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Furious Amaechi Blasts Lawmakers Over Chinese Loan Clause Expose.

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Amaechi
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, says the decision by the House of Representatives to go public on the Sovereignty Immunity Clause in the Chinese loan has delayed the approval for the $5.3bn Ibadan-Kano standard gauge project.
The House of Representatives and Amaechi were at daggers drawn last year over the sovereignty clause in the loan agreement with the China Exim Bank which funded the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge trains.
The lawmakers had queried the inclusion of the clause which gives China access to some national assets in case the Federal Government is unable to fulfill its repayment obligations but the Minister had warned that such discussion could make China have a rethink on the loan.
Speaking in an interview on Channels TV, Amaechi said the “selfishness” of some members of the House of Representatives delayed the approval of the loan by China as they began to ask more questions.
He said, “That is where we are. The loan for Ibadan-Kano, up till now we have not gotten approval and as at the time that issue happened, we were at the verge of getting approval but they withdrew. So they were asking more questions.
“The other countries we have loan agreements with, they don’t usually ask for sovereignty clause because they trust you. They expect that you pay back. But the moment you brought it to the public, they are saying, ‘Oh you gave China an immunity clause, so you must also give us.’
‘I don’t know what those lawmakers want’
“The selfishness of those members, I don’t know what they are pursuing has put the country into jeopardy. Now the other countries are asking for the immunity clause in their own agreement. The other aspect that I said was that the Chinese may likely withdraw, that is where we are. We are talking to them. Be rest assured that we would pay back. The fact that these members were investigating should not stop you from… they are doing their legitimate duty, it doesn’t stop you from lending us the money.
“They are asking questions that we need to explain. We have explained. They promised to give us the loan but at least it held us back from June till now. Imagine if they had given us that money in June, we would have gone far. We have started clearing by now but imagine seven months wasted because a few members of the House of Representatives went to the public because whatever you do here is reported all over the world. That is where we are.”
The Minister explained that what the immunity clause does is to give access to the Chinese to go to Court or Arbitration if the nation breaches the loan agreement.
According to him, the clause also gives exemption to some national assets if the court awards compensation to China in case Nigeria is taken to the court of arbitration.
“I have explained over and over. What the immunity clause does is to say to you in case you are not able to pay back, I want to be given the opportunity to be taken to court or to arbitration as it is in the clause. So when I go to arbitration, don’t come and wave immunity that I am a sovereign nation, you can’t take me to court.
“So what the immunity clause does is that it gives you access to court. But in case you are not able to pay back whether there is an immunity clause or not, there are things that the court would tell you.
“These are things to go for. What the immunity clause even does for us as Nigeria is that you can go for everything in case the court awards you but you can’t go for our diplomatic assets outside the country because that is the easiest for them. They will just go to one country and seize our assets.”
The Minister disclosed that the Federal Government has so far borrowed about $2.5billion from China for covering the $500m Abuja-Kaduna line and the Lagos-Ibadan line which is almost completed.
“If you look at the whole total cost, it will be $2.5 to $2.6 billion that we have borrowed from China Exim bank for the Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan.
“They also lent us about $1.4 billion for the Lagos-Ibadan while the Federal Government had to cough out about $200 million to make it $1.6 billion. We are bringing out about $700 million because we have to end at the seaport in Apapa which was not part of the original design. So we had to take about 45kilometres rail from Ebute-Metta into Apapa seaport,” he explained.

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BUA SUGAR REFINERY LATEST: TRADE & INDUSTRIES MINISTER ADEBAYO REVERSES EARLIER DIRECTIVE ON SUGAR IMPORTATION FROM FREE TRADE ZONES INTO NIGERIA

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Days after, sending out an earlier letter to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed prohibition the importation of sugar from free trade zones, in Nigeria, the Minister of Trade Industries and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo has backtracked and reversed himself.

 

Adebayo, acting on a controversial petition written to him by the Chairman Dangote Industries Limited, Aliko Dangote and Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria PLC, Mr John Coumatros had written a letter which he copied the Managing  Director Nigeria Ports Authority, Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service as well as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation prohibiting the importation of sugar from the country’s Free Trade Zones. This move was targeted at BUA sugar refinery as well as investments.

 

Recall that BUA Group Chairman, Samad Rabiu had reacted to the petition by revealing that his investments in sugar, especially the Port Harcourt project did not pose any threat to the country’s sugar policy. According to Samad Rabiu, his was project  indeed, meant to checkmate arbitrary increase in prices and which will ultimately benefit the ordinary Nigerian on the street.

 

 

 

 

Curiously, some agencies of the Federal Government especially  the NPA, had acted on the Minister’s directive by directing all Terminal  operators to ensure strict compliance with the Minister’s order, despite a court injunction refraining not only the Ministry but all government agencies from disturbing it’s operations pending the determination of a suit filed by BUA group.

 

The move to disrupt BUA’s activities depsite the injunction clearly embarrassed the government, hence Adebayo’s quick reversal of his earlier stance and letter to the Finance Minister directing that the action be stopped.

 

As for Hadiza Bala Usman who was in a hurry to overlook the court order, she has since been suspended from office as the Managing Director of the Nigeria Ports Authority while an Acting CEO has been appointed in person of Mohammed Koko, the erstwhile Executive Director, Finance and Administration.

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THE COMPLICITY OF NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISER IN CORRUPTION AND BANDITRY IN ZAMFARA STATE

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NATIONAL SECURITY

During the 8-year reign of former Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State , there is hardly a week the state is not in the news for either killings of scores of Zamfarans or kidnapping of them in large numbers. So bad it was during his tenure that the only presence of security is the escort services provided by security agents for workers on Yari’s farm.

 

It is despicable and rather unfortunate that a man who is battling to clear his name from many allegations of fraud and unprecedented corruption in Zamfara is seen flying around in a Nigerian Airforce Jet.

 

Mungono’s lackluster performance to rejig the security architecture which has led to breakdown of law and order has portrayed the Presidency in bad light as failing in its duty to provide security and welfare of its citizenry.

 

The approval of the use of NAF jet by Abdulaziz Yari which allegedly came from the office of the National Security Adviser further lent credence to the claims among Nigerians that the APC-led government is not serious about fighting corruption and insecurity.

 

 

Assuming without conceding that Yari facilitated the use of the aircraft on his own, one wonders an emergency situation that would warrant a former governor enjoying such luxury even when the allegations of corrupt enrichment is still hanging on his neck.

 

 

The National Security Adviser has yet again confirm the call for his removal over incompetence and that the reason for his call and advise for the declaration for a “No fly Zone” in Zamfara is unprofessional, partisan and may not be to secure the country as he would want people to believe.

 

By Hamid Shinkafi

Public affair analyst

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Rural Resident Expresses Satisfaction On Jumia Service Delivery

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Jumia

At the current pace, there’s no denying the improved fortune of eCommerce in Africa. Even the most ardent doubters of eCommerce viability on the continent will accept that the online shopping business is gaining momentum on the continent, contrary to their forecast and expectations.

 

Major African markets like Nigeria and Kenya are improving their internet penetration while the number of mobile phone users is rising exponentially. This, in turn, is boosting the online market entrants in urban locations and gradually rubbing off on rural settlements.

 

As a result, the conversation around eCommerce in a major market like Nigeria has gravitated from doubts on feasibility and acceptance to quality of service delivery, customers expectations and satisfaction. With at least 87 e-commerce platforms in Nigeria, the online shopping community is increasing by the day with innovation and bespoke approaches to address the challenges of the market and meet customers expectations.

 

In the thick of this, some customers are already having a glimpse of what eCommerce offers at its peak, thanks to the effort of key market players. Iteshi Prince Izuchukwu, a businessman based in Rivers State said he likes shopping online because of the price slash. Based on his experience with several online shopping platforms, he was quick to acknowledge the extra effort of Africa’s market leader on its quality of service delivery. “Things I order include Television, Wristwatches and others. When I buy these items on Jumia, they deliver on time and in good condition,” he stated.

 

In today’s market where customers demand value for every penny spent, a well thought out packaging that meets the aesthetic taste of the customers can spell a huge impact on the eCommerce business. It can help reduce the volume and cost of return, foster customer loyalty and put the brand in the face of prospects. “I always feel happy when what I ordered is being delivered to me. And as a businessman, I want value for money which I can say I am getting on a platform like Jumia,” Izuchukwu said.

 

With continuous effort by eCommerce brands to meet customers’ quality, timely and packaging expectations in their service delivery, testimonials like this will go a long way in getting more people onboard the online shopping train.

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