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Latest News In Nigeria Today 2016

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Latest News in Nigeria: Expert says way from recession, agricultural export

Mr Offon Udoffia, an export specialist, on Friday, stressed the requirement for storage and increased processing of agricultural products for export as one of Nigeria’s way out of the present recession.

Udoffia stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja as he proposed moves that may be taken to pull the economy from slump.

He said that an aggressive promotion of agricultural value chain wouldn't only restore economic buoyancy but create job opportunities.

He added that "40 per cent of our crops are wasted because of the insufficient export value chain; we have to process more.

"We must think of means of keeping our agricultural products so as to avoid wastage.’’

Udoffia, who is the Chairman of Rivers/Bayelsa Shippers Association (RIBASA), said it was time for Nigeria to look inwards for economical innovations and actions for a virile economy.

He noted the siting of pawpaw processing businesses and cashew nuts for exports wouldn't only create wealth, but employment opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.

The expert, who's into palm and cashew oil exportation, said if a 250 metric tonne of cashew nuts factory is created in Nigeria, more than 500 youths will get occupations.

" If, nevertheless, we establish a 500 metric tonne of the cashew nuts factory, surely over 1,000 youths will attain employment.’’

But he reiterated the requirement for renewed export value addition to avert wastage.

NAGAFF hails Customs’ N95.7bn earnings in August

The National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) on Friday commended the Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) for generating a record sales of N95.7 billion in August.

He described the amount, the highest in a decade, as a feat and advocated the earnings collecting service to do all it could to improve the amount in the interest of the economy.

"This is a huge feat. We commend the Customs with this achievement and we are encouraging them to keep up the tempo as well as improve to help the market in these recession times.

In just as much as the Customs are being congratulated by us on this, we enjoin them to go with a human face about their operations.

"They ensure that their company was conducted in ways the interests of stakeholders are not damaged and should check the activities of the bad eggs.

Again, we wish them well within their attempts to enhance sales and commend the Customs for the feat, " he said.

The NAGAFF's National Publicity Secretary, Mr Stanley Ezenga, gave the commendation within an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria(NAN) in Lagos.

NAGAFF was described by Ezenga as a major stakeholder in the maritime sector and called for a better business relationship between the Customs and freight forwarders.

Murray-Bruce FG’s plan is backed by to concession airports

Sen. Ben Murray-Bruce, Chairman, Senate Committee on Privatisation, on Friday backed the plan of the Federal Government to concession the four major airports in the state.

Murray Bruce also said his committee was prepared to ease whatever laws were required to fast track the procedure.

He talked at a Stakeholders’ Seminar on Privatisation/Concession of Nigerian Airports organised by CheckinNigeria, an aviation and travel consulting firm, in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the government had indicated interest to concession the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports, towards increasing their capability and efficacy.

The senator said: The most successful and best airports and all the nations with flourishing aviation sectors are states that have privatised their aviation industry and their airports "As I speak to you personally today.

My committee is prepared to facilitate whatever laws are required to track the privatisation of our airports.

"We are also determined to ensure that Nigeria’s privatisation laws have clause that is irreversibility and irrevocable, so that no new authorities can only come in and reverse what the previous government did with the strike of a pencil."

According to him, Nigeria cannot make progress if the privatisation exercise is in jeopardy every time there's change of government.

He said that international and local investors must be made to have confidence in the system.

"It's the occupation of the Senate Privatisation Committee to ensure Nigeria has good, practical and workable laws for the advancement of her national economic interests and my job.

"we're committed to this endeavor as well as to supervision duties for the purpose of ensuring that what must be done ends up being done," Murray-Bruce said.

The lawmaker also urged the government to find an urgent means to fix the challenges in the aviation industry.

"The alarming speed at which airlines are either failing or leaving Nigeria must be stopped.

Business will suffer, the economy isn't going to improve, If people cannot transfer from point A to point B fast, and the downturn will last longer. This really is an emergency!

"I advocate the authorities to take firm action to save our aviation industry; help them reduce their taxes.

"Government officials should patronise national airlines rather than foreign airlines. Help insurance is secured by them.

"But above all, we must do something to intervene before we have no choice than to drive from spot to location."

Additionally talking, Dr Harold Demuren, former Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) urged great corporate governance, transparency and reduction of government interference in the actions of the aviation industry agencies.

Demuren said that though concessioning of the airports was an excellent development, the failure of authorities to honour preceding concession arrangements had led to unending court cases in the sector.

"My advice is that authorities must review all present dilemmas before getting into another concession arrangement with new investors and litigations which originated from preceding concessions,," he said.

Nevertheless, Capt. Noggie Meggison, Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria and Capt. Dele Ore, a former President of the Aviation Round Table, said concessioning of the airports was the greatest move by the government.

According to them, this will increase the operational efficiency and profitability of the airports, stimulate increase in the non-oil sector and make Nigeria attractive as a regional hub.

Earlier in his welcome address, Mr Michael Chikeka, Chief Executive Officer, Checkin Nigeria, said the conference was organised to debate on the current issues affecting the aviation industry and proffer options on the way forward.

Restructuring to nurture economic growth, says Nigerian aviation minister Amaechi

Mr Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, said that the Government embarked on "restructuring various parastatal agencies to foster an economy that is strong, transparent and liable ’’.

"The FG in its efforts to creating an economy that's vibrant and sustainable and in line with best international practices, embarked on repositioning and restructuring various parastatals under the ministry, such as the NPA and NIMASA.

Amaechi made the statement at the inauguration of the governing boards of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in Abuja.

"NIMASA has two comprehensive mandates — to promote the development of indigenous commercial shipping capacity in international and coastal shipping trade.

"And, boost and to additionally control maritime maritime labour and safety, security, marine pollution.

"Your obligations as governing board members comprise setting operational administrative policies in accordance with government policy directives geared toward helping the bureau.

"When it really is realised the maritime sector is one of the most significant revenue earners after the petroleum sector, it behoves on our board to develop policies that are concrete,’’ he said.

He said that the target of the board members was to ensure that the NPA was elevated into a higher pedestal that would make it the heart of marine business in both west and central African sub region.

Adesoye said the board would be collaborating with the management of the ministry of transportation to ensure quick passage into law of the Ports and Harbour Bill at the National Assembly.

Additionally talking, the Chairman of the NIMASA board, Mr Jonathan Garba, said the board members would work together to realize the goals of setting NIMASA up.

He said that they would review the operations of the Maritime Security Implementation and Regulatory Agency and other critical issues to actualise the mandate of NIMASA.

Garba said that they would also work to ensure conformity with laws that were extant to achieve mandate and the president’s vision of accountability.

"To reach its mandate, your duty will additionally require formulation of broad policies directed at attaining the set objectives of the agency,’’ the minister declared.

Amaechi, nevertheless, encouraged the board of NIMASA to ensure the fund properly accounted for and that the cabotage fund was completely utilised for the purpose that was right.

The minister said that the boards were responsible for establishing operational administrative policies with authorities’s policy directives, aimed at helping NPA and NIMASA to reach their mandates.

He said they were charged with duties of fulfilling the mandate of the power to build, develop ports, docks, harbours, piers, wharves, canals, water courses, revetment, embankment and jetties.

The Chairman of the NPA board, Mr Emmanuel Adesoye, commended for giving the board members the privilege to serve the country President Muhammadu Buhari,.

"Truly, the role of NPA in the industrialisation and growth of Nigeria’s economy especially at this website has up-to-date information period of economic downturn cannot be overemphasised.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that members of the governing board of NPA and NIMASA were named by President Muhammadu Buhari on Aug. 26.

Other members of the NPA board are Umar Shu’aibu, Suleiman Halilu, Constance Mashal, Olasupo Shasore and Charles Sylvester.

The other members are Idris Abubakar, Mohammed Koko, Sekonte Davis, Hadiza Usman and Uche Okoro.

Members of the NIMASA board are Gambo Ahmed, Bashir Jamoh, Joseph Fashakin, Adeniyi Osinowo, Asekomhe Kenneth and Mohammed Muazu.

Other members are Ebele Obi, S. U. Galadanchi, Nene Dike and Dakuku Peterside.

FG ready to pay for Chibok Girls’ release

Friday the government would investigate the option of paying for the release of the Chibok Girls who were kidnapped by Boko Haram, special advisor to President Muhammadu Buhari on media and marketing, Femi Adesina told BBC.

If it needed paying the president said, Nigeria was prepared to pay. He's said that in the public domain before that if they needed cash, Nigeria could give cash," Adesina said.

The girls were kidnapped on April 14, 2014, from their school in Chibok town, Borno, by Boko Haram.

Asked why was the government willing to pay a ransom for the girls to be released, the presidential spokesman said Buhari was not unwilling to pay the ransom because he wanted the girls out of captivity at all price.

"Whatever needs to be done to get those girls back alive, he was not unwilling to do," Adesina said.

"You need certainly to contemplate these girls happen to be for over two years in captivity. Their parents have been traumatised, the whole state has been traumatised. The president himself is a dad. He set himself in the place of the parents of those girls."

Buhari had vowed to save the kidnapped women but their families and Bring Back Our Girls, a movement that's been campaigning for purposeful government actions on the rescue of the girls, aren't convinced the government was doing enough.

" I have made a number of remarks and it appears that much of it's been politicised," Buhari said during an interview with journalists in Nairobi.

‘What we said is the government which I preside over is prepared to discuss to bonafide leaders of Boko Haram.

If they do not need to speak to us directly, make them decide on an internationally recognised Non-Governmental Organisation to convince them that the girls are being held by them and that they desire Nigeria to release.

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