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Expert tasks FG on WTO measures to prevent unwanted importations

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A Trade and Economic Development Advocate, Mr Ken Ukaoha has urged the Federal Government to adhere to stipulated measures by the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to prevent unwanted importations into country.

Ukaoha, President of the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) made the call in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Wednesday in Abuja.

Ukaoha was reacting to allegation by some Nigerians that China had resolved to push its used vehicles to Nigeria and other global markets as a strategy to shore up its income from automobile.

The trade advocate explained that the WTO does not take away a country’s’ right to regulate importation but empowers it to strictly regulate unguarded importations that could be detrimental to its economy.

“Article six, seven, eight, 17, 18 and 19 of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of 1994, provides safeguards measures against unwanted importations and influx of products that can be detrimental to the economy.

“That is why WTO’s rules created tariff and non tariff barriers, administrative and technical barriers.

“It is not that China is dumping cars or planning to dump cars in Nigeria. We have the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) at the ports. Even if it is cars used in China, it is still Nigerians that will import them into the country.

“I have heard about this allegation, I checked around but I am yet to see made in China cars driven in Nigeria here. China manufactures cars but you do not find such cars here,’’ he said.

Advising Nigerians on the need to be careful on allegations that are unverifiable, Ukaoha said that there was an Auto policy created and developed to restrict importation of cars for local manufacturers to gain momentum.

Ukaoha said that the intention of the frame mass of the Auto Policy was also to boost job creation from that particular automobile sector.

“However, we have a situation where our policies are likely unimplemented, there must be some strictness in the implementation of policies for people to be serious.

“We have also opened up the space, even in the auto policy, there are provisions there for manufacturers outside to come down here to open up indigenous manufacturing companies.

“But there is also a proviso that such can also import Completely Knocked Down (CKD) and assemble it in Nigeria,” he said.

He said that the reason for that particular proviso was to ensure that Nigeria was not just importing wholly manufactured vehicles that did not create one job.

According to him, by the time a firm here brings up tires, engines, and body of cars among others for coupling, they have created some jobs for those who will do the coupling, packaging, mechanical and painting work.

Ukaoha said that those value chains would create subsidiary jobs for the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the country but most importantly there would be knowledge and technology transfer through the assemblages.

“Technology transfer comes in to build up our own people in a robust manner from the primary status to the secondary assemblage of such vehicles. The same thing applies to all of these Tricycles.

“So if some companies here are doing that, people should not look at it from a negative perspective, they must look at it from what the policy seek to address,’’ he warned.

Speaking on industrial development, and drawing examples from most industrialised countries like Britain, Germany and Japan among others, he urged Nigerians to support indigenous products to boost industrialisation.

He said that there could be industrial development if Nigerians could stop underrating and disparaging indigenous products.

“There was a time if you bought something, Nigerians will say this one is Taiwan or Japan, its substandard. They also used to say this one is made in China, yet the same China is moving and producing also for U.S.A market.

“We should get out of this mentality, we should value our own. The Aba shoe and cloth manufacturers must thrive. When you take the same Nigerian products overseas, everyone admires them,” he said.

He also urged the Nigerian media to ensure that made-in-Nigeria products were projected and promoted in a good way.

“Innoson is producing beautiful cars but people overlook them and buy from abroad.

“So, it is also the responsibility and the role of the Federal Government to begin to purchase Innoson cars to promote local content.’’

He lauded the Federal Government’s recent policy that military uniforms should be made in Nigeria and advised that it should be replicated in other sectors.

According to him, it will make a huge impact positively on the economy through job creation.

Edited by Ese E. Ekama

 

Economy

ICPC ex-chair takes over Salaries and Wages Commission

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Mr Ekpo Nta, the former Chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Offences Commission (ICPC), has taken over the leadership of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission (NSIWC).

The Chief Press Secretary of the Commission, Mr Emma Njoku made this known in a statement on Saturday in Abuja.

According to Njoku, the Chairman of the Commission, Chief Richard Egbule handed over to Nta, who is also the Commissioner for Compensation at the NSIWC, after the completion of his statutory 10 years tenure.

Egbule, while handing over to Ekpo Nta, described his tenure as historic, being the first to complete two terms and the first Chairman as the pioneer staff of the Commission from inception in 1992.

He called on staff of the Commission to get acquainted with the Act establishing the Commission.

This, according to him, will enable them know the enormous contributions and importance of the Commission to the development of the Civil Service and overall welfare of Public Service.

Nta, in his response, commended Egbule for his achievements in streamlining the nation’s salary administration.

The Nigeria News Agency recalls that Egbule started his working career as an Administrative Officer on grade level 08 in the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation and rose to the post of Chief Management Consultant in the same office in 1992.

He became a pioneer staff of the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission in 1992 and worked to structure and builds the Commission with the best professional practice.

In 2006, he was appointed the Secretary to the Commission and on Aug. 17, 2009, former President Umaru Yar’Adua made him the Executive Chairman of the Commission.

He attained 10 years as the Executive Chairman on Aug. 17.

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Kaduna Govt. to prioritise uncompleted project in 2020 –Commissioner

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The Kaduna State Government says it will give priority to projects that were unlikely to be completed and paid for in its 2020 budget.

Mr Thomas Gyang, Commissioner, Planning and Budget Commissioner, made this know in the 2020-2022 Multi-Year Budget Call Circular, obtained by the Nigeria News Agency in Kaduna on Saturday.

“Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) are advised to ensure that all ongoing projects that are unlikely to be completed and paid for in 2019 are captured in their 2020 Budget.

“Where ongoing projects exceed budget ceilings, they should be spread into 2021 and 2022 columns of the Multi-Year Budget.

“New projects are not to be integrated into the 2020 budget except priority projects of utmost importance,” Gyang said.

He also requested all MDAs to be guided by the state Development Plan 2016 to 2020 in coming up with programmes and projects to ensure coherent development across the state.

According to him, the administration will continue to focus on economic development, social welfare, security and justice and good governance.

“In preparing the budget, financial resources will be strictly dedicated to meet the objectives outlined in the State Development Plan as it relates to each sector.

“Therefore, MDAs will focus on delivering the outputs and strategies that will deliver the outcomes specified in the development plan.

“Resources should be allocated starting from the highest priority activities and continuing in sequence down to lower priority activities until the budget ceiling is reached.”

To give room for community participation in the budget process, the commissioner advised the MDAs to engage civil society organisations, community-based organisations and relevant stakeholders in drawing up their budgets.

He, however, stressed that inputs from such engagement should be in line with the aspirations of the state government as contained in the state’s development plan.

He also advised the MDAs against presenting over-ambitious budgets, adding that previous budget implementation rates have provided ample evidence of absorptive capacity issues across MDAs and the revenue generating capacity of the state.

“The government wants to facilitate service delivery which cannot be achieved without appreciable funding due to consistent dependence on statutory allocation from the Federation Account that has been dwindling over the years.

“This underscores the need for the Revenue Generating Agencies to perform maximally for the state to meet the challenging and obviously increasing demands of its citizens.

“To improve revenue generation, Kaduna State Internal Revenue Service is being repositioned alongside the review of revenue laws that governs revenue generation in the state.

“MDAs are, therefore, required to submit realistic and implementable multi-year budget estimates for the 2020 budget, based on the state revenue potentials outlined in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework 2020 to 2022.”

Gyang directed all MDAs to submit detailed budget proposals to the Planning and Budget Commission by Sept. 17, while budget defence would be held between Sept. 24 and Sept. 29.

FDY/IS

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Economy

Gov. Akeredolu lauds CBN ‘s  various intervention programmes

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Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State has commended the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) for various intervention programmes that lifted the country out of recession.

Akeredolu stated this on Friday in Akure when he received some  officials of the bank who visited him in his office.

The governor, represented by his Deputy, Mr Agboola Ajayi, said as the manager of the nation’s economy, the apex bank should continue to be steadfast and play active roles in  growing  and rebuilding  the nation’s  economy towards sustainablity.

Akeredolu said the meeting was important because it provided a veritable platform for interaction between the state government and the CBN.

“It offers us the opportunity of gaining first hand information and useful insights on the abounding opportunities within the bank, which the state can explore to better the lots of her citizens,” he said.

Akeredolu noted that the state government would key into the numerous opportunities provided by the CBN such as  the School Feeding programme, which provided employment for food vendors and income for farmers.

He expressed the determination of his government to improve on the already established relationship to open up  the rural economy in the state.

Earlier, the leader of the CBN ‘s delegation, Mr Olumide Aina, urged the state government to improve on the level of its participation in the various intervention programmes of the bank.

Aina later made presentation on various intervention opportunities available in the bank.

 

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Economy

Ekiti targets 3rd spot on ease of doing business index – Fayemi

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Economy

Forex restriction on food importation requires clarity – MAN

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