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Customs Corner

Apapa Customs Hosts Sensitization on Transparency, Accountability in Public Office



Author: Lucy Ulugbe; Lagos.

The Nigeria Customs Service Apapa Area Command in collaboration with the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Department of State Security, Apapa, Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Apapa, Nigeria Army School of Intelligence and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) has held a one-day sensitization program for officers on Transparency and Accountability in Public Service.

The event which took place on Thursday at Apapa Area Command was well attended by its senior officers.

Speaking at the event, the Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area Command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta noted that it has become imperative for officers and stakeholders to be transparent and accountable for their actions and inactions in the workplace as well as every sphere of life.

Comptroller Yusuf emphasized that the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) reform strategy, has compelled the service to adopt diverse methods to ensure transparency and accountability, by automating existing processes and procedures. Some of the technology deployed he noted, including but not limited to the following:

The use of seamless port clearing procedures which differentiates between the trader and customs zones respectively, risk management integrated tool for selectivity based on the integrity of the importation, the use of artificial intelligence to select and assign examiners for cargo inspection, Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NIIT) to conduct
examination using a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) to determine the content of cargo and analyze images accordingly.

Other measures placed are the use of the Trade Hub Portal (NTH) to disseminate information concerning import/export and transit trade and the use of e-auction sales for auctioning seized and condemned goods.

The CAC said, the technology deployed is to suit the trade operating environment to encourage compliance in the trade supply chain and economic growth while increasing transparency and taking advantage of new technologies.

In his words; “As the lead agency in trade facilitation reforms, the Service is committed to constantly reinventing its strategies and adapting to present-day challenges through partnering with other relevant government agencies in the port for effective ease of doing business which has yielded unmeasurable improvements in trade efficiency”.

He pointed out clearly that Inter-Agency synergy remained a key factor in intelligence gathering to tackle security challenges in Nigeria.

“I would like to use this opportunity once again to commend the existing and sustained synergy with our stakeholders and government operatives in Apapa Port. The need for synergy as a stimulant in collaboration and coordination cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, we are all enjoined to consolidate and foster this enviable relationship which is indeed a great example worthy of emulation”. He explained.

Also speaking at the event, the Commandant, of the Nigerian Army School of Intelligence, represented by Major M. D Sambo, reiterated the need for continued cooperation and intelligence sharing amongst all military and paramilitary agencies as one sure way of fostering synergy and combatting crimes and in the country.

The Resident Commissioner of the ICPC Lagos State, Mr. Kabir Elelu commended Customs Apapa Command for standing up in the fight against corruption.

He pointed out the need for integrity and a high-level sense of responsibility amongst officers at their workstations and said moral values remain one pivotal part of transparency and accountability.

Mr. Elelu noted that the ICPC had initiated a policy called; National Ethics and Integrity policy which was adopted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2020.

“It is an initiative of the ICPC. The idea behind it is that the state at which Nigeria is today in regards to the decadence and corruption is as a result of the moral decadence in the society”. He noted.

“These values of yesteryears have been eroded and that is why we came together to initiate this policy which was adopted by the federal government. It has seven core values among which are personal responsibility, integrity, national unity, professionalism, human dignity, patriotism, and nationalism.
The whole idea is that every Nigerian and foreigner doing business in Nigeria is expected to imbibe these values and preach them” he said.

The Commander of NDLEA in charge of Apapa Command, Ishiaku Khwajafa while appraising the Drug Agency, noted that the Chairman/CEO Brigadier Buba Marwa (Rtd) since assumption of office, has given the Agency a new vent of excellence and called for responsible and exemplary leadership by Men and Officers.

Former President of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Dr. Eugene Nweke called for a new curriculum and orientation for young officers, as the next generation of leadership will depend on the values inculcated in the young officers.

Customs Corner

Customs Oyo/Osun Command Intercepts Fake Drugs, Others, Worth Over N1.8B



…As Comptroller Ben Expresses Dedication to Protect Well-being of Citizens

Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Oyo/Osun Area Command, has intercepted sacks of fake Pharmaceutical drugs worth over N1.8billion.

Customs Area Controller Comptroller Ben Oramalugo disclosed this to reporters during a press briefing at the Command headquarters on Thursday, February 29, 2024.

Comptroller Ben stated that the Commands anti-smuggling activities have been strategically positioned to ensure the Federal Government’s policy on border closure is totally enforced by preventing the importation of prohibited items harmful to the great citizens of Nigeria. He also expressed the effort to prevent the exportation of essential food resources for individual economic gains by some economic saboteurs.

“We have successfully intercepted and seized contraband goods, including items that pose threats to economic stability and lives of citizens in the country,” He added.

Highlights of the seizures include 53 sacks of fake Pharmaceutical drugs with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦1,739,000,000.00, 1,309 pieces of used tyres with a DPV of ₦70,140,000.00.

Others are; 345 × 50kg bags of Foreign Parboiled Rice, 344 × 25 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), 4 Wraps (4 Kilogram) of Indian Hemp, 45 Sacks, 8 Sacks (9 Bales) of Used Clothings and Shoes, 34 Cartons of Foreign Wine, and 40 Bottles (5 litres), 21 Bottles (1 litres) of Foreign Vegetable Oil, all with a Total DPV of N1,890,022,931.00.

The CAC stated that, despite the prevailing economic challenges, the Command demonstrated resilience and efficiency in revenue generation by collecting the sum of N5,664,295,751.15 in February 2024. When added to the sum of N6,824,954,338.96, already collected for January 2024, the cumulative sum of N12,489,250,090.11 was collected so far for the fiscal year of 2024.

Comptroller Ben reiterated that all Borders within the Commands Area of Responsibility are still closed due to the Federal Government policy on Border closure and as such, “Command Officers remain vigilant and dedicated to preventing the smuggling of items that could compromise the health and well-being of our citizens.”

He appreciated the efforts of all Traditional Rulers, Local Government Chairmen and Key Stakeholders in both Oyo and Osun States, who have continued to enlighten their people about the negative effect of smuggling on the economy.

The CAC expressed the Nigeria Customs Service’s unwavering commitment to transparency, accountability, and the nation’s overall well-being. “We are confident that, through collective efforts, we can overcome the challenges we face and contribute to a more secure and prosperous future for Nigeria.”

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Customs Corner

COWA Collaborates with Youths, Women to Combat Drug Abuse



Author: Iruoghene Abra, Muhammad Bashir.

The National President of the Customs Officers’ Wives Association (COWA), Mrs. Kikelomo Adeniyi, has expressed readiness to partner with the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria as part of her plans to empower women through various ‘progressive’ programs aimed at improving their economic status.

Mrs. Kikelomo made this declaration during a meeting with members of the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, led by Ambassador Ibrahim Ibrahim, at the COWA National Secretariat on Thursday, 29 February 2024. She also emphasized her dedication to supporting women through educational initiatives.

In an address, Mrs. Kikelomo commended the organization’s executives for their tireless efforts in achieving the organization’s goals and objectives. She urged the young executives to continue their exemplary work in serving humanity.

Highlighting COWA’s activities, the President outlined initiatives such as providing support for women and children, empowering them with new skills and startup kits, and serving as the voice for the voiceless in society.

She emphasized that COWA stands as a pillar of support for wives and children during times of need, advocating for the rights of women who face similar challenges and discrimination in society.

Addressing the importance of mutual support, the COWA National President stressed the significance of women supporting each other to overcome obstacles and achieve their full potential.

She remarked, “The strength of a woman should not be measured by the challenges she faces but by her resilience in overcoming them.”

Continuing, she emphasized, “A healthy wife brings a wealthy life, as the well-being of women is crucial for the prosperity of households and communities.”

Mrs. Adeniyi highlighted the transformative power of education for women, stating, “When women are empowered, they contribute significantly to the economy, health, education, and all sectors of society, leading to positive change.”

She advocated for women to hold significant societal positions, citing their consistent ability to surpass expectations.

Mrs. Adeniyi reiterated COWA’s commitment to empowering women and children, expressing willingness to collaborate with the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria to achieve shared objectives.

In response, the National Coordinator of the National Youth for Women Empowerment and Education in Nigeria, Ambassador Ibrahim Ibrahim, briefed COWA on the organization’s activities, which include encouraging women to embrace education and advocating against child abuse and domestic violence.

He highlighted the organization’s focus on supporting widows and children, facilitating skill acquisition, and caring for the elderly, praising Mrs. Adeniyi’s leadership and integrity expressing confidence in her ability to lead COWA to greater heights.

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Customs Pledges Support to Boost Hibiscus Industry in Jigawa State



Author: Gift Wada.

The Nigeria Customs, on Tuesday, 27 February 2024, restated its commitment to support the Jigawa State Government in boosting the production and exportation of Hibiscus flowers in the state.

The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Dauda Ibrahim Chana, voiced his support during the official commissioning of the COMTTRA JIGAWA Hibiscus processing company by Governor Umar Namadi at the Magatari Border Free Zone in Jigawa state.

He pledged backing for the project, expressing the commitment of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, to promote exports, maintain trade balance, and safeguard national revenue and security.

“As a service, I wish to reiterate our commitment to support this laudable initiative and at the same time pledge our maximum co-operation for the effective take-off of this wonderful programme,” he said

While commending Governor Namadi, Chana highlighted the significance of the hibiscus plant in fostering value addition, encouraging exports, and generating employment opportunities.

On his part, the Bauchi State Governor, Umar Namadi, stated that the partnership aims to establish a cutting-edge Fumigation Chamber and a state-of-the-art cleaning and processing facility dedicated to hibiscus flowers. Operating under the brand name “Comttra Jigawa,” these facilities are poised to streamline production processes and elevate quality standards in the industry. This transformative collaboration seeks to position Jigawa as a leading center for hibiscus production and processing across Nigeria.

According to the Governor, In a bid to revolutionize the hibiscus value chain within its borders, the Jigawa State Government and Comttraex Nigeria Limited had inked a landmark Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement on April 19, 2022.

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