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 Minister praises Buhari on interventions in transport industry

The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo has lauded President Muhammadu Buhari over his developmental programme in the transport sector.
The minister gave this commendation on Monday while reading the scorecard of the President on what he described as “Strategic interventions” designed in the transportation sector.
The Minister presented 2015 till date scorecard at the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture Press Centre, Radio House, Abuja
Sambo said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration recognised the role of Transportation in socio-economic development and identified it as the fourth of the nine priority areas of his administration.
He said the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration in the transportation sector has undoubtedly contributed to the growth of the economy as transportation plays a critical role in the growth and sustainability of other areas of the economy.
These areas according to him are;  wealth creation, improving access to agricultural production centres and markets, movement of raw materials and distribution of finished products.
“Other areas are; facilitating tourism as well as domestic and international trade, sustainability of mining and the extractive industry as well as being a major support base in contributing to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Nation.
“To underpin the critical role of transportation, the administration has made transportation infrastructure a priority both in its Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP 2017-2020) and the National Development Plan (NDP 2021-2025),” he said.
The Honourable Minister said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has provided a safe and secure maritime border to prevent illegal activities on Nigeria’s waterways.
“The ministry in its versatile and intermodal mandate has taken charge of the safety and security of the nation’s international waters, inland waterways and railway corridors in collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders.
“Some of the implemented interventions include the Integrated National Security and Waterways Protection Infrastructure which is the Deep Blue Project.
“The Deep Blue Project prevents illegal activities in Nigeria’s Maritime waters, thereby aiding regional security in the Gulf of Guinea and MOWCA jurisdictions,” he said.
The Minister added that one of the interventions also includes the passage Of The Suppression Of Piracy And Other Maritime Offenses (SPOMO) Act, 2019 Into Law.
He said the support of President Buhari helped the Transportation Sector achieve the Development of Inland Waterways Transportation as a viable alternative mode:
Sambo added that the Transportation Sector has also done well on railways Infrastructure and railway safety and security.
“Within the period under review, the moribund commercial railway services in Nigeria were resuscitated by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari as locomotives and coaches were procured and others refurbished.
“Safety and security are further enhanced through the provision of the latest Signal Communication Equipment and Solutions.
“This includes strengthening of the Nigerian Railway Police Command through an increase in numbers and specialized training and the provision of adequate logistics assets for high mobility and technology-based security architecture,” he said.
He said President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration didn’t leave out the development of ports infrastructure which includes The Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Badagry Deep Sea Port
“The existing Seaports are being maintained in conformity with IMO standards and conventions,” he added.
Sambo also commended the President Buhari-led administration for signing treaties and agreements that facilitate the smooth movement of goods and persons as well as promoting trade and transport through the removal of physical and non-physical barriers among member states.
On “Development of Local Capacity”, Sambo said the PMB-led administration has continued to ensure the sustained development of requisite manpower for the sector through the Institute of Transport Technology and the Maritime Academy of Nigeria.
On Job Creation, he said “the Programmes, Projects, Initiatives and Interventions carried out within the period in focus created massive direct skilled and unskilled jobs and millions of indirect jobs in the various subsectors supervised by the Ministry.”
He added that a sustainability plan is also in the pipeline with best practices in the sector for massive infrastructure development going on in the sector.
“The President Muhammadu Buhari-led Administration has made giant strides in bridging the infrastructural deficit in the transportation sector.
“This includes the railway modernization programme, the deep sea ports development programme, the inland dry port initiative, job creation, and introduction of favourable policies to mention but a few.
“The sector is far from perfect, but the interventions on the ground will serve as a veritable template for the incoming administration to build upon,” he added.
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Freight Monitor

ANLCA cracks

Emenike Nwekeoji , ANLCA President
–ASECO chair resigns, cites internal pressure, backbiting, distrust
— insurrection at MMIA chapter as coup against chairman foiled 
The Eyewitness Reporter
Six months after the highly factionalized elections which brought in the duo of Emenike Nwekeoji and Olusegun Oduntan as the National President and Vice President respectively of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) in September 2023, the graveyard peace which heralded the pyrrhic victory seems to have ruptured.
The fragile peace, which was the fallout of the five years of bitter and intractable war that sent the oldest freight forwarding association to a state of inertia, now seems to have given way to distrust, bickering, animosity, suspicion and repressed anger among the top echelon of the association.
To underline the smouldering fresh crisis that has hit the association, Nze Aloy Emeka Igwe, the Chairman of the Association Elections Committee(ASECO )of ANLCA, has resigned his appointment.
In his letter of resignation dated 27th, February 2024 and addressed to the National President, Emenike Nwekeoji, Igwe, in a voice laden with regret and bitterness, cited extraneous influence, backbiting, under current and lack of trust” as the reasons why he called it quit.
“ASECO as presently constituted depicts a divided house due to the extraneous influence and pressure.
” The under current, the backbiting and lack of trust within and without ASECO have caused me to review my membership and chairmanship of the committee.
“I have deeply addressed my thoughts to this, consulted my family, friends and associates and decided that my time with ASECO is irreversibly over.
“There is no energy, no motivation left in me to continue to work under the prevailing regrettable circumstances” Igwe bemoaned.
A few days after the resignation of the highly traumatized ASECO chairman, a coup was played out at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport chapter of the association where one Chief Bola Ashiru Balogun, one of the defeated candidates of the chapter elections staged an unsuccessful coup to unseat the incumbent chairman, Bangbala Adewusi, Monday, March 4th,2024.
In a commando-like style, Chief Bola Balogun came into the Chairman’s office with officers of the Police Force from the Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2, Onikan.
According to an eyewitness account, on the strength of a petition of threat to Life against the Chairman, the Chairman, Chief Adewusi followed them to the Zonal Headquarters
“While the Chairman was away to Zone 2, Chief Bola Balogun allegedly came with hoodlums and area boys to forcefully break into the office of the Chairman and seize power forcefully on the strength of a May 2023 court judgement, which has been appealed and is currently being heard by the Appeal Court”
However, the attempt to unseat Chief Adewusi, who sources said was an unpopular chairman foisted  on the chapter by the cabal in ANLCA, was thwarted by members of the Task Force, led by the CSO, Mr. Maxwell Onyemachi, and other well-meaning members of the chapter loyal to the embattled chairman.
However, the last is yet to be head of the failed coup at the MMIA chapter as a group loyal to Chief Ashiru Balogun has promised to relaunch the attack on the Chairman, Chief Adewusi who they regarded as a puppet of the cabal in the association.
Stakeholders feared that the recent happening in the association may have signaled the slide of ANLCA back to another round of crisis which has ravaged the war-weary group for five years before its graveyard peace that is now shortlived.
The ANLCA President, Emenike Nwekeoji, through the Sectary of the Association, Olumide Fakanlu, “has graciously accepted the resignation letter of the highly embittered ASECO chairman.
In his acceptance letter dated March 1st, 2024 and signed by Fakanlu, the ANLCA President said the letter was received with mixed feelings but nonetheless, it was graciously accepted while wishing Emeka Igwe well in his future endeavours, thus signaling the resumption of hostilities in the acclaimed oldest freight forwarding Association in Nigeria’s maritime industry
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Headlines

Tantita Seizures: Court orders forfeiture of MT Kali to FG

The Eyewitness Reporter 
Private security outfit, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (TSSNL), has added another major win for the nation in collaboration with the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) in a landmark judgement, as the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered the forfeiture of an illegal crude oil vessel, MT Kali and its content to the Federal Government.
Securing this judgement is the first scenario in recent times when oil thieves and their barons are being prosecuted and brought to book as 20 crew members, including community boys’ accomplices, were arrested in the operation.
The police in the Charge NO. FHC/ABJ/CR/18/2024 B/W: INSPECTOR GENERAL OF POLICE V. MT KALI & 22 ORS, had arraigned the vessel and its 22 crew members before the Federal High Court, presided over by Justice J.O. Abdulmalik.
Justice Abdulmalik granted the motion for the interim forfeiture of MT Kali & her content to the Federal Government.
However, the arraignment of the suspects was stalled as they were not produced in court by the office of the Chief of Defence Staff.
All efforts by the prosecuting counsel to convince the court to issue a production warrant to be served on the military authorities for the production of the defendants on 18th March 2024 being the next adjournment date or at least the issue of the defendants’ summons to be served on the defendants through the military authorities proved abortive.
The court, however, sternly warned that the charge may not survive beyond the next adjournment date should the prosecution not secure the attendance of the defendants for their arraignment and plea.
The illegal oil bunkering ship was arrested by the operatives of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited in conjunction with the special security task force set up by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, on January 11th, 2024.
The ship was arrested while siphoning crude oil from the Pennington Oil field of the Anglo-Dutch energy giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Bayelsa State.
The case is being prosecuted to a logical conclusion in the act of dexterity and patriotic zeal by the operatives of Tantita led by its Executive Director, Operations and Technical Services, Captain Warriedi Enisuoh and a team raised by the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Kayode Egbetokun.
Egbetokun had directed the Police Special Task Force on Petroleum and Illegal Bunkering (IGP-STFPIB) under the command of Mr. Lot Lantoh Garba, an Assistant Commissioner of Police, to launch a discreet investigation into the arrest of the bunkering ship.
Investigations into the arrest of MT Kali were being intensified as operatives of Tantita arrested another illegal bunkering ship MT HARBOR SPIRIT, weeks after, on February 4th.
The Moldovian vessel was caught while stealing crude oil from Sengana oilfields in the coastal axis of Bayelsa State.
The investigation and prosecution of the two bunkering ships and their crew members were being diligently coordinated by Enisuoh and Head, Investigation, IGP-STPIB, Mr. Omar John Sini, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP).
It was gathered that MT Harbor Spirit and members of her crew have since been arraigned in court on Friday, March 1st, 2024.
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Customs

Customs gives importers of improperly imported vehicles soft landing

Wale Adeniyi, CGC
— announces 90-day window to pay import duties with 25 percent penalty
The Eyewitness Reporter
The Nigeria Customs Service has bent backward to give a soft landing to importers of vehicles whose vehicles were detained by the customs over improper documentation and undervaluation.
Acting on the Ministry of Finance’s instructions, the Customs has given a 90- day window for the vehicles under that category to pay the required customs duty in addition to a 25 percent penalty and take delivery of their consignments.
According to the statement by the service, those whose vehicles were seized and condemned will not enjoy this grace as they have forfeited their consignments to the Federal Government.
“All vehicle owners, Importers/Agents seeking to regularize import duties on their vehicles are required to apply to the Zonal Coordinators (Zones A, B, C, D) and CAC FCT Command.
“They must submit the necessary available documents and process Vreg in line with the Federal Ministry of Finance directives for the registration of imported motor vehicles.
“Valuation and assessment of the vehicles will be carried out using the VIN valuation method.
” Import Duty and a 25% penalty shall be paid in tandem with the import guidelines, procedures, and documentation requirements for used vehicles under the Destination Inspection Scheme in Nigeria (2013) and the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.
” Also, duty payments must be made using the Procedure Code specifically created for this exercise.
“This initiative reflects our unwavering commitment to facilitating compliance. We encourage all stakeholders to capitalize on this opportunity within the stipulated timeframe” the statement added.
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