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Ports Operator Decries Proliferation Of Bonded Terminals In Lagos

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A chieftain of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Apapa chapter, Mr. Frank Aliakor, has decried the proliferation of bonded terminals in Lagos metropolis, saying it constitutes noise pollution within the residential areas. 
The  seaports operator alleged that some of the off dock terminals were not duly licensed by the Federal Government, thus creating problems for shippers freight agents and occupants in residential areas.
He also queried the approval of some of the off dock terminal operators due to poor handling of equipment in their possession.
Speaking with The Tide recently, Mr. Aliakor noted that the proliferation of bonded terminals had worsened traffic situation in Lagos State and called on the government to regulate their activities. 
 Though the customs broker declined to mention names of some of the erring operators, he alleged that with the movement of imports to such facilities, cargoes were not properly examined due to lack of adequate manpower and relevant security personnel at the terminal to checkmate the activities of unscrupulous agents and shippers during physical examination.
Aliakor reiterated that activities at some of the off dock facilities were not properly monitored against the background of insecurity in the country, noting that the mother port still had space for examination before the final evacuation of cargoes.
He also disclosed that the seaport terminals are empty as a fall out of the atrocities of some scrupulous importers,  pointing out that due to the thriving illegalities at the bonded terminals, most of the shippers take the advantage to move their consignments to such facilities.
Aliakor who is a critical stakeholder at the Apapa seaport lamented that activities of the freight stations also heightened gridlock along major highways linking various communities in Lagos State thus constituting nuisance and pollution for residents.
“The issue of proliferation of bonded terminals is alarming because everybody wants to own a terminal outside the seaports and this calls for concerns.
“All these terminals are constituting nuisance within the community in Lagos and I will suggest for government to review the establishment of some of these terminals”, he said. 

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Illegal Migration: NIS, NIWA Move To Strengthen Partnership

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Following the spate of illegal migration into the country by migrants, the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) have concluded plans to strengthen their partnership to curb illegal migration through the Lagos State waterways.
The plan to deepen partnership was discussed when the new Comptroller of Immigration Service in charge of Lagos Seaports and Marine Command, CIS Joseph Dada, visited the NIWA, Lagos Area Manager, Mrs Sarat Braimah in Lagos.
Speaking at the visit, Dada said the service would fare better in achieving its mandate with a strategic partnership with the waterways regulator.
“We have some challenges on the waterways, even though we do patrols. Collaborating with NIWA will guarantee stronger waterway operations.
“We are not saying people shouldn’t migrate or ‘japa’ from Nigeria. Migration is part of life and people have a right to seek greener pastures.
“However, they must do it the right way. They have to get their passports, visas and travel through the appropriate channels”, he said.
Dada lamented that several Nigerian ladies are victims of human trafficking for prostitution usually disguised as job offers for care workers abroad.
Also Speaking, Managing Director, NIWA, Mrs Sarat Braimah, welcomed the idea of strategic collaboration with the NIS, stressing that both agencies are working for the common good of Nigeria and its citizens.
“We expect this collaboration to prohibit illegal migration. Migration is part of life and as you observed earlier, it fosters tourism, culture and development.
“Nonetheless, we will assist the NIS in achieving their objective, which is that people shouldn’t migrate illegally.
“A lot of passengers board ferries from Marina jetty to Badagry and Port Novo. We don’t know their final destination or verify their identity; but we’re open to NIS partnership to carry out migration checks”, she said.
She noted that NIWA could train immigration officials on how to go onboard vessels safely, and also provide boats, lifejackets, among other equipment, when the Immigration make such requests.

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NPA To Generate N629bn Revenue In 2024 -MD

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The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) says the authority will generate N629.89 billion in 2024.
NPA is also seeking for N200 billion loan from Afrexim Bank for ports development.
Managing Director, NPA, Mr Mohammed Bello-Koko, stated this while defending the 2024 budget before the House of Representatives Committee on Ports and Harbours in Abuja.
He said the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) was also listed as one of the financial institutions from which to source the loan.
Koko said the total projected expenditure was N464.32 billion, while the operating expenses were projected at N212.03 billion and the capital expenditure stood at N252.29 billion.
“Part of the main trust of the 2024 budget is the urgent need to rehabilitate, reconstruct and moderate the dilapidated port infrastructure facilities”, he stated.
The Managing Director said defects in the facilities were hampering efficiency and productivity in the ports, saying that the defects include the quay walls and the replacement of old gravity walls.
According to him, another is need for rehabilitation of Escravos breakwaters.
“This is aimed at improving port efficiency and increasing cargo traffic through investment funding from the financiers, UKEF and Afrexim”, he said.
Earlier, Chairman of the committee, Nnolin Nnaji, said the agency is very dear to the country, hence the need for the committee to visit some of the facilities outside Lagos.
“We need to see those things you are telling us. The House of Representatives is very serious about budget defence, while they do screening on the other side, budget defence is here”, he said.
He commended the Managing Director for the budget presentation, saying that he believed in the subsequent budget
“We accept this budget, and we will move further with it”, he assured.
The lawmaker also said the drainage channels were full of wreckages and expressed concern over lack of information on wreckage removal.
Nnaji noted that as long as the NPA avoided the wreckage, it will keep occurring because of the abandoned ships facilities.

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COWA Distributes Food Items To Members In Abuja

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In a bid to cushion the hardship and hunger faced by ordinary Nigerians, the Customs Officer’s’ Wives Association (COWA) has distributed food items to its members in Karu Customs Barracks, Abuja.
National President, COWA, Mrs. Kikelomo Adeniyi, who flagged off the exercise, said the distribution of the food items was part of COWA’s plans to ease life for its members.
“This is not the first time COWA is conducting this initiative of distributing food items to the members and non-members of the association, and we decided to distribute these items considering the season of Ramadan.
“Everything we are doing now is for you. Please register so we can make provision for all of you. This will help us keep proper data of everyone and we will continue doing this subsequently to alleviate the situation”, Adeniyi said.
She further said food items were also being distributed to COWA members across all Customs formations in the country.

Some of the food items distributed include rice, spaghetti, noodles and cooking oil.

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