—as Nigerian-bound cargo trapped in China
He also decried the lack of support from the state and federal governments, adding that shippers had given so much and expected government to reciprocate their efforts with some palliatives.
Nicol complained that shippers pay too many bills, adding that what they used to spend like N10,000 on before has now gone to about N200,000.
The SAL boss further bemoaned the slow pace of ongoing construction works on the West Minister end of the Tin Can Island road, adding that if care was not taken, the Tin Can Island Port would be affected.
“The bad road makes our goods fall off the trucks and this is a big challenge for shippers because their goods are not guaranteed. Insurance will say it’s a natural consequence because the roads are not part of what they insured,” Nicol lamented.
He said if the government looked into the challenges they were facing, Nigerian manufacturers are ready to contribute to Nigeria’s economy, the same way as the oil and gas and customs were doing.
Mr. Nicole observed that if Customs could generate about N2 trillion, agencies like Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) could equally generate huge sums.
“Looking at the income of Nigeria Customs Service, they were able to rake in N2 trillion, it shows how dynamic Nigerian importers and shippers are.
“In spite of the enormous challenges, the constant increase in income of the customs remains the same. So we commend the efforts of the trading community, they have done well.
“We feel that we should have been able to do more to support the government but the challenges are enormous, sometimes we wonder if the country cares because the bills we pay are also enormous.
“This is in spite of the fact that we try as much as possible to cooperate with government regulations and keep up with the expectations of government,” he said.
Nicol said there were many agitations with the shipping and terminal operators who increased their prices in 2021, adding that the government needs to fine-tune the processes in cargo clearance.
Buhari, Jonathan, Obasanjo, Babangida, Abdusalami, Osinbajo, Atiku, others to spend N13.8billon from N27.5 trillion 2024 budget
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Federal government has earmarked the sum of N13.8 billion in the 2024 budget as the cost of upkeep of
former presidents, vice presidents, heads of state, Chiefs of General Staff, retired heads of service, permanent secretaries, and retired heads of government agencies and parastatals.
The beneficiaries include former Presidents Olusegun Obasanjo, Goodluck Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari, ex-vice-presidents Atiku Abubakar, Namadi Sambo and Prof Yemi Osinbajo.
Also expected to benefit from the windfall are ex-military Heads of State, General Yakubu Gowon and General Abdusalami Abubakar, as well as a former dictator and self-styled military President, General Ibrahim Babangida, and a former Chief of General Staff, Commodore Ebitu Ukiwe (retd.).
Also, N1tn was provisioned for the public service wage adjustment for government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (including arrears of promotion and salary increases, and payment of severance benefits and minimum wage-related adjustments).
A breakdown shows that the entitlements of former presidents/heads of state and vice presidents/chief of general staff will cost N2.3bn. At the same time, N10.5bn is proposed as benefits for retired heads of service, permanent secretaries and professors.
The payment of severance benefits to retired heads of government agencies and parastatals is proposed to cost N1bn.
Other allocations include N65bn for the Presidential Amnesty Programme for the reintegration of transformed ex-militants; N1bn for the Office of the Presidential Adviser on Energy; and N108bn for unnamed special projects.
The government is also proposing the sum of N40bn to offset electricity debts owed to power distribution companies by all MDAs.
President Bola Tinubu unveiled the N27.5 trillion budget estimates for the 2024 fiscal year.
The budget was presented to a joint session of the National Assembly on Wednesday, where it is currently undergoing scrutiny and deliberation for final approval.
In his presentation, he declared, “The 2024 Appropriation has been themed the Budget of Renewed Hope.
The proposed budget seeks to achieve job-rich economic growth, macro-economic stability, a better investment environment, enhanced human capital development, as well as poverty reduction and greater access to social security.
News Alert: Wale Adeniyi revives CG conference, holds 2023 edition December 13-15 in Lagos.
Ukraine blocks Russia’s reelection bid at IMO council elections
The outcome is another blow for Russia after it failed in its bid to return to the UN’s top human rights body in October, in an election seen as a key test of Western efforts to keep Moscow isolated.
Last year, Moscow also failed to win enough votes for re-election to the UN aviation agency’s governing council.
The London-based International Maritime Organization (IMO) is responsible for regulating the safety and security of international shipping and preventing pollution and comprises 175 member state countries.
Russia has been a member since 1958 and has been consistently re-elected to the IMO Council.
With voting on Friday, 40 countries were elected by secret ballot to the IMO Council, which supervises the work of the body.
In October, Russia said the IMO was departing from its impartial role due to “external pressure” which it said was impacting the fair treatment of all member countries.
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