Nigerians welfare abroad

Over the years, 118 Nigerians have been killed in South Africa, while 13 out of these were killed by South African Police and on June 13, Mrs Elizabeth Ndubuisi-Chukwu, the Deputy Director-General of Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria was found dead in her hotel room in Johannesburg when attending the conference of the African Insurance Organization, AIO, in South Africa, also Nigerians were being attacked in Ghana and Togo, especially, Nigerian traders.

Is this the way Nigerians would be attacked or killed when the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement start?

It’s high time the Nigerian government to act seriously about the attacks on Nigerians residing in other countries, issuing a warning to those countries isn’t good enough, the safeguard of Nigerians and their properties should be discussed when signing other phases of the AfCFTA agreement. Also, Mr president should issue an Executive Order which will mandate Nigerian embassies abroad to protect Nigerians, Nigerian foreign missions don’t care about Nigerians.

In 2008 when I visited Singapore for vacation, I had a problem and I went to Nigeria’s High Commission for help, getting there, I was told that they can’t help and I went my way to solve my problem.

Indonesia sustainable human capital development for inclusive innovation

Highly educated and well trained human resources are critical for an innovation driven economy and for Indonesia to sustain its future economic growth and to improve social welfare, the government has issued regulations, in which domestic taxpayers who conduct research and development (R&D) could obtain a gross income as high as 300% of the cost of their R&D activities, though the R&D activities must be conducted in Indonesia and produce new inventions, innovations, new technology and/or a transfer of technology to develop industries.

Also, domestic taxpayers who open a new business or expand their existing businesses in labours intensive sectors could enjoy a net income tax deduction of 60% of the capital they invested as fixed assets and local taxpayers who organize working programs, internships and/or educational activities to develop human resources based on a certain competency could obtain a gross income as high as 200% of the funds they had spent for the activities. Indonesia is learning from Singapore and South Korea, which have strong and committed governments that proactively set policy and provide incentives to push human capital development.

They strongly believe that high-quality human capital is key to maintaining their global competitiveness and to sustain growth.

Import Standardization in modern Nigeria

Trade facilitation has become a fundamental role, progressively seen by government as an important element of economic policy in today’s world. Standardisation of products is a worldwide industrial practice aimed at ensuring product quality. Governments have institutions whose duty is to formulate product quality standards and see to their enforcement. Companies that flouted industrial standards may be sanctioned or sued for infringement of regulations.

Nigeria imported US$36.5 billion worth of goods from around the globe in 2018, down by -18.3% since 2014 but up by 26.1% from 2017 to 2018.
Given Nigeria’s population of 203.5 million people, its total $36.5 billion in 2018 imports translates to roughly $180 in yearly product demand from every person in the West African region country.
There is no country anywhere in the world that leaves the production of goods and services without rules and regulations for quality assurance and public safety. Without standardization, greedy and unscrupulous companies would embark on the production of goods and services that lack quality. Only the monetary consideration would be the overriding factor. The negative impacts of the products on consumers would not be considered.

Nigeria importation model

Close to 85% of products imported into Nigeria come through the ports in Apapa, Lagos. Therefore, you should direct your attention to those ports to ensure your merchandise makes it through quickly and with no issues.

Apapa Port, Lagos Nigeria

Also, keep in mind that depending on your shipping point of origin (e.g., Asia or Europe), you should know how long it typically takes for imported items to make it to these ports. For example, products from China usually take 30 days to arrive at Lagos. Therefore, you should account for not only the time it takes for items to make it through inspection but also how long it takes for the items to arrive in Nigeria.

Product Registration

Before you make your first shipment, begin the process of registering your product. There are two major governmental agencies to keep in mind during this process: The National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON).

Food and drugs imported will have to go through NAFDAC registration, while other products will go through pre-shipment verification through SON. The SON Conformity Assessment Program (SONCAP) was put in place so that Nigeria imports undergo verification and testing in the country from which they were supplied.

The SONCAP Certificate, which is issued by the agency, demonstrates that your products meet the applicable standards and regulations.

Clearing the Ports

After you have gone through the necessary certification and verification procedures, your item is ready to be shipped. Navigating the port system to ensure your shipment clears the port upon arrival takes insight and finesse, as clearing goods at Nigerian ports has greatly contributed to

For one thing, products which are subject to SONCAP certification must be accompanied by a SONCAP certificate, which is why it is important to know beforehand if you must obtain said certification.

Also, you will have to pay import tariffs, such as duties, levies, and value-added tax (VAT) on your shipment. Therefore, taking these fees into consideration ahead of time is crucial when it comes to pricing your products to help cover these import tariffs. Tariffs can be as low as 15% to as high as 70% depending on the goods being imported. You can find out the official import tariff for your products here.

It is evident that clearing goods at Nigerian ports can be more difficult in comparison to other countries. Therefore, instead of handling the import process yourself, you should consider hiring a local clearing agent who has the local expertise and insight needed to get your shipments cleared quickly.

This will help ensure your products make it into the country and will also mitigate any risks associated with maneuvering the importation system yourself.

Warehousing and Logistics for Nigeria Imports

Outside of making sure you’re able to get your goods cleared at the port as quickly as possible, it’s equally as important that you fully understand the distribution network in Nigeria and find a secure warehouse to store your merchandise. When searching for a place to store your products, make sure you take a few important factors into consideration, such as the accessibility of the facility, whether or not your product will be safe while stored there, the payment structures in place (i.e., monthly, yearly, or per shipment payment schedule), and the facilities product handling capabilities. The last factor is especially important if you are shipping fragile merchandise.

In particular, the procedures for quality inspection must ensure that procedures for pre-clearance audit and post-clearance audit that are according to specialized management field must be clarified; Goods subject to pre-clearance audit must be goods or goods of high risk and directly affecting epidemics, infectious diseases, people’s health, social order and security, social morality and custom and environment.

It is necessary to specify the order, time and steps for implementation of each procedure attached to the responsibilities of the State inspection agency for goods quality with the agencies and organizations involved in the inspection process; to determine the sampling, sampling time, sampling rate, sampling methods, responsibilities of agencies, organizations and enterprises involved in sampling and sending testing results; to clarify the method of implementation, requirements for dossier and simply the required documents; to publicize the payment method of fees and charges (if any) by electronic method in accordance with the implementation of administrative procedures on the National Single Window Portal; to specify the conditions and criteria on exemption from inspection, reduction of inspection or strict inspection, thereby evaluating the risk level and goods channel classification as well as taking appropriate inspection measures to shorten the Customs clearance time for goods of low risk.

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) is the apex consumer protection agency in Nigeria. The Commission was established by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission Act (FCCPCA) (Cap. 25, Laws of The Federation 2004). The overall mandate of the Commission is to protect consumers by taking both preventive and remedial measures.

Knowing your right as a Nigerian

Consumer Rights

1. Right to value for money:
Products and services MUST give value for money.
2. Right to Safety:
Protection from hazardous products, services, and production processes.
3. Right to Information:
Provision of information to enable informed consumer choice; and protection from misleading or deceptive advertisement and labelling.
4. Right to Choose:
Access to a variety of quality products and services at competitive prices. A consumer should not be compelled to buy products or services he/she does not need.
5. Right to Redress:
Redress for unsatisfactory products and services. A dissatisfied consumer is entitled to the 3Rs i.e. Repair, Replacement or Refund.
6. Right to Consumer Education:
Acquisition of the skills to be an informed consumer.
7. Right to Representation:
A consumer has a right to be heard and represented at fora where policies, regulations and standards affecting consumers are made.

Consumer Responsibilities 

Holistic consumer protection is a collective effort. Its actualisation requires input, not just from manufacturers, service providers and government, but also the consumer.
The consumer has the responsibility to:
1. Be Aware
Gather all the information and facts available about a product or service, as well as, keep abreast of changes and innovations in the market.
2. Beware
Be alert to the quality and safety of products and services before you purchase.
3. Think Independently
Make decisions about well-considered needs and wants.
4. Speak Out
Inform manufacturers and government of your needs and expectations.
5. Be an Ethical Consumer
Be fair and never engage in dishonest practices which affect other consumers negatively.
6. Complain
Inform businesses and appropriate regulatory authorities about your dissatisfaction with a product or service, in a fair and honest manner
7. Share Experience
Inform other consumers about your experience with a product or service.
8. Respect the Environment
Avoid waste, littering and contributing to pollution. Promote sustainable consumption by ensuring that what you consume does not impact on the environment negatively.

Government recent actions against sub standard product in Nigeria

Recall of certain Ford Fusion, Lincoln and Focus vehicles on account of manufacturing defect

On March 14, 2018, the Ford Motor Company in the United States initiated a recall. Approximately 1.4 million vehicles are affected by the recall. The purpose of the recall is that; on some models, steering wheel bolts could become loose and cause the steering wheel to potentially detach. This could lead to a serious accident. Ford admits that it has become aware of two accidents and one injury that may have been caused by the problem.
This particular recall applies to Ford Fusion and the Lincoln MKZ models from model years 2014-2018. Specifically, every Fusion version; Fusion S, SE, Hybrid S, SE, Hybrid Titanium, Fusion Energi SE, Engergi Titanium, Fusion Sport, Fusion Platinum, Fusion Hybrid Platinum and Fusion Energi Platinum. With respect to Lincoln MKZ, the recall also applies to every version of the Lincoln MKZ, Lincoln MKZ Premier, Hybrid Premier and Black Label.
In addition to the above, but on a separate note, Ford is also recalling another 6,000 Fusion and Ford Focus models due to a risk of fire from a fracture in the clutch pressure plate. The relevant model years are 2013-2016.
Although the recall appears to be limited to North America, the Council is in the process of contacting local Ford dealers to verify the batch, lot of group of individual vehicles involved, and whether any was exported to, and sold in Nigeria. The Council recognizes that some of the versions of the subject models were unlikely to have been manufactured for possible export to Nigeria.

Controversy over the safety of Blue Band “Spread for Bread” and solubility in rising and high temperatures 

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission is aware that a short demonstration video showing how Blue Band “Spread for Bread” (a product of Unilever Nigeria PLC) reacts under certain heat conditions has been circulating, particularly on social media. The video, or impression it conveys, has become the subject of anxiety and intense controversy. It suggests that the product, which the narrator considers a functional equivalent of “Blue Band Original”, is unsafe because, when subjected to high temperature in boiling water, it did not melt or dissolve.
Available scientific information confirms that, though butter, margarine, and spread appear analogous, and share similar components, characteristics and uses, they are different products available to consumers. Butter and margarine share a particular similar characteristic; low resistance to heat. As such, both are likely to melt when subjected to certain levels of heat. Spreads however, have varying heat resistance, depending on intended use, and production process. As a result, it is not necessarily unsafe that a spread does not melt under similar heat conditions as butter, or margarine.
Spreads are produced in part by adding emulsifiers which are additives used in stabilizing and binding processed foods. They are not inherently unsafe or uncommon. The specific emulsifying agent and amount used, largely depends on many factors including shelf life, storage, handling and climatic conditions in order to prevent microbial activity.
The manufacturer of this product has made a statement seeking to address public concern by differentiating its products and explaining the purposes of the two different products.
Regardless, the Council has opened an inquiry to determine product safety, and clarify some aspects of the manufacturer’s statements. The purpose of the inquiry is to ensure their products, differentiated or otherwise, are safe and subjected to proper processes, and “in-trade” handling consistent with the different properties and characteristics of each product.

Chinese Drugs Containing Human Remains

NAFDAC has been informed by Ministry of Health of some Chinese drugs that contain human remains. NAFDAC’s Director General immediately alerted the Agency’s Ports Inspection Directorate to be on the lookout at our ports and borders since the drugs may be brought into the country as small packages. The Pharmacovigilance and Post-Marketing Directorate has also been alerted to conduct surveillance in our markets. The Registration and Regulatory Affairs Directorate is also on the lookout. Our goal is to Safeguard the Health of the Nation. ​​The Director General has also contacted her counterpart in South Korea since the news was disseminated by Nigeria and Korea Intelligence Agencies. We will keep the public updated.

Listeriosis Resulting From Consumption Of Imported Contaminated Frozen Mixed Vegetable

National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control’s directorate of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) responded to an alert from International Food Safety Authorities Network (INFOSAN) on outbreak of Listeriosis in some parts of Europe. INFOSAN received the information from European Rapid Alert System on Food and Feed (RASFF). INFOSAN is a global network of national food safety authorities managed jointly by FAO and WHO whose primary responsibility is to assist member states in managing food safety risks and ensuring rapid sharing of information during food safety emergencies to stop the spread from one country to another.
The Director General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye was informed on July 11, 2018 by FSAN that the RASFF had confirmed that the compromised food (frozen mixed vegetables) was shipped to Nigeria. She immediately gave a directive for a nation-wide surveillance. NAFDAC’s FSAN directorate went into action and confirmed that some of the implicated products actually arrived Nigeria. Teams dispatched to the field found large quantities of the implicated products and placed them on HOLD. Placing on HOLD means the item cannot be distributed or sold.
The outbreak of Listeriosis in Europe was linked to frozen corn and other frozen mixed vegetables. Listeria monocytogenes, the causative agent of listeriosis can be found in many foods. Examples include smoked fish; meats; cheeses (especially soft cheeses) and raw vegetables. Consumption of contaminated food or feed is the main route of transmission to humans and animals. Infection that can lead to death may also occur through contact with infected animals or people.
NAFDAC’s next step response started with the Agency’s newly created First Responders Team (FRT). The Team (composed of staff from FSAN, Investigations & Enforcement, and Pharmacovigilance/Post marketing directorates) carried out the nationwide investigations in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja. NAFDAC recovered a total of 3,300kg of the implicated product, PINGUIN brand of mixed vegetables, which have been isolated by the Agency for destruction. Therefore, health risks to the Nigerian public have been mitigated. Further surveillance is on-going nationwide.
As a member of INFOSAN, NAFDAC has the obligation to respond promptly to INFOSAN alerts and give a feedback on actions taken. In line with its obligation, NAFDAC has sent required updates on her activities to INFOSAN, with regard to this outbreak.

Take home

The Nigerian Customs Service should increase their protective strategies against Illegal commercial activities and trade in illicit goods, e.g. import of fake and sub-standard goods into the country.

The Standard Organization of Nigeria, should continue to prevent the dumping of substandard goods into the Nigeria market and as a result preventing economic loss to the importer and the nation at large.

NAFDAC should level up the inspection of imported food, drugs, medical devices, cosmetics, Chemicals, detergents, drinks and bottled water at ports of entry before release.

Finally, all government Agencies including CBN, Police, NDLEA, SON, NAFDAC, FIRS; should increase their collaborative efforts to fight against sub-standard imported goods which is available all over Nigeria.

Renault is re-entering Nigeria’s automobile space

Multinational auto manufacturer, Groupe Renault has announced that it is re-entering Nigeria’s automobile space following a partnership agreement with Coscharis Motors Plc, one of the leading car dealers in the African country.

The auto dealer said that to kick start the strong cooperation, which would involve both local production and distribution, two of the Renault variants, namely Logan and Duster, would be assembled in the existing Coscharis Assembly facility in Lagos while Renault Kwid and Renault Oroch would be imported as Complete Built Unit in due course of the partnership.

The Senior Vice President and Chairman of the Africa, Middle-East, India region of Groupe Renault, Fabrice Cambolive said, “With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria is a strategic African country where Groupe Renault will extend its footprint.

It’s very unfortunate that many Nigerians don’t see the power in our population, we see it as a burden while foreign investors see it as Strategic Marketplace Initiative. MTN Group Limited saw Nigeria as a strategic African country. MTN came and smiled to the bank. Mohan Vaswani CEO of the Tolaram Group came to Nigeria with two containers of Indomie and he distributed it, at that time, the population was 90m. Today, every instant Noodle is Indomie.

Currency devaluation: The root cause of Nigerian economic woes

Nigeria is a middle-income, mixed economy and emerging market, with expanding manufacturing, financial, service, communications, technology and entertainment sectors. It is ranked as the 27th largest economy in the world in terms of nominal GDP, and the 22ndlargest in terms of purchasing power parity. It is the largest economy in Africa; its re-emergent manufacturing sector became the largest on the continent in 2013, and it produces a large proportion of goods and services for the West African subcontinent. In addition, the debt-to-GDP ratio is 11 percent, which is 8 percent below the 2012 ratio.

Structural Adjustment Programs (SAP) the evil

Currency devaluation leads to increase in output and improves the balance of payments but in the long run the monetary consequence of the devaluation ensures that the increase in output and improvement in the balance of payment is neutralized by the rise in prices.The naira (sign: ₦; code: NGN) is the currency of Nigeria. It is subdivided into 100 kobo.

Central Bank of Nigeria, Abuja

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is the sole issuer of legal tender money throughout the Nigerian Federation. It controls the volume of money supplied in the economy in order to ensure monetary and price stability. The Currency & Branch Operations Department of the CBN is in charge of currency management, through the procurement, distribution/supply, processing, reissue and disposal/disintegration of bank notes and coins.

Nigerian bank notes

Then, most African nations are implementing SAP, as an economic `panacea’ inspired by the World Bank and the IMF. The objectives of a Structural Adjustment Program are largely the same for most African nations, because the world bodies presume that African economies are at the same level of development and are experiencing similar problems.

The stated objectives of the Nigerian SAP are to:

• Restructure and diversify the productive base of the economy

• Achieve fiscal stability and positive balance of payments

• Set the basis for a sustained non-inflationary or minimal inflationary growth, and

• Reduce the dominance of unproductive investments in the public sector.

The effect of mandatory foreign exchange markets has been to erode the value of the local currency over time. Most countries undergoing adjustment have seen their currency values plummet in relation to international currencies. After the implementing SAP in Nigeria, there have been a rapid increase in the number of new banks. At the end of 1983, Nigeria had 32 approved commercial banks of which 25 were functioning with a national network of 11,001 branches, there were 10 merchant banks and 22 development banks, including savings banks.5 By 1992, about six years after Nigeria has started implementing SAP, commercial and merchant banks had increased to 120, there were 500 finance houses, over 200 stock-brokers and brokerage houses, about 156 community banks, a people’s bank with over 210 branches, and 85 savings banks.

The Endless devaluation

All the African nations implementing SAP are today experiencing increasing indebtedness and budget deficits because they are not growing; a growing economy realizes budget surpluses and pays its debts. All the African nations implementing SAP are also experiencing mass unemployment in all categories.This trend has been experienced by the currencies of all nations that have been implementing SAP for about a decade.

 

Before SAP began in 1986, one dollar exchanged for 77 kobo (1 naira = 100 kobo). When SAP began later that year the dollar exchanged for 1.756 naira and the main complaint among corporate executives was that there was insufficient foreign currency (e.g., dollars) to exchange for the volume of naira available. As the dollar exchanged for more naira, companies became cash-strapped; they could not get enough naira to exchange for dollars. The dollar exchanged for 4.016 naira in 1987, 5.35 naira in 1988, 9.93 naira in 1991 and 22 naira in 1993.7 Interestingly, there has been an increasing gap between demand and supply. In 1988, $2,910 million was offered against $3,260 million demanded. In 1991, $262 million was offered on a monthly basis against the $788 million demanded. In July 1993, $290 million was offered against $3,439 million demanded, and in August, $230 million was offered against $3,930 million demanded.

 

Nigeria has been hindered by years of mismanagement, economic reforms of the past decade have put Nigeria back on track towards achieving its full economic potential. Nigerian GDP at purchasing power parity (PPP) has almost tripled from $170 billion in 2000 to $451 billion in 2012, although estimates of the size of the informal sector (which is not included in official figures) put the actual numbers closer to $630 billion. Correspondingly, the GDP per capita doubled from $1400 per person in 2000 to an estimated $2,800 per person in 2012 (again, with the inclusion of the informal sector, it is estimated that GDP per capita hovers around $3,900 per person). (Population increased from 120 million in 2000 to 160 million in 2010). These figures were to be revised upwards by as much as 80% when metrics were to be recalculated subsequent to the rebasing of its economy in April 2014.

Although oil revenues contribute 2/3 of state revenues, oil only contributes about 9% to the GDP. Nigeria produces only about 2.7% of the world’s oil supply (in comparison, Saudi Arabia produces 12.9%, Russia produces 12.7% and the United States produces 8.6%). Although the petroleum sector is important, as government revenues still heavily rely on this sector, it remains a small part of the country’s overall economy.

Petroleum industry in Nigeria

Nigeria’s proven oil reserves are estimated to be 35 billion barrels (5.6×109 m3); natural gas reserves are well over 100 trillion cubic feet (2,800 km3). Nigeria is a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The types of crude oil exported by Nigeria are Bonny light oil, Forcados crude oil, Qua Ibo crude oil and Brass River crude oil. Poor corporate relations with indigenous communities, vandalism of oil infrastructure, severe ecological damage, and personal security problems throughout the Niger Delta oil-producing region continue to plague Nigeria’s oil sector.

The pump price of P.M.S. currently stands at around ₦145 at fueling stations across Nigeria. An initial increase in the price of petrol (Premium Motor Spirit) from around ₦65 to ₦140 triggered by the removal of fuel subsidies on January 1, 2012, triggered a total strike and massive protests across the country. Then President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan later reached an agreement with the Nigerian Labour Congress and reduced the pump price to 97 naira. The pump price was further reduced by 10 naira to 87 naira in the run-up to the 2015 general elections. However, after the elections of Muhammadu Buhari, the fuel subsidies was removed again, and the pump price increased again, despite the fall in oil price.

Victoria Island, Lagos in the late 90s

Since the fall in oil prices in 2015 and 2016, the government exchange rate policy has limited devaluation of the naira due to inflation concerns by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

Talk over

The largely subsistence agricultural sector has not kept up with rapid population growth, and Nigeria, once a large net exporter of food, now imports some of its food products, though mechanization has led to a resurgence in manufacturing and exporting of food products.

For an average Nigerian, it would mean the deliberate downward adjustment of the value of the naira relative to dollar. A rise fall in the value of the domestic currency in terms of other foreign currencies in the case of fixed exchange rate system is referred to as devaluation, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria.

Currency devaluation have become a pronounced and monumental issue in Nigeria from 1986 to present day. The Nigerian official legal tender (Naira) have suffered tremendous loss in value against other major currencies of the world.

Monetary authorities should do what they can to reduce the temporary increase in prices lest it become permanent. Timing at this point becomes very crucial. More so, the Nigerian government should consider devaluation of currency as the last resort to the economic imbalance.