Monday, 31 July 2017

Audu Ogbeh and the illusion of yam export

A chanced meeting with a clearing agent on Creek Road, Apapa on Tuesday last week was a stark reminder of our leaders’ erroneous perception of reality. This particular agent had been vociferous in calling attention to the inactivity at Lilypond. Unfortunately, that terminal has become a victim of low cargo volume and since it is an offdock facility, it will remain dormant except the main port terminals have overflow.
So on Tuesday when I saw this agent whom I haven’t seen for a long time, it occurred to me that I should congratulate him on the revival of Lilypond terminal.
“Congrats, Lilypond is now an export terminal. I believe you’ll have plenty business to do now,” I said. My friend hissed. His answer did not leave me in doubt that the flag-off of yam for export at the terminal by the Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbeh, was nothing but a sham. Perhaps the Minister did not know he was shamming? Perhaps he did not have the full picture?

Monday, 10 July 2017

Why progress eludes maritime sector

We’ve been here before. We’ve gone through this motion over and over again – it is motion without progress; activity devoid of productivity. The maritime industry has been running on the same spot without any pretence of progress in almost twenty years.
In 1999 when I joined the industry, the complaint by Customs at Seme Border was threefold – lack of office space, lack of accommodation for Customs officers and lack of space for truck examination. The Customs Area Comptroller at the time argued that his men would do wonders once the three key facilities were provided. Here we are almost two decades later, the issues remain – still no office space, no accommodation for Customs officers and no truck examination bay.

Monday, 3 July 2017

Tariff on imported vehicles: Osinbajo should fulfill APC's campaign promise

While addressing a town hall meeting of political stakeholders in Ondo State shortly before the 2015 general election, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, then Vice Presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), assured Nigerians that General Muhammadu Buhari's government – if voted into office – would slash tariffs on imported vehicles.

Osinbajo made the promise in the face of a 350% hike in the Customs duties payable by Nigerians on imported new and fairly used vehicles by the PDP government.
"We do not agree that there should be high tariffs on imported cars whether new or old ones because Nigeria is not producing cars for now.