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Border Closure Review: Benefits still outweigh losses — Shippers Council

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Border Closure Review Shippers Council

Border Closure Review: Benefits still outweigh losses — Shippers Council

Against the backdrop of the deviation of freight to ports of other West African countries following the closure of Nigeria’s borders, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC, has disclosed that a new Border Closure Review review meeting has concluded that the benefit of the closure so far outweighs the losses.

According to Source, some stakeholders in West African traders who hitherto come to Nigeria to buy imported goods and transport the same through the land borders have now started importing directly through their own ports adding that most of them are Nigerian citizens.

They also said Nigerian importers have started shipping their goods directly to the customers in other West African countries through those seaports causing considerable loss of cargo throughput to Nigeria’s ports in favor of other West African ports.

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But speaking with Source on the development, Executive Secretary of the NSC, Hassan Bello, said from the outcome of the policy review meeting involving the private sector, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, and others, the policy has helped to save the nation’s industries, especially the agro sub-sector of the economy.

He pointed out that the high rate of smuggling as a result of the porous borders placed unfair competition on Nigerian industries since factors of production oversees make goods produced there cheaper.

According to him, “There have been more gains for the country after the closure of the border. We recently held a stakeholders forum where we brought the private sector and the Customs to explain the border closure policy.

In trade facilitation, we need to save our industries, especially agro-based products because of our porous borders.

“For every smuggled item, it means we are not giving fair competition to our producers because the cost of production is cheaper there than in Nigeria.

So this takes our people out of business and we will be faced with growing unemployment. “Although there are some problems that we need to address but there are some which we have a comparative advantage here that we need to source here than in foreign countries.

“The border is porous, we need to tighten it against smuggling and dumping but there will be a time when you will say you are opening your border.

However, technology must be deployed to curb smuggling. “Issues like Cargo Tracking Note, CTN, contactless port/border post; technology will solve a lot of these problems.”

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Customs Corner

Customs Equips PR Officers with Digital Communication Skills 

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Author: Gift Wada

 

In a digitalized world with many technological disruptions aimed at making work easier, the Nigeria Customs Service has identified the need to upgrade officers’ crisis/internal communication skills and compelling storytelling in the digital age.

FCT Customs Generates Over N199 Million in 3 Months

The Service organized a three-day training and retreat with the theme “Upscaling PR Tools and Strategies for Optimum Performance” for its public relations officers across the nation at Customs Training College, Ikeja, Lagos.

 

The training according to National Public Relations Officer of Service DC Timi Bomodi was organized to equip officers of the Service spokespersons with advanced skills on the use of social media for public communication, how to detect and manage crisis in the present age using digital tools and writing effective stories.

 

“The aim of this event is to strengthen our Public Relations Officers in managing and responding effectively to issues in the present digital age. This is considered necessary due to vital roles played by Nigeria Customs in protecting the nation’s borders and contributing to the economic development of our dear nation”

 

The event featured lectures and practical sessions by seasoned public relations practitioners, scholars and broadcast journalists. Yushau Shuaib, editor of PR Nigeria facilitated the session on the use of social media for public communication and contemporary issues in media relations. Ganiu Okunnu of the Department of Public Relations and Advertising, Lagos State University conducted the simulation sessions on crisis management tips in the digital age and harnessing internal communication for reputation management. Abayomi Adisa of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC Africa) provided techniques for writing an effective story on digital media.

 

The event is part of a series of ongoing intellectual empowerment programmes aimed at strengthening the capacity of the officers of the Nigeria Customs Service.

 

 

Speaking on the theme of the programme, the Commandant Customs Training College (CTC), Ikeja, Comptroller Kalamu Ayinde Aremu pointed out that the management of the online reputation and brand identity of an organisation through the purposeful use of digital and social technologies are essential in the digital age.

 

While urging the Customs spokesperson to utilize Digital Media for Public communications he said “Public communicators should develop a passion for their profession by being innovative and creative in their messaging, especially in this digital age,”

 

 

In his presentation on ‘Effective Public Communication in a Digital Age,’ the Editor-in-Chief of PRNigeria, Yushau Shuaib said the advancement in technology has transformed public relations with social media expanding the channels used to engage with new audiences in build reputations.

 

 

He said: “With the Immediacy of social media, some of the characteristics of online PR campaigns include deployments of hypertextuality by utilising hyperlinking and web-Linking to posts. Similarly, multimediality of integrating video, audio and images in Digital media platforms enhances interactivity through comments and engagements.

 

“The notable tools of engagement are computers, smartphones, editing software, search engine and sharing platforms.” He added

 

 

Other speakers including Ganiu Okunnu of Lagos State University (LASU) and Abayomi Adisa of British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in their different presentations on crisis communication and Story Telling urged participants to utilise modern tools of engagement as they practice their profession.

According to them, doing so will help them sustain mutually-beneficial relationships with their target audiences.

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Customs Corner

Apapa Customs Generates N522.4 Billion in 6 months, Records Increase in Export of Non-oil Commodities

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Apapa Customs Generates N522.4 Billion in 6 months, Records Increase in Export of Non-oil Commodities

Author: Gift Wada, Abuja

In the last six months in the year 2022, the Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has collected revenue to the tune of N522.4 billion, a significant increase of N156 billion as against N366.5 billion naira collected in the corresponding months of the year 2021, representing a 42.5% increase in revenue collection.

The Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area Command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta made this known to Newsmen at his 2nd Quarter press briefing. He said the feat was made possible because of officers’ resilience in ensuring identified revenue leakages are mitigated while sustaining the level of compliance by the importers/stakeholders in the clearance value chain.
The Area Controller noted that the Command has consistently strived in its core mandates of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, trade facilitation, implementation of government fiscal policies as well as collaboration and cooperation with other government agencies to ensure ease of doing business in the port.

Comptroller Yusuf disclosed that the Command recorded a boom in the exportation of non-oil commodities with about a 2.5million tonnes, above the five hundred and forty thousand (540) metric tonnes in the year 2021.

“In line with the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the economy through non-oil export, the command recorded a boom in the exportation of non-oil commodities with about 2.5million metric tonnes, above the five hundred and forty thousand (540) metric tonnes in the year 2021. The Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items also rose from $1.6 million in the year 2021 to$138 million in 2022. Items exported include steel bars, agricultural and mineral products amongst others. The Federal Government policy and export incentive schemes have played vital roles in boosting export trade in Nigeria.”

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On Anti-Smuggling, Comptroller Yusuf said that the Command’s operation is guided by the Federal Government import and export prohibition lists, as well as other government fiscal policies as directed. He said that for the period under review, the Command has managed to curb the smuggling of dangerous items, resulting in the seizure of 83 containers with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N8.3 billion. Some of the seized items include 32 containers of processed/unprocessed wood, 5 containers of unregistered pharmaceuticals, 18 containers of used clothings/shoes, 12 containers of foreign parboiled rice, 7 containers of vegetable oil, 3 containers of tomato paste and 1×20ft container laden with 150 cartons of tramadol, all of which fall under the prohibition list and are subject to outright seizure.
He noted that 21 suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures made, he said one suspect has been arrested in the recent seizure of 1×20ft container of tramadol and he is currently undergoing interrogation/investigation.
Comptroller Yusuf hinted that the Command had recently handed over 2×20ft containers laden with 150 cartons of illicit hard drugs to the NDLEA.

“To further strengthen the existing relationship between relevant government agencies in the port, the Command had recently handed over 2×20ft containers no. SUDU 7774749 and UETU2798479 laden with 150 cartons of illicit hard drugs to the NDLEA.”

Read Also: Apapa Customs Generates Over N110.2billion In First Quarter Of 2020 Despite Coronavirus

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Customs Corner

Ogun Customs Intercepts Goods Worth Over 1 Billion in 2 months

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Ogun Customs Intercepts Goods Worth Over 1 Billion in 2 months

The Nigeria Customs Service, Ogun I Area Command on Monday said the cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of all the seizures between the month of May and June 2022 amounts to N1,290,108, 608.00

The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bamidele Makinde during a media briefing at Idiroko Ogun state said between the month of May 2022 till date, the Command generated a total sum of N12,818,181.00 from importation and auction sales of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) popularly known as petrol, intercepted at different locations and exit points to the Republic of Benin during anti-smuggling operations.

Speaking further on the anti-smuggling activities, he noted that as a whole, a total of 8,417 bags of foreign parboiled rice with an estimated duty paid value of N131, 145, 277, which is an equivalent of 14 trailer loads, was seized during the period under review.

Makinde said “A smuggled truckload of about 320 cartons (23,400 pairs) of imported footwear, which falls under Import Prohibition List, Schedule 3 of Common External Tariff (CET) with an estimated duty paid value of N764,974,800.00, was intercepted during our intelligence-driven anti-smuggling operations.

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A fuel Tanker suspected to contain 45,000 litres of adulterated diesel with an estimated duty paid value of N81, 823, 200was abandoned by a suspected bunkerer who absconded upon sighting our operatives, along Sagamu/Ijebuode Expressway, Ogun State, was also seized. In addition, about 10,973 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, was seized and disposed of, in line with extant laws.” He revealed.

The Comptroller said due to the synergy and collaboration with other security agencies in the State, operatives in the course of their routine patrol duties intercepted illicit drugs and narcotics, namely 117 small sacks, 6 big sacks, 1,100 wraps (book size), 81 wraps (coconut size) of Cannabis Sativa and 1 carton containing 1,100 packets of Tamol (225mg per tablet x 10), 300 packets of Tramol (100mg per tablet x 10) and 168 packets of CocodomolCodein (500mg per tablet x 8) with an estimated Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N221, 820,820.00.

Some of the other seized items include: 390 Cartons of Frozen Poultry Products, 19 Bales and 104 Sacks of foreign used Clothes, 120 cartons of new foot wears (including 23 pairs of new slippers) and 53 cartons of foreign used shoes, 122 Cartons of Foreign Wine, and 72 pieces of used Compressor.

Others are: 10 Units of Vehicle (means of conveyance), 2 Units of Foreign Used Vehicle (Tokunbo), 4 Units of Motorcycle (means of conveyance), 289 Cartons of imported Tomato Paste and Vehicle spare parts.

While commending the Comptroller General of Customs and his Management Team for the consistent support, he thanked other Security agencies, Critical stakeholders and Traditional Rulers for their collaborative efforts and synergy which aided the execution of their statutory mandate in the state.

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