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Customs Corner

President Buhari’s Guidance, Key to Customs’ Transformation- CGC, Col. Hameed Ali

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President Buhari's Guidance, Key to Customs' Transformation- CGC, Col. Hameed Ali

By: Bashir Mohammed

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) CFR has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being the ‘harbinger’ of the new Customs, through his hyper-focus on transforming the Service to a more developed entity.

CGC Hameed Ali who made this known on Tuesday during the inauguration ceremony for the new customs Corporate Headquarters in Maitama, Abuja said, “The Service has witnessed remarkable milestones that revolutionized its operations and brought it closer to its goal of becoming a world-class customs administration, through President Muhammadu Buhari’s guidance.”

Speaking further, the CGC also appreciated President Buhari for signing into law, the Customs Bill, which according to him, will bring an end to the old law which has been in force for the past 63 years.

“This landmark legislation represents a significant achievement for the Nigeria Customs Service and the entire nation. It provides us with a comprehensive legal framework that aligns with international best practices, strengthens our regulatory capabilities, and fosters trade facilitation.” CGC Hameed Ali said.

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He further said that the Service is reaching the skies and attaining remarkable stages due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to creating an enabling business environment, and promoting transparency and accountability in customs operations.

He commended the President for making a giant stride in eradicating corruption amongst the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service and leading it to the path of integrity, by approving the 100% increase in their remuneration.

The CG also applauded President Buhari for actualizing the Customs Modernisation Project (CMP), which he described as “a transformative initiative that aims to modernize all aspects of Nigeria Customs Service operations through the innovative use of technology.”

“With Your Excellency’s backing, we have embarked on a journey to digitalize our processes, enhance efficiency, and improve service delivery. The CMP will not only streamline our operations but also contribute to trade facilitation, revenue optimization, security and the overall economic growth of our nation.” He said.

“Our gratitude equally goes to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, for your support throughout your tenure. We remain appreciative of your role as Chairman of the Nigeria Customs Service Board in setting broad policies and guiding their implementation. Through you, we are also thanking your Colleagues in the Federal Executive Council, for their support to the Service.” CGC Hameed Ali added.

The Customs Boss however, said the efforts being made by the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service will not go unnoticed, adding that “their effort, unwavering commitment, professionalism, and sacrifices have been instrumental in shaping the success of our organization.”

“I commend their dedication to duty, particularly in safeguarding our borders, combating smuggling, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations. This milestone would not have been possible without their tireless efforts.”

He also expressed gratitude to the partners and stakeholders of NCS, including trade associations, private sector partners, and international organizations for their continuous collaboration and support.

“Their invaluable contributions have been instrumental in shaping our strategies, enhancing trade facilitation, and promoting a culture of compliance.” He added.

The CGC who expressed resilient commitment that the Service will remain resolute in delivering on its mandate with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and efficiency, also pledged to leverage the newly commissioned headquarters, equipped with modern infrastructure and technology, to drive its transformation agenda forward.

“Let me express our heartfelt gratitude to Your Excellency, Mr President, for your exemplary leadership, guidance, and support. Your commitment to the development of the Nigeria Customs Service and our nation as a whole is truly commendable. We stand ready to fulfil our responsibilities and contribute to the socio-economic progress of our beloved nation.” He concluded.

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Customs Corner

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

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…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

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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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Agriculture

Customs Pledges Support to Boost Hibiscus Industry in Jigawa State

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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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