The Nigeria Customs Service has revealed that six containers of poisonous tomato paste have arrived at the country’s seaport from Iran for onward clearance into local markets.
The agency revealed that the tomato paste is branded as Shirin Asal my tomato paste, Sunday Tribune reports.
The NCS has, therefore, raised the alarm concerning the arrival of the dangerous tomato paste from Iran, urging other government agencies to work with the service in order to ensure it does not get into the Nigerian markets.
According to sources at the ports, the six containers arrived at the nation’s seaports via a ship named Investment Limited, and are awaiting clearance by concerned government agencies.
“We heard that the tomato paste are poisonous. But they have arrived at the ports, and might get cleared except the customs liaise with other government agencies at the ports. You know that most of these government agencies operate independently at the ports.
“The six containers contain products that fall under the jurisdiction of cargoes examined by the NAFDAC. So, if the NAFDAC does not synergise with customs, some of them might just find their way into our markets,” a clearing agent who begged not to have his name in print told Sunday Tribune.
However, in a move to stop the tomato paste from entering into Nigerian markets, the NCS, in a memo signed by the Deputy Comptroller General Tariff & Trade to all customs commands, warned that all efforts must be put in place.
According to the internal memo entitled: ‘Re: Importation of expired Iranian tomato paste’ with reference number NCS/T&T/I&E/021/S.112/Vol.71, the customs stated that:
“It has been reported that six containers of expired and low quality Iranian tomato paste, Shirin Asal my tomato with brix 20-22 instead of the recommended brix 27-29 have been imported into the country by M.T.V Investment Limited.
“Consumption of the paste is said to be harmful to human health.
“Consequently, all Customs Area Controller (CAC) are directed to put appropriate mechanism in place to debar entry of the said paste and liaise with relevant agencies to forestall distribution and consumption.”
$3.1bn Loan: China Denies Plot To Take Over Nigeria
The sovereignty clause in Nigeria’s loan agreements with China is not designed to hijack the West African nation, the Chinese Embassy in Nigeria has said.
The embassy added that concerns raised over the clause were therefore unfounded.
According to a Thursday statement signed by the Embassy’s Press Officer, Mr. Sun Saixiong, the southeast Asian nation genuinely took interest in investment and financial cooperation in Africa.
Recall that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration and Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi have recently come under severe criticism for purportedly signing away Nigeria’s sovereignty as a precondition to get loans from China.
Denying the allegation, the Embassy’s statement read, “China is committed to enhancing investment and financial cooperation with African countries based on their needs to help them improve infrastructure and extradite socioeconomic development.
“By funding infrastructure and other areas that lag behind for short of money, we have helped the relevant countries break bottlenecks, enhance their capacity for independent development, realize social and economic sustainable development, and improve people’s livelihood.
“Such cooperation has delivered tangible benefits to African countries and peoples. In the process, China always gives full consideration to debt sustainability and seeks mutually-acceptable proposals through equal and friendly consultations.
“That is the fundamental reason behind the enormous popularity of China-Africa cooperation in Africa. And such cooperation is widely welcomed by African countries.”
According to the Debt Management Office (DMO), Nigeria is currently indebted to China to the tune of $3.121 billion as of March 31, 2020.
This, the office said, represents 3.94 per cent of Nigeria’s total public debt of $79.303 billion, and 11.28 per cent of external debt stock of $27.67 billion.
In a further explanation, Saixiong reiterated that China has no interest in taking over Nigeria’s property as feared in many quarters.
“The inclusion of Sovereignty clause is a common practice in many international commercial agreements,” he told The Nation.
“We see the issue as more of Nigeria’s internal affairs. China follows the approach of no interference in African countries’ pursuit of development paths that fit their national conditions; no interference in African countries’ internal affairs.
“The terms of the loans have been explained, we don’t need to say anything on the clause.”
He added, “Such a debate on loans is not the first time it will come up in Nigeria and other African countries. China will never seek hegemony and we are not out to take over any country.”
If You Calm Down, You’ll See Buhari’s Achievements — Femi Adesina Tells Nigerians
Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, has said that Nigerians will only see the achievements of the President Muhammadu Buhari, if they “calm down”.
Adesina stated this in an article he published titled ”Why We Need to Calm Down’.
Making reference to a viral video of the little Oreofeoluwa Babalola pleading with his mother to calm down after she attempted to beat him for a wrongdoing, Adesina said Nigerians need to calm down and stop being angry about the problems plaguing the nation.
”But if the truth be told, that message from the boy is for the entire country. We need to calm down. We are too uptight, nervy, edgy. We grumble, murmur too much, call the government a lot of names, try to demonize those serving the nation, when it could be “our last chance. Last chance in the world” to really fix things.
If you listen to some people; angry youths, religious leaders, political analysts, newspaper columnists, news reviewers, so-called activists, then nothing positive is happening in the country. It is all about insurgency, banditry, killings, joblessness, corruption, lack and deprivation. True? False!
Those things are there, as they are also in many countries of the world. But they are not the only things happening in Nigeria. Only that we would not see the positive things, except we calmed down. We would never enjoy the rainfall, if we expect rainstorm to carry away our rooftop at any moment. Calm down. “I’m just telling you to be ‘calming’ down.” his article reads
Listing some of the achievements of the Buhari administration, Adesina further wrote
”One of my favorite boyhood songs is the one by Jimmy Cliff. ‘Keep Your Eyes on the Sparrow.’
Here I stand with my head down in my hand
Wondering what on earth I have done wrong
There’s a cloud that has overshadowed me
Blocks the light from my eyes, I cannot see
But I know where I wanta be
Right or wrong, I’ve got to face my destiny
Somebody tell me to
Keep your eyes on the sparrow
Keep your eyes on the sparrow
Keep it on, keep it on now
Keep your eyes on the sparrow.
That is a song of hope. It’s a song of encouragement. The God Book says God keeps His eyes on the sparrow, and none can fall down without His permission. If He watches over a bird, how much more we human beings, created in His image? But man has walked away from that original estate. We sit on the complaint counter. We murmur, curse, cavil. We rail against God, against man, against government, even against our own selves. We indulge in hate speech, concoct and spread fake news. And it blinds our eyes. It blocks the light from our eyes, and we cannot see. We never see good, even when it surrounds us. We focus only on negative narratives.
Let me give a practical example. Last Sunday, one of the guests on Sunday Politics, hosted by Seun Okinbaloye of Channels Television, was one Group Captain Sadeeq Garba (Retd). He was also deputy head of safety and security at the African Union Commission, and now a private security consultant.
The retired Air Force Officer was asked to talk about the worrisome trend of killings in the country. The man said the killings were sad and regrettable, but things were not as completely negative as some people and interest groups would want to make them seem.
Quoting what he called reliable statistics from the Centre for Research in the United States, he gave these figures of the evil development from 2011, in number of total killings:
2015- Not available
2020-6195, as at June.
Now, one life lost is already too many. One single life should not be taken wantonly, not to talk of in hundreds and thousands. It is bestial, inhuman. But why do some people want to make it appear as if we hadn’t passed through worse times in this country? Forget about who was in power as President. It is not about individuals now, it is about the descent of a country into the Hobbesian state of nature, where life is nasty, brutish and short. For President Muhammadu Buhari, it’s a solemn pledge that lives and property would be secured. And a lot is being done in that direction, though we are not there yet. Unkind, negative comments can only demoralize those fighting to secure the country.
When the President said recently that things were better in the area of security than what he met in 2015, some people wailed endlessly, as is their wont to. But when the Group Captain came with facts and figures on national television last Sunday, not one word was heard. Not even a whimper!Why do people like to spread negative, rather than positive developments? Killings dropped from 15,600 in 2014 to 4,618 in 2016. But not one positive word. Simply because their eyes are blinded by negative thoughts and sentiments. And they now need to calm down. Rather than upbraid, our security agencies should be challenged and encouraged to rediscover what they did in 2016.
During the week, Ministry of Power said electricity generation had returned to over 5,000 megawatts. Not a word from professional complainers. If it had dropped to below 1,000 megawatts, we would not have heard anything else. Calm down. “I’m just telling you to be ‘calming’ down.”
If we calm down, what would we see? Massive infrastructural developments. Roads, rail, airports, bridges, efforts to reverse power deficit of many decades, newly approved Youth Bank to empower the younger generation, strident efforts to secure the country, N2.3 trillion stimulus package to combat the negative effect of COVID-19, and many other positive developments. There are many, and many more.
Jesus looked at Jerusalem, and wept over it, saying: “if thou hadst known in this day, even thou, the things which belong unto thy peace. But now, they are hid from thine eyes.” (Luke 19:42).”
BREAKING: FG Extends COVID-19 Lockdown
The Federal Government has announced extension of the second phase of the eased lockdown for another four weeks.
The extension is the third for the second phase.
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced this during the Task Force briefing in Abuja.
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