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COVID-19: Why We Simplified Systems For Goods Clearance At Ports – NAFDAC

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NAFDAC Simplified Systems

COVID-19: Why We Simplified Systems For Goods Clearance At Ports – NAFDAC

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to enforce social distancing, the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said it has reduced the online clearing system to a simple process of submission and processing of documentation and release.

The agency said importers and clearing agents were asked to only fill four fields and attach all the relevant documents as provided by the guidelines for clearance of goods at the ports.

NAFDAC in a statement said freight forwarders were only asked to input the following: email address for receipt of confirmatory token and transaction notifications, port office, Single Goods Declaration (SGD) number , and then attach all their clearing documents.

In the past, importers and clearing agents were made to physically move from one of its offices to the other to process the clearance of their goods at the ports but NAFDAC said with the appointment of the current Director General, Prof. Moji Adeyeye, it fast tracked the implementation of electronic processing of clearance of goods at the ports from issuance of licenses to the release of imported products at the ports.

“She mandated that all processes within NAFDAC should move from the previous inefficient manual processing to online systems of doing transactions in line with the Federal Government’s desire to greatly improve the ease of doing businesses in Nigeria. Machinery was therefore put in place to deploy a fully automated and computerized system for goods clearance at the ports.

“The full automated system was deployed in 2017 with an identified group of low risk importers and clearing agents who used the system for the clearance of their goods at the ports. This enabled them to clear their consignments without visiting the offices of NAFDAC except when invited for meetings,” the organisation said in the statement signed by the Director Public Affairs , Dr Jimoh Abubakar .

The organization added that the new simplified processes put in place in response to the pandemic help facilitate trade, check corruption and comply with the Federal Government’s reform agenda for the various ports.

While noting that the simple steps were commended by stakeholders who were surprised that processing of documentation and clearance of goods could be simplified to just five steps, the agency added that “This system therefore put an end to the previous situation where importers and clearing agents crowded NAFDAC offices requesting for services. Currently, the only place where a client sees a NAFDAC officer is at the point of physical inspection of imported goods at the ports and/or importer warehouses which for obvious reasons must take place.”

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However, the Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) had faulted NAFDAC’s activities in a recent publication in an online news media platform titled ‘APFFLON berates NAFDAC shoddy mode of operation’.

Responding NAFDAC advised members of the public to disregard APFFLON’s statements saying the group wanted to undermine its regulatory activities.

Jimoh in the statement said the contents of the publication have been carefully scripted to fight back the anti-corruption systems being put in place by NAFDAC’s management and to also mislead the general public on the new full end-to-end online processing of the clearance of NAFDAC regulated products at the various airports, seaports and land borders.

APFFLON had also in the publication claimed that “for all consignment that require NAFDAC authorization before clearance at the ports, it is now online. Besides, it is posing a great deal of problem to access the website let alone process the platform for the first and second stamping, of which, if not completed the person won’t be able to pay customs duty, meaning that freight forwarders would have to keep paying rent to terminals until the issue is resolved.”

NAFDAC said the benefits of the computerised system include: Ability to process documentation and clearance of NAFDAC regulated products at the ports from the comfort of offices and homes using smart phones, tablets and computer systems and ability to submit request on the online platform around the clock with NAFDAC officers processing them on-duty, off-duty, day and night.

Others are elimination of person to person contact between clients and staff and the tendency to compromise officers during cases of non-compliance, provision of document verification and authentication system as well as pictorial display of inspection and inspected product packaging and labeling.

Others are efficient tracking system for transaction clearance with the corresponding customer friendly service by NAFDAC officers to enable clients check the status of their requests, and auto generated release notices with release codes that can be verified by the Nigeria Customs Service and Importers using website and QR code technology respectively.

Another benefit according to NAFDAC is the transmission of email notification of progress of completed processes directly to clients’ emails at the different stages.

NAFDAC also said its portal was a simple user-friendly platform and because many licensed clearing agents employ unprofessional semi-literate staff to process clearance of goods, they do not have emails or cannot even use a simple computer system.

According to NAFDAC, the era of unprofessionalism was over as it was going ahead with the modernization of all processes within the agency.

The agency said it was a gross display of misinformation for APPFLON’s National President in the publication to accuse it of using touts to extort people at its offices “We do not understand how touts can be used in a process that is completely online.

A system where we have records of importers resident within and outside Nigeria who clear their consignments without any physical presence in our offices. NAFDAC does not in any way use camp boys and no non-NAFDAC staff is permitted into the NAFDAC Port offices except on invitation.”

NAFDAC said it has at various fora sensitized importers, clearing agents and other ports stakeholders on the efforts being made to completely automate or computerize her processes.

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NNPC Records 19% Gas To Power Supply Increase

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NNPC Records 19% Gas To Power Supply Increase

The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday in Abuja announced an increase of 19.14 per cent in the average daily natural gas supply to power plants.

This translates to 788 million standard cubic feet of gas per day (mmscfd), equivalent to power generation of 2,873MW.

The NNPC, in a release by its Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Dr. Kennie Obateru, explained that the figure was contained in the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for April, 2020.

According to the report, a total of 226.51 billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in April 2020, translating to an average daily production of 7,786.17 million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).

The figure indicated an increase of 3.73 per cent at 226.51BCF, compared to output in March 2020. Out of this figure, a total of 136.44BCF of gas was commercialised, consisting of 36.99BCF and 99.45BCF for the domestic and export market, respectively.

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Out of the 1,233.01mmscfd of gas supplied to the domestic market in April 2020, about 787.70mmscfd, representing 63.88 per cent was supplied to gas-fired power plants, while the balance of 445.31mmscfd or 36.12 per cent was supplied to other industries.

Similarly, for the period of April 2019 to April 2020, an average of 1,184.29mmscfd of gas was supplied to the domestic market, comprising an average of 677.87mmscfd or (57.24 per cent) as gas supply to the power plants and 506.42 mmscfd or (42.76 per cent) as gas supply to industries.

For the period of April 2019 to April 2020, a total of 3,082.91BCF of gas was produced, representing an average daily production of 7,857.18mmscfd during the period. Period-to-date production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and NPDC contributed about 69.57 per cent, 21.46 per cent and 8.97 per cent respectively to the total national gas production.

The report also indicated that in the Downstream Sector, a total of 0.94 billion litres of PMS, translating to 31.37mn liters/day, was supplied for the month, adding that the corporation has continued to diligently monitor the daily stock of petrol to achieve smooth distribution of petroleum products and zero fuel queue across the Nation.

In the period under review, 65 vandalized pipeline points were reported, a marked increase from the 19 points recorded in March 2020. The Atlas Cove-Mosimi stretch accounted for 55 per cent, while Mosimi-Ore recorded 22 per cent and other locations make up for the remaining 23 per cent.

The 57th edition of the MFOR indicated that in April 2020, NNPC remitted the sum of N219.16billion to the Federation Account, reflecting the Naira proceeds from the sale of domestic crude oil and gas.

In terms of dollar receipts, an export receipt of $193.05million was recorded in April 2020.

The release stated that it remained committed to sustaining effective communication with stakeholders through publication of its Monthly Financial and Operations reports on its website and in national dailies in line with the concept of Transparency, Accountability and Performance Excellence (TAPE) agenda of NNPC Management.

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NSCDC Arrest Suspected Human Trafficker In Enugu

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NSCDC Human Trafficker In Enugu

NSCDC Arrest Suspected Human Trafficker In Enugu

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) Command in Enugu has arrested a suspected human trafficker, Mrs. Okafor Chioma, who specialize in recruiting under-aged girls to run prostitution cartel.

CSP Danny Iwuchukwu, the spokesman for the command, said this in a statement on Thursday in Enugu.

Iwuchukwu alleged that the suspect was recruiting underage girls aged between 12 and 16, and sending them to brothels in different states for prostitution.

He said that she was arrested in Enugu on June 18 following intelligence report on her nefarious activities.

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Iwuchukwu said that the suspect, a widow who hailed from Nsugbe community in Anambra State, confessed to the crime and said she had been in the business for over four years.

“On their method of operation, she confessed that she works with a syndicate that brings the girls to her.

“And that her job is to give the girls out to different brothels where they would be prostituting and be remitting proceeds to her.

“She confessed that before giving the girls out, that she normally enters into an agreement with them.

“She said that the agreement varies from person to person putting into consideration how beautiful a particular girl is, while some pay her N50,000, others pay as much as N100,000.

“She further said that the agreement usually last for six months after which the girls will be freed.

“She, however, pleaded for forgiveness promising to stop the business,’’ he said.

Iwuchukwu said that the command has made contact with some of the girls (victims) recruited into the business by the suspect and they were willing to testify.

He, however, said that investigation was ongoing to track down some of the syndicate working for the suspect.

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Conducting WAEC Examinations Amidst COVID-19 Spread

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WAEC Examinations

Conducting WAEC Examinations Amidst COVID-19 Spread

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has announced dates for the commencement of its annual examinations. In this report, JOY YESUFU looks at the modalities put in place in Nigerian schools to avert the spread of COVID-19 among candidates taking the examinations.

The West African Examination Council (WAEC) recently announced that 2020 West African Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) for school candidates will commence by August this year, and end by the first week of September.

According to the body, there will be modalities attached to the writing of the examination, in accordance with the guidelines of the federal government to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

The information released further revealed that the timetable for the examination would be released by the second week of the July.

Also, the results of all candidates will be released on the 45th day after the last paper has been taken.

The information further explained that all the five countries of Africa taking the examination (Nigeria, Gambia, Ghana, Sierra Leone, and Liberia) will start the examination together. Based on the instructions, candidates are to arrive at the examination center an hour before the commencement of the day’s papers, as lateness will not be tolerated.

To prevent further spread of the virus, candidates will not be allowed into the examination hall without wearing a facemask.

The federal government last Monday announced the reopening of schools as part of modifications to the COVID-19 lockdown, the phase two of which it extended for another 30 days.

The resumption was, however, limited to graduating JSS 3 and SSS 3 preparing to write their final examinations.

Chairman of the COVID-19 Presidential Task Force (PTF), Boss Mustapha, announced this during a briefing by the Task Force in Abuja.

Mixed reactions have however trailed the announcement. While some opined that the federal government had not adequately prepared the schools for resumption, in view of the reality of challenges thrown-up by COVID-19, others say it is a welcome development as students tend to study more when in classroom and that online study is not effective.

The minister of state for education, Mr Emka Nwajiuba, during a subsequent briefing of the PTF said WAEC had approved August 4th for the commencement of their annual Senior Secondary School Examinations (SSCE) for students in senior secondary three.

Nwajiuba said the examination would end on September 5th adding that NECO and NABTEB examinations will also commence immediately after the WAEC examinations are over.

The minister further said all states had the option of either resumption for day or boarding students as long as they follow the basic rules and regulations to contain the spread COVID-19.

He also said that the federal ministry of education would on Tuesday hold conclusive stakeholder’s meetings with the NCDC and Nigerian Union of Teachers on new examination dates urging final year students who are yet to register for SSCE to do so as soon as possible.

Nwajiuba said private school owners must keep to the regulations of the pandemic as they reopen for the examination.

“All schools will be decontaminated before resumption dates with chemicals that will not long lasting but will also disinfect the school environment,” he added.

However, nothing much was said about the examination of students in junior secondary school 3 who were supposed to also resume same time.

The Lagos State government amongst other states had earlier announced August 3 for the resumption of students in transitional classes in the state.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu who made the announcement said the resumption applies to only students in Senior Secondary 3 (SS3) and Technical College 3 (TEC), while dates for JSS3 and other classes will be announced later.

The governor disclosed that the decision was made by stakeholders in the state.

He said no boarding activities will be permitted and all schools are expected to open strictly for day schooling.

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“However, students in transitional classes, who have mandatory Public exams ahead of them are permitted to resume at only day schools as soon as possible for revision classes and examination. All educational establishments are to follow established public health guidelines and protocols for re-opening the schools for these categories of students”

He added that tertiary institutions are to continue their online academic activities which are at various advanced stages.

In a telephone conversation with LEADERSHIP, the advisory director, White Plain British School, Dr Francis Chukwumah Nwufoh, said reopening of schools was a welcome development as online schools were not as effective.

According to him, students are oftentimes not attentive during online, but are more concentrated while in class. He however advised the government to ensure adequate hygiene within and around the classroom environment and ensure that candidates observe social distancing to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

“It is a welcomed development. We tried online school but it was not effective. Children are not serious. You will be talking to them before you know they will say I want to go to the toilet. They are more serious and concentrated in the class room. What should be done is seriousness concerning social distance and hygiene of the class room. Interaction between teachers and students is very important. It is very important that they open school because if children are not engaged, they might start forgetting what they have learnt,” he said.

Nwufoh further noted that experimental sciences like physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics needed serious physical interaction between students and teachers for more clarity. This according to him will help during their practical examinations.

Also speaking to LEADERSHIP, the director of press, Federal Ministry of Education, Mr Ben Gong, said the ministry was currently holding meetings to tie all loose ends before students can go back to classes.

He said both private and public schools would have to work out their details as it suits them.

According to him, all schools must be fumigated before resumption, students will be divided into two for each class and those with boarding facilities will have to space the bunks.

“We have to do fumigation, we have to decongest the bed in the dormitory, so that we can space them well. We have to subdivide the classes, so that if you have a class of 50, you break it into two. Divide them into two since it is only the examination classes, the final year classes that are resuming.

“Every school will have excess classrooms so that social distancing can be observed. It is the same way we will split them in the hostels. If the bunks are close, we can leave three bunks in between two people. Fumigation will also have to be done in the hostels. There will also be a notice going to parents on what is expected from them as their children go back to school, face mask, hand sanitisers and so on. The private sector can also take a cue from that.

A parent, Lucy Bateh, who has a daughter preparing for the SSCE expressed fears as her daughter is in a boarding school in Benue state while she and other members of the family live in Abuja.

She said if most adults had been seen not to observe social distancing as shown in some online videos, then how these young ones will adhere to it while alone in hostels at night.

“There may be guidance and strict adherence to rules of Covid-19 during the examinations hour in the day times, but who will guide them to do the right thing when they return to the hostel?” she asked.

She called on school authorities all over the country to ensure those with boarding facilities are properly guided so the returning student won’t have any chance of contracting the disease while writing the examination.

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#COVID19NIGERIA Situation Report

http://news.ncbn.ng/2020/06/04/coronavirus-and-the-adversity-of-the-asymptomatic-bala-ibrahim/

@Africa CDC

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

The African Union and Africa CDC will virtually rollout the Partnership to Accelerate COVID-19 Testing (PACT) in Africa tomorrow 4 June, 2020 at 11.00 am Eastern Africa Time.

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"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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