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MFV AFKI: Nigerian Navy Rescues Cameroonian Fishing Vessel

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…Hands Over N70m Seized Cannabis Sativa To NDLEA In Badagry***

The Nigerian Navy (NN) says it has rescued a Cameroonian registered fishing vessel, MFV AFKI, which drifted off its course on Oct. 24 with two crew members on board.

The Director of Naval Information, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, said in a statement on Monday in Abuja, that the Nigerian Navy received distress information about the missing vessel on Nov. 1.

Ayo-Vaughan said information received from the Netherlands Embassy in Nigeria indicated that the vessel was heading to Congo Kinshasa after it left Bangul in Gambia when it drifted off course.

He said that while in transit, the vessel suffered depleted fuel to her propulsion engines which resulted in her drifting off the coast of Sao Tome and Principe into Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

“Unfortunately, all efforts by the vessel owners to trace its location for possible rescue proved abortive.

“However, further surveillance revealed that the last known location of the vessel was about 72 nautical miles from the Nigerian coast.

“Consequently, the NN swiftly deployed Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) DORINA at its Maritime Domain Awareness facilities for Search and Rescue Operation.

“Accordingly, on Nov. 17 at about 20:00 hours, after frantic surveillance by the deployed NN platform, NNS DORINA traced and made contact with the vessel, 17 nautical miles off Pennington terminal,” he said.

Ayo-Vaughan said that due diligence was made to ascertain the status of the vessel and was discovered that it had no incriminating items onboard and was subsequently towed to Escravos in Delta.

According to him, the NN Forward Operating Base in Escravos took custody of the fishing vessel for further administrative procedures in preparation for handover to the Netherlands embassy.

“The NN wishes to use this opportunity to once again reassure seafarers and indeed other maritime operators of its commitments to collaborate with local and strategic partners and allies.

“To ensure the safety and security of vessels as well as crew members who carry out legitimate businesses in or transiting Nigerian maritime environment.”

*Lt. Cdt. Kelly Umoru, the Base Operations Officer, FOB, representing the Commanding Officer FOB, Navy Captain Aiwuyor Adams-Aliu, handing over the 50 sacks of cannabis sativa to Mr Owen Dinneys, the Commander of Narcotics, Area Commander, Seme Special Command of NDLEA, on Monday in Badagry.

In another development, the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, Badagry, Lagos, handed over 50 sacks of cannabis sativa worth N70 million to the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA) in Badagry.

On the seizures, Lt. Cdt. Kelly Umoru, the Base Operations Officer, FOB, representing the Commanding Officer FOB, Navy Captain Aiwuyor Adams-Aliu, said they seized the suspected cannabis sativa on Sunday.

“On Nov. 19, at about 6.30.a.m, they got an intelligence tip-off of suspected smuggling activities within our own Area of Operations.

“The intelligence indicated that a boat was sighted offloading products suspected to be cannabis sativa at Gbethrome Beach close to the Ashipa community.

“Consequently, the Base Quick Response Team, led by myself and Base Intelligence Officer, Lt. E. U. Okorie, proceeded to the scene of the crime for investigation and possible arrest.

“The team conducted a cordon and search operation in the area,” he said.

Umoru said after searching, a total of 50 sacks of the suspected products which valued at about N70m were recovered.

“The adjoining communities were also searched but no other products or suspects were found.

“Investigations are ongoing in conjunction with other security agencies to identify the drug trafficking syndicate and in due course, arrest and prosecute same,” he said.

50 sacks of suspected cannabis sativa valued at N70m seized by the Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy

He recalled that since the Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla assumed office, he had stated that his mission was to maintain and equip a professionally competent naval force capable of defending Nigeria’s maritime area of interest in fulfillment of national security imperative.

“Similarly, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mustapha Hussan, on Nov. 9, launched Operation Water Guard.

“This operation is aimed at denying smuggling and other criminal elements the freedom of action within Badagry General Area, to ensure security and economic stability in the area,” he said.

Receiving the exhibit, Mr. Owen Dinneys, the Commander of the Narcotics, Area Commander, Seme Special Command of NDLEA, promised that an investigation would commence on the seized items.

He commended Nigerian Navy for the huge seizures, assuring them that the perpetrators would not go unpunished.

“We will ensure that whoever is involved in the illegal drugs smuggling into the country is apprehended and justice will be done,” he said.

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NPA: Dantsoho Pledges To Reposition For Increased Productivity, Efficiency, And Revenue Generation

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… Assures timely payment of emoluments, compensations, training and capacity development

Groomed through the ranks and thus, better informed, the new Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr Abubakar Dantsoho has pledged to reposition the Authority for increased productivity, greater operational efficiency and increased revenue generation.

Dantsoho pledged during the handover ceremony which took place at the conference room Headquarters, Marina Lagos. He has since resumed duty at the Headquarters in Marina.

 “As we match towards this great journey, I wish to state that our main goal is to reposition the Nigerian Ports Authority for increased productivity and greater efficiency for increased revenue generation”, Dr Dantsoho said, expressing his deep appreciation to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for the opportunity given to him to be the 29th Managing Director of NPA.

The Chief Executive Officer of the nation’s Seaports affirmed his commitment to ensuring that the Nigerian Ports compete favourably with neighbouring ports, especially in areas of Port operations.

 This he stated would be achieved through the robust exhibition of the overall commitment and collaboration to achieving success.

Speaking like an administrator who truly feels the pains of staff neglect, Dantsoho stressed that he is committed to improving the welfare of the workforce through the timely payment of emoluments, compensations, training and capacity development especially for employees who show added value in their areas of deployment.

The NPA Boss promised to continue with the digital transformation of the Authority and the Port Community system which are key to blocking leakages and corruption while promising to explore ways of further improving Port infrastructural renewal. 

‘’In particular, we shall drive port rehabilitation and modernisation. We shall pay attention to logistics that surround the arrival of cargo to the port corridor, loading of ships and other things that surround berthing of cargos,’’ he said, assuring that he would further tap into the benefits of the Deep Seaport corridor as well as promote the ideals of Transparency for Ease of Doing Business. 

In the area of collaboration with sister agencies, Dr. Abubakar stated that he would maintain an open door for communication and collaboration with sister agencies and all relevant stakeholders.

He equally congratulated the former Managing Director, Mohammed Bello Koko and his team, for their invaluable contributions to the industry. 

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Echoes from CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

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Bilateral Boost: CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

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Bilateral Boost: CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

…To effectively enhance national security, Better Service Delivery through Global Partnerships

The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, On Thursday, July 18, 2024, took a significant step in strengthening global partnerships by participating in a bilateral meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington, D.C. 

Determined to revive the over-a-decade-old Customs Mutual Assistance Agreement (CMAA) and subsequently enhance national security service delivery through global collaborations and data-driven decision-making, the Comptroller General of Customs CGC, Adewale Adeniyi last week participated in a bilateral meeting with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) in Washington, D.C. 

The gains of the meeting which was held Thursday, July 18, 2024, aside from offering a significant step in strengthening global partnerships, will also help Nigeria address the challenges of cross-border crimes, particularly drug trafficking, arms smuggling, and money laundering, each of which dovetails on boosting national security. 

“Reviving the CMAA will bolster the Nigeria Customs Service’s capacity to protect the nation’s borders and enhance service delivery, paving the way for a more secure and prosperous future for all Nigerians”, the CGC, Adeniyi emphasized, highlighting the successful interception of illegal items, which includes drugs and weapons, at major ports and airports in Nigeria. 

Also Read: Echoes from CGC Adeniyi Reactivates CMAA With US Customs & Border Protection

He then stressed the need for increased capacity building to tackle Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) enforcement and opiate issues. 

“Our efforts at the ports and airports have yielded significant results, but there is still much to be done in capacity building and enforcement,” the highly informed Customs Arrowhead said.

Adeniyi underscored the importance of a  Center for Advanced Cargo and Passenger Data Analysis to mitigate risks; and the need for such a centre to enhance cargo and passenger security, while pointing out the success of prosecuting wildlife criminals.  

Additionally, he advocated for an advanced Command and Control Centre (3C) to address security concerns.

 “A dedicated targeting data fusion centre will significantly improve our ability to manage risks and enhance security measures,” Adeniyi explained, adding: 

 

“By customising our approaches and collaborating globally, we can address the complexities of air cargo security more effectively,” he remarked.

The meeting diligently covered the challenges of commercial air cargo security and potential partnerships with U.S. government agencies.

Adeniyi highlighted the importance of future operations, including CBP’s global targeting advisory directors and their capabilities in information sharing on cargo and passenger sides.

In his reaction, James Collins, Assistant Commissioner of the Office of International Affairs at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, emphasised data integration, partnerships, and targeted efforts to address transnational criminal groups exploiting seams and boundaries. 

“Integration of data and international cooperation is crucial in countering transnational threats”, James Collins stated and highlighted the importance of collaboration and information sharing in border security and intelligence gathering. 

He stressed the need for investing in capacity building, train-the-trainer programs, and targeted training to address gaps in border security.

 Collins stressed the need for secure channels for sharing intelligence and building partnerships with international organisations to sustain efforts in combating illicit trade and traffic. 

“Continuous training and secure intelligence sharing are vital to our success in maintaining border security,” Collins also noted.

Key action items identified include establishing specific channels for continued intelligence sharing between Nigeria Customs and CBP, exploring operational partnerships between Nigeria Customs units and networks like CBP to coordinate cross-border responses, leveraging INTERPOL programs and collaborating with other West and Central African countries on transnational crimes.

The meeting concluded with a presentation on Artificial Intelligence by Sunil Madhugri from the Office of Information and Technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, highlighting the future of technology in enhancing customs operations and security.

 “Artificial intelligence will play a pivotal role in our strategy to modernise and secure our borders,” Madhugri said.

In a related event, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi visited the Nigerian Embassy in the USA, where he was received by Mr. Rabiu Lawal, Charge d’Affaires a.i, and his team.

 The CGC appreciated them for their warm reception and their tireless efforts for all the Nigerians in the diaspora.

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