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Yuletide: Customs intercepts 14 trailer load of Rice, Cannabis, others 



… Arrests 27 suspects

By Seun Ibiyemi

Operatives of Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit Zone A have made seizures of 7,059 bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, which is equivalent to 14 trailer load , cannabis sativa and other smuggled items  with duty paid value of N713,663,355 within three weeks

The Unit has generated revenue to the tune of N223,996,091.50. from September till date when the Controller assumed duty. The feat constantly being achieved is informed by the support of the CGC.

Acting Controller of the unit ,Deputy Comptroller Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu who disclosed this to journalists in Lagos at the unit’s end of the year press briefing, said 27 suspects were arrested in connection with some of the 1,800 seizures made.

He said the seizures were results of unrelenting and uncompromising anti smuggling activities by the unit aimed at enforcing government policies and protecting the economy.

Giving a breakdown of the seizures, Ejibunu said “The last briefing took place on Tuesday 2nd December, 2021, for which most of you witnessed the showcasing of the Unit’s seizure in 5 weeks with a DPV of N2.8 billion.

“As the year slides to an end, and being an integral part of this all- important project, we thought it wise to invite you once again for today’s Press Briefing anchored on more seizures recorded from 3rd December, 2021, till date.

“In just 3 weeks, the Unit made the following seizures: 7,059 bags of foreign parboiled rice 50kg each (about 14 trailers load)

607 kilograms of Cannabis sativa (Indian hemp) 537 kegs of PMS at 25 litres each.

86 bales of secondhand clothing 570 pieces of used brassieres 4,467 pairs of used shoes 280 cartons of frozen poultry products 186 pieces of used bags, 3 used vehicles, 43 used motorcycles, 70 cartons of tomato paste, 39 used fridges.

While addressing some inquiries by members of the public on the legality of customs officers patrols and seizures ,the Acting Controller cited  relevant Sections of the Customs and Excise Management Act 2004 as amended.

He explained that section 147 gives the service authority to enter any premises on suspicion of harbouring prohibited items without warrant; section158  gives authority to patrol freely and section 46 confers authority to seize prohibited items.

He explained further that section 11 gives power of  prosecution of anyone obstructing Customs officers for doing their duty .

On the killing of customs officers , he expressed determination of the service to arrest anyone involved in such murderous acts while announcing arrest of one of the prime suspects that killed an officer of the unit on active service on September 11, 2021.

The unit within the period under review also seized 721.5kg cannabis which was handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

He added that seizure of 607kg of the illicit drug was made along Oshodi-Mushin Expressway without a suspect, while 114.5kg was intercepted and seized along ijebu-Ode/Abeokuta Expressway with a suspect identified as Mr. Anthony Duru.

The unit had recently handed over 14,728kg of Cannabis sativa which has become a regular occurrence that Ejibunu decried as a contributor to criminal activities that shouldn’t be allowed in the society.

Ejibunu described the NDLEA as an agency carved out of the NCS and a worthy partner with the service in suppression of crimes.

Receiving the cannabis sativa on behalf of the NDLEA, Mr. Humphrey Ugwoke a Deputy Commander of Narcotics (DNC) thanked DC Ejibunu for his contribution to the fight against illicit drug and commended the cooperation between both agencies of government.


NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers



…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event

By Seun Ibiyemi

It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.

With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.

Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.

According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”

Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”

On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.

In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).

Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.

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LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement



The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.

Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.

Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.

Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.

She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.

She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.

“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.

 ”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.

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Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB



President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.

According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.

Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.

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