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Govt Orders Foreign Miners to Leave Zamfara in 48 Hours

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Govt Orders Foreign Miners to Leave Zamfara in 48 Hours

foreign miners: The Federal Government yesterday ordered foreign miners in Zamfara State to leave within 48 hours. It also announced the suspension of mining activities in the state to curb the activities of armed bandits.

Govt Orders Foreign Miners to Leave Zamfara in 48 Hours

Govt Orders Foreign Miners to Leave Zamfara in 48 Hours

Foreign Miners – The move followed an attack that killed about 50 persons in the state at the weekend.

Briefing State House correspondents at the Presidential Villa in Abuja, Acting Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu warned that foreign miners who violate the order would have their licences withdrawn.

He said investigations had established a link between the activities of the bandits and illicit miners and that security forces would be dispatched to the state.

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The IGP’s statement was entitled, ‘Security Situation In Zamfara And Neighboring States, Police, Military and DSS Intensify Joint Operations Against Bandits, FG Suspends All Mining Activities In Zamfara And Its Environs.’

It reads: “As part of sustained efforts to flush out, and permanently put an end to armed banditry and criminality in Zamfara State, in particular, and the northwest in general, the Nigeria Police Force in collaboration with the Nigerian Military and other security services has commenced ‘Operation Puff-Adder’, which is a full-scale security offensive against the bandits.

“The operation is aimed at reclaiming every public space under the control of the bandits, arrest and bring to book all perpetrators of violence in the area and their collaborators, achieve a total destruction of all criminal camps and hideouts, mop up all illicit weapons fueling the violence, and attain a full restoration of law and order in the affected communities.

“Our commitment to protecting the sanctity of life and property is irrevocable and we will not scale down the pressure on the armed bandits until they are totally flushed-out.”

The IGP also warned against “the use of social media to spread fake news, falsehood and deliberate misinformation.” He urged citizens to “exercise restraint in circulating unconfirmed information capable of doing more damage to us all.”

The press briefing was attended by Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari; Director General, Department of State Services (DSS) Yusuf Bichi; and Director General National Intelligence Agency (NIA) Ahmed Abubakar.

But while the Federal Government tried to rein in bandits in Zamfara, unknown gunmen invaded Birnin Gwari, a suburb of Kaduna State, Saturday evening.

For several hours, the attackers were said to have held Kakangi Village hostage, shooting indiscriminately and setting houses on fire.

“We were sitting in front of the police station. Suddenly heavily armed bandits started shooting. I jumped over the fence and escaped. As I fled, I saw thick smoke from different locations rising into the sky,” said a resident who sought refuge at Gagumi Village, about 20 kilometres from Kakangi.

Unconfirmed reports claimed many people were killed. The police however put the figure at five. Three attackers and two officers lost their lives, while seven civilians sustained injuries, said spokesman, Yakubu Sabo.

He said: “We received a distress call through DPO Randagi on 6/4/19 at about 1900hrs that armed men in large numbers entered Kakangi Village of Birnin Gwari LGA, a neighbouring community to Niger State, shooting sporadically, attacking the villagers.

“Combined teams of PMF personnel, conventional police and vigilantes were quickly mobilised to the village. They engaged the bandits in a fierce gun duel and successfully repelled the attack.

“Our gallant men gunned down three of the bandits and several others escaped into the bush with bullet wounds. However, two of our men paid the supreme sacrifice during the intense gun duel.”

Criticising the Federal Government’s handling of security, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, National Publicity Secretary of Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, warned: “Nigeria may soon be in serious trouble,” unless the current administration stopped its alleged mis-governance.

The National Chairman of African Democratic Congress (ADC) Chief Ralph Nwosu, on his part, blamed the alleged failure of the current government to explain to Nigerians what it has done with the defence budget.

But speaking during the launch of Operation Puff-Adder at the weekend, Adamu stressed that victory over bandits and other criminal elements could remain a mirage, despite the deployment of various police units.

“While we, as security agents, will provide the lead in the prevention and detection of crimes, the public should provide us with credible information. The farthest we can go in this task is to be dependent on the commitment of citizens across all communities to volunteer quality information to law enforcement agents,” he said.

According to the police boss, “we should appreciate that hoarding information on criminals, providing safe haven for criminals, or acting as accomplices in any form is tantamount to riding on the back of a hungry tiger and endangering not just oneself, as an individual but also the entire community.”

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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