The Federal High Court, sitting in Abuja, has awarded damages of over ₦5.5 billion against the Nigerian Customs Service and the Chairman of its Board over the unlawful seizure of 90 containers of rice imported by a firm, Maggpiy Trading TFZE. Maggpiy, in its suit marked FHC/CA/CS/40/2017, stated that officials of the NCS invaded and sealed up its warehouse in the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, Calabar on 18 March 2017, and in addition to sealing its warehouse with its content, Customs officials stole part of the seized rice. Added to that, the Customs detained 40 of its trucks along the Onne-Port Harcourt Road. These trucks had 317 transit containers of rice, destined for the Tinapa Free Trade Zone, and were seized for 120 days without lawful justification. Delivering judgement, Justice Inyang Ekwo upheld Maggpiy’s claims and held that the Customs Service, acted unlawfully and without any justification in law. He faulted the claim that they acted under the Federal Ministry of Finance Import Guidelines, Procedures and Documentation Requirements under the Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria. Justice Ekwo also faulted the defendant’s argument that they were exempted, under the Customs and Excise Management Act, from any liability and prosecution while applying the provisions of the law.
The total number of mobile internet subscribers in Nigeria reached 122.6 million in May 2019, up from 119.5 million in April. According to the NCC, Airtel, MTN and Globacom gained more subscribers during while 9mobile recorded another loss. New Internet users were also added on the MTN’s 800 MHz spectrum. The data breakdown shows that MTN gained maintained the position of gaining most subscribers with 2,406,627 new Internet users, increasing its subscription in May to 52.4 million from 50.03 million recorded in April. Airtel maintained the second position with 595,093 new Internet users as it increased its subscription to 31.9 million in May as against 31.3 million in April. Globacom gained 198,142 new Internet users in the month under review, increasing its subscription to 28.8 million in May as against 28.6 million recorded in April. The NCC data showed that 9mobile lost 90,866 Internet users in May. The firm was left with 9.4 million Internet users in May as against 9.4 million recorded in April while 800Hz spectrum MTN got from Visafone recorded 82,637 Internet users in the month as against 73,646 in April. Meanwhile, the number of active subscribers to mobile network services in the country rose marginally by 21,491 in May 2019, the NCC data indicated.
Nigeria’s states governors have said that the payment of petrol subsidies to marketers by the NNPC is unsustainable and a drain on the country’s resources. According to Kayode Fayemi, chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Ekiti state governor, the petrol subsidy remains a major drawback on government revenues. Speaking with the NNPC’s new GMD, Mele Kyari, on Wednesday, Fayemi said that there is a need to consider a new deal regarding the cost of petrol considering the new reality of low oil revenues and rising government commitments. The total cost of the subsidy in 2016 when oil traded at an average of $48.11 per barrel was around ₦28.6 billion. This rose to ₦219 billion in 2017, and ₦345.5 billion by mid-2018, as the price of oil and domestic PMS consumption rebounded. The call from the NGF is the latest call on the FG regarding the issue after Muhammadu Sanusi, Emir of Kano, last month, asked President Buhari to end petrol subsidies, repeating a line he towed as CBN governor a decade ago.
The total debt profile of Nigeria marginally increased by 2.3 percent in Q1 2019, a report from the Debt Management Office has shown. According to the DMO, the total public debt of FG, state governments and the Federal Capital Territory increased to ₦24.95 trillion ($81.274 billion) as at 31 March from ₦24.39 trillion ($79.437 billion), the figure as at 31 December last year. The DMO said that the increase of ₦560.009 billion in the total public debt in Q1 2019, was accounted for largely by domestic debt which grew by ₦458.363 billion. In the same period under review, the external debt of the country increased by ₦101.646 billion as the ratio of domestic to external debt stood at 68.49 percent to 31.51 percent at the end of March 2019, in relation to the debt management strategy. The total public debt to GDP ratio was 19.03 percent, which is within the 25 percent debt limit imposed by the government. The DMO said.