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Ogun Customs Dismisses Viral Video Of Idiroko Border Reopening

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Lagos Industrial sensitises excise companies on fiscal policy on plastics, others***

The Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Area Command, has dismissed the viral video on social media that the Idiroko border has been reopened for business activities as misleading.

The Area Comptroller, Mr. Bamidele Makinde, made this known while addressing a news conference in Abeokuta on Tuesday.

Makinde stated that the Idiroko land border had been reopened for business since 2022.

The area comptroller explained that: “The Idiroko border alongside three others reopened in 2022 by the immediate past administration has continued to remain opened for legitimate trade.”

Makinde however warned that “anyone who does business in the unapproved route will be intercepted”.

Giving a scorecard of the command for the months of April and May, the comptroller said the command wielded its big stick on unscrupulous traders who engaged in illicit trade.

He confirmed that spectacular seizures included the seizure of three foreign-used luxury buses.

Makinde explained that seizures were made with strategic deployment of intelligence across the state which resulted in having over N335 million as the duty-paid value of the seizures recorded.

He listed other seizures recorded as 6,924 bags of smuggled parboiled rice of 50kg each, used tyres and cannabis sativa.

*Mr Bamidele Makinde, the Area Comptroller, Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun 1 Area Command, giving a scorecard of the command from April to May 2023 on Tuesday in Abeokuta.

Makinde put the total Duty Payable Value (DPV) of the seizures at N335,855,989.

He also disclosed that the command generated about N34.174 million compared to N10,615,618,00 collected in the corresponding period in 2022.

According to him, the figure showed a differential of N23,558,487,00, which is a significant increase of about 69 per cent

In another development,

Customs Area Controller of Lagos Industrial Area Command, Comptroller Queen Ogbudu, said, during the sensitisation programme in Lagos on Tuesday that the payment for excise on plastic would start this month.

Ogbudu said that there were only duties on carbonated drinks before the plastic regime with a specific rate of N10 per litre.

She, however, noted that some alcoholic beverages duties had been increased as stout and beer factories that were initially paying N40 per litre, now pay 20 per cent Ad Valorem and N75 per litre, respectively.

She pointed out that companies that produce alcoholic beverages, such as brandy, rum, vodka and whisky had 30 per cent Ad Valorem and a specific rate of N150.

Ad Valorem is a form of taxation based on the value of transactions or personal property calculated on a percentage of the products.

She said that the purpose of the meeting was to further clarify the Federal Government’s approval for the implementation of the 2023 Fiscal Policy.

“Letters have been distributed to the affected companies and I am happy that many of them have been coming for clarification.

“We are aware that those of them coming under this regime for the first time will find it difficult to adapt, but as the saying goes, nothing good comes easy.

“This is a price we all have to pay for the common good of our country. Our doors are open for more clarifications where necessary; for a smooth and friendly relationship,” she said.

She noted that the public relations units of the headquarters had been sensitising the public to ensure that more companies key into the new regime.

She said her operations team were on top of the situation to ensure that all excise duty companies were brought on board.

She also said that the command had gotten 29 factories into plastics on board, while many of those involved carbonated and alcoholic had also joined.

Ogbudu said that the penalty for non-payment of duty was twice in value of payment that was meant to be paid.

On revenue generated this year, the customs boss noted that there was an improvement when compared with last month, despite the crash crunch earlier in the year.

“I appreciate the traders because I know it is not easy for them  A lot of them wrote to the office that they had produced but had no buyers and that they had always tried to pay.

“The traders should understand that we are implementors of government policies. They should not forget that it’s money generated by the customs service with other arms of government that generate revenue that is used for running the current expenditure in the country.

“Oil is for settlement of external debts. So, for Nigeria not to fail or collapse, they should continue with their payment. Somebody has to pay the sacrifice for the future generations and I appreciate them for their cooperation,” she said.

The companies that participated in the stakeholders’ meeting were Nigerian Bottling Company, Niger Belt Company, 7up bottling company, Lacasera, Coco House West Africa and others.

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LOCAL GOVT AUTONOMY: Dosunmu Hails Supreme Court Judgement, Lauds Tinubu For Bold Initiative

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LOCAL GOVT AUTONOMY: Dosunmu Hails Supreme Court Judgement, Lauds Tinubu For Bold Initiative

…Says judgement is long overdue 

Former Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency NIMASA, Dr Ade Dorsum has hailed the Supreme Court on local government autonomy and lauded President Bola Tinubu’s sincere commitment to the initiative.

Dr. Dosumu stated this in a statement he made available to the Maritime First, emphasizing that the Supreme Court declaration is a long overdue landmark judgment.

“The decision of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on the matter of Autonomy of the Local Governments brought before it by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation is a landmark judgement that is long overdue, but timely. 

“The importance of this decision at this time in our history cannot be over-emphasised as it will no doubt guarantee the delivery of dividends of democracy to the grassroots as represented by the 774 Local Governments. 

“We now have a well-structured federal system that guarantees the independence of each tier of government like it is obtainable in other federal jurisdictions all over the world. 

Former DG, NIMASA, Dr Ade Dorsum

“State governors are advised to take it in good faith and see this as a sacrifice they need to make for the advancement of our democracy. To the Local Government chairmen, it should be seen as a call for accountability and more dedication to duty, because to whom much is given, much is expected. 

“My advice to Nigerians who live in the 774 local governments is to get involved and demand for accountability from their local government chairmen. 

“There must be robust civic engagement by the residents of the local govt on how funds allocated are utilized and monitor how projects are implemented. 

“I congratulate and commend C- in C of the Armed forces, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR for this Bold and audacious initiative leading to this historic judgement that has opened new vistas of opportunities for Nigerians as we consolidate our democratic journey. God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, the Administrator cum politician further stated.

Dr Ade Dosunmu, a Member of the Order of Nigeria (MON) writes from Lagos.

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Makinde Inaugurates Newly Built Olubadan Palace

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…Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, who will be inaugurated on Friday will be first occupier 

Gov. Seyi Makinde of Oyo State on Wednesday inaugurated the newly built Olubadan Palace situated at Oke Aremo, Ibadan.

Performing the ceremony, Makinde said he had put a process in place that would make all the 11 Local Government Councils in Ibadan, contribute money monthly toward the maintenance of the palace.

The governor said his administration would soon commence the second phase of the palace and renovate the Bowen Tower, which was behind the palace, to attract tourists to the fortress.

He commended the effort of his predecessor, the late Abiola Ajimobi for initiating the construction of the new palace.

In his welcome remarks, the President-General, Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII), Chief Adeniyi Ajewole, expressed joy over the completion of the new palace.

Ajewole said the completion of the project had put an external stop to the embarrassment, and mockery of Ibadan by outsiders “that Ibadan with its uniqueness does not have a palace of its own.

“Ibadan is not just having a palace today, but a palace of world class which the indigenes can be proud of.”

Ajewole appreciated all the industrious sons and daughters of Ibadan, who contributed in one way or the other to the commencement and completion of the new palace.

 Oba Oloyede Asanike, who reigned between 1983 and 1993 was the first Olubadan to live in a modern palace, built in the heart of the city, of Oja’ba, Ibadan.

However, the traditional rulers that reigned after him, including the last occupier of the Olubadan throne, Oba Lekan Balogun, made their personal or family houses their palaces.

The new palace located at Oke Aremo, Ibadan was spearheaded by the CCII following the need to relocate the palace from Oja’ba to a befitting cite.

The Olubadan designate, Oba Owolabi Olakulehin, who will be inaugurated on Friday will occupy the new palace.

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Customs Auctions 25,162 Litres Of Seized Petrol To Public In Sokoto

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Customs Auctions 25,162 Litres Of Seized Petrol To Public In Sokoto

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Sokoto/Zamfara Command has auctioned 25,162 litres of seized petrol to the public in Sokoto State.

Mr Kamal Muhammed, the Area Controller, announced this while addressing newsmen in Sokoto on Wednesday.

According to Muhammed, the auction is in line with extant laws and the approval of the Comptroller General of Customs, Mr Bashir Adeniyi.

“A few weeks ago, under the directive of the Comptroller General, we auctioned 11,270 litres of PMS intercepted by operatives of Operation Whirlwind.

Customs Auctions 25,162 Litres Of Seized Petrol To Public In Sokoto
Mr Kamal Muhammed, the Sokoto/Zamfara Command Area Controller Nigeria Customs Service addressing journalists in Sokoto on Wednesday

“However, due to the intensified clampdown on smugglers of petroleum products, the service seized 55,164 litres of PMS within the period under review.

“This is with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of about N39 million,” Muhammed said.

The area controller explained that the price difference of petrol between Nigeria and other West African countries made the smuggling of the product a profitable venture for the smugglers.

“Even with the subsidy removal, Nigeria remains among the countries with the cheapest PMS.

“PMS is sold at an average of N701.99 per litre in Nigeria, while in Cameroon it is sold at N2,061.55, in Mali at N2,128.20, and the Republic of Benin at N1,672.05,” he stated.

Cross section of seized Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by Nigeria Customs Service in Sokoto State

Muhammed added that the smuggling of PMS has continued to create artificial scarcity in some parts of the country.

“This has also added burden on the country’s scarce foreign exchange used to import the product,” he added.

He said that the auction to the general public was at a token of N180 per litre.

Muhammed assured that the service would continue to protect Nigeria’s economic interests with dedication, justice, and integrity.

Delivering the Comptroller General’s message to smugglers, he stated, “The NCS will run you out of your illegitimate business.” 

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