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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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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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