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NPA to Clamp Down on Illegal Container Stripping

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has issued a stern warning against the illegal stripping of containers along the port access road.

The Managing Director of NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, in a statement in Lagos on Sunday, noted that the authority would deal decisively with perpetrators of the unwholesome practice.

Bello-Koko made this known when he paid an unscheduled visit to Tin-Can Island Port where he inspected designated container stripping yards and the port access roads to ensure trucks are not loitering.

“Truckers caught in the act stand the risk of being delisted from the Electronic Call-up System (Eto) platform managed by the Truck Transit Park (TTP) limited,” he said.

The NPA boss also said that NPA had rolled out Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for barge operators adding that the SOP would serve as a guideline to all operators.

Speaking further on concerns surrounding container stripping also known as ‘devanning’, Bello-Koko emphasised that stripping constituted a menace when undertaken outside designated yards.

“This provides a platform for trucks loitering around the port access roads which results in traffic disruptions and attendant chaos.

“NPA will intensify its vigilance and monitoring to nip the negative trend in the bud,” he said.

On the scarcity in some of the stripping yards, he acknowledged the impact of global economic upheavals on cargo flow and reiterated that low business downturn could not constitute a justification for illegality.

He revealed that proposals for well-equipped stripping yards, referred to as devanning yards, are receiving accelerated attention, signaling a shift from illegal roadside stripping.

He noted that on sustainability of the measures, NPA would collaborate with other government agencies and the Lagos state government to ensure that such unhealthy practices no longer took  place along the port access road.

“This unannounced spot visits will become more frequent and will be followed by regular stakeholder engagements to continuously improve the seamless operations of the Eto platform.

“Stripping yards that violate the operational rules will face temporal shutdowns for first-time offenders, and the possibility of non-renewal of land leases for recalcitrant offenders.

“Stringent measures are geared towards maintaining orderliness and safety within the port environment,” he said. (NAN)

Economy

SEC Approves Commencement of Access Holdings N351bn Rights Issue 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has approved the commencement of the N351 billion rights issue capital raising programme of Access Holdings Plc.

A statement made available by the Holdings to newsmen on Sunday in Lagos confirmed this.

The group said that the approval marked a significant milestone in its previously announced capital raising programme, which aimed to generate up to $1.

5 billion.

It also said that the rights issue was strategically structured to boost Access Holdings’ financial position and support ongoing working capital needs.

According to the holdings, the programme will also provide funding for organic growth across its banking and non-banking subsidiaries.

“The approved rights issue offers 17,772,612,811 ordinary shares of N0.50 each at a price of N19.75 per share.

“The offer will be issued on the basis of one new ordinary share for every two existing ordinary shares held as of June 7, 2024,” it said.

The lead issuing house for Access Holdings’ rights issue is Chapel Hill Denham Advisory Ltd., while Atlas Registrars Ltd. will serve as the Registrars to the offer.

The offer will open on July 8 and close on Aug. 14.

It noted that the rights circular would be distributed to shareholders by Atlas Registrars Ltd., and application forms would also be available on its various websites.

The holding company advised its shareholders to contact their stockbrokers for more details about the offer.

Access Holdings said that it remained committed to its strategic vision of expanding its footprint and delivering exceptional value to all its stakeholders.

It noted that the successful execution of the rights Issue would further solidify the group’s position as a leading financial services provider in Africa and beyond.(NAN)

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Business News

Nigeria Spends $600m Annually on Palm Oil Importation

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The National Palm Produce Association of Nigeria (NPPAN), says Nigeria spends 600 million dollars on palm oil importation annually.

Mr Alphonsus Inyang, National President of the association stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

He  described the expenses as unhealthy for national development.

Inyang said the samount could be saved and injected into the economy if the palm oil sub-sector was given due attention by successive governments.

The president said that Nigeria  which was self sufficient in palm oil production in time past,  now spends  huge amount to import same product.

Inyang said in the 60s, Nigeria was number one in palm oil  production and exportation globally, controlling over 60 per cent of world palm oil.

He said that the reverse was the case at the moment as over 50 per cent of what “we consume are imported,”he said.

Inyang said at the moment the country occupies fifth position in the league of palm oil  producing countries after Indonesia, Malaysia,Thailand and Colombia.

According to him, Nigeria may lose the position to smaller countries who are investing heavily in the sector.

He said  Indonesia occupies the first position,  producing 50 million metric tons, Malaysia second with 19 million metric tons, Thailand 3.28 million and Colombia 1.9 million metric tons.

The president attributed the challenge to the negelect of the sector by successive governments.

Inyang said based on the U.S.  Department of Agriculture, Nigeria currently occupy fifth position in the league of palm oil producing countries with 1.5 per cent or 1.4 million metric tons of the world’s total output.

“Nigeria was overthrown as the world’s largest palm oil producer and exporter by Malaysia and Indonesia in 1966.

“Currently Nigeria is the largest consumer of the product in the continent, consuming approximately three million metric tons yearly.

“Domestic production stands at less than 1.4 million metric tons, leaving a deficit of over 1.6 million metric tones,’’ he said.

Inyang urged government, specifically the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security to support NPPAN members  with seedlings to develop 250,000 hectares per year.

“Our members can plant up to 250,000 hectares per year through the association’s National Oil Palm Strategy Development Plan , all we want are inputs.

“Government does not need to give and develop land for us, we need seedlings, fertilisers, logistics and implements to close this gab within four years.

“We will also create new millionaires in 28 states of the federation, “he said. (NAN)

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Economy

Nigerian Banking System is Stable, CIBN Assures Nigerians

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) on Wednesday reassured Nigerians that the banking system remained “safe, sound and resilient,” dispelling fears of bank liquidations.

Its president, Prof. Pius Olanrewaju, gave the reassurance in a statement in Lagos to correct misinformation and fake news that licence of more banks would be revoked.

Olanrewaju emphasised the importance of clarifying rumours that additional bank licenses would be revoked, following the regulatory action taken by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) against Heritage Bank Plc on June 3.

“We would like to allay the fears of bank customers and the general public that the assertion is false and misleading.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have debunked the claim,” the Chairman of Council, CIBN, stated.

He added that the ongoing recapitalisation process announced by the CBN aims to further strengthen the resilience of banks and their capacity to support the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Consequently, we urge the public to continue conducting their banking services without hesitation or apprehension,” Olanrewaju said.

According to him, CIBN is committed to promoting best practices and ensuring that the sector remains safe and sound, in collaboration with other stakeholders in the ecosystem. (NAN)

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