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Sambo Eyes Leveraging Technology To Boost Transportation’s Developmental Relevance

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EDO TRAIN KIDNAP: Only 20 kidnapped, not 32 — Commissioner

The Minister Of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has stressed the need to leverage technology at boosting transportation’s contribution to Nigeria’s development.

The Minister made the call in Abuja during the Executive Session of the 17th National Council on Transportation (NCT) themed “Transportation Technology and Innovations for Socio-Economic Sustainability”. 

Sambo said the transportation sector is unique and dynamic adding that it does not exist for itself but rather serves as a veritable platform for other sectors of the economy to flourish.

“Dear Commissioners and other Stakeholders, you will all agree with me that the premium placed on the transportation sector cannot be overemphasized. 

“It encourages, among other things, social interaction and socioeconomic integration, access to education, healthcare, commerce and development. 

“Therefore, it is appropriate to say that transportation is to the economy as blood is to the human body.

“To further improve on the contribution of Transportation to Nigeria’s development, we need to leverage the potentials of Technology hence, the relevance of this year’s theme,” he said.

The Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration understood the imperatives and prioritised the transportation sector in all the development plans which included the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020) and the current Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP 2021-2025) which is a segment of the Nigeria Agenda 2050 long term plan being developed by the current administration

He recalled that the Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy as well as the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation were recently rebranded to show the importance of Technology in recent times. 

“Technology contributed about 18.44% to the nation’s GDP in the second quarter of 2022 as against 6.33% contribution of the oil Sector.  

“Hence, there is no gain in saying that all over the world, Technology/ICT has taken the centre stage of human interactions as it has reduced the cost of production, ensures efficient movement of goods & Services, simplified communication processes and improves the overall quality of life.

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, if Transportation is to continue to be relevant to drive an innovative and digital economy, then Transportation Stakeholders in Nigeria must envision the future together, strategize, and adopt SMART goals that can be implemented to withstand the dynamic trends and changes the sector is constantly experiencing around the world,” he said, noting that this is the time for Stakeholders in the Transportation Industry to Synergize together and maximise the benefit of the lean resources available for transport development at all levels.

He also said that the intent of the Transport Sector Reforms was to break the monopoly that was hitherto exclusive to the Federal Government and create a new regime where States and the private sector can also invest. 

“These policies are already operational in the country even though the Bills to change the limitations imposed by enabling Acts of some of our Agencies that were created as Corporations are still in the National Assembly. 

“Nevertheless, with the success of the concession of the Nigerian Seaports since 2006, Nigerians can be rest assured that the Federal Government is gradually restricting itself to policy formulation and regulatory functions while operations are commercialised. 

“The Lekki Deep Sea Port is a perfect testimony of the new template of development in the transportation industry, where the host State, Lagos and private investors are the major financiers of the new port,” he said. 

“Another area where the Federal and State must continue to develop a close tie is on “Safe and Secure Transportation”. This is a major cardinal objective of the Federal Ministry of Transportation in the National Development Plan (NDP). 

“The States/FCT and their Local Government Authorities must factor in their local plans on how to secure all transportation infrastructure (Seaports, Roads & Bridges, Rail tracks, Airport Terminals) that passes through or are within their domains, this for us, is one of the major ways of achieving a Sustainable Socio-Economic development,” he added. 

Sambo, however, said irrespective of security equipment, gadgets and solutions, the role of the human element remains paramount in the securing of critical Transportation infrastructure which is so capital-intensive to maintain or restore when damaged.

Sambo saluted stakeholders’ commitment to the implementation of the Council’s previous resolutions and encouraged pressure groups like the Nigerian Transportation Commissioner Forum (NTCF) to factor-in peer reward mechanisms to encourage performance, especially in the implementation of the decisions of the Council. 

According to him, such rewards and recognition of achievers can be planned in consultation with the Federal Ministry of Transportation and hosted during the Council meeting. 

“The need to innovate on how to engender implementation of the decisions that are reached in this Council is one that should be encouraged and sustained,” he said. 

Speaking on some salient achievements made in the Sector in recent times, Sambo said the successful deployment of the Deep Blue Project and its Commissioning in 2021 has brought about the significant reduction in piracy and kidnappings in Nigeria waters and Gulf of Guinea (GOG).

“This has brought about the removal of Nigeria from the International Maritime Bureau’s Red List.

“There is reduced Vessel Turn Around Time arising from the deployment of technology in the payment administration in our seaports by the automation of the collection and processing of shipping documents.

“The processes leading to the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund (CVFF) is on the way, the Ministerial Committee on the selection of the four (4) Primary Lending Institutions in line with the guidelines for disbursement has been constituted,” he added. 

The Minister revealed that the Federal Government has declared the Dala Inland Dry Port, Kano as a Port of Origin and Destination and that the Onitsha River Port has been successfully concessioned to Universal Elysium Consortium.

“The approval of the National Transport Policy (NTP) is one of the low-hanging fruits I identified during my assumption of office in the Ministry, we are poised to pursue it this time to a logical and fruitful end. 

“I studied the antecedents and saw how much work this Council has put in the development of the document, that labour will not be in vain,” he said. 

The Honourable Minister further said the ugly incident of the attack on the Kaduna bound train on the 28th March 2022 where some of the passengers onboard were kidnapped cannot be forgotten in a hurry. 

Sambo said the incident which resulted in the suspension of train services on the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line is adversely affecting the revenue of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, businesses along the corridor and the Nigerian economy in general. 

“We are however thankful to God that all victims of the sad incident have been released unharmed and the commercial operation along that corridor has been restored a few days ago.

“Finally, may I at this point extend my profound gratitude to the Chair of the Technical Session of this Council, her colleagues from the States and other Delegates for working round the clock to bring up the recommendation which the Executive Session will consider later in our session.

“God Bless you for your valuable and purposeful contributions to the Technical Session. Thank you,” he said

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Tincan Customs Command Generates N574.3bn Revenue In 2022

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Tincan Customs Command Generates N574.3bn Revenue In 2022

…Figures represent an increase of N80.90bn over N493.4bn of 2021***

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin Can Island Port Command, generated revenue of N574.3 billion in 2022.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede, disclosed this at a news conference on Friday in Lagos.

Oloyede said the figure represented an increase of N80.90 billion or 16.39 percent when compared with N493.4 billion recorded in 2021.

“This feat can be attributed to the constant rejigging of the existing measures geared toward sustaining the command’s revenue profile.

“It is as well as utilisation of some disruptive strategic measures such as: periodic capacity building, reshuffling and redeployment of officers using the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) analysis and implementation of the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) valuation,” he said.

Tincan Customs Command Generates N574.3bn Revenue In 2022

He noted that the command also ensured robust and continuous stakeholder engagements and collaborations with all sister government agencies and maritime associations.

“These led to timely intelligence sharing, utilisation and voluntary compliance to government’s extant laws by the trading public,” Oloyede said.

He added that the command increased surveillance on declarations made in order to sniff out improper declarations as well as offending items.

He pointed out that the system paid off with the command recording a total of 38 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.85 billion.

“These seizures comprise 763kgs of Colorado (Cannabis Sativa) weighing 345.1kg with a street market value of N714.6 million only as given by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), 5 x 40 containers of used motor tyre (5,060 pieces).

“Also among seized items are: 1,150 bales of second-hand clothing, 1,190 cartons of 20 per cartons of potassium bromate and baking powder, 11,392 cartons of 1,200 per carton Pharmacol injection chloroquine phosphate 322.5mg.5ml (IV and IM), 206,000 pieces of finished matchets.

“Also, 1,383 cartons of 50 rolls per carton of cigarettes, 650 cartons of 50 pieces per carton of new ladies shoes, 2,666 pieces in 36 pallets of new starter Ex-Premium Inverter Battery, 1,980 cartons of assorted non-alcoholic beverages and 1,048 cartons of Tilda basmati rice,” he said.

Oloyede listed others as 2,594 pieces of ammunition and 20 pieces of arms comprising of one pistol with 611090 (S/W) model JCP 40mm, one used Co2 air pistol with accessories cal 117(4.5m)BM, one marksman repeater pistol, six Mace pepper gun and 10 suspected arms of various types.

He said that the seizures when compared with the 2021 record of 27 seizures with a Debit Note of N607.27 only, show an increase of 11 seizures and N1.24 billion.

He said that the increase in the DPV rate could be associated with increased surveillance and intensified anti-smuggling drive, high value of seized items and Naira depreciation that led to higher exchange rates on imported items.

“These prohibited items were seized and forfeited to the Federal Government in line with the provision of Sections 46 and 161 of the Customs & Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45 LFN 2004 and Absolute Prohibition List of CET 2022- 2026.

“The command pertinently acknowledges the prominent roles played by the Customs Intelligence Unit, Valuation Unit, Federal Operations Unit, CGC Strike Force as well as interventions of Sister Regulatory Agencies like the NDLEA, Standards Organisation of Nigeria SON, the Nigeria Police and others in ensuring these seizures and detentions were made.

“A total of 60 suspects were detained in 2022 and were granted administrative bail while the command has 8 cases pending in court,” he said.

Oloyede said the command recorded a significant increase in the Free On Board (FOB) of exports in the period under review to the tune of $589,696,648 (N242,365,322,333.00) as against the $496,075,796 (N141,985,109,159.00) recorded in 2021.

He attributed the increase of 34.4 percent on the FOB to high quality and value of exported commodities.

“However, the export report shows a decrease in tonnage of export from 1,723,986.8 in 2021 to 336,179.5 in 2022.

“The decrease in tonnage could be connected to current government fiscal policy which prohibited the export of wood and wood products as well as the global unrest with its concomitant economic challenges,” he said

He listed the commodities exported through the command to include: cocoa beans, insecticides, dried ginger, empty bottles, soya beans, cashew nuts, cigarettes, rubbers, cocoa butter, frozen shrimps, copper ingots, aluminum ingots, sesame seeds and other manufactured items.

“Cocoa beans was the highest exported commodity while the legend stout was the least exported commodity.

“The future of export in the command looks brighter as the command in line with the headquarter circular on Export Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) released a Port Order on the Command’s harmonised SOP for the seamless facilitation of Export Trade in strict compliance with Extant Laws and guidelines on Export,” he said.

He thanked all stakeholders and sister government agencies involved in the export chain with special commendation to the Nigeria Ports Authority for seamless collaboration in facilitating the clearance process of export-related cargo at the command.

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Ibrahim takes over at PTML Customs, Tasks Officers on Discipline

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Ibrahim takes over at PTML Customs, Tasks Officers on Discipline

 Comptroller Ali Mahmoud Ibrahim took over as Customs Area Controller of Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command on Tuesday from Compt. Suleiman Bomai who was recently promoted to acting ACG. 

While taking over, Ibrahim charged officers and stakeholders to sustain their level of discipline and improve on revenue collection.

Describing discipline as key to other virtues of productivity like honesty, punctuality and dedication to duty, he expressed confidence in achieving a higher collection of duty.

The new Area Controller was optimistic that with the maximum support of his lieutenants, other government agencies and port users, revenue increase is achievable. 

Ibrahim solicited the cooperation of terminal operators, importers, agents and other stakeholders in achieving the service objectives which include revenue collection, suppression of smuggling and trade facilitation.

He commended his predecessor, Acting Assistant Comptroller General Suleiman Bomai for his excellent achievement and expressed willingness to always consult with him whenever the need arises.

Comptroller Ibrahim thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali, CFR and the management team for the appointment, with a pledge to work in line with the service rules. 

Before formally handing over, Ag. ACG Bomai described Comptroller Ibrahim as an experienced officer vast with three notable attributes.

According to Bomai, Comptroller Ibrahim has been well exposed in administration having spent a good number of years at the NCS headquarters in Abuja; excellent in revenue collection with experience from different commands of the service and uncompromising in enforcement.

The Acting ACG advised all customs officers in PTML, sister agencies and the port users to extend the cooperation and industrial harmony he enjoyed to the new Area Controller.

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Economy

Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Rehabilitation: LASG announces traffic diversion at Old Tollgate/ Berger axis

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Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Rehabilitation: LASG announces traffic diversion at Old Tollgate/ Berger axis

In continuation of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway by the Federal Ministry of Works, the Lagos State Government has announced that traffic will be diverted at the Old Tollgate to Berger section of the road from Monday 30th January till Friday 15th April 2023.

In the notification received by the Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, it was disclosed that the construction will be carried out in short segments to minimize inconveniences for Motorists while traffic on the Ibadan-bound carriageway will be narrowed to two lanes to allow for the reconstruction of half of the Ibadan bound carriageway.

The Transport Commissioner, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde further stated that the U-turn in front of the Lagos State Emergency Centre will be temporarily closed to traffic, adding that Motorists on the Expressway will be diverted to the next U-turn at the Old Toll Gate by the traffic control point.

 In the same vein, Traffic from CMD Road intending to connect 7UP and Motorways on the Lagos bound carriageway will make use of the Old Tollgate/Traffic Point U–turn as well.

He equally stressed that trucks and heavy-duty vehicles will be diverted to Ojota Interchange. 

The Commissioner also explained that traffic on CMD Road inbound the Expressway will be diverted to the entry point beside the FMW weighbridge to access the Expressway on a contraflow as the exit route to the Expressway by Caleb International School will equally be temporarily closed, adding that CMD Road will be used as an alternative for the displaced Ibadan bound traffic.

Oladeinde appealed to the citizenry to shun indiscriminate stopping, waiting and parking along CMD Road as it will complement the efforts of the Traffic Management Team that will be deployed to manage vehicular movement. He also affirmed that signage with directions will be mounted along the road to guide Motorists.

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