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FG Launches Scheme to Engage 774,000 Youths in Agriculture

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Buhari Launches Scheme to Engage 774,000 Youths in Agriculture

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday in Abuja launched National Young Farmers’ Scheme, an initiative of National Agricultural Land Development Authority (NALDA) to engage 1.000 youth in each of the 774 local council’s area in Agriculture.

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At the launch which took place in the Presidential Villa, Buhari urged agencies involved to re-direct their priorities to ensure the inclusion of youth in the promotion of modern methods of farming.

According to a statement by the president’s media adviser, Mr. Femi Adesina, the president assured all parties interested in the scheme that an enabling environment would be created for their full participation

The president said Agriculture remained the bedrock of the Nigerian economy, describing it as the largest contributor to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

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Agriculture

FG Delegation Meets in Segbana, Benin Republic, to Fast-Track Reopening of Tsamiya Border in Kebbi

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As CGC Adeniyi Strengthens Ties with Benin Customs to Enhance Trade Facilitation

Author: Adeogun Folusho & Muhammad Bashir.

In a bid to enhance regional integration and boost economic activities, a high-level delegation from the Federal Government of Nigeria engaged in an inter-ministerial meeting with counterparts from the Benin Republic to discuss the reopening of the Segbana-Tsamiya border post in Kebbi State. The meeting, held on May 21, 2024, aimed to fast-track the operationalisation of the border post.

Among the Nigerian delegation are the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alhaji Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, Executive Governor of Kebbi State, Dr. Nasir Idris, Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, Director of Home Finance at the Ministry of Finance, Alhaji Ali Mohammed, and Dr. Dakorinama Alabo George, Director General Border Communities Development Agency (BCDA), among other dignitaries.

The discussions delved into comprehensive issues surrounding the border post’s opening, focusing on logistics, security measures, and the economic impact. Feasibility studies were presented, outlining expected benefits such as increased trade and potential challenges that might arise. The deliberation also included setting timelines and identifying necessary infrastructure to ensure a smooth operation.

During the visit, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, affirmed that engagement between the two countries will foster their efforts to enhance the economy. According to him, the aim was to improve the free flow of trade and commercial activities between the two countries, primarily through Northern Borders.

He said, “To ensure closer working and economic relations between Nigeria and the Benin Republic. Over the last six months, within this collaboration framework, we have been working with our colleagues from the Bennese Customs Administration to ensure that we bring the economy together through easy border crossing with goods.”

On her part, the Director General of the Benin Customs Administration, Adidjatou Hassan, appreciated the move to reopen the border, which, according to her, will strengthen the trade activities between citizens of the two countries.
She said, “This development is expected to increase economic cooperation and strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations. We are committed to sustaining our seamless collaboration with the Nigeria Customs Service while enhancing security at our borders and trade activities.”

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Tuggar, said the decision to form the forum was based on Presidents Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s and Patrice Talon’s directives to strengthen social and economic interaction as well as expanding trade and commercial ties between the citizens of the two nations.

The Kebbi State Governor, Nasir Idris, who was part of the delegation, thanked the two countries’ presidents for making moves to reinvigorate the free trade and transportation of goods to various destinations within the two countries.

Governor Nasir, however, emphasised that “the state has maintained good neighbourliness with the Republic of Benin on economic activities and social interaction as both beneficial of the border.”

Further deliberations involved addressing disputes and agreeing on the operational framework. Reinvigoration of a joint commission between Nigeria and Benin took centre stage in the discussion. Also, a significant step towards resolving issues and ensuring the necessary infrastructure forms part of the discussion.

The meeting concluded with a summary of key points discussed and a formal statement of commitment from both sides. Also, an agreement was reached on scheduling a follow-up meeting in June 2024 to monitor progress and address any outstanding issues.

The delegation also agreed to hold a bi-national committee meeting with a defined commitment for subcommittees to submit their reports within two weeks to streamline seamless efforts towards border reopening.

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Agriculture

Customs Katsina Command Releases Six Intercepted Grain Trucks to Owners

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Author: Abass Quadri.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Katsina Command, has handed over six intercepted trucks of assorted grains to the rightful owners in the state as directed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a press statement signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Customs Tahir Balarabe, the Command, in collaboration with the Federal Operations Unit Zone B, had earlier intercepted the six (6) trucks on the 18 of February 2024 along Kwanar Gwanti, Dogon Hawa road Mai, adua Local Government Area of the state on their way out of the country.

Handing over the grains to the owners on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Umar, explained that following the directive of President Tinubu to release all assorted grains under the custody of the Nigeria Customs Service, “Today, we hereby formally hand over six trucks and their contains to owners.”

“The Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), during his official working visit to Katsina, passed across the presidential directive, which mandated the returns of detained food items to owners, on the condition that they are to be sold in the Nigerian markets to ensure food security and alleviate the hardship faced in the country.” He added.

He stated that to ensure compliance, the Command would collaborate with the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU), Federal Operation Unit (FOU B), and the Joint Border Patrol Team (JBPT) to monitor the sales of the released grains to ensure that they are not smuggled out of the country.

The CAC highlighted that the service under the leadership of the CGC, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his management team are committed to fostering constructive dialogue and collaboration with the border communities to ensure security and prosperity in the country.

He however, called on the public to be vigilant and provide credible information to the Nigeria Customs Service that will assist in curtailing the smuggling of foodstuff and other essential commodities out of the country.

Receiving the items on behalf of the owners, the Chairman of Mai’adua Local Government Area, Hon. Salisu Mamman NaAllah expressed gratitude to the President for the kind gesture while assuring that the owners of the released grains will adhere strictly to the presidential directive.

He extended appreciation to the Comptroller General of Customs for his recent visit to the Mai’adua Community and his prompt positive response to complaints. Also, he commended the effort of the Katsina Customs Area Controller for his cordial relationship with the border communities.

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Agriculture

Customs Eastern Marine Seizes Truckloads of Yam Tubers, Others with N250M DPV

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… Vows to Intensify Fight Against Smuggling

Author: Ibe Wada.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Eastern Marine Command (EMC), has seized three truckloads of yam tubers and other assorted items loaded onto a boat, intended for illegal exportation through the waterways of Isaka in Oron to neighboring countries, such as Cameroon.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller, Mike Ugbagu, revealed this during a press briefing at the Command’s Headquarters on Thursday, 7 March 2024, in Porthacourt.

The CAC emphasized the necessity for proper documentation and adherence to export procedures, stating that attempting to transport goods through the creeks without following the required protocols constitutes smuggling, punishable under the law.

He explained that the success in intercepting the seizures, was attributed to the continuous surveillance and strategic efforts of Eastern Marine operatives, who diligently patrol the creeks and beaches of the Southern waterways.

He said the command’s ability to conduct effective surveillance “is by the provision of fast logistic boats and ballistic gunboats by the NCS Management.”

Highlighting the Command anti-smuggling activities In January, February, and early March 2024, the CAC noted that the command seized various contraband items, including petroleum products, used shoes, foreign rice, and used tires, with a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) estimated at approximately N250million.

He further stated that Five suspects were apprehended in connection with the seizures and have been subjected to ongoing prosecution procedures.

Comptroller Ugbagu reiterated the Command’s firm stance against smuggling activities, warning smugglers and would-be perpetrators of the consequences of their actions.

He emphasized the importance of patriotism, particularly in safeguarding essential commodities during a time of food shortages within the Country.

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