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Business

LCCI urges FG to set up resolution mechanism between the Customs and business community

LCCI has urged the FG to create a dispute resolution framework to manage conflicts between the Customs and the business community.

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LCCI projects continuous weak investments in 2020, fiscal authorities
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The  Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has called on the Federal Government to create an Independent Appeal Mechanism to settle disputes between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the business community.

This was disclosed by the Director-General of LCCI, Dr Muda Yusuf, in a statement on Sunday in Lagos. The commerce boss said that a resolution framework was needed as Nigeria prepared to join the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“The LCCI calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to intervene by setting up an Independent Appeal Mechanism to deal with issues of valuation and HS classification between the Nigeria Customs Service and the Business community.

“This could be done within the framework of an Executive Order as this is necessary to restore the confidence of investors in the international trade process,” he said.

READ: LCCI urges FG to set up resolution mechanism between the Customs and business community

Mr. Yusuf added that the necessity of the framework was to ensure a balance between regulatory controls, revenue generation and trade facilitation functions of the Nigeria Customs Service.

He stated that the Nigerian business community had been left in a situation where most had to pay outrageous additional charges on imports, which distorted their investment plans and projections.

“Indeed, the biggest corruption risks in the interface between the Customs and the business community are around these two issues.

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“This situation is hurting investors across all sectors – Manufacturing, Agro-allied, ICT, Construction, Services etc,” he added.

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READ: Court slams N5 million fine on Nigeria Customs Service for collecting duty on personal effects

He said the present climate between Customs and the Business community hurt foreign investment into the country and also put at risk potential investment in Nigeria, as it undermined economic diversification prospects, depressed capacity utilisation and limited the scope for job creation.

“It is also not consistent with the vision to make Nigeria a top investment destination,” he added.

What you should know 

  • Recall Nairametrics reported that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) had announced that it generated a revenue of N1.5 trillion for the year 2020, a rise compared to N1.3 trillion in 2019.
  • The FG also announced the implementation of the reduction of import duty on vehicles and tractors from 35% to about 10%, which is a provision of the newly signed Finance Act 2020,  introduced by the Federal Government as part of measures to ease the cost of transportation across the country and reduce the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Business

Lagos agricultural sector to generate $10 billion in the next 5 years

The agricultural sector in Lagos state is projected to generate as much as $10 billion within the next 5 years.

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Lagos, Sanwo-Olu, Businesses that must remain closed after May 4
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The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has projected that the agricultural sector in the state could generate as much as $10 billion within the next 5 years.

This is as the governor noted that Lagos could no longer afford to rely exclusively on other states for its food, adding that it was time to unlock its immeasurable agricultural potential through the implementation of the 5-year roadmap.

This disclosure was made by the Governor at the formal launch of the state’s 5-year Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap, on Thursday, adding that most of the investments would be private sector-driven while the government acts as the catalyst and enabler.

Governor Sanwo-Olu opined that the Roadmap would also lead to wealth generation, value creation, food security, the industrialisation of the agricultural sector and the entrenchment of inclusive socio-economic development of the state.

He said that the roadmap essentially focuses on 3 pillars, which are: growth of the upstream sector, growth of the midstream and downstream sectors as well as improvement of private sector participation.

What the Lagos State Governor is saying

Sanwo-Olu, in his words, said, “Our strategies for sustainable Agricultural Development shall focus on three pillars. First, we will grow the upstream sector through interventions by leveraging technologies that are capable of lowering the cost of production of value chains; Focus on growing the midstream and downstream sectors that are of value and lastly, we will improve on private sector participation by developing and initiating policies that will encourage more private investments in agriculture.”

The projection is that the total investment in the Agricultural Sector from the government, private sector, donor agencies and development partners will run into over $10 billion in the next five years. While we expect most of the investment to be private sector-driven, the government will continue to provide the needed infrastructure while the private sector will be encouraged to lead the key projects.’

The governor pointed out that the state had already started the revamping of its Agricultural Land Holding Authority (ALHA) to support investment in agriculture, giving assurance that the coconut belt would also be strengthened with increased private sector involvement.

Sanwo-Olu listed some State’s landmark investments that will aid smooth delivery of the Roadmap to include the Lagos State Aquatic Centre of Excellence (LACE) that would boost fish production from 20% to 80%, the Imota Rice Mill, the Lagos Food Production Centre Avia, Igborosu-Badagry as well as other statewide agriculture-focused initiatives.

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He said, “I am greatly encouraged by the interest already generated in the Five-Year Agricultural Roadmap and I hope it will be sustained and backed with concrete action on the part of our development partners and the international community. I assure you that the Lagos State Government is putting in place deliberate incentives to make your investment safe, secure and profitable.’

Sanwo-Olu, therefore, urged potential and established stakeholders in the agricultural sector to partner with the state in order to transform the agricultural sector for food security, wealth generation, poverty eradication, economic diversification, rapid industrialisation and accelerated socio-economic growth.

Bottom line

This is a very laudable initiative from the Lagos State Government especially at a time the country is looking at diversifying its economy. The successful implementation of this programme with the expected benefits from the value chain will contribute significantly to the economic development of the state and the country in general.

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The investment in the transformation of agriculture to agribusiness is one way of achieving the dream of attaining self-sufficiency in food production and creating more wealth.

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Business

Bank needs to humanise customers – Aladdin CEO

Every customer needs a unique page where their details go beyond the account numbers.

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Customer, business, Polarization: How, attract, right, customers, ‘’wrong’,’ ones, out, A guide to identifying your profitable customers and improving your sales (1), customers, Customer Service: 9 ways to go from zero to hero in no time, How to implement customer feedback that will skyrocket your business growth
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Nigerian banks have been tasked to humanise all customers and not only treat them as just an account number. This is to say that banks should treat each customer uniquely and not assume a  one-size-fits-all.

These are the comments of the Chief Executive Officer, Aladdin Digital Bank, Darlington Onyeagoro. According to him, the continent, especially Nigeria needs a marketplace Digital Bank to humanise customers, a vacuum he said Aladdin will occupy.

He said, “By humanizing customers, we are putting a face to the name. You are not just an account number, you are a human being, and as humans, you need to eat, make money and other things.

“Each customer is unique; that is why for the first time, we are breaking barriers so we can reach each one personally. We run a platform structure where every customer has a unique page where their details go beyond the account numbers.”

He added that Aladdin Finance App, which is powered by PurpleMoney Microfinance Bank, will also be offering its customers free banking with no charge rates, where customers can carry out their transfers and transactions to other banks for free.

“Traditional banks charge N25 per transfer, but we are charging Zero Naira for now. We bear the cost for now. So, we offer free banking for at least between one to three months of our operation to encourage them. All transactions are free for now,” Onyeagoro added.

The app also has several features that will cater to each customer, including seamless customer service, rewards on savings, high-interest rates up to 16% (subject to money market reality), and access to different types of loans for emergencies.

To encourage savings for customers to meet their business and personal needs, Aladdin Bank will also be rewarding its customers through a weekly raffle draw on its online platform, where amounts saved from N5,000 and above with the bank will give each customer a virtual ticket for a raffle draw.

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“In that way, we are encouraging our customers to save towards their goals. For example, if you want to travel, pay your rent, children’s school fees, etc., whatever you want to do, you can set targets for yourself and save towards it. So, while you are saving towards your target, we are also paying you a competitive interest rate,” he added.

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What you should know

The co-founders and chief promoters of this project are Onyeagoro, Olayemi Nasiru and Avi Umukoro. Nasiru is a seasoned banker with over a decade of experience. He once held a Senior Management Position in one of the top commercial banks in Nigeria.

Umukoro, another top-flight banker, has over 12 years of consumer banking experience in one of the top-performing banks.

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