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 Expert wants FG to Reduce Import Duties on Raw Materials

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An Expert in Power, Mr Kunle  Olubiyo,  has appealed to the Federal Government to reduce customs import’s duties and other critical statutory charges at the port of entry and land border.

Olubiyo, who is also the President, Nigeria Consumer Protection Network said this on Thursday in Abuja while speaking to newsmen on the recent tariff increase said that this would reduce the costs of doing business in the country.

NAN reports that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) on Wednesday approved an increase in electricity tariff paid by Band A customers from N68/KWh to N225KWh.

According to NERC, Band A are those customers who enjoy electricity supply for 20 hours per day.

He said that the import duties and other charges had helped in increasing the costs of importation of raw materials and semi-finished goods.

Olubiyo said the increase in costs of production generally translates into an increase in the costs of essential materials and costs of  goods and services in the country.

“The implications of the recent increase in electricity tariff are far reaching

“The consequential effects of about 400 per cent increase in electricity tariff will no doubt have negative multiplier effects on cost of doing business in the country.

“These include but not limited to job losses and closures of several local industries due to high cost of production and attendance pressure from workers for wage increase, ‘’ he said

Olubiyo said that the increase in electricity tariff alone was not a silver bullet solution to the myriad of the challenges bedeviling the post-privatised electricity sector.

“The question is what is it that we are going to do differently this time around that is going make the consequential effects outcome different from past efforts, ‘’ he said.

Olubiyo urged the NERC to direct the Electricity Distribution Companies (DisCos)  to ensure that all the customers and end users’ customers on Band A were metered effectively.

He also said that the customers on 33 Kilo Volt (KV) Feeders should also be metered.

Olubiyo said that in Nigeria, 90 per cent of Indigenous manufacturers and assembly plants depend largely on alternative sources of energy.

“The cost of sourcing alternative energy from the array of available energy mix account for about 65 per cent or more of the cost production.

“Service providers henceforth be made to take responsibility for non-performance and non-adherence to extant rules, ‘’ he said. (NAN)

NEWS

Naira Appreciation: FCCPC Intensifies Enforcements to Discourage Unfair Price Hike

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The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) says it will intensify monitoring and enforcement in formal and informal markets to ensure that business owners do not unfairly inflate prices.

Dr Adamu Abdullahi, the Acting Executive Vice Chairman of the Commission, was reacting to complaints by consumers that in spite of the appreciation of the Naira against the dollar, prices of goods were still increasing.

Abdullahi said in a statement in Abuja on Tuesday, that the situation was unacceptable, and the Commission was committed to protecting consumers from exploitation.

He said that the operatives of FCCPC would work with trade associations, farmer groups, and other stakeholders to combat price-fixing, and dismantle cartels.

This, according to Abdullahi, will encourage increased competition and ultimately lead to lower prices for consumers.

”The FCCPC understands the significant financial strain these rising prices are placing on Nigerian households. As a result, the Commission is taking proactive steps to addressing this issue.

”While the FCCPC cannot directly regulate prices, the Commission will utilise its existing legal framework to enforce fair competition and consumer protection provisions.

”This includes monitoring and investigating unusual price hikes, addressing complaints filed by consumers, and taking action against any businesses found to be engaging in anti-competitive practices such as price-fixing, price gouging or cartel formation.

”The Commission remains committed to educating consumers about their rights and empowering them to make informed choices.

”We will engage in advocacy and public awareness campaigns to raise awareness about price gouging and other unfair trade practices and provide guidance on how to identify and report such practices.

”We will collaborate with relevant regulatory bodies to develop a comprehensive and coordinated response to anti-competitive practices, price gouging, and other consumer protection issues,” he said.

He encouraged consumers to continue to report suspected price gouging and other unfair trade practices through contact@fccpc.gov.ng.

”Together, we can work towards a more stable, fair, and competitive marketplace for all Nigerians.” (NAN)

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NEWS

Lagos to Extend Blue Rail Line to Agbara in Ogun  

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The Lagos State Government is currently in discussions with the Ogun government to extend the Blue Rail Line further down to Agbara.

Mr Olasukanmi Okusaga, the Director of Rail Transport, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority (LAMATA), stated this on Tuesday in Lagos.

Okusaga was on an inspection tour of the ongoing construction of the Blue Line Phase 2 project being handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

He expressed satisfaction at the progress achieved so far and revealed ongoing discussions with the Ogunt government to extend the Blue Line further down to Agbara.

“The project, which was awarded in 2023, is expected to be completed in three years.

“It will include six stations in Festac, Alakija, Trade Fair, Volkswagen, LASU and Okokomaiko along with three bridges in Maza Maza, Satellite town and LASU. This phase covers. 14 Kilometres.

“There are also plans to construct a depot in Okokomaiko,” Okusaga said. (NAN)

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DEFENCE

NSCDC Official Calls for Increased Vigilance to Enhance Security

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Umar Mohammed, the Kwara Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), on Tuesday in Ibadan called for an increase in vigilance.

He said the appeal was necessary to confront the challenges of insecurity, violence and other social vices in various communities in the state.

The Commandant said the recent rise in security challenges in the state necessitated the upgrading of the police outpost to a fully operational divisional office.

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”This is in order to address insecurity more effectively.

“The establishment of the division will no doubt improve operational efficiency, thereby reducing possible threats to peaceful coexistence,” he said.

The Commandant applauded the people of Ipee community, most especially Mr Olayiwola Oyebode, Deputy Speaker of Kwara House of Assembly, for their unwavering commitment and support for the project.

He assured the community that their efforts would not go in vain.

”I promise utmost security and well-being, and the NSCDC will work tirelessly to address all your security challenges,” Mohammed said.

He urged members of the community to remain vigilant and actively support the Corps by providing credible and timely information that would enhance their operations.

“Security is a collective responsibility and everyone should play their part in keeping their community safe, by working together and sharing information promptly,” the Commandant said.

The Deputy Speaker of State House of Assembly, Mr Olayiwola Oyebode, thanked the Commandant for his cooperation and efforts in ensuring the protection of lives and properties in the community and the state in general.

He urged the Commandant to deploy additional personnel to the new division in order to increase the safety and security of the people in the community.

In his remark, the Onipe of Ipee, Oba Lawal Adebayo, expressed gratitude to the Corps for the steadfast dedication to ensuring safety in the community and urged for sustained efforts.

Oba Adebayo also thanked Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq for his continuous support in upholding peace and security within the state.(NAN)

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