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Oyo Osun Customs: Ogunkua Generates N4.6bn; Impounds Several Vehicles‏

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  • As EFCC recovers N900m from Jonathan’s kinsman

The Oyo-Osun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) impounded 16 vehicles with a Duty Paid Value of N203m this month, bringing to 72 seizures the Command recorded, while generating the sum of N4.6bn in the first four months of 2016.

The arrowhead of the Command, GT Ogunkua who confirmed this also noted that the proactive and leadership commitment in the area has fruitfully resulted in voluntary duty payment of N98.4m from 617 vehicles.

Providing a breakdown, Comptroller Ogunkua said the just impounded vehicles included a Mercedez Benz truck with registration number APP 531 XD loaded with Vegetable oil; a M.A.N truck with registration number EDE 147 XA loaded with Rice;  two Mitsubishi Lancer with registration numbers BDU 395 TD and EPE 448 ON loaded with Rice; two  Volkwagon Golf with registration numbers KEY 625 XA and KMA 179 AA loaded with Rice and a Toyota Previa loaded with second hand clothings

The Command, he said also impounded two Toyota Hiace Buses with forged duty documents; a fairly used Nissan NP 300 (Hilux); a fairly used Nissan Frontier (Hilux); a fairly used Mazda 626 vehicle found to be carrying one bale of second hand clothing; a fairly used Hyundai Accent; a fairly used Toyota Camry vehicle and one fairly used Toyota Corolla Vehicle.

Lauding the Command for exceeding the figures of the corresponding period of 2015, Ogunkua noted that his officers also intercepted a fairly used Volkswagon bus loaded with 14 bales of second hand clothings; a fairly used Mazda 323 vehicle, a fairly used Volkswagon Saloon vehicle loaded with rice, a fairly used white colour Toyota Corolla vehicle and a fair used ash colour Chevrolet Jeep; pointing out that the entire duty paid value was yet to be determined.

“The Oyo/Osun Command has presently generated a total of N4,611,914,510.32 in the First Four months of the year 2016”, he declared, highlighting that while a total of 72 seizures with DPV of  N203,649,995 came between January to April 2016, the performance when compared with the 53 seizures with a duty paid value of  N145,440,751 recorded within the same period in 2015 shows an increase of 19 seizures with an increase of  N58,209,244 in DPV.

“We had some momentous seizures in the first quarter”,  he remarked, identifying seizures which included the 226 packages of Cannabis Sativa; 3,103 units of 50kg bags of rice with duty paid value of N24,793,945; a total 43 fairly used assorted vehicles arrested with a duty paid value of N52,985,217 and 66 cartons of frozen imported poultry products with a duty paid value of N548,262.

“It is noteworthy to report that a total of 617 vehicles paid duty to the tune of N98,413,032. The Command in the same period in 2015 collected a total of N75,952,115 from 800 vehicles. This indicates an increase of N22,460,917.

“It is expected that there will be increase in the Command’s revenue profile in this quarter through voluntary compliance to duty payment by all genuine importers and excise factories, channeling efforts towards breaking new frontiers through stakeholder engagements, building a more robust synergy with other security agencies, intelligence sharing and utilization, discovering emerging extant factories and bringing them under excise control.

“The Command will also re-strategize and re-engineer the anti-smuggling operation modalities to match the ever evolving challenges posed by smugglers”, he concluded, stressing that he would keep his  officers on the alert for maximum performance.

In the meantime, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has recovered N900m from Mr. Waripamowei Dudafa, a former Special Assistant on Domestic Affairs to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan.

A reliable source at the EFCC told our correspondent on Sunday that the money was found in one of Dudafa’s accounts, which was immediately frozen.

The source said, “Dudafa told us that he had no money; so, we began to investigate his accounts. We then found N900m that was hidden in one of his accounts through the connivance of his account officer.

“Dudafa initially denied owning the account but when he was confronted with evidence, he had no choice but to admit. Some people, who had paid money into the account based on Dudafa’s instructions, even came forward to say that the account indeed belonged to Dudafa. The N900m will be used as evidence against him in court.”

Dudafa, who was a close aide to and a kinsman of Jonathan, was arrested on April 18 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The former presidential aide, alongside Jonathan’s ex Aide-de-Camp, Col. Ojogbane Adegbe, was accused of giving N10bn to delegates at the presidential primary of the Peoples Democratic Party in December 2014, in which Jonathan was the only candidate.

The money was allegedly diverted by the Office of the National Security Adviser from a Signature Bonus Account in the Central Bank of Nigeria.

The N10bn is believed to have been diverted from oil receipts as follows: $5m (November 14, 2014); $47m (November 27, 2014); €4m (December 3, 2014) and €1.6m (December 24, 2014).

While Adegbe was arrested but later released, Dudafa was said to have fled to either Dubai or a Caribbean country where he stayed for several months.

However, impeccable sources at the EFCC told our correspondent that Dudafa was arrested by operatives of the Department of State Services upon arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

In his Statement of Witness/Accused Person, which had been filed at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, embattled former NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), had said the N10bn was given to Ojogbane and Dudafa.

Dasuki had said, “That I am aware in November, I cannot remember the exact date, my office requested the CBN to exchange N10bn from the account of the Office of the National Security Adviser domiciled in CBN. The money was exchanged and $47m and some Euros, which I cannot remember the exact amount, were delivered at my residence.

“The money was for delegates that attended the nomination convention for the PDP presidential nomination. The money was paid and sent to Hon. Dudafa (SSAP, Household) and ADC(C-I-C) for distribution on the instruction of the President.”

Additional report from Punch

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WAIVER CESSATION: Igbokwe urges NIMASA to evolve stronger collaboration with Ships owners

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…Stresses the need for timely disbursement of N44.6billion CVFF***

Highly revered Nigerian Maritime Lawyer, and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mike Igbokwe has urged the Nigeria Maritime Administration and safety Agency (NIMASA) to partner with ship owners and relevant association in the industry to evolving a more vibrant merchant shipping and cabotage trade regime.

Igbokwe gave the counsel during his paper presentation at the just concluded two-day stakeholders’ meeting on Cabotage waiver restrictions, organized by NIMASA.

“NIMASA and shipowners should develop merchant shipping including cabotage trade. A good start is to partner with the relevant associations in this field, such as the Nigeria Indigenous Shipowners Association (NISA), Shipowners Association of Nigeria (SOAN), Oil Trade Group & Maritime Trade Group of the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA).

“A cursory look at their vision, mission and objectives, show that they are willing to improve the maritime sector, not just for their members but for stakeholders in the maritime economy and the country”.

Adding that it is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a through briefing and regular consultation with ships owners, in other to have insight on the challenges facing the ship owners.

“It is of utmost importance for NIMASA to have a thorough briefing and regular consultations with shipowners, to receive insight on the challenges they face, and how the Agency can assist in solving them and encouraging them to invest and participate in the maritime sector, for its development. 

“NIMASA should see them as partners in progress because, if they do not invest in buying ships and registering them in Nigeria, there would be no Nigerian-owned ships in its Register and NIMASA would be unable to discharge its main objective.

The Maritime lawyer also urged NIMASA  to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF)that currently stands at about N44.6 billion.

“Lest it be forgotten, what is on the lips of almost every shipowner, is the need to disburse the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (the CVFF’), which was established by the Coastal and Inland Shipping Act, 2003. It was established to promote the development of indigenous ship acquisition capacity, by providing financial assistance to Nigerian citizens and shipping companies wholly owned by Nigerian operating in the domestic coastal shipping, to purchase and maintain vessels and build shipping capacity. 

“Research shows that this fund has grown to about N44.6billion; and that due to its non-disbursement, financial institutions have repossessed some vessels, resulting in a 43% reduction of the number of operational indigenous shipping companies in Nigeria, in the past few years. 

“Without beating around the bush, to promote indigenous maritime development, prompt action must be taken by NIMASA to commence the disbursement of this Fund to qualified shipowners pursuant to the extant Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (“CVFF”) Regulations.

Mike Igbokwe (SAN)

“Indeed, as part of its statutory functions, NIMASA is to enforce and administer the provisions of the Cabotage Act 2003 and develop and implement policies and programmes which will facilitate the growth of local capacity in ownership, manning and construction of ships and other maritime infrastructure. Disbursing the CVFF is one of the ways NIMASA can fulfill this mandate.

“To assist in this task, there must be collaboration between NIMASA, financial institutions, the Minister of Transportation, as contained in the CVFF Regulations that are yet to be implemented”, the legal guru highlighted further. 

He urged the agency to create the right environment for its stakeholders to build on and engender the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders.

“Lastly, which is the main reason why we are all here, cessation of ministerial waivers on some cabotage requirements, which I believe is worth applause in favour of NIMASA. 

“This is because it appears that the readiness to obtain/grant waivers had made some of the vessels and their owners engaged in cabotage trade, to become complacent and indifferent in quickly ensuring that they updated their capacities, so as not to require the waivers. 

“The cessation of waivers is a way of forcing the relevant stakeholders of the maritime sector, to find workable solutions within, for maritime development and fill the gaps in the local capacities in 100% Nigerian crewing, ship ownership, and ship building, that had necessitated the existence of the waivers since about 15 years ago, when the Cabotage Act came into being. 

“However, NIMASA must ensure that the right environment is provided for its stakeholders to build and possess the needed capacities to fill the gaps; and ensure that steps are being taken to solve the challenges being faced by stakeholders. Or better still, that they are solved within the next 5 years of its intention to stop granting waivers”, he further explained. 

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Breaking News: The Funeral Rites of Matriarch C. Ogbeifun is Live

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The Burial Ceremony of Engr. Greg Ogbeifun’s mother is live. Watch on the website: www.maritimefirstnewspaper.com and on Youtube: Maritimefirst Newspaper.

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Wind Farm Vessel Collision Leaves 15 Injured

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…As Valles Steamship Orders 112,000 dwt Tanker from South Korea***

A wind farm supply vessel and a cargo ship collided in the Baltic Sea on Tuesday leaving 15 injured.

The Cyprus-flagged 80-meter general cargo ship Raba collided with Denmark-flagged 31-meter wind farm supply vessel World Bora near Rügen Island, about three nautical miles off the coast of Hamburg. 

Many of those injured were service engineers on the wind farm vessel, and 10 were seriously hurt. 

They were headed to Iberdrola’s 350MW Wikinger wind farm. Nine of the people on board the World Bora were employees of Siemens Gamesa, two were employees of Iberdrola and four were crew.

The cause of the incident is not yet known, and no pollution has been reported.

After the collision, the two ships were able to proceed to Rügen under their own power, and the injured were then taken to hospital. 

Lifeboat crews from the German Maritime Search and Rescue Service tended to them prior to their transport to hospital via ambulance and helicopter.

“Iberdrola wishes to thank the rescue services for their diligence and professionalism,” the company said in a statement.

In the meantime, the Hong Kong-based shipowner Valles Steamship has ordered a new 112,000 dwt crude oil tanker from South Korea’s Sumitomo Heavy Industries Marine & Engineering.

Sumitomo is to deliver the Aframax to Valles Steamship by the end of 2020, according to data provided by Asiasis.

The newbuild Aframax will join seven other Aframaxes in Valles Steamship’s fleet. Other ships operated by the company include Panamax bulkers and medium and long range product tankers.

The company’s most-recently delivered unit is the 114,426 dwt Aframax tanker Seagalaxy. The naming and delivery of the tanker took place in February 2019, at Namura Shipbuilding’s yard in Japan.

Maritime Executive with additional report from World Maritime News

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