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Lack Of Transparency Ruins Customs Operations

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Lack of transparency and integrity in personnel posting, arising from acts of nepotism and favouritism with a build-up of deliberate and wrongful delegation of responsibilities to unqualified staff in the Marine unit of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) may have led to the decay in operational efficiency of the Western Marine Customs which began on a gradual note, steadily leading to its final ruins, investigation conducted by The Tide has shown.
Whereas it is no longer news that the marine unit of the Nigeria Customs Service is nearly moribund and have failed to prop up the service of anti-smuggling operations within the nations’s sea/waterways, which was established among other role to checkmate mid stream import discharge and fight import smuggling through the sea. The immediate and remote causes of this unfortunate solution can now be traced to the sad politicisation of personnel posting and appointments into strategic positions, through a well coordinated external conspiracy that recruited certain elements within the top echelon of the service to sabotage the continued relevance of the Marine Customs.
A retired Customs Officer, CSC Aliyu A (rtd) who worked at Western marine up till 2004, said “ when you appoint a painter to the cabin or an engineer to the cabin, that voyage is doomed. I think that is what happened to the Marine Customs. Its posting may have been bastardised”.
With the above indication that the in corruption was already noticeable in the 2016, there is the unarguable fact of a festering of this rot even as the actions and inactions of present customs administration at the Western Marine and their immediate predecessors over the years also lend credence to facts of position fixing for unqualified personnel.
Our correspondent finding revealed that in 2000, the service had over 100 professional Marine Officers and men. However, no succession arrangement was in place to fill spaces occasioned by retirement, ill –health injury or death of existing marine officers pool.
It was also gathered that successive CACs of the Marine Customs danced to the gallery when confronted with the integrity of posting process and that of delegation of duties and responsibilities, believed to be done on the basis of parochial leaning either based on nepotism, ethnic, tribal or religious sentiment, including such as influenced by “ order from above”.
All of the above abuses and infiltrations, reliable insider sources informed The Tide is to promote political leaning and economic considerations.
The sad outcome of these unwarranted abuses had led to the untimely death of many personnel posted to the unit without the necessary training.
Just last month, March, a marine officer fired a colleague while trying to open fire on some Paji youths at the Marine Base, Badagry market who were on protest of Customs invasion of their land.
Attempts to speak with the Comptroller, Serkin Kebbi, the Western Marine area boss failed as he denied our correspondent audience.

 

NKpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Oil & Energy

Nigeria, Other Oil Producers Face Major Challenge – IEA

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The Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies face stiff competition in 2020, the International Energy Agency has said, ahead of the oil producer group’s policy meeting next month.
“The OPEC+ countries face a major challenge in 2020 as demand for their crude is expected to fall sharply,” the Paris-based agency said in its latest monthly report.
Reuters reported that the IEA estimated non-OPEC supply growth would surge to 2.3 million barrels per day next year, compared to 1.8 million barrels per day in 2019, citing production from the United States, Brazil, Norway and Guyana.
“The hefty supply cushion that is likely to build up during the first half of next year will offer cold comfort to OPEC+ ministers gathering in Vienna at the start of next month,” it added.
While US supply rose by 145,000 bpd in October, the IEA said, a slowdown in activity that started earlier this year looks set to continue as companies prioritise capital discipline.
The IEA predicted that demand for crude oil from OPEC in 2020 will be 28.9 million bpd, one million bpd below the exporter club’s current production.
The recovery by OPEC’s de facto leader, Saudi Arabia, from attacks on the country’s oil infrastructure contributed 1.4 million bpd to the global oil supply increase in October of 1.5 million bpd.
“With plans underway for the Aramco IPO and the persistent need for revenues to fund the government budget, Riyadh has every incentive to keep oil prices supported,” the IEA said.
Saudi’s oil company Aramco, the world’s most profitable firm, starts a share sale on November 17 in an initial public offering that may raise between $20bn and $40bn.
It was the IEA’s last monthly report before the December 5 to 6 talks among OPEC states and partners led by Russia on whether to maintain supply curbs aimed at buoying prices and balancing the market.

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Oil & Energy

PHED Warns Against Trading Under High Tension Lines

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The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company, (PHED), has warned members of the public who are in the habit of trading under the high tension lines in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers States to desist from it.
The distribution company gave the warning in a statement signed by its Manager, Corporate Communications, John Onyi, at the weekend.
He said the warning did not exclude those who are planning or have already erected structures under the power lines.
Onyi explained that the warning was a continuation of a public awareness campaign tagged “Why you should not trade under the high tension lines” organised by PHED at Abulonma, Port Harcourt, recently.
The PHED spokesman stated that many lives haD been lost due to non-adherence to safety standards, adding that last month, a 14-year old boy lost his life when  a line snapped on Abuloma 11kv feeder and rested on top of the building.
He noted: “A safe distance on 11Kv feeder stands at 5.5metres while 33kv is 12.5metres and not forgetting tolerance on 132kv lines at 25metres while on .415kv lines go for 1.5metres.”
Onyi expressed dismay that some members of the public have habitually jettisoned the safety rules, and therefore called for concerted effort, in enforcing the safety standards in order to save lives by the relevant authorities.
According to him, PHED has embarked on door-to-door safety awareness campaign on the dangers inherent in trading or living under the high lines especially those found to have contravened the safety standards.
He emphasised that the company would not be held responsible in the event of any electrical accidents under the high tension lines having repeatedly sensitised   members of the public.

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Oil & Energy

Youths Want Resumption Of Oil Exploration In Ogoni Root For Belema Oil

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Thousands of youths from the four Ogoni local government areas of Khana, Eleme, Gokana and Tai, have staged a peaceful protest in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State seeking the resumption of oil exploration in the area.
The protesting youths, operating under the auspices of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) said the call for the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni was imperative to promote economic development and create employment opportunities for Ogoni youth.
Addressing a mamoth crowd that gathered at Bori, last Friday, the National President of OYF, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana said Ogoni has continued to suffer denigrating poverty, despite setting the pace for a new environmental consciousness in Nigeria.
He said: “Before the advent of the Ogoni struggle, the Niger Delta was treated like a conquered zone by IOCs and their institutional collaborators who operated on obnoxious policies, but today a new and more intense consciousness on environmental justices has been introduced in the oil rich region”.
He recalled that during the decades of unfettered oil exploration in Ogoni which led to the devastation of the Ogoni environment, the youth were the most affected, as they were completely displaced out of economic activities and made vulnerable to social vices as a result of boredom and inactivity.
Comrade Yaamabana, said that after due consultation, “the apex youth organisation in Ogoni resolved to seek legitimate measures of alleviating their plight and bring lasting solution to the unmitigated poverty in Ogoni land, by calling for the resumption of oil exploration in the area, to avail the youth and other critical stakeholders of Ogoni, the opportunity to benefit from their God-given treasures and resources”.
He called on the Federal Government to issue operational license to Belema oil to commence oil exploration in Ogoni, noting that Belema Oil is an indigenous company that has demonstrated proven records of social engagements, technical capacity and effective host community relations.
The youth president also cautioned against the antics of “inexperienced and portforlio carrying oil firms” who are trying to enter Ogoni land through the back door, pointing out that Ogoni was not a dumping ground for experimentation.
The protesting youth, who carried placards with various inscriptions such as, “We want oil resumption in Ogoni,” “No Belema Oil, no Oil resumption in Ogoni”, among others, called for the allocation of oil blocks to more indigenes in the Niger Delta to develop the embattled oil rich region.
In his remark, the Divisional Police Officer of Khana, SP Bako Angbashim, commended the youth for their peaceful conduct during the protest and assured the support of the police to promote peace in the area.

 

By: Taneh Beemene

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