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We have sanitised cargo clearance procedures – ANLCA President



The President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr Tony Nwabunike, says the executives have been able to sanitise cargo clearance procedures in the last one year.

Nwabunike made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of an evaluation of 365 days of ANLCA executives in Lagos on Wednesday.

According to him, our administration is operating under the ANLCA constitution and I urge members to always abide by the constitutional provisions to enable them follow the due process in cargo clearance.

“We are all giving thanks to the Almighty God for keeping us steady in spite of all the challenges faced by the executives of the association in the last one year in office.

“ANLCA is ready to collaborate more with the various government agencies operating at the ports in order to put an end to the challenges confronting customs brokers at the ports.

“Today our 365 days are gone. We still have three more years to go and it is going to be very vibrant more years.

“With the support of members, we can achieve greater success and take this association to a desirable height.

“Together we are going to make sure that our operational challenges are solved. We would collaborate with the government to ease the businesses of our members.

“Members should also follow due process in clearance of cargoes to save time and cost of doing business at the ports,’’ Nwabunike said.

He urged members to always act according to the constitution of ANLCA which he described as “supreme’’.

Nwabunike gave an assurance that his administration was ready to accept genuine advice that would bring peace to the association.

He, however, said that for members to be patriotic, they should not be part of customs agents that would facilitate clearance of cargo like Tramadol.

Speaking on the need for compliance, the Vice President of ANLCA, Dr Kayode Farinto, said that a container of Tramadol costs N280 million.

“If a customer gives you a Bill of Lading on Tramadol, please say no to it.

“If you clear Tramadol and you make money, the law of Karma will catch you; whether you like it or not.

“Let us say no to bad goods at our ports,’’ Farinto said.

He explained the challenges faced by the new executives such as: the benchmarking of cargoes at the Tin-Can Island Command, and the random stoppage of already-cleared cargoes by Customs units patrolling Mile 2 expressway and Ijora.

Farinto said the executives were able to put a stop to the benchmarking of N1.2 million on 40ft and N600,000 for 20ft containers.

He said that before the new executives came onboard, the maritime police were stopping cargoes unnecessarily, saying that they no longer stopped containers except in collaboration with Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).

Also speaking with NNN the National Secretary of the Association, Alhaji Babatunde Mukaila, said that the new executives inherited no Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools.

He said within one year, the association’s secretariat was operating with ICT.

Mukaila said that the establishment of ICT had gone a long way in improving cargo clearance at the ports.

He said that the association was partnering with maritime lawyers to sensitise members on cargo claims.

The National Financial Secretary of the Association, Hajia Bola Muse, said that the association inherited N434,000 in four different bank accounts and 50 dollars in the domiciliary account of the association.

Muse said that the association had been able to generate N5 million within 365 days with the support of the executives and members’ dues.

She, however, urged members to continue rendering their support to the executives to achieve their mandate and take the organisation to enviable height.


Dollar steadies after 3 days of losses as trade deal hopes dim



London, Nov. 19, 2019  The dollar stabilised against a broad basket of other currencies on Tuesday after three consecutive days of losses.

Investors are awaiting the release of the minutes of the U.S. Central Bank meeting at end-October when policy makers had cut interest rates.

Global macro hedge funds had ramped up their dollar selling for a third week according to latest weekly positioning data and some market watchers say hawkish policy minutes could trigger a dollar rebound.

The greenback has hit a trough since late last week as hopes for a preliminary trade deal between the U.S. and China evaporated.

Expectations had grown that Washington and Beijing would sign a so-called “phase one” deal this month to scale back their 16-month-long trade war.

Those hopes received a setback on Monday after CNBC reported China was pessimistic about agreeing to a deal, which suggested a resolution to perhaps the biggest risk to the global economy remains elusive.

“Trade headlines are dominating sentiment but in terms of the key event risk, the release of the Fed minutes will be a big one for market participants,” Morten Lund, a Senior FX Strategist at Nordea said.

Against a basket of its rivals, the greenback was broadly steady at 97.84 after weakening more than 0.6 per cent in the last three sessions. It had hit a one-month high of 98.45 on Nov. 13.

Elsewhere in the currency market, the Australian dollar fell 0.16 per cent to 0.6799 dollar and declined 0.26 per cent to 73.82 yen.

Australia’s Central Bank “agreed a case could be made” for another cut in the 0.75 per cent cash rate at its November meeting given unwelcome weakness in wages growth and inflation, minutes published on Tuesday showed.

Sterling held firm around 1.2950 dollars with the Pound buoyed by polls, pointing to a victory by the ruling Conservatives in upcoming elections.

In the onshore market, the yuan fell to a two-week low of 7.0295 per dollar.

Edited by Abdullahi Mohammed/Adeleye Ajayi

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Liberia has untapped potential in agriculture, tourism – Weah



President George Weah of the Republic of Liberia says there are untapped potentials in various sectors, including agriculture and tourism, which are emerging as economically viable options for his country.

Weah spoke at the on-going 5th edition of the Global Business Forum on Africa, which began on Nov. 18 in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.

He said that recently a reputable organisation, which gauges tourist attractions around the world, named Liberia as one African country with a huge but virgin ecosystem and pristine beaches that tourists should find exciting.

“We have to leverage on that in order to make Liberia a tourist destination.

“It is a venture with mutual benefits.

“We are also looking for innovative ways to improve the private sector and the country’s derelict infrastructure as a means of rekindling the overall economy.

“Putting the young people to work is a vital component of our development drive too.

“We are looking to attract investors from the UAE and elsewhere to Liberia.

“My country has great untapped potential in various sectors, including agriculture and tourism, which are emerging as economically viable options for the country,’’ he told participant at the two-day forum on Tuesday.

On incentives that Liberia could provide to UAE investors, the Ace footballer said that in the past, investors have been offered tax breaks and waivers as a means of lowering the cost of starting a business.

“These options can be explored on a case-by-case basis.

“In collaboration with our legislature, we have enacted laws during the last few years, which have attracted foreign investors.

“We are, therefore, open to having UAE investors being offered similar incentives,’’ he added.

Speaking on recent statistics on investment and trade between Liberia and the UAE, Weah explained that the aggregate trade between the two countries was still significantly low.

He added that available data showed that it hovers under one per cent of Liberia GDP.

According to him, there is a vast opportunity now to grow that number.

“In addition, we are open for investment and trade in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector too, which is beginning to emerge,’’ he said.

Edited by Abdulfatah Babatunde 

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Ambassador advises Nigerians to consult Embassy before business venture in Dubai



Nigerian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, Mohammed Rimi has advised Nigerians coming to Dubai for genuine businesses to consult with the Embassy or the Consulate before embarking on such ventures.

The ambassador gave the advice in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency on Monday in Dubai on the sidelines of the 5th Edition of the Global Business Forum (GBF) on Africa tagged `Scale-Up Africa’.

Rimi said that it was always better to let the embassy know in advance of any business venture.

“In fact, if they need assistance, we will try as much as we can to provide them with such. There are those who already have their contacts before coming.

“For us to keep track of genuine businesses, they need to let us know; even if they have a partner here when they come.

“They should let us know who their partners are when they come here and what they are doing. Fine, if they have done due diligence on their business partners on their own and are satisfied.

“If not, we can also do some due diligence for them,” he said.

According to him, If you tell me you are dealing with Company A and that you are coming to meet with that company, whether you ask us or not to do due diligence, I will try to find out what that company is all about.

“Because a lot of the businesses happen which are not documented by the Consulate.

“So, it very difficult sometime for us to say there is this number of visitors coming to do business here in Dubai. So we do not have the statistics of people coming to do business in Dubai,” Rimi said.

On the image of Nigerians in that country, the ambassador said that the UAE Government and its citizens had high regards for Nigerians and Nigeria.

He noted that 98 per cent of Nigerians living or visiting in Dubai were well behaved.

The ambassador, however, said that there were over 10,000 Nigerians living in Dubai,.

Rimi described the government of UAE as very liberal and tolerant to all.

According to him, the country’s government had seen the world and equally moved round the world to see what was happening around.

NAN reports that the first session of the Forum examined key trends and technologies driving business growth across the African continent.

Industry experts who spoke at the session noted that the new technologies and trends were reshaping Africa’s economic landscape and creating plenty of business opportunities and investment prospects which were not there before.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Emerging Africa Capital Group, Nigeria, Mrs Toyin Sanni, during an interactive session entitled “Linking Back – the Entrepreneurial Support Chain’’, shared her views on a changing business landscape in Africa.

“A great deal has changed and there is now a lot more support. At the beginning of my career I was dependent on the goodwill of my superior – now we have in-house mentorship programmes.

“I’m happy to see entrepreneurs coming to the table,” Sanni said.

She noted that some of the problems confronting entrepreneurs in Africa had to do with government policy reforms which she described as important for businesses to thrive.

Also, Dr Divine Simbi-Ndhlukula, Founder and Managing Director, Securico, Zimbabwe, stressed the importance of investing in education and skills development.

In another session entitled “Finding the Sweet Spot – Momentum for Change’’, Dr Carlos Lopes, a Professor at Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance, University of Cape Town, South Africa, said that Africa could not be ignored for two reasons.

“Africa is positioning itself as the continent where you have the highest young consumer concentration. Secondly, it’s not just the size but because it’s easier for younger people to absorb the new technologies,” he explained.

Sharing his insights and perspective, Jonathan Berman, Author of “Success in Africa: CEO Insights from a Continent on the Rise’’, noted that continent’s growing appeal as an attractive investment destination was being driven by widespread digitisation.

“The visibility and scale of opportunities across borders is like never before. The range and size weren’t there seven years ago,” Berman said.

He, however, stressed the importance of initiatives like Dubai Chamber’s GBF Mentorship Programme, which had created new growth opportunities for African entrepreneurs who are looking to scale their businesses and expand beyond borders.

Heads of State, ministers, policymakers, prominent business leaders, investors and entrepreneurs from Africa are attending the event which kicked off on Nov.18 to Nov. 19.

The Forum is organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

GBF Africa 2019 is the largest event of its kind in the region, focusing on Africa’s vast economic potential and exploring new avenues of cooperation between UAE businesses and their African counterparts. 

Edited by Adeleye Ajayi

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Dubai’s non-oil trade with Africa to exceed AED1trn by end of 2019 -Chamber Chairman




By: Edwin Nwachukwu

Dubai (UAE) Nov. 19, 2019  Dubai’s non-oil trade with Africa will exceed Dhs1 trillion for the period extending from 2011 until the end of 2019, the Chairman of Dubai Chamber, Mr Majid Al Ghurair has said,

Al Ghurair made this known while declaring open the 5th edition of the Global Business Forum on Africa (GBF Africa) which opened on Monday in Dubai.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the forum which  is organised by Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Dubai Chamber) under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and the Ruler of Dubai, end on Tuesday.

Al Ghurair highlighted the long-established UAE-African relations in all fields, and Dubai’s status as Africa’s gateway to new markets building on its strong presence on the global economy map and its role in advancing international trade.

He said that over the course of its five previous editions, GBF Africa had become a leading Platform for expanding UAE-Africa economic cooperation and forging partnerships across different markets.

”The African continent is a key partner in Dubai’s plans to diversify its economy.

”With the support of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the forum has seen considerable growth in terms of significance and number of participants, bringing together heads of state, policymakers and business leaders to identify exciting business prospects emerging across the continent.

”The African market is a market of strategic importance to Dubai and a key focus of Dubai Chamber’s expansion strategy and we are closely monitoring developments and the business climate in Africa to identify growth opportunities available for our members,” Al Ghurair added.

He, however, underlined the huge potential to boost UAE-Africa trade and investment flows following the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area earlier in the year.

Al Ghurair also asserted that Dubai was well-equipped to support Africa’s next phase of growth and development, especially as the emirate offers valuable expertise in several key sectors, including logistics services, infrastructure, retail, tourism and finance.

“Held under the theme ‘Scale-Up Africa’, GBF Africa 2019 is among the world’s largest events focusing on Africa’s economic potential, highlighting business and investment potential and opportunities on the continent.

“Africa’s changing economic landscape is creating new business opportunities,” he said.

Participants at the event included George Weah, President of Liberia; Danny Faure, President of Seychelles; Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of Zimbabwe and Carlos Agostinho do Rosario, Prime Minister of Mozambique.

Others are Ruhakana Ruganda, Prime Minister of Uganda; Reem Al Hashimy, Minister of State for International Cooperation and Director-General, Expo 2020 Dubai; Majid Saif Al Ghurair, Chairman of Dubai Chamber; Hamad Buamim, President & CEO of Dubai Chamber and Dr Raja Easa Al Gurg, President of Dubai Business Women Council, among other prominent speakers.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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NSE All-Share Index bows to profit booking, down by 0.60%



The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) opened trading for the week on Monday with a loss of 0.60 per cent, amid profit taking as predicted by some market analysts.

Speficially, the All Share Index shed 160.59 or 0.60 per cent to close at 26,691.09 compared with 26,851.68 achieved on Friday.

Similarly, the market capitalisation which opened at N13.071 trillion shed lost N188 billion to close at N12.883 trillion.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in medium and large capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Okomu Oil, Access Bank, Ecobank Transnational Incorporated (ETI), United Bank for Africa (UBA) and Caverton Offshore Support Group.

Commenting on the market performance, analysts at United Capital said “this week, we expect investors to continue to lock in gains in stocks with strong fundamentals, as the system remains awash with liquidity.”

Also, analysts at Imperial Asset Managers expect “more liquidity inflows into the equity market as investors continue to search for alternative asset to deploy idle fund”.

They said that traders were expected to take marginal profit witnessed last week, noting that buying interest remained strong in most listed equities irrespective of the NSE-ASI loss.

However, market breadth closed positive, with 16 gainers in contrast with14 losers.

Wema Bank led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 7.89 per cent, to close at 70k per share.

FCMB Group came second with a decline of 7.50 per cent to close at N1.85, while Caverton Offshore lost 7.41 per cent to close at N2.50 per share.

Access Bank and ETI lost 6.67 per cent each, to close at N9.80 and N7.00, respectively, while Okomu Oil shed 5.57 per cent to close at N50 per share.

Conversely, Neimeth recorded the highest price gain in percentage terms with a gain of 10 per cent to close at 44k per share.

Jaiz Bank followed with a gain of 9.86 per cent to close at 78k, while Ikeja Hotel increased by 9.47 per cent to close at N1.04 per share.

Custodian Investment inched 9.09 per cent to close at N6, while Courteville appreciated by 8.70 per cent to close at 25k per share.

Also, the volume of shares traded closed lower as investors bought and sold 307.96 million shares worth N2.54 billion in 4,609 deals.

This was in contrast with a turnover of 469.99 million shares valued at N5.59 billion transacted in 5,594 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of UACN topped the activity chart with 102.55 million shares valued at N636.15 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 29.44 million shares worth N555.84 million, while UBA traded 20.81 million shares worth N147.44 million.

Access Bank sold 20.24 million shares valued at N195.62 million, while FBN Holdings transacted 14.67 million shares worth N96.65 million.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Oluwole Sogunle

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Brown to replace Avuru as Seplat CEO



Seplat Plc on Monday announced the retirement of Mr Austin Avuru, as its Chief Executive Officer, effective July 31, 2020.

The company, in a post listing requirement filing obtained from the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) website, said thay Avuru would be replaced by Mr Roger Brown, its Chief Finance Officer.

The statement said that Avuru was retiring after 10 years of leading the company.

“In these 10 years, Avuru led the development of a strong organisation, the deployment of agile systems, processes and stakeholder relationships that allowed the organisation to grow rapidly.

“The board of SEPLAT is grateful to Avuru for these accomplishments and is looking forward to his continued service at the board level.

“Looking forward, Seplat plans to position itself for a next phase growth ambition which would see the expansion of its footprint in terms of energy business activities, a plan to pursue offshore assets as well as opportunity driven entry into different geographies.

“The company believes that such a corporate transition would require a different kind of organisational structure, people skills set and mentality to compete well in the expanded space.

“In view of this, Seplat will be reviewing its current organisational and systems structure,” it said.

It stated that the board had decided that the CEO designate would lead the restructuring during the transition period between now and final exit date of Avuru on July 31, 2020.

The statement said that Brown joined SEPLAT in 2013 as the CFO and played a key role in the successful dual listing of the company in 2014.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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