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Agents Make Case For SON’s Return To Ports

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Clearing agents under the aegis of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agents (ANCCA) had thrown its weight behind the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) in its current efforts to persuade the federal government to rescind its decision that SON should leave the ports.

The spokesman of the Association Seme Border Chapter, MR Okwochie Emman said the clearing agents were prepared to support SON in its clamour for reinstatement to the seaports.

Okwochie who made the declaration in an exclusive interview with The Tide correspondent at Seme border said the ANCCA needed SON officers for joint inspection of imported consignments.

According to him, agents were not opposed to undertaking joint inspection with SON because the role of the agency in promotion and protection of public health is paramount to national survival.

Okwochie expressed deep regret that the removal of SON from the ports and land borders has created an unhealthy opportunity for large quantities of unwholesome products to escape detection at the ports.

The ANCCA chieftain stressed the need for customs to invite officers of the standards organisation to assess shipping documents in order to forestall influx of spurious products.

Okwochie expressed concern that the country’s international image would be dented by activities of unpatriotic Nigerians and their foreign collaborators who flood Nigerian markets with fake and unwholesome products stressing that the federal government in its wisdom should bring back the Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON) to the nation’s seaports and land borders to track down unscrupulous importers of sub-standard products.

It could be recalled that federal government ordered nine government agencies out of the ports as a measure to eliminate corruption in the sector.

The Finance Minister, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala gave the maching order which sent the standard organization of Nigeria (SON), National Drug Law enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), National  Agency for Food, Drugs and Administration Control (NAFDAC), Plant Quarantine, Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) Directorate of Naval Intelligence (DNI), NESREA, and Police Bomb Disposal unit packing from the nation’s ports.

The agencies approved by the minister to remain in the ports are Nigeria Port Authority (NPA), Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), which has statutory functions.

Others are, the customs service, port Health, Immigration Service, State Security service (SSS), and the Port Police Command.

Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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