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Customs Bench Mark Tears Licensed Agents Apart

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The long standing crisis rocking the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), at the national level is gradually spreading  to its chapters across the country.

At the Seme border chapter of the association, flexing of muscles continues   among its elected executive members.

This time around, there was open confrontation between the elected Chairman of the chapter Mr. Patrick Ozobialu and the Secretary General.

The cold War between the two Executive members has spread over to other members of the association thereby jeopardizing the Association’s progress.

The Executive Chairman was accused of insubordination, lack of respect for constituted authority.

In a chat,  the Public Relation Officer of the Association, Mr. Emma Okwoche, said that the problem in the association is a minor mis-understanding between the chairman and the executive over customs bench mark.

Other executive officers alleged that the Chairman was instigating trouble among members and also claiming ignorance of what the secretary and members of the executive were doing in respect of the on-going negotiation between the customs command area controller and some members of the executives.

A cross section of the association members who spoke with our correspondent at Aso-Rock Seme border, alleged that the chairman absented himself from a crucial negotiation meeting on a way forward between the clearing agent and the representative of the Nigeria Customs Service Seme border saying that it was a signal of complete betrayal by the elected Chairman.

The meeting between the clearing house and the customs was to negotiate on the N2.6 million duty per truck at Seme border by the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Sahabi Sadiq which according to agents was too high  as a result of whihc they  stopped work  for over three months now.

The agents in the past three months at Seme border stopped clearing in protest of over 100 percent increase in clearing of goods from the land borders.

According to them, formerly a truck  load  from  Seme was N1.3 million which was  now increase to N2.6 million which according to them, did  not go well with the clearing house and their importers:  This may also cause inflation in the nations economys which the common man will bear the brunt.”

However, the spokesman of ANLCA, Seme chapter, Mr. Okwochie Emma said the absent of the Chairman during a well planned meeting spanked off argument between members who viewed his abssence as anti association activities.

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Maritime

Piracy: MWUN Tasks NIMASA On Security Of Inland Waters

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The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waterways to curb piracy and other forms of criminal activities.
The Deep Blue Project consists of Nigeria’s maritime security assets commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari recently.
Despite the launch of the USD195 million maritime security assets, criminal acts have persisted in the Gulf of Guinea (GOG) and the nations inland waterways, witnessing the abduction of eight persons including five maritime workers, along the Kula-Abonnema River.
Speaking on the abduction, Deputy General Secretary of MWUN, Comrade Oniha Erazua, urged NIMASA to extend the coverage of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters considering the incessant abduction of travellers along the waterways.
“It’s appalling that five of our workers were abducted suddenly. It took the intervention of some stakeholders to get them rescued eventually. Our coastal waters are essential to the economy of the country and should be secured.
“Should we now leave our inland waters insecure to the detriment of our workers? It shouldn’t be. We are begging NIMASA to extend the activity wing of the Deep Blue Project to the inland waters that are prone to kidnapping and all other maritime related crimes”, he said.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

MWUN Members Relive Experiences In Kidnappers’ Den …Say They Were Fed With Garri, Flogged With Knives

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The five members of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Rivers State Branch, that regained freedom from kidnappers’ den last week say they were fed with only garri and flogged with knives and sticks while in captivity. 
The MWUN members said they were fed for three out of the six days in captivity in the hands of the suspected pirates.
Narrating their ordeal to The Tide shortly after their release in Port Harcourt, the victims comprising four men and one woman said they were set free and dumped at a mangrove forest near Abonnema between 8pm and 9pm.
“The experience at the mangrove was not easy, we were beaten with knives and sticks by the pirates.
“We were fed with garri for only three days through out our six days of captivity, once in a day”, one of the victims who did not want his name mentioned said. 
 The victims, however, declined to give reasons why they were abducted by suspected gunmen on their way to Port Harcourt on a commercial boat.
It would be recalled that the five members of MWUN were kidnapped two weeks ago by suspected pirates onboard a commercial boat from Kula, near Abonnema to Port Harcourt to attend a meeting. 
The MWUN gave their names as Comrade Wisdom Iderima, Chairman, MWUN, Kula Unit; West Opubo, Secretary, MWUN, Kula, Unit; Ajenina Daniel, Vice Chairman, and Madam Clementeba Clementeba Exco officio of MWUN, Kula Unit. 
One of the abductees, Madam Clementeba said she had been kidnapped three times by pirates.
She said she had 12 boats that used to ply Kula /Abonnema routes, but had all been stolen by criminals.
She said sea robbers had carted away 10 of her speed boats for no reasons.
Clementeba called on the Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the state government to assist her recover her missing boats and curb sea piracy on the waterways.

By: Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

NIWA Threatens To Arrest Fishermen Defecating In Lagos Lagoon

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The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has threatened to arrest and prosecute any fisherman that defecates into Lagos lagoon.
This was contained in a statement by Kelvin Eba, an official of the agency working at the Liverpool area of Apapa, Lagos while warning the fishermen.
Eba said the agency would no longer tolerate the practice, but insisted that it would arrest and prosecute any culprit.
He said NIWA had set up patrol teams to arrest offenders, most of whom he described as “illiterates and drug addicts”.
He said, “Defecating into the river, lagoon and such places is classified as open defecation, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), can lead to the outbreak of diseases including diarrhea and others associated with ingesting and exposure to human waste”.
The Tide reports that in October 2019, Nigeria became the number one open defecation nations in the world, overtaking India. 
An estimate of 10 to 50 million Nigerians are said to be defecating in the open space.

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