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Customs dreams big for National Single Window – Dikko



…As PAAR processing climbs above 24,000 monthly 

Wale Adeniyi

Wale Adeniyi

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may have begun to fine tune its desire for the creation of a National Single Window Environment (NSWE), in a bid to entrench in the country, a more efficient trade and improved revenue regime.

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi disclosed this in Lagos, at the FCMB PAAR Presentation Forum, noting that the Service was presently processing over 24,000 Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) documents monthly.

Advising the bank to show more love, and altruism to its customers, the CGC emphasized that so much can be achieved, if collaboration, understanding and motivation is embedded on vision; and called attention to the effectiveness of the Customs approach in the management of international trade, particularly, trade facilitation.

“You may all recall that Nigeria Customs Service took over the management of the Destination Inspection Scheme in December 2013, after over 30 years of the operation by some Service Providers.

“Since then, NCS has been responsible for processing and issuance of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) which replaced the former Risk Assessment Report (RAR). It was a national mandate for which we were adequately prepared for, and a service we have diligently rendered.

“Our preparation for this take-over include: the establishment of a World Class Command and Staff College, to provide middle and high level management resource, to build skill gaps left by several years of Pre-shipment Inspection regime. Local and International training programmes to build capacity of Officer and men in core Customs Operations like HS Classification, Valuation, Rule of Origin e.t.c”, the CGC who was represented by the Customs National Image Maker, Mr. Wale Adeniyi said, stressing that the vision however  never overlooked the importance of a robust welfare programme for Customs Operatives, including a 100% pay rise, House Ownership Scheme, enhanced medical services, so as to strengthen the resolve against compromise.

Highlighting a multi-prong approach, he also mentioned what amounted to an “aggressive outreach programme targeted at all levels of government to build political support for Customs take-over, and stakeholder engagement for shared ownership of the project”, alongside the establishment of an effective e-customs platform to serve as a launch pad for the take-over.

Emphasizing that the task of achieving the goals of Mr. President’s transformation agenda must be a collective one, the CGC observed that the level of the desired collaboration was yet to be attained, and called for enhanced organizations cooperation.

“Currently, we have not achieved the desired level of collaboration between and among institutions responsible for Commercial, Transport, Regulatory and Financial Procedures”, he indicated, noting that the industry players must focus on it, so as to make possible, the achievement of the National Single Window, which would cover the procedures of managing integration of all the processes.

“I am optimistic that we are already on course for this noble journey. In Customs, we have laid a strong foundation, and possess the pre-requisite technological infrastructure to drive this process.

” We equally have a rejuvenated work force, strengthened by the injection of about 5000 young, well-trained and motivated Officers, who are on the driving seat of PAAR Implementation. In these Officers, we have the required skills to take us to the next level, the right motivation to retain the talents, and the long years of Service to ensure sustainability over a period of time”, he stated further, urging the banks, the first ports of call for e-business in Nigeria, to rededicate their energies, towards reducing costs associated with International Trade Management

“The Banks and their Customers involved in the business of international trade constitute a major stakeholder in Customs Operations” observed Dikko, explaining that because financial institutions are strategically located at the heart of the Buy-Export-Import-Delivery-Chain, Provision of Credit Rating, Import/Export Finance, Execution of Payment, Insurance, Issuance of Statement; the Customs Service must always, honourably, carry them along.

“We are joint stakeholders” he posited, and as such must collectively work to quicken documentation procedures, ship turn around time, cargo dwelling times and all other relevant aspects, so as to reduce costs and make business ventures more encouraging; adding that the establishment of a State of the art Customs Ruling Centre, for processing and issuance of import documents, the development and launch of a Trade Hub ( to provide real time, round the clock online information about Nigeria’s International Trade, to all in this direction.

Dikko expressed his gladness with progress being recorded by PAAR, saying the Service had finally overcome the major challenges.

“There were apprehensions and concerns regarding the availability of  infrastructural support and our strength of character to take over and sustain the Project. In the first 3 months, (December 2013 – February 2014), we were able to process the issuance of 27,523 PAARs. This represents a monthly average of just over 9,000 PAARs.

“But, rather than allow this discourage us, we intensified our efforts to address the initial hiccups. I am happy that the PAAR system is now stronger and fully stabilized. In the last three months (June – August), total PAARs issued stood at 72,898: This represents a monthly average of over 24,000 PAARs.

” Let me use this opportunity to invite our Customers to note that the major advantage of this regime over the old one is the Pre-Arrival Processing.

“Importers can access the Trade Portal and get authoritative information about their imports, take informed import decisions, order their imports, process import documents ahead of arrival and get their imports out of the Ports in good time. It is therefore in the interest of the Importers to take advantage of this to avoid delay and unnecessary cost”, he concluded, stressing that the initiative is equally in the interest of Dealer Banks who desire to grow their Customers Business to assist them in diligent documentation and timely clearance.


WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners



…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live



The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured



…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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