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SGF inducts, charges boards of NPA, other MDAs on diligence, due process

Mr. Boss Mustapha, SGF


Mr. Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) has called on newly appointed board members for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to ensure enhanced diligence, due process and effective public service delivery.

The SGF, represented by Mr Maurice Mbaeri, Permanent Secretary General Services in the SGF’s office made the call during a two-day induction programme for Chairmen and Members of governing Board of Federal Government Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, the programme, organised by the Bureau of Public Service Reforms (BPSR) in collaboration with Konard Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), aims to strengthen the capacity of Board members of federal parastatals and commissions on organisational effectiveness and cooperate governance.

“The programme aims to further deepen your understanding of the new policies, processes and procedures that have been introduced into the art of governance.

“This induction programme has become more significant at this time that the present Administration is fully committed to the entrenchment of good and purposeful governance in our country.

“As you are all aware, the Public Service that we all know remains the major service provider in Nigeria.

“It is the operating arm of Government with the responsibility of implementing policies and programmes that guarantee the efficient delivery of good governance and democratic dividends to citizens.

“It is, however, hierarchical in structure deriving its direction from the foremost decision-making body in the Federation, the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

“The affairs of Parastatals are superintended by a Governing Board, headed by a Chairman, to provide policy guidelines and liaise with the supervisory Ministry through the Permanent Secretary for effective monitoring, policy guidance and ensuring that Government policy directives relating to the functions of the Parastatal are carried out.

“It is, therefore, worthy of note that the day-to-day administration of the Parastatals is handled by a Chief Executive who doubles as the Accounting Officer.”

He expressed concern about some worrisome issues that were threatening the smooth operations of some MDAs such as:

“Disagreements on who is responsible for the day-to-day running of Parastatals and Agencies; disregard for extant regulations guiding\restricting the conduct of Board meetings and Interference in the function of the Office of the Chief Executive Officer.

“Issuing directives to staff without recourse to the Chief Executive Officer thereby creating disharmony amongst personnel.

“Initiating unlawful disciplinary measures against the Chief Executive without requisite guidance and approval from supervisory Ministry and Instigating the Labour Unions and Associations as agents of distraction in the Parastatals.”

According to him the observed poor and unhealthy relationships existing between Governing Boards and their Chief Executive Officers have become very worrisome to Government and are unacceptable.

“This could be avoided if Chairmen and Members of Governing Boards acquaint themselves with the instruments of the establishment of their respective organisations, where the role and responsibilities of the Board are prescribed,” Mbaeri said.

In his remarks, the Director-General of BPSR, Dr Dasuki Arabi, said the Induction was apt, especially in view of the growing concerns expressed about weak corporate governance practice and the struggle and misunderstanding among Board members in some Federal Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions.

“It is a known fact that while top-level Federal Civil Servants, such as Permanent Secretaries, Directors and their equivalent in the service grow through the Federal Civil Service and acquire varied public service knowledge and cognate experience in the conduct of government business, most members of Governing Boards of Federal Agencies largely lack such knowledge and experience.

“This is as a result of the fact that most of them are appointed from outside the public service, and assume duties in their respective agencies with limited knowledge of the workings of public service, corporate governance practices and conduct of government business.

“Note that Parastatals are important institutions because most citizens experience governance and service delivery directly through them.”

He said it was therefore imperative for the Federal Government to look into how to properly induct new appointees on the ethics and procedures of the Federal Public Service before or immediately after the assumption of office.

“In order to address this concern as well as respond to the numerous concerns from Federal Parastatals, Agencies and Commissions on matters relating to good corporate governance practices, the SGF directed the institutionalisation of the Induction Programme for members of Governing Boards and Chief Executive Officers in the Federal Public Service immediately they are appointed.

“It is in the foregoing context that this induction is taking place.

“So, members can gain an understanding of their roles, key responsibilities and the behaviour required of them in their respective organisations, both as individuals and as part of the Board’s collective responsibility.

“And how they can contribute effectively to promote good corporate governance practice in the agencies,” Arabi said.

For her part, Ms Marija Peran, Resident Representative of Konard Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) Nigeria said:

“The Foundation is a German political foundation, a non-governmental organisation.

“We are part of the official German development cooperation and thus funded by the German Government.

“We have established more than 100 offices worldwide and have been active in Nigeria for 20 years now.

“The focus of our work in Nigeria lies in the promotion of democratic governance and the rule of law and on security sector reform,” Peran said.

Mr Clem Agba, Minister of State for Budget and National Planning represented by Mr Philip Ugbodaga, Special Assistant Administration, congratulated the BPSR for the initiative, especially as the nation strives to overcome its economic and social challenges.

“The ability to overcome these challenges is predicated on good governance and good governance can only be achieved through the inherent capacities of those that lead the process of designing and implementing appropriate policies of government.

“Let me use this medium to acknowledge and appreciate the laudable contributions of KAS to the successful hosting of this training,” Agba said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Inductees include those for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC)

Other Board members inducted are those for the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and the National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA).

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Maritime media charges federal government on disbursement of controversial CVFF

President Tinubu
The Eyewitness Reporter
Worried by the stalemated disbursement of the controversial Cabotage Vessel Finance Fund (CVFF) which has lingered for so long, the League of Maritime Editors (LOME) has urged President Ahmed Tinubu to expedite action on the release of the funds to trigger the development of indigenous shipping industry.
The group also called for urgent rehabilitation of collapsed critical port infrastructure at the nation’s seaports.
The President of LOME,  Timothy Paul Okorocha, made these calls at the League’s 25th anniversary held in Lagos on Wednesday, with the theme ‘Harnessing Nigeria’s Potential in Marine & Blue Economy’,
While congratulating President Bola Tinubu for the further unbundling of the Ministry of Transportation and the establishment of the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, Okorocha appealed to the President to exercise the required political will to push further by ensuring that the routine talk about the rehabilitation of collapsed critical port infrastructure receives urgent executive attention.
“As development partners, the League looks forward to the effective participation of the respective agencies in the current administration’s renewed agenda template; and wants to see the Nigerian Ports Authority move away from the ritual of endless talk and lamentations into doing the needful, the reconstruction of broken down asset and infrastructure,” he said.
Also worried by the lingering delayed disbursement of the  CVFF, the League further urged President Ahmed Tinubu to provide the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Adegboyega Oyetola, and his ministry, the needed impetus to bring to an end, the unending rat race of the disbursement of the CVFF, saying that the fund established since 2003 would jump-start a new lease of life for the capacity development of indigenous ship-owners.
He added that this would enable Nigeria to participate meaningfully in seaborne trade; especially with the proposed commencement of the implementation policy of the blue economy.
The LOME President noted the genuine struggle by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and its leadership, especially under the present administration to disburse the CVFF but observed that the efforts suffered political disruptions.
“As insiders, the League over the years has seen the genuine struggle by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and its leadership, especially under the present administration to disburse the CVFF in its commitment to grow local capacity building, but observe the otherwise disruptive tendencies within the field of political play.
“We appeal to Mr. President to use his good offices to prevail on the relevant authorities to respond to the needs of our industry as there can be no better time than now,” he said.
 Speaking on the theme of the conference, Doctor Charles Okoroefe of Nigeria Maritime University also hailed the unbundling of the transportation ministry which he said was a misnomer.
He has decried the untapped potential of marine resources, especially in the area of tourism in Nigeria, regretting that marine tourism is lacking in Nigeria unlike in Gambia and the Caribbean where marine tourism is a major source of income where marine tourism rakes in billions of dollars.
“Egypt made about $14 billion in tourism from the Nile in 2022,” he added.
“People troop in into the Bahamas. Do we (Nigeria) have the potential? Yes. But the question is how prepared are we?” he queried.
He stressed that marine tourism is a solution in terms of job creation and that the time has come for Nigeria to progress from potential to actuality.
“So talking about job creation. All of these elements I mentioned are potential areas for job creation because it is a major issue in Nigeria today.
” A lot of young people are jobless. Meanwhile, we have an area that is green where a lot of jobs can be created.
“So I think we have to look at that potential area of driving our marine and Blue Economy,” Okoroefe stated.
He also called on the Ministry of Marine & Blue Economy to synergise with the Ministry of Agriculture to harness the potential of the sea.
 “So, I believe the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy has to synergise with the Ministry of Agriculture and also harness exotic seafood for export,” he explained, saying we cannot be depending on imports alone.
He urged the ministry to look at other fundamental seafood we have in excess that we can process through the rivers for export.
The marine expert regretted that Nigeria still imports palm oil from Malaysia, the same people who came to Nigeria to learn how to plant seedlings and today Nigeria is importing palm oil from Malaysia, “these are exportable items. So I believe the Ministry of Marine has to do a lot.
“With the Ministry of Agriculture for instance, with the Ministry of Power and the Ministry of Tourism, these are resources that we need to address in order for us to develop and come out of potential to thrive. On our ocean and marine resources, we’ve been talking endlessly.”
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Tantita refutes, describes  allegation of oil theft by Navy as libelous, defamatory 

Capt. Warredi Enisuoh
The Eyewitness Reporter 
Following an allegation of involvement in the alleged oil theft incident against Tantita Security Services Limited by the Nigerian Navy, the security outfit has described the accusation as laughable and an attempt by the Navy to cover up the truth.
The security outfit, which has received widespread commendation for its efforts in combatting the menace of oil theft in the country, debunked accusations of any involvement of its operatives in the incident while lampooning the Navy for underestimating its operatives.
Reacting to the development, the Executive Director – Operations and Technical, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, Capt. Warredi Enisuoh in a statement described the Navy’s claim as “defamatory and libelous”.
The statement said: “The activities going on inside the Nigerian Navy’s FalconEye should be investigated as the ship was only a few kilometers off the coast of Ondo State, well within view of the Nigerian Navy’s FalconEye, but they never reacted”.
“We are indeed saddened and disappointed that the Nigerian Navy could descend so low as to make such bizarre accusations against our organisation, knowing the same to be false,” he added.
“Perhaps they are not aware that video evidence of what transpired between the Tantita operatives and the Nigerian Navy at the scene exists and has been transmitted to the highest authorities.
“We will therefore not join issues with the Nigerian Navy as we are well aware that Nigerians know who is who.”
It would be recalled that the activities of Tantita and other security outfits have saved the country a whopping $43.2m from oil theft daily.
Recalled that on Thursday, December 7, 2023, the Nigerian Navy had disclosed that 17 people said to be engaged in the illegal siphoning of crude oil in Ondo State were nabbed aboard a 77-meter-long Motor Tanker (MT) VINNALARIS 1 Lagos.
Navy spokesperson, Commodore Adedotun Olukayode Ayo-Vaughan, disclosed in a statement, saying the suspects were nabbed at the Forward Operating Base (FOB) Igbokoda in the early hours of Thursday.
However, a day later, the Navy turned around to accuse Tantita Security Services Limited (TSSL) of complicity in the incident.
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As Customs elevates 357 junior officers, Adeniyi charges new graduates to trigger change through continuous learning

The Eyewitness Reporter
The Nigeria Customs Service has elevated 357 junior service staff from the ranks of Customs Assistant I (CAI) to Inspector of Customs (IC).
 This significant decision was ratified during the 7th management meeting of 2023, chaired by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adeniyi on December 1, 2023.
The comprehensive promotion list encompasses both the General Duty(GD) and Support Staff (SS) personnel who excelled in the 2023 promotion exercise.
The breakdown of promoted officers is as follows: AIC to IC (246) GD, AIC to IC (37) SS, CAI to AIC (39) GD, CAI to AIC (27) SS, CAII to CAI (7) SS, CAIII to CAII (1) GD.
According to the statement by the Customs’ National Public relations officer, Abdullahi Maiwada, the  strategic advancement mirrors the visionary leadership of the
Comptroller-General, emphasising motivation, recognising excellence, and rewarding diligence within the service.
In extending his heartfelt congratulations, Adeniyi urged
the newly promoted officers to redouble their efforts in fulfilling the service’s core mandates of Revenue Generation, Suppression of Smuggling, and Trade Facilitation.
In another development, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi has emphasized the significance of embracing continuous learning for the recently graduated officers from Senior Course 9 and Junior Course 17.
He made this statement during the passing out of the Customs graduates on 8 December 2023 at the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College Gwagwalada, Abuja,
The CGC, represented the  Deputy Comptroller General of Customs, Sa’idu Galadima, in charge of the Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), highlighted the importance of professionalism and integrity and urged the graduates to uphold high standards in their service.
He also encouraged them to use the opportunities in their various commands and take calculated risks.
ACG Kingsley Egwuh, the Commandant of the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College Gwagwalada praised the graduates for their dedication towards the betterment of the service and the nation.
Expressing satisfaction with their 100% success rate, he emphasized diverse training areas, including academic standards, proficiency, and weapon handling.
He said, “All graduates should give their careers a purposeful meaning, shun all vices against growth and development, and uphold the motto of the Nigeria Customs Service, which is Justice and Honesty.”
The Commandant revealed ongoing projects, including replacing dilapidated chairs in the college hall and installing solar panels.
ACG Egwu, while praising the graduates, expressed optimism that the acquired training would enhance their performance. He thanked CGC Adeniyi and his Management Team for their unwavering support, including approving an African Study Tour to Gambia, Ghana, Mozambique, and Tunisia.
Deputy Commandant and Director of Studies, Comptroller  Oluyomi Adebakin, stated that the curriculum of the Senior and Junior courses aims to develop human capacity and establish a more effective and efficient Customs allocation. She highlighted the dedication to enhancing officers’ skills and abilities with a high level of moral standards.
The Special Guest of Honor, Senator Isah Echocho, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Customs and Excise, highlighted the global economic challenges and stressed the importance of positively impacting society. He expressed hope that the graduates’ ability to advance in technological advancements would contribute to elevating Nigeria’s economy.
Similarly, The college hosted a regimental dinner night to honor the graduates of Senior Course 9 and Junior Course 17. The evening celebrated academic achievements and underscored the disciplined ethos of the Nigeria Customs Service.
Amidst the regimental splendor, the night served as a reminder of the service’s proud heritage and the graduates’ responsibility to carry forward the torch of discipline and tradition.
The structured rituals and ceremonial aura encapsulated the ethos of the Nigeria Customs Service, providing a fitting culmination to the accomplishments of Senior Course 9 and Junior Course 17.
The evening concluded with a sense of accomplishment and pride, marking not only the end of academic pursuits but also the beginning of a journey for these graduates to carry forward the values of the Nigeria Customs Service with honor and dedication.
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