The Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ali has described rice imported into Nigeria as poisonous, advising Nigerians to stop consuming it.
“A chemical must have been added to sustain its freshness and that chemical is harmful.
The Comptroller General also said that the rice has been re-bagged with a new date given as the production and expiry date and that is what we consume here which causes diseases.
The Comptroller-General in a statement made available to The Tide said, “ I appeal to Nigerians to please patronise our own rice; it is available, more nutritious and if you do that you will assist Customs by making sure these people are put out of business,” Ali said
The CG stated this in Abuja during a conference organised by the Ministry of Finance on Wednesday.
Hameed Ali said the federal government had not issued license for importation of rice and that any rice seen on the streets that was not produced in Nigeria was smuggled.
Piracy: Federation Harps On Global Cooperation
The International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) has called for urgent global and regional cooperation to fight piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
This is as two vessels were targeted in the Gulf of Guinea, last week.
The body decried the spate of pirate attacks in the sub region, describing it as alarming.
The Chairman, ITF Seafarers’ Section, David Heinde, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide yesterday.
Heinde said, “Alarmingly, the frequency’ and severity of attacks on vessels in the Gulf of Guinea is increasing, with a spate of recent kidnappings and ruthless acts of violence in recent months.
‘The entire maritime industry urgently needs to take action to improve prevention, reporting and response to attacks across the Gulf.
“Coastal countries in the Gulf must work with industry and unions to identify actions, and allocate adequate resources, to reduce the risks posed to seafarers and shipping.
“While we acknowledge the difficult international regulatory environment, we must continue to build capacity and cooperation, and address the mounting human toll that these attacks are having on lives and physical and mental health transiting through the waters of West Africa”.
Heinde said two weeks ago, pirates kidnapped nine crew members from the Norwegian-flagged MB Bonito while the vessel was at anchor off the coast of Benin in West Africa.
Two days later, four crew members were also taken hostage off the coast of Togo from the Greek-flagged Elka Aristotle.
Several other abductions have been reported in the Gulf of Guinea in recent months, including eight crew members taken hostage off Cameroon in August, and 10 Turkish seafarers off the coast of Nigeria in July 2019.
It will be recalled that in October, 2019, International Maritime Bureau (IMB) reported that the Gulf of Guinea accounted for 86 percent of 49 crew taken hostage so far in 2019.
Although the number of crew members taken worldwide was down significantly from the 112 taken in the first nine months of 2018.
IBM reports insisted that the Gulf of Guinea continues to be a concern because of the increasing scale and frequency of attacks.
Container Traffic At Rivers Port Excites Trailer Drivers
Trailer drivers at the Rivers Port Complex, Port Harcourt, have expressed happiness at the volume of container traffic at the port over the past three months.
The drivers who were seen in their numbers at the port main gate, yesterday, told The Tide that maritime activities had improved in the port since the assumption of the new Port Manager, Engr. Yunusa Ibrahim Anji.
The drivers said members of their association now have consignments to carry from the port to various states of the nation.
Mr Jack Okorafor, a trailer driver who loads consignment from the port to Onitsha, Anambra State, said normalcy had returned to the port just as economic activities are now on the increase.
Okorafor said over 50 trailers were on the queue waiting to carry goods from the port to neighbouring states for sale.
According to him, both importers, terminal operators and license Customs agents are happy doing business at the port, noting that security has also improved at the port complex.
He told The Tide that the problems of sea piracy and theft within the port complex were history, as the management had improved on its security challenges in and around the complex since the inception of the new manager.
“No more attacks on vessel owners and crew members by pirates around the channels to the port, even as the Nigeria Navy and Marine Police patrol the waterways for safety of lives and property”, he said.
Okorafor disclosed that over 10 to 12 vessels berth weekly at the Rivers Port Complex discharging various cargos ranging from frozen fish, bitumen, general containers, AGO, crude and LPFO.
Others products that berth at the port, according to him, include Premium Motor Spirit, bulk malt, bulk wheat, VHS and Naphta.
The excited driver also lauded the port management for its low charge rates on goods coming through the port complex.
He expressed joy at the improved security networks at the port complex and called on the port manager to provide a befitting trailer park for its members.
Okorafor appealed to importers from the South/ East and South/South states to patronise Rivers Port for their importation of goods instead of patronising western ports and spend heavily on charges.
By: Chinedu Wosu
Customs Generates N1trn In Nine Months
The Nigeria Custom Service (NCS) said it realised N1.2 trillion as revenue in nine months within 2019.
This is against the N1.2 trillion it realised in the whole of 2018.
The Service said the revenues were realised between January and September 2019.
This was contained in a statement made available to The Tide by the NCS, Abuja office.
The statement shows that the highest revenue recorded was N123.6 billion in July and N118.6 billion in May.
The statement also reveals that the month of February had the lowest revenue of N86.3 billion.
The revenue was generated from import duty, levy, excise duty and other fees.
But unconfirmed reports state that the low revenue collected in February might be as a result of the partial closure of the border for the 2019 general elections slated for that period.
The data further shows that Apapa Area Command had the highest revenue of N313.5 billion within the period under review.
By: Chinedu Wosu
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