The National President of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Lucky Amiwero, has called on the Federal Government to allocate the controversial terminal handling charges and seven percent port development levy to the cargo trading process.
It will be recalled that a ministerial committee set up by the former minister of transport to review port charges, recommended the total cancellation of terminal handling charges and port development levy, which were not provided in the port concession agreement.
“Terminal handling charges are duplicated as terminal delivery charges and the duplication of the collection by shipping/terminal operators is in contravention of the ministerial committee’s recommendation and global practice, which outlaw the collection.
“The collection should be substituted for the cargo tracking note being a component of freight, which is to track cargo down to the port of destination”, Amiwero said, adding that the illegal and duplicated charges should be allocated to the cargo tracking process, which has great benefit to the nation in terms of revenue, security and safety of cargo.
The present collection of seven percent port development levy at the ports, he said, is not in consonant with the port concession agreement that transferred port development activities to the terminal operators.
In a 10-page letter entitled “Global Perspective on Cargo Tracking and its Effect on Security and Safety of the Nation’s Economy,” which he addressed to the Secretary to the Government of the Federal (SGF), Amiwero provided a comprehensive analytical framework on the cargo tracking note (CTN) recently introduced to Nigeria.
He noted that one of the important recent international developments in the field of supply chain security was the adoption, under the auspices of World Customs Organisation WCO) of a new framework of standards to secure and facilitate global trade, which is referred to as WCOSAFE Framework.
Among the four areas the SAFE Framework focuses is the mandatory outbound inspection of high risk containers on which the concept of cargo tracking and screening of outbound cargo was built.
Prior to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the United States, Amiwero said, customs authorities were responsible for the clearance of imported goods at destination, but the attack precipitated a change in cargo inspection based on security.
The cargo security programme developed after the terrorist attack emphasised provision of a new protocol for tracking and screening of cargo from both the country of origin to destination, which was adopted globally due to security threats on the supply chain.
He noted that the instrument for the implementation of CTN in Nigeria is pre-shipment of import and export 10 and 11 of April 9, 1999, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency Act 17 of 2007 and the Nigerian Ports Authority Decree 38 of 1999.
Freight includes the tracking of containers by the shipping agency/terminal operator to destination before delivery to consignee. This is based on the provision of the United Nations convention on carriage of goods by sea (ratification and enforcement) Act 19 of 2005 which is liability of carrier from the port of loading to port of discharge by handling over to the consignee, he added.
Customs Retires 304 Senior Officers, Soon
The Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) says the it will soon retire 304 senior officers who are either due by age or statutory 35 years in service.
This was contained in a retirement notice signed by Acting Comptroller Establishment, A. G Ahmed and made available to The Tide on Wednesday.
The statement noted that the affected officers would be disengaged from service by year 2020.
The retirement notice indicated that two Deputy Comptroller-Generals (DCG), three Assistant Comptroller-Generals (ACG), 13 comptrollers, 39 deputy comptrollers and 45 assistant comptrollers would be affected.
Other rank and file officers listed on the retirement notice include 71 chief superintendents of Customs, 33 superintendents, 31 deputy superintendents, 32 assistant superintendents I, 27 assistant superintendents II, seven inspectors and one assistant inspector.
The affected officers listed for retirement in the year 2020, in the rank of Deputy Comptroller-Generals are Dangaladima A.A in charge of Finance Administration & Technical Service (FATS) and Sanusi Umar in charge of Human Resource Development.
Officers in the rank of ACGs are Zonal Coordinator in Charge of Zone ‘C’, Frances Enwereuzor, ACG FATS, Bukar Amajam and Zonal Coordinator in charge of Zone B, Chris Odibu.
Officers in the rank of Comptrollers include Victor Dimka, Florence Dixon, Yusuf Bashar, Francis Adetoye , Gwani M.J, Ogwude L. N, Edede I.E, Abdulahi I.A, Zulkifu A.A, Garba K.U, Loko Y, Angbalaga J.J and one Adediran.
Deputy Comptrollers include Agbo A.H, Abdulrahman T, Salihu M.S, Abubakar M.D, Bello A.N, Chima D.N, Muhammed M, Aliyu D.G, Idris K.I, Namanu A, Zakari N, Ibume R.k, Oyafemi C.I, Waziri S.A, Abioye, T.0, Idris A.I, Muhammed A.B, Ebieme A.U, Adamu S.A, Yusuf S, Adie B.U and Dauda A. Others include Okoloagu D.I, Eneh O.O, Mamu B, Odwong B.R, Lot-Eburajolo J.E, Thlama P.W, Umar A.
Also in the list include Mustapha I.A, Umoh P.M, Bewaji I.O, Muhammed S.D, Maude A.M, Idris Danladi A.L, Omonoyan O.O, Malah D.A, Tanko S.M and Orekie M.C.
According to the retirement notice, the affected officers are to disengage from active service and proceed on pre-retirement leave, three months to the effective date of their retirement.
Recall that the NCS had in April announced plans to recruit 3,200 officers into the service to fill existing vacancies.
Acting Deputy Comptroller General, Human Resource Development, Sanusi Umar disclosed that 800 personnel would be recruited to fill vacancies in the support staff for superintendent cadre, while 2,400 would fill that of Customs Inspector and Customs Assistant Cadre in the General Duty categories.
Stories by Chinedu Wosu
Rivers Port Decries Poor State Of Jetty
The management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Rivers Port Complex, has expressed dismay over the poor deplorable state of its berth jetty in the port.
The management said the berth eight jetty had collapsed, thereby making it difficult for terminal operators to berth vessels in the jetty.
Port Manager, Rivers Port Complex, Port Harcourt, Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim Anji disclosed this to The Tide over the weekend shortly after the tour of the port facilities by Chairman and Board members of NPA who came for an oversight function of ports in the Eastern Zone.
Anji called on the management of NPA to carry out the rehabilitation of the collapsed berth jetty, saying its deplorable state has reduced revenue accruable to the Federal Government.
He noted that Bonny Channels Company (BCC) has not carried dredging work along the berths because of the doubt on its integrity and to avoid further possible collapse.
The port manager who expressed displeasure with the state of the berths and its quay aprons, called for Federal Government’s intervention to safe the Rivers port unproductivity.
He told the NPA Board that the non functional of the berth eight and other facilities in the jetties was affecting smooth operations at the port.
Engr. Anji appealed to the Chairman of the board, Mr. Emmanuel Adesoye to provide the port with a pilot cutter so as to enhance its shipping operations.
He also called on the Federal Government to acquire two more tugboats for the port to enhance its operations.
He decried lack of finger jetty at the port dockyard, saying its absence has been affecting smooth port operations at the port compared to western ports.
Meanwhile, the port manager called on the Federal Government to curb the act of piracy and insecurity experienced by vessels owners and crew members at the port.
LG Boss Wants Navy To Tackle Piracy On Bonny Waterways
The Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, David Irimagha has appealed to the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies in the area to step up the fight against sea piracy and other acts of criminality on the Bonny waterways.
Irimagha gave this charge at a one-day sensitisation lecture organised by the Nigerian Navy in the locality with the theme “Illegal Oil Refining (“Kpo-Fire”): Issues, Challenges and Way Forward”.
In a statement made available to The Tide on Wednesday by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Chairman, Williams Ogbah-Agwu, the chairman called for inter-agency collaboration and intelligence sharing among the security agencies in the area to enhance their capacity to nip emerging security challenges in the bud.
The Chairman who was represented by his Vice, Anengi Barasua lauded the Commanding Officer of the Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bonny, Navy Capt. Kola Oguntuga, for conceptualising such sensitisation programme, noting that it creates the necessary awareness and co-operation from the people of the area.
Also speaking, Chairman of the Bonny Council of Chiefs, Chief Dagogo Claude-Wilcox described the event as “a very important day for Bonny Kingdom as this marks the beginning of a new dawn for the community”.
He said that the sensitisation programme was “of monumental importance as it would enlighten us on the hazards of illegal oil refining,”
“This devil in our community called ‘kpo fire’ will be eradicated for the betterment of us all”.
Earlier, Navy Capt. Oguntuga while welcoming the participants had said that the sensitisation programme was aimed at creating the right awareness about issues affecting the security situation in the area.
He said the event was to enhance the synergy between the Nigerian Navy and the civilian populace in the area in its efforts at addressing security challenges.
In his keynote address, Professor of Animal and Environmental Biology/Benthic Ecology, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Ibitoru Hart warned that illegal or artisanal refining of crude oil across the Niger Delta region was destructive to the environment as it poses a threat to aquatic and wild life in the region.
He blamed the debilitating incidents of soot across Rivers State on illegal refining.
“Soot that falls on water is oil that prevents oxygen from dissolving into the water thus endangering the fishes and other animals in the water, including plants and other sea organisms”, he said.
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