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NAGAFF Compliance Team Absolves Customs of Corruption Allegation



National Chairman, NAGAFF Compliance Team, Alhaji Tanko Ibrahim

The 100 Per Cent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has absolved the operatives of Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service and the CG’s Strike Force of corruption allegations.

Reacting to a recent media interview by some freight forwarders against the two units of Customs, the Compliance Team described the allegation as mere blackmail.

Also read: 2023: NAGAFF Woos 15 million Maritime voters for Kwakwanso

Recall that Fwdr. Emeka Nwosu, the Tin can chapter Chairman of the African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) and Fwdr. Steve Ibe, President of Patriot Anti Corruption Initiative in Nigeria had in a granted interview described operatives of FOU Zone A and Strike Force as extortionists.

The National Chairman of the Compliance Team, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, condemned the corruption allegation, describing it as unverified, malicious and baseless.

Tanko warned the two freight forwarders to desist from blackmailing those who are diligently performing their duties but rather be compliant to the extant Customs laws as they engage in their freight forwarding activities.

According to Tanko most of the people pointing accusing fingers on Customs engage in wrong classifications, false declarations of cargos, and underpayment of Customs duty, among others and wondered why such willful infractions should not be surcharged.

Tanko who is currently a member of the CRFFN Governing Council advised importers and freight agents to approach their business with dignity and respect in order to avoid interceptions, extra charges and forfeiture of their cargoes.

“You remember when we started this campaign on compliance, we are not the ones that insisted on it, it is the Customs, in fact, government.

They are the people accusing us that we freight forwarders of not being compliant.

“That is the main reason why NAGAFF decided to float this Compliance Team of NAGAFF.

Remember today, we are two years plus now.

We started with the importers.

Those are the people we relate with directly.

They are our customers.

We spent six months educating them to do the right thing and the benefits of complying as well as the inherent dangers of doing the wrong thing.

A lot of people lose their containers because they refuse to do the right thing.

“Declare what you have, like am having one thousand pieces of generator, classify it correctly, examine your container and pay the right duty.

“Whether one million people are on the road, did that concern you, the answer is NO. When they say give me your documents, you give them your documents.

They examine it and found you have one thousand pieces of generator, are they going to give you another DN, the answer is No.

“Do we do the right thing? That is the problem and we have been campaigning about it and our members now see us as their enemies.

If you do the right thing, you cannot be afraid of anyone. You go home and sleep.

The highest thing, you plead on the value, they give it to you.

“The person you saw in that video castigating Customs is the very person I saw at Apapa Command pleading with the Area Controller who wanted to seize his container.

The same person now went on air complaining without shame.

Let’s talk to ourselves.

Let’s do the right thing.

“I had to go to Strike Force and I found out that out of 100 letters of invitation for examination, 90 %  are on false declaration and they raised DN after examination and confirmation.

“I had a letter of invite for examination, the containers were examined and they found nothing.

They wrote satisfactorily and then released the container.

Founder of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr. Boniface Aniebonam

“What we should complain about, is about the Police who detain and examine containers.

What concerns Police with Duty? They write a series of letter inviting an agent to come and explain about a container that he had already delivered.

“What we are saying is that we give room for someone to come and intimidate us”, Tanko stated.

Also speaking on the issue, Western Zone Coordinator of the Compliance Team, Dr. Fred Ajuzie, was surprised at the allegations levelled against Customs by AFFPLON Chieftain, and  President,  Patriot Anti Corruption Initiative in Nigeria.

Ajuzie remarked that the indictment of officers carrying out their legitimate duties is uncalled for, which only showed that the accusers are not compliant with the rules of engagement.

He said that his team has been preaching against non-compliance, adding that any freight forwarder complaining, is not compliant.

He is engaging in a false declaration of cargo.

Ajuzie declared that Compliance Team frowns at any freight forwarder who is not doing the right thing.

He described the FOU and CG strike Force officers as thorough professionals who go about their lawful duties fearlessly without minding who is involved in any infraction.

“FOU and Strike Force now are very tense in terms of enforcement.

They are on the ground and the system they are using now is different from the old system.

It is not FOU with roadblocks, No.

You will not see them, but they will come after your cargo immediately after they find out that what you declare is different from what they saw.

They take your cargo to their warehouse and then raise DN or give a seizure.

“I have never seen where they are demanding for money.

It is the freight forwarders that beg them to accept money.

They won’t give you that chance”, he concluded.


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MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People’s Love for Selfless Service



MWUN Felicitates with Sanwo-Olu, Says Victory Demonstrates People's Love for Selfless Service

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has congratulated His Excellency, Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on his re-election as the Executive Governor of Lagos State.

 President General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju felicitated with the governor, noting that Sanwo-Olu’s victory is well deserved, following his focused selfless service.

According to the President General, the victory is a clear testimony of the love showered on the governor as the Chief Executive of the state by the people of Lagos State.

Prince Adeyanju promised the commitment of the union to making the seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

In his words: “The Lagos State election which was keenly contested for, left Governor Sanwo-Olu winning the election on a very wide margin; this which gave him an edge over other contestants was a clear testimony of love showered on him as the Chief Executive of the state by the people.

“We in the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria wish to felicitate with the amiable Lagos State Governor on his well-deserved victory during the poll in the state. The President-General of the Union, Comrade Adeyanju has promised the Governor of the Union’s commitment towards making the nation’s seaports safer under a better working environment for all the practitioners.

“On behalf of my executives, I wish to express our profound readiness to work and synergies with the Governor in all areas of the Maritime Industry towards achieving the best of economic values for the state and the nation at large. On this note, we say congratulation, Governor Sanwo-Olu!”

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Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters



Re-Election: Adeleke congratulates Makinde as Folarin felicitates, lauds Oyo voters

 Gov. of Ademola Adeleke of Osun has congratulated his Oyo State counterpart, Seyi Makinde, on his re-election in the March 18 governorship poll.

He gave the congratulatory message in a statement on Monday in Osogbo.

He described the outcome of the election as a strong vote of confidence in the performance of Makinde in the last four years.

He added that “I congratulate my brother, Governor Seyi Makinde on his re-election at the polls.

“Residents of Oyo State have reaffirmed their faith and confidence in his performance.

“They have confirmed the rapid development of Oyo State under the able leadership of my brother, Seyi Makinde.

“On behalf of the people and government of Osun State, I extend warm felicitation to Gov. Makinde.

“I look forward to years of partnership and collaboration between our two states on inter-state infrastructure development, among others.”

Adeleke also described Oyo and Osun states as siamese twins, calling for closer partnership in economic and social affairs.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had on Sunday declared Makinde the winner of the 2023 governorship election in Oyo State.

Makinde had 563,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Teslim Folarin of the All Progressives Congress (APC) who scored 256,685 votes.

In a related development, the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in Oyo State, Sen. Teslim Folarin, has congratulated Gov. Seyi Makinde on his victory in the March 18 governorship election in the state.

Folarin’s congratulatory message is contained in a statement personally signed by him and made available to newsmen on Monday in Ibadan.

 Makinde, of People Democratic Party (PDP), was declared the winner by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) after polling 568,756 votes to defeat his closest rival, Folarin who scored 256,685.

Folarin, while congratulating Makinde, expressed appreciation to the electorate in the state for their support to APC candidates in the just-concluded general elections.

He also expressed gratitude to God for preserving the lives of the people throughout the electioneering process and to his friends and political allies for their overwhelming support.

He commended members of the 2023 Oyo State APC Presidential and Governorship Campaign Council for their issue-based campaigns, loyalty, dedication and commitment to the struggle.

“My gratitude also goes to the coalition parties, candidates of other political parties, volunteers, the press and individuals that contributed to the ‘Itesiwaju Ipinle Oyo 2023’ project,” he said.

The APC governorship candidate, however, appealed to party members and support groups to remain calm, as the results of the election were being studied.

“It is God that gives and takes power. May Oyo State and our people continue to prosper,” he said.

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Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations



Nigerian Maritime Women form new Association; Canvasses Equity, Digital Innovations

Four maritime women associations which jointly organized a summit where they canvassed for gender parity in the maritime sector and encouraged more women’s contributions to technological advancement in the digital space have agreed to form a single association to advance their cause.

The four associations are: Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, African Women in Maritime (WIMA) Nigerian chapter, Women in Maritime of West and Central Africa (WIMOWCA), Nigerian chapter and Female Seafarers Association of Nigeria (FESAN).

The summit, which was part of activities to mark the 2023 International Women’s Day (IWD), was anchored on the IWD 2023 theme; ‘Digital Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality’.

Speaking at the event, the WISTA-Nigeria President, Mrs. Eunice Ezeoke noted that as separate groups their impact have been fragmented while they have also been unable to get requisite support from the federal government in attending crucial regional and international conferences.

Her words: “One of the high points for the collaboration was the inability to get financial support especially in attending international conferences. It is at global meetings that we can network with other women and major global operators. When one intends to contest for regional or international positions, one would need to know women in maritime in other countries to get their buy-in. The federal government hasn’t been giving us the support to attend international conferences.”

“We explained this to the Permanent Secretary of the Transport Ministry, Dr. (Mrs.) Magdalene Ajani at a recent meeting and it was at that point she informed us that there has been no budgetary provision for women at the Ministry for some years. She encouraged us to start sourcing funds. We, however, have examples of other African countries where the women were backed fully for these activities.”

Stressing that government support mustn’t always be financial support, Ezeoke stated that there could be a sort of moral support by recognizing women groups among stakeholders such that shipping companies, terminal operators, NLNG, and oil firms are inclined to take up the financial support to enable women achieve the advocacy dreams.

In her own submission, the President of WIMOWCA Nigeria, Mrs Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore opined that the removal of women budgetary provisions from the Transport Ministry underscored the Importance of getting more women into key leadership positions where such decisions are taken.

Edodo-Emore, who is also Chairman, Zoe Maritime Resources Limited, expressed delight at the utilizing of technology to address the challenges of artisanal fishers who get better fees for their products and are better equipped to preserve them on account of several innovations.

“With this partnership, women are better placed to access funding for women’s education and training. We are all excited and we believe that we are set to begin reaping the benefits of this partnership. As regards fishing, it’s important that we bring technology into the fishing industry.

“The process of catching the fishes, preservation, storage, among other processes have evolved with technology. We need to sensitize and equip the industry, especially artisanal fishers,” she said.

Speaking, Mrs Rollens Macfoy, President of WIMA Nigeria, said that success has no gender even as she encouraged women to seek to be the best at what they do such that it becomes difficult to be marginalized.

“When you strive to bring out your value and worth by your doggedness, innovation, skills and humility; at this point, if you’re being marginalized there is something to shout and fight about. Nevertheless, a lot of organizations have an unwritten law or position that prevented women from rising to Directors or head of the agency. At such organizations, we have observed that gradually women have been emerging as Directors, heads of units and sometimes head of the agency. It is a gradual process and it will keep getting better,” Macfoy said.

She was optimistic that with the Women in Maritime Network operating, by the end of the year, women will make strides like the force of gravity as more women will also be given a voice and attention.

A cadet under the Nigerian Seafarers Development Programme (NSDP), Ms Peace Moulders, said that innovation and technology would play a critical role in addressing the world challenges from climate change to healthcare and others.

Moulders, however, stressed that it is not enough to simply wait for the technology to emerge, advising women to actively embrace and promote them to drive positive change.

“A call for action for individuals and organisations is to foster a culture of innovation by encouraging risk-taking, investing in research and development, promoting ethical considerations and advocating for policy changes. Government and organisation should remove barriers to innovation because by embracing them there would be a better future for the girls, and communities,” she said.

Other participants at the event are the Director General, Nigerian Chamber of Shipping (NCS), Mrs. Vivian Chimezie-Azubuike; Head of Nigerian Ship Registry at NIMASA, Mrs. Nneka Obianyor; Treasurer, WISTA Nigeria and Deputy Director, Revenue at NIMASA, Dr. (Mrs) Odunayo Ani; among others.

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