Maritime Leaders Fete At NIMPORT 2017

By Bayo Bernard Staunch stakeholders in the maritime sector of Nigerian economy will gather between August 22 and 24 at the Oriental Hotel Victoria Island, Lagos for the annual international conference and exhibition of the Nigerian International Maritime Ports and Terminals (NIMPORT) conference. Chairman of NIMPORT, Fortune Idu, in a press statement disclosed that the theme of this year’s conference is “Improving Connectivity,Enhancing Trade” and it is aimed at “bringing together all maritime industry leaders to network and discuss on pressing issues relating to global maritime trade,port and logistic development…

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ANLCA Exposes N3.2B Fraud in CRFFN

By Bayo Bernard Registrar and chief executive officer of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, Sir Mike Jukwe will be shocked over latest revelation of allege gross mismanagement of funds belonging to the Council. A group, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA has alleged that the council under the watchful eyes of the council boss mismanage over N3 billion, being funds allocated to the CRFFN by the federal government in the last two years. The Association has therefore demanded a probe of the finances…

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Seizures: Agents Storm FOU

By Stephen Ubanna Worried at the rate which Federal Operation Unit, FOU, Zone A, of the Nigeria Customs Service impound Containerized cargoes and trucks released from the ports, Bonded terminals and land border stations  in Lagos and Ogun states, officials of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF,  last Wednesday, August 2, were at the  Command  to rub minds with Mohammed Garba, the Comptroller to seek for a soft landing. The NAGAFF team was led to the negotiation table by Boniface Anniebonam , the founder of the negotiation…

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N400B Debt: Senate Probes Atiku’s Intels

By Bayo Bernard Integrated Logistics Services Nigeria Limited, INTELS is one of the firms to be grilled by the Senator Hope Uzodinma joint Committee on Customs and Maritime investigating infractions on revenue accruing to the federal government from the seaports. The committee had recently alleged that the Nigerian Customs Service, NSC a la Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA failed to remit over N30 trillion to the federal government. As part of the ongoing probe the committee Tuesday directed 60 companies to appear before it. Senator Uzodinma said the companies should be…

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POF: CRFFN Bounces Back to Life

By Bayo Bernard The Abuja and Lagos offices of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria, CRFFN have come alive again following the collection of Practitioners’ Operating Fees, POF by the council as directed by the Ministry of Transport, MOT. The MOT in statement titled ‘Commencement of Collection of Practitioners Operating Fee By Council for the Regulations of Freight Forwarding In Nigeria’ said Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi gave the directive to end the over two years POF hiatus. “The minister of transportation had approved that collection…

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Vessels: NPA, Senate Head for Showdown

By Bayo Bernard The Senate Committee on Customs, Excise and Tariff faces a herculean task in its quest to unravel allege missing of 282 vessels in the Nigerian ports. The Senator Hope Uzordinma had few days ago directed the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA to immediately account for the vessels which it said developed wings from the ports after berth. The implication the senators said is that the country was denied revenue due to the discrepancy. The Authority has however replied the Committee describing the allegation as unfounded without any proof…

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Checkpoints: Controllers Shun CG

By Bayo Bernard More than 24 hours after Controller General of Nigerian Customs Service, NCS , Colonel Hamid Alli(retired) directed the removal of all illegal checkpoints across the country men and officers of the service have failed to comply. The customs’ boss had directed his men to dismantle hundreds of such roadblocks in compliance with the circular of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) as part of President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s quest to make business easy to do in the country. Acting President Yemi Osinbajo recently signed a Presidential…

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Customs Still In The Eye Of The Storm

By Stephen Ubanna Until Hameed Ali, a retired Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, is removed from office by President Muhammed Buhari, the  Senate Committee Committee on Customs, Excise, Tariff and marine Transportation,headed by Hope Uzodinma, will stop at nothing toexpose the rot in Customs. In spite of the billions which the Customs pay into the Federation Account monthly, the Committee believes there are still much sharp practices in the Customs with the collaboration of other stakeholders , leading to loss in the collection of revenue in foreign…

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How FOU Recovered Lost Funds?

By Stephen Ubanna More facts have emerged how Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, allegedly recovered over N500 million from  importers  between December, 2016 and two weeks in the month of July 2017. This has to do with blocking areas of revenue leakages in the Command, ensuring that  officials of the Revenue Department and the field officers do the right thing.  over the years, there had been accusation against  field officers, who are mostly of the Inspectors cadre  who see their names on the roaster to be on the road…

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Ports Bill: Stakeholders Warn NA

By Bayo Bernard On April 27 the Nigerian Senate gave legal teeth to the Ports and Harbor bill, one of the bills constituting the Infrastructure Bill which the National Assembly believes will open up the country and create thousands of jobs. While the upper chamber awaits concurrence of House of Reps, events in the last few days threatens its final passage. This is so considering ongoing high wire lobby by stakeholders in the maritime sectors on lawmakers in the lower house to thoroughly scrutinize the bill. The Nigerian Ports and…

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No Hiding Place For Fraudulent Importers

By Stephen Ubanna Mohammed Garba, Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A Ikeja, Lagos,, is a happy man. Garba source of happiness is informed by the superlative performance  of the Command’s roving , Surveillance and Crack teams  T.The roving team is headed by Abdullahi Kerewa, an Assistant Comptroller while the Surveillance team is headed by Okbabi Jack, a Chief Superintendent . The third is the Crack team , which is headed by Adahunsi. R., an Assistant Comptroller. Garba disclosed that after a series of meeting with his field officers  and…

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Building Bridges Across the Niger

By Stephen Ubanna For years, Rivers state had been a theatre of war by opposing political Camps. The situation was worse when Rotimi Amaechi, former governor of the state and now minister of Transport decamped to All progressive Congress, APC, and Nyesom Wike , a former minister of state, Federal ministry of Education emerged as the gubernatorial Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2015 general election. Shell petroleum Development Company , SPDC, and other Multi-national Oil Companies operating in Rivers state were said to have invested heavily…

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FOU : Renewed Crack Down On Smugglers And Fraudulent Agents

Hameed Ali, Comptroller General , Nigeria Customs Service, throws his weight behind Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, Ikeja, as it makes spectacular seizures, translating to improved monthly revenue By Stephen Ubanna Officers and Men of the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone A, Ikeja, Lagos, which oversees anti-smuggling operations and movement of goods in and out the seaports and airports in their area of jurisdiction comprising of Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ekiti, Ondo and Osun states in south west Nigeria has sent a signal to smugglers and importers with their clearing agents…

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AIG Imue Warns Port Criminals

By Bayo Bernard The first task of the newly appointed Assistant Inspector General, AIG of Police, Maritime Police Command, Pius Immue is to clean the Augean stables of the ports where miscreants and criminals operates without encumbrances. In spite of claims by various security agencies working in the Lagos ports for instance, men of the underworld still continue with their criminal activities unhindered. Major crimes existing in the ports include, forgery, burglary, document falsification and cargo stealing. Whereas these crimes are committed sometimes, in the full glare of security agencies…

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NIMASA: Firms Reject NSDP Graduates

By Bayo Bernard   Over one thousand graduates under the Nigerian Seafarer’s Development Programme, NSDP bankrolled by apex maritime body, the Nigeria Maritime Administrative and Safety Agency, NIMASA have failed to secure payable jobs since they finished the course. Most of them are now languishing in Lagos and other cities across world hoping to find a job somehow after years of rigorous training abroad. The NSDP was an interventionist project started by the agency in 2008. Eight years after, the programme has produced over one thousand graduates trained in different…

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Port Thieves

Wharf  Rats return to the, Port as they vandalize examined Containers, thus making nonsense of the terminal operators and the Nigeria Customs Service security measures By Stephen Ubanna In  spite of the security measures put in place by Sifax Cargo Handling Company, one of the terminal operators at the Tincan Island port and Yusuf Barshar, the Customs Command, Controller to forestall the activities of Warf rats, the hoodlums are still finding their way into the port causing havoc to importer’s Containers. Importers who had fallen victim to the evil machination…

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Agents of Confusion

By Stephen Ubanna Those who think that the  strike by members of the  Association  of Nigeria License Customs Agents , ANLCA,  and other Associations  against the bad state of the Apapa road and alleged extortion   by Customs personnel  which paralysed operations at the ports and land  borders for almost two days had  an impact may have to do a rethink. This is because  the strike made no impact on the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS,  revenue collection  or the shipping Companies and the terminal operators as it is still business as…

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Appeal court quashes jail sentence of ex NIMASA boss, Omatseye

Former Director-General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Raymond Omatseye, got a reprieve today May 11 2017 through a judgement delivered by an Appeal court based in Lagos. A lower court had initially found him guilty and sentenced him to jail on allegations of N1.5 billion fraud. The decision of the Appellate court was read by Justice Yargata Nimpar, and she said that the High Court which tried him did not properly evaluate the evidence before it. The Federal High Court, Lagos, on May 20, 2016, presided…

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Customs Promotion: The Big Fraud

By Stephen Ubanna When Hameed Ali, a retired Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, announced that the last December , Customs promotion exercise would be based on merit and not quota system , not many people took him serious. This is because promotion in the Customs Service over the years have been based on Quota system, thus making it difficult for  bright officers to be promoted to the senior officers rank. But one major problem which past and present management  of the Service  had been unable to deal…

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Customs Officers In Trouble

By Stephen Ubanna When Hameed Ali, a retired Colonel was appointed the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS,  by president Muhammadu Buhari, in late 2015, not many people gave him opportunity to succeed . this is because of the peculiar nature of the NCS where Officers and Men of the Service who have entrenched themselves in a particular area were not ready to accept posting to another Command. They had expected the Customs boss to start the restructuring and reforming programme of the government  by moving the Officers…

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