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Nigerian Seaports Can Operate for 24 Hours – Stakeholders

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Seaport
  • Nigerian Seaports Can Operate for 24 Hours

Stakeholders in the maritime sector, including government agents, regulatory bodies and operators, have discussed ways of achieving 24-hour port operations as directed by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo in his Executive Orders.

Speaking during a town hall meeting on 24-hour port operations in Lagos on Tuesday, the stakeholders noted that the mandate was achieved at the Apapa Port, the same could be replicated in every other seaport across the country.

In order to achieve the mandate, the stakeholders examined first the impediments to 24-hour port operations and how to remove them.

The Nigeria Customs Service stressed the need to streamline the current export and import guidelines to ensure greater service delivery.

This was contained in a presentation by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (retd).

He equally stated that advanced cargo manifest must be submitted within seven days before the arrival of the vessel bringing the cargo to the nation’s seaports.

In a paper presented on his behalf by the Customs Area Controller, Ports and Terminal Multiservices Command, Comptroller Aremu Modupeola, Ali noted that what would impede the attainment of 24-hour operations at the seaports was the integrity and compliance of the trading public where proper documentation and honest declaration were concerned.

According to the Customs boss, the service has moved from manual long room procedures to the Automated System for Customs Documentation++ (ASYCUDA) platform.

The ASYCUDA is a computerised customs management system, which covers most foreign trade procedures. The system handles manifests and customs declarations, accounting procedures, transit and suspense procedures.

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, said that government agents at the seaports needed to work together and complement each other instead of competing with one another.

Bello, who was represented by the Principal Operations Officer, Commercial Shipping Department, NSC, Mrs. Juliana Saka, stated that the Standard Operating Procedures launched recently by the council was a guide to all port users, adding that the portal would be integrated with the Customs system.

He stated that the port economic regulator should be allowed to act independently from any market interest in developing rules if the 24-hour port operations were to be achieved.

Bello called for urgent look at the challenges of faulty scanners at the ports.

He said that the Federal ministries of Transportation and Power, Works and Housing should expedite action in fixing the deplorable roads leading to the ports, and integrate the rail to the ports for multimodal connectivity in order to ease the movement of cargo in and out of the ports.

According to him, 24-hour power supply to the ports for efficiency and adequate security should be provided for users of port services and all stakeholders especially at night.

He said, “Government agencies at the seaports must ensure that manifest is uploaded at the last port before the arrival of the vessel to Nigerian ports. Government should equip the ports with high tech-equipment and modern infrastructure in order for containers to be scanned during the discharge process.

“The NSC is currently championing the establishment of the inland container depots. These will assist in ensuring that the seaports maintain their status as transit points.”

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Samsung, Vision Care Begin Fresh CSR Activities, Earmark 12,000 Masks for Nigeria

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Samsung Heavy Industries Nigeria Limited (SHIN) and Vision Care, an international relief organization dedicated to the prevention of blindness, have launched fresh Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative to help Nigeria mitigate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Vision Care is a member of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB), and participant of ‘VISION 2020’, a global initiative of the IAPB and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vision Care has since conducted more than 25 Vision Eye Camps yearly and has grown into an international non-profit organisation serving 38 countries throughout Asia, Africa and Central-South America.

Since 2015, SHIN has worked with Vision Care in the yearly Eye Camp as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) to provide free cataract surgeries to Nigerians who cannot afford the payment. SHIN has been sponsoring the eye surgeries of Nigerians on a yearly basis.

In 2019, SHIN sponsored the eye surgeries of at least 115 Nigerian patients and 224 outward patients as part of its CSR in Nigeria.

Since it started the programme, SHIN has sponsored the eye surgeries of 572 Nigerian patients, 1,593 outward patients and has also donated glasses to 99 patients.

Due to outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic, the yearly Eye Camp for 2021 had been called off to adhere to Federal Government’s measures in response to the virus.

Consequently, SHIN and Vision Care came up with a fresh CSR initiative this year to donate 496 bags of rice (25kg) and 12,000 reusable face masks to three states in the country to fulfill their commitment of contributing to the society.

The items will be delivered later this month.

The three states that will benefit from the donation are Lagos, Kano and Bayelsa states.

Out of the 496 bags of rice, and 12,000 facemasks, Lagos will receive 96 bags of rice and 200 masks.

SHIN also stated that Kano State will receive 200 bags of rice and 5,000 masks, while Bayelsa State will get 200 bags and 5,000 masks.

“This is an additional CSR activity from SHI in addition to SHIN’s donation of 5,000 COVID-19 test kits from Korea. The washable masks that the head office has purchased from Korea are certified to retain its effectiveness against COVID-19 transmission for up to 50 washes,” SHIN said in a statement.

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Senate Summons NICON, AIICO, Others Over N17.4bn Pension Remittances

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The Senate Public Accounts Committee has summoned the management of the NICON Insurance Plc, AIICO Insurance and other insurance companies over their alleged failure to remit N17.4bn pension fund to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate.

The Senate hinged the summon on the 2016 report of the Auditor-General for the Federation which unraveled the alleged non-remittance of N17.4bn pension fund to PTAD.

Appearing before the panel on Monday, the Executive Secretary of PTAD, Dr Chioma Ejikeme, informed the lawmakers that PTAD took over the assets and liabilities of the defunct pension offices without a formal handing over.

She said, “On taking over, the directorate wrote all underwriters to make returns and remit whatever amount that was in their custody into a CBN dedicated account.

“Some of the underwriters responded to the request while some did not.

“The bank certificate of balances, accounting statements, three years financial statements and policy files requested by the federal auditor were not handed over to PTAD at the time of consolidation.

“It is worthy to note that we discovered that N17.4bn which comprised of cash, securities and properties from the nine insurance underwriters was unremitted as a result of the letter PTAD sent to them.

“These figures represent the claims by the underwriters with regards to their indebtedness.

“In order to ascertain the true position of legacy funds in custody of underwriters, the directorate appointed a consultant in 2018 who carried out forensic audit of nine out the 12 insurance underwriters and produced a final report on the recovery of the legacy funds and assets for PTAD.”

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Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit

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Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.

The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.

During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.

We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.

“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”

The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.

He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.

While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.

He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.

Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.

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