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Customs

Adeniyi, CGC, performs groundbreaking ceremony of 30-bed ultra-modern reference hospital in Bauchi

 Funso Olojo
The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, on Monday, 8 July 2024, performs a groundbreaking ceremony for a 30-bed ultra-modern reference hospital donated by  Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Initiative for Africa in Bauchi.
Speaking at the event, CGC Adewale Adeniyi expressed profound gratitude to the ASR Initiative for their generous contribution, emphasising the project’s significance in enhancing the welfare of customs officers and the local community.
“We are happy to be a recipient of this great project. It will immensely help our officers and the entire community,” he stated.
Dr. Ubong Udoh, CEO of the ASR Initiative for Africa, extended his appreciation to CGC Adeniyi for honouring his commitment by attending the ceremony.
He highlighted the enduring nature of the partnership between the ASR Initiative and the NCS, noting the limitless potential of their collaborative efforts.
“I believe the potential of what we can achieve as partners is limitless,” Dr. Udoh remarked.
Hon. Tanko Dutse, representing the local community, thanked the CGC for supporting the NCS office in Bauchi.
He acknowledged the office’s positive impact on security and other local issues.
“The community and state at large appreciate the presence of the NCS. This hospital will allow our people who lack the means to access other medical facilities to receive necessary healthcare.
“We appeal for more of such Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.
Architect Muktar Aliyu, the project manager,  assured attendees of the hospital’s potential to revolutionise healthcare services in the area.
 “This 30-bed ultra-modern hospital is a commitment to healthcare and the community’s future.
“Together, we can build a legacy of resilience and quality healthcare,” he stated.
The groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant milestone in the NCS’s efforts to enhance the welfare of its personnel and contribute to the community’s well-being, reflecting the strong partnership between the Nigeria Customs Service and the ASR Initiative for Africa.
In a separate engagement, the CGC addressed the officers and men serving in  Zone  D Headquarters, Bauchi/Gombe Area Command and Federal Operations Unit Zone D,
“I am here to encourage you to do more by effectively discharging the statutory functions of NCS in this Zone.
“Make sure you utilise the opportunity at your disposal to improve yourselves intellectually in preparation for future challenges. “
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Customs

Nnadi, Tin Can CAC, makes historic visit to MARAN to deepen mutual working relationship.

Funso Olojo 
Apparently acknowledging the pioneering status of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria(MARAN) as a leading light in maritime journalism, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Area Controller of the Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, storms the International Press Centre of the flagship maritime journalists group Friday, July 12th, 2024.
Nnadi’s visit to the Secretariat of MARAN on 13c Marine Road, Apapa is geared towards forging a strong bond and mutually beneficial working relationship between his command and MARAN.
MARAN hopes to, among other issues, engage the Controller of Tin Can Island Customs Command on the activities of the Command in boosting trade for the overall benefit of the nation.
Comptroller Nnadi has remained a dedicated officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with visible impacts in various Commands he has presided over in the past.
He also has a shining antecedent as an articulated and astute public relations person when he held sway as a public relations officer of Apapa command as a middle-cadre officer before his deserving string of promotions and eventual elevation to his present enviable status as a command’s helmsman.
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Customs

House of Representatives beams searchlight on bonded terminals, free trade zones over influx of arms, ammunition into Nigeria

—as Customs realises N2.742 trillion in six months 
Funso Olojo 
Apparently alarmed by the avalanche of seizures of arms and ammunition made by the Nigeria Customs Service recently, the House Committee on Customs and Excise has vowed to scrutinize the operational activities of the country’s bonded terminals and free trade zones.
This decision was made in the belief that these facilities are being used as conduit pipes to smuggle these dangerous weapons into the country.
Revealing the move of the lawmakers on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 while on an oversight visit to the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, the Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon. Leke Abejide, said the probe was aimed at identifying the complicit operators and eradicating their nefarious activities.
It would be recalled that the Customs, in quick succession, make seizures of large caches of arms and ammunition at Tin Can Port, Onne Port and Lagos ports, the quantity of which alarmed the Nigerian government.
While leading other members of the committee to the Customs headquarters, Abejide commended the vigilance, efficiency and dedication of men and officers of the customs for these seizures and their impressive record of revenue generation
 “We will scrutinise the activities of Bonded Terminals and the operations of the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) facilities across the country to identify and eradicate any illegal businesses and activities”, the lawmaker declared.
 Abejide applauded the outstanding revenue generation, trade facilitation and the Service’s recent achievements in the seizures of arms and ammunition in a Bonded Terminal in Onne Port, Rivers State.
The Chairman also commended a similar seizure made by the officers of NCS Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos  State, which, according to him, is a testament to Customs vigilance and effectiveness.
He observed that the seizures have potentially saved countless Nigerian lives, demonstrating the exceptional skills and dedication of NCS personnel in protecting the nation’s borders.
He urged the NCS officers not to relax, stating that “Every weapon and illicit item seized is a victory, but every attempt to smuggle them into Nigeria is a call to redouble our efforts.”
Responding, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, said the service is indeed grateful for such commendation, recognition, and applause from the House Committee on Customs and Excise.
The CGC stated that the presence of the House committee underscores the critical role that legislative oversight plays in ensuring the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of NCS operations and project implementation.
According to him, as committee members, their dedication to scrutinising and supporting NCS activities is invaluable.
 “The insight you bring into the oversight function and the guidance you have always provided helps Customs to serve the nation better, facilitate trade and secure the borders while collecting revenue, vital to the economy.”
‘’In all aspects of our work and projects, I want to assure you that we submit wholeheartedly to legislative compliance, and we will be willing to implement directive resolutions given to us in the day-to-day operation of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Your feedback and recommendations are crucial to our efforts to streamline our processes to improve our efficiency and uphold the highest standard of integrity and services,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of the success stories of the NCS, Caroline Niagwan, the Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Tariff and Trade, said the service was able to generate 2.742trillion naira within the first half of 2024, surpassing the first half of the year’s expected revenue target of 2.539trillion naira, representing 54 percent of the revenue target for the year.
She said, “In the period under review, the average daily revenue collection has been N27.5 billion daily, surpassing the target of N19.460 billion
“The service has achieved a 126.64 percent increase within the first half of the year due to teamwork and measures put in place to block revenue leakages.
“We have an outstanding 2.168 trillion to collect.”
She noted that for the service to align with international best practices, trade facilitation tools have been upgraded to Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programs where reliable and compliant traders are rewarded for taking their goods with little or no customs control when they meet specific safety and security standards.
Also speaking, Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation, Bello Jibo, revealed that ‘Operation Whirlwind’ had made a lot of seizures of petroleum products.
 He revealed that NCS is collaborating with the NNPC to achieve so much.
“On the issue of security, the CGC held a press conference in Onne, Port-Harcourt, where a container fully loaded with arms and ammunition was arrested by our officers, which was later handed over to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
” We collaborate and exchange intelligence among ourselves to enhance our activities.’’ DCG Jibo stated.
Furthermore, the Assistant-Comptroller General in charge of Information and Communication Technology, Kikelomo Adeola, revealed that unit officers built the application for the e-auction.
She stated that capacity-building programs are ongoing as part of the deliverables of the Trade Modernization Project, in addition to the provision of software and hardware components of the exercise.
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Customs

Amidst cargo drought, Apapa customs generates N1.023 trillion in six months.

Olomu attributes feat to blockage in revenue leakages, dedicated officers.
Funso Olojo 
In what appears to be an ironic scenario.  the Apapa command of the Nigeria Customs Service has generated a whooping sum of N1,023,663,842,255.63 within the first six months of the year 2024 amidst dwindling cargo throughput.
Disclosing this during a press conference on Monday, July 8th, 2024, the Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Babatunde Olomu, said the revenue figure was 143 percent above the figure of N421.382 billion realised in the corresponding period in 2023.
According to Comptroller Olomu, the revenue feat was achieved through dogged efforts and determination of his officers and the command’s intentional measures to block all identifiable revenue leakages.
However, the half-year revenue figures recorded by the command were made during a sharp drop in imports which stakeholders said stood logic on its head and feared that trade facilitation may have been sacrificed on the altar of revenue generation.
But Comptroller Olomu dispelled such fears, saying Apapa command was passionate about trade facilitation.
“Since assuming office on May 6, 2024, the thrust of my leadership has been intelligence gathering for enhanced revenue collection backed with deliberately improved customs-community relations.
“I am pleased to report that our efforts at promoting trade facilitation are yielding good results with attendant ease of doing business, prevention of revenue losses, and closer interactions with sister government agencies and private sector stakeholders, including members of the host communities in which we operate.
“We are also not leaving anything to chance for economic saboteurs as our nonintrusive inspection (NII) regime is fully in place where scanners are deployed for cargo examination with support of physical examination where and when necessary” Olomu declared.
In the same breath, the command made seizures of 11 containers comprising of prohibited items such as expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals, footwear, used clothing, armored cables, and frozen poultry products.
The seized items have a Duty Paid Value of N424,105,975.00 as against 42 seizures with a DPV of N1.4 billion made in the corresponding period in 2023.
” It is pertinent to mention that just last week, we uncovered a large quantity of expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals in 3x40ft container numbers TCKU 6928184, MRKU 4422733, MRSU 5550243, and another 3x40ft container nos. MNBU 3934925, MEDU 9107559 and MEDU 9752980 are loaded with seven thousand five hundred and eighty (7,580) cartons of frozen poultry products unfit for human consumption, which is against schedule 3 of the revised import prohibition list of the Common External Tariff (CET).
“These importations violate section 233 of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023.
” Let me state that the harmful effects of fake and unregistered pharmaceutical products on citizens are unquantifiable and as a responsible service, we owe Nigerians the duty of preventing them from being exposed to this dangerous importation.
” I want to use this opportunity to sound a note of warning to perpetrators of smuggling, duty evasion and other forms of criminality frowned upon by the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and other extant laws, that Apapa command Is poised to nip illicit importation In the bud.
“Consequently, in line with the CGC’s zero tolerance for smuggling, I have reformed the command way of treating transires by ensuring more meticulous management of cargoes moving from the mother port to bonded terminals.
“This has become necessary to prevent a situation where smugglers attempt to perpetuate illegalities in bonded terminals.
“To sustain this tempo, no cargo is allowed to exit from our control without thorough inspection using the scanner.
“We shall not compromise on this as we will keep making seizures, detention and arrests where necessary to protect the national economy and prevent Nigerians from exposure to dangerous or unwholesome products like illicit drugs, Comptroller Olomu stated.
Olomu expressed his appreciation to Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General of the service and his management team for their support which he said provided the much-needed tonic that propelled the command to record such a milestone in revenue collection.
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