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Apapa Customs hands over N1.5bn Seized, Illicit Drugs to NDLEA



Apapa Customs hands over N1.5bn Seized, Illicit Drugs to NDLEA

Over 20 cartons of 120 mg and 225mg of Trapaking tablets, a new brand of the prohibited Tramadol estimated at N1.560 billion were handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on Wednesday by the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Addressing journalists during the handover of the drugs to NDLEA at Classic bonded terminal in Lagos,  the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Auwal Muhammed disclosed that the drugs concealed with sweets inside a 1/40-foot container were falsely declared as driving shafts and candy sweet.

The Controller hinted that the drugs were, however, uncovered as a result of meticulous inspection and examination carried out on the container.

“Today, we are here to witness the handing over of the illicit drugs in the class of tramadol concealed in a 1/40 container consisting of 838,500 pieces of Trapaking tablets of 225 milligrams and 90,010 pieces of Trapaking capsules of 120 milligrams domiciled at classic bonded terminal to the NDLEA on the directive of the Comptroller General of Customs for further investigation and possible prosecution of the suspects.

 “What they declared to us was driving shaft and candy sweet. But as a result of our meticulous inspection, a 100 percent examination was conducted on the container and no driving shaft was found even the alleged candy sweet they mentioned was not in the container.

Apapa Customs hands over N1.5bn Seized, Illicit Drugs to NDLEA

“What we have there is gummy pop which is another brand of sweet. So it’s a clear case of false declaration with concealment in an attempt to deceive the security agents so that they can smuggle in the illicit drugs into the country,” he narrated.

 According to Compt. Mohammed, the addresses provided by the clearing agent and importer were fake, but investigations are ongoing to apprehend both suspects and ensure they are prosecuted.

He said the license of the agent and the Tax Identification Number (TIN) of the importers have been blocked to prevent them from any import transactions.

 His words: “We tried to trace them through the addresses they gave but the addresses are fake and so we could not trace them there. They have been on the run and we are in search of them and sooner or later, we are going to catch up with them and they must face the wrath of the law.”

The Controller lamented the menace of importation of illicit drugs on national security and how it continues to wreak havoc on the youth, assuring that the command will continue to partner with the NDLEA in making the Apapa Port environment a no-go area for importers of illicit drugs. He appealed to intending importers to imbibe the spirit of patriotism, noting that the quest for quick money by fraudulent importers at the expense of national security would be frustrated by the command under his watch.

Receiving the drugs, NDLEA Commander of Narcotics, Apapa Special Command, Udotong Noah Essien, expressed appreciation to the Customs boss for the synergy just as he assured that the NDLEA will continue to partner with Customs as the lead agency in the port to curb attempts to import illicit drugs through the Apapa Port.

 “Without the collaboration of Customs, this seizure won’t be possible. We know the implication of these drugs on national security, health and the economy. So we are grateful to Customs for this.

“We want to assure Customs and Nigerians that we are going to take this investigation to a logical conclusion. We did not take this collaboration with Customs for granted. We will continue to partner with the NCS in every aspect even in trade facilitation and in making sure that Apapa Port is a no-go area for drug traffickers,” he said.

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Super Eagles beat hosts Guinea Bissau, to reclaim Group ‘A’ leadership



Super Eagles beat hosts Guinea Bissau, to reclaim Group 'A' leadership

The Super Eagles on Monday in Bissau beat hosts Guinea Bissau 1-0 to reclaim leadership of Group A in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifiers.

Moses Simon’s penalty kick after 29 minutes gave the Nigerian senior men’s football team the needed win to move to nine points after four matches.

They have now upstaged from the apex position Guinea Bissau who toppled them on Friday in Abuja with a 1-0 win.

Guinea Bissau is with seven points from four matches and in second place, ahead of Sierra Leone who has five points from four matches.

Nigeria is expected to now face the Leone Stars of Sierra Leone in a Match Day 5 fixture.

 Details later  

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Banking & Finance

NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart



NGX: Investors Lose N622bn, as NCR Nigeria, Unity Bank lead Losers’ chart

The domestic stock market on Nigeria Exchange Ltd. (NGX) continued on a negative note as the market capitalisation on Monday dropped by N622 billion amid sustained profit-taking activities.

Accordingly, investors lost N622 billion in value as market capitalisation declined to  N29.281 trillion from N29.903 trillion recorded at the previous session.

The All-Share Index (ASI) fell by 1,141.76 points, representing a decline of 2.08 percent, to close at 53,750.77 points as against the 54,892.53 posted on Friday.

Consequently, the ASI’s year-to-date (YTD) return fell to 4.88 percent.

The downturn was impacted by losses recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are; Airtel Africa, Seplat Energy, MTN Nigeria Communications (MTNN), Nigerian Breweries and Lafarge Africa.

“We expect risk-on sentiments to be sustained in the equities markets even as the depressed interest rate environment will continue to favour the local bourse in line with our expectations for Q1, 2023.

“Taking positions in stocks with solid valuations and dividend yields ahead of the dividend-paying season remains the choice strategy.

“However, we see room for extended profit-taking activities,” Analysts at United Capital Plc said.

The market breadth was negative as 21 stocks lost relative to five gainers.

Courteville Business Solutions recorded the highest price gain of 6.67 percent to close at 48k per share.

NPF Microfinance Bank followed with a gain of 2.7 percent to close at N1.90 and AIICO Insurance up by 1.75 percent to close at 58k per share.

FBN Holdings (FBNH) rose by 0.92 percent to close at N11, while Zenith Bank gained 0. 2 percent to close at N25 per share.

Conversely, NCR Nigeria led the losers’ chart by 9.79 percent to close at N2.12, per share.

Unity Bank followed with a decline of 9.43 percent to close at 48k, while Prestige Assurance declined by 8.89 percent to close at 41k, per share.

SUNU Assurance declined 8.33 percent to close at 44k, while Multiverse Mining and Exploration and Airtel Africa shed 8.31 percent each to close at N2.98 and N1,420 respectively per share.

Also, the total volume traded decreased by 26.66 percent to 100.883 million units, valued at N4.342 billion and exchanged in 3,279 deals.

Transactions in the shares of Guaranty Trust Holding Company (GTCO) topped the activity chart with 12.836 million shares valued at N318.513 million.

Zenith Bank followed with 11.920 million shares worth N297.982 million, while United Bank for Africa (UBA) traded 10.038 million shares valued at N80.242 million.

MTNN traded 8.264 million shares valued at N1.927 billion, while FBNH transacted 7.719 million shares worth N84.577.

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MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria



MARITIME SAFETY: NIMASA, NCC Close Ranks On Submarine Cable Regulation In Nigeria

…Jamoh reiterates  commitment to Ease of Doing Business 

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) have agreed to work closely with relevant stakeholders as the Agency inches closer to developing a regulatory framework to provide operational guidelines for Submarine Cable and Pipeline Operators in Nigeria. 

Officials of both organs of Government in Lagos reached this agreement at a pre Audit meeting on submarine cable regulation.

The Director General of NIMASA Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR, who chaired the meeting, which also had the Director General of Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) Mr. Dasuki Arabi in attendance, noted that the Agency is committed to the Ease of doing Business while implementing International Conventions which Nigeria has ratified and domesticated. 

He noted that with Nigeria now a destination for global communication players, the time has come to prevent unregulated underwater cable laying, which might become hazardous to shipping.

According to him, “It is worthy to note that marine cable laying has been ongoing for over two decades in Nigerian waters. Our focus is to ensure safety of navigation of shipping in Nigerian waters with all these underwater cables being laid.

NIMASA is actually developing the guidelines to regulate submarine cable operators in line with the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, UNCLOS; which we have ratified and NIMASA is the Agency of Government in Nigeria responsible for its implementation. We do not just implement laws; we consult. Where the responsibility of an Agency stops, that is where the responsibilities of another Agency start. Collaboration is a key component of ease of doing business in the best interest of the country and we will work closely with the NCC to achieve this”.

On his part, the Executive Vice Chairman of the NCC, Professor Umar Garba Danbatta who was represented by the Director, Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement, Efosa Idehen noted that the stakeholders’ dialogue strategy adopted by NIMASA in developing the guidelines would ensure a win-win situation urging NIMASA management to include the Ministry of Justice, a request NIMASA DG immediately granted.

Also speaking at the meeting was the Director General of the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Mr. Dasuki Arabi, who commended NIMASA and NCC for adopting effective Inter-Agency collaboration to avert a potential challenge for the country in the future.

NIMASA had notified submarine and cable operators in Nigeria of a soon-to-be-implemented regulatory guideline for submarine cables and pipelines in Nigeria, in line with the provisions of UNCLOS. NIMASA and the NCC agreed to identify and resolve areas of likely regulatory overlaps, ensuring a regulatory framework based on consultation to engender the attainment of Nigeria’s digital economy transformation.

Officials of the Federal Ministry of Environment and representatives of Submarine Cable operators in Nigeria were also at the meeting.

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