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Nigeria losing $26.3bn annually to piracy, sea robbery – Buhari

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Nigeria is losing about $26.3bn annually to various forms of criminality particularly piracy and sea robbery, President Muhammadu Buhari has said.
The President said this while inaugurating Falcon Eye Project, Nigerian Navy’s Strategic Maritime Surveillance System, on Tuesday at the Naval Headquarters, Abuja.
Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Buhari said that securing Nigeria’s shipping lanes was crucial to the nation’s economic interests.
Buhari said that in recent years, some threats within Nigeria’s maritime environment had taken more harmful dimensions to the economy and even the safety of citizens and commercial entities which used the maritime domain.
“These include piracy, armed attacks on ships, kidnapping for ransom, crude oil theft, smuggling, as well as Illegal Unregulated and Unreported Fishing (IUU).
“It is estimated that Nigeria loses about $26.3bn annually to various forms of criminality particularly piracy and sea robbery.
“On account of the escalated risks in some of our maritime areas insurance premiums for commercial vessels coming to these areas have risen sharply making maritime trade an unattractive proposition.
“This underscores the need to enhance our maritime security architecture; consequently, a critical contribution of the Falcon Eye System will be the provision of actionable intelligence for curbing maritime threats to our economy.”

The President however said that his administration had demonstrated a clear commitment to building the capacity of Nigeria’s strategic institutions to secure its coastal waters and the precincts of its maritime neighbourhood.
He said that on June 24, 2019, he assented to the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences Bill.
He said, “By this Act, Nigeria became the first country in the West and Central African Sub-Regions to promulgate a stand-alone law against piracy, which is an important international requirement, set by the International Maritime Organisation as part of measures to guarantee secure global shipping.
“The Act provides the much-needed legal and institutional framework to improve maritime security and ensure safe and secure shipping in Nigerian waters.
“Last year, we commenced prosecution and secured our first convictions under this law.”
Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Awwal Gambo, said the project came out of the need for national maritime security architecture that would leverage modern technology to enhance the safeguard of the immense hydrocarbon, living and other mineral resources in the nation’s maritime domain.
National Security Adviser Babagana Monguno also said the project was borne out of the necessity to combat the myriad of security problems within the maritime sector.
He said that the contract was signed in 2014 and designed to provide Nigeria with effective surveillance capability of its entire maritime domain.

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FG’s latest external loan requests for 15 state projects – Presidency

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The Presidency has clarified that the the Federal Government’s latest external loan requests are for a total of 15 projects in the six geo-political zones of the country.

It stated that the projects would be financed with more than $4bn from multilateral institutions, under the 2018-2021 medium term (rolling) external borrowing plan.

Spokesman for the Presidency, Garba Shehu, in a statement said President Muhammadu Buhari had requested the Senate to approve sovereign loans of $4.054bn and €710m as well as grant components of $125m for the proposed projects.

According to the letter by the President, the sovereign loans will be sourced from the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD), China-Exim Bank, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), Credit Suisse Group and Standard Chartered/China Export and Credit (SINOSURE).

Shehu said the President’s request to the Senate listed 15 proposed pipeline projects, the objectives, the implementation period, benefiting states, as well as the implementing ministries, departments and agencies.

A breakdown of the ‘Addendum to the Proposed Pipeline Projects for the 2018-2021 Medium Term (rolling) External Borrowing Plan’ shows that the World Bank is expected to finance seven projects including the $125m grant for ‘Better Education Services for All’.

The Global Partnership for Education grant is expected to increase equitable access for out-of-schoolchildren and improve literacy in focus states.

The grant, which will be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Education and the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC), will strengthen accountability for results in basic Education in Katsina, Oyo and Adamawa states.

Other projects to be financed by the World Bank are the State Fiscal, Transparency, Accountability and Sustainability Programme for Results as well as the Agro-Processing, Productivity, Enhancement and Livelihood Improvement Support Project.

The benefiting states for the agro-processing project are Kogi, Kaduna, Kano, Cross River, Enugu and Lagos with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development as the implementing ministry.

The objective of the project is to enhance agricultural productivity of small and medium-scale farmers and improve value addition along priority value chains in the participating states.

Similarly, the World Bank is also financing the Nigeria Sustainable Water Supply, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project in Delta, Ekiti, Gombe, Kaduna, Katsina, Imo and Plateau states, for the next five years.

The project, when completed, is expected to improve rural water supply, sanitation and hygiene nationwide towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for water supply and sanitation by 2030.

Under the external borrowing plan, the World Bank supported projects include Nigeria’s COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Project (COPREP), under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).

The project, which has an implementation period of five years, will respond to threats posed by COVID-19 through the procurement of vaccines.

Furthermore, no fewer than 29 states are listed as beneficiaries of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Arid Zone Landscape project, which is expected to reduce natural resource management conflicts in dry and semi-arid ecosystems in Nigeria.

The benefiting states for the project to be co-financed by World Bank and European Investment Bank (EIB) are Akwa Ibom, Borno, Oyo, Sokoto, Kano, Katsina, Edo, Plateau, Abia, Nasarawa, Delta, Niger, Gombe, Imo, Enugu, Kogi, Anambra, Niger, Ebonyi, Cross River, Ondo, Kaduna, Kebbi, Jigawa, Bauchi, Ekiti, Ogun, Benue, Yobe and Kwara.

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Photos: Kia dazzles Nigerian fans, unveils Sonet, Seltos compact SUVs

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Lovers of compact sport utility vehicles built with sophistication in Nigeria have two new stunning products to celebrate, coming from Kia Motors. They are the all-new Sonet and the high-tech Seltos.

The two models assembled in Nigeria and unveiled in Lagos on Friday to the motoring journalists are expected to substantially raise the market share of Kia in the compact SUV segment, which is fast becoming the toast of many new car buyers globally including Nigeria, especially young trendy people.

Details later…

 

 

 

 

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Southern govs okay VAT collection by state governments

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Governors of the southern states have agreed that collection of value-added tax (VAT) should be undertaken by state governments.

Chairman of the Southern Governors Forum and Governor of Ondo State, Rotimi Akeredolu, disclosed this on Thursday while reading a communique at the end of a meeting of the governors in Enugu.

The Federal Inland Revenue Service and some state governments are currently in court over VAT collection.

Rivers and Lagos state governments have enacted laws empowering their respective states to collect the tax (VAT).

Last week, the Court of Appeal directed states to maintain status quo on VAT collection pending the determination of an appeal filed by the FIRS.

Akeredolu said that the governors affirmed that the collection of VAT fell within the powers of state governments.

“We resolved to support the position that the collection of VAT falls within the powers of the state,” he said.

He also said, “The meeting reaffirmed its earlier commitment to fiscal federalism and emphasised the need to pursue its inclusion in the Nigerian Constitution through the ongoing constitutional amendment.”

Akeredolu urged states in the south to leverage the competence of their houses of assembly and representation at the national assembly to pursue the goal.

He said that the meeting reviewed the state of the nation and the progress made in the implementation of the ban on open grazing of cattle in the south of Nigeria.

He said, “The meeting expressed satisfaction with the rate at which states in the south of Nigeria are amending or enacting the anti-open grazing law.

“This aligns with the uniform template and aspiration of governors in the south and we encourage the states that have yet to enact the law to do so expeditiously.

“The meeting agreed to encourage the full operationalisation of the already agreed regional security which will share intelligence and collaborate toward the safety and security of the region.”

The meeting was attended by Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, Nyesom Wike of Rivers, Emmanuel Udom of Akwa Ibom, Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun), Douye Diri (Bayelsa) and Dapo Abiodun (Ogun).

The deputy governors in attendance were Bisi Egbeyemi (Ekiti), Rauf Olaniyan (Oyo), Kelechi Igwe (Ebonyi), Ude Oko-Chukwu (Abia), Philip Shuaibu (Edo), Prof. Ivara Esu (Cross River) and Placid Njoku (Imo).

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