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FG vs Obasanjo: Federal Government Fires Back

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FG vs Obasanjo- Federal Government Fires Back

FG Vs Obasanjo – ” The Saga Continues “

FG Vs Obasanjo – We could all recalled how NPBS made known the Ex-president’s Words against President buhari

FG vs Obasanjo- Federal Government Fires Back

FG vs Obasanjo- Federal Government Fires Back

Federal Government yesterday hit back at Chief Olusegun Obasanjo for dismissing the President Muhammadu Buhari administration as corrupt, incompetent and unfocused.

It described the former president as a man on a failed mission with former vice president and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed told newsmen in Abuja that Obasanjo’s views on the administration was influenced by his support for his former deputy and PDP candidate.

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He, however, said the All Progressives Congress (APC) government was not perturbed by the ex-president’s endorsement of Atiku, arguing that endorsement does not win elections.

FG VS OBASANJO

Former president Obasanjo, in a statement on Sunday, said he cannot sit on the fence over 2019 election because “only a fool will sit on the fence or be neutral when his or her country is being destroyed with incompetence, corruption, lack of focus, insecurity, nepotism, brazen impunity and denial of the obvious.”

The former president reassured Nigerians that he will not sit on the fence when he needed to be out and active for people to know where he stands in the best interest of Nigeria.

According to him, it was in the best interest of the country and Nigerians, to ensure Buhari’s second term bid is frustrated and defeated.

But replying the former president, Mohammed submitted, “with due respect to former president Obasanjo, it is his constitutional right to support any candidate of his choice. We urge him to go out and campaign vigorously for any candidate that he wants to support.

“I don’t think the former president has hidden his preference for the former vice president, Atiku Abubakar. We wish him the best of luck. But I want to assure you that his candidate will be defeated roundly and comprehensively.

“It is not about endorsement; endorsement doesn’t win elections. We wish him the best of luck.”

Specifically focusing on Obasanjo’s accusation of corruption and incompetence against the government, the minister said the situation on ground issharply opposed to the claims.

He contended that the Buhari government has fought corruption more than any administration in the history of the country.

“I am always a bit apprehensive when you are responding to criticisms from a former president and the calibre of Obasanjo who I have a lot of respect for. But the facts are all there; on corruption, this government has done more than any government in the history of this country to fight corruption.

“Corruption is endemic, it is global. But when you look at the kind of institutional reforms this government has put in place you cannot doubt its sincerity or commitment to fighting corruption.

“Corruption is not just about prosecuting and jailing people; it is more about what has been put in place to prevent people from looting the treasury. This is where this government has done more than any government did in the history of this country.

“I will start with the TSA; it was not initiated by this government but it is only this government that mustered the political courage and will to implement it. Before we came in, there were over 22,000 various accounts of government in various banks in Nigeria. Since we came in, we reduced them to one single treasury account. From 2015 to date, N8.9 trillion has passed through that TSA.

“At a glance, you know where every revenue and receipt of government is. It makes for transparency, accountability.

“Secondly, this government put in a strategy which is a roadmap for all the anti-corruption agencies on how to tackle corruption.

“There is what is called the NAM commission based strategy, which helps government to recover looted funds without convicting the people. As at today,

STILL ON FG VS OBASANJO

for this year alone, EFCC has been able to recover N794bn, $261m, €8m, £1.115 m, 295 vehicles and 407 mansions. They are in Federal Government kitty in form of permanent forfeiture.

In tackling corruption, this government has introduced what is called an efficiency unit in the Ministry of Finance. This unit examines every proposal to travel, estacode. It is on record that this government has saved N17 billion from travel expenses, gifts, etc.

“Under this government, more revenues now come into government than before. I can give example of JAMB. Between 2010 and 2015, it paid into the federation account the sum of N51 million. In 2017 alone, under this administration, JAMB paid N7.8 billion into the federation account.

“Another thing this government has done to ensure that there is transparency and that corruption is fought effectively is that today, as opposed to what used to happen in the past, there is a whistle-blowing policy. N8.1 trillion was missing in the federation account between 2010 and 2015. They were supposed to have been paid in by 15 revenue generating agencies. The whistle-blowing policy has been hugely successful. The government has been able to rake in N13.8 billion from whistle-blowing policy alone, N7.8 billion from corrupt officials.

“So when you look at what we have put on ground, institutional remedies, you agree with us that this government is more sincere and more committed to fighting corruption than any government in the history of the country.

“If the former president says the government is not performing I think he is not being properly briefed. We promised Nigerians that we are going to diversify the economy and one area where we have had resounding success is the area of food security.

STILL ON FG VS OBASANJO

He also shrugged off the outcry by the PDP and other opposition elements over the refusal of President Buhari to assent to the Electoral Bill. He said the opposition party is preparing excuses, which it will adduce for losing election in 2019.

“On the controversy over the decline of assent to Electoral Bill by President Buhari, Mohammed said it was within the powers of the president to do so if it would not be in the interest of the country. He said the opposition is crying wolf where there is none.

“I think Mr. President has already communicated the National Assembly why he is not signing that bill. If I remember, one of the reasons he did not sign the bill is that signing it at this point in time will create confusion and will not make for clarity.

“We are waiting for the response of the National Assembly on this matter. He pointed out certain errors which he felt the National Assembly should look into.

“You can see that PDP and the opposition are already preparing excuses for their eventual defeat. It will range from the Electoral Act to trader money. From there they will start saying that we are bribing children by one meal a day. We are investing in our children

“He accused the opposition of sprinkling up dose of fake news as a strategy to remain politically relevant, predicting that a lot of such news will dominate the space in the build-up to next year’s election.

“In the last one week alone, three fake news have been credited to me. One said that I said that the president could no longer speak and understand Fulfulde, his mother tongue because of the surgery he underwent in London which affected his ability to speak the language and it has affected his ability to remember anything.”

Courtesy: SUNnEWS

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Customs Corner

PTML Customs Command Generates N66.9b, Targets Two-Hour Clearance Time for Vehicles

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Author: Gift Wada.

The Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has collected N66,920,181,586.30 as total revenue for the first quarter of 2024, which is N22,198,965,809.55 higher than N44,721,215,776.75 collected between January and March 2023, representing 49.6 percent increase.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Saidu Yusuf, in a press statement signed by the Command’s Spokesperson, Chief Superintendent of Customs Muhammad Yakubu, on 13 April 2024, described the increase in revenue collection as a laudable feat.

Comptroller Yusuf, while commending the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, MFR, for initiating strategies to achieve faster cargo clearance, assured that PTML Command under his watch aims to surpass its record of three-hour cargo clearance for compliant traders.

“The launching of time release study (TRS), which is ongoing, and other deliberate efforts by the Comptroller General have contributed to expanding terminal space and promoting ease of doing business in PTML.

“The PTML command has the potential to achieve two-hour cargo clearance and surpass its existing three hours records if port users compliance level is improved,” he said.

Comptroller Yusuf, who described PTML as one of the safest and most secure environments for Roll On Roll Off (RoRo) and general cargoes, also advised importers and their agents to take advantage of the incentives available for compliant traders such as fast track, advance ruling and possible migration to the Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status.

He reminded port users in PTML of the robust and time-conscious dispute resolution mechanism, which has contributed immensely to the revenue collection, trade facilitation, and anti-smuggling functions of the command.

While commending the various government and private sector stakeholders for their cooperation and support towards the realisation of the government’s goal for revenue collection and prevention of unlawful activities, Comptroller
Yusuf expressed optimism that the command will surpass its annual target for the year.

He described the importation of vehicles meant for Nigerian roads into neighbouring countries with the intent to smuggle them through unapproved roads into Nigeria as unpatriotic and an act of economic sabotage as the command has the capacity for seamless and efficient processing of such automobile cargoes.

For the second quarter and first half of the year, the CAC enjoined command officers to maximally deploy available technology and rededicate themselves to the job to achieve more.

He reminded port users that there is increased anti-smuggling vigilance to uncover concealment such as under declaration and smuggling of prohibited items. The CAC added that any discovered infraction will fully evoke the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023, where there are spelt-out penalties.

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Customs Corner

Comptroller Jaiyeoba Commends Apapa Scanning Officers for Non-Compromise

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Author: Ibe Wada.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Apapa Area Command, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, has commended Officers of the Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology Unit (NIITU) for their invaluable contributions to the overall success of the Command.

Comptroller Jaiyeoba, who paid an unscheduled visit to the scanner site, reminded the officers of the importance of teamwork in sustaining the gains of compliance and revenue collection recently recorded by the command.

In a press statement issued on Tuesday, 9 April 2024, by the Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abubakar Usman, the CAC thanked Deputy Comptroller of Customs Salamatu Atuluku, the Scanner Manager of the scanning site and encouraged the unit not to be deterred by complaints coming from persons who were made to pay accurate duties to the government after issuance of demand notices.

According to him, no business person made to part with money will be happy with Officers who refuse to compromise the ethics of their jobs.

Addressing the officers, he said, “The main reason for me coming here is to appreciate you. I may not see you, but I have seen your work, and I won’t keep quiet about what I have seen. You are doing very well.”

He urged the Officers to remain steadfast in their commitment to integrity, emphasising that uncompromising adherence to their duties would ensure their credibility before the public and their superiors.

“For those of you doing intervention in the form of Demand Notice(DN), there is nobody who part with money that will be happy with you. They will want to play intelligent by hiding somewhere. When you fetch them from their hiding place, they become your enemy. Whatever they write about anybody here will still come down to me, and if anybody works well, the onus on me is to defend such a person”. He added.

The CAC acknowledged the challenges faced by Officers issuing demand notices, highlighting the inevitability of dissatisfaction from individuals required to pay accurate duties to the government.

He reminded the unit not to be swayed by such complaints but to focus on upholding the integrity of their work.

Comptroller Jaiyeoba encouraged the officers to remain resilient, noting that their commitment to excellence would lead to further responsibilities and recognition.

“Just have it at the back of your mind that you owe yourself the duty of doing your work diligently whether anyone comes around as a friend or enemy. It is not enough for you to rest. The reward for hard work is more work.” He concluded.

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Customs Corner

PH Oil & Gas FTZ Customs Generates N11B, Surpasses Revenue Target

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Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, PH Oil and Gas Free Trade Zone Command, has generated the sum of N11,745,352,898.00 in the first quarter of 2024. This surpasses the revenue target of N1,245,352,898.00, representing an 11.9% increment in the first quarter of 2024.

This was contained in a statement signed by the Command Public Relations Officer, ASC II Paul Gimba, on Monday, 8 April 2024, on behalf of the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Abubakar Umar.

According to the statement, Comptroller Abubakar Umar attributed the achievement to robust and positive engagement with relevant stakeholders in the industry.

He said, “This remarkable record was achieved as a result of robust and positive engagement with relevant stakeholders in the industry. This stakeholder engagement has minimised resistance to customs laws, improved problem solving and identified potential risks and challenges from stakeholders’ perspectives and trade facilitation. ”

“This line of action is in line with the Comptroller-General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR policy thrust of Consolidation, Collaboration, Innovation and implementation of the CGC’s trade facilitation initiatives”. He emphasised.

According to the CAC, the Command will continue to facilitate trade in the export of refined sugar “from Bundu Sugar Refinery, fertiliser from Notore Chemical Industries PLC and LNG from Bonny Island including collection of revenue on goods entering into the Customs territory such as Oil and Gas Equipment, oil well supplies, spare parts and instrumentation and tubing etc.”

Comptroller Umar stated that the command’s zero tolerance for revenue leakage had earned a commendation from the CGC.

“On the 26th February 2024, the Comptroller-General of Customs commended three officers of this Command over the recovery of N3,118,444,588.00. It cannot be over-emphasized the role of collective efforts and dedication to duty of Officers and Men of this Command in this significant achievement. ” He said.

The Customs Area Controller appreciated the CGC and the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service in the commendation of officers’ diligence, which has boosted the morale of officers and men of the Command.

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