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NPA Accuses Security Officials Of Sabotaging E-Call-Up System 

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The Acting Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mohammed Bello-Koko, has accused security officials of sabotaging the electronic call-up system for trucks plying the Apapa and Tin Can Island Ports in Lagos. 
Koko accused the military men, policemen, and officials of NPA security department of interfering in the effective functioning of the electronic call-up system and eto application used by truck drivers in accessing the ports. 
The NPA boss made the accusations in Lagos during a press conference. 
He decried the mounting of several checkpoints in and around Apapa by security agencies with a view to extorting money from port-bound truck drivers.
He said NPA was concluding plans to improve on the call-up system by introducing the use of Quick Response (QR) codes by truck drivers to gain access into the ports.
A QR code, which is a type of barcode, is a machine-readable optical label that contains information about the item to which it is attached. In practice, QR codes often contain data for a locator, identifier, or tracker that points to a website or application. 
“One of the first executive actions I took when I was appointed was to visit the Tin Can-Apapa corridor to ensure that the right things are done and the right infrastructure is deployed. We are getting there gradually. 
“We have put in measures to minimise the congestion in and around the Port. NPA was using manual manifest and call-up system which was not very effective because of human interference. 
“We have brought in eto electronic call-up system to ensure smooth inward and outward movement of cargo from the port. The idea was to ensure that all trucks coming in are supposed to move from trailer parks to the Truck Transit Park (TTP) at Lilypond, Ijora, then to the port. 
“TTP was supposed to have deployed some physical and electronic infrastructure but that was not done. When I was appointed, I gave them ultimatum to ensure that those items are installed as quickly as possible. I can assure you that there has been more deployment of assets by TTP.
“The idea of enforcement, whatever you come up with, there must be enforcement; so we liaised with the Lagos State Government to ensure that we have the right security operatives on ground.
“We have also collaborated with the Lagos State Government through Lagos State Transport Management Agency (LASTMA), which has brought a bit more sanity to the system.
“Because of our intense focus, there is already some improvement. There is better flow of traffickers, but let me finally say that the major hindrance to eto is the road. The Tin Can corridor is bad. We have had discussions with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure that the construction company deploys its equipment to start construction around that area,” he said. 
He explained that rather than use the eto app, some truckers find a way to use military men.
“You find out that at night, military men escort vehicles (into the port), which is sabotage,” he said. 
Koko also said that street urchins and touts, commonly known as ‘Area boys’, take advantage of the chaotic traffic situation on the Lagos port access roads to extort money from truck drivers. 
“They (area boys) are involved in extortion and find ways to divert these trucks. We discovered a building not far away from Apapa gate where one can get a number plate printed in less than 20 minutes. 
“There are also saboteurs even among our staff, well, we had to issue queries to NPA staff involved and we are taking actions. We have sent some home to allow for proper investigation. Others have been queried and some have been moved across ports. 
“We have made it clear that we shall not tolerate saboteurs in the system, no matter where they are coming from”, the NPA boss said.

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Trade Modernisation: Customs’ CG Tours Huawei, Port In China

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The Comptroller-General  of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Adewale Adeniyi, recently led his team to the Headquarters of Huawei, a famous information and communications technology company in Shenzhen, China, where he discussed opportunities embedded in Nigeria Customs Service Trade Modernisation Project.
This was disclosed in a press release made available to our correspondent in Lagos by the National Public Relations Officer (NPRO) of the Service, CSC Maidawa yesterday.
According to the release, the CGC’s visit to Huawei Headquarters was part of his official visit to the People’s Republic of China for the 6th Global AEO Conference that took place in the city of Shenzhen between Wednesday, 8th May, Friday, 10 May, 2024.
Stating the purpose of his visit to the company’s office on behalf of his team, CGC Adeniyi said, “We are also delighted to associate with the Global Leader Technology Services through the Team of Trade Modernisation.”
It would be recalled that the Service had, during the Huawei Connect 2023 held in Shanghai in October, 2023, expressed readiness to deploy some of the company’s latest products for use in its trade modernisation project.
The CGC, who urged Huawei’s company leadership to sustain their digitalisation services to NCS, also sought their support to collaborate with the Nigeria Customs Service to maintain their transformative journey with the company.
On his part, Xujing Xu, the Huawei Company’s Vice President of Smart Transportation, welcomed the delegation of the NCS led by Adeniyi and the Management Team of the Trade Modernisation Project (TMP) Limited, led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu.
He expressed confidence that their collaboration will benefit all parties involved, noting that “the foundational work for this transformation is already underway”.
The TMP Chairman, Saleh Ahmadu, during his address, said Huawei is living up to expectations to deliver its mandate under the auspices of Trade Modernisation Project Limited.
He appreciated the support accorded to him by the CGC and his management team towards the success of the NCS Trade Modernisation Project.
In his bid to upscale the level of NCS modernisation, the Comptroller-General of Customs, alongside members of the Trade Modernisation Project led by Chairman Saleh Ahmadu, visited Lantan Port to witness the level of automation and technological solutions provided by Huawei and other tech partners.

In a related development, a training programme on Trends and Digital Solutions for Customs officials and the TMP team was organised by Huawei the same day, which focused on equipping officials with the necessary skills to navigate the digital landscape of modern trade.

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Salefu Recommits To Stop Smuggling

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The Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone D, Bauchi, Comptroller Salefu O, has reiterated his commitment to stop the nefarious activities of smugglers within his jurisdiction.
Speaking with our correspondent in a telephone chat, Salefu said the negative impact of smuggling on Nigeria’s economy cannot be allowed to continue, if genuine businessmen and women are to reap from their investment and efforts.
“With the selfless leadership shown by the Comptroller General, Wale Adeniyi, we at FOU, Zone D, have decided to re-dedicate ourselves to duty and complement the efforts of the CGC. We are telling smugglers to stop smuggling, because we shall not stop until they (smugglers) stop.
On how he has been able to achieve so much with his short arrival at Zone D, he said, “we are following the examples of our leader, the Comptroller General.
“We have learned how to manage the resources at our disposal, motivate officers and men of the Service and they in appreciation have no option but to deliver.
“Customs has changed. The Customs of today is energized, highly motivated, trained, focused and inspired to deliver. No officer has any excuse not to do what is expected”, he said.
The battle against smugglers, Salefu stated, is not a personal battle, but a national service aimed at ensuring safety of lives of Nigerians.
“If smuggling is not checked, the economy would suffer, lives could be lost to fake drugs and sub-standard goods that smugglers try to bring into the country”, he said.
On how he copes with the challenges and pressures that come with the job, the FOU Zone D boss id, “every profession has its hazard. As a journalist, you have challenges.  “Sometimes you are caught between making choices and taking decisions. So far, at FOU Zone D, the Comptroller General has given us clear guidelines and we know what to do under any situation.
“Some decisions are hard and very difficult to make, but if you know you are acting within stipulated rules of Customs, you have nothing to worry about. No matter what you do, some will love you and praise you while others will hate you and call you names.
“But we stand by whatever we do because we are just doing our job. In doing our job, we are guided by government policies, customs, and regulations”, Salefu stated.

By: Stories by Nkpemenyie McDominic, Lagos

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PTML Donates $2m CSR Projects To Schools 

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Ports and Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) has donated a block of classrooms and other Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) projects to the tune of $2 million at Amuwo-Odofin Junior High School, Mile 2, Lagos State.
The projects executed by the firm and inaugurated in Lagos include an access road with a drainage system; a borehole and a water treatment plant; and a furnished gatehouse at the Mile 2 School Complex.
Others are 1,000 dual desks and chairs, as well as chairs and desks for teachers in the six schools within the school complex; palliative roof repair of Amuwo-Odofin Junior and Senior High School and Imoye High School.
PTML, whose parent company, Grimaldi Group, was founded in 1947 and specialised in the maritime transport of cars, rolling stock, containers and passengers, also donated a 50 KVA transformer.
The Managing Director of the PTML, Ascanio Rosso, noted that the firm would continue to engage in CSR that would be impactful to its immediate environment.
He added that the company was conscious of the security of the children, a reason for which it also built two well-equipped security gatehouses.
He said, “It is with great pride and a profound sense of responsibility that I stand before you today as we mark the culmination of several impactful projects undertaken by PTML at the Mile 2 School Complex, located just adjacent to our terminal.
This proximity has not only reinforced our commitment, but also our capability to contribute significantly and sustainably to our neighbourhood.
As an integral part of the esteemed Grimaldi Group, PTML is deeply committed to social responsibility, with a particular focus on education and environmental stewardship.
These commitments are pivotal to our corporate ethos and are evident in the extensive investments we have made here at Mile 2.
equipped security gatehouses, ensuring a safe educational setting. Beyond infrastructure,

“PTML has been a fervent supporter of cultural and educational activities. For over five years, we have sponsored inter-house sports activities, and for the last two years we have celebrated the dedication of our teachers during the World Teachers/Award Day”, Rosso said.

Responding, the Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, Jamiu Alli-Balogun, who appreciated the donating company for their gesture, noted that collaborations like this could move the country forward faster.

The commissioner further said the donation had changed the face of the Mile 2 community and added immeasurable value to education in the state.

He further stated that the state would not only take ownership, but would maintain the facilities, to ensure that they serve the purpose of learning and add value to the community and the state.

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