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Nigeria Imports $3.49bn Fish, Eggs, Milk, Others

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Fish, poultry eggs, milk, dairy and fish products worth $3.49bn were imported into Nigeria in the last two years, according to data from the International Trade Centre.

Within the time under review, fish products worth $2.14bn were imported into the nation, while diary products valued at $1.35bn were brought into the country.

According to the international trade organisation, the fish products included: live fish, frozen fish, fish fillets and other fish meat, whether or not minced, fresh, chilled or frozen; fish, dried, salted or in brine; smoked fish; flours, meals, and pellets of fish.

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They also included crustaceans, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine, even smoked; flours, meals, and pellets of crustaceans; molluscs, even smoked, whether in shell or not, live, fresh, chilled, frozen, dried, salted or in brine; flours, meals, and pellets of molluscs.

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Flours, meals and pellets of fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and other aquatic invertebrates were also imported.

Dairy products imported included: milk and cream; buttermilk, curdled milk and cream, yogurt, kephir and other fermented or acidified milk and cream; whey; products consisting of natural milk constituents, whether or not containing added sugar or other sweetening matter; butter, incl. dehydrated butter and ghee, and other fats and oils derived from milk; dairy spreads.

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Imports also included cheese and curd; birds’ eggs, in shell, fresh, preserved or cooked; birds’ eggs, not in shell, and egg yolks, fresh, dried, cooked by steaming or by boiling in water, moulded, frozen, or otherwise preserved; natural honey; Turtles’ eggs, birds’ nests and other edible products of animal origin.

This is despite an acknowledgement by stakeholders that the continued importation of fish and diary products is depleting the nation’s foreign reserves and ability of local farmers to sell their products.

Recently, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Mohammed Mahmood, disclosed that the nation’s yearly fish import bill of about 2.4 million metric tonnes of frozen fish was taking a toll on its foreign exchange reserves.

He said, “Nigeria is a very large country and we need about 3.6 million metric tonnes (MMT) per annum but we are able to produce only 1.2MMT through the artisanal, industrial and aquaculture.

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“The deficit is being supplemented by frozen fish importation, which is being used to bridge the gap. It is not actually that we are going to have 2.5 million metric tonnes brought into the country, but we have a situation that we supplement with frozen fish imports.”

He added, “However, it is being regulated by the Central Bank of Nigeria because only the CBN governor issues Form-M to anybody who wants to bring frozen fish into the country so that monetary toll in terms of foreign exchange used in importing frozen fish is to be given by the CBN.”

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According to the Federal Government, there were 10 million primary and secondary fish producers in the nation. During an address at the Internal Coordination Meeting among departments of the African Union, Mahmood, stated the nation was working to reduce its fish import bill in collaboration with the private sector through backward integration.

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He revealed that to improve local production and reduce imports, the government was encouraging backward integration through commercial aquaculture production for local consumption and exports.

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CAC To Cancel Certificates Of BDCs With Revoked Licences

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The Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) has said it would cancel the certificates of incorporation of Bureaux De Change(BCDs) whose licences have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria( CBN).

The Nation reported in February the CBN revoked the licences of 4,173 Bureau De Change operators over their failure to meet regulatory guidelines.

In a statement by its acting Director, Corporate Communications, Sidi Hakama, CBN explained that the regulatory provisions flouted include nonpayment of all necessary fees within the stipulated period.

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CBN said: “The affected institutions failed to observe at least one of the following regulatory provisions: Payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

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“Rendition of returns in line with the guidelines; compliance with guidelines, directives, and circulars of the CBN, particularly Anti-Money Laundering, Countering the Financing of Terrorism and Counter-Proliferation Financing regulations.”

However, in line with the above directive by the CBN, the CAC in a notice on its website on Wednesday, said the certificates would be cancelled within three months if the affected companies do not change the names and objects of such companies.

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The general public is hereby informed that following the revocation of the operational licenses of 4,173 Bureau De Change companies by the Central Bank of Nigeria vide a Federal Republic of Nigeria Official Gazette (Vol. 111) No. 37 of February 27, 2024 for noncompliance with Regulatory Standards, the Corporate Affairs Commission in the exercise of its powers under section 8(1)(e) of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, 2020 advises these companies to within three months from the date of this publication, change the names and objects of such companies.

“Failure to change the names and objects within the stipulated time frame shall result in cancellation of certificate of incorporation and dissolution. It is to be noted that it is unlawful for a company whose certificate has been deemed dissolved to carry on business,” the CAC notice reads.

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FG Suspends Taxes On Maize, Wheat, Rice, Others

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The Federal Government has suspended duties, tariffs and taxes on some essential food items imported through land and sea borders.

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, Abubakar Kyari, announced this at the National Press Centre, Abuja.

Kyari also said the Federal Government has also inaugurated the Renewed Hope National Livestock Transformation Implementation Committee to develop and implement policies that prioritize livestock development and align with the National Livestock Transformation Plan.

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He stated that the listed food items, which include maize, wheat, husked brown rice and cowpeas, will enjoy a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window.

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He added that the move is part of the Presidential Accelerated Stabilization and Advancement Plan, which is aimed at achieving food security and economic stability in the country.

According to him: “The Federal Government has announced a 150-day Duty-Free Import Window for Food Commodities, suspension of duties, tariffs and taxes for the importation of certain food commodities (through land and sea borders). These commodities include maize, husked brown rice, wheat and cowpeas.

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“Under this arrangement, imported food commodities will be subjected to a Recommended Retail Price (RRP).

“I am glad to reiterate that the Government’s position exemplifies standards that would not compromise the safety of the various food items for consumption.

“In addition to the importation by the private sector, the Federal Government will import 250,000MT of wheat and 250,000MT of maize. The imported food commodities in their semi-processed state will target supplies to the small-scale processors and millers across the country.”

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CAC Extends PoS Registration Deadline 

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The Corporate Affairs Commission has announced the approval to extend the mandatory Point of Sales agents, super agents and sole agents registration to September 5th, 2024.

The commission made the announcement in a statement signed by its management and posted on its Facebook page on Saturday, giving a 60-day extension.

It said the extension is to give sufficient time to operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.

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The statement read, “The Corporate Affairs Commission wishes to notify Fintech Operators also known as Point of Sales Operators that the initial deadline of 7th July 2024 given for the registration of sole Agents, Super Agents and Agents has been extended for sixty days beginning from 7th July 2024 to the 5th September 2024.

“This is to give sufficient time to Operators particularly those in remote areas who might have encountered network challenges to so register and continue with their businesses.”

It added operators who continue to disobey after the new deadline will risk losing their businesses and facing prosecution for assisting criminal activities.

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“Operators who fail or refuse to register at the end of the extended deadline run the risk of losing such businesses and prosecution for aiding and abetting criminal activities,” it said.

 

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