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NSDP CADETS PROTEST: NIMASA Wades in, Secures Ministerial Support



NSDP CADETS PROTEST: NIMASA Wades in, Secures Ministerial Support

Dr. Bashir Jamoh, NIMASA Director General

…Jamoh extols stakeholders’ role in NIMASA’s existence***

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA management has responded to a recent protest by the 2013 Nigerian Cadets in the Philippines over alleged lousy treatment by the nation’s embassy, stressing that the agency has now waded into it.

It would be recalled that a 2013 NIMASA management had sent youths, under the National Seafarers Development Program (NSDP) to the Philippines, for a four-year certificate program; and it was bungled, resulted into complications that has culminated into this protest, almost 10 years after.

Also read: OFR: Maritime Stakeholders Felicitate Jamoh, Over National Award

The present NIMASA Jamoh-led management, in a swift reaction, says it has waded into it, including securing Ministerial approval to meet the cadets, in person.

“We wish to let the public know that we are monitoring the unfortunate development in the Philippines involving NIMASA NSDP 2013 cadets, as seen in a recent online video.

And to assure Nigerians that NIMASA has received Ministerial approval for an assessment visit this October to ascertain, first-hand, the issues to fully and finally address them.

“Our Executive Director, Maritime Labour and Cabotage Services, Engr. Victor Ochei will lead the fact-finding mission to the Philippines to engage with the school and the cadets.

As responsible management, we must deal with this from an informed position, as the matter far predates this administration.

“While we regret the embarrassment this may have caused all concerned”, the agency emphasized, even as it urges caution against any speculative reporting until the official outcome of the on-the-spot evaluation from the Philippines is submitted.

Mu’azu Jaji Sambo (Centre) during the Celebration of the World Maritime Day in Lagos. On his left, is the NIMASA Boss.

An industry watcher, on condition of anonymity, noted that the Nigerian youths were supposed to have graduated during the administration of Dr. Dakuku Peterside, but Dakuku inherited a hiccup from Dr. Patrick Ziakede Akpobolokemi, which resulted in the four-year professional program, plummeting to the ground.

In another development, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh, has extolled the virtues of stakeholders in the life of NIMASA, noting that it is the stakeholders who keep the Agency and maritime business afloat.

Jamoh who spoke at this year’s Customer Service Week held at the Agency’s Headquarters in Lagos averred his belief that investment in material assets by NIMASA would be meaningless without the staff and other external stakeholders.

According to him, for every investment in material assets, there was need for a corresponding availability of stakeholders to make such an investment significant.

“Today, we at NIMASA are celebrating our existence. We are celebrating our existence because without you, our stakeholders, there will be no NIMASA.

Yes, we must invest in maritime assets acquisition.

Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Dr.Bashir Jamoh (3rd left); National Coordinator/CEO SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli (3rd right); Director of SERVICOM NIMASA, Mrs. Bolaji Kehinde (2nd left); Mrs. Jummai Abdullahi of SERVICOM Abuja (left); Mrs. Ngozi Akinbodewa of SERVICOM Abuja (2nd right) and Deputy Director SERVICOM NIMASA, Mr Paul Agim during the 2022 Customer Service Week Celebration at the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

But then, we know that in spite of the level of investment in both tangible and intangible assets by NIMASA, without the stakeholders, such investments will be meaningless”, he stated.

The Director General used the event to welcome the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of SERVICOM, Mrs. Nnenna Akajemeli, who was at the Agency to celebrate with the staff, noting that adherence to NIMASA’s core values was necessary to guarantee mutual satisfaction of both internal and external stakeholders of the Agency,

He stressed his belief in the founding principles of SERVICOM, reiterating that Public Offices were the shopping floors for government businesses and that there was need to always leave whoever goes to the floor for shopping with a high level of satisfaction.

L-R, Director General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr.Bashir Jamoh, Director SERVICOMNIMASA, Mrs.Bolaji Kehinde and National Coordinator/CEO SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli during the 2022 Customer Service Week Celebration at the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos

In her speech, the National Coordinator and Chief Executive Officer of SERVICOM, Akajemeli commended NIMASA for all the achievements of the Agency, particularly in the areas of stakeholder support and complaint handling system.

She applauded the NIMASA’s Maritime Stakeholders’ Experience Contact Centre (MSECC), noting that it is a world-class facility.

“We at SERVICOM are thrilled by what we are seeing in NIMASA today.

Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr.Bashir Jamoh (left); National Coordinator/CEO SERVICOM, Mrs Nnenna Akajemeli (4th left); Facilitator, Ms Nikru Oguadinma (3rd right); Director SERVICOM NIMASA, Mrs. Bolaji Kehinde (2nd right); Deputy Director SERVICOM NIMASA, Mr Paul Agim and support staff of the Agency during the 2022 Customer Service Week Celebration at the NIMASA headquarters in Lagos.

The environment, level of professionalism exhibited by staff, customer-centric orientation and attitude, as well as the energies we have noticed and experienced are all worthy of emulation.

“We, therefore, urge other government parastatals to visit NIMASA leadership and learn from them. Your operations and individualized attention to some of my colleagues, who acted as mystery shoppers were amazing.

“We must confess our happiness and we are proud we are part of the celebration. We are part of this history”, Akajemeli said.

There were also, surprise rewards for some support staff and staff of the Agency with different gift items.

Customer Service Week is an international celebration that calls attention to the importance of customer service and the people who provide it.

Celebrated in the first week of October of every year, and with the theme of this year’s celebration as “Celebrate Service”, the goals of Customer Service Week are: to elicit team bonding, boost morale, reward employees for the significant work they do, and raise awareness of the value of the customer to organization’s successes.




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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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