The Post Clearance Audit Unit of the Nigeria Customs Services Zone “A” is wining the war against underpayment of correct duties on importations by some unscrupulous agencies and corporate bodies. It has recovered the whopping sum of N100, 747, 069.32 (One Hundred Million, Seven Hundred and Forty Seven Thousand, Sixty Nine naira and Thirty Two Kobo) as underpayment and false declaration within March –June from such agencies and corporate bodies.
The Customs Area Controller, Post Clearance Audit, Comptroller Gideon Aliyu lamented that several agencies and bodies were not paying correct duties on imports as classified under Customs Exercise Management Act to the Federal government.
Comptroller Aliyu, disclosed that the debit note (DN) of about N760,066,800. 44 kobo was recovered from the commands, Apapa, Tincan, Muritala Mohammed Airports and Lily Pond under Zone A of the customs Service.
A breakdown of the sum recovered showed that N16,165, 918.70 was recovered in March while N226,145, 421.00 DN uncovered and yet to be paid, N7, 229, 487.59 was collected in April while the sum of N178,337,226.09 was recorded out of the N178.3m recovered N7,446, 188. 61 was collected from Apapa premier port into federal government coffer. While N69, 905,364.51 was realised in June.
The Customs Area Controller said Apapa command has highest number of debit note raised as a result of rice importation, adding that PCA scheme of schedule is to reconcile and fast tracking as to block all areas of revenue leakage accruing to federal government.
He noted that issuing of DN after relishing of consignment is challenging as some agent may refuse to comply with the customs after taking home their goods, “though the PCA block some of these unreliable agency’s system to enable them response to the payment.
According to him, the PCA is making positive impact in revenue drive to get the agencies to pay the deficit but was worried that despite sensitizing the stakeholders about the need to pay correct duties and true declaration on goods imported, many importers did not comply with NCS.
Investigation also indicated that out of the outstanding debit note recorded from previous months accounted for N5, 619,333.90 and Muritala Mohammed Airport Command owned N514, 584.91 out of the N19,118, 140. 80 DN issued by the zonal office, N7, 419 44.88 was currently issued and recovered while the remaining amount was a back log.
Our investigation also indicated that Apapa Command has the highest debit note of N781, 712,702. 91 followed by MMIA with over N5,405,798.30.
It was also gathered that money recovered have been remitted to the federal government coffer on behalf of the customs by the import duty collection banks.
The Zone “A” of the customs with headquarters in Yaba-Lagos normally tops the revenue chart of the service zones in the country for the fact that it comprises Apapa, Tincan Island port. Which record the highest revenues and frauds on a yearly basis.
Foundation Wants Intensified Fight Against HIV Infections
A Non-Governmental Oroganization (NGO), AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), has called on world leaders and stakeholders to redouble efforts towards HIV prevention, testing, and treatment to slow the rising new infection rates.
This is contained in a statement signed in Abuja by the Advocacy and Marketing Manager, AHF, Nigeria, Mr Steve Aborisade, ahead of the World AIDS Day (WAD) yesterday.
The WAD, which has its theme as “It’s Not Over”, seeks to remind world leaders, global public health institutions and civil society that much work needs to be done to end the AIDS epidemic.
Chief of Global Advocacy and Policy AHF, Terri Ford, said the world has come too far in the fight against HIV and AIDS to let the decades of progress slip away.
He, however, urged the world leaders to relight the fire in the HIV and AIDS fight by putting an increased focus on test and treat, as well as also addressing late HIV presentation.
Ford said; ‘We were glad to see the resilience of HIV programmmes worldwide during and after the pandemic.
“However, the latest UNAIDS data shows that the global HIV/AIDS response needs reinvigorating, making the theme even more relevant for this year’s World AIDS Day.
“UNAIDS reported 1.5 million new HIV infections in 2021, which were 1 million more than the global target of 500,000 and an estimated 650,000 deaths from AIDS-related illnesses.
AHF Africa Bureau Chief, Dr Penninah Lutung, said the most recent UNAIDS statistics shows that more than 38 million people were living with HIV and AIDS worldwide.
He added that more than 40 million people have died from AIDS-related illnesses since the start of the HIV epidemic.
He also said millions of people were accessing lifesaving antiretroviral therapy, while more still desperately needed it.
“HIV response in parts of Africa has held strong through the adversity brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
‘`Also new HIV infections are rising in others, and young women and girls remain disproportionately affected, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa”, Lutung said.
Young Women Need Information, Knowledge On Menstruation -MWAN
The Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Oyo State, says young females need valid information and right knowledge to understand the concept of menstruation.
President of MWAN, Dr Oyindamola Adeyemi, made the assertions in Ibadan, while distributing a book entitled: “What Our Adolescents Are Asking About Menstruation ?” to selected public schools.
The Tide’s source reports that the Association donated the book to four public schools in Bashorun area of Ibadan at an event held at Oba Akinleye Memorial High School, Ibadan.
Adeyemi said the book would empower young girls, parents and teachers with valid information about menstruation, sexual and reproductive health, which she said, had been well researched by a team of experts.
She said that culturally, limited discussions on menstrual and sexual-related matters encourages widespread dissemination of false information.
According to her, this is worsened by our girls seeking answers to their concerns from their peers and social media where they also encounter false information.
Adeyemi said the wrong information, therefore, made them vulnerable for unscrupulous elements in the society to prey on their innocence.
“Therefore, it is important that our young girls have access to valid information, which addresses their concerns and ensures that they are well equipped with the right knowledge they need to understand the concept of menstruation, feel comfortable with it, make the right decisions and ultimately safeguard their reproductive health,” she said.
Also, the State Commissioner for Education, Mr Rahman Abduraheem, represented by Deputy Director Schools in the ministry,Mrs Felicia Oyerinde, charged the girls on some valuable tips to maintaining hygiene.
“Changing your pad every four hours, cleaning your reusable pads properly, keeping your Vaginal area clean and wearing comfortable clean underwear, among many more hygienic ways, which can be cultivated by you all to ensure your wellbeing,” he said.
Safe Transport, Security, Key To Nation’s Growth, Development – Stakeholders
The Nigerian Army, alongside other stakeholders have reiterated the importance of safety and security in developing the transportation sector and engendering growth of the nation.
They spoke at the 4th National Transportation Summit of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIOTA) in Abuja with the theme “Transport Safety and Security Administration in Nigeria”.
According to the CIOTA President, Dr Bashir Jamoh, the theme is carefully chosen to proffer solution to the challenge of insecurity affecting the various modes of transportation in the country.
Jamoh, who was represented by Prof. Samuel Odewumi of Lagos State University (LASU), said, “this particular summit was on safety and that is the big elephant in the room. All the modes are under threats.
“The air, though regulated by the international agency, has safety as always their first line of consideration in everything.
“The railway that we thought is the safest and easiest, has come under threat and we don’t need to remind ourselves what the situations are now with the rail.
“Water transport is the same thing. The road is not in any way better. It carries about 90 per cent of our mobility but it is heavily challenged.
“So, CIOTA feels safety should be the focus. Transport is at the neck of mobility and economy. So, we must do all we can to secure it.”
The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Emmanuel Jime, represented by Mr Cajetan Agu, NSC’s Director of Consumer Affairs, said without security and safety, transport could not develop.
“And transport itself happens to be the catalyst for the development of the economy.
“When you look at the transportation system generally, you will discover that what we have as a system needs a surgical review.
“You can see the sanity on the road when you travel outside Nigeria; so in our capacity as the port economic regulator, what we are charging this summit is to ensure they assist in coming up with standard.
“There must be standard for road, rail, maritime; it is only when we have standard that even the issue of safety and security comes in.
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