.
According to Nasdaq, the most affected industries in the Covid 19 economic decline is the Hospitality and Outdoor industry. Hotels and restaurant workers were mostly put out of jobs. They also fall into a category regarded as the long-term unemployment category. This category is used to define those who have been without a job for 27 weeks.
Big government to the rescue
The United States government has rolled out the following packages to cushion the effect of the Covid 19:
- The Joe Biden Administration has postulated a 1.9 trillion Covid Relief Package for Americans. The Bill made it through a house vote and now needs to pass the senate-house too.
- Jobless American workers will be entitled to an extra $400 a week.
- The Joe Biden new relief bill will also contain a $1,400 stimulus check for citizens.
What to know
- The US economy is gradually shifting to the post-Covid-19 era adding 379,000 jobs in February alone. It added a paltry 166,000 jobs in January.
- The United States major economic rival China is already in the post-Covid-19 era, the only major economic country in the post-Covid-19 era.
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