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NCS ‘Zone C’ recorded seizures worth N543.18m in 2 months – Controller



Border closure: Customs impounds thousands of ammunition, 1072 vehicles, over 19,000 bags of smuggled rice

…As Customs in Sokoto Arrests truck conveying N17m worth of clothing materials***

The Federal Operations Unit (FOU) ‘Zone C’ of Nigeria Customs Service says it recorded 41 seizures of contraband worth of N543.18 million in the last two months.

Alhaji Bukar Amajam, the Area Controller in the zone, disclosed this at a media briefing in his office in Owerri.

He said that while 20 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N314.67 million were made in September, underpayment of N33.81 million was recovered in the same month

He said that 21 seizures were made in October with DPV of N228.51 million, while underpayment of N23.50 million was also recorded in the same month.

Amajam identified the items seized in September to include vehicles with DPV of N211.46 million which were intercepted along Benin axis, 287 bags of 50kg foreign rice with DPV of N8.26 million intercepted at Akwa Ibom and Cross River waterside in Enugu and Benin axis.

Others are 1,306 pieces of empty gas cylinders in a 1x40ft container intercepted along Benin axis with DPV of N71.86 million as well as 1,901 cartons of foreign Eva complexion soap worth N17.67 million.

The October seizures include 5,733 bags of foreign rice valued at N146.76 million intercepted at Benin MFUM-Eleme- Isiokpo axis.

Others are 330 cartons of Tramadol with DPV of N9.05 million intercepted in Benin axix, 8 bags of Indian Hemp and 6 cartons of Tramadol and Rophynol worth N1.18 million intercepted in Enugu in addition to six vehicles with DPV of N48.49 million intercepted along Benin axis.

Amajam said the items had since been deposited at the NCS warehouses in Enugu, Calabar and Benin.

He said that 30 suspects, including drivers and conductors, were arrested in connection with the seizures.

The customs area controller expressed regret that a number of flourishing companies lost their new and heavy duty trucks to the NCS.

He said this was because of the criminal indulgence of their drivers who used the vehicles to ferry contraband from one part of the country to another and called on companies to call their drivers to order.

He said that a brand new truck with 10 tyres belonging to one of the prominent manufacturing companies in the country was impounded by the customs on the road while moving bales of banned second hand cloths to a particular destination.

Amajam appealed to members of the public to always assist his men with relevant information on the unpatriotic activities of smugglers for necessary action.

He called on the media to assist the service in enlightening members of the public on the need to engage in genuine businesses, get proper information from customs on ways to do business and report any act of smuggling.

Amajam also advised members of the public who planned to buy car to verify claims by their agents from the customs before making full payment to avoid embarrassment.

In the meantime, the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has arrested a truck conveying 340 bales of clothing materials worth N17 million in Sokoto, an official has said.

Mr Nasir Ahmad, NCS Controller in-charge of Kebbi/Sokoto/Zamfara  Command, made the development known to newsmen in Sokoto on Friday.

He said the seized items were among the list of contraband by the Federal Government.

Ahmad said the seizure was made on Nov. 13 along Sokoto-Illela road.

While displaying the seized items and the truck, he said that the suspects abandoned the truck when they sighted the NCS  patrol team.

Ahmad said “ the seized contraband has duty paid value of N17 million.”

He said the “smuggled items are dangerous to health.’’

He also said that the command handed over 52.2kg of Indian-hemp it intercepted along Illela-Sokoto road to officials of National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Ahmad said the items were subjected to verification by relevant statutory regulatory bodies and decried the huge revenue loss to Nigeria because of porous borders.

He said although no arrests had been made in connection with the seizures, the command was determined to check the  activities of smugglers.

Ahmad called on Nigerians, especially those residing in border communities, to assist security agencies with  information on the activities of smugglers and other criminals.


Osoba, Momodu, Others Shower Encomium On Olamiti, Emphasise Importance Of Mentoring 



 A former Governor of Ogun, Olusegun Osoba, and several others on Thursday in Ibadan showered encomiums on retired journalist Folu Olamiti for his impact in the Nigerian media space.

Osoba, who was Chairman of the public presentation of Olamiti’s book, “A Peep into the Past”, spoke highly of him and commended his ability to balance his religious, and work life.

“I want to thank all of you that were here today to honour a great man.

“Folu Olamiti is different. How he manages to be a good Christian and a very active member of the Anglican Communion, I don’t understand.

“This is because, for we journalists, Sunday is the most difficult day for us because there are no activities on Sundays and you must produce paper for Monday. How he manages to do that is extraordinary.

“I have a high regard and respect for him,” Osoba said.

In his remarks, the publisher of Ovation magazine, Mr Dele Momodu, noted that it was important to mentor others as exhibited by the author in the media space.

He said: “God has given him the grace of staying relevant and I am here to congratulate him and to offer my encouragement that when you are good you must encourage others.

“The reason our country sometimes can be the way it is is because we don’t encourage good people and Uncle Folu is a very good man. I want to thank him for mentoring me like he mentored so many people.

“It is not always easy but he is able to do it effortlessly.”

Also, an Ibadan High Chief, Chief Lekan Alabi who is the Maye Olubadan of Ibadanland, extolled the virtues of the author.

Alabi said he met Olamiti in 1973, a time when the journalism of that time reflected the level of people’s intelligence and physical appearance.

In his goodwill message, Mr. Yinka Fasuyi, a Chief in Ijesaland, eulogised Olamiti for sharing his life’s work and opinion with the public.

He urged media practitioners to be up and doing in fulfilling the ethos of their profession.

In his review of the book, Mr. Femi Adesina, a former media aide of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari, said the 303-page 12-chapter book contained the author’s memoirs, articles, and reports.

He said the book unravelled insights into the life of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo and other dignitaries in Nigeria, as well as the lives of lowly people.

Adesina said the book contained essays by Olamiti on restructuring Nigeria, foreign issues, and Idanre land in Ondo State, as well as his days in the Nigerian Tribune newspapers and the ICPC.

“Are you proud of where you hail from? Do you contribute to its development? Let us all take a cue from Olamiti,” the former Special Adviser on Media and Publicity said.

While responding to the remarks, Olamiti not only appreciated all who made the book’s launching a reality but also all those who have supported him at one point or the other in life.

Mr. Folu Olamiti retired from the Tribune Group of Newspapers, after working for 32 years.

He was at the ICPC for 10 years and has now been working with the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) for the past eight years on media-related activities.

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Did You Say Happy Birthday To Oga?



It was encomiums all the way, for the Editor-in-Chief/ CEO of Leadtimes Africa Magazine, Dr Samuel Oga, on the occasion of his birthday midweek, with his elderly son, Master Godwin Chinedu Oga. 

For him, and his contributions, industry stakeholders continued to give God the glory.

Yesterday, Dr. Oga in a chat with the Maritime First said he was humbled by the unrestrained show of love.

“Kindly accept my humble gratitude and appreciation for all your prayers and commitment made at the occasion of my birthday celebration yesterday with my son, Master Godwin Oga,” he said in a message. 

Dr. Samuel Oga

“You indeed made the day a memorable one for us as a family. 

“We pray that things of joy will never cease from you and your family. As you took time to celebrate with us, we wish to say once again that at every time of your celebration, men and women will rejoice with you also”, he also said, adding that the management and staff of Leadtimes Africa Magazine is indeed, proud of the stakeholders’ “showers of love”

 Now, did you too say Happy Birthday to Oga?

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Deep Blue Project should secure Maritime Anchorage Areas – Omatseye



 A former President of the African Shipowners Association of Nigeria (ASAN), Mr. Temisan Omatseye, says the Deep Blue Project should be the security structure for anchorage areas in the Nigerian maritime domain.

Omatseye said this at the maiden Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) annual lecture on Wednesday in Lagos.

Anchorage is an area off the coast that is suitable for a ship to anchor.

The lecture had the theme: ‘Maritime Security: Emerging Threats and Actionable Steps.’

He said this would reduce the cost of shipping goods into the country.

According to him, every foreign shipping company pays $50,000 per vessel for security patrol boats at the anchorage, thereby increasing the cost of goods imported into the country.

*Mr. Temisan Omatseye

He explained that the Deep Blue Project could do the service free or at a much-subsidised rate since the former operator Ocean Marine Solutions Ltd. (OMSL) was accused of extorting shipping companies.

“We should stop playing politics with the shipping industry. There was a lacuna because of insecurity, hence the coming in of the OMSL to create a car park on the waterways, the Secured Anchorage Area (SAA).

“A joint venture was signed with the Navy for security and the Nigerian Ports Authority for space, so if the government wants to stop the SAA, it should be replaced,” he said.

Omatseye also called for the establishment of a Response Zone Transit Corridor, to create a partial transit corridor in key high-risk areas.

This, he said, would enable the country to be aware of vessels that were within the Nigerian maritime environment.

He listed some of the benefits of a secured anchorage as increased trade to Nigerian ports, revenue generation and to compliment the Deep Blue project.

Also speaking, Mr Emmanuel Maiguwa, President, the Maritime Security Providers Association of Nigeria, stressed the need for a competent agency to man the anchorage.

Maiguwa also called for a proper framework that would help the country deal with maritime security threats.

The president, however, kicked against the Coast Guard which he described as a nomenclature.

Maiguwa added that he does not like the idea of the Coast Guard which he described as a nomenclature.

“If you look at it more specifically, we need to do a risk assessment because I have been involved in a lot of risk assessments.

“One needs to look at the parameters surrounding the routes and the water, the region of the area that has personal traffic. So, it doesn’t start and end with that portion being secured,” he said.

Maiguwa said that Nigeria needs to adopt the International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS) code.

“I have always said that the ISPS provides only minimal requirements. It then means there are a lot of issues. In fact, the ISPS on its own does not apply to all facilities.

“The ISPS is not an instrument conceived by the framework to deal with maritime security threats. It is not an instrument holistically to deal with terrorism.

“The framework is concerned that shipping will be used to launch terrorism attacks on the homeland and therefore it concentrated on the areas where foreign ships visit,” he said.

He, however, asked what happened to an adjacent facility that does not receive foreign vessels. What happens to our vessels that are actually outside the convention?

“Those were the risks to the environment. And I have said it and I will always emphasise that it is very important that we have a competent agency to man the anchorage,” he said.

The Deep Blue Project known as the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure, is being championed by the Nigerian Maritime Administrative and Security Agency.

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