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     Some of the goods seized by Customs in Ogun

    By Ige Adekunle

    The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Ogun 1 Area Command, said it seized goods worth N1.3 billion between May to June around Ogun and its environs.

    The Area Comptroller, Bamidele Makinde, made this known at a press briefing on Monday in Idiroko, Ogun.

    Makinde also said the command generated N12.8 million from importation and auction of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) intercepted at different locations and exit points to the Republic of Benin during its anti-smuggling operations between May to June.

    He explained that the cumulative estimated Duty Paid Value (DPV) of the seizures between May and June amounted to N1,290, 108,608.00.

    The Customs boss said as part of synergy and collaboration with sister security agencies in the state, operatives of the command intercepted illicit drugs and narcotics in the course of their routine patrols.

    He listed the illicit drugs to include 117 small sacks, six big sacks, 1,100 wraps (book size), 81 wraps (coconut size) of cannabis sativa, and a cartoon containing 1,100 packets of Tramadol (225mg per table 10).

    Also seized were 390 Cartons of frozen poultry products,19 bales and 104 sacks of foreign used clothes, 120 cartons of new foot wears (including 23 pairs of new slippers), 53 cartons of foreign used shoes, 122 cartons of foreign wine.

    The command also seized 72 pieces of used compressors, 10 vehicles, two foreign used vehicles, four motorcycles, 289 cartons of imported tomato paste and vehicle spare parts.

    The Customs boss added that a smuggled truck load of about 320 cartons (23,400 pairs) of imported foot wears, which fell under Import Prohibition List, Schedule 3 of Common External Tariff (CEF), with an estimated DPV of N764,974,800.00, was intercepted during intelligence-driven anti-smuggling operations.

    A fuel tanker suspected to contain 45,000 litres of adulterated diesel with an estimated Duty Paid Value of N81,823,200.00, was abandoned by a suspected bunkerer who absconded upon sighting our operatives along Sagamu-Ijebu Ode Expressway.

    In addition, about 10,973 litres of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), popularly known as petrol, was seized and disposed of in line with extant laws, he said.

    Makinde said two vehicles laden with 882 bags/50g each of foreign parboiled rice were seized within Abeokuta axis, in line with sections 46 and 169, respectively of Customs and Excise Management Act CEMA, CAP C45 L.F.N.2004.

    Makinde attributed the achievement to the commands intensified anti-smuggling operations as this had continued to gain momentum and culminated into seizure of many goods.

    The synergy and collaboration with sister security agencies in the state had also contributed to this remarkable progress, he said.

    Makinde commended the sister agencies, critical stakeholders and traditional rulers for their collaborative efforts and synergy with the Customs in the state. (NAN) (www nannews.ng)

    Edited by Salif Atojoko

    Source: NAN News

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     FCTA issues 1 month ultimatum to owners of land at Apo scrap market
    By Salisu Sani-Idris

    The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Monday in Abuja warned owners of plots in Apo-Dutse Scrap market to develop their lands in one month or risk revocation.

    Mr Ikharo Attah, the Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring, Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister, issued the warning during a meeting with the Association of Apo-Dutse Scrap Market Dealers.

    Attah, who said that the FCT Administration spent huge resources to clear the market of illegality, however, expressed worry that most of the plot owners had not taken possession of their lands.

    He disclosed that the administration through the Taskforce on City Sanitation removed over 50 illegal shanties and shops.

    We returned to Apo-Dutse Scrap (Pantaka) market after a short break to continue to remove illegalities on plots of land and we also return for mop up exercise but somehow we are not too please that most of the land allottees have not taken over their land.

    The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, is very bitter and unhappy because most of the land allottees have not taken over their land.

    And he is spending state resources to do the clean-up exercise in terms of buying diesel, paying personnel allowances and servicing the machines.

    People who have gotten land in this place and are waiting for us to clear it should immediately report to Development Control within the next one month.

    Not just fencing the land but also getting building plan approval and building on it. They should not leave the land vacant for too long, he said.

    Attah said that the taskforce would recommend and plead with FCT minister to give a grace of one month, and if there is no meaningful development in terms of fencing and ground breaking for structures.

    The minister should revoke the land. The only way you can get them to move out of here is for the plot owners to take over their plots and start development.

    As long as the plot owners are speculating then pantaker and miscreants will take over their plots, he said.

    The senior special assistant, who revealed that the minister might consider allocating alternative land for the association of scrap dealer, advised them to be patient.

    The ministers aide, however, cautioned the scrap dealers to avoid operating with scavengers because the scavengers destroy their good image.

    Responding, the Chairman of the association, Malam Anas Ismail, explained that the members of the association were not regrouping rather they were packing their belongings.

    He said the association already wrote to the minister and pleaded with him to give them more time to evacuate their property.

    Also, Malam Bala Haruna, the Secretary-General of the association also appealed to the minister to consider their request of allocating a land for them to do their business.

    He said that they were over 10,000 scrap dealers in the market. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Kabir Muhammad/Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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     Kaduna SEMA to provide assistance to 231 displaced households
    By Ezra Musa

    The Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (KADSEMA) has said that it will provide assistance to 231 households in 10 communities displaced by gunmen in Kachia Local Government Area.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that suspected bandits attacked several communities in the local government area on June 23, displacing the inhabitants from their homes

    Mr Muhammed Mukaddas, Executive Secretary of the agency told NAN on Monday in Kaduna that it had concluded assessment of the affected communities to adequately cater for the needs of the displaced families.

    The SEMA boss said that the assessment was done in collaboration with the Nigeria Red Cross Society and Kachia Local Emergency Management Committee.

    He listed the communities affected to include Ita, Pachi, Kabode, Insime, Yelwa Gora, Rumuda, Kasan Kogi, Karmai, Maiido Kufai, and Rafi.

    Mukaddas said the displaced persons have been provided temporary shelter in various primary schools in Kachia.

    He said that security agencies were doing their best to restore peace to the communities.(NAN) (nannews.ng)

    Edited by Maharazu Ahmed/Bayo Sekoni

    Source: NAN News

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     FCT Council of Chiefs extol FG on high-yield crop varieties

    By Sylvester Thompson

    The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Traditional Rulers Council has commended the Federal Government and its National Biotechnology Development Agency (NABDA) for providing improved varieties of seeds to farmers.

    Malam Dantani Dantsoho, representing the Sarkin of Bwari Area Council, made the commendation at a one-day sensitisation workshop for council chairmen, clerics, traditional rulers, farmers and extension agents in Abuja on Monday.

    The workshop had the theme Community Empowerment through Agricultural Biotechnology: Roles of farmers, traditional rulers, religious clerics and extension agents.

    The Sarkin (Chief) said that the federal government via NABDA and the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) in Nigeria, had successfully worked hand-in hand with FCT farmers to provide improve seedlings to boost food production.

    He pledged the councils support for agricultural biotechnology and said the workshop was beneficial to traditional rulers in the FCT.

    Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha, the Director-General, NABDA, said the federal government had deemed it fit to improve food security and agricultural productivity by establishing NABDA to ensure that Nigerians benefitted from the technology.

    Mustapha was represented by Dr Rose Gidado, Country Coordinator of OFAB.

    Already, our farmers have started celebrating as we have successfully released some varieties of improved crops to ensure they maximally benefit from the technology that other countries have used for more than 25 years, he said.

    He said the meeting was unique as the country was at a critical stage where an average Nigerian was finding it difficult to feed.

    He said the reason was not far-fetched, being that farmers continued to plant on the same size of land depleted every year to urbanisation, desertification and other vulnerabilities associated with climate change.

    Mustapha noted that Nigeria had embraced latest innovation in providing affordable, safe and nutrient-rich food to the populace.

    Biotechnology and its tools have proven to provide spot-on solutions to most of the challenges facing agricultural productivity and, with this technology, we can undertake precision agriculture, he said.

    Gidado, in her speech as OFAB Nigeria Coordinator, said the objectives of the workshop was to inform traditional rulers and selected religious leaders about the agricultural biotechnology concept and benefits.

    She said it was to sensitise the leaders who would in turn convince farmers to adopt and support agricbiotech concept and to enable rural communities to benefit from agric biotechnology adoption.

    She said one of the justifications of the meeting was awareness through specialised workshops, as this would help popularise the technology concept and secure sufficient buy-in from individuals.

    Gidado mentioned the outcomes which also included the sufficient understanding of the science of biotechnology and biosafety regulation by the invitees.

    She concluded that investment in awareness creation on agribiotech issues would deliver multiple positive responses.

    Mr Kabir Ibrahim, President of All Farmers Association of Nigeria (AFAN), in his goodwill message, disclosed that farmers in Nigeria had embraced biotechnology,

    Ibrahim gave the assurance that the quickest and fastest means of getting out of poverty was through genetic engineering technology and that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) had become a game changer.

    The technology is safe and there is no nexus between disease and GMOs as GM crops are safe, he said.

    The AFAN President said the fear of GM as expressed by the anti-GMO activists was not supported by good science, as he personally attended international meetings and also held several discussions all over the world.

    He spoke extensively on Bt Cowpea and Bt Cotton and the accruing economic benefits to the nation.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that goodwill messages were delivered by various government agencies, chairmen of area councils in the FCT and Council of Imams, among others.

    It also featured lectures and sessions by Directors-General and CEOs of agencies and agricultural bodies among others.(NAN)()

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    Edited by Benson Iziama/Donald Ugwu

    Source: NAN News

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     Hajj 2022: NAHCON working for 5,000 additional slots

    By Ismail Abdulaziz
    The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has sent a high level delegation to Saudi Arabia over the additional slots request for the 2022 Hajj operations.

    Already, NAHCON Commissioner for Operations Abdullahi Hardawa, has met with the Saudi Arabian deputy minister for Hajj and Umrah on the matter on Sunday.

    In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Hardawa said that the 5,000 additional slots requested has been transmitted to the highest decision making body of the kingdom.

    I am in Saudi Arabia specifically to speak about this additional slots which we had requested for earlier before the start of the Hajj 2022 operations.

    I immediately went straight to Riyadh where I met our Ambassador who told me of the efforts he had also been making on the issue.
    However, they have assured Nigeria that the request will be granted since we had written formally to them about it. Its only a matter time that we are concerned with.

    We need to get the slots so that it will be useful to the tour operators and other intending pilgrims that are waiting for it plus other stakeholders in various States of the Federation.

    We did not envisage additional slots because of the time the Saudi authorities approved that Hajj will be conducted this year and also because of the cost of the Hajj, he told NAN.

    He said his visit was to expedite the action and ensure that it benefits tour operators in particular and Nigerians in general waiting to fulfil the religious obligations this year. (NAN)

    Source: NAN News

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     Demolition: FCT Minister satisfied with enforcement by task force
    By Salisu Sani-Idris

    The Federal Capital Territory Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello, has expressed satisfaction with the renewed enforcement activities of the FCT Task force on City Sanitation.

    Bello, in a statement on Sunday in Abuja, said the activities of the task force were aimed at ensuring the restoration and maintenance of sanity in Abuja, the nations capital city.

    The minister spoke during an interface with the Heads of Enforcement-related Departments in FCTA, affiliate operational commander and field commanders from various security agencies involved in enforcement activities in the FCT,

    Bello said, there would be no sanity in the city without enforcement.

    All the demolitions and other forms of enforcement, especially those affecting high profile persons that the Task force did, had no reason for me to intervene.

    Honestly, I appreciate you all for what you are doing. All the demolitions; all the arrests that you have done, no big man could call me to stop you, because they know I dont do so

    Thats why they dont talk about it. So, just go and do your work.

    What Im telling you is exactly the feeling of the Commander- in- Chief also, because we have to enforce.

    Without enforcement, its not possible, the difference between us and animals is enforcement simply, and we in the administration have to try our best to help you.

    Earlier, the FCT Permanent Secretary, Mr Olusade Adesola, said the authorities were really feeling the impact of the task force, as their work was very palpable and appealing to the stakeholders.

    According to Adesola, this couldnt have been possible without the political will and support of the FCT Minister, who always wants the right thing to be done.

    I have always been seeing the face of Mr Ikharo Attah, Senior Special Assistant on Monitoring Inspection and Enforcement to the FCT Minister and Head of Task force on City Sanitation, as the faces of all of you.

    So it is good we are seeing you all today. We are really feeling you, because we are seeing the work that you are doing.

    On the service delivery platform, I am always there, and the feedback we received from you is worth encouraging and appealing.

    What we are telling people now is that we have to obey and comply with the law.

    I thank the Minister for receiving you personally; this is to tell you that you have all the moral support, political support and what is left is for you to do more.

    Make sure you deal according to the law, and dont do anything out of vengeance. Please, we assure you of our total support, financial support or otherwise.

    Also, the FCT Commissioner of Police, Sunday Babaji, reassured that the Police and other security agencies involved in the enforcement drive would not relent on working towards maintaining the sanctity of the territory.

    He, however, appealed to the FCT Administration to continue to support them to keep the tempo.

    Responding, the ministers aide, Attah, said for the minister to receive the task force showed that they did not disappoint those who chose them from their various security agencies and FCTA departments to do the enforcement work.

    Attah added, if not for FCT Ministers strong political will and desire to stand and be very firm on what was right, they wont do much in their assignment.

    Doing our job, one thing we have discovered is that there are strong beneficiaries of all illegalities and all forms of criminality in the FCT.

    Anywhere we go, to even chase criminals, somebody is benefiting; you chase hawkers, somebody is benefiting; to remove illegal structures, somebody is benefiting and to remove roadside traders, somebody is benefiting.

    Also, to arrest Okada riders somebody is benefiting. And when we step on those big toes, our source of comfort is that our bosses are always there to defend us.

    He thanked the minister for his unwavering support and strong political will they are receiving in carrying out the job.

    Most times we discovered that if not for your strong political will and desire to stand and be very firm on what is right, I dont think that we will go far at all,he said.

    Attah appealed to the minister and other stakeholders to sustain the support.

    I am very sure we will not disappoint you because our commitment to do what is right certainly knows no bounds. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Bashir Rabe Mani/Idris Abdulrahman

    Source: NAN News

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     ICAN swears in 2nd Chairman, inaugurates district excos

    By Jacinta Nwachukwu

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has sworn in the 2 Chairman and inaugurated the Executive Committee of Gwagwalada and District Society to pilot its affairs for the next one year.

    Speaking at the inauguration, the 58 President of ICAN, Malam Tijjani Isa, congratulated the new chairman as well as other executive members and encouraged them to be good leaders.

    Isa, who was represented by Mrs Qeensley Seghosime, Council member, said that good leaders were trailblazers, they forged a path for others to follow.

    Leadership is finest when it is executed through service and by example. I encourage you all to give your all in contributing to the growth of this profession, he said.

    He further urged them to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to proffer lasting solutions to the current economic quagmire confronting the country.

    According to him, the lessons learnt from the COVID-19 pandemic the need for more diversified and resilient economy should not be easily forgotten.

    Chartered accountants need to rise up and play the significant roles in building an invincible and sustainable economy.

    Against this backdrop, the president expressed confident that the new leadership led by Mr Chimezie Ogu, were capable to skillfully and successfully pilot the affairs of the District at this critical time.

    He, therefore, urged every member of the executive and the members of the District at large, to readily offer the new Chairman their unflinching support while encouraging the Chairman to tow the path of an inclusive leadership.

    In his remarks, Chief Nimfa Zwalbong, the outgone Chairman of the District Society, while appreciating the members for their support during his tenure said the forum started with few members in 2016.

    But today the membership has significantly grown to over 60 financial members, Zwalbong said.

    He, therefore, wished the new Chairman well and prayed that God almighty would strengthen, encourage and give him wisdom along with his team to make positive impacts in the society.

    Responding, Ogu pledged to uphold the values and integrity of the society as well as secure a permanent office for the District.

    Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria, Gwagwalada District is a young district and as a young district there are some pertinent obvious challenges.

    The issue of membership, the financial base and most importantly trying to secure a permanent office.

    I have made it as a priority that within this tenure I will ensure that we have a permanent office, Ogu promised.

    Also on his part, the Guest Speaker, Dr Abioye Mustafa, said that there was the need for the review of the tertiary curriculum to accommodate other needs.

    The focus of the lecture is the expansion of curriculum of the accounting profession to take care of knowledge gap that exists within the current curriculum.

    So that it can take care of areas that are not covered because accounting is no longer a technical issue alone it takes care of both technical, social as well as moral issue,Mustafa explained. (NAN)()

    JIN/IAA

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    Edited by Isaac Aregbesola

    Source: NAN News

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     ICAN Nyanya-Mararaba inaugurates new executives
    By Ruth Oketunde

    The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) Nyanya-Mararaba and District Society has inaugurated new executives to steer its affairs.

    The eight-member executive committee, headed by its Second Chairman Micheal Adeagbo will be in office for one year.

    Speaking during the investiture in Abuja, Adeagbo said that the society would ensure it encouraged young students to build a career in accountancy for the economic growth of the country.

    He noted that the district under his watch would be promoting integrity and accountability among its members.

    I want to give God the glory for making today to be a reality, this is a dream come true as on Nov. 7 2020, this district was inaugurated.

    Today as I become the second chairman of the district, I have a lot of plans that we will be executing with the executive members for the 2022/2023 chairmanship year.

    The first we have in mind is the catch-them-young programme, we have so many young graduates who are around, we will want to bring them on board.

    Like our motto says accuracy and integrity, my word of advice to my professional colleagues is to uphold the tenet of the profession and we are going to be preaching that.

    We will make sure that at our district meetings, we will bring people on board that will be speaking with us on the importance of upholding our ethics, he said.

    Malam Tijjani Musa, 58th ICAN President, urged the the new executives to work in unity and for the progress of the district and the institute in general.

    Musa, who was represented by Hajia Queensley Seghosime, a Governing Council member of the Institute, also advised accountants in the country to be accountable and work within the ethics of their profession.

    My advice is that they continue in the way of the old executives, they should work together to move the district and institute forward.

    Our motto is integrity and accuracy and I want to plead with them to continue to stand by that motto.

    They should not in any way compromise the work that they do as ICAN members, they should not get involved in things that are unbecoming of a chartered accountant, he said.

    Also speaking, Dr Philip Salawu, Former Deputy Governor of Kogi and the chairman of the occasion, called on accountants in the country to work with a sense of probity and honesty.

    My advice to them as chartered accountant is that they should know that they are the custodian of liquid assets in any organisation, both private and public.

    So they have to possess a high level of integrity and responsibility so these assets are well managed, he said.

    Also, Mr Peter Alemoh, the Immediate past chairman of the district, called on the government to review some policies that would encourage those in the accounting profession.

    Before now, a chartered accountant starts from Salary Grade Level 10 in the public service, but now, they are made to start with Salary Grade Level 8 which is not encouraging for those who have studied to get their qualification.

    I believe that the government will look at that policy and revert to status quo, he said.(NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

    Edited by Kayode Olaitan

    Source: NAN News

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     OPEXA appeals to NASS to expedite ratification of N375bn EEG
    By Kadiri Abdulrahman

    The Organised Private Sector Exporters Association (OPEXA) has appealed to the National Assembly (NASS) to urgently ratify the approval of the N375 billion Export Expansion Grants (EEG) for exporters.

    The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the N375 billion represents the backlog of the EEG from 2017 to 2020, whose payment was delayed due to budgetary constraints.

    The Federal Executive Council (FEC) recently approved the disbursement in form of Promissory Notes, which will become effective after the ratification by NASS.

    MrJaiyeolaOlanrewaju, the Executive Secretary of OPEXA in a statement on Saturday urged the lawmakers to expedite action on the ratification process to boost the countrys export sector.

    We sincerely appreciate the gesture shown by Mr President and the Vice President to support the non-oilexportsector.

    We also commend the intervention of both the Ministers of Finance and Industry, Trade and Investment, who tabled the issue of the EEG backlog at the cabinet.

    We now appeal to both the houses of the NASS to expedite the ratification of the approval given by the Federal Executive Council to provide relief to the exporters who have been starved of liquidity.

    This appeal becomes more urgent in view of the fact that the ratification will be the beginning of another long process, he said.

    He said after the ratification, imput of other relevant stakeholders like the Debt Management Office, International Auditors (Peat Marwick) and the Nigeria Export Promotion Council would be required.

    No doubt, this process takes a while, he said.

    According to Olanrewaju, it will be pertinent to note that the Presidential Committee on Continuous Audit (PICA) had earlier carried out a validation exercise on the claims.

    He said that the exercise included physical inspection of the facilities of beneficiary companies.

    He commended effort by the government to reform the EEG policy, adding that actual implementation of the policy was most desirable.

    It was the report by PICA that the Ministry of Finance presented via a memo to the FEC for approval.

    It is the same report that is now before the National Assembly for ratification.

    A timely disbursement will help millions of Nigerian farmers who rely on the export sector for funds through the planting and harvest season for 2022.

    OPEXA notes that reform of the EEG policy is commendable, however, what is needed now is its actual implementation.

    The government needs to show sincerity and commitment to generate confidence in its policies, he said.

    The executive secretary said the exporters embraced the new policy in good faith by investing in export processing factories and made commitments to foreign buyers.

    He said that the non-oil export sector had agro-allied linkages and supports the livelihood of over 11 million Nigerians directly and indirectly.

    It is vital for diversification of Nigerian economy and revenue base, he said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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    Edited by Grace Yussuf

    Source: NAN News

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     Stakeholder urges oil marketers to cooperate with FG, end fuel scarcity

    By Patience Omoha

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    Edited by Mark Longyen/Issac Aregbesola

    Source: NAN News

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