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CUSTOMS: CG Adeniyi Stresses the Need For Preferential Trade Agreement



The preferential trade agreement has been identified as the most vibrant tool of bilateral trade and good diplomatic relationships to boost the relationship between Nigeria and its counterpart, the Benin Republic.

The (Acting) Comptroller-General of Customs CGC, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi made the call on Friday, July 20, 2023, during his working visit to Seme Area Command and Seme-Krake Border communities.

He revealed that the Nigeria Customs Service is presently working together with other government agencies, bearing in mind their peculiarities, in a bid to rationalize multiple checkpoints inhibiting free trade and movement of legitimate goods at the border posts. 

He also noted that the service had already taken the first shot in this particular direction, by announcing last week, that the CGC Strike Force team has been disbanded.

Speaking further, the Customs Comptroller-General said: “We are working with other security agencies to see how we can rationalize the checkpoints. I also want to challenge you that National Security is not the responsibility of government agencies alone. 

“This is the difference between us and our counterparts in West Africa. National Security is the business of every citizen. As you make life easier for business, I want to charge you to make the life and work of the Security agencies easier.

 “I will be engaging other agencies to see how we can streamline the number of checkpoints. We are also in talks as regards the borders that are closed. 

“We would be reviewing the policies bothering National security. It is a continuous process and more borders will be opened along the line.

 “We are already familiar with the ECOWAS trade liberalization scheme, which hosted 30 years ago. 

“While we are grappling with this, other parts of the world, they made significant progress. 

“What this portends for us is that while we trade with other regional blocs outside our areas, we still have to define our economic prosperity in the framework of the trade that we conduct between ourselves” he reiterated”, the Customs Boss highlighted further.

In his welcome address, the Area Commander of Seme Area Command, Dera Nnadi, appreciated the CGC and his team for their support of the success and welfare of the officers and men of the Command.

“Several factors have been adjudged to hamper trade (between Nigeria and her proximate neighbour in the sub-region especially transit trade across the countries and along the corridor. 

“There have been several complaints by operators against the closure of the borders, and non-adherence to transit agreements signed under the ECOWAS, World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Customs Organisation (WCO), and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff.

“Let me mention that the facility we have here needs constant upgrading, the vehicle and truck parks need to be paved, and the floodlights need to be replaced. 

*CGC Wale Adeniyi (2nd Left) and Comptroller Dera Nnadi (2nd Right) admiring Seme Command’s presentation, during (Acting) Customs Comptroller General’s visit.

“On our part, the effort is being made to remove the unapproved checkpoints along the corridor. 

“In the same vein, we thank the Federal Government for the intervention in repairing the road along the corridor and leading into Seme-Krake Joint Border Patrol” Nnadi concluded.

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Healing Initiative: Customs CG Hosts Maiden Retired Management Team Reunion



…Pledges Welfare Boost***

The Comptroller-General Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR has flagged of a structured healing process, as he initiated a maiden retired Management Team members of the Nigeria Customs Service, stressing that they have so much to offer in terms of experience, and shared legacy of diligence and commitment. 

Addressing a momentous gathering at the Customs Corporate Headquarters in Abuja on Saturday, 25 November 2023, the Customs Comptroller General said he recognised and appreciates their importance, contributions, and dedication; and would ensure their relevance is honoured.

Adeniyi disclosed ongoing discussions with the Minister of Finance to champion a bill establishing a dedicated Pension Scheme, adding that the Service has received the best from them and intends to honour.

“Today marks a momentous occasion as we come together for the first-ever reunion of Customs’ seasoned leaders”, Comptroller General, Adewale Adeniyi stated, in a heartfelt address, adding:

“This strategic initiative reflects foresight in securing the financial future of leaders within the Nigeria Customs Service”.

He reassured the retirees of comprehensive measures to elevate their welfare with a plan to integrate them into the Nigeria Customs Service’s healthcare programs. 

Specifically, he also emphasized his genuine commitment to sustaining bonds beyond active service; emphasizing the wealth of knowledge within the room and the need to strengthen the roots connecting the past, present, and future of the Nigeria Customs Service.

Highlighting the retirees’ significant contributions, Adeniyi stressed crafting customized programs for seamless collaboration, ensuring the service continues to benefit from their expertise; and described the gathering as a definitive avenue for connecting with successful leaders who have played pivotal roles in shaping the organization.

Optimistic about the impact of the reunion, the CGC expressed confidence that their coming together would contribute to greater efficiency, enhanced regulatory compliance, and entrench stable economic development goals for the country. 

 “I am confident that with your continued support and guidance, we will overcome challenges and achieve greater heights”, he further said.

Those present at the occasion included the immediate past Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Ahmed Ali (retired), Dr. Abubakar Musa, Bernard Nwadialo, and a former sole administrator, Major-General SOG Ango (retired).

Also in attendance were many retired Deputy Comptroller-Generals of Customs and Assistant Comptroller-Generals of Customs.

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33rd IMO General Assembly: Jamoh To Market Blue Economy



…While Oyetola announces vision to international audience***

The Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA Dr Bashir Jamoh has indicated that he would meticulously market the Blue Economy, once he arrived in London, as part of Nigeria’s delegation to the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly.
He also said the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, who is leading Nigeria’s delegation will announce Nigeria’s Blue Economy direction to the global audience while participating at the IMO 2023 General Assembly.

*Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, (right) and Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

The Maritime First First was told, that Over the next few days, the global maritime community will be better informed about the efforts of President Bola Tinubu’s Administration to harness Nigeria’s maritime potentials in line with Global Best Practices.

*R-L: Alternate Permanent Representative to the IMO, Abdul Dirisu; Director, Maritime Safety & Security, Babatunde Bombata; Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola; Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, and Deputy  Director, London office, William Bwala during the 33rd session of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) General Assembly in London.

“NIMASA, as IMO’s focal Agency in Nigeria, remains resolute in administering Safety and Security in our maritime domain”, Jamoh explained.

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Maritime Expert Unveils Book For Pupils On Career Path



Olaitan Williams says book is to motivate pupils to explore the Blue Economy sector’s huge potential***

A book, “Some Career Opportunities in the Marine and Blue Economy Workplace” was on Monday unveiled by a maritime expert, Mrs Violet Olaitan Williams, in a deliberate move to motivate pupils to explore the huge job potential in the Marine and Blue Economy sector.

The book was unveiled during the Ocean Ambassadors Foundation’s (OAF) fifth Educators and Maritime Stakeholders Lecture and Award; and 4th nationwide virtual Maritime Quiz Competition in Lagos.

Williams said she initially had a book that had a compendium, a compilation of lecture series for the past six years, but discovered that an 18-year-old girl did not know the colour of water not to talk of careers therein.

“To this extent, what we are trying to do in essence is to make sure that an elementary school boy or girl will fashion out their career in the marine and blue economy in the early stages.

“So, I had to simplify it and try to get the ABC of it so that with the new ministry of marine and blue economy, it will be easier even at the top to understand because the ministry is new,” she said.

Williams, a former board member of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, noted that most people who got into the maritime industry, as we all heard them today, got in accidentally.

“But we want a sustainable industry so that it will not be an accidental entry, it will be a purposeful entry with sustainability.

“We only have the platform now, the framework, but the impetus to continue is sustainable and must start from the cradle, and that is what informed me,” she said.

On plans to inculcate this into the school framework, Williams noted that in 2022, she wrote to the Ministry of Education and fortunately got a reply from their agency that deals with curriculum and that was where we are now.

“But with the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, they should take it up because we were advocating for a blue economy industry and now that we have it, they should take it up.

“We have done our beat, they should now invite us to ask where we have stopped because we have stopped when it comes to curriculum,” she said.

Earlier, while reviewing the book, Mrs Carolyn Ufere, the Independent Maritime Practitioner and former General Manager, the Nigerian Ports Authority, described Williams a lone fighter trying to push the industry forward.

Ufere noted that Williams’s focus on educating the girl-child and getting the best out of them motivated her to write the book.

“The book contains several elements that will compel the younger ones into the field, the title is clear and the forward highlights the significance of the ocean as a source of work for mankind.

“The book presents the maritime sector as an arena where issues are addressed and she charges the young ones to sell the blue economy to the world, selling its gains,” she said.

Ufere noted that information was power, adding that the book contained tools that would be used to empower the young girl and likewise the boys.

“I recommend the book to every institution, organisation where great minds are nurtured as it will be a book that will turn around our nation,” she said.

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