Nigeria Signs Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty

Nigeria has signed the Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty to ban nuclear weapons amid tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests.

Weapons Prohibition Treaty

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geofrey Onyeama, signed the treaty on behalf of Nigeria at the UN headquarters on the sidelines of the High-level UN General Assembly. He stated that Nigeria was in support of weapons-free world.

In his words:

 “Right from the early 60s, Nigeria has been a strong advocate of nuclear weapons prohibition and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons. You may recall in the early 60s when France tested an atom bomb-related device in the Sahara and Nigeria cut diplomatic relations with France at the time. Nigeria had always been a strong advocate of de-nuclearisation of the world. We are one of the main movers of this treaty.”  

The minister said it was unfortunate that countries with nuclear weapons saw them as deterrence and safeguarded their security. According to him, it will take great effort to really push and get larger number of countries to accede to the treaty, especially nuclear weapons states.

He urged countries that signed the treaty, Civil Society Organisations and intergovernmental organisations to convince others to accede to the treaty stressing in his words that:

“The point made was that even if those nuclear weapons states were not ready to sign, they should at least take measures to ensure there was no accidental use or deliberate use of nuclear weapons.”

The treaty would enter into force 90 days after 50 countries ratified it, while Nigeria was due to deposit its ratification soon. The UN had in July adopted Nuclear Weapons Prohibition Treaty in a majority vote by 122 countries, leading toward total elimination of nuclear weapons, while 60 countries boycotted. With the adoption of the treaty, nuclear weapons now joined all other weapons of mass destruction already prohibited.

Nigeria, together with Ireland, Austria, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa played leadership roles in bringing forward the UN resolution convening the Diplomatic Conference that negotiated the ground-breaking treaty.

Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the UN, Prof. Tijjani Bande, pointed out that resources spent in maintaining nuclear weapons could better be used in other development projects. According to him, those regions with nuclear weapons had continued to be unstable, citing India, Pakistan, Israel and their neighbours. He stated that it was said that “there were countries that still have nuclear weapons and refused to give them up”.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said as he opened the treaty for signing “because there remain some 15,000 nuclear weapons in existence, we cannot allow these doomsday weapons to endanger our world and our children’s future.”

President Muhammadu Buhari, in his address to the UN, said the most pressing threat to international peace and security was accelerated nuclear weapons development programme by North Korea.

In his words:

“Nigeria proposes a strong UN delegation to urgently engage the North Korean Leader. The delegation, led by the Security Council, should include members from all the regions.” 

Buhari therefore urged that necessary pressure and diplomatic efforts be brought to bear on North Korea to accept peaceful resolution of the crisis.

NIS Launches 2 Visa Centres In MMIA Lagos

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) has launched two new visa issuing centres at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

The Immigration Service has also increased the counters at the Lagos International airport from its initial three to eight. The policy also targeted growing foreign direct investment into the country’s aviation and tourism industry. The government in an attempt to attract more foreign investment had ordered the NIS to create two  visa-on-arrival counters at the Lagos airport.  So far, about 20,000 visas had been issued at these points to expatriates, tourists, exhibitors, academics, and other visitors to the country following the order. 

An official reported in his words that:

“The immigration authorities in Abuja ordered that there should be an increase – from one to two – on the number of visa counters at the Lagos airport in order to facilitate movements, particularly by investors into the country and abolish the usual man hour loss due to immigration processes.”

Another source stated:

“Visas are now issued to foreigners on arrival at both E and D wings of the Lagos international airport from its initial D wing while no fewer than 20, 000 visas have been issued at the airport since the policy came on stream in June. Indeed, the issuing of visas on arrival, has reduced the number of foreigners going to the home offices of Nigeria abroad, as many of them now prefer to get their visas on arrival at the command.”

USA Increases Import Of Nigeria’s Crude Oil In H1 2017

United States of America increased it’s import of Nigeria’s crude oil by 32.1 percent to 52.36 million barrels in the first half of 2017, compared to the same period in 2016.

The US Energy Information Administration, the statistical arm of the Energy Department, revealed in its latest data that the country bought a record 10.24 million barrels from Nigeria in March, the highest monthly import since July 2013. It imported 9.78 million barrels in January; 5.96 million barrels in February; 9.16 million barrels in April; 8.69 million barrels in May and 8.53 million barrels in June [2017].

With Bonny Light, Nigeria’s main export grade, averaging $51 per barrel in the first half of the year, the 52.36 million barrels imported by the US translate to an income of about $2.67 billion for the country.

The USA almost tripled the volume of crude oil bought from Nigeria last year, with the biggest monthly import of 8.43 million barrels in July. It imported 76.9 million barrels of Nigeria’s oil in 2016, up from 19.9 million barrels in 2015.

Nigeria saw significant reduction in the US imports of its crude in recent years, starting from 2012, it fell to 6.17 million in June 2013 from 10.115 million barrels in May and about 40 million barrels in March 2007.

In 2014, when global oil prices started to fall from a peak of $115 per barrel, Nigeria saw a further drop in the US imports of its crude from 87.4 million barrels in 2013 to a record low of 21.2 million barrels. For the first time in decades, the US did not purchase any barrel of Nigeria’s crude in July and August 2014 and June 2015, according to the EIA data.

Meanwhile, a handful of cargoes had traded in November so far though October cargoes of Angolan and Nigerian were still lingering as demand for that month had slowed due to limited arbitrage and stronger outright prices. There was still no sign of the Nigerian Bonny Light or Erha loading programmes for November. Bonny Light exports were still under force majeure but are expected to resume later this week as repairs on a pipeline are nearly finished.

ExxonMobil sold a cargo of Qua Iboe loading November 27-28 and a November loading cargo of Yoho, one trader said, without giving further details.


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CAC Business Registration Process Resolves Distance Barrier

The Registrar General of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), Bello Mahmud, has said that distance is no longer a barrier to business registration in Nigeria as CAC now opens businesses registration from Abroad.

Bello Mahmud in his address on CAC’s attainment of three ISO certifications within his eight-year tenure, said that henceforth, the Commission can send certificates of registration by mail anywhere in the world. He said in recognition of the progress made by the commission, the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) recertified QMS to NIS ISO 9001:2015 Standards and a certificate of conformity to standard issued. The Registrar further acknowledged that CAC is the first Federal Government agency to obtain the 9001:2015 certifications.

His words:

“Anyone can now register businesses with the commission from the United Kingdom, China and even the United States. The CAC will continually seek ways to improve and also pursue its objectives of providing prompt and efficient registration and regulatory services to the satisfaction of our valued customers.”