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Iranian Nuclear Scientist Assassinated

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Iranian

High-ranking Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who, Israel alleged, led the Islamic Republic’s military nuclear programme until its disbanding in the early 2000s has been “assassinated” in an ambush near Tehran.

Fakhrizadeh was shot “by terrorists” in his vehicle in Absard, a suburb in eastern Tehran, and he later succumbed to his injuries in what amounted to a “martyr’s death”, Iran’s Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

Local authorities had confirmed Fakhrizadeh’s death several hours earlier and also said that several attackers were killed.

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Fakhrizadeh served as the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation of the defence ministry at the time of his death.

Israel declined to immediately comment on the killing of Fakhrizadeh, whom Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once called out in a news conference saying: “Remember that name.”

Israel has long been suspected of carrying out a series of targeted killings of Iranian nuclear scientists nearly 10 years ago.

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Customs Corner

COWA National President Celebrates Children’s Day

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Urges Parents to Protect Kids from Dangers of Social Media

Author: Muhammad Bashir.

The National President of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA) and wife of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Mrs Kikelomo Adewale Adeniyi, on Monday, 27 May 2024, in Abuja hosted over 200 children to a party to mark the 2024 Children’s Day celebration.

Speaking to newsmen at the Corporate Headquarters of COWA in Abuja, Mrs Adeniyi revealed that the occasion was aimed at setting a lifetime agenda that will guide the children in the future, adding, “As mothers, it is our duty to nurture our children and pray for them to succeed in life.”

She said, “You can see, it is a beautiful day; it’s the Children’s Day, and COWA is organising this event to celebrate the day with the children because they are special to us – and we are concerned about their future.

The COWA National President, who expressed confidence in the ability of Nigerian children to excel and become good ambassadors of Nigeria in the future, urged them to heed what their parents and teachers teach them and to avoid using social media platforms negatively.


Speaking about this year’s theme: “Protecting the Nigerian Child from the Dangers of Online Technology”, Mrs Adeniyi said, “At COWA, we believe that it is our responsibility to speak to the minds of our children to protect them and educate them to understand the dangers of online stuff.”

The National President also urged parents and guardians to be extra vigilant about their children’s activities at home and to watch how they operate online technological gadgets “because there are so many people on social media; thus, we all must be watchful towards what our children are doing.” She added.

Mrs Adeniyi, who emphasised the significance of raising children with the awareness that they represent their families and the larger community, said, “In my opinion, children who are within the age of 8–16 must not be allowed to use social media platforms.”

She also used the occasion to urge the Children to be obedient to their parents and remain disciplined, adding that “Discipline is the key to achieving greatness in life and that COWA will continue to support them.”

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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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Customs Corner

Nigeria Customs Service Signs MoU with China Customs to Enhance Trade

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Author: Muhammad Bashir.

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China (GACC) to foster bilateral relationship for the enhancement of economic growth.

On Wednesday, 8 May 2024, Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC) Adewale Adeniyi led some of his management team in Shenzhen, where he highlighted the significance of knotting bilateral affiliation with China, which, according to him, will boost the two countries’ import-export operations and favour the businesses of MSMEs in Nigeria.

The CGC appreciated the Vice Minister of the General Administration of Customs of the People’s Republic of China, Wang Lingjun, for showing interest in signing MoU with the NCS. He also applauded the recent exponential rise in the development of e-commerce, adding, “We know a lot of Nigerian companies and SMEs take advantage of the opportunities aided through e-commerce.”

CGC Adeniyi expressed optimism that the NCS-GACC Memorandum of Understanding will serve as a critical component of cooperative security and trade relationship between the two nation’s Customs agencies, reiterating that “The relationship will create a cooperative mechanism for NCS and the GACC to collaborate on supply chain security standards and enhance the economic stability of both nations.”


“These are some of the many reasons why Nigeria Customs Service pays attention to what is happening in China. As you have said, China is making the biggest trade in Nigeria, and the basic context of International Trade is ‘your export is our import’. I appreciate the numbers that you gain in Nigeria. But it is also common knowledge that those numbers sometimes must take account of the large volume of informal trade that exists between us.” CGC Adeniyi said.

Mr Wang Lingjun of the General Administration of Customs, who represented Vice Minister Sun Yuning, and signed the MoU on behalf of the People’s Republic of China, expressed satisfaction over CGC Adeniyi’s vision that the affiliation between two agencies will serve as a mechanism for creating opportunities that Nigeria and China share on a wide range of economic issues and trade facilitation.

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