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HANKY PANKY: Customs Denies Allegations of Compromise in Vehicle Auction Process



NIWA, Customs to Synergize, to Capture Transit Goods for Customs Duties

… Threatens more sack, sanctions against those involved in frauds*** 

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has denied claims of compromise in the auctioning of seized and overtime cargoes, particularly vehicles.

The Customs National Image maker, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi said this in Abuja, warning that the Service would also intensify the use of its “big stick” on officers found to be involved in fraudulent practices.

Industry watchers had observed pronounced inconsistency in the Customs vehicle auctioning process and alleged that the procedures were already, seriously compromised.

But, Timi Bomodi said the fact that bidding for vehicles was not as frequent as expected did not amount to compromise.

CUSTOMS: National award to Ali, Adeniyi, 2 others, evidence of efficiency-PRO


He highlighted there were procedures for having full authority to dispose of seized cargoes, adding that the service would necessarily follow such procedures to the letter, to avoid any breach.

“All these seizures that are made as a result of long stay at the port among other reasons, have prescribed ways of disposing them.

“If you make seizures, you have to seek condemnation in court.

“It is after the condemnation that you have the authority to auction them out,” he said.

Bomodi said, “all these things are stated by law and as a service, we are mindful of falling short of the law.

“So, we want to do everything as prescribed by the law and these things take time.

Customs does not determine exchange rate —PRO

The Customs National Public Relations Officer, Deputy Comptroller Timi Bomodi,

“You have members of the public that think the process is slow but they do not know what happens in the back end. So, we are trying to dot the ‘t’s and cross the ‘i’s.

“This is so that when we put these vehicles out there we will know that we are meeting the aspirations of the people and expectations of government.”

Also Read: CUSTOMS sacks 2000 Personnel, Distributes Seized Rice to IDPs- Ali

He said it was in a bid to be as transparent as possible that the service introduced the E-auction platform.

On the next batch of auctioning, Bomodi said Nigerians should be on the watch out as the service was in the process of aggregating the numbers before opening the portal.

“The portal is not open right now for Nigerians to apply but we are in the process of aggregating the numbers.

“Once that is done, it will be there on the website, under which you have a drop-down of e-services, under e-services you have e-auction.

“There is a guide on how you can avail yourself of that. You have to have a Tax Identification Number (TIN) and fund an electronic wallet among others,” he said.

Speaking on discipline, Bomodi said the Customs Service would continue to wield its “big stick” on officers found to be involved in fraudulent practices because the present administration has zero tolerance for corruption.

He said officers who had been found culpable over time had been punished in various ways depending on the level of culpability.

Customs warehouse

According to him, the service will continue to fish out “bad eggs” until the system was sanitised as much as possible.

The Image maker said officers, who had over time been investigated and found guilty, had either been suspended, de-ranked, sent on compulsory retirement, or summarily dismissed.

“Under this administration and the leadership of retired Col. Hameed Ali, we have seen the full enforcement of laid down rules in the service.

“As such, we have been able to cut down on culpable behaviour among officers and this has impacted greatly on the level of revenue generation,” he said.

On other measures put in place to fight corruption, Bomodi said the service was working toward ensuring full automation of the service.

He said the service already had a concession agreement with Trade Modernisation Limited to help with the automation process.

“The concession agreement spans 20 years and for every era, there are certain deliverables that are ascribed to it.

“When you talk about full automation of all our services, you are talking about pre-clearance, clearance and post-clearance.

“You are talking about introducing some facilities that prior to this time did not exist.

“The way modernisation works is that it is going to incorporate all of our functions into one platform to make it easy for officers anywhere in the country to access anything that is happening,” he said.

The spokesperson said with automation, transactions could be viewed in real-time, making it easy to trace any form of compromise.

He said with the level of infrastructure and technical know-how required in the project, Huawei, one of the leading Information Communication Technology (ICT) companies, would be providing technical support.

“The whole modernisation process is hung on ICT and Huawei has shown that they have the capacity to actualise this project.

“With the automation process, at the click of a button, if I want any information from Lagos for instance, I will get it.

“We are already making a transition as officers are being trained locally and internationally and some of the equipment are beginning to arrive.

“The fantastic thing about the modernisation process is that we are using multiple layers of interaction to get data.”

Bomodi said the layers of interaction it would deploy to get data include geospatial information, information from drones, and body cameras among others.

He said the full automation, besides fighting corruption, would ensure more secured borders and more revenue generation among others.

Bomodi said beyond punishing culpable officers and ensuring full automation, the welfare of staff had been greatly improved upon to serve as incentive.

He said remuneration was a lot better than it used to be and officers can attest to it.

According to him, with such remuneration, officers still involved in fraudulent practices are doing so at their peril, as they will be punished when caught.


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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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