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Security Challenges Worry Customs Comptroller General

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The rising wave of violence and insecurity poses a challenge to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) as it must ensure that dangerous materials were not taken into the country through its borders.

NCS Comptroller-General, Alhaji Abullahi Dikko made the remark last Tuesday in Abuja when he visited the News Agency of Nigeria.

He said it was heart-warming, however, that the service had risen to the challenge by ensuring that dangerous materials were not allowed to be taken into the country through the borders.

“If you observe, towards the last quarter of last year, we have been experiencing challenges when it comes to security; you know we are partly security, partly revenue.

“When you look at the borders, we are in charge; anything that happens there is Customs because we are vested with the responsibility of checking goods that cross the border.

“Thank God that things are going well now.’’

The comptroller-general said that the service was glad to be associated with NAN while also pledging the support and patronage of the Customs Service.

Dikko stressed that the visit marked the beginning of an even stronger relationship between NAN and the service.

“NAN is the first place I have ever visited since the beginning of 2012, I am proud and glad to be associated with NAN; this is the beginning of the relationship.’’

Earlier the Managing Director of NAN, Mrs Oluremi Oyo, while thanking the comptroller-general for the visit pledged the agency’s preparedness to collaborate with the Customs Service.

She explained that NAN had the highest collection of journalists with 36 state offices, 14 district offices, five foreign offices and more than 200 subscribers.

She said plans were underway to increase the number of district offices from 14 to 40 so as to report the hinterland more effectively.

“All over the country I want to say that your men and women have been of tremendous help to us and we are grateful to you for that.

“We have 14 district offices and I hope that when the Editor-in-Chief has finished dotting the ‘Is and crossing the ‘Ts, the 14 district offices would increase to about 40.

“The idea is for us to be able to cover the hinterland and right now, NAN happily, is the leader in media photography in the country today.

Oyo said that after the establishment of the offices, more journalists would be employed to provide more media content for the nation.

‘There is no better way in which we can serve the public than for us to have information at all times and I am glad and am proud also that your service has been doing that for us.’’

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Maritime

NSC Boss Warns Maritime Agencies Against Unhealthy Rivalries

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The Executive Secretary/ Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello, has warned agencies in the maritime sector to avoid superiority rivalry, saying it has done the industry more harm than good.
He also advised heads of maritime agencies to avoid cosmetic cooperation and come together for the development of the industry. 
Bello gave this warning at a sent-forth ceremony organised in his honour, last Friday. 
Bello bowed out of service last Friday after eight years of service. 
He was appointed by the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2013. Before his appointment, he was the Director, Legal Services of the NSC.
Bello noted that some agencies spent so much in defending their territories while neglecting their statutory mandates.
According to him, “There is lack of synergy among the agencies and I don’t think it is succeeding because it has been the basis of equality. There is no agency that is better than the other.
“Agencies are not graded by their budgets but what they contribute, but it is very unfortunate some agencies think that maritime starts and stops with them. No, it cannot work.
“Some agencies are trying to defend territories and in doing so, they go to a large extent and that is not good. They spend a lot of money to defend these territories while they neglect what they are established to do and that’s why we are not developing and that’s what Nigerian Shippers’ Council will never take from anybody not now, tomorrow or forever. We are all equal, we all have contributions to make.
“We can’t be having cosmetic cooperation, we have to have real cooperation”.
Bello said that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had undergone a lot of transformations, saying the era of state capture was over.
He lauded the Minister, Permanent Secretary and Directors of the Ministry for giving the Council the opportunity to achieve a lot through their supports.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Maritime

Okowa Seeks Permanent Site For Maritime Varsity

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The Delta State governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the Federal Government to develop the permanent site of the Nigeria Maritime University (NMU), Okerenkoko.
Okowa made the call while playing host to the Governing Council of the university during a courtesy visit at the Government House, Asaba.
He said the establishment of a permanent campus would go a long way in putting the university on a sound footing, and ultimately enable it to deliver on its core mandate of imparting sound maritime-related education on students.
The governor said he was happy that the institution took off academic activities at the temporary site but urged the Federal Government to make resources available for the construction of buildings and provision of amenities that would enhance academic activities.
He noted that the birth of the special educational institution for the training of manpower in the maritime sector had strengthened peace and the economy of riverine communities.
Okowa advocated the need for more projects to be sited in riverine areas because of the inputs of riverine areas to the economy of the nation.
“We thank God that the Maritime University has started even when we have challenges because we do know that the take-off of the university brought good news to our people and helped us to build peace, particularly in our riverine areas”, he said. 
Earlier, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Governing Council of the university, Dr Elias Courson, commended Governor Okowa for his inspiring and magnanimous support towards the take-off and continued development of the university.
He also thanked the governor for establishing three additional universities in the state, which would provide additional access to quality education not only to Deltans but to Nigerians.
Dr Courson, however, appealed to Okowa to assist the university in completing the renovation/ remodelling of the classroom blocks, construction of additional staff quarters and provision of a potable water scheme in the campus.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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2022 Nations Cup: S’Eagles To Travel To Cameroon By Boat

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The  Lagos State Ferry Services (LAGFERRY) says it will convey the Super Eagles of Nigeria by boat to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup.
Managing Director, LAGFERRY, Abdullah Balogun, stated this in a statement.
“We plan to take Nigeria’s Super Eagles to Cameroon for next year’s Nations Cup after achieving that of Benin Republic — this is a goal we have set for ourselves”, Balogun said.
 LAGFERRY said they considered the boat trip following the success recorded in the Benin experience.
He said, “It was a major milestone for us to transport Nigeria’s national team to the Benin Republic through the waterways.
“Coming on board LAGFERRY through the international route to the Benin Republic is a mind-blowing experience. We were excited to be part of it”.
The LAGFERRY boss said the success recorded in the Benin game, where the Eagles won 1-0 away, was as a result of the trouble-free trip.
“It reflected on the field of play and it showed on their (players) performances because they came out victorious in the game,” he said. 
Balogun said the players, during next year’s boat trip, would enjoy free Wi-Fi, USB pots and a lot of entertainment and side attractions enabled by technology.

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