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The Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has condemned Nigeria’s automotive policy, saying it will not enhance the growth of the sector.
Acting National President of ANLCA, Kayode Farinto, who made this known in his goodwill message to mark this year’s Eid el Kabir celebration, also said the policy had continued to enrich a few Nigerians to the detriment of the nation’s economy.
Noting that with the introduction of the policy, Nigeria could not manufacture a single part of a car, he called on the need for the review of the age limit on imported used vehicles from 12 years to at least 15 years.
According to the statement, “The entire auto policy is a scam that has continued to enrich few Nigerians at the detriment of our economy.
“With the introduction in the last 10 years or more, we are unable to produce ordinary radiator.
“Meanwhile, few are smiling home with our money under the guise of being local assemblers and manufacturers. It is high time we revised this policy.
“We, as trade Facilitators, will continue to do our best to ensure that more revenue is generated into the federation account, as part of our nation building.
“However, we are using the opportunity to appeal to the Federal Government to revisit many issues that can touch the lives of many Nigerian grassroots. The age limit on imported vehicles needs to be reviewed to at leas 15yrs  from the current 12 years”.
The automotive policy, which was introduced in 2014, seeks to encourage local manufacture of vehicles, while phasing out the importation of used vehicles.
The ANLCA boss advised the Federal Government to institute a consistent policy in the maritime sector moving forward.
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The world’s apex air transportation body, the International Air Transport Association (IATA), has said Africa accounted for 1.9 per cent of the total world passenger air travel market.
IATA in its latest data record analysis, which The Tide accessed, has revealed that the Africa’s air travel demand as at May 2022, stood at 9.1 percent, in comparison with the global air travel demand.
In the IATA’s latest analysis of demand for passenger air travel worldwide, and by region, which is based on traffic data collected during May 2022 as compared to same period in the previous year, African airlines recorded a 134.9 per cent rise in Revenue Passenger Kilometres flown.
In the same analysis, the IATA said African Airlines increased capacity by 78.5 per cent and also achieved a 16.4 percentage point rise in the average load factor per flight, taking it to 68.4 per cent.
The apex global air transportation body, however, noted that this was the lowest  among all regions worldwide, with respect to travel and aviation industry business.
Director General of IATA, Willie Walsh, said, “The travel recovery continues to gather momentum. People need to travel. And when governments remove COVID-19 restrictions, they do.
“Many major international route areas, including within Europe, and the Middle East, North America routes, are already exceeding pre-COVID-19 levels.
“Completely removing all COVID-19 restrictions is the way forward, with Australia being the latest to do so.
“The major exception to the optimism of this rebound in travel is China, which saw a dramatic 73.2 per cent fall in domestic travel compared to the previous year. Its continuing zero-COVID policy is out-of-step with the rest of the world and it shows in the dramatically slower recovery of China-related travel”, he stated.
By: Corlins Walter
Manufacturers, under the aeiges of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), has threatened that it will shutdown  manufacturing activities in the country, if nothing is done to address the soaring cost of energy bedevilling the sector.
Director-General of the association, Segun Ajayi-Kadiri, in a statement made available to newsmen said the manufacturing sector over the years has been battered by numerous challenges which have reduced the number of industries in Nigeria and converted industrial hubs in many parts of the country to warehouses of imported goods and event centres.
The manufacturing body in the statement asked for a policy that would urgently allow companies and airlines to import diesel and aviation fuel respectively from the Republic of Niger and Chad.
“By immediately opening up border posts in that axis for this purpose, the effect of high diesel and aviation fuel prices would be cushioned on the economy.
“There is need to save the remaining manufacturing companies from closing down as a result of challenges arising from the inadequate electricity supply, inaccessible foreign exchange, and a rise in the cost of diesel.
“There were uncertainties and fear of survival of firms of a force majeure over increasing diesel prices by 200 percent.
“Findings showed that diesel, which was sold at N266/litre as of October 2021, has recently increased to above N800/litre, which is above 200 per cent.
“There are fears that the price could climb to N1500 if nothing is done to resolve the crisis, especially in terms of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“Four obvious questions that readily come to mind that are seriously begging for answers are, what can we do as a nation to strengthen our economic absorbers from external shocks? Should manufacturing companies that are already battered with multiple taxes, poor access to foreign exchange and now over 200 per cent increase in the price of diesel be advised to shut down operations? Should we fold our arms and allow the economy to slip into the valley of recession again? Is the nation well equipped to manage the resulting explosive inflation and unemployment rates?’’
“More worrisome is the deafening silence from the public sector as regards the plight of manufacturers,” he said.
The association identified challenges such as a high operating cost environment largely caused by inadequate electricity supply, the high cost of alternative sources, excessive regulation and taxation, as well as the inadequate supply of foreign exchange for the importation of raw materials, spare parts, and machinery that were not locally available as major setbacks.
To remain in business, the manufacturers demanded the development of a National Response and Sustainability Strategy to address challenges emanating from the ongoing invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
They also demanded consistent support to manufacturing to accelerate the process of recovery from the aftermath of COVID-19 and previous bouts of recession to avert the complete shutdown of factories nationwide with multiplier effects on employment and the economy.
By: Corlins Walter
A pension service firm, Sigma Pensions, has expressed its commitment to improving services and sustaining competitive returns to customers.
The firm said in a statement that as at December 31, 2021, its capital was N5.5bn, surpassing the required N5bn minimum operating capital requirement stipulated by National Pension Commission.
In the statement, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Sigma Pensions, Mr Dave Uduanu, while speaking on his firm’s performance and recapitalisation said, “Last year was a good year for the company. We were able to recapitalise the company from internally-generated resources. We didn’t raise money from the public.
“Our earnings grew and our revenue grew as well. Furthermore, our assets under management grew between 13 to 15 per cent, which is strikingly above the industry average.”
He noted that Sigma Pensions had had an outstanding track record of delivering competitive returns in all the various classes of funds.
“One of the advantages of choosing Sigma Pensions is that we are one of the better performing managers in the market. Last year, five of our public funds were ranked among the top five in the industry, which is good, meaning that you get good returns on investment.
“We also have very good customer service. We are proactive, as we have deployed very good technology solutions to allow our customers to have seamless access to our services.
“So, on the balance, we are one of the top PFAs in terms of the key parameters of investment returns, customer service, and technology savviness. Also, we have a young and energetic workforce”, he added.
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