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ICPC, ACTU Groom Officers On Transparency, Accountability

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The Apapa Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service in collaboration with the Independent and Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC) and the Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU) on Thursday held a sensitization program for their officers tagged, “Transparency and Accountability in Public Office”.
The essence of the training was to eliminate corruption in public service and to foster inter-agency collaboration and intelligence sharing with various government agencies.
Speaking at the event, which was attended by senior officers of the Command, the Area Controller, Apapa Command, Compt Yusuf Malanta, said it was imperative to remind the officers and stakeholders of the need to be transparent and accountable for their actions and inactions in the workplace and all spheres of life.
According to him, automating the business of customs by the Comptroller General, Col Hameed Ali (rtd.) is one of the greatest achievements of the service, adding that this has encouraged accountability and transparency.
“As part of the CGC’s reform strategy, the Service is compelled to adopt diverse methods to ensure transparency and accountability, by automating exiting processes and procedures.
“Some of the technology deployed include the use of seamless port clearing procedures which differentiates between the trader and customs zones respectively; the use of Risk Management integrated tool for selectivity, based on the integrity of the importation.
“The use of artificial intelligence to select and assign examiners for cargo inspection; and use of Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NIIT) to conduct examination using High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) to determine the content of a cargo and analyse images accordingly.

He continued that others are “the use of Trade Hub Portal (THP) to disseminate information concerning import/export and transit trade; and use of e-auction sales for auctioning seized and condemned goods.

“This technology is deployed to suit our trade operating environment to encourage compliance in the trade supply chain and economic growth, while increasing transparency and taking advantage of new technologies.

“As the lead agency in trade facilitation reforms, the Service is committed to constantly reinventing its strategies and adapting to present day challenges through partnering with other relevant government agencies in the port for effective ease of doing business which has yielded unmeasurable improvements in trade efficiency.

“I would like to use this opportunity once again to commend the existing and sustained synergy with our stakeholders and government operatives in Apapa Port.

“The need for synergy as a stimulant in collaboration and coordination cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, we are all enjoined to consolidate and foster this enviable relationship which is indeed a great example worthy of emulation”, he said.

Compt Malanta charged the senior officers of the command to go back to their terminals and units and transfer the knowledge they have acquired, so that other officers can be informed.

He charged them to groom and mentor lower ranked officers to be their successors in the service.

Also speaking, Resident Commissioner, ICPC, Lagos State, Mr Kabir Elelu, commended the Apapa Command of customs for standing up to be counted in the fight against corruption.

According to him, the ICPC has seen how Apapa Customs has been striving to implement the policies put in place by the federal government in order to ease transactions at the ports.

ICPC, according to him, is also working tirelessly with the Port Standing Task Team (PSTT) which was setup by the Federal Government to ease and implement the ease of doing business at the port.

Mr Elelu noted that the ICPC had initiated a policy called, “National Ethics and Integrity Policy”, which was adopted by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2020.

“It is an initiative of the ICPC. The idea behind it is that, the state at which Nigeria is today in regards to the decadence and corruption is as a result of the moral decadence in the society”.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Maritime

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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NERC Declares Most Discos Insolvent 

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Most of the lectricity Distribution Companies (DisCos) in Nigeria have been said to be technically insolvent and unable to not only pay for invoices sent to them from the electricity market, but also invest in network expansion projects.
Speaking at the 8th Africa Energy Market Place 2024 in Abuja, Chairman of the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), Engr. Sanusi Garba, said the poor financial state of the DisCos makes it difficult for them to raise the needed capital to invest.
Garba noted that the challenges facing the sector were a culmination of past inactions and missteps by those saddled with the responsibilities of managing the sector, both at policy and operational levels.
According to him, “Today when you look at distribution companies, they are clearly and technically insolvent, and you also want them to raise capital in terms of debt or equity. It’s a herculean task.
“I also want to mention that implementing the power sector reform requires powerful political will to implement decisions that impact the wider public”.
On his part, the Minister of Power, Chief Adebayo Adelabu, said the government was working to get the distribution companies solvent and effective by unbundling their operations along state boundaries.
Adelabu insisted that the areas covered by the current DisCos are too large for them to deliver effective services to consumers.

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PH To Get Two CNG Refuelling Stations, Vehicle Conversion Parks

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Rivers State Capital, Port Harcourt, is set to have two Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) refuelling stations as well as two Vehicle Conversion Parks.
The Chief Executive Officer, FEMADEC Energy Limited, Fola Akinola, revealed this at the South-South/South-East Stakeholders Engagement Meeting on Presidential Initiative on CNG held in Port Harcourt, Weekend
Akinola, who stated that modalities have been concluded on the project, stressed the need for investment by stakeholders as a way of driving home the initiative of the Federal Government to ease the gas plight of its citizens.
Akinola said, “CNG is an old technology. We want to tell you that you have the opportunity to convert your vehicle from fuel to CNG. The stations will be launched in Port Harcourt and we are launching a refueling unit alongside. Rivers State is going to have a micro refuelling unit at Stadium Road and in GRA.
“For those that want to invest in CNG refuelling units, it is available. Even those who have fuel station facilities can as well invest in this”.
Earlier, the Programme Director, Presidential Initiative on Compressed Natural Gas, Michael Oluwagbemi, noted that Rivers State was the heart of oil and gas Region, insisting that the initiative was for the good of the nation as a whole.
“The initiative of the government is critical to our national development and to the well-being of the people. Rivers State is the heart of the oil and gas region”, he stated.
Oluwagbemi, however, expressed regret that over the last five to six decades, these resources have continued to waste.
“Nigeria is the second largest waste of oil and gas. We exploit it and waste it, then continue to suffer poverty. The President has set us on natural gas features and set up the nation on the path of growth. The use of gas ensures we have energy savings. Mind you, the price of Natural gas is controlled by the government.
“What the President is asking is to do more with the blessings God has given us. If we are able to move three million vehicles in the next three years, we are going to end the era of environmental degradation”, he said.
The Programme Director further said, “We will stop subsidising poverty, importing unemployment and exporting jobs.

By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu

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