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Cabotage fund hits N100bn, as House Committee laments non-disbursement



  • As State of petroleum downstream worsens 

The Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund, CVFF, currently stands at over N100billion just as the House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration has lamented the non-disbursement of the fund.

Speaking to Vanguard at the sideline of the just concluded Harmonized Stakeholders interactive forum organized by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Chairman of the Committee, Honourable Mohammed Umar Bago, said that the Committee has already registered its displeasure against the development.

Bago also disclosed that some ministerial bottlenecks have been responsible for the non-disbursement, adding that the Committee would do all within its powers to ensure that the fund is disbursed to local shipping operators. He stated: “It is a shame that we have over a N100 billion in the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund and our people cannot access the fund.

“There is a need for the Presidency to intervene in the    matter so as to ensure that local shipping operators are empowered with a view to growing the economy.’’ Vanguard gathered that the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund is currently domiciled in the NIMASA and the fund has become an issue of controversy as past administrations of the agency were not able to disburse it.

However, Dr. Dakuku Peterside, the new Director General of NIMASA had stated appears to be working on possible disbursement soon He stated: “We are pushing for the early release of the fund once stakeholders comply with the prescribed way of accessing the fund. “We want to grow tonnage; we are in a hurry to grow tonnage, the more tonnage we have the better for all of us.

The more employment we will create. “As an agency we have grown the Fund in the past one year and we will continue to grow the Fund.”

In the meantime, with four refineries and its status as a leading oil and gas producer, Nigeria was expected process refine commercial crude oil for domestic consumption and export. But that has not been the case for many years as a result of the poor state of its refineries. Consequently, the nation has become a major fuel importer with very negative implications for its economy.

The nation’s new Petroleum Policy obtained by Vanguard indicated that Nigeria’s refining capacity is one of the smallest. ”On a per capita basis, Nigerian refining capacity (theoretical maximum capacity which is far higher than actual current operational capacity) is one of the lowest, even among other African countries: Libya: 6.17 bpsd/capita; Algeria: 1.37 bpsd/capita; South Africa: 1.11 bpsd/capita; Egypt: 0.96 bpsd/capita and Nigeria: 0.3 bpsd/capita.

”The following figure shows how the capacity utilisation of Nigeria’s refineries has underperformed by such a large extent. Globally, refining is a very low margin business and refineries have to be kept working very efficiently 24/7 in order to make any profit. The Nigerian refineries however are performing well below capacity.

”Across the refineries, capacity utilisation has fallen from a high of just under 60per cent in 2002 to just 14per cent in 2014 (left hand chart below). To have any chance of succeeding commercially, Nigerian refineries need to operate on a globally acceptable cost structure and need to operate at 90per cent utilisation or more.

”In addition, the yields from the Nigerian refineries are not optimum. The yield is the proportionate mix of each type of refined product a refinery can produce. The optimal yield for a refinery takes into account the characteristics of that refinery and the value of the value added products that can be produced.

The Nigerian refineries are producing less of the value added products than is optimal. ‘’It is important to describe these sub-optimal performances of the Nigerian refineries because (as is shown in the following sections of this Policy), a strong commercially viable and significant refining sector is an essential part of the Petroleum Policy.” But hope does not seem to be completely lost as the policy has adopted the $12 billion Dangote refinery as a strategy to escape from the importation trap.

It stated that: “Crude oil will not simply be exported but a significant and growing proportion of government equity crude oil will be sent to local refineries (whether private or public).

Under the implementation of the petroleum policy, oil will be refined within Nigeria and further used to create significant end products to create value for the nation.

“The Petroleum Policy intends to move the Nigerian economy away from using crude oil sales as a source of income to one with oil based petrochemical chemical industries and gas based industrialisation.

The intention is to: achieve a competitive supply of petroleum products; make Nigeria a refining hub; introduce petrochemical industries to realise the full value from oil refining.”



Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs



Smugglers Altering Vehicles’ Chassis Numbers–Customs

Mr Chedi Wada, the outgoing Comptroller of the Federal Operations Units (FOU) Zone “B”, Kaduna says smugglers are now altering vehicles’ chassis numbers in the bid to perpetuate their nefarious activities.

Wada spoke to newsmen on Wednesday in Kaduna after handing over the leadership of the unit to his successor, Mr  Ahmadu Shuaibu.

He, therefore, underscored the importance of public awareness and compliance with government policies.

Wada reflected on the myriad of achievements and challenges encountered during his tenure.

He commended the resilience of his team in tackling the hurdles posed by nationwide border closures.

According to him, with unwavering support from the Comptroller-General  (CGC), Mr Bashir Adewale, saying that they have successfully curbed smuggling activities within the zone.

He said,  “FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna is now well-equipped and effectively managed, marking significant strides during my six-month stewardship.”

Wada acknowledged the pivotal role of the media in showcasing the unit’s efforts while urging the officers to prioritize knowledge acquisition and diligent execution of duties.

He said, “Total commitment and dedication have been the cornerstone of my successes.”

Wada also urged  his colleagues to follow suit,  disclosing that with his redeployment to the NCS Headquarters in Abuja, he will work under the Enforcement, Investigation, and Inspectorate Unit

He also assured of his continued dedication to service, WARING smugglers that his successor is an enforcement expert who is prepared to take charge.

Wada expressed confidence in the incoming comptroller’s abilities to build upon the foundation laid, signalling tough times ahead for the smugglers.

Wada’s redeployment marked the end of his duty of combating smuggling and fostering organizational commitment within FOU Zone “B” Kaduna.

It was reported that until his redeployment, Shuaibu was the Comptroller, Ogun I Area Command, Idi-Iroko. 

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Q1 2024: Tincan Customs Generates N303.9bn, 139% Higher Than Q1 2023



Q1 2024: Tincan Customs generates N303.9bn, 139% higher than Q1 2023

Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Customs Area Commander (CAC), Tincan Island Ports (TCIP), says that the command generated a revenue of N303.9 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2024.

Nnadi said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos that the Q1 revenue generated in 2024 was 139 per cent greater when compared with revenue of the same period in 2023.

In the statement signed by NN Okwara, the Public Relations Officer of TCIP, the customs area commander said that the difference in revenue between Q1 2024 and Q1 2023 was N177 billion.

“The command recorded a total collection of N303.9 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2024, as against N126.8 billion recorded in the same period of 2023.

“The breakdown shows that the command collected a total of N88.4 billion in January 2024 which is 107.9 per cent upscale from the same period of 2023 which was N42.5 billion,” he said.

The customs CAC said further that the command also generated N100.3 billion in February 2024, which is 141. 8 per cent higher than the revenue collected in the same period in 2023 which was N41.5 billion.

He explained that in March 2024, the command collected the sum of N115.1 billion in revenue as against N42.8 billion collected in the same period of 2023.

Nnadi appreciated officers for embracing service delivery for the stakeholders and for teamwork which resulted in an increase in revenue collection.

He said: “The improvement and success is due to the efforts put in place by all units in the Area Command, adding that their efforts are highly appreciated.

“I wish to remind the officers that all stakeholders should be held in high esteem and treated with respect but with due diligence to identify compliant and non-compliant traders.”

He noted that the Enforcement and Anti-Smuggling Unit had not relented in its effort to combat smuggling and all forms of criminality.

The customs boss stressed that under his supervision, the Customs, being the lead agency at the Ports, had through its enforcement unit coordinated several 100% physical examinations in collaboration with critical stakeholders.

He said that these were to ensure that the command was free of any form of non-compliance in line with the international trade cycle.

Nnadi said that, in the period under review, a total of 57 packets of heroin weighing 56.390kg with a street value of ₦902.24 million were seized.

He added that 3612 packets of Colorado Indica weighing 956.772kg with a street value of ₦4.06 billion were also seized.

“All the seized illicit drugs have been handed over to the relevant sister agencies as directed by the service.

“In the past few months, the command has hosted different sections of the stakeholders’ forum – shipping companies, terminal operators, freight forwarders, security agencies, etc.

Nnadi said that the meetings, physically and virtually, have been on modalities to automate communication channels to minimise revenue loss and boost rules of engagement.

“The Command has not relented on its efforts to ensure that its aim is achieved in its efforts to create a level playing field for importers and stakeholders by decongesting the Ports.

“The Command encouraged stakeholders’ approach for the establishment of new terminals and activities have long commenced at the terminals, respectively,” he said.

The customs boss said that in terms of volume (mT) and value (FOB), export trade recorded exponential growth within the same period under review.

“Comparatively, tonnage of goods exported via TCIP increased from 145,906.33 mT in 2023 to 251,679.89 mT in 2024 and represents an increase of 95.3%.

“Also, there is an over 300% increase in the FOB value of the exports from N80.993 billion to N287.79 billion of Q1 2023 and 2024 respectively.

“Exports from the Command include essentially agricultural and other allied products, namely Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Beans, Cashew Nuts, etc,” Nnadi noted.

He commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi, for his management team and continuous efforts towards strengthening the capacity of the service.

He added that the customs comptroller-general had also introduced innovative methods to perform its statutory responsibilities in line with international best practices. 

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Customs: Shuaibu Succeeds Wada at FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna 



Customs: Shuaibu Succeeds Wada at FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna 

In a graceful transition ceremony, Mr Chedi Wada, the Comptroller of the Federal Operations Units (FOU) Zone “B” of the Nigeria Customs Service, has officially handed over to Mr Ahmadu Shuaibu.

The event, held in Kaduna on  Wednesday at the unit’s office, marked a pivotal moment in its history as it embraced a new leadership.

During the handover, Wada commended the giant strides made during his tenure, emphasizing the unit’s strengthened operations and enhanced collaboration with sister agencies.

He lauded the unwavering dedication of the unit’s staffers and expressed gratitude to the media for their objective coverage, saying that it was vital in projecting the unit’s image.

In his response,  Shuaibu acknowledged Wada’s exemplary leadership and pledged to build upon the foundation laid, emphasizing the need for teamwork and a commitment to national security.

He affirmed his belief in the collective progress of Nigeria and vowed to uphold the service’s mandate with diligence.

The ceremony garnered support from various stakeholders, with Mr Sani Killa, Chief of Staff to Gov. Uba Sani of Kaduna State praising Wada’s integrity and urging him to continue his impactful work wherever he goes.

The various stakeholders who spoke re-echoed sentiments of appreciation for Wada’s dedication and wished him success in his new national assignment.

The Kaduna Zonal Manager of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Mr Bashir Rabe-Mani, urged Wada to sustain his patriotic service and conveyed well-wishes for his new assignment.

He said, ”As the baton passes from one capable leader to another, the FOU Zone “B” stands poised to maintain its unwavering commitment to safeguarding national interests and fostering collaboration for a brighter future.”

Wada has been redeployed to the NCS Headquarters, Abuja, as the Comptroller, Enforcement.

Shuabu, until his redeployment to the FOU Zone ‘B’ Kaduna, was the Comptroller, Ogun Area Command II, Idi-Iroko

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