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Smuggling: Customs to deploy drones, body cameras, others to borders

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), says plans are ongoing to deploy drones and other technologically advanced facilities to the country’s borders in its bid to curb smuggling.

The Public Relations Officer of Customs, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi said that technology would help tackle the menace.

He said one of the major efforts in that regard was deploying “technology like drones, non intriusic inspection at the borders and a lot of other things that are in the pipeline.”

Bomodi said progress had been made with regard to the concession agreement or modernisation agreement with Huawei company and other technical partners in that regard.

According to him, the development will enhance the process of accessing potential danger as well as how to tackle them.

On calls in some quartres for deployment of more manpower at the borders, the Customs spokesperson said the borders were too large to be fully covered by manpower.

“If you take everybody that presently works in the military and paramilitary to hold hands across all the borders in Nigeria, you will not be able to come up to ten per cent of our borders.

“That is how huge this country is and how tough the terrain which we operate is.

“However, we do know that when you introduce technology into the scheme of things, you are going to achieve a lot more.”

According to him, there is no doubt that the service has plans to keep expanding its staff base but it is not the individuals that will make the impact that we all desire.

“It is the technology that will be deployed to support these individuals that will make the kind of impact we know will go a very long way.”

On funding of the service to deliver on its mandate, Bomodi said there was the need for more funding to expand its strategies to curb crime and generate more revenue.

“We are talking about innovation in the kind of service that we provide and it cost a lot of money.

“We are talking about the welfare of officers which comprises the provision of adequate accommodation, adequate transportation, proper offices and a myriad of other things.

“Even vehicles that help them operate under all kinds of terrains in all kinds of environment.

“All these things cost money and we cannot say no to that becuase the more we can get the more we will achieve,” he said.

Nigeria with a landmass of more than 900,000 square kilometres, shares boundaries with 15 countries.

Some of the countries are the Republic of Niger, Cameroon, the Republic of Benin and the Chad Republic.

Meanwhile, the NCS is an independent body under the supervisory oversight of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

It is saddled with the responsibility of collecting customs revenue, facilitation of national and international trade as well as curtailing smuggling activities.

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FAAN: We are working on strategies, innovation to improve airport operations — Director

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Monday said that it had charted strategies to bring about innovations and upgrades that would lead to improvement in airport operations and management.

Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Mrs Obiageli Orah, said this  when she received the new executives of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) in Lagos.

Orah said FAAN had gone through changes with the upgrade in the Directorate of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, creation of Special Duty and the Cargo Development Services, among others.

She said that the changes were all geared toward meeting global standards in the management of airports under FAAN.

According to her, the vision of President Bola Tinubu is encapsulated in the Renewed Hope Agenda.

She said that this underscored the vision of the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo (SAN), to create new directorates that would ensure that travellers are offered the best services across airports in the country.

“FAAN has gone through tremendous changes in the past few months.

“We have added some new directorates to the existing ones; I will start with my directorate which is public affairs and consumer protection.

“It is relatively a new one because we had corporate affairs but now christened public affairs and consumer protection.

“We also added a directorate of cargo development and services which deals with everything regarding cargo and hajj operations.

“We also have a special duty directorate, one I will describe as an interventionist directorate that helps the agency intervene in any situation as the case may be,” she said.

According to her, the authority’s Managing Director and other directors are all poised to ensure Nigerians get the best.

She commended the Minister’s vision for FAAN, noting that it would engender the desired growth and global competitiveness the industry strived to achieve.

Orah said that passengers passing through the airports deserved better, after paying taxes, buying tickets and all that.

“We feel and know that they deserve the best. So, that is why security, safety and comfort of all our passengers are paramount to our operations,” she said.

Orah also assured pilgrims that there would be changes in how FAAN handled hajj operations in the airports.

She said that a new system would be employed to ease movement of passengers and goods and address long queues that pilgrims experienced in the past.

The newly elected LAAC Chairman, Mr Suleiman Idris, who led the new team, pledged the support of the association in achieving the vision of the new administration.

He said that they would play their part in turning the fortunes of the country’s aviation industry around

Idris said that LAAC would continue to play its role in holding the leadership of the sector accountable to the people.

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NASENI, NIPSS to collaborate on enhancing digital economy, job creation

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The National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure (NASENI) and the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, Plateau State are set to collaborate on enhancing Nigeria’s digital economy footprints, empowering and creating jobs for millions of youths.

The Executive Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (EVC/CEO),  NASENI, Mr. Khalil Suleiman Halilu, disclosed this while welcoming participants of the Senior Executive Course (SEC) 46 of NIPSS who were at the Agency on Strategic Institution Study tour on Monday, 15th April, 2024.

Halilu said he was elated that NASENI was identified as one of the federal government’s agencies that have all it takes to empower and create job opportunities for Nigerian youths, and make the country self-reliant in manufacturing and digital economy.

Halilu said strengthening the capacity of key stakeholders in Nigeria to access, adopt and scale up technologies is an essential outcome of such cooperation and collaborations currently being undertaken by the Agency and “must be supported by the relevant offline conditions, such as an enabling policy environment, access to finance, appropriate incentives and innovation capacities.”

The Director-General of NIPSS, Prof. Ayo Omotayo, who led the delegation, said Nigerian youths can be empowered through translation of NASENI innovations to finished products and to strengthen the collaboration between the two organisations.

According to him, various groups from the institute have been sent to different agencies to study how policies for national development can be developed, adding that the Group in NASENI will do a deep study on NASENI on how the Agency can help in creating job opportunities for Nigerian youths using some of its technological innovations.

He said, “Nigeria cannot have good manufacturing without infrastructures and NASENI is very important in all the sectors in the country, especially in manufacturing industries.

“We need an Agency like NASENI to live up to expectations, we can work together with you to find means of transferring your innovations to effective job creation and youth empowerment.”

He noted that the Course 46 participants from NIPSS wanted to know the vision, mission and roles of NASENI and how they can be translated to job creation for youths in a digital economy.

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FG unveils plans for inland waterways, coastal services

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By Seun Ibiyemi

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, on Sunday, said that it would soon unveil its plans for the Inland Waterways and Coastal Services in the industry.

Its Minister, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, was quoted to have disclosed this in a statement issued in Lagos by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Zoe Maritime, Mrs Tosan Edodo-Moore.

The minister will unveil the plans at the forthcoming Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting.

Edodo-Moore said that the federal government, through its Renewed Agenda, was committed to increasing the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country, by increasing the revenue generated by the ministry.

“We are pleased to announce the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting (MBRBM) on Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation, scheduled for April 18 in Lagos.

“The highlight of the meeting was the intervention of Madam Yan Yuqing, the Consul General of the People’s Republic of China.

“Yuqing will share the Sino-Nigeria Maritime Relationship and lessons to be learnt from China, which has the largest Inland Waterways Network in the World.

“Also, the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, will unveil the administration’s plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services.

“The subject will be dissected by a panel, comprising industry stakeholders, regulatory authorities and security agencies,” she said.

Edodo-Moore said that the panellists would include Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Dr Dayo Mobereola, the Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Others are Alhaji Munirudeen Oyebamiji, the Managing Director National Inland Waterways Authority, [NIWA] Lokoja and Mr Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, the General Manager of Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA).

It will also include Mr Oluseyi Oluyede, the Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Co Ltd. and AIG Rhoda Olofu, the Maritime Police Command.

According to her, expected participants are port users, maritime stakeholders, government agencies, banks (with maritime desk), Insurance companies, ship-owners, boat operators, logistics companies, freight forwarders, Oil and Gas companies and foreign entities

Edodo-Moore said that the benefits of the Maritime Breakfast Roundtable include visibility, growth, networking, impartation and exchange of knowledge.

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