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Inter-agency tasked on maritime safety document



Inter-agency tasked on maritime safety document

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defence, Mr Istifanus Musa, on Monday tasked inter-agency experts on operationalisation pathway for National Maritime Strategy (NMS) draft implementation.

Musa made the appeal at the Inter-Agency Expert Consultative Dialogue Session on Articulation of the Implementation Plan on Nigeria’s National Maritime Strategy (NMS) in Lagos.

The session was organised by the Ministry of Defence in collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).

Musa, represented by Airforce Director, Utsuashibel Peter, noted that the relevance of NMS led to the ministry of defence at the request of Nigerian Navy to constitute a committee in 2015 that would see to the drafting of the NMS.

He said that the event could not have come at a better time, considering the importance the global community currently place on the tripod matrix of wealth creation, safety and security in the maritime domain.

He added that the committee was made up of representatives of more than 20 government Ministry, Department and Agency (MDAs) and private organisations with the links to the maritime sector, contributed to the NMS draft.

Some of the agencies present included the Nigeria Customs Service, Nigeria Navy, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) among others.

“With the draft document before us all today, the baton has been transferred to this inter-agency expert group to support the articulation of an operationalisation pathway for the implementation framework of the draft NMS.

“I am confident that at the end of this engagement, this deliberative forum will come up with a clearly articulated process for an effective implementation strategy for the draft NMS.

“They will identify areas of collaboration among relevant stakeholders and further enhance the implementation framework before its final approval by the Federal Executive Council,” he said

Musa disclosed that a comprehensive maritime strategy model would foster secure and sustainable use of maritime domain.

He commended UNODC and Denmark Government for their immense contribution toward the NMS goal through the Danish Government’s programme for the promotion of inter-agency collaboration and implementation of maritime strategies.

Also, the Danish Ambassador, Mr Sune Krogstrup, noted that the development of national maritime strategies was key to long term maritime governance, where security was guaranteed, cost reduced, with wealth creation and development enhanced.

“Since the last decade, the Gulf of Guinea has been on the global map due to the challenge of insecurities within the maritime domain.

“These threats especially piracy and armed robbery at sea have adverse effect on the safety and security of the crew. The existences of these maritime security challenges also have implications for local communities.

“Illegal fishing depletes the fish stock, translating to reduced local revenues and environmental pollution risks are high from oil spillage during illegal bunkering,” he said.

Krogstrup noted that Denmark had significant political, security and economic interests in promoting a safer and more secure maritime domain in the region.

Also, about five per cent of Danish shipping’s exports, at an approximated value of DKK 9.5 billion annually, are to West Africa, with Nigeria, being among the main markets.

He added that MÆRSK, operate around 40 per cent of maritime trade in the region.

At any given time, an estimated 30 plus Danish operated vessels are in the Gulf of Guinea, making approximately 2,500 port calls a year.

“Consequently, the government of Denmark since 2015, has continued to support the states in the Gulf of Guinea Region to enhance maritime security through various Peace and Stabilisation Engagements (PSEs),” he said.

He commended the Federal Government for taking the necessary steps in inaugurating a committee made up of several maritime stakeholders to work on drafting a NMS.

He believed the event would provide the appropriate avenue to undertake a proper articulation of an implementation framework and guide the proper management of converging roles of the various maritime entities within the maritime environment.

He urged all stakeholders to join efforts to promote maritime safety and security in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

Dr Oliver Stolpe, Country Representative, UNODC, noted that the adoption and operationalisation of a comprehensive maritime strategy inclusive of a security dimension would advance domain awareness.

He added that it would also improve ease of conducting seaborne trade, increase safety and security of seafarers and ultimately contribute to the blue economy and development.

Stolpe expressed optimism that at the end of the event, the goal of a clear articulation of the implementation framework for the NMS for its operationalisation would be achieved.

He assured of UNODC’s continued commitment and support to the Government of Nigeria and the respective stakeholders in the process of ensuring that the maritime security strategy was in place and operational.

“The NMS is in line with the 2050 African Integrated Maritime Strategy (2050 AIM Strategy) and ECOWAS Integrated Maritime Strategy (EIMS).

“It obligates individual maritime nations to replicate maritime strategy models to foster increased wealth creation from the seas securely and sustainably,” he said.


Health and Safety

MMA Customs Intercepts N5.7b Ammunition, Tramadol, Others



The Murtala Muhammed Airport command of the Nigeria Customs Service has, in its anti-smuggling drive intercepted offensive items with duty paid value of N5.794 billion.

The seized items include fifty pieces of 9mm live ammunition which was discovered in a joint examination conducted by the service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Muhammed Sani Yusuf disclosed this at a press conference in his office on Monday.

According to him, other first-quarter seizures in the command are 1,164kg of sea cucumbers, 58kg of donkey genitals and 17 packages of Tramadol.

He noted that all the seized items contravened some of the provisions of the extant laws as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023. 

Three persons, he said, were arrested in connection with the seizures.

The command also achieved an increase of 111.7 per cent in its revenue collection in the first quarter of 2024 when compared to the revenue generated during the same period in 2023.

Comptroller Yusuf stressed that despite certain challenges, the command collected N45,232,483,528.00 between January and March this year against N21,362,752,676.44 generated in the corresponding period of last year.

The controller stated that this year’s first quarter collection is N 23,869,730,851.56k higher than 2023 first quarter collection which is a 111.7 per cent increase.

On stakeholder engagement, the controller noted that the command has maintained its open-door policy and resolved a lot of issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders.

Yusuf thanked critical stakeholders, sister agencies and the media for their collaborative efforts and synergy while carrying out the command’s statutory mandate in the state.

He also expressed his appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team for their continued support as well as officers and men of the command.

The controller enjoined his men to remain focused and steadfast in discharging their assigned responsibilities.

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RAMADAN IFTAR: Customs CG Hosts Bigwigs, Calls for National Unity



RAMADAN IFTAR: Customs CG Hosts Bigwigs, Calls for National Unity

…In-Line with Ramadan Teachings

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR, on Tuesday, 2 April 2024, urged Nigerians to embrace the teachings of Ramadan, reiterating that only through eschewing bitterness, accommodating one another, and living with one another in peace and harmony can people achieve a prosperous country.

CGC Adeniyi made this revelation during the breaking of the 23rd Ramadan fast with the Chairman of the Trade Modernization Project, Saleh Ahmadu, and other distinguished personalities at the Nigeria Customs Management Estate in Abuja.

He said, “As a responsible organisation, the Nigeria Customs Service will continue to uphold the spirit of Ramadan.”

“It is not by coincidence that just a few hours ago, we as a nation, celebrated Easter – and we are approaching the end of Ramadan, another remarkable Eid. What these events tend to show us is that in this country, what unites us is far more than what divides us,” he added.

The CGC, who recounts the message of Islamic teachings about the synergy of diligence and devotion to showing love among one another during Ramadan, harps on the significance of devoting oneself to intensive prayers, giving charity and alms to the poor, and serving mankind, among other things.

“These are the basic teachings of Ramadan, and they are also the same in all religions that we know. Because I do know that there is no religion that does not emphasise bringing people together and helping the needy or giving charity,” the Comptroller-General of Customs said.

Speaking further, CGC Adeniyi also used the avenue to call on Nigerians to embrace the teachings of Ramadan in their daily activities. “We have a big social problem in Nigeria where many people are going hungry every day; so many people are fasting but don’t even know where they will break their fast due to food insecurity in the country.”

According to him, addressing the challenge of food security is a collective responsibility for all, adding, “The president is leading the charge through his various programs and policies to curb food insecurity in Nigeria.”

He also stressed the Nigeria Customs Service’s commitment to extending a generous hand to Nigerians in this trying time by implementing measures that will make food abundant to Nigerians. “I therefore enjoin all of us to eschew bitterness and accommodate one another in peace and harmony,” he added.

On his part, the representative of the Minister of Finance and Coordinating Economy, Wale Edun, Director of Finance at the Ministry of Home Finance, Aliyu Muhammad, appreciated the Comptroller-General for organising the Iftar – which, according to him, signifies the unity and diversity of Nigeria.

He re-echoed the commitment of the Finance Minister to continue partnering with the Nigeria Customs Service to implement policies that will boost the economic stability of Nigeria further.

Among the prominent figures who attended the Iftar ceremony were the representatives of the Honourable Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun, Corps Marshal of the Federal Road Safety Corps, DCM Kazeem,  Professor Tunji Ola, Chairman of the Federal Civil Service Commission, Mr Bamanga Usman, Managing Director of the Oil and Gas Authority, and members of the Trade Modernization Project team led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.

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Q1 2024: Apapa Customs Collects N489bn As Revenue, Exceeds 2023 Figure By Over 100%



Q1 2024: Apapa Customs Collects N489bn As Revenue, Exceeds 2023 Figure By Over 100%

…Comptroller Jaiyeoba commends stakeholders for cooperation

The Apapa Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected N489,614,095,022.15 as total revenue for the first quarter of 2024 , which is over a 100 per cent higher than the  N212.5billion collected same period of 2023

Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, commended the officers and port stakeholders for their cooperation towards the attainment of the laudable feat and called for sustained compliance by government and private sector stakeholders. 

The Controller reminded them that the Apapa Command of the NCS is playing a critical role towards the realisation of the N5.7tr annual target of the NCS in 2024 and as such all hands should be on deck to achieve it. 

According to him, the almost N2 trillion target the command is expected to collect in 2024 is attainable through diligently abiding by the service books of instructions like the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023, government import/export prohibition lists, Common External Tariff and Federal Government approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP)

While thanking the officers for their punctulity, diligence, and non compromise in the discharge of their responsibilities, Jaiyeoba reminded them of the CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and Customs Management confidence vested in them. 

The CAC reminded them that the present customs management has created room for multiple benefits for those who operate in compliance with the rules. He stated that the recently launched AEO is one of such benefits. 

He described the command’s first quarter collection as a bold step towards the realisation of the target and reminded all port users about the importance of compliance, which, according to him, comes with multiple benefits. 

Jaiyeoba said, “I want to urge all stakeholders in Apapa Port to keep supporting us in achieving an efficient system where everyone plays by the rules to achieve smoother, seamless, and faster import/export cargo clearance.”

“Making honest declaration puts the declarant at a vantage position to have a credible reputation and enjoy the benefits that come with earned integrity such as fast track and possible migration to the authorised economic operator(AEO).”

” Such attitude of compliance saves time and money as examination officers would find the cargo less cumbersome to process and other units of the service including sister government organisations would not need to flag such cargo for seizure or arrest of the importers/exporters. The cargo gets cleared on time, and payments for penalties after demand notices are not necessary as no DN is issued on compliant import/export.”

” I will continue my weekly engagement of stakeholders at various levels to sustain the tempo of our achievements and consolidate on the gains from regular enlightenment of every member of the port community.” 

“As we step into the second quarter to end the first half of 2024, I am convinced we will do better in revenue collection, facilitate more trade through our port and prevent smuggling under any guise” the CAC said.

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