Customs in Owerri Seizes Items Worth N4.7b
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri in the year 2016 recorded a giant stride in its anti-smuggling activities with the seizures of a total of 307 contraband valued at N4.7 billion.
In a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer, Onuigbo Ifeoma, the agency said the above figure is a combination of both the Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N3.9 billion and an underpayment recovered as revenue of N770.3 million.
The Controller of the Federal Operations Unit, Comptroller Mohammed, Uba G. who made this known while giving an annual report for the year 2016, said that the unit which has since driven many smugglers out of their illicit businesses consequent upon its sustained aggressive onslaught against smuggling; arrested a total of 234 suspects while 24 cases were still pending in court in connection with the seizures.
A breakdown of the prohibited items seized include: 169 motor vehicles with a DPV of N1.01 billion, cartons of narcotics (Indian hemp/hard drugs) with a DPV of N366.8 million and 1,759 pairs, 85 cartons and 68 sacks/bales of foot wears with a DPV of N28.2 million.
Others are: 7,795 soap/detergents/toiletries with a DPV of N58.9 million, 107,006 cartons of imported frozen poultry products with a DPV of N1.4 billion, 1,018 pieces and 561 bales of bags/suitcases which had a DPV of N134.9 million in addition to 5,794 rethread and used pneumatic tyres bearing a DPV of N97.6 million.
The rest are: 50 cartons and 147 pieces of beverages/confectionary/juices with a DPV of N3.2 million, 14,006 bags of rice which has a DPV of N447.8 million, 2,333 cartons and 1,598 pieces of furniture and parts thereof with a DPV of N173 million and 273 cartons of 2 litres of vegetable oil with a DPV of N9.8 million.
The unit said it also seized 1,089 pieces of machinery/mechanical appliances/parts which had a DPV of N7.8 million as well as 2,484 electrical/electronics/parts whose DPV stood at N3.9 million and 951 bales, 470 cartons and 18 sacks of other goods with DPV of N239.4 million as among other seizures made within the year.
This, the unit said was in contrast to the total seizure made in the preceding year (2015) which recorded a total sum of N2.8 billion comprising a DPV of N2.7 billion and an underpayment recovered of N129.6 million.
Comptroller Mohammed Uba said that the FOU zone ‘C’ would continue to strategize and re-strategize to bring smugglers, their agents and collaborators to their knees.
He regretted that the federal government had continued to lose huge revenue as a result of the unpatriotic activities of smugglers who are poised to acquire wealth through the short cut, and warned such individuals to desist forthwith in their own interest.
He also advised Nigerians not to use the global economic down turn as an excuse to ruin themselves and their families as the NCS would not entertain any sacred cow in its determination to make smuggling a thing of the past in the country.
Mohammed advised the youth to always preoccupy themselves with ideas and visions that could assist them realize their potentials as leaders of tomorrow instead of indulging in acts and conducts capable of impeding their success in life. He however advised Nigerians who are into genuine and legitimate business of buying and selling not to entertain any fear as the NCS would continue to be guided by the cardinal principle of justice, equity and fairness devoid of victimization or oppression in the discharge of her duties.
Brent Soars on Iraq Supply Concerns, Ease in Banking Crisis
By Adedapo Adesanya
The price of Brent crude futures rose by 1.3 per cent or 99 cents to $79.27 per barrel on Thursday as banking crisis fears further eased and no resolution in sight yet for the cut-off of the flow of Iraqi Kurdistan oil to Turkey.
Also, the US West Texas Intermediate crude rose by 1.9 per cent or $1.40 to $74.37 per barrel as producers shut in or reduced output at several oilfields in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region of northern Iraq following a halt to the northern export pipeline.
About 400,000 barrels per day have been cut off with the pipeline shutdown over an international arbitration ruling in favour of Iraq against Turkey, and this continues to put upward pressure on oil prices.
Likewise, fears that may linger about the potential broader economic impact in the aftermath of the failure of Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank, as well as the share crash and rescue bid for giant Credit Suisse, and pressure on other regional banks in the US appear to be easing.
Also supporting prices was a Wednesday report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) that crude oil stockpiles in the world’s largest producer fell unexpectedly in the week of March 24 to a two-year low.
Crude inventories dropped by 7.5 million barrels, compared with expectations for a rise of 100,000 barrels.
These factors offset bearish sentiment after a lower-than-expected cut to Russian crude oil production in the first three weeks of March, as numbers showed that there was a 300,000 barrels per day production decline compared with targeted cuts of 500,000 barrels per day, or about 5 per cent of Russian output.
Markets are now waiting for the US spending and inflation data due on Friday and the resulting impact on the value of the US Dollar, which impacts oil prices.
Also driving oil prices Thursday have been statements ahead of a planned meeting of the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) on Monday, where delegates have indicated that the 23-man cartel will likely stick to its current production cut plan.
Despite the low prices prompted in part by the banking crisis fears, analysts noted that OPEC+ would stay the course and not react by reducing output further.
Nigerian Exchange Witnesses N318.52bn Listings in Q1 2023
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
The Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited witnessed the listing of N318.52 billion worth of securities in the first quarter of 2023, data from the X-Compliance report of the bourse has revealed.
This cut across equities, fixed income, mutual funds and derivatives categories.
The X-Compliance report is a transparency initiative of NGX designed to maintain market integrity and protect investors by providing compliance-related information on all listed companies.
Through the report, NGX ensures that it provides timely information to investors to aid their capital allocation decisions and enable a properly functioning capital market.
According to the report, NGX saw N11.23 billion in Federal Government of Nigeria bond listings which constituted FGN Savings Bonds with maturities ranging between 2024 and 2026.
Lagos State Government issued the only bond by a sub-sovereign entity with its N137.33 billion series 1V, 10-year 13%, Fixed Rate Bonds due 2031 under its N500 billion debt issuance program.
The corporate bond segment recorded N112.42 billion senior unsecured bond listing from Dangote Industries Funding Plc and N31.36 billion in Sukuk Issuances from Taj Bank and Family Homes under their respective Sukuk Issuance programmes.
FTN Cocoa Processors Plc and Neimeth International Pharmaceuticals Plc both did supplementary listings of N850 million and N3.68 billion of shares, respectively.
Africa Plus Partners Nigeria Limited also listed its mutual fund, Africa Infra Plus 1, the first Carbon Plus naira-denominated fund to be listed on the Exchange, at a market value of N21.65 billion.
NGX also continued to drive participation in its derivatives market with the listing of the NGX Pension index Futures Contract and NGX30 Index Futures Contract.
Recall that the Chief Executive Officer of NGX, Mr Temi Popoola, had noted that the Exchange had a renewed focus on listings for the year 2023.
“We will be using listings as a vehicle for meeting strategic aspirations as the new dispensation comes in through increased advocacy and engagements,” he had said.
Nigeria’s Debt Profile Jumps 17% to N46.25trn in 2022
By Adedapo Adesanya
Nigeria’s total public debt stock increased by 17 per cent to N46.25 trillion or $103.11 billion as of December 2022 from N39.56 trillion or $95.77 billion in 2021.
This information was revealed by the Debt Management Office (DMO) on Thursday.
This means that the country’s debt profile precisely increased by 16.9 per cent or N6.69 trillion or $7.34 billion within one year, as the government borrow funds from various quarters for its budget deficits.
The agency said the new figures comprise the domestic and external total debt stocks of the federal government and the sub-national governments (36 state governments and the Federal Capital Territory).
The DMO statement partly read, “As of December 31, 2022, the total public debt stock was N46.25 trillion or $103.11 billion.
“In terms of composition, total domestic debt stock was N27.55 trillion ($61.42 billion) while total external debt stock was N18.70 trillion ($41.69 billion).
“Amongst the reasons for the increase in the total public debt stock were new borrowings by the FGN and sub-national governments, primarily to fund budget deficits and execute projects. The issuance of promissory notes by the FGN to settle some liabilities also contributed to the growth in the debt stock.
“On-going efforts by the government to increase revenues from oil and non-oil sources through initiatives such as the Finance Acts and the Strategic Revenue Mobilization initiative are expected to support debt sustainability.”
“The total public debt to gross domestic product (GDP) ratio for December 31, 2022, was 23.20 per cent and indicates a slight increase from the figure for December 31, 2022, at 22.47 per cent.
“The ratio of 23.20 per cent is within the 40 per cent limit self-imposed by Nigeria, the 55 per cent limit recommended by the World Bank/International Monetary Fund, and the 70 per cent limit recommended by the Economic Community of West African States,” the debt office said.
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