Ibom Deep Seaport Will Transform Akwa Ibom To a Transhipment City — Gov Emmanuel

…As AKSG partners BPA, Korean Maritime University for technical, manpower development for Ibom Deep Seaport

…geophysical, geotechnical studies to begin next week – Akan Okon 

Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel has assured Akwa Ibom people that the Ibom Deep Seaport project when operational will transform the State into a transhipment city that will provide thousands of direct jobs to citizens.

The Governor who spoke through the Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, said while Busan Port Authority, BPA, operators of the world’s second largest and busiest port in South Korea, has agreed to provide the technical support towards the construction of Ibom Deep Seaport, the Korean Maritime and Ocean University have also agreed to partner the Akwa Ibom State Government in manpower development so as to train the pool of manpower that will be needed for the Ibom Deep Seaport project. 

Briefing newsmen at the Victor Attah International Airport shortly after his arrival from an official visit to South Korea on Friday, Mr Akan Okon noted with delight that the Akwa Ibom State Government’s presentation on Ibom Deep Seaport and Ibom Industrial City to the Management of Busan Port Authority (BPA), at the Maritime Sector and Harbor Development programme in South Korea, has yielded positive results of which its impact will soon transform the political economy of Akwa Ibom State. 

He noted that the partnership with the BPA team was in keeping with Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision of establishing a good relationship with Busan Port Authority and tap from their wealth of experience of international best practices in Port construction and management. 

According to Mr Okon, BPA is a state-owned company under the Korean Ministry of Ocean and Fisheries lunched in January 2004 for the development, operation and management of Busan Port which is the Gate way of North East Asia, and a major transhipment route to China, Japan and Russia.

“This project is going to be a game changer for Akwa Ibom State economy. That is why His Excellency, Governor Udom Emmanuel approved us to be part of the Maritime Sector and Harbour Development programme in Singapore. This trip gave us an opportunity to interact with people in the maritime sector especially Busan Port. Busan Port is the second largest and busiest port in the world. It is a transhipment port with a 17 meters depth which is similar to what we have in Ibom Deep Seaport”.

“This trip also gave us the opportunity to interact with the Korean Maritime and Ocean University with a view to developing manpower for our citizens so that we would be able to take advantage of the opportunities that would be created in the maritime sector as a result of this project and we are looking at areas like maritime logistics and other businesses that is associated with the shipping industry”, he stated.

The Commissioner noted that the Akwa Ibom State delegation during the visit made a presentation and the investors are interested because of what they have found out from the potentials of the Ibom Deep Seaport project and mostly because the proposed port is similar to what they have in North Korea which is a port with a water depth of 17m- 18m.

Mr Okon stated that with the kind of vision Governor Udom  Emmanuel has for Ibom Deep Seaport which is to make Akwa Ibom a transhipment port for the African continent, Akwa Ibom is in for an industrial revolution that will propel the state and her citizens to greatness, global competitiveness and economic prosperity.

“We also had the opportunity to meet with the Korean Cooperation for Overseas Port Development. We are looking at having a partnership with them so that they can also assist in the development of our Deep Seaport. Basan Port is developing three port presently in Netherlands, Indonesia and Spain so we met with them so that they can key into Ibom Deep Seaport and they are quite interested”.

“The collaboration between the Akwa Ibom State Government and Basan Port Authority which is the main investor is moving ahead and by next week we are going to kickstart the geophysical and geotechnical studies. Once Ibom Deep Seaport becomes operational, it will change the life of Akwa Ibom people for good”, he declared.

Fire Razes Boats At Bonny-Bille-Nembe Jetty In Rivers State, Many Feared Dead.

Barely 25 hours after an explosion rocked an illegal oil dumpsite in Rumuokoro axis of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivets State, a massive fire had erupted at the Nembe/Bonny/Bille jetty in Port Harcourt.

The fire which is still raging had consumed over six market boats with passengers trapped in it.

Eyewitnesses said the boats were lading and offloading at the jetty when the fire suddenly erupted, as it was believed to be carrying some illegally refined petroleum products.

Capt. Adeyemo, Foremost Master Mariner & Former NIWA Board member Dies at 84.


Captain Niyi Adeyemo, renowned Master mariner and former Board member of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) is dead.

A close family source confirmed the news of his death on Monday evening.

Adeyemo who also served as the President, Nigerian Association of Master Mariners (NAMM) passed at about 2pm yesterday.

Fondly called Baba, at NIWA, he worked towards the growth and development of Inland waterways in the country.

He was also one of the nation’s foremost consultants in marine engineering, nautical science, marine surveys and ship management.

Burial arrangement will be announced by the family.

Amaechi Accuses Finance Ministry Of Frustrating $200m Cabotage Fund Disbursement.

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The minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Friday said the ministry of finance was frustrating the disbursement of the $200million Cabotage Vessels Finance Fund (CVFF).
The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), had in March this year, said it received the approval of president Muhammadu Buhari to disburse the CVFF to qualified indigenous maritime operators in line with the treasury single account (TSA) policy and the CVFF guidelines of 2006.
However, the agency is yet to apply the over $200 million fund to acquire vessels for local ship owners who have been struggling to survive due to inadequate funds to run their business.
Speaking at the 2020 federal ministry of transportation ministerial retreat in Lagos, Amaechi said president Muhammadu Buhari and the attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, have approved the disbursement of the fund but the minister of finance, Zainab Ahmed, protested against the disbursement, saying, it is a public fund and shouldn’t be disbursed to private operators.
He, however, advised ship owners to write a protest letter to the president seeking the disbursement of the fund and explain why the fund is a private fund.“The owners of the fund should write to the president and copy me, and then I will go back to the president.
The law says it is not a public fund, now that they are aware they should write to say we are aware of the approval, and we are aware of the protest by the minister of finance and if I have all these, I will go back to the president,” the minister said.
He maintained that with the commissioning of the Deep Blue Project, vessels that were unable to visit the eastern ports can now do so without fear of attacks.
I said we will address the issue of security in the maritime sector because the reasons why vessels are not able to go to Port-Harcourt, Warri and other places is because of the high cost of insurance.“ High cost of insurance is a result of insecurity, so if we address the issue of insecurity which is the root cause, then the high cost of insurance will reduce and more businesses will go to the South-south where we have other seaports.“Since we launched the equipment for the security architecture, we are now monitoring improvement and this is going to reduce because we have equipment and human beings managing them,” he assured.
Also speaking, the director general, NIMASA, Dr Bashir Jamoh, said the agency was doing everything possible to put the floating dockyard into use.
According to him, the quay to berth the floating dock at Continental shipyard is weak, rusty and old hence the need for rehabilitation.“In summary, we are just trying to see how we can effectively and safely get a place where we can berth the floating dock and commence operations but, every other thing about the floating dock is complete except where to berth the vessel,” he explained.

Customs Seizes Foreign Rice, Vehicles Worth N145m In Niger State

The Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, Niger and Kogi Area command, has seized imported rice, vehicles and second hand bale clothing with duty paid value of about N145 million in the third quarter of 2019.

The Comptroller in charge of the command, Yusuf Abba- Kassim, announced this while displaying the seized items before newsmen in Minna on Thursday.

Mr Abba-Kassim said a total of 3,529 kilogrammes of imported bags of rice with duty paid value of over N62 million were seized by officers and men in different parts of the area command.

According to him, 2 used vehicle’s with duty paid value of over N32 million were also seized under the command’s new anti-smuggling strategies which he said had been yielding positive results.

He said that 1, 018 bales of second hand clothing with duty paid value of over N48 million were seized within the command’s area of coverage.

The comptroller said the command had also arrested one DAF diesel tanker with registration number RBC 05 ZS suspected to be concealing 500 bags of foreign rice on the Abuja-Kaduna expressway.

He described smugglers as economic saboteurs and advised them to desist from such act.
He said the command was committed to the eradication of all forms of smuggling activities within its area of jurisdiction.

Four Persons Declares Wanted by the Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy has on Tuesday declared four (4) persons wanted for
complicity in theft of petroleum products in Nigeria’s maritime

The persons declared wanted include ;Mr. Enikanologbon Happy, Mr. Arumona Daniel, Mr. Ebujie Kingsley Chinonso, and Mr. Ogori Kenneth.

In a statement made available by the Naval spokesman, Commodore Suleman Dahun in Abuja explain that the above persons are crew of a merchant vessel Grace Water, which was arrested on 8th October, 2018 laden with ninety(90) Matric tonnes of illegally sourced Petroleum products.

Dahun therefore call on anyone with useful information of the whereabouts of these persons to contact the naval provost Marshal, Naval Headquarters, Abuja on 08037442228,08037175817,and 0813879923 or contact any nearest Naval establishment, Army, Air Force or police unit.

Customs (FOU), Zone “A intercepts N379m Indian hemp, other Items

The  Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Unit (FOU), Zone “A” said for the period under review, the breakdown of the seizures recorded with their appropriate Duty Paid Values (DPV) from August 17 to December 10, 2018 (copy attached).  Within this period, we intercepted various contrabands with a duty paid value (DPV) of N5.1Billion.

Mohammed Aliyu, FOU Zone A Customs Area Comptroller, made the disclosure to the Journalists in Lagos, that his aims and objectives are to compliment the Comptroller General’s Policy of entrenching transparency and integrity while enforcing the core mandate of the Service is the determining factor for his uncompromising stand to curb any form of criminality to its barest minimum with the coming of Mohammed Aliyu, who many say is performing excellently well in his jurisdiction. Comptroller Aliyu has become a thorn in the flesh of the hoodlums, he has led several raids against notorious smugglers, and has demonstrated a strength of a good leadership to the (NCS)

The seized items include 24 unit of seized vehicles and 34 exotic vehicles on detention (58), 39,664 bags of foreign parboiled rice (the equivalent of 66 trailers), 3,252 frozen poultry products, 2,887 jerrycans of vegetable oil, 3,792 parcels of Indian Hemp, 5x20ft containers of unprocessed wood, 2,520 bales.

The Comptroller stated that being the head of the second layers of defense (FOU) in enforcing the role of the Service and complementing the activities of the Area Commands, the resolute stand of the Unit occasioned by the aggressive enforcement of the Federal Government policy across the border Commands he superintends is a task that must be accomplished and cannot be overemphasized.

Observers believe that smuggling rate in that Unit and environs has been reduced to its barest minimum with the coming of  Mohammed Aliyu who many say is performing excellently well in (FOU), Zone “A, and his competent and proactive service has brought so many innovations to his present Unit.

He promised that the unit would continue to combat smuggling in that axis, and he is leaving no stone unturned he said.

By Chuks Samuel.

DC Gaya: An officer committed to Enhance compliance level Via system Observer, to boost revenue

Greatness is a property for which no man can receive credit too soon; it must be possessed long before it is acknowledged. When one of the world’s greatest thinkers, Ralph Waldo Emerson handed down the above words of wisdom, those he had in mind were certainly the likes of DC.Gaya Y.M, the Area Project Manager (APM) Apapa Customs Command, Lagos. For the trail-blazing Customs officer par excellence from Dundun in Kano state, it is certainly impossible to gloss over his attributes for greatness.

Very few people appreciate their purpose in life and still understand the components of that purpose. Deputy Comptroller Gaya Y.M, Area Project Manager, Apapa Customs Command, Lagos will stand out among the few who had more than a fleeting nation of their sojourn on earth.

He is a rare breed who viewed life solely from the perspective of his God and knew that life’s purpose can only be fulfilled when self-will is surrounded to Almighty. DC. Gaya is a very supportive, encouraging and inspiring fellow; whatever he sets his mind on, he does passionately and quietly.

He is a loving, kind-hearted man and this shows in his dealing with all that come across him, including his fellow officers to be rated as one of the best customs officers in the country can never be a mean achievement. One peculiarity of Gaya Mohammed is that he operates with synergy in his relationship with not only customs officers but also officers of other sister agencies in commands he has served.

This amiable fellow is a man who has been identified as being effective and efficient in carrying out his official duties. He a crusader of integrity who believes in efficiency and improved revenue generation as well as zero tolerance for corruption.

A graduate of the University of Sokoto with BSc. degree in Economics and a Masters Degree in Business Administration. A native of Dundun in Kano state.Professionally, DC. Gaya who is vast in customs operations has attended several courses both locally and internationally like the Crown Agents, Accra, Ghana in 2010.

Since he joined the Nigeria Customs Service in 1990, he has moved through ranks in several commands where he served in various capacities and has made very remarkable achievements like Borno state, Murtala Mohammed International Airport customs command, Lagos, Port-Harcourt, Rivers state as Area Project Manager, Abakiliki out-station as Patrol Team Leader and Apapa command, Lagos where he is currently operating as Area Project Manager . He has always exhibited resilience in any command he serves by ensuring improved compliance level through system monitoring and increased revenue generation.

If competence as an Area Project Manager (APM) is anything to go by, Deputy Comptroller Gaya Y.M. can be described as an epitome of technical knowledge within the Nigeria Customs Service based on his professional experience which has manifested itself when he realized N1.2B from a reputable Telecommunication company into the Federal Government coffers as officer in charge of Query & Amendment.DC. Gaya and his group have also recovered N5.5B in a single transaction by an Offshore Oil company through excise control and development and that has been commendable as it is a very remarkable achievement in the history of Nigeria Customs Service.

In his exploits as the Area Project Manager (APM) in Onne Customs Command of the service where he was privileged to serve under several Area Controllers such as Comptrollers Richard Oteri, Mohammed Mogaji, Gummi Hamzat,Babani A.T several monumental achievements of the command could be traced to the unseen hands of the amiable Deputy Comptroller, Gaya Y.M., an erudite and articulate customs officer who is thoroughly diligent when carrying out his duties.

Based on the report made available to Grassroots Publishers, Gaya’s deployment to head the CPC/ASSYCUDA Unit of the command where he served for about 5 years,the revenue profile of the command which before then stood between N4 billion to N5 billion and in some rare cases N7 billion per month was seen to have over the time shoot up incrementally to about N8 billion, N9 billion, N10 billion per month.

This feat was attributed to his resolve to have prudently plugged several loopholes, which eventually led to increase in compliance level of trade. Several loopholes that were capitalized on by economic saboteurs were said to be detected by his led team and consequently plugged, and this, in the long run, had improved the revenue performance of the command.

His transfer to Apapa command of the service widely acclaimed to be the highest revenue earning command as APM in the last general redeployment of Deputy Comptrollers of Customs cadre once again is an attestation of professional competence garnered over the years which has endeared him to the highly elevated technical position.

PTML Customs Command Generates N98.9bn Revenue …Records 29.3% Increase

The PTML Command of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, has generated over N98.9billion into the coffers of the Federal Government in 2018 fiscal year. The Public Relations Officer, PRO of the Command, Mr. Yakubu M. A. made this known, in a document signed and made available to Grassroots Publishers in Lagos.

According to him, the Command collected the huge sum of N98.9billion from the period covering January to October this year.

Yakubu further explained that N78.2billion revenue was generated by the same Command from January to October 2017 economic year.

He said, “N78.2billion revenue was realized in the same period under review in 2017, while N98.9billion has been generated in 2018. Comparatively, this shows the revenue surplus of N20.6billion, which also shows a percentage increase of about 29.3”

Yakubu also said that the current Customs Area Controller, CAC, of the Command, Comptroller Florence Dixon, is working tirelessly to increase revenue collection for the government while ensuring trade facilitation for greater economic growth.

Customs Unveil Illegal Import of 1570 Pump Action Rifiles- Witness

The Deputy Superintendent of Customs, Nwaiwu Chibuzor Ginikanwa, today, told Justice  Saliu Saidu of the Federal High Court, Lagos, how the Nigerian  Customs Service(NCS) discovered the 1570 pump action rifles illegally imported into the country by some businessmen through the Tincan Island Port, Lagos.

Ginikanwu, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs with the Intelligence unit, Tincan Island Command, Lagos appeared as a prosecution witness in the trial of Ayogu Great James, Ifeuwa Moses Christ and a company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited, facing trial for alleged importation of 1570 pump action rifles into the country.

While being led in evidence by the Prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaiye, a Deputy Director with the Federal Ministry of Justice, Ginikanwa said she was on normal routine surveillance on September 6, 2017 at the Tincan Island Container Port, Lagos with  the list of containers to be positioned for examination on that day in which a 1by 20 feet container was also among.

The witness added that on her way to inspect some containers, an agent by name, Ndubuisi approached her and gave her a photocopy of a Bill of Laden.

The Customs officer said that after inspecting the first container belonging to another person, she proceeded to carry out an inspection on the container which Ndubuisi has given her the Bill of Laden.

Ginikanwa said on approaching the container, she saw two agents standing by the container with the container already opened. “I noticed some cartons wrapped in sacks with one of the cartons turned open.”

The witness said on a closer look, she saw guns and that immediately the two agents, Ikechukwu Okafor, and Ndubuisi realized that she has seen the guns in the sacks, they quickly locked the container and ran away.

Ginikanwa said she quickly alerted her boss, Deputy Comptroller of Customs, Bomoi Sulaimon, who in turn, quickly drafted other operatives to join her at the terminal to secure the container while her boss also contacted Deputy Comptroller Enforcement, Nnandi Vera.

The witness said she and the reinforcement from her unit were at the terminal until the arrival of the Enforcement Unit who took the container away for 100 percent physical examination.

“When I get back to the office on that day, I received a call from a telephone number 08026797600 and the person who called was begging me in Ibo language to help secure the release of the container.”

The witness added that further investigation of the call line revealed the caller to be one Emeka Festus

During today’s trial, the prosecutor, Ajakaiye tendered the certified true copy of the Bill of Laden given to Ginikanwa by Ndubuisi and it was admitted in evidence as the defendant’s lawyers did not oppose to its admissibility.

Meanwhile, Justice Saidu has adjourned the further hearing in the matter till January, 16th and 24th of next year.

Recalled that the court yesterday (Wednesday), refused the bail applications filed by the alleged gun runners, Ayogu Great James and one Ifeuwa Moses Christ.

The duo alongside a company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited, located at Number 1, Warehouse Road, Apapa, Lagos   were first arraigned before Justice Saliu Saidu on October 11 this year by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).

The defendants were arrested by men of Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) with the said pump action rifles concealed in two 1×20 feet containers, under the pretense of bringing in wash hand basins and Water Closets (WC) from China.

In a charge marked FHC/L/339c/18, the defendants were alleged to have uttered forged  Bill of Laden and Customs Form M, which they used in smuggling the pump action rifles into the country.

During their arraignment, they were slammed with the eight counts charge bordering on conspiracy, illegal importation of firearms and forgery and uttering of Customs’ import documents

The offenses according to the prosecutor, Mr. Julius Ajakaiye are contrary to and punishable under Section 3(6), 1(14)(a), 1(14)(a)(i), 1(2)(c) of the Miscellaneous Offences Act Cap. M17, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charge, following which their lawyers who include: Mahmud Mogaji and Wale Adesokan, both Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN), filed their bail applications and urged the court to grant same.

However, the Prosecutor, Mr. Ajakaiye, in his preliminary objection and counter-affidavits to the applications, opposed the defendants’ bail applications on the ground that the charges against them bothered on national security.

Ruling on the bail applications of the defendants yesterday, (Wednesday), Justice Saidu said, “individual liberty cannot be placed above national security.

“The charges against the defendants is considered as a serious charge with the level of insecurity in the country such as armed robbery, kidnapping, terrorism and the rest.

“Considering the nature of the charge, I can’t exercise my discretion in favour of the defendants. I hereby refused the bail applications”.

After refusing the defendants’ bail applications, the prosecutor, Mr. Ajakaiye, informed the court of an amended charge against the defendants.

He also told the court that amendment was sequel to the inclusion of one Emeka Umeh Festus, also known as Amankwa, who is said to be at large when others were arraigned before the court on October 11.

Upon taken the not guilty plea of all defendants on the amended charge, the matter was adjourned till today for commencement of trial of all the defendants.

Ayogu, a resident of Plot 291, Dawaki extention, opposite Gwarinpa Estate, Abuja, was arraigned alongside his company, Great James Oil and Gas Limited, locates at 1, Warehouse Road, Apapa, Lagos and one Emeka Umeh Festus, also known as Amankwa, who is said to be at large.

The prosecutor that  in a bid to illegally and  unlawfully bring in the weapons, the defendants ulterred and forged Bill of lading, issued in July 28, 2017, to read Guandong, China, instead of Istanbul, Turkey, which was written on the conveying container.

They were also alleged to have uttered Form M (application for Import) and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), issued in August 28, 2017, with number MF 20170080364 and CN 20170768490/001, respectively, to read Guandong, China instead of Istanbul, Turkey, as country of origin.

The defendants were also alleged to have altered a forged bill of lading numbered ISB0281398, issued in July 28, 2017, to read 230 packages of wash hand basin and W/C, as the content in the container used in shipping in the illegal firearms.