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COWA: Kikelomo Adeniyi Unveils Vision to Empower 100,000 Women; Combat Drug Abuse

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…Pilot project will empower 1,200 women

The National President of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA), Kikelomo Adeniyi has unveiled a vision of empowering women, fighting drug addiction, and creating jobs, in tandem with the Federal Government’s current mission.

She unveiled the vision to a gathering of selfless stakeholders while delivering a stirring speech at the relaunch of the COWA; and launching an intensive campaign against drug abuse.

The event, which was held in Abuja on Thursday, February 15, 2024, saw the convergence of members, stakeholders, government officials, business moguls, and diplomats, highlighting the significance of the association’s endeavors.

The wife of the Comptroller-General of Customs and COWA Arrowhead while seeking the support of Nigeria’s First Lady, Oluremi Bola Tinubu, to enhance the well-being and empowerment of women in the country, also stated that COWA had identified the ‘Renewed Hope’ initiative of President Bola Tinubu’s administration as a catalyst for executing their primary projects in the country.

ALSO READ: COWA Will Pursue Projects Capable Of Impacting Humanity- Kikelomo Adeniyi

Mrs Kikelomo revealed that they have launched a pilot program to empower 1,200 women and disclosed that the association targets covering over 100,000 women, which, according to her, will significantly assist them in contributing meaningfully to their families in 2024.

She highlighted that the association has made all arrangements to establish a fully equipped ultra-modern Skills Acquisition Center in Abuja, where COWA members will receive regular vocational training and retraining.

Our primary drive is to build relationships, partnerships, and friendships that support the nurturing of healthy communities to alleviate poverty, create jobs...

Continuing her speech, she stated that the association aims to provide food and other humanitarian support to about 100,000 less privileged individuals across the country before the end of 2024.

According to Mrs. Adeniyi, the relaunch of the organization offers an opportunity to bring their activities to the forefront while also raising funds from corporate organizations and spirited Nigerians for the implementation of their programs and activities.

She added, “COWA plans to establish Nursery, Primary, and Secondary Schools across major border communities and even within cities and towns to offer decent, qualitative, and affordable education to the children and wards of serving and retired Customs Officers.”

She emphasized, “The schools will reduce the financial burden of Customs officers who pay exorbitant fees to educate their children. It will also enable us to instill in our children high moral values associated with the Nigeria Customs Service.”

According to her, the relaunch ceremony offered an opportunity to bring COWA’s activities to the forefront and to perform the investiture of patrons and patronesses and raise funds in support of the needy in society.

She said, “For the benefit of those who might not know us very well, please permit me to briefly talk about our association, COWA. The Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA) is a not-for-profit organization established on the 13th of August, 2009, to promote the welfare of Customs Officers’ families and foster bonds of friendship, unity, and understanding among the wives of officers.”

“COWA has been established with a clear aim to touch lives in a meaningful and impactful manner, and our primary drive is to build relationships, partnerships, and friendships that support the nurturing of healthy communities to alleviate poverty, create jobs, and support the economic empowerment of our members through initiatives that promote prosperity and economic opportunities,” she added.

She emphasized the need to economically empower officers’ wives across the federation and to launch an effective campaign against drug abuse in Customs Barracks to protect youths from the potential harm associated with the consumption of illicit drugs.

She commended President Bola Tinubu’s administration and the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service for their support and commitment to improving the welfare of Customs officers. She expressed satisfaction that more efforts and robust plans are underway to provide suitable accommodations to officers and their families.

ALSO READ: 100 Days Mark: We Are Set To Reposition, Restore COWA’s Glory- Kikelomo Adeniyi

On his part, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, who graced the occasion, expressed immense joy for the progress made by COWA. He commended his wife, Mrs. Kikelomo Adeniyi and her team for their hard work and sacrifices for COWA’s growth.

He disclosed that NCS has placed women in strategic and vital positions across various units and commands, which he views as a significant achievement in attaining gender balance.

CG Adeniyi stated that the service’s main goal is to establish an atmosphere that allows everyone to thrive without any obstacles. He applauded the efforts of Customs Officers’ Wives who have supported COWA over the years and Officers’ Wives from other agencies.

Reaffirming the goal of COWA, the Comptroller-General highlighted the core value of COWA to include the personal and professional development of officers’ wives, fostering a harmonious School environment, engaging in community development strongly aligned with the objectives of the NCS.

He said, “We appreciate our wives whose support encourages us to maintain our stance in fighting against smuggling and sources of strength, especially during challenging times. We are fully committed to supporting them in their work whenever and wherever necessary.”

He added, “The service is supporting COWA in building schools, supporting widows, and conducting medical outreach programs in our border communities. This initiative significantly enhances our corporate social responsibility program and demonstrates our holistic approach to community engagement.”

He said, “Given the substantial impact of COWA’s work, we wholeheartedly support the revival and relaunch of their activities. Confidently, we will continue to contribute positively to our organization and the community.”

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Zoe Maritime Roundtable Targets Improved Passenger Safety, Using Chinese Experience

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…Edodo-Emore refocuses Stakeholders’ attention on Security and new technologies in inland waterways

Significant progress will be achieved in the area boat -passenger safety amongst other gains, as Nigeria gets an infrequent opportunity to learn from the Chinese experience in improving general service delivery in-country.

The Chinese Consul-General in Nigeria, Madam Yan Yuqing, one of the key speakers at a Zoe Maritime Summit is expected, in addition to dissecting the topic of improving services delivery, to also offer, useful ideas and lessons on safe inland waterways operations in Nigeria.

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The Summit promoter,  and CEO of Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, Barr (Mrs) Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore told Maritime First that the discussion is designed to inland waterways operators the knowledge to better manage the sector, particularly, towards improving boat passenger safety.

 Consequently, a major highlight of the Summit is a presentation on the Chinese experience in the management of inland waterways.

The Barrister highlighted that with the theme: “Security and New Technologies in Inland Waterways Transportation”, the Zoe Resources Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting h places at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos should be a must-to-attend Summit. 

*Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore

Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore noted that prominent maritime personalities and revered industry players have confirmed readiness to grace the occasion.

Among these are the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy,. Adegboyega Oyetola is scheduled to unveil the Ministry’s focus and plans for Inland Waterways and Coastal Services, an intervention that has agitated the minds of inland waterway operators since his appointment last year.

Others are Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, General Manager, Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA); Mrs Oluseyi Oluyede, Managing Director, Niger Benue Transport Company Ltd (NBTC), and Rhoda Olofu, Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Marine Police Command.

*Mobereola

Industry technocrats, heads of security agencies and regulatory authorities expected to feature in panel discussions on the theme include the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mr. Mohammed Bello-Koko; Director- General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola and the Managing Director/CEO, National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Alhaji Munirudeen Bola Oyebamiji.

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Also billed to participate in the breakfast summit are port users, heads of maritime desks of banks, government agencies and insurance companies. Others are ship owners, boat owners, boat captains, log byistic companies, barge operators and any other entity whose operations are inland waterway-based.

Freight forwarders, importers and oil and gas companies will also grace the occasion.

Foreign entities from maritime nations will also feature and make interventions especially as concerns experiences in their respective nations to enable Nigerians benefit from global inland waterways visibility, network, growth and exchange of knowledge.

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FG Approves Cancelation Of 25% Penalty On Improperly Imported Vehicles

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The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the cancellation of the 25 per cent penalty previously imposed on improperly imported vehicles by Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) under the directives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy.

A 90-day window, effective from 4th March 2024 to 5th July 2024, for the regularisation of import duties on specific categories of vehicles, was approved by the minister with a 25% penalty.

According to a press statement issued by the National Public Relations Officer of NCS, CSC Abdullahi Maiwada, to ease economic hardship and encourage compliance, the Honourable Minister and Coordinating Minister of the Economy has approved the suspension of the 25% penalty previously imposed in addition to import duty on improperly imported vehicles.

 “Stakeholders, including vehicle owners, importers, and agents, are therefore encouraged to seize this opportunity to regularise import duty payments within the designated 90-day time frame,” the release noted.

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Merganser: BV Certifies World’s First Solar Solution Prototype for SolarDuck’s Floating Offshore

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Bureau Veritas (BV), a global leader in testing, inspection, and certification (TIC), has awarded the Dutch-Norwegian renewable energy company SolarDuck the world’s first Prototype Certification for a floating offshore solar technology, as applied in SolarDuck’s 0.5 MW pilot “Merganser”.

This certification represents a significant step forward in the development of marine renewable energy technologies for offshore applications.

The Merganser project, developed by SolarDuck and supported by RWE, features an offshore floating solar pilot with a capacity of 520 kWp. Comprising six interconnected platforms, the solution is designed to withstand challenging offshore conditions, including high waves, strong winds, and corrosive environments. The design has been certified to withstand a maximum wave height of 11.6 meters (with a directional 10-year return period) at a water depth of 21.5 meters (MSL) at the North Sea Farmers test site. It will be deployed off the coast of The Hague, Netherlands, providing a real-world operational environment to evaluate its performance and resilience in the dynamic North Sea.

Bureau Veritas has been actively supporting SolarDuck in its pioneering efforts to develop floating solar solutions. The certification of the Merganser prototype follows the Approval in Principle (AiP) granted for its floating structure.

Throughout the certification process, Bureau Veritas meticulously evaluated the prototype against rules and standards, including guidance note NI631 on the Certification Scheme for Marine Renewable Energy Technologies. These assessments covered various aspects such as the floating structure, mooring system, stability analysis, materials, and electrical safety systems. Moving forward, the technology will be further evaluated for a type certification.   

Don Hoogendoorn, CTO of SolarDuck, commented: “A key step in making the technology bankable is obtaining certification of the technology. As long-standing-partners, SolarDuck has cooperated closely with Bureau Veritas to verify the technology for the harsh North Sea conditions, marking a significant milestone in the development of our offshore floating solar technology”.

“The certification of SolarDuck’s prototype Merganser reflects the collaborative efforts between Bureau Veritas and industry innovators in advancing sustainable energy solutions. Our expertise in assessing structural integrity and conducting design evaluations played an important role in meeting technical standards, highlighting our commitment to fostering innovation while ensuring safety and reliability in offshore renewable energy projects”, says Martijn Nieuwenhuijs, Country Chief Executive, Bureau Veritas Marine & Offshore Netherlands.

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