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NCS Intercepts Smuggled Indian Hemp, Other Products

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun State Area 1 Command, has seized 710 parcels of Indian hemp illegally smuggled into the country from Ghana.
The service said apart from the hemp,  packaged in coconut size and wrapped with a street value of N25 million, it also seized 2,251 bags of 50kg rice, 36 vehicles and 1.4 million litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), among others.
The Command said the value of the total seizure was put at N667.8 million.
The Customs, in a statement made available to The Tide yesterday by the Controller of the Command, Comptroller Michael Agbara, said the Indian hemp concealed in a built-in- compartment of a truck was intercepted along Ihunbo axis of Ogun State following a tip-off.
According to him, no arrest was made in connection with the seizure as the driver of the truck fled and abandoned the vehicle on sighting the customs officers.
“We have 710 parcels of Indian hemp concealed in the vehicle. The smugglers reconstructed the vehicle in such a way that if you see it, you will think it is empty but on a closer look, you will know that there are two compartments and inside the compartment, we have the Indian hemp.
“The street value of each is N30,000 and based on that value, the total street value is over N25 million.
“The vehicle was arrested through intelligence and immediately the driver sighted our officers, he jumped out of the vehicle,” he said.
Agbara, who frowned at the high rate at which youths take Indian hemp, said the use of such substances was responsible for the high rate of crime in the country.
“We see the implication of this drug on Nigerians with a lot of of youth restiveness, banditry in the country. The youths cannot commit this kind of crime without taking something. So, if we are depriving them of these hard drugs, we are helping the country. It is part of our duty of protecting the country. We are after a saner Nigeria, not just generating revenue,” he said.
The customs boss said the command was collaborating with the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to ensure that those behind the importation of the smuggled hard drugs are prosecuted.

 

Chinedu Wosu

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Maritime

NPA Gets Patrol Boats To Beef Up Ports Security

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has said that it is set to take delivery of patrol vessels to enhance waterfront security at the ports.
The NPA had subsequently directed shipping companies not to pay any anchorage dues to private security firms as it would take responsibility to secure vessels at the ports anchorage.
The Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman, disclosed this in a statement made available to The Tide, Wednesday, while speaking at a quarterly stakeholders’ meeting held in Lagos.
Represented by Executive Director, Marine & Operations, Dr. Sekonte Davies, Usman assured that NPA was in partnership with the Nigerian Navy with a view to strengthening waterfront security at the port.
“Today, marine notice has been issued. There is no longer any anchorage addressed as safe anchorage. We are aware that $2,000 is being charged on the first day and every other subsequent day is $1,500. We know that it is increasing charges and that would not exist anymore from today.
“To provide anchorage is NPA’s responsibility and the Navy has been in collaboration with us to ensure that every anchorage of NPA is safe. The National Security Adviser and the Chief of Naval Staff are collaborating with us.
“NPA has procured security patrol boats and we are going to take delivery of some of them in the next six weeks. If not for a few issues, by now, they should have been here which will enhance our waterfront patrols and enhance our security operations,” the NPA chief said.
Bala Usman also said that NPA would soon commence procurement process for acquisition of fenders for the various berths in the port to replace bad ones.
“We are also addressing the issue of fenders. We understand the implication that without the fenders, some of the vessels will not call because of the environmental hazards they may get. So that will affect the dwell time. We are trying to make sure we look at other ports where some of the fenders are not been used so that we can quickly install them while the procurement process of acquiring other fenders would commence,” she said.
The stakeholders had raised concerns over constant attacks on vessels at berth, calling on NPA to increase patrol of the waterfront and put in place well coordinated efforts to address the menace.
Speaking at the event, General Manager, Operations of Greenview Terminal, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Yakubu Abdulahi, said “Every two months, pirates come on board and attack our vessels at berth. This means patrol need to be increased and be more coordinated. If the Marine Police and the Navy are actually taking part in the internal water surveillance, then we need to understand what is actually going wrong.
“ Once the pirates launch attack on the vessel, they operate freely and leave freely, nobody challenges them and they leave through the waterfronts”.

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Customs Rakes In N81bn In Three Months At Onne Port

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area 2 Command, Onne Port says it generated a total revenue of N81.1 billion in the third quarter of 2019.
The Customs Area Controller, Aliyu Saidu, stated this at Onne at the weekend, while reviewing the achievements of the command in the third quarter of the year.
Saidu said that the amount surpassed the N69.5 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2018.
“The Nigeria Customs Service, Area 2 Command, Onne Port, has generated a total revenue sum of N81,196,697,858.57 in the third quarter of year 2019.
“This amount generated surpassed the sum of N69,535,174,318.38 that was collected within the same period under review in 2018 with over N11,661,523,540.19. This feat increasing revenue collection is first of its kind in the history of the command”, he said.
Saidu said the increase in the revenue profile was as a result of the strategic plans put in place to enhance the revenue collecting capacity in Onne Port.
He said the measures had since been put in place to ensure that importers and their agents complied with extant laws on international trade, even as he restated the NCS’s zero tolerance for false declaration of goods or other deliberate infractions.
On the number of confiscated goods, he disclosed that the command recorded a total of 66 seizures with Duty Paid Value of N865.9m in the third quarter of 2019.
Saidu listed some of the seized items to include 12 x 20 feet containers comprising 13,180 jerry cans of 25 litres of vegetable oil with DPV of N82.5 million, 5 x 20 ft containers comprising of 8,706 cartons of foreign soap worth N79.4m.
He also listed two containers loaded with 57,300 pieces of matches, 59 cartons of matches, 1,300 sacks of shovel, 100 cartons of hook knives, 172 sacks of diggers, amounting to N52.4 million as some of the items confiscated by the NCS within the year under review.
Saidu explained that the seizures were successfully accomplished as a result of the renewed determination of the Comptroller-General of Customs, Hameed Ibrahim Ali, to rid the country of illegal importations.

 

Stories by Chinedu Wosu

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Navy Acquires 250 Boats To Fight Maritime Crimes

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The Nigerian Navy Command has acquired 250 patrol boats, several offshore patrol vessels and seaward defence boats to tackle oil theft and other maritime crimes in the Niger Delta.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen Gabriel Olonisakin, disclosed this in Onne, Rivers State, recently during the passing out parade and commissioning of 200 cadet officers of the Nigerian Naval College, Onne.
“Nigerian Navy has matched intent with practical steps, evident by ongoing fleet expansion programme that has led to acquisition of several offshore patrol vessels, seaward defence boats and induction of over 250 riverine patrol boats”, he said.
The Chief of Defence Staff said there was substantial infrastructural and manpower development as well as strategic collaborations with regional and more advanced navies to enhance the navy’s capacity to effectively secure the nation.
“In addition to assisting sister services in North East operations against Boko Haram insurgents, Nigerian Navy has continued to spearhead internal security operations in the Niger Delta against militants, pirates, operators of illegal refineries and oil thieves.
“Significant successes have been achieved by the Navy alone or in collaboration with other security forces at curtailing excesses of these miscreants. Maintaining these successes will definitely be tasking and requires developing appropriate knowledge, skills and attitude on-the-job onboard and ashore as well as through pragmatic training in all naval training institutions,” he said.
Olonisakin urged the newly commissioned officers to justify the huge resources committed to their training and their personal sacrifices to make the Nigerian Navy proud.
“One way you can do this will be by drawing from the knowledge and competence gained from the college for your future assignments,” he said.

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