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Corruption limiting Nigeria’s single window – Shipper

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Corruption limiting Nigeria’s single window - Shipper

Corruption limiting Nigeria’s single window – Shipper

A shipper, Mr Jonathan Nicole, says that corruption is limiting Nigeria from operating the National Single Window (NSW) system for swift and efficient movement of goods at the ports.

Nicole, in an interview with newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday, noted that Nigeria was long overdue for the system.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the NSW was introduced in 2006, but the project has not been implemented, despite a committee set up to ensure that.

Already, Ghana, Togo and Senegal have implemented their system, which have made their ports more competitive.

The system allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point to fulfill all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements,

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According to him, Nigeria lost track of single window when destination inspection was brought in, instead of the introduction of the single window.

“Information sharing can be done with good management. We complain, we adjust. Why do we need everybody at the port as a community setup, when I can clear my good at my house?

“Why do we need the shipping line and terminal operators to sit together when you can call them on phone and agree on prices? This is because it’s an individualistic arrangement.

“If smaller countries can have their single window, Ghana is having it, why can’t we do it. It’s unfortunate that corruption is limiting us from having the single window,” he said.

Nicole noted that single window would phase out clearing agents coming to the port.

“In England port, you hardly see a clearing agents going there. Meanwhile, most of the freight forwarders work with the shipping line. They get cargo and send to the shipping line without entering the port. So, why do we need to enter the port.

“If we operate the customs Harmonised System Codes (HS code) the way it is supposed to be operated, we don’t need what they call benchmark, you treat things at will. The central bank will change exchange rate at will.

“We must have an established system, where before any change will take place, everybody must know,” he said.

He said that the Nigeria Customs had one of the robust Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

The shipper said, “So, if they now adopt the single window, all agencies will key into it.”

On why other agencies do not want to key into the customs single window, he noted that corruption remained a challenge to the country, while querying, “had the country been able to wipe out corruption?

“Can we stay in our homes and get our goods? can we say that the tariff headings are always correct because we have a customs harmonised system? when you put in 10 per cent of a goods that you are suppose to pay ten percent?

“And somebody in Abuja will query the 10 per cent, won’t you go to Abuja? That is why the whole system is being scuttled.

“And to make it worse, the inspection agents that we used to have are fighting behind the curtain to come back,” he said.

Nicole said that Nigerian single window had been thwarted by inspection agencies because they wanted to come back and they had money to fight for it.

He, however, noted that his colleagues would fight against corruption with the ecosystem.

“if single window will solve most of our problems, what is stopping government from doing it.

“And now, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) is saying that everyone must adopt single window.

“It is body regulating all those operating in the space. It is now left for our government to adopt the system,” he said.

He said that government still needs to do a thorough clean up of the system before discussion about having the system in place.

Corruption limiting Nigeria’s single window – Shipper

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Court

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

The Concerned Citizens of North East (CCNE), a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, has welcomed a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the immediate release of funds earmarked for local government areas (LGAs).

The was contained in a press statement signed by CCNE’s Secretary General Babangida Inuwa Muhammad, marks a significant victory for grassroots development and governance in the region.

The Supreme Court’s decision addresses longstanding issues of fund misallocation and diversion that have impeded local development efforts.

By upholding constitutional provisions ensuring direct allocation of funds to LGAs, the court has bolstered principles of transparency, accountability, and effective governance.

CCNE views this ruling as pivotal, asserting that it empowers local authorities and strengthens the foundation for sustainable development across communities.

“This landmark decision ensures that LGAs receive the financial resources necessary for development and governance, reinforcing transparency, accountability, and good governance principles,” stated CCNE in their press release.

The organization emphasized the ruling’s potential to revitalize local governance, enabling communities to better tackle their unique challenges through empowered local authorities. CCNE called upon relevant authorities to promptly implement the court’s decision, ensuring funds are utilized judiciously to benefit residents.

“We believe this judgment will enhance LGAs’ capacity to deliver essential services, improve infrastructure, and drive socio-economic development,” CCNE affirmed.

CCNE also urged local officials to transparently and efficiently allocate funds, prioritizing projects that directly benefit residents.

They pledged to monitor the judgment’s implementation closely, collaborating with stakeholders to promote accountability and good governance at all levels within the region.

“This ruling signifies a renewed commitment to decentralization and local governance, crucial for addressing community-specific challenges,” CCNE added.

Looking ahead, CCNE reiterated its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Northeastern communities, ensuring local authorities are equipped to drive sustainable development.

They affirmed their ongoing role in safeguarding community interests and fostering an environment conducive to transparent and effective governance.

However, CCNE’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision reflects a broader commitment to advancing accountable governance and empowering local communities.

By championing the efficient use of allocated funds and advocating for sustained development efforts, CCNE aims to foster a region where grassroots needs are met and local governance thrives.

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 - NECA

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), says the private sector remains committed to the N57,000 earlier proposed at the Tripartite Committee meeting on National Minimum Wage.

NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the amount represented 90 per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

Oyerinde said that this was notwithstanding ongoing challenges, made worst by rising interest rates, astronomical logistics cost, increasing energy tariff and multiple taxes, levies and fees.

“With organised businesses declaring over one trillion naira in combined losses and many shutting down their businesses for different reasons, while others are relocating to other climes, the ability to pay the prevailing N30,000 was already compromised.

“It will be practically impossible to guarantee enterprise sustainability and job security with the current demands of organised labour,’’ he said.

The director-general, however, said that NECA would continue to support the welfare of workers and the protection of their jobs, which could only be guaranteed by the survival of the enterprise.

Following negotiations on the national minimum wage, he urged the tripartite committee to prioritise job creation and job security.

Oyerinde said that the call was in view of the worrisome and increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

According to him, the committee should refocus its effort on protecting jobs, boost the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs and ensure sustainability and ability to pay.

He said that productivity should be a key driver of higher wages.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“In specific terms, the unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent.

“With these figures, more efforts should be concentrated on keeping more people in employment, while government continues to implement its planned interventions in transportation, food security and general macro-economic stability,” Oyerinde said.

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Health

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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