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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.
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Headlines

IGP grieves over assault on policewoman

Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola

 

— orders prosecution of culprits
 Owolola Adebola

The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba,  has strongly condemned the grievous assault of a female Police Officer, Inspector Teju Moses, by her principal who is a Legal practitioner and human rights activist, Prof. Zainab Duke Abiola and her domestic staff comprising the housemaid, one Rebecca Enechido and a male suspect currently at large.

Zainab Duke, a Mbaise-born activist, grievously assaulted her orderly in the company of some accomplices on Tuesday 20th September 2022 at her residence in Garki, Abuja, due to the refusal of the orderly to breach professional ethics by carrying out menial and domestic chores at her house.

The IGP also directed the express prosecution of the arrested suspects who are currently in Police custody, as the preliminary investigation shows overwhelming evidence of culpability on the part of the Professor and her domestic staff.

The IGP has equally tasked the investigative team to ensure that the fleeing suspect is arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.

It is pertinent to clarify that the suspect, Prof. Zainab, who name-drops the IGP, his family members, and other officers in the top hierarchy of the Force has no acquaintance with the Police in any form as erroneously peddled on social media.

The Inspector-General of Police who similarly ordered the withdrawal of all Police personnel attached to the Professor expressed consternation at the fact that an individual who claims to be an advocate for Human Rights could stoop so low as to violate the rights of another individual, a police officer tasked with ensuring her protection.

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Customs

Customs collects N1.7trn  revenue in 8 months

CGC, Ali

 

–embarks on aggressive revenue hunts to meet target

The Eyewitness reporter

The Nigeria Customs Service has collected a whooping sum of  N1,755,386,486,390.02  as revenue in the first eight months of the year spanning January and August.

The service made the highest monthly earnings of N241,903,781,854.46 in August as the service intensifies its aggressive revenue drive to meet the expectations of the Federal Government which has come to rely on the revenue from the service to fund its critical project.

This follows the diversification of government to non-oil sectors and expands its tax base due to the dwindling revenue from the oil sector.
The revenue in the first eight months of 2022 is N363,436,321,614.95 higher than N1,391,950,164,775.97 the customs collected in the corresponding period of 2021.

Abuja has increased its focus on non-oil revenue sources, prompting higher expectations from revenue collection agencies such as the NCS, Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), among others.

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Headlines

Jamoh wears OFR diadem as Buhari confers national honour on NIMASA DG

 

The Eyewitness reporter 
The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr Bashir Jamoh, has expressed deep appreciation to President Mohammed Buhari for being conferred with one of the highest national honours in Nigeria, Officer of the Order of the Federal Republic (OFR).

The Office of the Honourable Minister, Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Senator George Akume, has conveyed this good news to Dr Jamoh in a letter of Award which has slated the investiture ceremony for the International Conference Center (ICC), Abuja on Monday, 10th October 2022.

Recall that Dr. Jamoh had served the Nigerian maritime sector as an administrator for over 30 years when he was appointed by President Buhari as the NIMASA DG in March 2020.

Since that time, he has overseen the successful deployment of the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure otherwise known as the Deep Blue Project which has played a major role in achieving a reduction of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea to its barest minimum since 1994 and culminating in Nigeria being removed from the infamous piracy red list by the International Maritime Bureau, IMB.

A hallmark of his tenure at the helm of NIMASA has been his institutionalization of collaboration among stakeholders, within and outside the country, to achieve significant milestones in the sector.

One notable example of this is his initiation of the Gulf of Guinea Maritime Collaboration Forum/ Shared Awareness and De-confliction (GOG-MCF/SHADE), which has demonstrated the positive outcomes of information sharing among regional and non-regional military forces in achieving a secure maritime space.

Reacting to the news on his social media handle, Dr Jamoh expressed gratitude for being considered for the honour stating:

“Words cannot express how humbled I feel to be so considered for the National Honour as an Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR).

“When I began my maritime journey 30 years ago, little did I know that Almighty Allah would so favour me to rise to the position of NIMASA DG, let alone to be considered for one of the highest honours in the land”.

Dr Jamoh especially thanked His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari, and the Standing Committee on National Honours Award for deeming him worthy of the honour while also appreciating everyone who had supported him throughout his tenure as NIMASA Director General, especially the maritime stakeholders.

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