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SIFAX logistics boosts operations with 13 new trucks



SIFAX Logistics Company  Limited, the haulage subsidiary of SIFAX Group, has boosted its operations with the acquisition of 13 brand new trucks.

The trucks, which are 33 tons 6×4 MAN diesel vehicles with 400 horsepower, will help the company increase its market share and competitiveness in long-distance and interstate deliveries. This acquisition now brings the trucks in the company’s fleet to 114.

According to Adewale Adetayo, General Manager, SIFAX Logistics Company Limited, the truck additions became necessary due to the upsurge in demand for the company’s haulage services across the country.

He said, “In order to maintain our market dominance and expansion to various new routes within the country, management decided to embark on the purchase of these new trucks.

“Our target is to expand rapidly and we have mapped out a strategic plan to acquire 200 new trucks before the end of the 2024 business year.

“This will be done in phases and we have started with 13 for now. We hope to buy another 20 in the next phase of our acquisition plan.”

Speaking on the brand of trucks purchased, Adetayo said the company went for the MAN diesel brand, which is a German product, because of its high rating in the logistics ecosystem, durability, load-bearing capability, driving stability and adaptability.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group noted that the company has always braved the odds to invest more in the Nigerian economy during downtimes.

“We are aware many businesses are not favourably disposed to investing at this moment due to the prevailing economic reality. But the reality is that some economic activities like production and movement of goods will almost always demand for haulage services even in challenging times.

“We are scaling up through the acquisition of these trucks because of the huge potential in the industry.

“The economic outlook for the country is looking bright and we know that once the economy bounces back, we would reap the rewards of our investments.

“Many businesses, both existing and potential clients, continue to reach out to us due to the credibility and efficiency we have achieved over the years. To meet these agreements, we need a larger fleet,” he noted.

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Sanwo-Olu slashes train fare to N375, flags off Blue Line



Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu announced a reduction in the fare on the Blue line train to N375 from the actual N750 fare for a complete trip along the first phase.

This is with respect to the 50 per cent discount subsidy palliative from the Lagos State Government to ease the burden of rising cost of living on Lagos residents.

The Governor yesterday led hundreds of Lagosians, consisting of members of the public, the media, and other sectoral stakeholders to herald the commencement of commercial passenger operations of the first phase of the Lagos Blue Line rail services on Monday, September 4, 2023, with a train ride from the iconic Marina train station to the Mile 2 terminal station.

The Lagos Blue Line is one of the six identified Rail routes in the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Masterplan designed to alleviate challenges of mass transit across the city of Lagos.  It would be recalled that the electricity powered high-speed metro train system was commissioned by former President Muhammadu Buhari on January 24, 2022, while the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), through its Managing Director, Engineer Abimbola Akinajo, had announced the much-awaited take-off of passenger operations at a press conference on Wednesday, August 30, 2023.

The Governor, who attended the milestone occasion along with the Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat; the First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, and other dignitaries in the State expressed excitement over the commencement of the Blue Line rail saying, “It’s been a wonderful experience personally for me this morning, and for almost all the 500 passengers.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu assured Lagosians of maximum security, safety, and convenience on the train.

“As you can see, the whole place is well secured. There are men of the Nigerian Police, there are Neighourhood Watch. And they also have private security operatives that are all there. The stations are clean, and we are all good to go. With your Cowry Card you are good to go. So, let’s go out there and get our Cowry Card and top it up so we can enjoy integrated urban mass transportation system that we have talked about,” he urged Lagosians.

Passengers are only allowed to get on the train with the Cowry Card or the LASSRA Identification Card.

The Governor also charged Lagosians to be safety conscious and conduct themselves with utmost care around the infrastructure, noting that the train tracks are electrified and therefore should not be crossed for any reason, neither for buying nor selling purposes.

Governor Sanwo-Olu took the opportunity to provide update to Lagosians on the first phase of the Red Line, another route of the LRMT running from Agbado to Oyingbo.

“The Red Line is about 95 percent ready, and when it gets to 100 percent, we will commission it. We are certain that before the end of the year, we will commission the Red Line,” he said.

“By the end of this month we will start commissioning the bridges: Ikeja-Along Bridge, Oyingbo Bridge, Yaba Bridge, Mushin Bridge, Ayoola-Coker Bridge. We will start opening the bridges for vehicular movement,” he disclosed.

Three trains are available for the Blue Line operations now, with each having a capacity to move 1,000 passengers per trip and an estimated combined total of 150,000 passengers daily.

Daily services on the first phase of the Blue Line will start from 6:30 am for the Mile-2 to Marina trip, and 7:03 am for the return. With stops at the Alaba, Iganmu, and National Theatre stations, the 13-km stretch takes less than 30 minutes on the Lagos Blue Line.

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Oyetola vows to ensure safe, sustainable marine  sector in Nigeria



By Seun Ibiyemi

The  Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola has said  he will ensure oceans and marine were safe, reliable, and sustainable across the nation.

Oyetola made the declaration when he assumed office on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, oceans hold the key to sustainable economic growth, environmental preservation, and technological innovation.

“Our oceans cover more than two-thirds of African planet’s surface.

“As we look ahead, my vision is rooted in the responsible management and utilisation of our marine resources to benefit not only our economy but also the health of our planet.

“Experts say the blue economy is estimated to be worth more than 1.5 trillion Dollars per year globally.

“Therefore, given our size as a country and considering the size of our blue economy, we should be a significant player in this sector,” the minister said.

He said the sector has potentials to contribute immensely to  revenue generation and provide jobs for the unemployed.

He said the nation ought to come up with practicable ways of ensuring the nation‘s inland rivers, lakes, and waterways were well utilised, both in terms of cargo shipment and passenger transportation.

“And this can be done by embarking on a holistic dredging campaign for most of our strategically important inland waterways so as to make them navigable for the passage of goods and people.

“We equally have a duty to promote better inter-agency cooperation and coordination between the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, the Nigerian Ports Authority, and the Nigerian Inland Waterways Authority.

“As someone with a strong private sector background, we shall promote greater private sector inclusion while fostering greater efficiency through specialisation and the effective delineation of core duties between the units,” he said.

According to him, the nation will  seize this opportunity to create positive change by leaving a lasting legacy for generations to come.

Oyetola called for cooperation of the staff toward national development.

“ I appreciate your dedication, and I look forward to working alongside each of you in the pursuit of a better Nigeria. I must say that I am privileged to be joining this amazing team as the team leader.

“I want you to know that I am here to support you, to listen to your ideas, and to champion the growth of our marine resources. Together, we shall embark on a journey that holds immense promise and responsibility.

“ I believe that when we are able to do all these and more, we will  have contributed our own quota toward realising the  President’s renewed Hope Agenda in the Marine and Blue Economy sector,” he said.

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Regularise your tax or face sanctions — FIRS warns Shipping-Lines, Dredgers, others



By Seun Ibiyemi

The Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has mandated all shipping companies operating in Nigeria’s territorial waters to regularise their outstanding tax return before 31st December 2023.

The service disclosed this in a public statement made available to the public and signed by its Executive Chairman, Muhammad Nami.

FIRS noted the order is the sequel to two previous seculars of June and December 2021 wherein it provided the basis of taxation of international shipping lines and also called on them to regularize their tax affairs with the service within three months.

The circular also stated that the FIRS had observed that many international shipping lines operating in the country had not been complying with the nation’s extant tax laws.

It said thus, “The circular provides the basis of taxation for all international shipping lines in Nigeria and the public notice requested all international shipping lines to regularise their tax affairs with the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) within three months of the date of that publication.

“Consequently, the Service hereby requests all international shipping companies operating in Nigerian territorial waters in whatever capacity (containerised, bulk cargo, fishing trawlers, crude oil and natural gas lifting vessels, dredging, survey, floating, production, storage, and offloading, etc.) to immediately regularise their tax positions.”

The service noted that it is collaborating with relevant security agencies to prosecute defaulting shipping agencies after December 2023.

The statement reads, “The Service is collaborating with relevant government regulatory and security agencies in the maritime sector to commence enforcement action on defaulting shipping companies after the expiration of the grace period of December 31, 2023.”

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