Connect with us

Maritime

FG approves zero import duty for vessels

Published

on

FG approves zero import duty for vessels
FG approves zero import duty for vessels

Maritime stakeholders at the summit

…As not treating bandits with kid-gloves – Lai Mohammed***

Dr Bashir Jamoh, Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says the Federal Government has approved zero import duty for ship owners to acquire vessels.

Jamoh disclosed this in a session at the maiden edition of the Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS) held in Lagos on Tuesday, with the theme, ‘Becoming a Significant Maritime Nation’.

He said that for the country to become a maritime nation, areas such as security and incentives which are physical and monetary to help the sector grow should be looked into.

Jamoh added that the zero import duty, a physical incentive presented to the ministry, had been approved in August and this would create a situation where the country will be having a national fleet.

“The maritime industry cannot achieve anything without security and we are pushing towards that and the major issue is to sustain the tempo.

“All mode of transportation, be it rail, road and air, have enjoyed incentives only the shipping sector. We are pushing for two types of incentives, physical and monetary, and I am pleased to announce that the physical have been granted.

Also read: NIMS: FG approves Zero Duty on Importation of Ship says Jamoh

“The federal government have granted the physical incentive which is zero import duty for ship owners and what is remaining is the monetary one and we are interfacing with stakeholders on this,” he said.

Jamoh said that speaking as a regulator, the country is aspiring to be a maritime nation was not debatable but necessary as no country today could develop without the maritime industry.

Mr Temisan Omatseye, former Director General, NIMASA, noted that constituting a legal framework and taking ownership of the country’s natural endowment would enable the country to achieve a maritime nation.

“Being a maritime nation requires more than providing seafarers and ships, relying on resources on the sea, we must think, breathe and act maritime.

“The country have navigable waterways that has not been used and should be used,” he said.

Also, Mr Binyah Kesselly, immediate past commissioner, Liberia Maritime Authority, said that the economic base of each country needed to be completed so that synergy of countries to attain maritime nation could be felt.

He advocated the need for specialisation, saying that each country should have their biggest advantage, like Nigeria being a gateway for port for other countries.

“The starting point should be the comparative advantage which each country has, and everyone must be integrated,” he said.

In her welcome speech, the Chairperson of the NIMS, Mrs Mfon Usoro, stressed the need to bring all necessary Ministries together in bid to get them in sync to adopt a holistic maritime national strategy.

According to her, a whole government approach to adopt the maritime industry growth is key to attaining the anticipated goals of the shipping sector.

“How can we have Nigerians that own vessels but choose to use the shipping registries of other nations?

“ This Summit focuses the attention of policy makers, regulators and the industry operators on a critical segment that some consider the substratum for economic growth, the centerpiece for commerce, security and indeed livelihood,” she said.

Also Mr Emeka Akabogu, Chief Executive Officer, NIMS, said the essence of the summit was to harness the potentiality in the maritime sector, adding that the abundance of industry across the sector needs to be represented in the output in the sector.

He said that this could work if there was a cohesive framework. All the resources in individual subsector becoming useful and harnessed to become a market.

“So we are here to achieve a market place for the maritime industry so that whoever that is coming within the waters of west and central Africa will see Nigeria as a compulsory destination for transit.

“That way they will spend money and this will impact on the Nigerian maritime sector,” he said.

The NIMS is the only whole-of-value-chaim business event for international organisation, policy makers regulator and others in Nigeria’s maritime industry that highlights the most important issue affecting maritime investment and operations in Nigeria.

In the meantime, the Federal Government says it is erroneous and misleading the accusation in certain quarters that it is treating bandits with kid-gloves.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed stated this on Tuesday when he featured on Nigeria Television Authority programme, “Good Morning Nigeria’’.

Speaking on renewed onslaught against bandit on the programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja, the minister said banditry is criminality with no basis on religion or ideology.

He said the approach of the federal government through the military in treating criminals is not to make a distinction between bandits and terrorists.

“I think we have been dancing around nomenclature, a criminal is a criminal whether it is a bandit or terrorist and the same measure is being meted out to them.

“That is why we find it ridiculous, the accusation that the federal government is softer on bandits than the separatists and other criminals.

“This is a fallacy, a fake news and misinformation all into one, and this is the kind of divisive rhetoric being promoted by some naysayers,’’ he said.

Mohammed said it is senseless for the military to treat bandits, who are killing soldiers and policemen, with kid-gloves.

He added that the method of the military in fighting criminality through the land and air would not allow for any distinction between bandits and other criminals.

Mohammed said with the renewed onslaught against bandits and certain measures taken by the governors of the states where bandits are operating, they are winning the war.

He said the governors had learnt from the mistakes of the past and had resolved that they would not negotiate with bandits but to go after them and not spare them.

Mohammed said measures, such as suspension of mobile telecommunication networks in certain areas and the ban on sale of petroleum products in jerry cans and at filling stations around the land borders are yielding fruits.

He added that the ban on sale of fairly used motorcycles in some markets and restriction on the use of “junction motor parks’’ in the states are also yielding results.

 

Latest News

ALI: Why Customs Attained Only N2.6trn, Out of 2022 Revenue Target of N3.1trn

Published

on

ALI: Why Customs Attained Only N2.6trn, Out of 2022 Revenue Target of N3.1trn

…Blames unpredictable Stock market, Government’s fiscal policies, particularly, waivers and concessions***

The Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has blamed the unpredictable Stock market and Government’s fiscal policies, particularly, waivers and concessions as being mainly responsible, for the shortfall in the 2022 revenue target.

Actually, the Service had a revenue target of N3.1 trillion, but terminated the ambition, after raking in, N2.6trn; making a mirage of N400 billion.

Ali stated this on Thursday in Abuja, while fielding questions from newsmen at a briefing to mark the end of a three-day global conference organised by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

The Comptroller-General said, “non-commencement of tariffs on carbonated drinks, telecommunications tariff, among other things, affected the actualisation of the service’s target for 2022.”

ALI: Why Customs Attained Only N2.6trn, Out of 2022 Revenue Target of N3.1trn

He said the service was “hopeful that 2023 will be better if all these factors would be put in place.

On the theme of the conference “Enabling Customs in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations“, Ali said he was disturbed by the security challenges in border areas.

He said besides efforts being made to get his personnel fully equipped for the job, the service was not resting on its oars to build its capacity for effective performance.

Ali pledged to do everything to reposition the service.

It would be recalled that while the Service celebrated recording such a huge revenue feat, many Stakeholders, particularly the importers and Customs brokers wept bitterly, lamenting what they perceived as the introduction of various strategies and high-handedness towards meeting the set target!

On more than one occasion, they had threatened to down tool; and at least, on one occasion, they actually did, over what they described as misapplication of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) scheme.

Most pronounced was the ‘anti-smuggling’ activities of the Federal Operation Units, which severally waylaid, containers already cleared by Customs as they exit the ports, rechecking their documents; and often, taking the containers to their base, for another round of examination or raising of new Debit Notes.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Emerging Border Crimes threatening Customs Operations-Ali

Published

on

Emerging Border Crimes threatening Customs Operations-Ali

… Says Customs forced to suspend operations in places considered “fragile”***

The Comptroller-General of Customs, retired Col. Hameed Ali, says emerging border crimes were threatening Customs operations.

Ali said this at a news briefing on Thursday in Abuja, to mark the end of a three-day Global Conference on Fragile Borders, organised by the World Customs Organisation (WCO).

The WCO was established in 1952 as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC), specifically as an independent, intergovernmental body whose mission is to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of Customs administrations.

The conference has the theme, ‘Enabling Customs in Fragile and Conflict-Affected Situations’.

He said although the primary function of Customs was to generate revenue and facilitate trade, heightened insecurity around the borders had made it imperative to be adequately equipped to work effectively.

The Customs boss, who is the Vice Chairman of the West and Central Africa (WCA) region of WCO, while thanking WCO for giving Nigeria the opportunity to host the conference, said “we are honoured.”

He said the dangerous trends around the borders were increasing by the day, saying “We are inundated by this fragile border issue in the gulf of Guinea and other neighbouring countries.

“Unfortunately Customs is a hard hit because of the quest to rid our borders of smugglers and other border criminals.

He further said “smugglers for instance have become very deadly and some of our gallant officers have lost their lives in the process of trying to stop their nefarious activities.

“We have also lost properties over time and this is because these smugglers use dangerous weapons to try to deter our officers from carrying out their responsibilities.

“So, it will be foolhardy to confront such a dangerous group of people without being adequately equipped.”

The Customs Boss said the development had become dire in some border areas adding that Customs was forced to suspend operations in those places they had been declared “fragile”.

“This is a critical matter that requires needed attention and this is because if there is no security there will be no movement of goods and services and that will affect revenue generation.

“There is a need therefore for total overhaul of the service in some countries because Customs officers do not carry arms in those countries.

“That ought to change now that there is so much insecurity around us.

“One of the ways we are working to ensure that  Customs stays ahead of these criminals is the e-Customs platform.’

Dr Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary-General, WCO, said there was a need for relevant stakeholders to collaborate for better performance.

Mikuriya said WCO a 184-member worldwide organisation in which Nigeria plays an active role, was concerned about the spate of insecurity.

He said the time had come for Customs to go beyond mere revenue generation to paying attention to security matters, adding that “without security at the borders we cannot effectively collect revenue.”

He also said there was a need for data sharing, research and development, intelligence gathering and deployment of technology in the whole exercise.

The Secretary-General said WCO was working out an action plan to help tackle the issue of insecurity, particularly as it affects Customs.

Part of the activities of the WCO at the conference was a scheduled visit to President Muhammadu Buhari.

Today, the WCO represents 182 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade.

As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organisation with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community.

Continue Reading

Latest News

Seme Customs Seizes Fake $6m, 1,300 kegs of Petrol, 14 Intern’l Passports, in 10 days

Published

on

Seme Customs Seizes Fake $6m, 1,300 kegs of Petrol, 14 Intern'l Passports, in 10 days

The new Customs Area Controller CAC, Seme Customs Command, Dera Nnadi, has made spectacular seizures, which included fake $6 million cash, an equivalent of N2.763bn, 1,300 kegs of petrol, a.k.a Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), just within 10 days of his assuming duty.

Compt. Nnadi disclosed this at a press briefing on Thursday, highlighting that the fake dollars were seized at Gbaji checkpoint along Seme corridor in the early hours of January 31st, 2023; also noted that the command intercepted 550 pieces of donkey skin, 146 bags of flour, 14 international passports and 10 international drivers’ licenses.

The impounded petrol could fill over a fuel tanker.

He said that two male suspects were arrested in connection with the seizure. 

Compt. Nnadi also stated that the 1,300 jerry cans of PMS seized had a duty-paid value of N9,366,450.

He added that the products were seized along the creeks.

He stated that the seized 146 bags of flour has a duty-paid value of N5, 383,020.

The CAC explained that the 550  pieces of donkey skin in 550 sacks seized represents the killing of 550 donkeys, an animal classified as part of endangered species which needs to be protected.

He said that the duty-paid value of the seized donkey skin is N11, 371,511.00.

He observed that the officers of the command intercepted six Maltese international passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names, two Senegalese international passports, three Togolese international passports, four Republic of Benin international passports, one Republic of Niger passport and ten international driver’s licenses from two male suspects.

According to the controller, the passports and driver’s licenses were intercepted along Gbetrome base.

He maintained that his command facilitated the movement of 70 trucks under ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) with fees amounting to N1, 414,665.01 collected.

Compt. Nnadi announced that there were 81 baggage declarations with duty amounting to N4, 520,722.

He said that the items imported under this arrangement include food products and beverages produced within the sub-region. 

 The CAC stated that the command recorded only five declarations of import within the period with a total of N13,383,104 paid as duty.

He equally explained that the dearth in import was a result of the trade policy introduced by Republic of  Benin which traders and indeed the Service consider hostile to  Nigeria. 

On export, Nnadi stated that the command processed 122 trucks bearing 3,770.49 metric tons of made-in-Nigeria cargo with a Free On Board value of N523,660,496.80 and National Export Supervision Scheme fee of N2, 618,302.10.

Continue Reading

Advertisement

Editor’s Pick

Politics