The Nigeria Customs Service (NSC) Federal operations unit Zone C has intercepted 5,200 cartridges of live ammunition neatly concealed with household items in a passenger Lorry along Nwezenyi Ikom-Ebonyi road in Cross River state.
While displaying the seizure items at the Federal operations unit Zone C headquarters in Owerri the Imo state capital, the Controller Federal operations unit Zone C Comptroller Yusuf Lawal attributes the seizure to credible and timely intelligence and information made available to his men who were on patrol in the area.
According to him the duty paid value of the live ammunition is over 3 million naira.
He said while the driver of the vehicle escaped, the command has commenced a thorough investigation to ascertain the actual owner of the ammunition.
Displaying other contraband items that were intercepted Comptroller Lawal advised smugglers to desist from such acts which are against the growth of the nation’s economy.
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have emerged champions of the Nigeria Volleyball Super Cup.
Team Customs beat Kano Pillars 3-0 (25-21, 25-16, 25-20) in the men’s final while NSCDC defeated the NCS 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-19, 25-22) in a keenly contested women’s final played at the indoor sports hall of the University of Ilorin, Kwara State.
NSCDC also restored their pride by beating Sunshine Spikers 3-1 (25-22, 25-27, 25-17, 25-22) to settle for third place in the men’s category while COAS Spikers thrashed Kada Emeralds 3-0 (25-16, 25-9, 25-20) in the women’s third-place match.
The head coach of the NCS men’s team, Eric Kefas, told reporters that Kano Pillars were a good side, but they could not withstand the firepower of his team.
He described the Customs team as a mixture of experienced players, as well as young and hungry players ready to perform exploit.
“I give all glory to God for giving the team the opportunity to be at the Super Cup; we entered this tournament as 2019 league champions and we are returning to Abuja with the trophy,” Kefas said.
He added, “Our success story is not complete if we fail to acknowledge the continuous support of the Controller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Hammed Ali.
“My boys were determined to lift the trophy and that was why they came all out against Kano Pillars. They are a good side but our mixture of old experienced players, as well as young and hungry players, gave us victory”.
The teams that participated at the just-concluded Super Cup include Customs (men and women), NSCDC (men and women), Kano Pillars (men), COAS Spikers (men and women), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) (women), Offa Volleyball Cub (men), Sunshine Spikers (men), Kada Emeralds (women), and Heartland Strikers of Owerri (women).
In his remarks, the President of the Nigeria Volleyball Federation, Musa Nimrod, said the nation’s volleyball governing body was pleased with the outcome of the competition.
He also called for partnerships from the private sector to get more attraction to the sport and improve volleyball in the country.
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $3.1 billion for the end to end automation of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
Nigeria’s Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed disclosed this at the end of the FEC virtual meeting in Abuja on Wednesday.
According to her, the concessionary period is 20 years and the funding is solely from investors with the revenue expected from this automation pegged at $176bn.
“The main objective of this project is to completely automate every aspect of the Customs business and to institutionalise the use of smart and emerging technologies that will enhance the statutory functions of the Nigeria Customs Service in the areas of revenue generation as well as trade facilitation and enhancement of security.
“The total cost of the project is in the sum of $3.1 billion and the consortium, the PPP that has been approved is led by Messrs Huawei technologies with four other members.
The Finance Minister gave a breakdown of the project funding, and stated that the investors will be paid overtime according to a schedule that will be negotiated with the Federal Government.
“This investment of $3.1 billion is broken down into capital investment of $1.2 million that will be done in three phases over 36 months by these investors and $1.8 million is our projection of the operational cost over the 20-year period of the implementation of this project.
“This project has the potential to yield up to $176 billion of revenue from the project and the consortium that are providing these investments are going to be paid overtime according to the schedule that will be negotiated for their investments including their profits and cost of funds,” she added.
Mrs Ahmed also revealed that FEC approved the upgrade of safe towers in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port Harcourt airports.
The minister added that the analog systems in the airports will be upgraded to digital just as weather reports will now be transmitted instantly as against the current hourly practice.
The airport upgrade is to cost N13.122 billion.
During the meeting, FEC also reiterated the need for all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to consult the Federal Government-owned Galaxy Backbone Limited before budgeting and all payments should go to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
Council noted that all federal institutions have equally been assessed to see what Information Communication Technology (ICT) upgrades are needed.
The identified upgrades are to commence immediately, the Council said.
To aid the fight against drug abuse, FEC gave a nod to the purchase of a property at the Aviation Village, Abuja.
The building which will serve as accommodation for officers of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), was formerly owned by Chachangi Airlines and was bought for N1.196bn with a delivery period of four weeks.
Decrying the prevailing rate of smuggling, the Customs spokesman said further: “It will surprise you to know that there are many Nigerians that still see smuggling as business, not a crime.
“But I have you know that smuggling is not just a crime, but the mother of every crime, like a pregnant woman that gives birth. It is through smuggling that armed robbers will get their arms from the black market, through smuggling we get dangerous drugs, through smuggling, we get rice that is injurious to your health.”
He, however, reiterated the commitment of the service in effectively curbing the menace of smuggling for the overall interest of the nation.
Nigeria’s present economic situation may still be biting hard, but the situation urgently requires elected leaders to put aside personal differences and interests and focus on delivering good governance to those they represent.
This charge was giving by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to participants of the ongoing maiden edition of the executive and legislative retreat in Lagos.
Governor Ambode said that the recession taking its toll on Nigerians is a wakeup call for leaders at all levels to come together for the purpose of rescuing the nation rather than seeing it as an opportunity to amass resources for selfish purposes.
The 3-day retreat had in attendance members of the executive and the legislature at the state and federal level.
Party leaders from the All Progressives Congress (APC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and other political parties in the state were also part of it.
The Ogun state command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, NDLEA has called for more synergy among other security agencies for effective prohibition of drug abuse among the youths of the country.
The state commander of the agency, Mr Bala Fagae made the call in Abeokuta, the state capital while taking delivery of 70 parcels of substance suspected to be Indian hemp from the state command of the Nigeria Customs command.
The substance was meticulously and neatly packed in envelops, valued at over two million naira.
The state commander said that urgent steps must be taken to reduce crime rate among the youths, saying that 60 to 70% of crimes committed daily in the country are linked to the effects of illicit drugs.
According to the state commander of the Nigeria Customs, the Indian hemp was intercepted along the Idi Iroko border post of the state.
Rivers Hoopers have continued their fine form in the Nigeria Premier Basketball League with a slim 59-53 win of the Oluyole Warriors in a weary match up in Port Harcourt.
Point Guard, Chimobi Azubuike, scored 16 points while Somto Chukwu Managor and Moses Godffrey added 8 apiece and 6 rebounds in a very close encounter in Hoopers fourth straight win of the season.
The former champions went into the game in confident mood after wrapping up three straight wins. Although both sides started slowly as no shots were made in the first two minutes of the first quarter.
It was Friday’s hero, Ronald Alalibo whose shot in 8:30 opened the basket for both teams followed up by 3-pointers from the opposing side sparked the game to life.
Azubuike’s double shot with less than 40 seconds on the clock ensured the Port Harcourt side head to the second quarter with 15-13 lead.
The Petroleum Engineering student of the University of Port Harcourt continued from where he left off in the first quarter with two straight shot within few seconds of the second .The game was tied in different occasion, 2:57 25-25, 0:54 27-27 before Moses’s three point shot before the buzzer gave Hoopers the lead going to the break 30-29.
Similarly, Azubuike continued with his brilliant performance in the third quarter with two steals and it also recorded tied points from both teams in 6:26 36-36, 5:45 38-38.
The host, however, got a 10-point lead 54-44 in the fourth with less than five minutes on the clock but the Warriors successfully reduced the deficit but could not snatch the win as they were made to do catch up till the end of the game.
The excited Ogoh Odaudu dedicated the double win to Hoopers’ fans.
“It is a great feeling and it’s something we could have done over and over again during the regular season. It is the last time our fans would see us play this season so we had to give them something to go home with. So the double win was not for us but for our fans.
“If you look at both teams you could see that fatigue had set in a little bit because it was a strenuous game yesterday (Friday) both teams burnt themselves out and today (Saturday) fatigue started setting in and it was a slow and unimpressive game but most importantly is that we came out top.” Odaudu said.
Oluyole Warriors coach, Taye Shobolu hopes his team can still make the last four from the Atlantic Conference of the DSTV Basketball League.
“I am not disappointed. My players did their best and you all can see that the score is so close. Delta Force still have a game in Lagos against Nigeria Customs and the outcome of the game will determine our fate.” Shobolu explained.
Rivers Hoopers will next play Conference leaders, Kwara Falcons on May 27 and 28 in Ilorin which will be the team’s last game of the regular season. Falcons have remained unbeaten on home court.
Nigeria Customs Service has restated its commitment to restricting the importation of rice.
The Area Comptroller Customs, Oyo/Osun Command, Temitope Ogunkua, made the declaration on Saturday at the command headquarters in Ibadan.
Mr Ogunkua advised traders and importers of rice to perfect their papers for the right channel through the ports.
He insisted that there was no going back on the rice ban, as it had adversely affected Nigeria’s revenue generation.
The Customs officer also lamented that smugglers had explored the loopholes in porous borders to bring in rice without paying duties.
The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, had implored the Comptroller General of Customs, Colonel Hameed Ali (Rtd), during a visit to the state, to rethink the ban and give room for alternatives to be provided before shutting out imported rice.
Some of the traders and consumers have also decried the ban on rice importation through the borders, coupled with the fuel scarcity, epileptic power supply and non-payment of salaries.
Security operatives have foiled an attempted robbery at the Seme border between Nigeria and Benin Republic.
According to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Mr Fatai Owoseni, who visited the scene of the encounter, the robbery was repelled following an intelligence report.
Mr Owoseni told journalists that the armed men had planned to raid the banks in the area but were stopped by the Nigerian Police in conjunction with men of the Nigeria Customs, Immigration, Army and Navy, as well as security personnel from Benin Republic.
The operation resulted in the recovery of 2,374 rounds of ammunition, explosives, and life jackets.
The Lagos Police chief praised the efforts of the security operatives, saying it is the outcome of an effective intelligence-led policing and community support.
Internally displaced persons at the International Christian Centre in Uhogua, Edo State have called on the federal government to intensify efforts in putting an end to the scourge of insurgency which has rendered thousands homeless in Nigeria.
The General Overseer of the camp, Pastor Solomon Folorunsho speaking to Channels Television said that deliveries from donors were in short supply following the seizure by the Nigeria Customs service at the tin can island port of a 20-feet container laden with materials donated to the camp.
Pastor Folorunsho asked for the urgent release of the materials so that the IDPs can be catered for.