A Recap of News and Events

 

MONDAY OCTOBER 21, 2019

Abiodun OBA      |          

The big question this medium came up with on Monday was, “Is Nigeria Customs scared of Cargo Scanners?”

The medium traced the advent of the scanners thus, “In 2013, three Scanning Service Providers, Cotecna, SGS and Global Scan, transferred the Destination Inspection Scheme (DI) to the Nigeria Customs Service.
This was after eight years they managed the scheme under a contract signed with the Federal Government in 2005.
During this period, more than 80 percent of containers were routed through to scanning while less than 20 percent were on red lane and subjected to 100 percent examination.
This enhanced quick clearance procedures and faster turnaround of vessels.
But curiously, despite the intrinsic values of scanning machines in the areas of security and trade facilitation, the Nigeria Customs has chosen to abandon these essential machines, six years after it took over from the scanning service providers.

TUESDAY OCT 22
FG to localise railway technology — Minister

The Federal Government is up to localise railway technology for seamless continuity of the service in Nigeria.
The Minister of Transport Rotimi Amaechi, let this out on Monday when he appeared before the National Assembly’s joint committee marine transport for the budget defence session of the sector.
The Minister announced that the Federal Government has sent over 150 Nigerian children to Chinese universities to study railway engineering,
Buttressing his lofty plans, Amaechi said, “On maintenance and sustainability, if you check the picture of my trip to China, you will see some black men with the Chinese. I told them they learned from America and you copied the Americans in producing your coaches, because when I went there, they were teaching them leadership and managing resources.
“I told them, let’s not manage, tell us how you built these trains so that when it breaks down, we don’t have to make a telephone call for you to come down and fix it. So we have agreed to design a curriculum and train all these people out there.

Customs grants reprieve for owners of smuggled cars


The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has opened a platform for vehicle importers, owners and organised vehicle dealers to pay Customs duty on smuggled, undervalued vehicles in the country.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller, Federal Operations Unit (FOU), Zone A, Compt. Muhammed Aliyu in a chat with journalists on Tuesday.
The CAC who stated that about 150 car marts were sealed at Victoria Island, Ikoyi and Lekki said the unit seized over 5000 bags of foreign rice smuggled into the country.
He said the platform was not for already seized or condemned vehicles but assured Nigerians that vehicles voluntarily brought forward by the owners for payment of duty won’t be seized.

According to him, the decision to open the platform was to allow Nigerians who drive smuggled or under-valued vehicles to regularise their Customs duty.

NIWA denies padding its budget with 4 billion naira.

The National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has denied allegation that it padded its 2020 budget with fictitious projects.

The National Public Relations Officer of the Authority, Mr. Tayo Fadipe said this in a rejoinder signed by the management of NIWA and made available to journalists on Tuesday.

Recall that there were recent reports in the media (not nigeriamaritine360.com) that the agency padded its 2020 budget with fictitious projects including acquisition of vessels and barges.

Part of the reports said, “Fresh indications has emerged that the Federal Ministry of Transportation had padded the 2020 budget of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) with fictitious projects including acquisition of vessels and barges as well as procurement of dredgers and other equipment”.

Exclusive: Why NIMASA handicapped to disburse Cabotage intervention funds

Indigenous ship owners have curiously but inadvertently worked against the disbursement of controversial Cabotage Vessels Financing Funds (CVFF), investigations have revealed.
Contrary to the widely-held belief in indigenous shipping community that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency(NIMASA)has deliberately held on to the funds, investigation has revealed that the internal wrangling, deep- seated mistrust and high level treachery among ship owners have stalled the early disbursement of the funds.
It was learnt that in a bid to undo themselves, some indigenous operators petitioned the Ministry of Transportation that not all of those pencilled down to benefit from the fund had vessels and cautioned the government against granting some individuals because of their perceived inability to pay back.

WEDNESDAY OCT 23

Boat Mishap: Two migrants missing in boat after collision
Abiodun OBA      |       

Two migrants out of the 34 people on board the boat sailing from the Turkish coast towards the Greek island of Kos have been declared missing.
The boat collided with a Greek coastguard vessel in the Aegean on Wednesday.
The state broadcaster ERT reports that six of the migrants were injured in the collision and they had been taken to the hospital.

THURSDAY OCTOBER 24
Nigeria’s airports underdeveloped, grossly underutilized – House committee

Abiodun OBA       |        

Nigeria’s airports have been said to not just being underdeveloped, but also grossly underutilised.
The Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Mr. Nnolim Nnaji, asserted on Thursday in Lagos at the 2019 Nigeria Travels Mart Colloquium, themed: Airports Concession and Options for Airports Development in Nigeria.
He therefore called for unbundling of the ahead of move to concession major airports in Nigeria.

Lilypond gate on fire as truck drivers, taskforce clash, one dead
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One dead, two police vans, other vehicles destroyed as truck drivers and members of the presidential task force team clashed in a face-off on Thursday.
As at the time of filing the report, the Lilypond terminal gate, two police Hilux vans were still on fire.
The cause of the face-off is not yet known but our correspondent who spoke with some of the protesting boys, said it was due to extortion by some members of the taskforce team.
In the melee, it was gathered that a young driver who was in his early twenties died inside the terminal.

Nwabunike urges patronage of Kaduna Dry Port

The president of the Association of Customs Licensed Agents (ANLCA), Tony Iju Nwabunike, has lamented the abandonment of the Kaduna Dry Port and urged the Federal Government to prevail on importers to patronize it for effective trade facilitation.
Speaking at a roundtable organized by the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) in Lagos, Nwabunike said lack of patronage of the dry ports can be attributed to stakeholders who are meant to make the ports viable are not doing enough.
He explained that there are six dry pots in the country and the Kaduna port is more efficient to make its impact in the economy but unfortunately they are not being patronized.
The ANLCA president stated that importers prefer to utilize neighbouring ports of the other countries to discharge their goods and then bring them into the country, adding that such attitude is not good for the country.

FRIDAY OCTOBER 26

FG fast tracks construction of rail manufacturing company in Nigeria
… Signs MoU on Rail Modernisation

The Federal Government has taken a giant stride to boost and fast track the construction of rail manufacturing company in Nigeria.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi who disclosed this in Russia, said two Russian companies have been engaged to the effect.
The media aid to the Minister Mr Israel Ibeleme, in a statement on Thursday in Abuja, named Joint Stock Company Russian Railway (JSCRR) and Transmash Holding, a private rolling stock manufacturing company as the two Russian companies for the modernisation and development of Nigeria’s railway infrastructure with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed with them.
The MoU also covers the rehabilitation of existing Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) rolling stock-fleet and upgrading of workshops across the country.

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