Trade facilitation: Customs seeks stakeholders’ compliance with NICIS II


In a bid to enhance trade facilitation and increase revenue generation for the Federal Government, the Murtala Muhammed Airport Command, MMAC, of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has implored stakeholders to embrace the new Customs clearing process; Nigerian Integrated Customs Information System II (NICIS II), launched at the Command by the Technical Team Unit, Abuja. Customs The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Shoboiki Jayne, made this known through the Public Relations Officer, Mr. Ephraim Joseph Haruna, saying that the modules for E-Manifest, E-payment, an electronic form ‘M’, Risk Assessment Reports (RARs) now Pre Arrival Access Report (PAAR) and Passenger Baggage Entry Declaration are incorporated into NICIS II platform for greater efficiency.

Chevron dissociates self from job recruitment exercise



An official of Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Esimaje Brikinn, has dissociated the company from an ongoing job recruitment exercise being circulated on social media.

In a statement on Friday, the company, the operator of the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, said it is aware of the circulation of “false recruitment information posted by unscrupulous persons and organisations in the name of CNL in several media and online channels, advertising job positions in CNL”.

Mr Brikinn, the General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs of CNL, said the fraudulent job offers had reportedly been sent through emails, text messages and phone calls by individuals purporting to be staff or representatives of CNL, with the intent to defraud their victims.

“CNL hereby dissociates itself from such false job recruitment information and offers of employment contracts published in any newspaper, website, email, poster, handbill or any other medium. CNL did not make or authorise such publications,” Mr Brikinn said.

“Members of the public are hereby notified that Chevron Nigeria Limited does not, and will not require applicants to make any payments towards processing any job application.

“Recruitment advertisements requesting candidates to pay money, at any point during the recruitment process, are not from CNL.”

The official also said CNL does not solicit job applications or initiate recruitment processes through emails, posters, handbills, text messages, social media or phone calls.

Mr. Brikinn advised job seekers to always check the company’s website at: http:/ and the national newspapers for job advertisements from Chevron Nigeria Limited.

Mr Brikinn added that CNL would not respond to enquiries about fraudulent advertisements and job offers.

‘Low oil production, price may limit implementation of 2018 budget’


Experts urge govt to boost output, non-oil revenue 
Nigeria may be ensnared in another budget deficit as members of the Organization Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) head for a crucial meeting to decide on output policy, which could crash the price of oil.With pressure mounting from consumers like United States and China, as well as move by Saudi Arabia and Russia for OPEC to increase supply in the market, there are concerns that such decisions could crash the price of oil, which has stabilized from as low as $27 a barrel in 2016 to $75 a barrel yesterday.

Unless OPEC maintains its output policy and calm is sustained in the Niger Delta to keep oil output intact, Chairman/CEO of International Energy Services (IES) Ltd, Dr. Diran Fawibe projects a fall in price or production that could affect implementation of the 2018 budget signed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.With an oil price benchmark of $51, crude oil production of 2.3 million barrels per day and exchange rate of N305/$1 approved for the budget, growing tension from militants in the Niger Delta as the country moves closer to election and other uncertainties at the international market could increase budget deficit, Fawibe told The Guardian yesterday.

Fawibe said: “If OPEC increases its production by 1.5million barrels per day, there will be a slump in the price, especially now that we are going to winter.”He urged the federal government to proactively address the situation in the oil-producing region to enable the country to boost production, which stood around 2.25 million b/d earlier this year.

President/Chairman of Council, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria, who is Dean, College of Postgraduate Studies, Caleb University, Prof. Segun Ajibola expressed concern over Nigeria’s inability to determine global realities, adding that outcome of market decision could frustrate implementation of the budget, considering that oil revenue remained the country’s basic income.The re-balance in the oil sector had aided Nigeria to exit economic shortfall and boosted reserves but Ajibola was worried about the country’s continuous dependence on a single source of revenue.

“We cannot control international market realities. Our economy is still tied to a product and if you look at the improvement in the economic indices, the oil and gas industry was the basic factor.“As long our politics on oil continues, we will still find ourselves in this unstable state of mind because what is happening out there is beyond our control and whatever OPEC will decide is beyond our control. If the shale oil in the US is to be pumped into the market, the price will fall and implementation of our budget becomes difficult,” Ajibola said

President of Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), Prof Wumi Iledare urged the federal government to take necessary steps in boosting the country’s capacity to produce more.Iledare, who noted Nigeria’s current level of production would not favour the country for higher quota, said OPEC understands the oil market dynamics. “Now they monitor market dynamics, especially inventory level in the US and China. Consecutive increase in inventory is not good for a stable market price so also is a sudden fall in inventory due to higher oil price. The tool OPEC use is its spare capacity to balance the market. Nigeria under this scenario must build capacity to participate easily when OPEC expands its production,” he said.

Vice President, Macro Oils, at Wood Mackenzie, Ann-Louise Hittle said the producers must contend with differing production expectations for Iran and Venezuela, and consider external pressure for action from the US, adding that, “for Iran, the exact impact of the newly restored US secondary sanctions remains unknown. Venezuela’s production outlook remains uncertain, and recent outages in Libya may also weigh on decision-makers’ minds.Wood Mackenzie think-thank said OPEC could increase output by a more dramatic 1 million b/d, adding a further 0.3 million b/d from Russia to bring the total gain closer to 1.5 million b/d.

“Saudi Arabia could do this with Russia to weaken oil prices significantly – leading to a reduction in gasoline prices in the US, and providing support to President Trump. Such a decision, if implemented, would have a large impact on the supply-and-demand fundamentals by creating implied stock builds averaging 0.9 million b/d in H2 2018, and 1.8 million b/d in 2019,” the group said in email on Wednesday.

The organisation added that OPEC could however maintain its goal of stable oil prices and continue the current production cut agreement looking at situation, which sees a 380,000 b/d decline in supply from Venezuela, January to December 2018, and Iran’s output slipping to 3.4 million b/d by the end of this year, OPEC could.“In our base case outlook, the losses from Venezuela and Iran are somewhat offset by continued growth in the US. This view leads to a small-implied stock draw in Q3 2018, followed by an inventory build in Q4 2018 which is expected to weaken prices heading into 2019 when we see an oversupply for the year,” Hittle said.

Nigeria, Germany explore new opportunities to strengthen economic ties


As part of efforts to grow stronger economic ties between Nigeria and Germany, the delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria in collaboration with Nigeria-German Business Association and the German-African Business Association (Afrika-Verein der deutschen Wirtschaft) hopes to explore new investment opportunities at this year’s forum.

According to the organisers, the investment forum which kicked-off yesterday with the theme; “Leveraging partnership for economic growth”, will provide opportunities for Nigerian and German businesses to network, exchange information and establish business contacts.

Speaking at the German-Nigeria business forum, the Governor of Lagos state, Akinwunmi Ambode represented by the Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperatives, Lagos, Olayinka Oladunjoye assured investors of stable political environment, improvement in power supply, security in the state, among others.

Ambode said his government is currently focusing on the development of critical business sectors such as agriculture and food processing, provision of equipment to farmers, promotion of agricultural value chains, and expansion of fish production.He further revealed that 1000MW of power out of the proposed 4000MW will be available this year, stressing that it will reduce dependence on gas from the Niger delta as he also called on investors to take advantage of the Lagos State free trade zone which is open to all nationals and countries of the world.

“Without doubt, Lagos state is a commercial and industrial state in Nigeria with the population of 24.8 million and at annual population growth rate of 3.2 per cent, immigration rate of six persons per hour, 25 per cent active youth population between 15 and 25 years. Lagos State is the fifth largest economy in Africa having a gross domestic product of $136 billion and accounting for almost third per cent of the country’s GDP. Therefore as an economic giant of Africa, Lagos state will continue to design and administer policies and initiatives that will help attract investment to Nigeria”, he added.

A delegate, Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria, Dr. Marc Lucassen said the aim of the forum was to promote economic prosperity between Nigeria and German, create more business opportunities and provide excellent relationship between both countries.The Ambassador of Germany to Nigeria, Dr. Bernhard Schlagheck called on the Federal Government of Nigeria to provide adequate security for investors as economic stability is imperative in any economy. He also implored the government to ensure free and fair election in the country.

The Executive Secretary/CEO Nigeria Investment Promotion Council (NIPC), Yewande Sadiku during her presentation described Africa as the most attractive investment destination in the world, stating that the population speaks to market and potential consumers as Africa is the only continent designated in 2050 to grow more than double in size, while Nigeria will grow more than five per cent a year.

She urged investors to believe Africa and Nigeria’s attractiveness will improve in the future, stating that statistics shows 66 per cent believe attractiveness has improved over the past year in Africa, while 81 per cent believe the attractiveness will improve over the next few years.According to her, part of the nation’s growth plan is to diversify the economy and a lot of growth seen has been driven by the non-oil sector.

German car shares dip on Trump tariff tweet

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Shares in European carmakers took a hit on Friday, after US President Donald Trump redoubled his threats of tariffs against their cars.

Mr Trump tweeted that the US would place a 20% import tax on European cars, if the EU’s “tariffs and barriers are not broken down soon and removed”.

Shares in BMW, Daimler, Porsche and Volkswagen each dropped more than 1%, before regaining ground.

Mr Trump’s comment came amid a US national security probe of car imports.

Mr Trump launched the investigation last month, ordering the Commerce Department to determine if car imports are a risk to national security.

The US followed a similar process for the steel and aluminium industry, which led it to impose tariffs on the foreign metals this spring.

The EU, China, Mexico, Canada and India are among the places that have plans to retaliate or have already done so.Twitter post by @realDonaldTrump: Based on the Tariffs and Trade Barriers long placed on the U.S. and it great companies and workers by the European Union, if these Tariffs and Barriers are not soon broken down and removed, we will be placing a 20% Tariff on all of their cars coming into the U.S. Build them here!

The decision to expand the Trump administration’s trade disputes to foreign car manufacturers has come under fire from some in the US Congress, as well as many business lobby groups.

At a hearing this week, Senator Orrin Hatch, a Republican from Utah, said he was “stunned” that the Trump administration was investigating the national security risk of vehicle imports, which is estimated to affect about $200bn worth of imports.

He said the probe alienates allies and tariffs would lead to job losses and increased costs in the US.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross assured the congressional panel that there has been “no decision” made about whether to recommend tariffs.

“We’re in the early stages of the process,” he said.

He said Thursday that the Commerce Department hopes to complete the investigation by the end of July or August.

Job losses

The EU sent almost $50bn in vehicles and auto parts to the US last year, with roughly half coming from Germany.

Cars from the UK accounted for about $9bn, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics, a Washington think tank.

The organisation estimates that a 25% tariff on foreign vehicles and parts for them, assuming the US does not grant exemptions to some countries, would lead to the loss of about 195,000 jobs in the US.

Shares in major European car companies were already on edge due to trade tensions.

Daimler earlier this week warned that it expects lower sales of Mercedes-Benz cars due to a tax on the import of US vehicles into China.