• Friday, March 01, 2024
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Five things to know to start your Wednesday


Nigerian importers to start clearing goods from Cotonou ports, says Customs

Adewale Adeniyi, the Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, has revealed that Nigerian importers will soon be able to clear their goods from ports in Cotonou, Benin Republic.

Following a two-day meeting between customs officials from both countries, agreements were reached to boost trade relations and combat smuggling.

This move aims to build trust in the systems offered by the Republic of Benin, allowing Nigerian importers to utilise Cotonou ports and clear goods there, with duties payable.

Adeniyi emphasised that this partnership would enhance customs administration, trade facilitation, and regional cooperation in West Africa.

UBA reports 438% surge in H1 2023 profit

United Bank for Africa (UBA) announced a remarkable 438 percent increase in profit after tax for the first half of 2023, soaring to N378.24 billion from N70.34 billion in the same period of 2022.

The financial institution’s gross revenue also surged by 164 percent to N981.78 billion.

UBA’s total assets grew to N15.38 trillion, up 41.68 percent from December 2022. Customer deposits rose by 42.4 percent to N11.14 trillion.

The board proposed an interim dividend of 50k per share. UBA’s CEO, Oliver Alawuba, credited the outstanding performance to digital initiatives, retail expansion, and favourable exchange rate harmonisation effects.

NARTO urges govt to remove VAT on diesel

The Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has called on the Federal Government to remove the 7.5 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on Automotive Gas Oil (diesel).

NARTO argues that this move is essential to prevent disruptions in the distribution and supply of Premium Motor Spirit (petrol). Diesel is a critical fuel for about 90 percent of the haulage trucks that transport petrol from depots to filling stations across Nigeria.

The cost of diesel has surged from N600/litre to nearly N1,000/litre due to VAT, increasing transportation costs. NARTO warns of potential petrol shortages unless the VAT is removed promptly.

BP commits €10bn to low-carbon and renewables in Germany by 2030

BP is set to invest up to €10 billion ($10.7 billion) in low-carbon fuels, renewable energy, and EV charging infrastructure in Germany by the end of the decade.

The move is part of BP’s strategy to compete with local energy companies in Europe’s largest economy as it shifts away from fossil fuels.

The plan includes expanding BP’s EV fast-charging network, decarbonising refineries, developing wind power, and exploring low-carbon hydrogen imports. BP aims to have up to 20,000 EV charging points in Germany by 2030.

This substantial investment is poised to challenge traditional power utilities in the region.

Catastrophic floods in Libya claim thousands of lives, over 10,000 missing

A devastating Mediterranean storm, known as Storm Daniel, has caused catastrophic flooding in Libya. The disaster resulted in thousands of casualties, with over 10,000 individuals reported missing. Dams burst, buildings were swept away, and nearly a quarter of the city of Derna on the eastern coast was submerged.

Derna, a city of 125,000 residents, saw extensive destruction, with neighbourhoods in ruins, cars overturned, and streets filled with mud and debris. Reports indicate over 2,000 casualties, but local officials in eastern Libya estimate the toll could exceed 5,000.

The United Nations has mobilised emergency response teams while Turkey and other countries rush aid, including search and rescue resources, generators, and food. Distraught Derna residents desperately search for missing loved ones amid the devastation.

The disaster highlights Libya’s challenges, exacerbated by a decade of conflict and political division. Pope Francis and world leaders express sorrow, with the U.S. pledging emergency funds for relief efforts.