It has been a year since the Nigerian government closed its land borders with neighboring African countries to tackle arms proliferation, smuggling and other illicit trans-border activities.
The federal government says the closed border has drastically reduced inflow of arms and ammunition, and that it has also reduced incidents of cattle rustling, kidnapping, armed banditry and other activities that are responsible for insecurity in the northwest.
Smuggling of petroleum products is also said to have been curtailed because filling stations along the northwest border have been closed.
The Nigeria Customs Service says the border closure has also increased its daily revenue to an average of nearly six billion naira because cargoes that used to go to Benin Republic and were smuggled into Nigeria now go to Apapa or Tin Can Island ports where proper customs duties are paid.
President of national council of managing directors of licensed customs agents, Lucky Amiwero says the Nigerian economy would feel the impact of this exercise in a positive way, while countries who used to profit as smuggling routes will now have to re-strategize on new ways for their economies to survive.
“More Prosperous Days Will Come Soon” – Lai Mohammed
Minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, wants Nigerians to be patient with president Muhamadu Buhari on the issue of price hikes. He says better days are ahead.
He made the call in Lagos on Saturday during a meeting with online publishers. The minister said it was mere coincidence that the hikes in both the pump price of fuel and electricity tariff happened simultaneously. He said even with the hike in fuel prices, Nigeria still has the cheapest fuel prices and electricity tariff in all of west Africa.
The minister said the government was forced to take some tough decisions in order to mitigate the effect of the economic slowdown and the drastic fall in government revenues. Mohammed said when oil prices collapsed at the height of the global lockdown caused by COVID-19, the government had to deregulate PMS prices.
He said the international prices of crude oil on local fuel prices will not last forever. He also said the emergence of modular refineries in the country will help in lowering the cost of petroleum products.
Rivers State Imposes N100 Million Fine On Violators Of COVID-19 Burial Protocols
The Rivers State government is not joking around with the enforcement of COVID-19 protocols on burials. It has announced a fine of one hundred million naira for violators.
State commissioner for health, Dr. Princewill Chike said in a statement on Saturday the decision to impose the fine on violators was taken at the state’s executive council meeting in Port Harcourt.
He said a directive has gone out to chairmen of local government councils in the state to ensure full compliance with the protocols in their various localities.
Chike said the government’s stipulation still stands forbidding more than fifty persons from attending burials in the state.
Nationwide Planned Industrial Action Averted
The Nigerian Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress have suspended the planned nationwide strike that was to commence today. The strike was planned as a protest against the recent increase in electricity tariff and the hike in petrol pump price.
After a marathon meeting with labor leaders on Sunday, minister of labor and employment, Chris Ngige announced the decision by both parties to suspend the planned strike.
He said a two-week time table has been set for a technical committee of labor leader, government agencies and ministries to look into issues of the electricity tariff hike.
The committee is charged with the duty of harmonizing the basis for the new tariff because of what he said was conflicting information that was not in sync with the national electricity regulatory commission’s policy that guided the tariff hike.
Electricity distribution companies have been ordered to halt the application of the new tariff during the two weeks.
On the issue of fuel pump price increase, both parties have agreed to rehabilitate the nation’s refineries to reduce fuel prices.
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