Continued closure of borders, hurting Nigerian economy - MAN – Newstrends
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Continued closure of borders, hurting Nigerian economy – MAN

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The continued closure of land borders by the Federal Government is counterproductive to the Nigerian economy, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria has warned.

President of MAN, Ahmed Mansur, who stated this on Thursday, urged the FG to reopen the borders to ease the economic difficulties facing Nigerian traders and other people.

“There is a definite urgency to reopen the borders and re-establish that the normal protocol and normal trade treaties continue to take place because it is in our interest,” he said.

Nigeria had in August 2019 closed its land borders to curtail illegal importation of drugs, small arms and agricultural products into country from neighbouring West African nations.

The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, recently said the nation’s land borders may be reopened soon.

According to the MAN president, one year is enough time to address the reasons for the border closure.

He said some Nigerian manufacturers exporting goods through the land borders may permanently lose their market share in the West Africa sub-region with continued border closure.

Mansur, who spoke while featuring on a television programme in Lagos, however, stressed on the need for a regulatory framework to ensure the safe reopening of the borders.

“We are aware that the border closure is a two-way thing; it affects us and it also affects our neighbours. Since the closure last year August, our (West African) neighbours have recognised the futility of what they were doing and the need to respect agreements.

“There may be need to put in place further arrangements to ensure that the purposes with which the borders were closed are not defeated,” he submitted.

Mansur said his association has been in constant dialogue with the Office of the National Security Adviser, ministries of trade and finance as well as various Nigerian agencies including the Nigeria Customs Service, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Standards Organisation of Nigeria, amongst others.

“Many of the agencies have been looking inward to see what they can do to improve their operations. For instance, we are aware that the Customs Services is now introducing more computerised systems for import control. I believe the agencies are rising to the occasion.

“I believe that the issues that necessitated the border closure in the first instance have significantly been ameliorated and under such circumstances, it is counterproductive to continue to keep the borders closed.”

Railway

Apprehension as passengers train derails in Kaduna

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JUST-IN: Abuja-Kaduna train terails, passengers stranded

A passenger train on Sunday derailed at Jere along the popular Abuja-Kaduna route, leaving the travellers stranded in the mountainous area.

The train was said to have left Kaduna at 8.05am heading for Abuja but developed fault about an hour later and stopped at Jere.

It was not immediately clear how many passengers were inside the train.

It was however learnt that more armed security personnel had been mobilised to the area in addition to those on the train to allay the fears of the passengers and their family members.

Senator Shehu Sani, in an alert raised on his verified X handle, stated, “A Kaduna morning train derails near Jere but engineers are attending to it.”

Workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation have been drafted to the spot to repair the train, with about three carriages off the tracks.

Security personnel, including soldiers and police officers, are also on the spoke to keep watch over the passengers and the train.

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Lanre Shittu Motors to roll out high-tech CNG buses next month

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Lanre Shittu Motors to roll out high-tech CNG buses next month

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Lanre Shittu Motors Ltd, Taiwo Shittu, says the company will next month (June) roll out Compressed Natural Gas-powered buses across the country to ease public transportation.

According to him, the move is fallout of the Presidential CNG initiative (Pi-CNG), as part of palliative intervention of the Bola Tinubu administration to provide succour for the masses after fuel subsidy removal.

The LSM MD who spoke recently from Havard Business School, expressed delight at a number of measures taken by the current government towards rejuvenating the various auto assembly plants in the country with specific attention to CNG buses to boost public transportation.

Following a presidential directive that CNG buses must be a priority and preferred mode of transport by the various ministries, departments and agencies, he said the government had shown its determination to encourage the local auto assembly plants.

Taiwo Shittu said during the telephone interview that by June 2024, Lanre Shittu Motors would be deploying large units of the LSM branded CNG buses in airports across the country and for other mass transportation needs.

He disclosed that LSM mulled the idea of CNG vehicles and saw it as the future of the local automotive industry many years ago because of the abundance of natural gas in the country as well as the economic benefits of CNG buses to both operators and commuters.

Taiwo Shittu assured that there are plans to start assembling LSM-branded CNG buses in Lagos using the best technology like in other parts or the world.

Apart from assembling CNG vehicles from start to finish at the LSM plant, he said the company has enough kits capable of converting petroI-powered automobiles to the CNG vehicles.

He assured prospective customers of quality after-sale maintenance of any stock rolled out from the LSM assembly plant.

For over 40 years., LSM through the visionary founder and chairman, Late Alhaji Lanre Shittu, has carved an enviable niche within the automotive industry through its quality products and services.

Taiwo Shittu said introducing the LSM-branded buses was one of the many ways of immortalising him.

He said, “We have taken proactive steps in the past years to offer quality training to our technicians at various stages, levels and categories of auto assembly and after-sale maintenance services.

“Upon graduation and certification, the technicians are also deployed not only in the various LSM offices nationwide, they are also being sought after by other industry stakeholders within the nation’s automotive value chain.”

The management of Lanre Shittu Motors says that all branches of the company are currently fully equipped with state-of-the-art CNG conversion equipment while orders have been activated and running seamlessly.

Meanwhile, the first set of CNG vehicles will be inaugurated during the present administration’s first anniversary on May 29, 2024.

The Federal Government allocated N100 billion from the N500 billion palliative budget to purchase 5,500 CNG vehicles (buses and tricycles), 100 electric buses, and over 20,000 CNG conversion kits.

This funding also supports the expansion of CNG refilling and electric charging stations.

 

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Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

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Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

The Naira yesterday depreciated in the parallel market to N1,515 per dollar from N1,495 per dollar on Wednesday.

Similarly, the Naira depreciated to N1,485.66 per dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market, NAFEM
Data from FMDQ showed that the indicative exchange rate for NAFEM rose to N1,485.66 per dollar from N1,462.59 per dollar on Wednesday, indicating N23.07 depreciation for the naira.
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The market recorded an intraday high of N1,510 per dollar and an intraday low of N1,401 per dollar, resulting in a bearing of N109 per dollar.

The volume of dollars traded (turnover) increased by 35.7 percent to $167.55 million from $123.45 million on Wednesday.
Consequently, the margin between the parallel market and NAFEM rates narrowed to N29.34 per dollar from N33.59 per dollar on Wednesday.

Naira falls to N1,515/$ on parallel market

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