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Customs Destroys N70m Poultry Products

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The Nigeria Customs
Service(NCS) in collaboration with the Poultry Association of Association (PAN) on Tuesday, destroyed N70 million worth of poultry products as part of its commitment to fight against smuggling of poultry products into the country.
The commitment was made at the official launch of operation “Hawk Descend” at the Seme border by officials of Customs and members of Poultry Association of Nigeria.
Our correspondent reports that 10,000 cartons of poultry products valued at N70million were destroyed by the customs officials during the event.
The joint sensitisation is to checkmate smuggling of products into the country from its border point with the Republic of Benin.
The Comptroller General of Customs,(CGC) Mr Dikko Abdullahi, said that the aim of the operation was to achieve national food security and protection of the nation’s economy.
The CGC represented by his deputy, Mr Tahil Musa, said that the consumption of the products poses a grave health hazard to teeming Nigerians when consumed.
“The Hawk Descend is a special operation to fire shot in our war against smuggling of frozen chickens, turkeys and other poultry products into the country.
“The operation will be conducted in the South-Western border axis covering our command and patrols in Lagos, Ogun and Oyo States and it would be for three months.
“During this period, our operatives will intercept smuggled products which will be destroyed in line with the provision of extant laws and regulations. There will be no hiding place for smuggled chickens in our land because our hawks will descend and mop them out of circulation.
“There are millions of patriotic Nigerians who have invested their hard earned resources in the local poultry sector so the unfair competition from smuggled chickens threatens their investment and capacity.
“So any form of smuggling would not be tolerated,” he said.
He urged stakeholders to cooperate with the Nigeria Customs Service in the fight against smuggling.
“The destruction of seized poultry products is stretching our logistics to the limits so the manner of disposal is equally raising serious environmental questions.
“We shall engage Ministries of the Environment at Federal and state levels, environment activists, NGOs and other interested stakeholders to pursue better ways of disposal in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner.
“We are counting on all stakeholders as dependable allies because our war is your war and we must win it together,’ he said.
The National President of Poultry Association of Nigeria, Dr. Ayoola Oduntan, in his address said that about 80 per cent of poultry products are imported from the Republic of Benin into Nigeria.
Oduntan represented by the Director, General of the Association, Mr Onallo Akpa, said that over 500 metric tonnes of poultry products were being imported from European countries alone into the country despite the efforts of Nigeria poultry farmers.
“Formalin which is the chemical used to embalm corpses is the same that is used to preserve the frozen products before importation to the country and it is very dangerous to our health.
“Other than ruining the Nigerian economy, the destruction of the local poultry industry and the erosion of family livelihoods, Nigerians are worse off by the continued patronage of these unwholesome smuggled poultry products and it can bring a collapse to the economy.
“We must not allow smuggling to destroy our economy; so we must work together to save our economy,’ Oduntan said.
The Area Controller of Seme Command, Mohammed Ndalati, said that his command would ensure that smuggling was totally eradicated.

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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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