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Operation Whirlwind: Customs, NNPCL reinforce synergy against fuel smuggling



The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Ltd. (NNPCL) have reinforced their existing synergy against the smuggling of petroleum products from Nigeria to neighbouring countries.

This is disclosed in a statement issued by the Customs Spokesman, Mr Abdullahi Maiwada, in Lagos.

Adeniyi was quoted to have said this when he met with the Group CEO of NNPCL, Mele Kyari, at the Customs headquarters in Abuja.

Adeniyi reaffirmed his commitment to revitalising the collaboration between the two organisations, to effectively combat the smuggling of petroleum products out of Nigeria.

During the meeting, both leaders expressed serious concerns about the persistent problem of fuel smuggling, which poses a significant burden on the Nigerian economy.

According to Adeniyi, the disparity in fuel prices between Nigeria and neighbouring countries created a strong incentive for smuggling.

He explained that the Nigeria Customs Service, through ‘Operation Whirlwind,’ was working with other stakeholders to intensify efforts to halt the smuggling of Premium Motor Spirits (PMS), commonly known as fuel.

“The operations we have conducted have highlighted several issues, but I am pleased that we have made substantial seizures from different parts of the country.

“We have uncovered ingenious methods smugglers use to divert supplies from depots to their stations.

“These stations may appear empty from the front, but behind the scenes, they have hoses connected through artificial holes in their walls to waiting jerrycans and vehicles, which are then transported across borders.

“This act of economic sabotage has led to arrests and confiscations of the smuggled products.

“We have sealed the filling stations involved and handed them over to regulatory authorities.

“Some filling station operators have devised subtle methods to smuggle fuel unnoticed.”

Adeniyi disclosed that combating this serious crime remained a significant operation that placed a considerable burden on NCS resources but had been rewarding.

“We believe a strong partnership with NNPCL will help sustain this operation over time.

“We are also looking to establish a situation room to enhance our capacity with real-time data and ensure our personnel are well-motivated and not compromised,” he added.

The Coordinator of ‘Operation Whirlwind,’ Comptroller of Customs Hussein Ejibunu, said that the operation started five weeks ago and had achieved significant successes.

“Every operation faces challenges, but we have overcome them with the CGC’s support.

“We have tackled fuel smuggling across the nation, including a recent seizure of about 79,000 litres of fuel in Kebbi State.

“We need the full support of border communities and other agencies,” Ejibunu said.

Mele Kyari, Group CEO of NNPCL, acknowledged that PMS smuggling was a major national challenge.

He requested the CGC’s continued support to reduce smuggling further.

Kyari noted that the volume of smuggled fuel had decreased due to the efforts of ‘Operation Whirlwind.’

“We are committed to providing any necessary support to combat this crime at our borders.

“We appreciate the substantial impact of your collaboration thus far,” Kyari said.

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Registrar Lauds RSG For Sponsoring Candidates To Write Neco Exam



The Registrar of National Examination Council (NECO), Prof. Dantari Ibrahim Wushishi, has commended the Rivers State Government for its patronage in sponsoring candidates in public schools to write NECO examination.
The Registrar made the commendation over the weekend when he visited the State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma in his office in Port Harcourt.
He disclosed that Rivers State was the first among other States to patronise NECO and to also support their operations in the State, adding that the gesture was because of the government’s high regard for education of its citizens.
He stressed that the examination body is highly challenged to continue to provide, quality service to the nation, hence, the running cost of the council is from funds generated from registration fees from candidates of which Rivers State is given high patronage.
In his words, ” The Federal Government does not give us any appropriation to conduct the examination. Federal government only provides personal cost for payment of salaries. Whatever we do to conduct examinations and deliver to nigerian are all generated from registration fees and other sundry fees associated with the examination”, he said.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma, said registration of candidates for the examination is a direct result of the high premium the state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara placed on education in the State.
In his words, “we have deep commitment and partnership with NECO and we are ready to do more, “adding that the Ministry will not fail the expectations of NECO on them and encouraged them to place NECO globally, such that it would be recognised all over the world.
The commissioner and the registrar with their different teams also monitored the on going NECO Examination together in the State.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG



The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 



Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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