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Ogoniland Clean-Up: A Step To Right The Wrong?

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Shortly after his assump
tion of office, President Muhammadu Buhari approved several actions to fast-track the long delayed implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on the environmental restoration of Ogoniland.
The president’s approval was a fulfilment of his campaign promise to the Ogoni people when he visited the area in January 2015 to solicit their votes.
Expectedly, the president will officially launch the onset of the clean-up in the coming weeks, according to the Minister of Environment, Hajiya Amina Mohammed.
Oil spillage and pollution in Ogoniland began in 1968 at Ejamah, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State, and in 1970, the area recorded another spill at K-Dere in Gokana Local Government Area.
The multinational oil company, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, is said to be responsible for the spills and its attendant environmental pollution.
Commenting on the spills,  the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni (MOSOP), Mr Fegalo Nsuke,0 1said that it was quite vexing to note that Shell made no tangible attempt to clean up the spills till date.
“Since Shell pulled out in 1993, there had been no normal activity in Ogoniland oilfields.
“However, we have had cases of illegal mining and stealing by Shell’s agents but no oil company is officially operating in Ogoniland today,’’ he said.
Nsuke stressed that the struggle for Ogoniland’s clean-up and the remediation of its environment had claimed several lives, including the lives of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Agbarator Otu, Edward Kobani Theo Orage, Barinem Kiobel and John Kpuinen.
As part of preparations toward the launch of the clean-up, the minister of environment visited Ogoniland between March 3 and March 4 to inform the people of the impending exercise and seek their cooperation with government on the project.
The minister’s first port of call in Ogoniland was the palace of Gbeneme of Tai kingdom, Godwin Gininwa, who is also the President, Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Ogoniland, where she met with traditional rulers and other leaders of the area.
At the meeting, Mohammed conveyed the Federal Government’s commitment to implementing the UNEP report and pleaded for the people’s cooperation.
Responding, Gininwa commended President Buhari for keeping to his promise to clean up Ogoniland.
“We are happy that he kept faith because less than 100 days into his government, the president directed several actions to fast-track the implementation of the UNEP report, as he promised,’’ he said.
Nevertheless, Gininwa appealed to Buhari to mop up arms in Ogoniland and rid the communities of violent militants, saying that this was very important as the area’s clean-up was imminent.
“Ogoni is faced with a dangerous situation as there are arms in almost all the communities; hence the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers endorses continuous deployment of the military to Ogoni,’’ he said.
Sen. Magnus Abe, who was one of the dignitaries on hand at the palace to receive the minister, pleaded with the people to bury their differences so as to ensure the realisation of the clean-up’s objectives.
“I want to use this opportunity to appeal to Ogoni people that the implementation of the UNEP report is beyond politics. This is not a fight we started today.
“I do not think it will be right, proper or fair for us to do anything that will give anybody the impression that we cannot bury our differences for the sake of our land.
“If we do that, it will be very, very unfortunate. Anybody that creates that atmosphere is doing Ogoni people a great disservice and that will not be right,’’ Abe said.
After the meeting at Gbeneme’s palace, the minister proceeded to Bori, the headquarters of Khana Local Government Area, where she held a stakeholders’ meeting with a cross-section of Ogoni people.
Mohammed described the proposed clean-up of the area as a “right step to right the wrong of the past’’.
She believed that the exercise would mark the end of the long years of the struggle and the dawn of a new era for Ogoni people.
Mohammed admitted that the apathy of the government and oil companies to the plight of the Ogoni people, whose land had been degraded over the years by oil spillage and pollution, had created considerable tension in the area.
“We must protect the environment, it exists for our prosperity.
“Since the discovery of oil in Oloibiri (Bayelsa) in 1958, the environment in the Niger Delta area has been degraded and livelihood of the people negatively affected.
“This has led to agitations and public outcry, championed by notable sons and daughters of this region.
“Let me at this juncture emphasise that the Federal Government, under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, is committed to changing the narrative of environmental degradation, pollution, erosion, desertification and unhygienic conditions in Nigeria,’’ she said.
Mohammed promised that the clean-up would be used to “jump-start a sustainable livelihood agenda for the people of the Niger Delta that is less dependent on oil.
“We intend to use the process to create jobs, improve capacity of the Niger Delta on environmental management and improve the economy.
“The process of the clean-up is being designed to ensure its ownership by Ogoni people and, indeed, the entire Niger Delta area,’’ the minister said.
The President of MOSOP, Mr Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, who responded on behalf of the people, said that the current efforts to clean up Ogoniland were the outcome of the struggle of the Ogoni people.
“Ogoni environment is bleeding. There cannot be sustainable development in Ogoni without a sustainable environment and vice versa,’’ he said.
Pyagbara, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government to use the opportunity of the clean-up to bring to an end the environmental degradation of the area, while addressing the myriad development challenges facing the area.
The MOSOP president emphasised that poverty was also a causative factor of environmental degradation.
“Any clean-up and remediation of Ogoniland, which is not backed up by a clear practical development framework or plan to address other socio-economic issues, is not likely to succeed in the long term,’’ he said.
Besides, Pyagbara proposed that the environmental rejuvenation programme should involve three phases: “oil spills’ prevention, oil spills’ clean-up and environmental restoration’’.
He said: “Nigeria will be judged not only by its efforts to promote national integration but also how it actually protects the weak, the vulnerable and those whose lives have been imperilled by oil exploration by multinationals.’’
Also speaking, a youth leader in the area, Mr Kennedy Goodfriday, said that the faith of the Ogoni people in the government had waned considerably because of the delayed clean-up of the land.
Goodfriday demanded assurance from the minister that the exercise would not be jettisoned after all, while  an elder, Mr Baris Gbama, pleaded with all leaders of Ogoni not to betray the hope of the ordinary people.
A bishop, who preferred anonymity, also appealed to the political class in Ogoniland to close ranks and mobilise the people for the clean-up.
The cleric, however, appealed to the Federal Government to channel whatever benefits that would accrue to the people in course of the clean-up to “the real Ogoni people and not crooks.’’
A woman, who simply identified herself as Mary, said that women should not be left out in the process “because the women usually bear the brunt of environmental pollution and degradation in Ogoniland’’.
While receiving the minister earlier, Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers advised the Federal Government to refrain from any form of partisanship by including all stakeholders in the clean-up process to make it a success.
“What I will appeal to you is that when you say stakeholders, I don’t know who drafted or compiled the list of the stakeholders but I do believe that if you really want to achieve, you must be careful not to bring politics into it.
“It doesn’t matter which political party anybody belongs to; these environmental issues do not affect a political party, they affect the entire state and the entire Niger Delta as a whole.
“Communities do not know about political parties, what communities know is about how to survive.
“And so, I will advise that we approach the exercise in such a way that it does not look political, particularly in Ogoniland because it is a very complex place and you have to be extremely careful.
“This is because if you are not careful, you may not achieve what you want you intend to achieve,’’ Wike said.
The governor observed that some of the crises in Ogoniland had political undertones, adding that explained why previous administrations had found it difficult to do what they were supposed to do in efforts to clean up the area.
During the minister’s visit to Bayelsa, Gov. Seriake Dickson called for the strengthening of regulatory bodies in the oil sector to make multinational companies operating in the Niger Delta area to live up to their responsibilities.
Dickson said that the multinational companies, whose activities largely caused the area’s degradation, had often cashed in on the weakness of the regulatory institutions to short-change the region and Nigeria in general.
“All of us must work to address the weaknesses inherent in our institutions in this country — the weaknesses which some of these oil majors are exploiting to create double standards,’’ he said.
The governor, who welcomed the nascent move to clean up the entire Niger Delta region, beginning with Ogoniland, described Bayelsa as the epicentre of oil pollution the region.
Eyiangho writes for News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

 

Johnson Eyiangho

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Challenges Of Reporting Nigeria’s Electoral Process

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The Institute for Media and Society (IMS) in conjunction with the European Union Support for Democratic Governance in Nigeria, Component 4A (Support to Media), recently organised a Focus Group Discussion (FGD) on “Trends And Challenges In Fair, Accurate and Ethical Coverage Of the Electoral Process In Nigeria” in a bid to strengthen the media houses. Here, our reporter, Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, attempts an analysis of the main discourses at the one-day event held in Port Harcourt. 

Speaking during his open
ing address, the Executive Director, Institute for Media and Society (IMS), Mr. Akin Akingbulu, stated that the mandate of his Institute was to see that the Media provides fair, accurate and ethical coverage of the electoral process in Nigeria, adding that since the project started they have been working on this mandate and have recorded tremendous results.
He explained that the Nigeria Component, which is also called Support to Media, has four components, namely: To enhance professionalism of the media; To help to strengthen institutions to deepen and diversify the delivery of voter and civic education; To help strengthen the capacity of the regulators, especially the broadcast sector regulator, as to enable it do better on its mandate; and To drive the focus and attention of the media on marginalised groups in society such as women, youths, persons with disabilities for input participation of these particular groups in the electoral and broader democratic processes in Nigeria.
Akingbulu noted that, so far, there has been tremendous progress, adding that they have recorded these tremendous results through forums such as this over the past few years.
He further explained that the media is a critical stakeholder in the Nigeria Component for which reason they have come to Port Harcourt to engage in this activity, which falls under the sub Component, and is working on strengthening media platforms for improved delivery of voter and civic education in the electoral process.   
“We have brought together conscious and strategically important stakeholders to be part of this discussion as we believe that focus group discussion should be small, but qualitative; hence our choice of selection, noting that it is expected that those selected for the focused discussion will do a step-down at their various media houses.
“We trust that we will get the best out of the conversation that we are going to have here. To ensure that activities run well, we have put in place a timber-and-caliber facilitator, a Professor of Communication, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Ifeoma Dunu,” Akingbulu announced.
In her presentation, the facilitator of the group discussion, Prof Dunu stated that it was expected that the discussions would suggest ways to move forward, adding that, for her, it was not just conversation and discussions, but the way forward.
Dunu emphasised that this year is the electoral period in Nigeria, using Anambra State as an example. Looking at democracy and governance in Nigeria, she wondered where Nigeria’s Democracy is today. Is it progressing, retrogressing or stagnated?     
She added that IMS was in Port Harcourt to ensure that all the institutions responsible to the smooth running of the electoral process in Nigeria get it right, remarking that the discussion must find lasting solutions to some of the problems confronting the electoral process in the country.
The varsity don also noted that journalism challenges are part of the core challenges confronting the electoral process as journalists working in both the private and public media houses are faced with poor remunerations which forces them to give biased reportage.
In her contribution, the Chairperson, Nigeria Association of Women Journalists (NAWOJ), Rivers State Chapter, Mrs. Susan Serekara-Nwikhana, drew attention to the meaning of democracy as a system of government in which power is vested with the people and exercised by them directly.
She, however, pointed out that in Nigeria the reverse is the case as this power is vested in the legislature, noting that democracy is not being practised in the country.
A staff of Radio Nigeria, Purity FM Awka, Dr Adaora Arah, who also spoke at the event, stated that there were many young broadcasters who engaged in broadcasting without possessing the requisite qualifications to do so. She, therefore, urged the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to beam its searchlight on television and radio stations, especially those operating in remote areas.
Arah stressed that many of them have not gone to communication schools, nor acquired the needed training on what broadcasting is all about before embarking on full broadcast activities, thereby bringing embarrassment to their stations, NBC and the general public.
In his speech, a member of the International Broadcasting Association of Nigeria (IBAN), Charles Maraizu, stated that the only way forward for the electoral process in Nigeria is for it to be centralised as there were many incidences that bedeviled Nigeria’s democracy.
He stressed that there were also voters’ apathy, in which the people were no longer interested to go out and vote as many of them have continued to express fear that their votes no longer count in elections. 
 Maraizu commended IMS for organising the programme and for always being gender sensitive as well as bringing serious-minded people on board for the focus group discussions saying, ‘whenever they do things, they always do it well’.
He advised everyone to generate ideas on the trends and challenges of the media “because, to me, it is not enough to produce gender sensitive media lens glass without representing it by putting it to action”, adding that IMS was always walking the talk and not just talking.
In his turn, the Director of Broadcast Monitoring at NBC, Dr Tony Anigala, informed that his Commission does not deal with an individual when a broadcast station violates the ethics of broadcasting.
He commended the IMS, which has been there over the years, helping NBC a lot during elections, adding that recommendations gotten from IMS platforms help the Commission to do better.
Anigala charged participants to produce positive results from some of the materials which NBC had given out to them and their organisations, while also adding that at any point in time people should tell NBC whatever it needs to do to improve, especially during the electoral process.
Chief Constance Meju, in her goodwill message, stated that marginalisation has been one of the challenges women go through, adding that her group has been pushing for more women to be included in all spheres as long as politics was concerned.
She was of the opinion that, as a way forward, both the private and public media, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission (RSIEC), among other institutions should be financially autonomous so that they can independently operate under the ambit of the law without fear or favour.
Meju also appealed that the training be extended to politicians and Nigeria leaders as they have allowed the security system to be too tight to the politics, remarking that governance is not about party. She advocated the retention of the multi-party system in Nigeria.
In summary, the main resolutions reached at the event include:

  • The institutions responsible to drive the electoral process in Nigeria are not strong. 
  • Structures needed for such drive, not in place. 
  • Individuals, journalists in both private and public media houses and relevant institutions should be financially well equipped, so that they can operate independently and within the ambit of the law, among others.
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Checking Sex Trafficking Of African Women

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For thousands of years and even up to the present, African women have been subjected to acts of slavery, including sex trafficking, forced labour and domestic servitude.
Slavery has, therefore, become a daily happening each and every year, particularly among Africans. Now it seems some persons have turned it into a huge business from which they make large sums of money with no intention to let go any soon. This criminal act towards these victims is mostly perpetrated by their relatives, friends, men or women who pretend to mean well but who harbour evil intentions toward their unsuspecting victims.
The world is increasingly being blinded by the truth so much so that we don’t get to face the reality when a young girl is being trafficked. During the invasion of slave traders, women were used to satisfy their sex needs because such females were deemed to be of little or no importance unlike the men who were forced to perform the harder duties. These ladies were used anytime, any day thereby robbing them of their dignity and self esteem. Unfortunately, this trend has endured till date, more especially among African women.
Let me share the story of a young lady who was once a sex traffic victim. Her name is Ngozi (not real name). I met her in Moscow, the Russian capital, four years ago. She and her baby caught my attention. I was so curious to know who she was because, from every indication, she didn’t strike me as a student.
We started off by exchanging pleasantries after which she asked to know if I was a student, to which I responded in the affirmative. When she said she wasn’t a student, I then realised that my instinct was right, after all.
She was like, I need to tell you about myself unashamedly; an experience that has become a lesson to me and which might serve as a warning to any young girl who clamours to travel out of Nigeria in search of a better life.
Ngozi started narrating the story of how she was taken from Delta State, lured with the offer of travelling to Russia to assist a certain nursing mother from Uganda who was resident in Moscow. Her duty would entail taking care of the lady’s children in her absence.
The woman who travelled down to pick her from Nigeria happened to be a friend to her aunty whom she was staying with then. The two friends had a lengthy discussion together during which the woman assured Ngozi’s aunty that her niece would be well paid and have a good life. In turn, the aunty pleaded that Ngozi be properly taken care of and given the best of life as promised.
Fast forwarding a little, she narrated how her travel documents were processed based on the understanding that she was going for study as claimed by her lady companion in order to avert suspicion.
Ngozi said she was barely 17 years old as at when the woman came to pick her up. Everything sailed through for her at the entry points and they were able to arrive Moscow. But life took a different turn for her in a space of three days. The woman really made her feel comfortable in those few days, but on the fourth day, two hefty men wearing masks came into the apartment at night and whisked her away.
According to the lady, she was not the only one in such a mess as she could hear other girls crying and pleading for help from another cage where they were held. All she did was to cry quietly knowing the uselessness of any loud wailing. Soon, they were given new clothes by the masked men and told to get ready for work.
A new but harsh life began for Ngozi such that she got thoroughly beaten and starved whenever she declined sleeping with her assigned clients. She was forced to sleep with an average of 10 men each day and the money paid directly to the madam in charge of them. All her attempts to escape proved futile. Ngozi’s child came from a Russian man who bought her off from her madam. On the possibility of returning to Nigerian, Ngozi vehemently rejected the idea, claiming that she was ashamed of herself and nothing good could come of her life anymore.
After hearing Ngozi’s story and comparing with other accounts I had heard previously in the media, I was so broken and asked myself questions that might appear unexplainable but which definitely have answers: Why are young ladies in their early ages of 15-40 years, still being trafficked every year? What measures are being applied to stop the rise in sex trafficking cases in Africa? Why is the government not paying adequate attention to human trafficking? Why are there no seminars or platforms created to educate and possibly discourage the average young lady who wants to risk her life by travelling to such countries? And lastly, why are they mostly trafficked to Middle East countries?
Now, let’s start with the first question. Like stated in the first paragraph of this article, young ladies have always been victims of sex traffickers and also major targets because they are young and energetic.
Also, most of the girls trafficked are either orphans, people from poor homes or those who are desperate to have a better life by all means and who do not care about what happens to them afterwards.
On the second question, it can be said that the men and women who take these women overseas from Africa are most likely to have connections with a human trafficking syndicate. Just like the narcotics business, it is extremely difficult to identify those in charge. In the event that something goes wrong and a leader is apprehended, a fresh link is created immediately for the business to continue.
For the third question, we understand the fact that the government has a lot of responsibilities to handle; but regardless, women trafficking is an important issue too. It is a threat to society, trafficking is an important issue too. It is a threat to society, a threat to Africa and also to the girl-child. We appreciate the role being played by the Nation’s Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking In Persons (NAPTIP) but such monster as this deserves utmost attention and should be critically followed with all amount of seriousness.
The fourth question harps on the need for platforms to be created to discuss and enlighten potential victims of such illicit trade. We now live in a world that has gone digital and where information on any topic is readily accessible. But unfortunately, most of the less privileged young women still need to be properly taught about the so-called ‘countries with great opportunities’ which they hope to travel to and make quick money.
They should also be schooled on how to easily identify any person(s) who is coming around with the aim of deceiving them into travelling abroad for good jobs and better living standards.
On the frequency of trafficking women for sex in Middle East countries, I want to believe that it is as a result of the handsome monetary reward. Ladies who are trafficked to Arab countries often end up in wealthy families where they are mostly maltreated by their bosses and the entire household. These young women are usually placed on faulty contracts which subjected them to such households for life. They are bought from their traffickers with huge sums of money and forever remain as slaves or sex objects in which ease they are sometimes used to also generate revenue from pornographic video productions. And whenever these girls attempt to escape, having had enough, they are either killed or some other tragic fate befalls them.
Some of the effects of sex trafficking on African women who had been victims include, but are not limited to: loss of self worth, misery, self pity, living in fear, hunted by past experiences, loss of confidence in society and psychological trauma.
Sex trafficking can be checked if young women look out for early danger signals as already stated. Other measures that can be taken are as follows:
Young ladies should take note of false appearances and suspicious behaviours. Most fraudsters appear to be decent while some even belong to the same religious or ethnic group with them. They may even be the people such girls see daily who usually look harmless.
Parents and guardians should not just give out their daughters to people they barely know on the claim of providing them a better life elsewhere.
Government should ensure that once caught, tried and sentenced, any perpetrators are adequately punished if only to serve as deterrent to others.
And finally, the country’s borders should be under constant watch because these traffickers can always improvise means of transporting their victims out of the country or locally without the awareness of security officials. Some even pay their way through.

By: Osepken Muzan
Miss Muzan is a Nigerian medical student in Russia.

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Customs And Dynamism At Seme Border

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The pains cum hardship believed to have been occasioned by the Nigeria‘s international land border closure seemed incomparable to the dynamism and operational progress that have characterised the reopening of the borders.
Enlightening Nigerians, through the media, on the positive exploits of his leadership team associated with border reopening to their progress, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Seme border area boss, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, stated that his area command situated at the ECOWAS Joint Border Post, Seme-Krake Borders, has since the pronouncement of the reopening of land borders to date by the Federal Government, performed creditably.
He maintained that during the course of its sustained tempo in the fight against smuggling, the Command intercepted a total of 232 (Two Hundred and Thirty Two) parcels of cannabis sativa. In line with the dictates of the Service towards promoting inter-agency collaboration, cooperation and its unequivocal zeal towards the fight against drug trafficking, the Command  handed over the aforementioned seized drugs with duty paid value of N2,933,358.40 (Two million, Nine Hundred and Thirty Three Thousand, Three Hundred and Fifty Eight Naira, Forty Kobo) only to the Commander, NDLEA Special Command Seme.
According to Jibo, officers and men of the Command had in their various operations taken the full advantage of the Service’s renewed strategies to continue the fight against smuggling, leading to remarkable interception of 705 (Seven Hundred and Five) items, with a duty paid value of N409,851,533.14 (Four Hundred and Nine Million, Eight Hundred and Fifty One Thousand, Five Hundred and Thirty Three Naira, Fourteen kobo).
The Area Controller itemised the seizures as 5,568 bags of foreign parboiled rice (50kg each); 3208 jerry cans of Premium Motor Spirit (25 liters each); 79 units of smuggled vehicles; 294 cartons of frozen poultry products; 131 parcels of cannabis sativa; 798 cartons of tomato paste; 3 cartons of sugar; 6 cartons of slippers; 305 pairs of used shoes; 30 cartons of Nescafe; 19 cartons of non-alcoholic wine; 10 cartons of cigarettes; 12 cartons of herbal soap; and 2 sacks of condoms; adding that the  landmark achievement was an indication that officers and men of the Command were not losing their guard in detecting and streaming the tide of the nefarious activities being perpetuated by daredevil smugglers.
“In the wake of Federal Government pronouncement on the reopening of land borders, the Command harnessed all revenue compounds in line with the new operational guidelines with a view to projecting revenue base of the Command and facilitation of legitimate trade,” he said.
The Customs comptroller disclosed that in export, the Command recorded a trade volume of 348,827,775 (Three Hundred and Forty Eight Million, Eight Hundred and Twenty Seven Thousand, Seven Hundred and Seventy Five) metric tons of exported goods with the free on board (FOB) value of N4,277,047,153.92 (Four Billion, Two Hundred and Seventy Seven Million, Forty Seven Thousand , One Hundred and Fifty Three Naira, Ninety Two kobo) and a NESS value of N21,384,443.67 (Twenty One Million, Three Hundred and Eighty Four Thousand, Four Hundred and Forty Three Naira, Sixty Seven kobo).
Jibo explained that a whopping sum of N80,774,807.22 (Eighty Million, Seven Hundred and Seventy Four Thousand, Eight Hundred and Seven Naira, Twenty Two kobo) was raked into the Federation Account (federal government coffers) during the period under review emanating from 0.5% ETLS, 1% NESS, Baggage assessment and  reassessment of  trapped trucks;  stressing that the Command was yet to receive imports from third countries, as there are  clearance procedure disputes to settle between importers, agents from Nigeria and Benin Republic authorities, including the shipping  companies, declaring that the Grand Total for the seizures and revenue stood at N490,626,431.36 (Four Hundred And Ninety Million, Six Hundred And Twenty Six Thousand, Four Hundred And Thirty One Naira, Thirty Six Kobo).
The comptroller explained that in line with the Comptroller-General’s  reform agenda which sees the welfare of officers as paramount, the Command benefited from different welfare initiatives from the management of NCS, including the construction of 32, 30 and 16 man ranks and files barracks accommodation to cover the inadequacy of accommodation in the Command; pointing out that there was also ongoing renovation of Deputy Comptroller’s quarters as well as the new upgraded terminal to accommodate consignments, in the event that the private bonded terminal cannot handle the volume of consignments coming into Nigeria.
“In a bid to sustain the existing cordial relationship with the host communities, the Command through corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, constructed a modern convenience at the International Park, J4, in Seme Badagry West Local Government to assist travellers both local and international. The convenience was handed over to the Chairman of the Local Government Council for effective utilization,” he stated.
The Seme Customs boss stated that the Command was partnering with an NGO named Community Football Foundation for the establishment of a football club named Badagry United; which has already been registered with the Cooperate Affairs Commission (CAC) and Oba Akran of Badagry, De Wheno Aholu Menu-Toyi 1, was also presented with the Certificate of Grand Patron while the new team was accorded royal blessing and support.
Comptroller Jibo who personally led media practitioners on an inspection tour of some multi-million naira worth of trade facilitation equipment put in place by the NCS at the Seme Border also maintained that effective and efficient community relations was being maximally fostered by his leadership, leading to a befitting collaboration with traditional leaders as well as representatives of other sister government agencies.
On whether the Command has the operational capacity to contend with effective implementation of the new government directives that imports into the country must be fully containerised henceforth, Comptroller  Jibo explained that it was only goods imported from developed countries that were to be received in containers while ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme products generally referred to as ETLS goods were still receivable in  trailers and trucks; stressing that more uitra-moderm scanning machines have been acquired and installed for the command to boost its examination capacity and efficiency.
The well attended media briefing which was co-ordinated by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Hussaini Abdullahi took place recently at the Seme conference room of the Service.
Ikhilae is a Lagos-based public affairs analyst.

 

By: Martins Ikhilae

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