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Cargo Vision: Hadiza designates Lily Pond, Ikorodu Terminal agro-produce export terminals

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  • As LCCI Boss speaks on Why Nigeria’s agric produce don’t meet world-class standard

Determined to buoy Government’s vision on exports, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman has designated the Lily Pond Terminal in Ijora and the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal, Ikorodu specifically for the export of Agro-produce.

Hadiza indicated this at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa Lagos in a goodwill message on “Nigeria Agricultural Integrated Export Control Plan Zero Rejects Initiative on Agric-Produce” adding that the NPA would work conscientiously towards achieving the Government Export Agenda.

Usman, assured the stakeholders that works had already commenced on the reconstruction of the Access Roads leading to the Ports in Apapa, adding that security around the axis have also been beefed up in collaboration with Security agents; hence her optimism that the traffic gridlocks would soon become a thing of the past.

Hadiza highlighted that the Authority has begun the 24 hour Port Operations to re-position the organisation effectively in anticipation of an increase in the volume of export activities, adding that NPA was already partnering with Terminal Operators to establish Export Desk in all the Terminals so as to facilitate the export of agro-produce.

Similarly, the Authority she revealed is equally collaborating with terminal operators and agencies like the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to re-establish the rail tracks in all the Terminals in Lagos Ports in order to facilitate the conveyance of export cargoes in line with greater efficient customer services.

She however insisted that empty Containers must first go to holding bays at Bonded Terminals to reduce waiting time of trucks on our roads, hene her ongoing negotiation with the relevant quarters, and her insistence that Security agencies be engaged to facilitate easy control of traffic on the roads.

Meanwhile, the President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Chief Onikepo Akande has decried the low quality standard of agricultural produce traded within the West African sub region.

Speaking at the 2017 Agra Innovate West Africa Expo and Conference in Lagos, Akande said traded produce in the sub region hardly met world-class standards because the transactions were largely informal.

“A bulk of agricultural trade within and across West Africa still remains informal, dealing with primary products.

“Quality control and standards on such commodities are non-existent, which means the products on sale in the sub-region hardly meet world-class standards.

“The conversion of currencies for their transactions is done in black markets and so the government loses the opportunities to capture the data on such transactions.

“Hundreds of tons of such commodities move daily from major markets such as Dawanau in Kano, Maigateri in Jigawa, Illela in Sokoto, Yauri in Kebbi, to neighbouring countries without official data of transactions,’’ she said.

The LCCI president said that West Africa could become an agricultural hub trading with other parts of the world, given its great environmental and climatic endowments and vibrant populace.

“We must therefore bring efforts to bear on quality, standards and agricultural best practices on the field as well as global best prices post-harvest.’’

She called for a balanced intervention without overt interference in commercial activities either by government or by big businesses.

Akande said the cyclical abundance and scarcity annually occurring after harvest and during no harvest periods had greatly distorted supplies and prices, thus empowering speculators at the expense of primary producers.

According to the LCCI president, research and development must come into the fray to ensure good quality produce.

She said that the outputs of various research institutes would have significant impacts on yield, pest control, climate-smart agriculture, prevention of post-harvest losses as well as finding diversified uses.

Akande called for the provision of good roads by government or private sector for the development of agricultural trade.

“Realisation of the need for good roads to help move commodities from farm to markets on time and at a reduced cost has led to interventions; the Lakaji corridor in Nigeria and Borderless Alliance corridor across West Africa are good examples.

“Although these are not funded by national governments, their benefits have been documented in Nigeria and Burkina Faso, respectively.

“Their interventions enable transportation of agricultural commodities faster and cheaper, reducing the ultimate cost of transportation and impact on product prices.

“With less delay in transit, losses due to transportation, risks are reduced. Food is saved from wastes, prices are less volatile, quality suffers less and export capacity can be improved,’’ she said.

The 4th annual Agra Innovate West Africa expo and conference ended on Wednesday in Lagos.

The theme for this year’s expo was: “Optimising the Potentials of Agricultural Value Chains and Infrastructure to Strengthen Food Security, Export Capacity and Cross Border Trade in West Africa’’.

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NPA: Dantsoho Pledges To Reposition For Increased Productivity, Efficiency, And Revenue Generation

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… Assures timely payment of emoluments, compensations, training and capacity development

Groomed through the ranks and thus, better informed, the new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr Abubakar Dantsoho has pledged to reposition the Authority for increased productivity, greater operational efficiency and increased revenue generation.

Dantsoho pledged during the handover ceremony which took place at the conference room Headquarters, Marina Lagos. He has since resumed duty at the Headquarters in Marina.

 “As we match towards this great journey, I wish to state that our main goal is to reposition the Nigerian Ports Authority for increased productivity and greater efficiency for increased revenue generation”, Dr Dantsoho said, expressing his deep appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the opportunity given to him to be the 29th Managing Director of NPA.

The Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s Seaports affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the Nigerian Ports compete favourably with neighbouring ports, especially in areas of Port operations.

 This he stated would be achieved through the robust exhibition of the overall commitment and collaboration to achieving success.

Speaking like an administrator who truly feels the pains of staff neglect, Dantsoho stressed that he is committed to improving the welfare of the workforce through the timely payment of emoluments, compensations, training and capacity development especially for employees who show added value in their areas of deployment.

The NPA Boss promised to continue with the digital transformation of the Authority and the Port Community system which are key to blocking leakages and corruption while promising to explore ways of further improving Port infrastructural renewal. 

‘’In particular, we shall drive port rehabilitation and modernisation. We shall pay attention to logistics that surround the arrival of cargo to the port corridor, loading of ships and other things that surround berthing of cargos,’’ he said, assuring that he would further tap into the benefits of the Deep Seaport corridor as well as promote the ideals of Transparency for Ease of Doing Business. 

In the area of collaboration with sister agencies, Dr. Abubakar stated that he would maintain an open door for communication and collaboration with sister agencies and all relevant stakeholders.

He equally congratulated the former Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko and his team, for their invaluable contributions to the industry. 

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Echoes from CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

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Bilateral Boost: CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

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Bilateral Boost: CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

…To effectively enhance national security, Better Service Delivery through Global Partnerships

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, On Thursday, July 18, 2024, took a significant step in strengthening global partnerships by participating in a bilateral meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington, D.C. 

Determined to revive the over-a-decade-old Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and subsequently enhance national security service delivery through global collaborations and data-driven decision-making, the Comptroller General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi last week participated in a bilateral meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington, D.C. 

The gains of the meeting which was held Thursday, July 18, 2024, aside from offering a significant step in strengthening global partnerships, will also help Nigeria address the challenges of cross-border crimes, particularly drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and money laundering, each of which dovetails on boosting national security. 

“Reviving the CMAA will bolster the Nigeria Customs Service’s capacity to protect the nation’s borders and enhance service delivery, paving the way for a more secure and prosperous future for all Nigerians”, the CGC, Adeniyi emphasized, highlighting the successful interception of illegal items, which includes drugs and weapons, at major ports and airports in Nigeria. 

Also Read: Echoes from CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

He then stressed the need for increased capacity building to tackle Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement and opiate issues. 

“Our efforts at the ports and airports have yielded significant results, but there is still much to be done in capacity building and enforcement,” the highly informed Customs Arrowhead said.

Adeniyi underscored the importance of a  Center for Advanced Cargo and Passenger Data Analysis to mitigate risks; and the need for such a centre to enhance cargo and passenger security, while pointing out the success of prosecuting wildlife criminals.  

Additionally, he advocated for an advanced Command and Control Centre (3C) to address security concerns.

 “A dedicated targeting data fusion centre will significantly improve our ability to manage risks and enhance security measures,” Adeniyi explained, adding: 

 

“By customising our approaches and collaborating globally, we can address the complexities of air cargo security more effectively,” he remarked.

The meeting diligently covered the challenges of commercial air cargo security and potential partnerships with U.S. government agencies.

Adeniyi highlighted the importance of future operations, including CBP’s global targeting advisory directors and their capabilities in information sharing on cargo and passenger sides.

In his reaction, James Collins, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of International Affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, emphasised data integration, partnerships, and targeted efforts to address transnational criminal groups exploiting seams and boundaries. 

“Integration of data and international cooperation is crucial in countering transnational threats”, James Collins stated and highlighted the importance of collaboration and information sharing in border security and intelligence gathering. 

He stressed the need for investing in capacity building, train-the-trainer programs, and targeted training to address gaps in border security.

 Collins stressed the need for secure channels for sharing intelligence and building partnerships with international organisations to sustain efforts in combating illicit trade and traffic. 

“Continuous training and secure intelligence sharing are vital to our success in maintaining border security,” Collins also noted.

Key action items identified include establishing specific channels for continued intelligence sharing between Nigeria Customs and CBP, exploring operational partnerships between Nigeria Customs units and networks like CBP to coordinate cross-border responses, leveraging INTERPOL programs and collaborating with other West and Central African countries on transnational crimes.

The meeting concluded with a presentation on Artificial Intelligence by Sunil Madhugri from the Office of Information and Technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, highlighting the future of technology in enhancing customs operations and security.

 “Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in our strategy to modernise and secure our borders,” Madhugri said.

In a related event, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi visited the Nigerian Embassy in the USA, where he was received by Mr. Rabiu Lawal, Charge d’Affaires a.i, and his team.

 The CGC appreciated them for their warm reception and their tireless efforts for all the Nigerians in the diaspora.

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