Blog Articles

  • Major overhaul of Nigeria customs systems – what you need to know

    By Amaka Anagor - Business Day Nigeria

    On May 30, 2022, the Federal Government, through the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) signed a $3.2 billion Customs modernisation project concession agreement with Huawei and the African Finance Corporation (AFC).

    The concession, which would be fully financed by AFC and has Huawei as the lead technical service provider, is aimed at modernising and providing ICT infrastructure for customs operations.

    It does not cede the core functions of the NCS to private operators, rather it seeks to modernise Customs processes and reduce evasion of duties as well as smuggling.

    The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission says the project, a public-private partnership, will generate over $176bn for the Federal Government in 20 years.

    As businesses, including port users, operators and manufacturers await the start of the project, there are five critical reforms that the e-Customs project is expected to introduce in ports and other aspects of Customs operations in Nigeria.

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  • Let the private sector help get South Africa into gear, says Freight Forwarders CEO

    Chris Barron (Sunday Times)

    Truck hijackings are helping to tear the heart out of the country's supply chain, and far from stopping them the authorities seem to be colluding with the perpetrators, says Juanita Maree, CEO of the South African Association of Freight Forwarders.

    “It seems that the hijackers are very much aware of the contents of sealed containers,” she says. “They're hijacking trucks transporting the high-value containers. They don't attack trucks carrying low-value cargo.”

    This suggests there are many more people involved in hijackings than the thugs who commandeer the vehicles. “We're talking police, border police and other government agencies and officials. Through them this information becomes available.”

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  • Doyin Salami, a neo-liberal economist for a socialist president

    The Cable

    Barely 17 months to the end of his tenure, President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed Doyin Salami as his chief economic adviser. Observers have questioned why Buhari, who many regard as against free market policies, would appoint a neo-liberal into this job; a man who has advocated policies that go against the grain of the president. Although Salami goes to the job from the chair of the Presidential Economic Advisory Council.

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  • Nigeria and South Africa have a love-hate relationship: the continent needs them closer

    President Cyril Ramaphosa is visiting four West African countries – Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and Senegal. The Conversation Africa’s Wale Fatade asked international relations expert, Olawale Olusola, about the significance of Ramaphosa’s visit to Nigeria and what it could contribute to enhancing the relationship between the two countries.

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  • Nigerian travellers bear the brunt of state failure at home

    Chris Akor

    Sometime in May 2013, after a tough year of study at Oxford, three of us – an Englishman, a Spanaird and I – decided to go on a week’s vacation in Rome, Italy. It was on that trip it fully dawned on me what it means to be a Nigerian travelling around the world. We all checked-in online and printed our boarding passes at home.

    At Heathrow airport, while in line to board the plane, a lady attendant stood at the entrance smiling and courteously letting in all passengers once they have shown her their passports and boarding passes.

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  • President Ramaphosa’s visit: Signalling the positives

    Ade Adefeko

    The visit, which is more than long overdue, will be President Ramaphosa's first visit to Nigeria in his official capacity as the substantive president of the Republic of South Africa.

    Barring any last minute change, President Muhammadu Buhari will be receiving an August visitor late in November. South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, in company of top government functionaries of his administration, is scheduled to undertake a two-day visit to Nigeria between November 30 and December 1.

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  • New realities in Africa: Covid-19 and taxes

    SA-NBC and LEX Africa

    With the economic pain brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of government revenue is under the spotlight as the fallout from lockdowns and other challenges continues into 2021.
    The palliative measures put in place to offer relief to companies and individuals affected by the pandemic have exacerbated revenue woes for governments. This has led to concerns that revenue shortfalls will result in more aggressive tax collection measures as they try to recoup their losses.

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  • Understanding Nigeria’s new remittance regulations

    Mint Money

    The Central Bank of Nigeria, on 4 December last year, announced new regulations for remittances to the country, a move that caused concern among Nigerians in the Diaspora and forced them to adapt to these changes.

    Under the new regulation, foreign remittances now need to be paid as cash in US dollars, or into a domiciliary (foreign currency) account at market rates in dollars. Recipients need to open US-dollar accounts, or Domiciliary accounts, to receive money and comply with these new regulations.

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  • South African retail and the retreat from African markets

    Dianna Games

    South African retailers are rapidly retreating from markets in the rest of Africa. Shoprite, the standard-bearer for South African corporate expansion in Africa, has pulled out of Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda and Madagascar to date. Massmart announced it will be closing 14 stores in 5 countries, including Nigeria, Kenya and Uganda, while Tiger Brands is selling its minority stake in Nigeria consumer goods conglomerate UAC, owner of the famous Gala sausage roll brand.

    This article, although written in 2020 before the developments above, is still instructive in that it analyses the retail trends and some of the reasons for the pullback.  

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  • The rise and fall of Nigeria’s iconic Gala sausage roll

    Nicholas Allo

    Before the covid pandemic hit Lagos, one of the most notable sounds in Lagos traffic was the cry of ‘Gala.., Gala..., Gala…’. Street hawkers shout this phrase out to attract the attention of hungry motorists interested in a quick snack on the move. This shrink-wrapped sausage roll is one product many people had loved but now, sadly disdain due to its abysmal quality. 

    Gala went from a revered market-leading brand to an avoid on sight item. This article analyses the loss of market traction of an iconic Nigerian brand.

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  • To the people of South Africa: Give peace a chance

    Sonny Iroche

    I would like to sincerely commiserate with my numerous friends in South Africa on the very sad and excruciating senseless mayhem and violence that was unleashed by a group of unguided people bent on causing unrest to undermine and destabilize the government of President Cyril Ramaphosa.

    You have a great country which you must by all means possible, protect, guard and continue to be proud of. It is incumbent on all South Africans to try to maintain and keep the peace no matter the circumstances. South Africa has come a long way through trials and tribulations. Therefore, whatever actions you decide to embark on must take cognizance of the sacrifices of the foundation fathers and mothers, who fought and some paid the supreme price with their lives, to bring an end to apartheid.

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  • SA and Nigeria: It is time they joined forces to push Africa’s post-COVID-19 renewal

    Owolabi Salako 

    With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is of utmost importance that Africa as a continent provides transformational leadership for business in the 21st Century. The whole world is now experiencing challenges caused by the pandemic, challenges that require adaptive solutions.   

    This pandemic has positioned Africa in a unique position globally, in setting the pace for the new world economic order.

     In a bid to achieve this objective, the stronger economies on the continent will need to work more closely together than ever before, both at private sector and government levels, in order to lift up the weaker economies and enable them to play a role in kick-starting the process of Africa renewal. 

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  • Nigerian companies make their mark in South Africa

    Adetunji Omotola

    I was profoundly surprised and delighted when I saw the recent article by South Africa’s Deputy High Commissioner to South Africa, Dr Bobby Moroe, in the Daily Maverick online column Opinionista entitled ' South Africa and Nigeria – the continental giants with a sometimes uneasy, but always symbiotic relationship’ (https://bit.ly/3jmjy1O).

    In my decade as an Africa analyst, I have rarely seen an article written by an African diplomat, so this is very encouraging. But I wish to add to his information contained in the following paragraph.

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  • Nigeria’s economic turmoil

    Africa Risk Consulting team

    A midst skyrocketing inflation, cries for policymakers to harmonise the multiple exchange rates into a single market-reflective rate are not being heard, further weakening investor confidence and endangering stability in Nigeria. Management of foreign exchange policy continues to create tension between the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the finance ministry.  

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  • A sometimes uneasy but always symbiotic relationship

    Bobby J Moroe

    Much has been written about the perceived or imagined rivalry, competition and the quest for the hegemony of the continent by South Africa and Nigeria, and much less about their successes, cordiality and milestones over the years. Even fewer works that are available focus on the socioeconomic contrasts between Nigeria and South Africa in a way that seeks to project and promote competition.

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  • Twitter’s new Ghana base stokes Nigeria tech fears

    Shoshana Kedem

    Nigerians have lashed out at their tech regulators after Twitter launched a recruitment drive in neighbouring Ghana and unveiled plans to build its first Africa team in Ghana.

    The move is a blow to Nigeria, Africa’s largest tech hub, which hampers innovation with red-tape, limited access to finance and poor power supply, tech firms said on Twitter. It’s no longer enough for Nigeria to just be a big market, said Flutterwave’s former managing director Iyinoluwa Aboyeji.

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  • Flutterwave flies the flag for a new generation of Nigerian entrepreneurs

    Dianna Games

    The face of Nigerian business is starting to change as the country’s young tech-savvy entrepreneurs launch successful fundraisings attracting global investment. Fintech payments company Flutterwave, just five years old, was valued at over $1bn in March.

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  • Nigeria-South Africa: Strengthening relations between the powerhouses

    Ade Adefeko

    Historically, Nigeria and the republic of South Africa have so much in common. The two countries are former British colonies and they both belong to same Commonwealth of Nations family. The two are also the most influential members of the African Union as the biggest economies on the continent. Nigeria as a frontline state, played very significant role in the global and continental push against the pernicious minority white domination in South Africa.

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