…produces 185,000 tons in 2 years
Barely two weeks into the New Year have seven vessels arrived three Nigerian ports with 212,425 tons of wheat, even as local production dropped to 60,000 tons from 65,000 tons in the last three years.
Nigeria had already taken delivery of 1.77 million tons or N163 billion ($804.6 million) worth of the grain between 2015 and 2017 from United States U.S.
At the Lagos Port Complex this week, Greenview Development Nigerian Limited (GDNL) terminal, Kiana and Genco Rhone berthed with 29,700 tons and 42,000 tons of wheat respectively.
Also, at the Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL) of the port complex, two ships have been moored to discharge 82,000 tons.
The ships are Desert Osprey with 42,000 tons and Atlantic Eagle, 40,000 tons. Karteria and Wide Rose have arrived JosepDam at Tincan Island Port with 20,200 tons and 22,525 tons respectively, while Desert Calm is being expected to arrive with 16,000 tons at Calabar Port this week.
Meanwhile, plans by the Federal Government to cut importation of wheat by 50 per cent since 2017 had been defeated as local production dwindled continuously.
In 2017, the country imported 4.5 million metric tons of the grain valued at $2.05 billion at the global price of $454.6 per metric ton.
Currently, the country’s production stands at 60,000 metric tons instead of the proposed 1.5 million metric tons in 2017 plans under the Federal Government’s wheat transformation agenda.
Government had said that it would increase national production from 300,000 metric tons to about 1.5 million metric tons per annum by 2017 and generate one million jobs in the rural areas.
It was gathered that Nigeria’s wheat production had remained static at 60,000 tons per annual since 2015.
Currently, the country can only meet two per cent of the national demand as wheat growers have fled their farms due to the activities of Boko Haram in the northern parts of the country.
According to U.S. Census Trade Data report, Nigeria, the third largest U.S. wheat consumer, buys nearly 10 per cent of total U.S. wheat exports, with nearly $700 million in 2014.
As U.S. market share for Nigeria’s wheat imports increases, it was gathered that farmers were shifting from corn production because of unprofitable market prices and lack of storage facilities for maize.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government, in 2014, increased wheat imports duty from five per cent to 20 per cent to cut imports. Government also introduced 65 per cent levy on wheat flour imports and raised duty from 35 per cent to 100 per cent.
TCIP Customs explains cargo clearance delays at port
The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said the recent in cargo clearance being witnessed by importers and Customs Brokers at the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos is because the NCS Internet Server was down thus impeding cargo documents processing.
This was disclosed by the Tin Can Island Customs Public Relations Officer, CSP Tony Ejesieme during a chat with the Sunday Telegraph on Wednesday at the port city of Apapa.
Ejesieme noted that the internet network breakdown as experienced by the Service could cause delay at anytime and was not the fault of the NCS but that of a bad weather.
The PRO, who admitted that there was delay in cargo release, said the command had not captured any importers for cargo release but was optimistic that the network would surge back and cargo clearance processing would commence immediately.
“We have not been able to work since morning as no importers have been captured. This is another delay; issuing debit note has become a problem. But the network will certainly come back and we will commence work immediately,’’ said he.
According to him, the major reasons for delay were non-compliance with import guidelines, wrong classification and declaration by importers, and lack of working scanners.
He, however, absolved the Service of any complicity and maintained that the NCS works based on procedure. ‘’Whatever we are doing is based on procedure and in accordance with the import laws. It is true that there is delay; if there are issues of infraction, there will be delay,’’ he said.
Ejesieme also caused by lack of scanners, saying that all scanners in all the ports in Lagos have broken down completely except only one in Apapa which could not handle all cargo in the port and that is why many cargos are routed to physical examination.
‘’Scanners are not working; only one is working in Apapa, no one in Tin Can. The issue of scanners has to be settled and we have engaged government on it.’’
Advising importers and customs agents to adhere to the import guidelines, he said that the security of nation as the nation approaches the general elections in 2019 would not be compromised as the Service is working with other government agencies to protect the territorial boundaries of the nation.
UBA Foundation reading through regions in Africa
As part of its mission to improve the lives of communities in which the United Bank for Africa operates, UBA Foundation said it has continued to encourage African youths to adopt the culture of reading through its ‘Read Africa’ initiative.
Read Africa aims to rekindle the reading culture amongst young Africans. Designed and introduced in 2011 by the UBA Foundation, the initiative has donated hundreds of thousands of books to African schools since its inception.
This past week, The Foundation took its initiative to the francophone city of Libreville to the students of the George MABIGNATH high school in Gabon.
The launch of Read Africa in Gabon saw in attendance, the author of the selected book Sidonie, written by famous Gabonese writer Chantal Magalie MBAZOO.
It was a colorful ceremony that witnessed the CEO of the Foundation, Bola Atta reading to and interacting with the students in high energy in the presence of their Principal, Mrs. Boudounghou Biboutou Isabelle and other staff members.
Bola Atta summarized the Foundation’s initiative saying, “At the UBA Foundation, we are committed to improving the lives of the youths on the continent and one of the ways we can achieve this is to help you read more. I am here to talk to you a little about the importance of reading and how it can radically change your life. Reading encourages you to dream, it expands your knowledge, your vocabulary. It is a path to achieving your ambitions”.
Chioma Mang, the CEO of UBA Gabon also reiterated the mission of UBA and emphasized the bank’s commitment to the Gabonese community. “ I love children and I am happy to be here with you all today. I’d like to encourage you to read very well so that you can reach great heights in your life like me. UBA is going to be there for you all the way. You can count on us”, she said.
The Read Africa initiative then moved on to Zambia to the Horizon Secondary School in Lusaka where the Director in the ministry of higher education in charge of Vocation, Education and Training, Mr. Alex Simumba, thanked UBA and the Foundation for the good work that is being done across Africa. He said, “To UBA Foundation, we thank you for your support to the institution today. We welcome this and many more collaboration in the field of literacy and other higher education programmes. We also further encourage other private sector organisations to take a keen interest in such programmes because the youths who are receiving these literary materials will be benefitting greatly from them,” he said.
Shell has disbursed N1.88bn to GMoU clusters in Delta State
The General Manager, External Relations, SPDC, Mr. Igo Weli has said that Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) is still active in Delta State noting that the oil giant has executed a lot of projects in the state.
According to him, the oil giant has disbursed a total sum of N1.88 billion to Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) in clusters.
Igo Weli, who disclosed this when he spoke with newsmen in Warri on Thursday, revealed that the GMoU funding covers the three clusters currently active in Delta State since the inception of the concept in 2006, adding that Cluster Development Boards (CDBs) like their counterparts in other parts of the Niger Delta, are implementing health and educational projects among others.
During the media presentation of the 2018 Shell Nigeria Briefing Notes to Journalists, he also disclosed that Shell has established a Professorial Chair at the Federal University of Petroleum Resources, Effurun (FUPRE,) as it continues to operate in the state and contribute to its development.
Weli explained that the Professorial Chair in Light Weight Automobile Engine Development was activated at FUPRE in December last year and is the latest of six established by SPDC JV, noting that the Chair at Effurun is expected to contribute to the growth of local content in Nigeria’s automobile industry.
He added that in a bid to boost employment especially among youths, more than 700 young men and women have benefited from Shell’s LiveWIRE initiative between 2003 and 2017.
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