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Sterling Bank partners 9mobile, Solo Phone

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Sterling Bank Plc has partnered 9Mobile and Solo Phones to introduce a contract smartphone pre-bundled with mobile plans to new and existing customers of the bank.

The lender said the development would enable more Nigerian to enjoy the benefits of a digital eco-system that is mobile centric.

The Executive Director, Retail and Consumer Marketing, Sterling Bank, Grama Narasimhan, said the partnership reflected the bank’s commitment to delivering value to its customers.

 Narasimhan said the bank would continue to be in the business of making valuable partnerships with key stakeholders to deliver value to its customers as well as banked and under banked Nigerians.

“At Sterling Bank, we will always put the customers first, as they are the reason why we continue to seek valuable partnerships that will translate into making the lives of our customers easier,” he added

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Customs Corner

Customs Forges Collaboration with Nigerian Navy to Combat Smuggling

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Author: Folusho Adeogun.

The Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, paid a courtesy visit to the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, to strengthen collaboration between the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigerian Navy (NN).

During the visit on Tuesday, 19 February 2024, at the Nigerian Navy Headquarters Abuja, the CGC reassured his commitment to enhancing the relationship between the two agencies for effective anti-smuggling strategies across Nigerian waterways.

He stated, “It is important for us to participate in joint operations to combat smuggling activities. We also need to tap on the experience of the Nigerian Navy to enhance the capacity of personnel serving within the Customs Marine Units.”

The CGC further highlighted the NCS’s possession of ocean-going and creek-going vessels in its fleets while stating the plan underway to transport the two ocean-going vessels to the Nigerian Navy Dockyard for maintenance.

“It is necessary for us to prioritize intelligence-driven operations. This could be achieved through intelligence sharing between the two agencies,” He emphasized.

Reacting to the Comptroller General of Customs, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla, expressed gratitude for the visit and underscored the Nigerian Navy’s commitment to assisting in enforcing Customs laws. He stressed the importance of reciprocal collaboration and assured that Nigerian Navy training facilities would be made available to the NCS at no cost.

Vice Admiral Ogalla also addressed the need for deeper collaboration with an outfit of the Nigerian Navy meant for clearing items imported by the agency to mitigate all incumbrances.

He also shared a five-year-old Harmonized Standard Operating Procedure (HSOP) for monitoring maritime crimes and advocated for review considering the prevailing situation.

The meeting signifies a significant step towards enhancing maritime security and curbing smuggling activities along Nigeria’s coastal waters. The commitment to collaboration and mutual support sets a promising precedent for future joint efforts in safeguarding the nation’s territorial integrity.

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Customs Corner

Customs Collaborates with Defence Intelligence Agency for Enhanced Security

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Author: Abra Iruoghene and Muhammad Bashir.

The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, had a collaborative meeting with the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA) on February 19, 2024, at the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Corporate Headquarters to promote security and forge strong working relations.

The CGC, while speaking, noted that the primary objective of the collaboration is to maintain and deepen the existing relationships between NCS and the DIA. He emphasized that NCS believes in partnership, stating that cooperation with other Customs administrations and government agencies is a fundamental aspect of growth.

The CGC highlighted some ways in which they have collaborated, particularly in the areas of capacity building and security projects.

“The major objective of this delegation is to maintain and deepen the relationship between the Nigeria Customs Service and the DIA. For the records, the Nigeria Customs Service believes in collaboration. We believe that we can draw strength from collaborating with other government agencies,” he stated.

 

“We’ve extensively worked with the Armed Forces Command and Staff College to rebuild the capacity of our officers in the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College. Additionally, I’ve personally worked on collaborative security projects in the past, such as the Security Impact Collaboration,” he added.

The Comptroller-General of Customs expressed a desire for deeper partnership with the DIA, particularly in the area of more robust intelligence sharing, which, according to him, would enable the two agencies to address significant security challenges across the border areas and enhance the efficiency of Customs officers.

“It is our strong desire to deepen this kind of partnership to ensure that we benefit more from it,” he said.

Addressing the CGC, Air Vice Marshal Samuel Chinda, Deputy Chief of Defence Intelligence who represented Chief of Defence Intelligence, Major General Emmanuel Parker, described the collaboration with the NCS as integral to their successes in combating border threats.

Speaking on the need to include officers in various intelligence training, AVM Chinda recalled how the Nigerian Armed Forces Command and Staff College contributed to enhancing the proficiency of Customs Officers.

“We are here to reinvigorate these relationships for future collaborations. Particularly, the Defence Intelligence Agency is open to partnerships in training and operations with the Nigeria Customs Service,” he said.

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Customs Corner

Ogun Customs Command Celebrates Festival of Arts; Promotes Trade Through Art

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Author: Cynthia Idowu.

The Integration Art Palace and Tour Company, in collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Area Command, Idiriko in Ogun State, organized a Festival of Arts for Economic Development programme.

The programme lasted 5 days, commencing on Saturday, 10 February 2024, and concluding on Wednesday, 14 February, 14, 2024. This marks the 3rd edition with the theme “The Role of Nigeria Customs Service in Economic Development and National Security.”

The event was attended by participants from Olabisi Onabanjo University, Yaba College of Technology, and selected Secondary Schools in Ipokia Local Government Area, among others.

On the first day, participants paid homage to the Oniko of Ikolaje Idiroko and Oba John Olakunle Ojo JP. On the second day, Sunday, 11 February 2024, Chief Superintendent of Customs Hammed Oloyede, took the participants on a tour of Sentry Customs House, where seized vehicles, petroleum products, and perishable items were warehoused. The destruction site for seized frozen poultry products and the circumstances surrounding the seizure of prohibited items were explicitly explained to the participants.

A symposium was held in the Conference room of the Command’s Headquarters to mark the third day of the event. Dignitaries in attendance included the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Ogun 1 Area Command, Comptroller Ahmadu Shuaibu, his management team, Director of DSS, Mr. IK Ikiriko, heads of other agencies, and the Deputy Mayor of Ifoyin Municipality, Igolo, Republic of Benin.

In his welcome address, the CAC commended the organizer, Bonny Botoku, for his initiative. He congratulated the participants, especially the younger ones, for the opportunity to participate. He described the programme as a panacea for youth restiveness and encouraged the development of skills in creative art. He also emphasized the importance of creative art in attracting tourists and as a viable means of livelihood. The CAC reassured of continuous support from the Command for the festival’s sustainability.

Bonny Botoku, the programme initiator, stated during his speech that his passion for art inspired him to initiate the festival to encourage the younger generation to be interested in it. He explained his collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) due to its significant contributions to the economy and national security. He also appreciated the Command’s support in ensuring the festival’s success.

Assistant Comptroller of Customs Emmanuella Chukwu, the Guest Speaker at the symposium, highlighted the core functions of NCS, including revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, facilitation of lawful trade, and security of the nation’s borders. She identified various revenues generated from import duties, excise duties, auction sales, and export proceeds as parts of the way NCS contributes to the development of the nation. Additionally, she emphasized NCS’s role in anti-smuggling activities and counter-terrorism efforts as a means through which it contributes to national security.

The grand finale, marking the end of the occasion, took place on February 14, 2024, at the Integration Art Palace and Tour Cultural Center in Idiroko. Certificates of participation were presented to the participants by the Customs Area Controller, represented by Deputy Comptroller Administration, DC Charles Ogunesan. Prizes were awarded to the top three Secondary School participants based on performance, with consolation prizes given to the others to encourage them. The art exhibition was officially opened by the CAC’s representative, and it will continue until the end of February, according to the organisers.

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