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NIMASA: Jamoh emphasizes Synergy as key to successful fight against Maritime Crimes



NIMASA: Jamoh emphasizes Synergy as key to successful fight against Maritime Crimes
NIMASA: Jamoh emphasizes Synergy as key to successful fight against Maritime Crimes

Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh (right), receiving a plaque from Chief of the Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, after his paper presentation at the Chief of the Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC) in Kano State, recently.

…Bags CNS honour for promoting Civil-Military Cohesion***

The Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh has restated the need for enhanced stakeholder collaboration in tackling maritime security challenges in Nigeria and the Gulf of Guinea.

Jamoh made the call in a paper presentation titled, “Enhancing Collaboration amongst Stakeholders for Improved Maritime Security in Nigeria,” at the recently held Chief of the Naval Staff Annual Conference (CONSAC) in Kano State, where he was also honoured by the Chief of Naval Staff,, Vice Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo, for promoting civil military cohesion.

Drawing from terrorist attacks of 9-11 on American soil and the report of the 9-11 Commission indicting security agencies for failing to share real-time intelligence, Dr. Jamoh urged Nigerian stakeholders to “learn to share their joys” in a bid to close the gaps and tighten the security ring around the nation’s maritime space against piracy and other maritime crimes.

The NIMASA Director General observed that despite the rich potential of the maritime sector in the areas of job creation and revenue generation, and its vital role in facilitating more than 90 per cent of world trade through shipping, the sector was undermined by maritime insecurity.

He stated, “The economic cost of maritime insecurity is very pronounced for Nigeria compared to other countries. While the economic cost of piracy activity in Asia was estimated at $4.5 million (as of 2016), the estimated economic cost of maritime insecurity in the GoG was about $793.7 million.”

The NIMASA DG identified sources through which insecurity led to loss of revenue in the maritime sector as ransom payment, insurance premiums, re-routing ships, security equipment, losses to oil and fishing industry, and cost of security escort.

Dr. Jamoh said, “Studies have identified the following factors as the drivers of maritime insecurity in the region. They include an increase in ship traffic as a result of globalisation; the debilitating leadership of many of the states in the region; the proliferation of small arms;  poor monitoring and control of the oceans; and criminality, which have been further aggravated by visible youth unemployment.

“High level of poverty, and economic hardship were also listed as causative factors.

“The impacts of these challenges are far-reaching and requires that all concerned should collaborate to tackle this menace.”

Also read: NIMASA Introduces Ship Registry Certificates with QR Codes, begins Electronic Verification

Drawing examples from other climes, like the Regional Cooperation Agreement on combating Piracy and Armed Robbery against Ships in Asia (ReCAAP), the NIMASA boss stressed how stakeholder collaboration had been used to tackle maritime insecurity.

He identified the five clusters of Nigerian maritime collaboration as the Armed Forces/National Security Group (Army, Navy, Air Force, etc); Non-Military Services (Customs, Police, Immigrations, NDLEA etc); Agencies with Incidental  Functions (NAFDAC, NNPC, DPR, etc); Regulatory Agencies (NIMASA, NESREA, NOSDRA, NIWA etc); and the Disaster Management Agencies (NEMA).

Dr. Jamoh listed some collaborative efforts by NIMASA to address maritime insecurity to include the implementation of the Deep Blue project; the enactment of the Suppression of Piracy and other Maritime Offences (SPOMO) Act 2019; community engagements; strengthening of the Navies of the Gulf of Guinea (GoG) region; collaboration with CEOs of Maritime Industry Organisations, known as the  Joint Maritime Industry Working Group (JMIWG); engagements with security forces (Nigerian Navy, Army, Airforce, Police, Customs, Immigration); and the Gulf of Guinea-Maritime Collaboration Forum/Shared Awareness and Deconfliction (GoG-MCF/SHADE).

He further stated that NIMASA was collaborating with the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), INTERPOL, regional organisations, shipping operators, as well as private security companies, submarine cable operators, and seafarers’ organisations.

Dr. Jamoh called for the deployment of more resources for technical assistance to facilitate capacity building and expansion of automation systems for monitoring the maritime sector.

He said this would enhance the country’s capacity for cooperation against trans-national maritime crime and terrorism with potentials to adopt a more participatory approach to maritime security.

“Working together is, therefore, a most vital approach to defend our seas, enhance maritime security, promote trade, protect the environment, and guarantee the quality of life of our people,” Dr. Jamoh stated.


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Customs Backs UN-Habitat’s Efforts To Combat Smuggling



…CGC Assigns DCG. Abba Kura to work closely with Dr Raymond Edoh***

The Acting Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, has said that the Service, under his watch, will implement every necessary action against saboteurs of Nigeria’s economy with a commitment to cripple their ‘illegitimate’ smuggling business.

UN-Habitat is the United Nations entity responsible for developing urban policies and translating them into action, towards creating sustainable cities and promoting viable urban development, and adequate shelter for all. 

The CGC restated this on Tuesday, 19 September 2023, when he received Ambassadors of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN—Habitat, led by Dr Raymond Edoh, at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, assuring him of enduring partnership.

*R- L: The CGC, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi while receiving the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, UN—Habitat, Ambassador, Dr. Raymond Edoh, at the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, on Tuesday.

“On behalf of the entire Management Team of the Nigeria Customs Service, I wish to inform you that we will partner with you in this campaign, and we will grant you all forms of support you may need to carry out this campaign — and I want to assign one of our amiable DCGs, Abba Kura, to work with you closely,” the CGC, Adewale Adeniyi stated. 

He appreciated how they travelled from afar to intimate the Nigeria Customs Service of their campaign against smuggling, which, according to him, the Nigeria Customs Service has already started noticing the gains of its positive results in the suppression of smuggling. 

The CGC also welcomed Dr Raymond’s offer to engage officers and men of the Service in capacity—building to enhance their understanding of digital literacy skills, adding that the Service has already started embracing technology to advance its Nigeria Customs Backs UN-Habitat’s Effort to Combat Smuggling.

*UN—Habitat Ambassador, Dr. Raymond Edoh

He appreciated the collaborative effort between the Nigeria Customs Service and UN-Habitat and believes that the collaboration signifies a commitment to tackling smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation in the nation, setting the stage for a more prosperous future

The CGC said, “What we’re trying to do is to raise a modern Customs Service through partnering with stakeholders to achieve our goals because we value partnership, and I am happy that you extended your hands of collaboration to work with us.”

He also appreciated their pledge to train officers and men of the Service in digital literacy skills, assuring that the Service will continue to prioritize proficiency in the fight against smuggling through a technological approach.

The CGC consequently underscored the importance of digital skills, promising that the relevant Service department will enhance trade facilitation.

On his part, the Director of UN—Habitat, Dr. Raymond Edoh, appreciated President Bola Ahmed Tinubu for reposing the responsibility of heading the Nigeria Customs Service on the Acting Comptroller-General, describing him as “a competent Customs officer who knows the terrain and masters the job.”

According to him, they decided to visit the CGC at the Customs Headquarters to express their interest in partnering with the Service.

*The hosts and the Guests in a group photograph

He commended the Service for being a credible “gatekeeper of the country” that protects citizens against border threats, stressing that his organization will collaborate with NCS to mitigate the smuggling of illicit goods and train officers and men of Customs on digital literacy skills and certification.

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AREFFN To Make Freight Forwarding Business A Veritable Venture For Young Nigerians



… To annually inject at least 1,000 young graduates into industry***

The Association of Registered Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (AREFFN) has declared its intention to make the freight forwarding business a veritable and profitable venture for young graduates seeking to make career choices in the industry.

AREFFN National Secretary, Francis Obiekezie, who made this declaration in his chat with journalists in Lagos said “The aspiration of AREFFN is that we want to inject at least one thousand young graduates into this industry every year”.

In his words; “We even want to establish a link with NYSC Camp so as to catch them young, because we find out there are lots of cross-border trading going on and these are things you cannot do when you are stark illiterate.

*AREFFN National Secretary, Francis Obiekezie

“These businesses were originally dominated by people who are not sufficiently trained and prepared for it so it cannot be a last resort business for people in the future so our aim is to make freight forwarding business a venture to be proud of in the near future” he stressed.

*AREFFN National Secretary, Francis Obiekezie

“Right now, we have done about two batches of different trainings by CRFFN in conjunction with Redeemers University at our Training Hall, we are about to start another batch for Higher National Diploma with freight forwarders” Obiekezie stressed. On issues of members leaving the association for one reason or the other Obiekezie said.

“In the past, we have always been having one crisis or the other leading members to be disgruntled. Just like in political parties some people come and some people go and in those days AREFFN was kind of turbulent and always fighting, our founding father, Dr. Frank Ukor was always in the news having one crisis or the other with either Customs officials or Standard Organization of Nigeria and so on.

“But at a point, we decided to re-strategize because we felt that the approach adopted would not take us to where we wanted to go and might defeat the purpose in which the association was created because people might be hearing about us but we reconsider are they hearing about us in a positive or negative way.

“Today AREFFN has about 2 members in the council after our 2022 CRFFN election with only three associations surviving in that council and AREFFN is one of them, we adopted the strategy not that we are regressive but because we are progressive.

*AREFFN National Secretary, Francis Obiekezie

“When Dr. Ukor asked me to conduct the election in 2018, I took it upon myself to harmonize the two groups at that time leading to a smooth handing over that time.

“However credit should be given to AREFFN President, Alhaji Baba Daura Lawan for ensuring peace and stability in AREFFN since 2018, we secured the current office in 2020 under him, also our Secretariat in Onne which is bigger than the Lagos Office was also secured under Alhaji Lawan.

“That we survived an election into CFRRN was no mean feat because that election was more turbulent than what we have in Nigeria’s General Election.

On challenges in cargo clearance, the AREFFN National Secretary said; “Some of the challenges we are facing is what we are facing on a daily basis, for instance, the road leading to the port is congested as takers and containers have taken over a part of the road, the other part of the road has also been taken over by dumpsite with dirt everywhere along the axis.

“One of the factors we use in assessing the port everywhere in the world is good access road in and out. Because in the freight forwarding business, or job is not finished until your goods get to the warehouse or the market. “Another challenge is the issue of Marine Police, the other time the new Minister of Marine and Blue Economy came he was complaining that there are about 6000 containers abandoned in the port and when you have such an amount of abandoned containers in the port, you ask yourself, what is the size of these two ports.

“That is why we talk of congestion and the high cost of loading and transportation of containers.
“Now why will marine police stop containers that have been cleared and released by the customs and other agencies and nobody is doing anything about it. Manual processing of documentation in the port is another problem we are contending with as freight forwarders” he concluded.

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CUSTOMS: Shuaib Pledges To Sustain Predecessor’s Performance As He Takes Over Ogun 1 Command



The new Area Controller, Ogun 1 Customs Command, Deputy Comptroller Ahmadu Bello Shuaib has promised to continue and sustain the performance tempo of his predecessor, Comptroller Bamidele Makinde.

Speaking after taking over as the Controller of the Command, DC Shuaib stated that he was not surprised by the impeccable performance of his predecessor, considering the fact that, he is an articulate and result-oriented leader.

He thanked Comptroller Makinde for garnering support for his administration and wishing him well in his  new endeavour.

As a team player who believes so much in teamwork, he urged all officers and men of Ogun 1 Area Command to work as a team, adhere strictly to the rules of engagement, and discharge their duty in conformity with the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.

*Makinde (Right) signing off for Ahmadu Bello Shuaib to take over

He assured the business community and critical stakeholders, that the new administration will operate an open door policy, and strengthen the existing relationship with the Command.
He, however,  sounded a note of warning to smugglers and their accomplices, saying that their nefarious activities will not be condoned, and anyone caught in the act, shall be brought to book.

Earlier in his handing-over speech, Comptroller Makinde congratulated DC Shuaib on his well-deserved posting and wished him a successful tenure.

Giving an account of his stewardship as the Area Controller of the Command,  in line with the mandate of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and trade facilitation, he disclosed that from the inception of his tenure in office (9th of February, 2022) to date, which is about 17 months, the Command recorded some laudable achievements.

According to him, during this period, the command generated a total sum of N225,009,835.50 as revenue. “Interestingly, out of the revenue target of N136,532,168.22 set for the Command for the year 2023, we have generated the sum of N127,122,058.00 which is about 91% of the target, 3 months and some days to the end of the year,” he noted.

Makinde further said that within the 17 months in office, the command also recorded about 1,479 seizures comprising 1,245 rounds of live Ammunition, 72,989 bags of foreign parboiled Rice of 50kg each (which is an equivalent of 122 Trucks load), 907 bales & 236 sacks of second-hand clothing, 394 sacks & 2,678 wraps of Cannabis Sativa and 655,400 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (an equivalent of 20 Tankers load), among others, with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N6,604,107,655.92.

“It is worthy of note, that my tour of duty witnessed a significant increase in revenue generation and an improved anti-smuggling performance.

*Area Controller, Ogun 1 Customs Command, Deputy Comptroller Ahmadu Bello Shuaib

“The successes recorded would have been haphazard, if not for the support of NCS Headquarters, concerted efforts of our gallants’ Officers and Men, and robust synergy with our critical stakeholders,” he stated. He called on officers to redouble their efforts and give the incoming administration maximum support and cooperation to sustain the performance tempo of the command. In a similar vein, he  solicited the unflinching support of the critical stakeholders for the new Area Controller.

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