Connect with us

Headlines

Incredible! 26 illegal checkpoints exist between Apapa port and Ijora — PSTT

From L-R, Dr Tijani, Emmanuel Jimi and Eniola William
Eyewitness reporter
The Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) has raised the alarm over the level of corruption going on along the port access roads which has played a major role in the malignant traffic gridlock along that corridor.
Moses Fadipe, the Coordinator of the Team, disclosed that there are no fewer than 26 illegal checkpoints between the Apapa port corridor and Sifax bonded terminal, Ijora, a distance of less than two kilometres.
Mr Fadipe was speaking Thursday at the flag-off of “Operation  Free The Port Corridor” which is an exercise meant to clear the port access roads of impediments to the free flow of vehicles along the corridors.
The Task Team is an offshoot of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM) which was launched in 2021 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to improve the ranking of Nigeria on the global corruption index.
The Team, which started with the Joint boarding of vessels to improve the turnaround time of vessels, has also been to the terminals to ensure that terminal operators and other players in the cargo clearance chains play the game according to the rules to ensure timely release of cargo from the terminals with minimal delay.
The third leg of the campaign was the operation free port corridor that is meant to complement and consolidate the successes achieved in the two previous phases.
At the Thursday flag-off ceremony, the Federal Ministry of Transportation applauded the Task Team for reducing the vessel turnaround time at the seaports from five hours to 90 minutes.
Speaking at the flag-off of the Operation Free the Port Corridor, by the Port Standing Task Team, a committee under the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Transportation,Dr Madgalene Ajani, who represented Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, lauded the efforts, saying the time used in resolving importers complaints have also reduced from 10 days to four hours.

According to her, the reduction in berthing and complaint time has helped in boosting the ease of doing business, as well as efficiency in the seaport.

Dr Ajani, who flagged off the exercise, however, said in order to free the port corridor, it must be done holistically and with the support of other agencies.

“To free the port corridor, the key thing is that we have to do things holistically and that treatment is what we are trying to achieve.

 The aim of this holistic achievement is for us to achieve ease of doing business in Nigerian ports and the corridors.

“So, it takes all of us here to agree that we can do this and to be able to achieve this, we need to have a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), that we need to follow.

“The SOP is not conscripting everybody to follow one person’s SOP, It puts into cognisance, the SOP of all operating agencies in the port and that is why we are talking about the NPPM.
” The NPPM will put everybody’s SOP into focus and we come together as a team to achieve results.”

She also commended the presidential standing committee on what has been achieved in the last one year.

She said the feat could not have been achieved by the activities of only just one person, but everyone.

 “December 2020, we stormed Apapa and we could not even navigate.
“We came by water from Marina and even to drive out from Apapa Port to Tin-Can to see what is going on was very difficult.
” And after that, we constituted a project development implementation team and everybody was working to see that goods for Christmas go to the user and January, February 2021, the whole thing clamped down.
“And the question is will we ever be able to clear Apapa corridor and I can boldly say that we are moving forward.

“I am recounting this so that we know that we have achieved something because there is a tendency to say how much we have achieved, but the issue is can we sustain this?

“This problem is as long as 14 years. The key thing is that we have to do things holistically and that treatment is what we are trying to achieve.
” The aim of this holistic achievement is for us to achieve ease of doing business in Nigeria ports and the corridors”

Speaking earlier, the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers Council,  Emmanuel Jime, said the task team was set up for the purpose of removing illegal checkpoints and shanties along the Ports’ Corridors.

He, however, applauded the support and level of buy-in obtained from the stakeholders, especially the public and private sectors.

” It just goes to demonstrate how all of us are eager to rid the Ports’ Corridors of the anomalies we witness daily.

“I am particularly excited because of the level of buy-in obtained from the stakeholders coming from both the public and private sectors.

” It just goes to demonstrate how all of us are eager to rid the Ports’ Corridors of the anomalies we witness daily.

“I congratulate you on having succeeded in forming this group as an enlarged task team for the purpose of removing illegal checkpoints and shanties along the Ports’ Corridors.

“It is a great honour for me to deliver this address of welcome. It is especially gratifying because of the spread of representation we have in the gathering from different bodies that we consider as key partners in the pursuit of what we set out to achieve.”

“This exercise, which is about to be flagged-off tagged “Operation Free the Ports’ Corridors” is fittingly named.

” Indeed, the Ports’ Corridors are not free; the traffic does not have a free flow, the shanties are not freeing spaces for a conducive business environment, and the unnecessary checkpoints obviously do not make for an atmosphere free of extortion and other forms of corrupt practices.”

“This exercise is going to be the third in the series of activities of the task team since its inception in March 2021.

“The team began its monitoring and enforcement mandate at the Joint Boarding of vessels operations where they ensured adherence to the provisions of the Nigerian Port Process Manual (NPPM).”

“Following the success of the first phase, the team moved to the Terminals in its second phase of activities to ensure a new culture of Joint Cargo Examination in compliance with the NPPM to foster global best practices.

“Today marks the implementation of the third phase as we embark on sanitizing the Ports’ Corridors,”
Jimi promised to support the team to achieve its mandate and called on other stakeholders to support the tea.
According to Fadipe, the Team on the Operation Free The Port Corridor is an enlarged one comprising 180 personnel drawn from various agencies and security organisations.
The event was attended by the representatives of Customs, Police, NPA, Lagos States, ICPC, SSS, truck owners, maritime labour, Apapa Local Government Chaiman, and other stakeholders in the maritime industry.
Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Customs

Freight Forwarders applaud Customs over new VIN valuation

—- as reworked policy comes on stream Friday
Eyewitness reporter
In a rare show of satisfaction and mutual agreement, the highly critical freight forwarders have applauded the Nigeria Customs Service over the new Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy.
The new vehicle valuation, which was first introduced about two months ago, was greeted with uproar from the freight forwarders who described the policy as inhuman and unrealistic due to the high values it placed on vehicles.
This led to the suspension of the system by the customs authority which thereafter reworked and improved the policy by accommodating the observations and grievances of freight forwarders.
At the second stage of the demonstration and sensitization of stakeholders on the new VIN valuation held at the Apapa Customs command Thursday, the freight Forwarders were full of praises for the customs over the improved valuation system which they all agreed has addressed and accommodated their views.
“This is very good. The new VIN valuation system has accommodated all our observations, even though there is room for improvement.
“It has taken care of the savage vehicles and accidented vehicles, which the first VIN didn’t consider”, Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and one of the most critical voices of the system, said.
Earlier, the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, who is the host, enjoined the stakeholders to take full advantage of the automated system which he said would make goods clearance procedure seamless and faster.
While welcoming the stakeholders to the sensitization meeting, Comptroller Yusuf urged them to be compliant with the extant guidelines to enable them to enjoy the benefits of the new system.
He assured them help desk would be created in each of the commands to help resolve the teething problems that are bound to crop up, adding that there would be continuous engagement and improvement on the new valuation policy.
He told the appreciative stakeholders that the VIN valuation policy is irreversible and will be deployed this Friday, May 20th, 2022.
Comptroller Festus Okun, the Customs Area Controller of Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command said the Customs, through the VIN valuation, has imbibed basic principles of taxation which include predictability, neutrality, simplicity, and efficiency.

Comptroller Kunle Oloyede of Tin Can Island Port,  described VIN as a platform for robust gathering of statistical analysis and data for national economic purposes relying on the template of accuracy that will further integrate NCS with other ministries, departments and agencies.

Comptroller Hammi Swomen of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, who sought more cooperation from all stakeholders, stated that sincere declarations without tampering with relevant information contained in Single Goods Declaration or mismatching information will aid in quicker clearance and seamlessness of the VIN system.

Comptroller Anthony Udenze of the Tariff and Trade Department at Customs headquarters urged vehicle importers and their agents to avoid acts that would delay the process of clearing.

He explained that the process of identifying salvage and accident vehicles under the VIN regime would be very transparent as the declarant would be expected to attach photos showing the accidented vehicles.

He further explained that for vehicles to be treated as accidented, the chassis must be affected by the accident not just by removing fenders, bumpers and headlamps.

However, Farinto called for true declaration and compliance on the part of freight forwarders. w2hivh he said will facilitate their clearance of goods and also made the Customs to introduce more changes such as auto release for used vehicles.

Comptroller Yusuf promised that the issue of auto release of used vehicles, which is not yet accommodated in the new system, will be looked into by the Customs High Command.
The new improved VIN valuation policy has therefore addressed most of the major concerns of stakeholders who said they couldn’t wait to start using the system.
The new system has been given a human face as the assessed values are adjudged as fair and the process transparent by the freight forwarders.
It has also considered the two options of salvage vehicles and accidented vehicles.
It is harmonisation and unification of all the hitherto isolated different values at the commands.
According to Comptroller Udenze, the new VIN valuation considers all the variants and series of all vehicles.
The technological system, which is expected to promote trade facilitation, has also been amended to reflect the reduction in the value of vehicles..

Continue Reading

Foreign

U.S. picks 56 young Nigerians for Mandela Washington Fellowship

US President, Joe Biden
Continue Reading

Headlines

Prophet Akinpelu calls  for Southeast presidency

Prophet Oludele Akinpelu,

 

—condemns  criminal silence of politicians on Deborah’s death

Adebayo Obajemu

Popular prophet, Oludele Akinpelu, the presiding pastor of Living God Freedom Church  Àlagbado, has urged the political class to play by the rules and allow equity and justice to have a foothold, saying that it was time for the political system to allow for the president of Igbo extraction.

He made this call in a press release at the end of his annual 41- day of prayers and fasting.
The popular prophet noted for prophetic utterances which normally come to pass added that for the sake of equity and fairness, the Southeast of the country should be allowed to produce the next president of the country.
” For the sake of equity and justice, I urge all presidential contenders from all parts of the country in all the parties to withdraw for Southeast candidates who will then sort themselves out in the primary.
” A nation can not survive if it is built on injustice, honestly, my heart is with the people of the southeast on the issue of the 2023 presidential ticket.
” And I know I’m not alone in this. Pa Ayo Adebanjo expressed a similar sentiment. That’s the way to go if this country must survive.”
He also condemned politicians for not speaking out in the case of Deborah Samuel, who was murdered by fellow students at the Shehu Shagari College of Education for allegedly making derogatory comments on Prophet Mohammed.

” We must condemn jungle justice, if the lady had done something wrong let the court of competent jurisdiction decides.

“The two religions – Islam and Christianity have respect for the sanctity of human life, so I can’t understand where the murderers got their inspiration.
“Even the respected Sheikh Gumi said as much that Prophet Mohammed was insulted severally but he didn’t do anything harmful to his traducers.
“We must be guided by respect for law in our action.”
 The respected prophet urged the political class to put their house in order and do the needful to take the country out of economic hardship, insecurity, and pervasive poverty that pervade the land, warning that God’s anger is on those bent on sponsoring crises and insecurity in the country.

He  declared that “unless politicians repent and  seek the face of the Lord, sudden punishment awaits them for bringing the country to a shameful low in the eyes of the international community through their ill-thought-out economic policies, greed, self-aggrandizement and lack of concern for the welfare of citizens who entrusted them with power and representation.”

In his message to Nigerians, he urged the people to repent and seek the path of righteous living, adding that the current insecurity situation in the country calls for concerted prayers on the side of both Christians and Moslems.

It could be recalled that last June in his open-air crusade in Ikare Akoko which attracted over five hundred thousand people, he prophesied that the ravaging Coronavirus pandemic would wane in Nigeria from the first quarters of 2023, he also said that unless fervent prayers were offered, a notable religious leader in Nigeria would die in the first quarters of this year. All the prophecies have since come to pass.

He attributed the worsening insecurity in the country to the activity of forces of darkness who are bent on foisting a sinister agenda on the country, cashing in on poverty and illiteracy to recruit an army of jobless illiterates to carry out their agenda.

He blamed the current administration for not doubling down on countermeasures against bandits, wondering why the administration is reluctant to name individuals fingered as sponsors of banditry, but added that divine punishment awaited those sponsoring insecurity which had led to the loss of lives of innocent citizens of the country.

Continue Reading

Trending

%d bloggers like this: