" />
Published On: Sun, Sep 17th, 2017

Maritime experts petition President Buhari over arms import

By Funso Olojo

A maritime expert, Lucky Amiwero, has decried the destination inspection regime of cargo inspection as the cause of the proliferation of arms imports into the country.

It would be recalled that the Nigeria Customs Service made a huge arm seizure at the Tin Can Island port last week Monday with the discovery of a container fully loaded with 1100 pump action rifles.

The seizure was the third of such discoveries made by the Service this year. In January this year, 49 boxes containing 661 AK 47 were intercepted at the Apapa port while in May, another seizure of 440 pieces of pump action rifles were discovered at Tin Can port.

The last Monday seizure which was the biggest haul so far making it a total of 2201 sophisticated arms intercepted by the Customs in nine months, raising serious security concerns among Nigerians.

However, Amewero, a member of reconstituted presidential task force on the reform of Nigeria Customs Service (RPTFCR) and the National President of National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA) noted that the destination inspection regime which allows importers to bring in their goods into the country before Customs inspection is the cause of this unhindered importation of arms and other unwholesome cargoes into the country.

In a letter to President Mohammed Buhari, Amiwero noted that majority of nations have discarded this type of inspection regime due to its high security risk and embraced an alternative form of inspection called manufacturing site of Port of loading as contained in the World Customs Organisation(WCO) safe framework convention which he said Nigeria was a signatory to.

‘’There is serious concern  about our import and export system and the economy that is vulnerable to terrorist exploitation due to our cargo inspection regime(Destination Inspection)(DI),which practice contravenes the WCO WORK Safe Frame Work of Standard to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade (WCO SAFE FRAME).

The Destination Inspection regime (DIR) process, allows the influx of unwholesome goods in to the country, such as Arms, Ammunitions, Contraband and the reduction of revenue, which exposes the nation to serious security threats.

‘’Before the event of 9/11 Customs authority were responsible for the clearance of imported goods at  the Port of destination. The event of 9/11 precipitated a change in Cargo inspection from destination to now at manufacturing site of Port of Loading, due to monitoring of supply chain mechanism of unwholesome products and revenue manipulation at Destination.

‘’ Nigeria is a signatory to the convention of the WCO Safe Framework of Standard to secure and Facilitate Global Trade, which provides multilayered set of standards for container/cargo security, developed to enhance security, increase revenue and facilitate international trade through two pillars:

‘’The Customs-to- Customs (C2C) – Pillar provides for cooperation between Customs authority in order to inspect cargo before it arrives at the destination ports on outbound and inbound  of non instructive inspection(NII)

‘’The Custom-to- Business (C2B) –  Pillar aims to create an international system for identifying private business that offers a high degree of security/integrity.

‘’The objective is that  there must be an ability to inspect and screen a container of cargo before it arrives our Ports as contained in paragraph a, b and C of WCO Safe Framework’’, he stated.

According to the convention, the Customs administration should have the authority to inspect cargo originating, exiting, transiting (including remaining on board) or being transshipped through a country.

The Customs administration should also provide required advance electronic information on cargo and containers shipments in time for adequate risk

The Customs Administration should conduct outbound security inspection of high-risk containers and cargo at the reasonable request of the importing country.

Amiwero lamented that while many African and European countries have embraced this safe mode of inspection, Nigeria is still stuck with the long discarded destination Inspection regime with its attendant security risks.

‘’Nigeria practice Destination Inspection(DI) of import which allows goods to be imported into the country without inspection, which contravenes   various provision of Customs-to- Customs Standards on WCO SAFE Framework of Standard to Secure and Facilitate global trade.

‘’Destination Inspection(DI) process  of  import on cargo allows the illicit cross-border movement of weapons of Mass Destruction(WMD), Drugs, Arms, Ammunitions, counterfeit merchandised hazardous waste and human trafficking  as presently practiced in  Nigeria, which allows goods into  Nigeria without pre-screening to identify high risk goods before shipment.

 

‘’The process  of  no inspection/ prescreening of goods  coming into Nigeria  poses greater security risk by the influx of Arms, Ammunition, Contrabands, Narcotics, explosives (e.g., dirty bombs, and weapon of mass destruction (WMD) and unwholesome items in to the Country in contravention of standard 2, 3 and 11 of the WCO SAFE framework of Standard.

 The maritime expert further noted that the practice of scanning these goods which would have minimized the risk of these unwholesome imports escape into the Nigeria society has long been abandoned by the Customs due to the malfunctioning of the scanning machines inherited from the former service providers.

Amiwero therefore stated that if the Nigerian government is desirous of halting the alarming rate of arms imports into the country, the following measures must be urgently be adopted.

‘’There is the urgent need for Nigeria as a contracting party to the global Multi-layered Security protocol the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards, to comply with the protocol by reducing the illicit –Cross boarder movement of unwholesome goods into the country

‘’There is the urgent need to initiate the process of memorandum of understanding (MOU) with various countries, where cargo throughput of import is high e.g China, Turkey, India, etc. for the agreement of  Mutual Administrative Assistant  for collaborative activities on the prevention, investigation, repression and transnational crime as contained in various conventions

 

‘’There is the urgent need to repair the collapsed scanners in the ports that is the core on Security tool to reduce the influx of illicit Goods in the Country.

‘’There is the urgent need to safeguard and secure our nation from the influx of Arms, Ammunition, Narcotics, dirty Bomb, unwholesome items and Weapon of mass destruction (WMD) through the implementation of the provision of international Cargo Security Agreement.

 

‘’There is the need to accommodate various pre-shipment Inspection process  under Customs control as conducted by other government agencies such as Customs, NAFDAC, SON etc , that are involved in Quality , Quantity and Value assessment of  imported goods  as practiced globally to safeguard the National Security and reduce the process and cost of multiple  charges.

 

‘’ Urgently constitute a committee of trade procedure experts to address the short fall in the import process , which  constitutes bottle necks and imped the  component of trading across border on ease of doing business’’, the renowned freight forwarder noted.

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • PDP expresses concern over Senator Abaribe’s Safety …demands his release by DSS

      By OBINNA EZUGWU The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has expressed worry over the safety of Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe, (PDP Abia South), who was arrested by the Directorate of Security Services (DSS) on Friday. The party in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan lamented that the Gestapo-style arrest of Abaribe had further […]

  • Ohanaeze demands Abaribe’s release, say army should produce Kanu

      By OBINNA EZUGWU Apex Igbo socio-cultural group, Ohanaeze Ndigbo has demanded an unconditional release of Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe, insisting that the onus lies on the country’s security forces who invaded the Umuahia home of the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu to produce him. This was contained in a […]

  • Breaking: DSS arrests Senator Abaribe

    The Department of State Security (DSS) has arrested Senator Enyinnaya Harcourt Abaribe representing Abia  South on the platform of the opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Abaribe who is Chairman of the South East Senate Caucus, has been a vocal critic of the Muhammadu Buhari administration. He was picked up on Friday and no reason has […]

  • Saraki assures Russian investors of conducive business environment

    The President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, has assured the Russian Government that Nigeria is conducive for investors especially in the oil, gas, agriculture, mining and power sectors of the economy. Saraki stated this during a meeting with the leadership of the Upper Chamber of the Russian Parliament – Federation Council of the […]

  • Seplat Petroleum succumbs to profit taking

    Seplat Petroleum, for the second day running topped the losers’ table on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), dropping by N32.20 to close at N685 per share, amid profit taking. Mr Ambrose Omordion, the Chief Operating Officer, InvestData Ltd, attributed the development to profit taking. Omordion said that the stock was undervalued considering its fundamentals and […]

  • Buhari: How National Assembly mutilated budget

    President Muhammadu Buhari told a shocked nation on Wednesday how the National Assembly mutilated and rewrote the budget proposals for 2018 as presented by the Executive last November. In a brazen usurpation of executive powers, the National Assembly slashed 347 billion Naira in the allocations to 4,700 projects submitted to it  for consideration and introduced 6,403 projects […]

  • Kachikwu: Nigeria opposes boost in crude oil supply

    Minister of state for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, said Nigeria would advise against additional oil supply to the global market by OPEC and non-OPEC members. Kachikwu made the country’s position known in an interview with journalists on Thursday ahead of the 174th Meetings of the OPEC Conference and the OPEC and non-OPEC Ministerial meeting […]

  • Coronation Merchant Bank CRO emerges RIMAN President

    The Chief Risk Officer of Coronation Merchant Bank; Mr. Magnus Nnoka has been elected as the president of the Risk Management Association of Nigeria (RIMAN). His election  took place  at the 18th Annual International Conference and Annual General meeting of the Association which took place recently at the Eko Hotels and Suites. Now in its […]

  • Wema Bank Introduces Agent Banking in Kano, Targets Retail Sector in North-West

    Wema Bank Plc has introduced agent banking in Kano as it seeks to deepen its retail footprint across informal economic sectors of the North-Western states and to drive financial inclusion within the entire northern region of the country. Agent Bank is a cost-effective medium employed by Banks to provide financial access to unbanked, underbanked, and […]

  • Airtel Restores Hope for Family of Five in 2nd Episode of ATL 4

    The second episode of Airtel Touching Lives (ATL) Season 4, which aired last Sunday, June 17, documented how Airtel literally touched the lives of the Olanrewaju Komolafe family; a family of five, battling with a streak of unending tragedies. The episode, which aired on Africa Magic Family, revealed how Olanrewaju Komolafe, a barber and commercial […]

  • Investors cautious as banking stocks remain weak

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU As market volatility continues to be more pronounced, investors have become increasingly torn between putting their hard earned money in the money market, capital market and other sectors which might offer superior returns. Market analysts become jittery over the slow paced growth of the economy (1.95 percent), high non-performing bank loans (average […]

  • Renaissance Capital initiates coverage on top Nigerian staple food producers

    Renaissance Capital, a leading emerging and frontier markets investment bank, initiated coverage on the shares of Nigeria’s staple food producers: Flour Mills of Nigeria, Dangote Sugar Refinery, Dangote Flour Mills and NASCON Allied Industries. This coverage aims to provide investors with the in-depth analysis necessary to make informed investment decisions. The initiation report states that […]

  • Anxiety mounts over U.S. interest rate hike

    …expect capital flight, experts warn FELIX OLOYEDE There is growing concern over the effects of U.S. Federal Reserve’s decision to raise its benchmark interest rate, would have on the Nigerian economy as experts expect investors to take a flight. Investors are usually looking out for areas of higher returns and greater political stability. The Federal […]

  • Democracy Day controversy:  How Orji Uzor Kalu masterminded my humiliation

    By Sir Don Ubani The World over, governments, especially democratic governments, place maximum emphasis on protocol. The observance and application of protocol in the affairs of a government determines, to a very reasonable extent, the definition of civility and, of course, respectability it attracts to itself. According to an Elizabethan playwright and dramatist; Jane Smith, […]

  • 2019: Ambode’s re-election bid in jeopardy

    By OBINNA EZUGWU The political future of Lagos State governor, Mr. Akinwumi Ambode is said to hang in the balance as his political godfather, Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is allegedly plotting his replacement in 2019 over certain unresolved issues. Business Hallmark learnt from sources that Tinubu is under increasing pressure from people around him, notably […]

  • Fidelity Bank aims for the top

    .           Okonkwo’s relentless drive yields dividends Barely 30 years after it was licensed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to operate as a commercial bank, Fidelity Bank has successfully risen to the leadership position amongst tier-2 banks in Nigeria. The bank’s 2017 financial year performance is a testament to the significantly improved optimisation of […]