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Customs Service set to impound 29 private airplanes

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Customs Service set to impound 29 private airplanes

… Generates N129bn from Onne Port in 9 months***

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) released its report on the verification of privately-owned airplanes in the country on Tuesday in Abuja.

It threatened to impound 29 jets on which the owners did not pay statutory import duties.

Customs’ spokesman, Mr Joseph Attah, told a news conference that the 29 airplanes would be impounded if the owners did not show up at the expiration of the 14 days ultimatum given.

The newsmen report that on May 31, Customs announced its plan to verify import documents of privately-owned airplanes in the country.

The exercise took place between June 7 and Aug. 6 at the Tariff and Trade Department of the Service.

Attah explained that within the stipulated period, 86 private jets or airplane operators showed up for the exercise and presented relevant documents for verification.

He added that 57 of them were verified as commercial charter operators and were duly cleared for operations.

He said the 29 private jets/airplanes owners and or their representatives were issued with demand notices on Oct. 11 and were given 14 days to make payments to designated Federal Government accounts.

Also read: Katsina Customs intercepts vehicles with fabricated tanks supplying fuel to bandits

He said they would be issued Aircraft Clearance Certificates after payment.

“Owners of private aircraft for which no presentations were made for verification, and whose status remains uncertain are requested to immediately furnish Customs Service with documents for verification and clearance.

“To this effect, all 57 commercial charter jets or aircraft operators who presented their documents for verification are requested to come to the Nigeria Customs Service Headquarters, Abuja, to collect their clearance certificates.

“All 29 private jets/aircraft owners and or their representatives who have been issued with demand notices have 14 days from Oct. 11 to collect and make payments to the designated Federal Government accounts.

“They will be issued with Aircraft Clearance Certificates after payment,’’ Attah said.

The spokesperson implored all concerned to avail themselves of this opportunity, as Customs would not hesitate to activate enforcement procedures on identified defaulters.

Attah also told newsmen that the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria had been put on notice to ensure that only privately-owned airplanes cleared by Customs were allowed to operate within the country’s airspace.

In another development, the Nigeria Customs Service, Area II Command Onne Port, has generated  N128,317,325,936.68 as revenue from January to September 2021.

The collected figure is N45,761,404,176.65 above the total of N82,555,921,760.03  collected within same period in 2020, representing a  55.4 per cent increase.

A statement by Ifeoma  Ojekwu, Customs Public Officer, Area ll Command Onne Port, said that a comparative breakdown of the third quarter collections between 2020 and 2021 indicated steady increases which contributed in the cumulative 55.4 percent difference.

According to it, for July, August and September 2020, the Command collected N10.9bn, N12.2bn and N13.1bn respectively which was overtaken by 2021 figures of N14bn, N17.8bn and N18.2bn respectively.

The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed attributed the steady monthly increases to volume of trade, strict adherence to extant customs procedure, blocking of possible areas of revenue leakages and zero tolerance for infractions capable of undermining national economy and security.

The newsmen report that the progress had been attributed to Mohammed’s improved interface with stakeholders in an enhanced Customs community relations system also paid off with remarkable degrees of compliance by the port users in Onne.

The area controller had commended the uncompromising disposition of the officers and men of the Command, and expressed optimism that more revenue collection, increased trade facilitation and time saving advantages would be achieved in the command with the introduction of recently procured mobile scanner.

“Before the arrival of the scanner, examinations of cargoes were usually done manually and physically, whereby containers were positioned by the terminal operators.

“ Then, gang of labourers will discharge the goods before Customs and other agencies will carry out the examination. Customs must also cut off the seal manually.

“This takes time because of the unpacking of the goods in the container,” he is quoted to have said.

He said that virtually everything in the container must be moved out of the container and then back into the container before examination is concluded, which makes the process cumbersome and time consuming.

“With the coming of the scanner, which is a non-intrusive apparatus, cargo examination will now be conducted with the use of x-ray.

“We can now double our daily containers examination which saves time, increases revenue, detects infractions easily and facilitate trade,’’  Mohammed said.

On anti-smuggling activities, the statement said that the command made 29  seizures totalling N9,763,129,216.00 Duty Paid Value (DPV) within the period under review.

“The breakdown of the seized items is as follows: 3,057 bags of 50 kg rice; 89 bales and 3,200 pieces of textile fabrics; 37 cartons and 4,824 pieces of wine/alcoholic beverages.

“Also, 1,650 cartons of tomato paste,  7,560 pieces of raw hides/unprocessed leather; 2,230 cartons of beers/spirits, 1,387 cartons of Tramadol and 124 cartons of tapentadol.

“Other seizures made include two units of  used Mitsubishi buses; 210 bales of second hand clothing, 4,029 pcs of used tyres, 16 units of used engine gear box and auto spare parts.

“Also, 310 pallets of laser ketchup and 956 Jerrycans of 25 litres of vegetable oil, 750 cartons of supergold candle,  2,970 cartons of foreign soap and 500 cartons of medicaments.’’.

According to the command, nine suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures and are at various stages of investigation and prosecution in courts of competent jurisdiction.

On export, the command said it processed commodities and products including sesame seeds, ginger, cocoa beans, hibiscus, fluorite ore, lead ore, palm kernel shell, cotton, float glass and others.

The exported commodities and products totaling 767,089.53 metric tonnes with free on board value of $250,789,911.39 also has a total Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) value of N463,085,649.23.

The controller advised port users to stay on the path of compliance and obedience to laws.

He urged that they keep abreast with extant import and export guidelines to avoid their cargoes being seized and them facing arrest or prosecution in accordance with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).

To achieve concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the port community in achieving seamless cargo movement, the statement said that Mohammed recently convened a forum where they jointly agreed to work together more harmoniously.

“Key actors in the recently convened meeting included terminal operators, shipping companies, licensed customs agents, freight forwarders, haulage operators and others.

“Their robust interactions have resulted in a new resolve for enhanced cooperation aimed at developing on their existing cooperation.

“While commending newly promoted officers in the Command, Comptroller Mohammed admonished that they should see their elevations as renewed calls to more service.

“He urged them to continually justify the confidence reposed on them and advise them to see their new ranks as positions of higher responsibilities in the NCS and national interest,’’ the statement said.

 

 

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NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of ‘National Interest’

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NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of 'National Interest'

The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh has stressed the crucial importance of the Media to nation-building, and tasked media practitioners to put the nation’s interest foremost.


NIMASA: Jamoh Visits Channels TV, Stresses the Importance of 'National Interest'
R-L: Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR presenting a souvenir to the Chairman/CEO of Channels Television, Mr. John Momoh during a courtesy visit to the Channels TV headquarters in Lagos recently.

The NIMASA Director-General indicated this, during his working visit to the Chief Executive Officer of ChannelsTV Mr. John Momoh, highlighting the critical role of the media.

“The Media is crucial to Nation Building!”, Jamoh told his host, calling attention to why  Media owners must make conscious and deliberate efforts to imbibe national interest in information management, for the development of Nigeria with particular reference to the maritime sector.

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Nigeria- Niger Republic Rail Project Critical To Africa- Sambo

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Nigeria- Niger Republic Rail Project Critical To Africa- Sambo

Nigeria and the Niger Republic have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the rail project, with the Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo stressing that the project will boost trade and other socio-economic activities within the continent, particularly between both countries.

The Minister stated this in Abuja at the MoU signing, noting the specific importance of the Nigeria rail line. Sambo signed for Nigeria while the  Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou signed for his country. 

The Minister noted that the rail line, which will start from Kano State in Nigeria and end at Maradi in Niger Republic,  will facilitate the realization of the objectives of the African Continental Free Trade  Agreement which Nigeria and Niger Republic are signatories.

“I am aware that people have blood relationships across borders so the project will expand the historical and cultural relationship between the people of Nigeria and those of the Niger Republic. The project is also very important in enhancing inter-nation and continental trade”, Mr. Sambo added.

On the implementation of the project, the Minister said a Technical Committee would be set up within seven days in accordance with Article 3 of the MoU, adding that nomination of members and inauguration of the Technical Committee would be concluded by the first week of February 2023.

According to him, after their inauguration, the Technical Committee will take charge of the facilitation and implementation of the project. 

Speaking earlier, the Minister of Transportation of the Republic of Niger, Alma Oumarou corroborated that the rail project will promote inter-nation as well as continental trade, strengthen cultural ties between the two countries and create jobs.  

In her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Magdalene Ajani, said work has been ongoing on the  Kano-Maradi rail line for the past two years, adding that the signing of the MoU would expedite the completion of the project. 

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Lekki Deep Seaport to boost non-oil revenue — NEPC; FG foils 66 attempts to hack FEC virtual meetings 

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Lekki Deep Seaport to boost non-oil revenue — NEPC; FG foils 66 attempts to hack FEC virtual meetings 

The Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), says the recently commissioned Lekki Deep Sea Port is expected to boost Nigeria’s non-oil export.

The Executive Director/CEO of NEPC, Dr. Ezra Yakusak said that the development came on the heels of tremendous performance recorded in the non-oil export sector in 2022.

A statement issued on Thursday by Ndubueze Okeke, Head, Corporate Communications NEPC, quoted Yakusak as saying that the seaport would further ease the perennial congestion at the Apapa Ports.

“This development comes on the heels of the tremendous performance recorded in the non-oil export sector in 2022 in which the sector recorded a significant result of 4.820 billion dollars in 2022 representing an increase of 39.91 percent over 2021.

“The Lekki Deep Sea Port will not only provide jobs, directly and indirectly along the value chain but will further ease the perennial congestion at the Apapa Ports and thereby enhance the export drive of the country.

“It will also guarantee seamless trade facilitation.

“Having been designated a Customs port, all is now set for commercial vessels to berth and clear cargo at the port which is reported to be the country’s first Deep Sea Port and first fully automated as well,’’ Yakusak said.

He explained that the Lekki deep sea port domiciled within the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ), would further create an enabling environment for business and commercial activities to thrive.

According to Yakusak, this is particularly for the export of Nigerian products as it will play a strategic role in promoting international trade and sustainable economic growth for the country.

“The commissioning of the Lekki Deep Seaport is strategic and very key to the development and promotion of export trade.

“Indeed, it will ease the supply chain constraints and enhance logistics given the vital role of logistics in facilitating the transportation of goods to the international market.

“It is also a major source of foreign exchange earnings,” he said.

Yakusak said that about 214 different products ranging from manufactured, semi-processed, solid minerals to raw agricultural products were exported in 2022.

He said that 19 exit points were used with Apapa Port recording the highest tonnage of exports.

Yakusak commended President Muhammadu Buhari for providing the political will to execute the project in collaboration with other stakeholders.

He said that the project was expected to add about 361 billion dollars to the economy.

The project is a joint venture between the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Lagos State Government.

Others are the Tolarams Group (owners of the Lagos Free Zone) and China Harbour Engineering Company. 

In another development, the Federal Government said it foiled  66 attempts by hackers from Europe to compromise the virtual meetings of the Federal Executive Councils (FEC).

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami gave the revelation in Abuja at the 19th edition of the President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB) Administration Scorecard Series (2015-2023).

The scorecard series was organised by the Ministry of Information and Culture to showcase the achievements of Buhari’s administration.

Presenting the scorecards of his ministry, Pantami said since the unveiling of the National Policy on Virtual Engagements for Federal Public Institutions in October 2020, not less than, 108 virtual FEC meetings had been held.

He said from the 108 virtual FEC meetings held, 66 attacks to compromise the meetings were made from Europe but all failed.

The minister said all the cases were reported to the appropriate authorities for the record and actions.

He recalled that the National Policy on Virtual Engagements was launched to formalise government online meetings such as FEC and Council of State meetings.

The minister said that with the policy developed with the office of the Head of Service of the Federation, government’s virtual meetings could be held effectively and legally.

He said the implementation of the virtual meetings had saved the country over N47 billion which could have been used if they were held physically.

The minister also disclosed that in line with Buhari’s vision to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty, not less than 2.2 million jobs had been created in the digital sector in the past three years.

He said the feat was achieved in the sector by the implementation of the Executive Orders signed by the President to priotise indigenous content as well as indigenous professional in the execution of national projects.

Pantami said in the execution of jobs, planning and design of projects as well as appointments of key officials in the digital sector of the country priorities were given to indigenous professionals.

 He said his ministry also priotised the execution of programmes and projects that could generate direct and indirect jobs.

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