Maritime This Week: Recap of News and Events

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Maritime This Week: Recap of News and Events


Abiodun OBA     |      

This medium started the week with an editorial opinion captioned “Border Closure and Pains of Legitimate Business Owners

Today makes it the 83rd day since August 21, 2019 when Nigerian government shut its border posts in the four geo-political zones of the country.

The action has reverberated throughout the country, rippling through other neighbouring countries, especially Benin Republic, Ghana and Togo.

The closure has had and still having maximum impacts from whatever perspective one may look at it.
Government claimed that the action, which purportedly was to stop smuggling of rice, ammunition and other contrabands across the borders to the country, has begun to yield results.

Hameed Ali, the Customs Comptroller-General claimed that the border closure has increased cargo throughput at the ports as most of the goods that would have otherwise been smuggled are now being diverted through the ports.

This has increased Customs revenue to an unprecedented N5 billion daily, so he claimed.
Ali said since the border closure, Nigeria had made about N3.5 trillion from the seized rice and other contraband.

On the flip side of these outlandish claims by Ali is the untold hardship the closure has foisted on average Nigerians.


Customs reverses itself on examination of Inland -bound cargoes at ports

The Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has rescinded the directive of 100 percent examination on cargoes bound for the Kaduna Inland Dryport and other bonded terminals in the country.

Recalls that the Comptroller General of the Service, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) had directed that containers bound for Inland Dry Port (IDP) are to be unsealed, opened and examined to ascertain the contents and resealed before exiting the mother port.

But, in a circular, HQ/012/19 tagged “Stemming Irregularities Associated with Transfer To Bonded Warehouses/Terminals” made available to newsmen yesterday, the Customs CG admitted that the earlier directive will fuel congestion at the seaports. Border Closure: Customs intercepts smuggled frozen chicken, pork on South Africa Airline

Border Closure: Customs intercepts smuggled frozen chicken, pork on South Africa Airline

As the Nigeria Customs Service intensified the federal government ordered on the shutdown of the nation’s land borders against import, export and other smuggling activities, the Muritala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) command of the service intercepted N68.9million worth of frozen products smuggled through the airport.

This was disclosed at a joint press conference between the Customs Area Controllers of the MMIA command and Muritala Muhammed Area Command (cargo section), headed by compt. Adewale Adeniyi and Compt. Lena Oyama.

It was gathered that 40 cartons were intercepted on the Southern African Airways flight and 104 cartons were abandoned on the tarmac of the terminal.

Speaking to journalists, the Controller of MMIA, Compt. Adeniyi said the seizure was as a result of the border closure because the seizure was first of its kind in the history of the airport commands.
Customs, NPA clash over port access control

Economic activities were Tuesday paralysed at the Tin Can Island Port complex following a clash between officials of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and their Nigeria Customs Service counterparts over port access control.

Clearing agents and importers were however stranded at the port gate as the melee lasted for several hours.

NPA had on Tuesday commenced implementation of its port access control at the Tin Can Island Port, with assistance from the Port Police as part of effort to sanitize the port environment from unauthorised users.

It was gathered that the NPA security officials, as part of implementing the new order, had subjected port users and officials to strict scrutiny and those without port pass were denied access.

The situation, however, degenerated into a scuffle when a Customs officer in multi had refused to identify and summit himself to checks on the request of the NPA officials, creating a scene and causing a long queue at the port gate.


WMU President worries over low percentage of women in maritime industry

The percentage of women in the maritime industry is very low and has not changed for years, Cleopatra Doumbia-Henry, President of the World Maritime University (WMU) has said.

Henry was one of the prominent participants of the conference on” Sustainable Marine Development Towards 2030 and Beyond” being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, this week.

When asked whether the industry is doing enough to empower women and how they can be supported on a path to equality, the WMU President said that she conducted a major study on women seafarers back in 2003 when serving as the Director of the International Labour Standards

Department of the International Labour Office (ILO) in Geneva, Switzerland. At that time, the study found that 1 to 2 percent of the seafaring population were women, with all maritime segments having been taken into account.

Customs seizes bales of Mobile Police, Immigration, Navy uniforms in Lagos.

The Western Marine Command of Nigeria Customs Service on Thursday said it has seized bales of Mobile Police, immigration and Navy uniforms by the officers and men of the command within Badagry axis.

The Controller of the command, Comptroller Boliyila Binga stated this while conducting journalists round the seizures in Lagos.

According to the Customs boss, other items seized within two weeks include; Four hundred and thirty-three bags of 50kg foreign parboiled rice, bags of second hand clothes, bags of second hand shoes, Buffalo horns bales of foreign fabrics

Other items are: Machetes, packs of tramadol, three thousand empty kegs of 20 litres each
Comptroller Binga said the Duty Paid Value of the items seized is N61,611,925.00.


NDLEA shifts from reactive policing to intelligence led policing

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) operations are gradually shifting from reactive policing to intelligence led policing.

This was contained in a document issued on Thursday at the end of the two-day National workshop on the implementation of 2019 Ministerial Declaration of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Abuja.

The document, which was signed by the head of public affairs of the NDLEA, Mr Jonah Achema, stated that it was important to inform the public that as part of efforts to reform drug control in the country, operations are gradually shifting from reactive policing to intelligence led policing.


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