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INDNACCIMA urges repair of existing refineries

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S t ories by Ayomlde Owonlbl, Lagos s n palliative to s u bsidy. the Nige ria n combat th e d· Assocla Uon of Chambers feels 01 the fue l of Commerce.

oOhuegun A gango.. Mln /.s r.?r of Trade gnd I nves tm en t

fl.Hll cs and Agrlcullure ,(NACCIMA)hasc:a lh::don lilt Federal Government to reVive t h e fou r exlst-

In g rennerles in order to make fucl more affordab le for Nige ri ans. In a s tateme nt m ade

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.Abd ullah l D ik k o, Cus t o ms Comp tro ller-Gen e ral

FG subsidises agricultural equipment

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OLTI-:D b) the n eed

to enc~urJgc fann ers In tht country

to conU1butc to the g rO!lS

domesHc "u tput a nd d iversify l h e cl.:oromy. Ult f'edcfill Go\'cm'"Tlcn t has put In place measu~ 10 remove dulles 0 1 agncullural equlpmcnl . According to the Complealler-Gen erol of Nigeria Custom s Servlt'c iNCSJ. Alhaj l Abdullalll Dlkko. the gestun: ,,111 boost loca l agrlcuHural production. ge n nate employment and redu ce youth resU\·e ness. Olkko s,'lld lhe goventment was 11I0vlnJ towards agrlcullu re: to help grow the country economically and poliUcaLly. atldingthat agricultu re was one or lhe back boncs or a ny economy. -We ha\'e reallsef,i that " 'e have to race the ren lIty of lime. Agrit'ullurc Is a back bone of a n y economy lhls has made the FG bend mor! towards agriculture. I1le PreSident has removed all import d uUes o n agricultura l equipm en t a n d we are t r ying to patronise goods that are being manufaelure(l In NIgeria to boost our own producUon . c~te more emp loyment Oppo.-lunities and redu ce restiveness. so that th e coun try wt ll ha ve peace am: we will move fo rward (con omlcally.H

In a related evenL the Mlnister of AgrIcullure. Dr Akl nwuml Adesl na. has revealed that the Cassava Tran sform a tio n Plan or his ministry was meant to revive Ule economy and creale jobs for Ule unemployed In Nigeria. Speaking recently durlnga meetlng wlthpartnel1J from the bakery industry. the minister exp lai n e d that Nlgerla's focxl lmport

bill Is excepllo nally high; wtth thc top rour Imports consuming over 1.3 trtJ lio n naira In (orelgn CJleh ange every year. "Our food Imports Is growlngatal'l uns ustainable rate or II per cent per annum. fueling domestle lunatl on a nd driving poverty. We a rc Importing products Ulat we can either produce In abunda n ce. S UCl l as

N356 billion naira worth of rice. N217 billion naira worth of s ugar and N97 bUlio n worth of fish; or nre Impo rting products tha t we ca n easily find loca l aHernalives (or. for u s to reduce ou r Im port bill. such a s t he N635 billi o n being s p e nt o n Importing whea l. there Is nee d to encourage loca l producUon.'

T ransporters to get N15bn for lDass· transit schelDe E federal Govern- additional NI Sbn avall ment as part o( d - able to the schcme. TIlcadditlonalfundwt.ll forts almcd at cushIon ing Ule Impact of the bc m a d e ava il able to removal of rue l subsidy t ranspo r t operators at followIng we astronomi- zero per cent In teres t rate cal Increase In transpor- . with 60 days repayment tatio n fa res across th e moralonum. cou ntry has co nc luded Ihe amoun t would 35+ plans to rel ease 51st them reduce transN 15blllion to t ra n sport port fares by a ~ll1 lnlmum unions. or 20 per cent pre-PMS According to a stement subsidy levels. As part o( by the Ministry of Trade the social responsibili ty of and Investment. the Ule transport operators. amount ",'Culd be used for schoolchUdren In unlform the a cquisition of more o.nd Ute e ldcrly would be buses to ensure a s mooth charged a further reduced takc -o rr of l h e Public f~ on Intercity tnmsport Mass Transit Revolving operatlons across th e country.Fund Sch eme (PMTfl. In a meeling with At Ule I.r.:msport operasyake h o lders In t h e tors also agreed Ulat all transport Industry. Mr. Import duty on all needed Olusegun Aganga. a JOint parts for the 1oca1 manucommunlqu~ was Issued racturlng of buses be It was agreed that the F'G waived. \\111 In addlUon to the ex"It h as been a difficul t Isti ng N I Obn PMTF n egotiation because lhe sch e m e. make a nl.nIUa.1 openltors of UIls scheme

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a re patriotic Nigeria ns . Illey have agreed Ulal we will meet on a monthly basis unUI the s ltuaUon Is completely under conl rol. after Ihal we will m eet o n aquarlerly basis." t.he mlnisler said. Aganga poin ted out thai some of Ule manufacturers of the buses had glvcn Indication to Invest In tJle coun try by setling up local producUon plants. ~We have gotten Ind lcaUons from some o( Ule manufacture rs that Uley ....'Culd be willing to Invest In the coun try. 1111s wtll ensure Ulat a t least 50 per cent of the ve hic les sold fo r this programme will be vehicles that are produced kx::a1Iy. lhey ha\1: tndJcatcd to us that wlUlin UlI'eC monUlS they will be able to p roduce 2.000 buses and about 4. {)()() on a quarterly basis.·

avallable to Ul e lVigerian Tribune . the PreSident o f the aSSOCia ti o n Or He rb ert AJay!. stated Lhat the six: reOn e rles s hould be made read y for pnvaUsatJon by l he fed eral Gove rnment. He urged the governmen t to faC ilit ate the s upply o( crude 011 to aU private opera tors previously granted licences for refineries. observing Ihat this had been a snag to lhe establishment of pr1vate rdln er les In the coun try. -The gover n men I s h ould re-con slder and reverse Its dec Is ion for an agreed period to e n able the Belgore CommUtee del ermine the t ru e cos t of the s ubsidy by firs t re mOVing/extracting a lleged cor ruption e lements. TIle Importation and distribu tio n ofjXtrole um products s hould be co n s ld ercd se n sitive eno u gh to be made transpa.rent a t Ulls early stage.

'The governme nt s h ould dillgen lly re-con s ider the adoption or phased subsidy removal that relates closely wtth available local p rodu c ~ lion. whic h will In tum provide employment opportunities and (acUllate lIle g rowth of Industria l clusters In the sector. 'The government s hould urgen tly push for the speedy passage of the Petroleu m Industry Bill. whiCh has the capacity to generate more lhan 55 billion In savings for the country annuall)·. - th e president said. TIlough the association agreed with lhe fcd e ral Go\'ernment that ruel subsidy removal was In cvltable with deregulalion of the downstream sub-sector of the petroleum Indus t ry. It condem ned the timing of the polley's Implementation as t h e gove rnme nt did not address the Immediate effect on the citizen ry a nd businesses.

NEPC partners LASG on export models N order t o en li ghte n wou ld be ex po rters. t h c NIge ria n Export P romotion Council fNEPCI a nd Lagos State Ministry of Commerce a n d Industry have Introduccd t h e model of exporting agric u l tura l p roducts used by the Un ited States of America to Sma ll and Me dium Scale E n terprises (S MEsJ In Nigeria. Speak.lng at a semina r o rganised by NEPC. Se n io r Co mm erc i a l Specialist rrom t h e United States Embassy. Lagos. Anyo Agu sa id s m a ll -sca le produ ce rs must u n ders ta nd the mark et co nditi o n or products to enhance the ir growth . He pointed out Ihat exporte rs must be competent In lhe IdenUfleBtlon of specific u sers o r a products. adding that It was nccessary for producers to dlrrerentJate themselves from t he product. Jlle modem s ituatio n of the ma rket has made Il n ecessary for SMEs to get I h e fundamentals righ t a nd understand Ule basic cultu re wilh approprtate a pproach to taek-

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ling Ulem." Accordin g to him. It s hould be the Initiati ve of the gove rnme nt to build SME capacity for ac h ievements. ~Expor t promotion s hould be the Initiative of the Presidency. They must build a eapaclty to t ake advantage or the goal and mlndse t of the people. ~ Also speaking at the event. the Lagos Slate Com missioner for Comm erce a nd lodus try. O lusola Owo ru . noted Ulal the rolc o( the SMEs in eco n o m iC de~'e lop ­ ment could not be over emphaSised. ~S ME s c urren tl y provide e mpl oyment for over 60 pe r cent of the cou n t r y's workfo r ce. wit h t he util isa tion of local materials for t h eir production 10 stimu la te g row th of prim ary produ ction .' she said . NEPC Executive Director. David Ad ulagba. who was represented by t h e Director. Specia l Se r v ices. Olajlde Ib r a h im. pointed o u t tllal SMEs s h ou ld be promoted a nd nurtured I n o rder to optimise th eir potenti a l.

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NIGERIAN TRIBUNE, 10 JANUARY, 2012