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Lekki Deep Sea Port: Another Apapa port beckons

—–as Amaechi confesses  FG too broke to connect seaport with rail
Eyewitness reporter
The Lekki Deep Sea Port, the first and biggest port facility in the West Africa sub-region, may become another Apapa port that is notorious for its malignant traffic gridlock.
This is because the multi-billion dollars port facility will not be after all linked with the much-anticipated rail line meant to decongest the already congested Lekki-Ajah road.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has confessed that the Federal Government lacks the financial capacity to undertake such a rail project.
Amaechi make this startling revelation when he undertook an inspection tour of the port complex which is expected to be completed in June and functional by September, this year.

The Minister, who was in the company of the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, and the Permanent Secretary of transportation ministry, Dr Ajani Magdalene, lamented that in as much as he would have loved to link the port with the rail line, the paucity of funds has incapacitated the Federal Government to do so.
“As a Minister of Transportation, I imagined a lot of things that I could have implemented.
“I imagined that the Lagos-Calabar rail line would start from here, that was my imagination, but, the Lagos-Calabar rail project needs $11.1 billion funding but, there were no such funds at the moment for the project”, he lamented,
The Minister’s confession has now put paid to the expectation of industry stakeholders who advised and recommended that to avoid the recreation of the notorious Apapa gridlock at Lekki deep seaport, the facility, as a matter of expediency, must be connected with a rail line.
According to them, this is necessary in order not to further exacerbate the already congested Lekki-Ajah road.
However, the Minister advised the port contractors to invest in the rail sector, adding that the government will either do tax reduction or do something to help them.”Another advice I could give is if they want to invest, they can invest in rail and then the government will either do tax reduction or do something to help them.

“If we get the 11.1billion as it is, we would probably have to divert the rail line, because Lagos-Calabar rail line actually goes into Lagos city, we can divert it to come to the seaport in Lekki,” he stated.

The minister further disclosed that Lekki deep seaport, when completed and operational, would contribute $360 billion to the Nigerian economy over the course of 45 years.

He said the deep seaport was “a privately funded project, over time, they (contractors), will collect their revenue from the commercial activities before they hand over to the Federal Government.

“But obviously, taxes will be collected here, even they (contractors) will pay taxes, I am not sure there were any taxes mentioned in the agreement, but I doubt if there is any tax exemption.

“So, we will collect taxes here, the confidence in giving them the project is because of the taxes that we will collect here that will help us in the construction of other projects.”

Amaechi, further explained that the contractors will have to recover the money they invested in the project, stating that “in financial terms, in the process of recovering their money, they will contribute to the GDP of the nation annually”.

He said the project will contribute over “$360 billion over the years. It sounds much, but we actually need more of that money to accomplish what we want to achieve.”

On the expansion of the seaport, the Minister complained that the port was not spacious enough to accommodate high-level economic activities in years to come.

“It also depends on how much the economy will grow before then. The growth of the economy will put pressure on the expansion.

“The argument we had in the cabinet is that the need for a deep seaport at Lekki was a result of the fact that the demand for port activities in the country has exceeded the supply of Tincan and Apapa around Lagos.

“This is the first deep seaport in Nigeria, what we had all this while are river ports, the Tincan is a river port, the Apapa is a river port and port Harcourt.

“Right here you have 16.5 meters drafts which are good for the country, but the country needs more than just one of these ports because of the increase in commercial activities in the future.
“We need just more than Lagos deep seaport and for me, before I leave office, I will emphasise on the construction of the Bonny deep seaport,” he stated.Amaechi revealed that the deep port will be completed in June and operational by September 2022.

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Customs

WCO commends Adeniyi for transformational leadership of Customs 

Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has received a commendation from the World Customs Organisation (WCO) Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB) East and Southern Africa for its exceptional performance under the leadership of Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi.
In a letter of commendation signed by WCO Director Larry Liza, the organisation hailed the NCS’s remarkable 74% growth in revenue over the past year, marking a significant milestone in customs administration.
“We extend our warmest congratulations to Comptroller-General Adewale Adeniyi and the Nigeria Customs Service for achieving a 74% growth in revenue in the last year. This outstanding feat has not gone unnoticed and stands as a testament to your dedication and effective leadership,” stated Larry Liza.
 Despite challenging security conditions, The WCO highlighted the NCS’s exemplary achievements across various fronts, including revenue collection, trade facilitation, societal protection, and stakeholder collaboration.
 “Under Comptroller-General Adeniyi’s guidance, the Nigeria Customs Service has demonstrated commendable resilience and innovation, particularly in streamlining operations and enforcing critical directives for the benefit of the nation,” remarked Larry Liza.
“We applaud the NCS’s proactive measures against smuggling and other illicit activities, which have reinforced border security and contributed to Nigeria’s economic stability.”
“We continue to draw inspiration from Comptroller-General Adeniyi’s leadership, which transcends borders and exemplifies excellence in customs management. Our congratulations extend to his team, stakeholders, and the entire nation of Nigeria,” added Larry Liza.
The WCO’s recognition underscores the global impact of Nigeria’s Customs reforms and reinforces its commitment to learning from and supporting successful strategies in customs administration under CG Adewale Adeniyi’s leadership.
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Headlines

CIoTA seeks collaboration with NIMASA, pays homage to Mobereola.

Dayo Mobereola, NIMASA DG

Funso Olojo 

The Executives of the Chartered Institute of Transportation Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) paid a visit to the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dayo Mobereola, at the NIMASA Towers in Lagos.

The executives, led by the President, Mr. Segun Obayendo, congratulated the DG on his appointment and pledged to collaborate with the agency in ensuring the transportation sector is professionally driven.

On his part, the DG welcomed the association and expressed the Agency’s readiness to partner with CIoTA towards achieving a robust transport sector.

Dr. Dayo Mobereola, the NIMASA DG, was conferred with a fellowship of the institute.

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Customs

Tin Can Customs generates N575.5bn in six month

Funso Olojo 
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tincan Island Port Command (TIPC) has generated N575.5 billion in revenue in the first half of the year 2024.
The Customs Area Controller, TIPC, Comptroller Dera Nnadi said this at a media conference held at the Maritime Reporter Association of Nigeria (MARAN) secretariat in Apapa, Lagos.
According to Nnadi, this is an improvement by N315.24 billion and represents a 221.13 per cent increase from the half year report in 2023 which had N260.26 billion.
“As at today, July 12, the command has generated N627 billion and we have been given a target of N1.403 trillion. This shows that significant efforts have been made in the command in meeting the target.
“TCIP operations in the last six months significantly aligned with the statutory functions of the Service in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement/anti-smuggling activities.
“The command’s operations were performed in consciousness of the theme of the 2024 International Customs Day, ‘‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose’.
“The command further enhanced the existing operational process to conform to the malady of the floating exchange rate regime with the use of technology made available by the NICIS II Software,” he said.
On enforcement, Nnadi noted that the command coordinated several 100 per cent physical examination under his supervision in collaboration with critical stakeholders to ensure that the command was freed of any form of non-compliance to the international trade cycle.
“Items discovered as concealments and seized during the period under review are one RZ17HD – 20P9964 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P9962 – rifle, one GAMO – T660739 – rifle, one pump action – MV0830249 – rifle, one RZ17TACTICAL – 30H21PT011992 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P9929 – rifle, one pump action – MV0830253 – rifle.
“Others  are one pump action – MV0830839 – rifle, one RZ17HD – 20P10115 – rifle, one pump action – V1690019 – rifle, one pump action – 52-H21PT – 3803 – rifle, one  RZ17HD – 20P9951 – rifle, one SAR9 SARSILMARZ T1102-21BV63826 – pistol, one RUGER AMERICAN PISTOL 9MM.
“Others listed: one SAR9 SARSILMARZ T1102-21BU51078 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADA 799424 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADC 122309 – pistol, one TAURUS G3C – BAIN BRIDGE, GA ADB 941276 – pistol.
“Also intercepted are one used Toyota Corolla Chassis Number: 5YFBURH1EP09601: 2014 model, Sterling High Quality shot gun cartridges green (12 cal 32 grams – 10packs of 25 pieces each), Sterling High Quality shot gun cartridges green (12 cal 30 grams – 20packs of 25 pieces each and 23 extra pieces).
“Included in the list are Seller & Bellot  Buck Shot – 55 pieces, Crossman Co2 12 gram cartridges – 123 pieces, 1USP CO2 Air Gun Pistol with Accessories Cal. 117 (4.5mm) BB, units of Mace Pepper Gun, to Department of State Services (DSS) for further agency function,” he said.
He said that during the period under review three plastic drums were intercepted concealed with several packets of Cannabis Indica, 46 bags containing 2,144 packets of cannabis indica all weighing 1,072kg seized from 1x40ft Container No. GAOU 669921/5 imported from Canada.
“The approximate street value of   the illicit substances is N3.216 billion.
“Also, 877 cartons of Barcadin cough syrup with codeine – 200 bottles of 100ml per carton and 82 cartons of Really Extra Diclofenac Sodium 50mg tablets – 600 packs per carton imported from India was seized.
“The approximate street value of the cough syrup is N964.33 million,” he said.
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