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Ameachi ends tenure elongation of CRFFN board members

— fixes elections for October 9th.

Eyewitness reporter
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Ameachi, may have put paid to the ambition of the members of the current governing board of the Council for the  Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) who are fighting tooth and nail to elongate their tenure in office.
The 32- member Council board, which was inaugurated in November 2018, has two- year tenure which expired in 2020.
But the members have since refused to go one year after, having surreptitiously extended their tenure to a four-year term which they attempted to legalise through a  botched subterranean ploy to amend the council act.
However, the ploy for tenure elongation has now fallen through as the Ministry of Transportation has fixed the Council elections for October 2021.
 Even though the election timetable came one year after the tenure of the council has expired, the move has however effectively foreclosed any possible tenure elongation.
In a circular made public and signed by the Electoral Committee Chairman, A. D. Suleiman, the15  professional members would be drawn from the Western port, Eastern port, and Airports/ land borders.
The pattern of this year’s elections is a radical departure from what it used to be.
Unlike the traditional pattern where members are drawn from the five registered freight forwarding associations, this year’s elections are based on geographical locations of freight forwarders at Western Ports, Eastern ports, and airport/land borders from where the 15 members into the council will be drawn through elections.
The 15 elected members will join the 17 government-appointed members to form a 32- member Council.
As the election of the new board is slated for October, operational vehicles assigned to the outgoing members are yet to be returned to the Council.
Abubakar Tsanni, Chairman, Governing board of CRFFN and Ameachi
 The circular reads thus:

“Sequel to the expiration of the two-year tenure of the Governing Board of the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN), the Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has constituted an electoral committee to conduct the election into the Governing Board of the Council.

“This is in line with the powers conferred on him by Section 2 (1) (f) of the CRFFN Act 2007.

According to a Public Notice issued in Abuja on Thursday by the Chairman of the Electoral Committee, A.D. Suleiman, the Act Provides that an elected or appointed member of the Governing Council shall hold office for a period of two (2) years beginning from the date of the election or appointment as applicable.

“The notice recalled that Section 2(1) (g) of the enabling Act states that that five persons to be elected from amongst registered freight forwarders operating in each of the following zones: Western Ports – 5, Eastern Ports – 5, Cargo Airports/Land Borders – 5.

“It went on to inform all eligible registered freight forwarders that the Electoral Committee would commence the election process as contained in the timetable as follows:

“Nomination Form: 6th –17th September 2021; Collection and submission of completed nomination forms shall be within ten (10) days from 10 am to 4 pm daily in the following locations: Lagos – Council for Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) No. 1 Joseph Harden Street, Marina, Lagos (contact Mrs. Ogwuche-Obe Ene Helen – staff of the Ministry, Phone – 08033071392).

“Abuja – Federal Ministry of Transportation, Maritime Services Department, 4th Floor, Central Business Area, Abuja (contact: Solomon Zaks, 3rd Floor, Phone – 08035891726).

“Port-Harcourt – Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) office, Behind Wesham Filling Station, Camp Round About, Onne/Eleme Road, Onne, Port-Harcourt, Rivers State (contact: Mrs. Nwosu J. Uchechi – Staff of the Ministry, Phone – 08060621320).

“The notice further stated that screening of candidates will hold in Lagos 21st – 22nd September 2021, while that of Abuja will hold on the 24th September 2021 from 10, am t0 4 pm daily.

According to the notice, screening of candidates from the Western and Eastern ports will hold at the Rock View Hotels, Apapa on 21st and 22nd of September, 2021 from 10 am to 4 pm daily while screening of candidates from cargo airports/ land borders will hold at the Federal Ministry of Transportation Conference Room, 8th Floor, Abuja on Friday 24th September, 2021 from 10 am to 4 pm.

“While accreditation of candidates holds on 7th to 8th October 2021 in Abuja, the display of contestants’ list will be on the 8th October 2021 at the venue of the election, CRFFN office Abuja and Federal Ministry of Transportation office Abuja respectively.

“The election, according to the notice, is scheduled to hold on the 9th October 2021 at the National Women Centre, opposite CBN Headquarters, Abuja.

“It went on to state that the deadline on receipt of complaints arising from the election is scheduled to hold on Monday 11th October 2021 while the decision on all complaints received will be on Tuesday 12th October 2021.

“The notice advised all interested freight forwarders registered with the CRFFN to pay a non-refundable fee of five hundred thousand Naira (N500,000) for the nomination form into the CRFFN number and nomination form will be issued on presentation of a receipt of payment at the designated points of the two operational zones of the Council and the Federal Ministry of Transportation as indicated above.

“It provided the account details as follow:

“Account Name: Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria (CRFFN) TSAA AccountNumber: 0020494461014G GIFMISCODE: 0229006001

“In view of the above, all registered freight forwarders should adhere strictly to the election timetable by this publication of the notice. Also, note that guidelines for the conduct of the election would be given at the point of collecting nomination forms”, the circular concluded.

The outgoing governing board will go down in the history of the CRFFN as the most controversial, self-serving,  ineffective, inefficient, and laid-back council which tenure was substantially characterised by in-fighting and treachery.
It was a general consensus in the freight forwarding industry that the council did not add value to the professional well-being of average freight forwarders.
Rather, the council was busy pursuing its own self-serving agenda that was at variance with the welfare of its members.
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Customs

Tin Can Customs nets N574.3 billion in 2022 —–records N242.365 billion in exports

The Eyewitness reporter
The  Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has realized a sum 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 at weekend.

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.

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 carton 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 machetes.

“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, the 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 in the FOB to the 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 were 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.

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Economy

CBN succumbs  to pressure, extends use of old naira notes to February 10

The Eyewitness reporter
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has finally caved in to Public outcry over the February 1st deadline for the use of old naira notes when on Sunday, the apex bank announced February 10 as the new date.
Announcing the new deadline in a statement, Governor Central Bank Of Nigeria(CBN), Godwin Emefiele, said the decision to add extra 10 days was “to allow for the collection of more old notes”

Up till Saturday, CBN had insisted on the 31st January deadline for the validity of the old N200, N500 and N1,000 despite overwhelming complaints that the notes are either not available or in short supply in the banks or their Automated Teller Machines.

Last October, Emefiele announced the Naira redesign policy which entails the issuance of new notes to replace the existing N200, N500 and N1,000 series.

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Customs

”No container will leave Apapa Port without 100 percent physical examination”

 

declares Auwal Mohammed as he takes over as new Apapa Customs Area controller

—promises to surpass N1 trillion revenue mark

—vows not to facilitate non-compliant traders

 

The Eyewitness reporter

Despite the deployment of cargo scanning machines, the new area comptroller of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, has vowed that no container shall leave the Apapa port without a 100 percent physical examination.

Comptroller Mohammed, who formally took over the mantle of leadership of the command Friday, 27th, January 2023, from Ag. Assistant Comptroller-General of Customs(ACG) Malanta Ibrahim Yusuf, said that the decision to subject all cargo to physical examination was meant to account for every content of container passing through the command and to maximize revenue returns to the Federal Government.

He, therefore, warned non-compliant traders to steer clear of the command as he would not facilitate their trade as he desired to surpass the one trillion revenue mark achieved by the command under the former area controller Yusuf.

”We shall continue to conduct 100 percent physical examination of cargo so that we can account for all the cargo in the containers and to generate more revenue so that we can surpass the one trillion revenue collection that the command has already achieved. No package, no container should leave Apapa port without a proper 100 percent physical examination.” the new Comptroller told his officers who had gathered to welcome him.

He continued ”Today marks another era in the history of the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service. I am inheriting a well-structured area command. The level of achievements and status achieved under my predecessor will be sustained while I will look for all means to surpass them.

I am ready for the job. I am aware of the big shoe I am stepping into but I am well prepared for it”, Comptroller Mohammad said.

He, therefore, asked the officers to be at their utmost best to cooperate and work with him to sustain and surpass the legacies of his predecessor.

He also solicited the support and cooperation of stakeholders whom he promised to engage with and updated frequently on all issues and policies that will enhance their trade and performance of the command.

The new helmsman also charged all the releasing officers and the image analysts who will be conducting the scanning of cargo to be diligent and exhibit the utmost sense of responsibility and professionalism in their duty so as not to release uncustomed goods.

Mohammed, who was redeployed from Onne Port Area Command when he was the area controller, also enjoined the importers and their agents to be compliant with the cargo clearance procedural processes in order to enjoy a seamless cargo release.

”The goods clearance procedure is simple. Everything starts and ends with declaration and if there is a proper and correct declaration of cargo, there won’t be any need for delay and unnecessary interference with the process”, he admonished.

Earlier, the outgoing Area Controller, Ag. Yusuf, while handling over the operations and procedures of the command to his successor, solicited the support and cooperation of all the officers and other stakeholders for the new helmsman, urging them to avail the new comptroller of the same level of support, guidance, and cooperation and advice they gave him.

He also lauded the untiring efforts of his officers whom he said were instrumental in the monumental achievements recorded by the command under his watch.

Consequently, some officers who excelled in the discharge of their duties were commended and awarded certificates of merit, including the indefatigable Public Relations officer of the Command, CSC Abubakar Usman.

 

 

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