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CGC ALI: 90% of cars in Nigeria are smuggled

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CGC ALI: 90% of cars in Nigeria are smuggled

…Says Customs generates N115bn in September, borders closure may last till January***

The Comptroller-General Customs (CGC), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd), on Thursday declared that 90 per cent of cars in Nigeria were smuggled into the country by unscrupulous elements.

Ali stated this while addressing newsmen in Abuja, alleging that many vehicles on display for sale in auto shops across the country were also smuggled.

He explained that the recent raids of the various car dealers’ spots in some parts of the country were to ascertain whether the vehicles were brought in genuinely or not.

According to him, the country needs revenue for development, hence, it became necessary to collect duties on those smuggled vehicles.

“We want to use this opportunity to ensure that cars within our borders are fully customised, which means duties are paid on them.

“We are looking for revenue from everywhere and we have these people who brought in vehicles and failed to pay duties.

“What we are doing now, we are just enforcing the law, which allows us to collect revenue on behalf of Nigeria and also ensure those vehicles you and I will go and buy have genuine papers that are roadworthy.

“If you meet our officers on the road and they ask for the papers, if they discover you have not paid your duties, they will seize the vehicles.

“We are doing all these to save car buyers from running into trouble,” he explained.

The customs boss said the organisation would continue to mount road block from time to time to stop vehicles to ensure duties were paid on cars.

“The law allows us to stop you and ask for the car papers, if your papers are intact, we thank you and bless you, if it is otherwise, we will ask you to pay the duties

“If we find out you are not a smuggler, you are just an innocent buyer, we will value the car and ask you to pay the required duties on the car and you will be freed,” he said.

In the meantime, the CGC has indicated that Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) generated N115 billion in September, representing the highest so far, since the closure of the country’s borders.

Col.  Hameed Ali (retired) disclosed this when he received the All Progressives Congress (APC) chairman, Comrade Adams Oshiomole in Abuja on Thursday, explaining that since the closure of the borders, the revenue being generated by the service was increasing on daily basis.

Also read:  Borders should remain closed until neighbouring countries comply with ECOWAS protocols – Oshiomole

He said that there was never a time NCS generated the revenue or much money like it realised in September.

Ali said the measures taken had compelled those who used to smuggle things into the country to go to the ports and pay necessary duties.

According to him, the aim is to ensure that the closure is sustained up till January 2020.

Ali said the main objective of the border closure was to ensure that neighbouring countries complied with the ECOWAS protocols on transit.

He explained that the protocol on transit mandated customs in the neighbouring countries to escort items coming to Nigeria to the borders so the importers would not evade payment of duties.

The customs boss added that the closure of the borders had helped to reduce the incessant attacks by bandits, as well as helped in curtailing the influx of arms and ammunition into the country.

The step taken by the joint border security operatives headed by NCS had also reduced the importation of some illicit drugs into the country.

 

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Emulate the LTT, NPA Enjoins Industry Stakeholders

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As the Marine firm donates Rader, Communication gadgets, expressing commitment to make things better

The Nigerian Ports Authority at the weekend enjoined stakeholders to selflessly support the Authority’s bid to move efficiency to the next level, even as it thanked the LTT and Coastal Marine Services for its commitment to assisting in strengthening port operations.

The Executive Director of Marine and Operations, Mr. Olalekan Badmus stated this, while witnessing the official installation of the LTT donated equipment, meant to fill up certain operational gaps, thereby improving harbour efficiency.

*L-R: The Apapa Port Manager, Mr. Charles Okaga, the NPA Executive Director, Marine & Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus and the LTT Group Managing Director, Mr. Hilik Yichiel Kalusky during the equipment inspection at the Port’s Tower, Bull Nose, Apapa, Lagos, at the weekend.

The Items included a full VHF, AIS, screens to obtain on-the-spot assessment of the channel; walkie-talkie, and backup inverters with the capacity to work on solar and battery. Their provision is expected to significantly bridge the power gaps, communication, and visual gaps.

“This is a welcome development and my message is to enjoin other stakeholders to emulate the LTT and contribute in whatever ways that will ensure that things get better.

*Executive Director, Marine and Operation, Mr. Olalekan Badmus, during the equipment inspection

“What the LTT has done is commendable and we know it would have an appreciable impact in boosting our efficiency.

“The LTT has demonstrated it’s goodwill; and like the Yoruba saying goes: We will praise you for this one, to motivate you to do more!”, the Executive Director, Olalekan Badmus further stated.

Earlier in his address, the cheerful-donor, and LTT Managing Director, Kalusky Hilik had highlighted that the major reason for the action was to make things work.

“We are here to make things work. Our vision is to make things work better”, Hilik Kalusky stated, stressing that his major concern had been to ensure an all-round port’s full, functional regime.

He said this is because, whether it is raining, sunny, or harmattan, ships are always coming in; and he is determined that the LTT must deliver the best results possible to Nigeria.

“That is why we decided on the small move to improve on the Rader and Communication aspects.

He expressed his optimism that the port would witness more development in rapid succession and stressed that the LTT wants to be at the forefront of this initiative.

Expatiating on the presentation, an informed staff, Frank Nwaeze said the importance of the equipment was to effectively mitigate the observed gaps, hindering operational efficiency.

He praised the robust relationship between the NPA and the LTT which he noted had consistently increased job efficiency and effectiveness.

“However, in the course of our interactions, we noticed some gaps; and the Managing Director thought it wise, to see how the LTT could fill this gap.

He said the first noticeable gap was the power gap, the erratic power supply, recalling the power outage that occurred twice, 30 minutes earlier, before the ceremony kicked off..

He identified the second gap as in the area of communication gadgets, hence the need to ensure the provision of inverters and the solar system.

*A group picture, after the equipment inspection

“So that at every point in time, the equipment is powered, so as to ensure a better ease of operation.”

Still, on the communication gap, he said it was for this reason that the Managing Director thought it wise to put a base station in the port operations office, to boost harbour and pilotage activities, adding that this would significantly facilitate easy access in the monitoring of the tugs, pilot cutters and make general operations, seamless.

He said the installation has now achieved that, in both the Port Control and Port Operations Office.

Finally, he identified the observed need for the provision of credible electronic eyes, hence the need for the installation of AIS and the radar system. This has now ensured that at every point in time, the authority is fully aware of what obtains in every aspect of its fore or background as well as be able to interact with their vessels.

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NIMASA Expresses Concern Over Seafarers’ Mental Health, Lauds Adeyanju on Industrial Harmony

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…MWUN leader says Jamoh instrumental to Maritime Industry peace 

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, on Tuesday restated the commitment of the Agency to the mental health of Seafarers. 

Dr. Jamoh who specially commended the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria MWUN,  during MWUN President General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju’s working visit, said the Union was uniquely fostering industrial harmony in the Nigerian maritime sector.

Industry stakeholders have generally identified the Union leader and Prince of Ibadan with pronounced peace and ongoing industrial harmony. Before Adeyanju’s tenure, the Nigerian maritime industry had routinely witnessed a regime of door-banging, threat-mongering unionists.

*L-R: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, OFR (left) with the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

 

“We have witnessed more dialogue in resolving issues under your tenure and improved employer-employee relationship within the maritime sector”, Dr. Bashir Jamoh stated, stressing:

ALSO READ: US Coast Guard To Work With NIMASA On ‘Condition of Entry’ Removal

“We need to sustain the industrial harmony in this sector, to attain in-country confidence amongst stakeholders and ultimately attract FDI to the country. 

“We at NIMASA will encourage projects like the Seafarers Recreational Centre because it will enhance seafarers’ mental, emotional, and social well-being, amongst other benefits”.

On his part, Comrade Adeyanju highlighted that the Collective Bargaining Agreement facilitated by NIMASA is largely responsible for the ease with which employee-employer dialogue now takes place in the maritime sector.

*L-R: Head, Public Relations, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Osagie Edward;  Deputy President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MWUN, Comrade Francis Bunu; Director General NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh; President General MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju; Deputy President General MWUN, Comrade Tonye Harry and MWUN Liaison Officer, Lucky Olombeni during a courtesy visit by National Officers of MWUN to the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

“Dr. Jamoh has been very instrumental in ensuring industrial harmony within the maritime sector. H

“He seeks dialogue anytime we issue an ultimatum. His pro-activeness has contributed significantly to the outstanding performance of the current NIMASA Administration, we are very proud of him. 

“Unionism is now scientific, with the use of data analysis to arrive at our position on any issue, and we prefer dialogue to confrontation and it has worked for us over the years. The Collective Bargaining Agreement implemented by NIMASA has made things very easy and transparent.” He said

Speaking further, Comrade Adeyanju who is also the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, disclosed that the Union has secured approval for international collaboration to establish a recreational Center for Seafarers in Nigeria, signaling positive strides in supporting the well-being of maritime workers.

ALSO READ: AKUTA: Shippers’ Council Executive Secretary Visits Jamoh, Lauds NIMASA’s Achievements

’’We have been working with the International Transport Workers’ Federation, UK, to which MWUN is affiliated. They have offered us a grant to partly fund the construction of a Seafarers Recreational Centre. 

“We are glad to announce that NIMASA is favorably disposed to this project. When completed, the Seafarers Recreational Centre will not only serve as a rallying point for in-country seafarers, but also offer a welcoming environment for those onboard during port calls, allowing them to experience and savor the warmth of Nigerians”, the MWUN President General further said.

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FOU Kaduna Records N2bn Seizures, Laments Smugglers Still Target Expired Items

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Dalha Wada Chedi, the Nigeria Customs Service Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘B’ Kaduna says his command recorded not fewer than seizures of 27 items, with a duty paid value of N1, 975,657,865.96 between January and February 16, 2024.

Chedi stated this while providing an insight into the activities of the unit, at the Kangiwa House, Kaduna, expressing disappointment that some of the seizures were expired items which could have compromised innocent people’s wellbeing.

“The operatives of the Unit have for the period under review remained resolute in the fight against smuggling thereby making several seizures of 27 different items ranging from used foreign shoes, foreign parboiled rice, Second-hand clothing, expired milk and juice powder, among others”, said Comptroller Dalha Chedi, with a Wednesday in January being very remarkable.

“On Wednesday, 24 January 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the unit intercepted One truck conveying 179 Bags of Tiger Nuts (50Kg each) based on intelligence along Maigatari/ Malamfatori/ Birniwa axis of Jigawa State.

“On the 3rd February 2024, the operatives of the Unit arrested three trucks along Gumel-Kano road in Jigawa State. 

“The arrest was made following information shared by the intelligence network of the NCS-Headquarters, Abuja on the suspicion that they were conveying prohibited items. A hundred percent (100%) physical examination was conducted at the premises of Kano/Jigawa Command and the three trucks were found to contain 5,076 Cartons of Foreign soap, 703 bales of Foreign second-hand clothing, 925 cartons of macaroni, 320 bales of foreign textiles and 12 Jumbo sacks of foreign used shoes.

“Two suspects were arrested and detained at the Kano/Jigawa Command in connection with the seizures and they have been granted administrative bail pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

“Also on 11 February 2024 at about 2200hrs, the operatives of the Unit acting on credible intelligence along Tsafe-Funtua Road in Zamfara State intercepted One truck on the suspicion of improper importation.  

“Further examination revealed that the truck was conveying 75 cartons of expired foreign jolly juice powder and 8 sacks of foreign expired milk powder that were found to have expired since 2019 and thus unfit for human consumption. 

“The expired milk was concealed with sacks of dried hides & skin. These are expired, unused, and contaminated items which if not intercepted by our operatives would cause havoc to society in general.

“Other items seized within this period are: 237 Bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice (50 Kg each), 1837 cartons of foreign spaghetti, macaroni and couscous, 1707 jerry-cans of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS) 25litres each, 3459 cartons/sachets of Amoxicillin, Artesunate, 500 Mg, 35 cartons of flame lighters, 2089 cartons of foreign dates, 142 cartons of YES Cigarettes, 810 pieces of foreign used tyres, many vehicles deposited at various Customs formations in the Zone, among others.

“The Total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the Seizures made within the period under review is N1, 975,657,865.96) only”, he stated further, adding that since the foreign dates and the Tiger-Nuts were edible and perishable goods, they would be auctioned in line with the provisions of Paragraph 15 (b) of the Schedule of the Nigeria Customs Service Act No. 35, 2023.   

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