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NNPC Blames #EndSARS Protests, As Fuel Queues Return

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NNPC

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, yesterday, blamed the reappearance of queues in petrol stations across the country, on the protest against police brutality, especially the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, of the Nigeria police.

Most petrol stations in Abuja were shut down, while large queues were witnessed at the few ones still dispensing the commodity.

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Reacting to the queues, group general manager, group public affairs division of the NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, cautioned motorists against panic buying, stating that the corporation currently has over two billion litres of premium motor spirit, PMS, also known as petrol, in stock.

He added that disruptions of free flow of vehicular movement occasioned by the EndSARS protests and the attendant restrictions and vandalism, particularly in Lagos affected petroleum products supply.

He explained that the current fuel stock is enough to last the country 60 days, that with the easing of the curfews by various state governors, normalcy is expected to return to the petroleum products supply chain in the next couple of days.

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Customs Corner

Customs PTML Command Generates N213 Billion, Engages Stakeholders On Export, Trade Facilitation, Others

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The Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has released the revenue generation scorecard of the Command from January to November 2022.

Giving a comparative analysis of the revenue collection within the period under review at the Command Headquarters in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller of the PTML Command, Comptroller Suleiman Bomai said, A total sum of N213,405,461,873.00 was collected as revenue between the months of Jan-Nov, 2022, compared to Jan-Nov, 2021, which was N205,157,478,605.00 an appreciation of N8,247,983,268.00 translating to an increase of 4%.

 

“I love challenges, and I would have loved to double that figure, which we can do, but the volume is another thing. If the volume could have remained the way it was, I would have generated at least N1b in this command. But because of the volume, I also interfaced with Grimaldi, and they told me about the external and internal factors which limited the import of vehicles.” He revealed.

 

Similarly, the CAC while Engaging the Stakeholders harped on the need for constant engagement as directed by the CGC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd). This he said, is imperative to look always at any loopholes and attend to them immediately.

 

“Since the inception of this regime, the CGC has directed that there must be engagement because we have looked at the gaps which stemmed from lack of engagement between the NCS and the stakeholders. We also have strategic partners, who have some government agencies that work together with us, and there must be cooperation and synergy, and we cannot achieve that without engagement. The idea of engagement is, let us review what we have done, issues at stake, challenges, and strategies to move forward, and it has to be constant because trade is dynamic.” The CAC reiterated.

 

Speaking further he said, Nigeria used to be dependent on forex from oil, as over 90% of the Country’s revenue was generated from it, but was taken aback by the global shock which affected prices and values of the oil.

 

“We had to think out of the box. Any economist knows that it is export that finances import, in that sense, when you export forex, you then use it for the importation of raw materials, semi-finished goods, and finished goods. Now that there is a scarcity of forex as a result of lack of inflow due to the drop in the price of oil and so many factors, Nigeria could do better if we encourage our non-oil export to grow in such a way that it can then contribute to the forex inflow into the country because it is through the forex that you get access to it before you can import. That is why I said it is export that finances import, and this time around, it is the non-oil export that we want to grow so they can add to the oil export, thereby increasing the forex. That is why I emphasized export.” He noted.

 

Also on VIN valuation, the CAC said, NCS is one of the most automated government agencies. “We have the capacity and officers to roll out any product, and when we rolled out the VIN valuation, we sensitized the stakeholders; to me, it is a success story. At the same time, it was not 100% complete because there are what is called the standard and non-standard, and I hope that the latter will soon be automated. If we can do that, then we would have completed the automated process of vehicles.”

 

“The automation process does not stop there, as even the enforcement aspect is also being automated. The era of someone clearing their vehicle from the port and being stopped along the way by an officer for value checking is gone; now, they have a tab on which they can check if the duty is standard, which takes less time. Some of the beautiful things about the VIN valuation are that we have reduced the cost of clearance, and we have maximally reduced contact because that is the most dangerous thing during the clearing process; it ushers in what I call bilateral tax evasion. When there is contact, the taxpayer and the tax collector connive to cheat 200 million Nigerians.”

 

“Today, from the comfort of your house, you can pay your duty, do your assessment at the clearing zone and other procedures, and all that will be left is the examination and picking your vehicle, and once it is standard, you have no issues. The only issues we usually have are from the non-standard aspect, where the management is trying to automate, and once that is done, we are good to go.” He explained.

 

The General Manager of Grimaldi in charge of Commercial, Chioma Ayanonu seconded the CAC’s stance, according to her, Nigeria needs a paradigm shift from oil as there are many untapped potentials in Green energy, Electric cars, etc.

 

“The need for export cannot be overemphasized, it’s more important now than ever, Nigeria has been heavily dependent on oil. For every seven import containers we bring in, only one goes out as export, there is a huge stock of containers that go out empty when they can load them with export. The more export we can send, the lower we can charge as freight.” She added

Naira Weakens Further to 517 Against Dollar

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Customs Corner

Customs PTML Command Generates N213 Billion, Engages Stakeholders On Export, Trade Facilitation, Others

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Author: Cynthia Idowu; Lagos.

The Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has released the revenue generation scorecard of the Command from January to November 2022.

Giving a comparative analysis of the revenue collection within the period under review at the Command Headquarters in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller of the PTML Command, Comptroller Suleiman Bomai said, A total sum of N213,405,461,873.00 was collected as revenue between the months of Jan-Nov, 2022, compared to Jan-Nov, 2021, which was N205,157,478,605.00 an appreciation of N8,247,983,268.00 translating to an increase of 4%.

“I love challenges, and I would have loved to double that figure, which we can do, but the volume is another thing. If the volume could have remained the way it was, I would have generated at least N1b in this command. But because of the volume, I also interfaced with Grimaldi, and they told me about the external and internal factors which limited the import of vehicles.” He revealed.

Similarly, the CAC while Engaging the Stakeholders harped on the need for constant engagement as directed by the CGC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd). This he said, is imperative to look always at any loopholes and attend to them immediately.

“Since the inception of this regime, the CGC has directed that there must be engagement because we have looked at the gaps which stemmed from lack of engagement between the NCS and the stakeholders. We also have strategic partners, who have some government agencies that work together with us, and there must be cooperation and synergy, and we cannot achieve that without engagement. The idea of engagement is, let us review what we have done, issues at stake, challenges, and strategies to move forward, and it has to be constant because trade is dynamic.” The CAC reiterated.

Speaking further he said, Nigeria used to be dependent on forex from oil, as over 90% of the Country’s revenue was generated from it, but was taken aback by the global shock which affected prices and values of the oil.

“We had to think out of the box. Any economist knows that it is export that finances import, in that sense, when you export forex, you then use it for the importation of raw materials, semi-finished goods, and finished goods. Now that there is a scarcity of forex as a result of lack of inflow due to the drop in the price of oil and so many factors, Nigeria could do better if we encourage our non-oil export to grow in such a way that it can then contribute to the forex inflow into the country because it is through the forex that you get access to it before you can import. That is why I said it is export that finances import, and this time around, it is the non-oil export that we want to grow so they can add to the oil export, thereby increasing the forex. That is why I emphasized export.” He noted.

Also on VIN valuation, the CAC said, NCS is one of the most automated government agencies. “We have the capacity and officers to roll out any product, and when we rolled out the VIN valuation, we sensitized the stakeholders; to me, it is a success story. At the same time, it was not 100% complete because there are what is called the standard and non-standard, and I hope that the latter will soon be automated. If we can do that, then we would have completed the automated process of vehicles.”

“The automation process does not stop there, as even the enforcement aspect is also being automated. The era of someone clearing their vehicle from the port and being stopped along the way by an officer for value checking is gone; now, they have a tab on which they can check if the duty is standard, which takes less time. Some of the beautiful things about the VIN valuation are that we have reduced the cost of clearance, and we have maximally reduced contact because that is the most dangerous thing during the clearing process; it ushers in what I call bilateral tax evasion. When there is contact, the taxpayer and the tax collector connive to cheat 200 million Nigerians.”

“Today, from the comfort of your house, you can pay your duty, do your assessment at the clearing zone and other procedures, and all that will be left is the examination and picking your vehicle, and once it is standard, you have no issues. The only issues we usually have are from the non-standard aspect, where the management is trying to automate, and once that is done, we are good to go.” He explained.

The General Manager of Grimaldi in charge of Commercial, Chioma Ayanonu seconded the CAC’s stance, according to her, Nigeria needs a paradigm shift from oil as there are many untapped potentials in Green energy, Electric cars, etc.

“The need for export cannot be overemphasized, it’s more important now than ever, Nigeria has been heavily dependent on oil. For every seven import containers we bring in, only one goes out as export, there is a huge stock of containers that go out empty when they can load them with export. The more export we can send, the lower we can charge as freight.” She added

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Customs Corner

Apapa Customs Command Impounds Tramadol Drugs Worth N1.5 Billion Concealed In Chocolates

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Apapa Customs Command Impounds Tramadol Drugs Worth N1.5 Billion Concealed In Chocolates

Author: Cynthia Idowu; Lagos.

One by 40ft (1×40ft) Container laden with 20 Cartons Containing 838,500 pieces of trapacking tablets (225mg) and 90,010 pieces of trapacking capsules (120mg) cleverly hidden in assorted bubble gums and candies has been seized by the Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.

While briefing Newsmen at the Classic Bonded Terminal, Ago Palace Way Festac, Lagos where the illicit drugs were seized and showcased, the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, said the container was abandoned by the importer for close to four months, having sensed it might have been tracked by Customs Operatives to the Terminal.

“The container has been in the port since July 3, moving from the port down to here (bonded terminal). The importer is trying to buy time to see whether he can undermine our operatives, but we are really on top of our game and will continue to be. If he is not tired of investing, we are also not going to be tired of making him lose his investments.”

“The importer had cleverly concealed these drugs at the back end of the container just to undermine our operatives. We searched the container, we found out that there are 20 cartons of this kind of drugs. Trapaking 225 contains 838,500 tablets, while for Trapaking Caps 120mg, 90,010 capsules. We thank God for giving us the wisdom and zeal to be able to track it and make seizure because it contravenes sections 46 and 47 of CEMA Cap C45, the law of the Federation of Nigeria” he revealed.

According to Malanta, the hard drugs were imported from India “The country of origin of the drugs is India, and we have talked about our layers of control architectures apart from the collaboration and intelligence received, this is purely the work of the operatives and officers here in this Command. And I don’t have to explain how we taught them to do this work, but I’m sure not only this terminal, other terminals in the port operate the same way, so there is no hiding place.”

The CAC decried the harmful effect of the drugs as they are more deadly than normal tramadol. He thereby warned unrepentant importers to desist or face the wrath of the Service as Ports under his watch won’t contain such illicit trade.

“The CGC Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has initiated the e-Customs modernization which is a complete automation of customs business processes. This begins from the port of loading to the destination where the manifest would show the content of the cargo. We believe that with the introduction of that system, every illicit cargo will be trapped, not only drugs” he assured.

While praising the effort of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency and other Sister Security Agencies at the Port for their fearless fight against illicit drugs, he said the importation of Tramadol Drug into the Country is a near impossibility as the supply is difficult compared to past years.

Similarly, the NDLEA Commander, Apapa Special Area Command, Ishiaka Yusuf Kwajaffa extolled the ruggedness of the Nigeria Customs Service in ridding the nation of such banned illicit substance, he assured also that NDLEA is all out to track all drug barons in the Country and bring them to book.

“It is written 120mg, but it is just in form of a cover. The actual potency of this is almost 15 times the normal tramadol. This is the first time I’m coming across this particular one called Tepintedol, also a brand of Tramadol, even though it’s written as 120mg, it is just a cover.”

“We have here about 800,500 tablets and 90,000 capsules. The current street value is about N1,560,000,000 for these 20 cartons; each carton goes for about N78 million. It might tend to go up because of the pressure we are putting on them, so it’s going to be so scarce. Just like in economics, the lower the supply, the higher the demand and price; so we are ready for them”. Kwajaffa stated.

The NDLEA Commander thereby warmed all illicit drug dealers to engage in legitimate trades or fall into the Web of the Law.

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