Nigeria is building a new deep-sea port and considering two additional facilities to ease congestion in the main harbours of Lagos state, which currently handle about 80 percent of all shipping traffic in the country. Speaking with Bloomberg, the MD of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman said that the government wants to focus on improving the nearby roads and other infrastructure to ease the transportation of goods including cars, computers, food and machinery. Usman disclosed that a new facility is already under construction in the Lekki Free Trade Zone in Lagos through a public-private partnership, while another may be built in the Badagry area of the city, near the border with Benin. The FG is also considering a third project, the Ibom seaport, in the oil-rich Niger Delta, Usman said. The National Cashew Association of Nigeria, last month, raised an alarm about the shipment delays of almost eight weeks as $300 million worth of nuts remained stuck in containers on trucks waiting to enter the ports. The association said that inadequate infrastructure, stifling red tape and corruption at the ports are hurting business. The ports in the country’s commercial hub, known as the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports are main hubs for cargo transiting through the West African country, but inefficiency and congested roads to the ports mean daily queues of hundreds of trucks.
Data shows that Nigeria’s importation of petrol has hit the 20.14 billion litre mark in 2018 as the country imported 5.32 billion litres of the product in Q4 of last year. According to the NBS, the country imported 17.3 million litres of petrol in 2017, which rose to 20.14 billion litres in 2018, indicating a 16 percent increase of the product year-on-year. The NBS, summarising the report, stated that 1.30 billion litres of diesel, 114.19 million litres of kerosene, and 267.80 million litres of aviation fuel, were imported into the country in Q4 2018. There was also the importation of 50.73 million litres of base oil, 42.38 million litres of bitumen, 10.63 million litres of LPFO and 331.78 million litres of LPG in the period under review. State-wide distribution of truck-out volume for Q4 2018 showed that 5.17 billion of petrol, 1.16 billion litres of diesel, 81.12 million litres of kerosene, 256.73 million litres of aviation fuel and 137.53 million of LPG were distributed countrywide during the period. Petrol importation stood at 18.5 billion litres in 2014 and then increased to 18.6 billion in 2016 while the importation increased by 16 percent year-on-year; 2017 and 2018. Worthy of note is that there was a rise in petrol importation in 2018, after the previous 4 year low of 17.3 billion in 2017.
Jiji, has acquired OLX, which has a presence in Nigeria and four other African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. As part of the deal, the OLX users would be directed to the Jiji marketplace in a transaction backed by one of Jiji’s cornerstone investors, Digital Spring Ventures, according to a statement issued by Naspers on the acquisition. Both companies have also reached an agreement to acquire the other OLX businesses in the countries subject to regulatory approvals. CEO and co-founder of Jiji, Anton Volyansky, commenting on the deal, said the new Jiji customers by the deal are sure of a safer, more secure and enjoyable online shopping experience. The deal according to the Board Director and Co-founder of Jiji, Vladimir Mnogoletniy, is pivotal for Jiji’s business as the firm plans to build the largest Africa-based classifieds business, creating a new experience for Africa’s fastest-developing countries and their combined population of 300 million. OLX closed its business in Nigeria last year February but maintained its online marketplace while laying off workers, as part of the process to consolidate its operations in the country.
Swiss authorities are planning to take legal action against Nigeria’s government for seizing and detaining a Swiss-flagged oil tanker January last year. San Padre Pio and four of its original 16 crew members, all of whom are Ukrainian nationals, had since remained under Nigerian government custody in the Bight of Bonny for alleged diesel smuggling and illegal entry into Nigerian territorial waters, as reported by various online maritime websites. The Swiss Foreign Minister, Ignazio Cassis who advised the Switzerland government to exhaust all options “to safeguard its interests,” disclosed that 12 other crew members were released a month and a half following their seizure by Nigerian authorities. However, the four crew members who remained in the country had been reportedly enduring “difficult” living conditions. The decision to file the case with the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea came after diplomatic efforts by the Swiss government failed to ensure the release of the vessel and its remaining crew.