The Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANCLA) on Monday said that over 500 trucks loaded with perishable goods were stranded at Seme following the partial closure of the border.
Bisiriyu Fanu, Seme Border Chapter Chairman of ANLCA, told the Nigeria News Agency in Seme that the stranded goods belonged to genuine importers who had paid government duties but got stuck by the partial border closure.
“At present, we have over 500 trucks loaded with goods parked at the border post due to the partial closure and this is telling much on our economy.
“These importers have paid their duties to the government and were expected to take their goods through the border when their trucks got stuck by the government policy on closure of land borders,” he said.
According to him, the partial border closure is impacting negatively on the nation’s economy.
“The impact of the closure is enormous, if you go to some markets in Lagos like Balogun, Idumagbo, Idumota and Oyingbo, people from neighboring countries who always patronize them are no more coming.
“Everything as at now is at stand still even in Lagos markets,” the freight forwarder said.
Fanu urged Federal Government to take physical examination of the trucks at the border post and allow them into the country.
“Innocent Nigerians and genuine traders that have their goods at the border post for 34 days at the border are suffering.
“We are appealing to government to free the trucks so that the importers will have access to their goods.
“We are begging the government to release the trailers so that the people that borrowed money from banks will be able to pay back the loan and still remain in business,” he said.
reports that the joint-border security exercise, code-named ‘Ex-Swift Response’, was ordered by the Federal Government and was aimed at securing Nigeria’s land and maritime borders.
The exercise commenced on Aug. 19 and was being jointly conducted by the customs, immigration, police and military personnel and coordinated by the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
Edited By Adeboye Ajayi/Wale Ojetimi https://nnn.ng/border-closure-500-truck-loads-of-perishable-goods-stranded-at-seme-freight-forwarders/
Military rescues 13 kidnapped foreigners
The Defence Headquarters says the military in its operations in the South-South zone of the country has rescued 13 foreigners who were kidnapped in Lome waters.
The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, said this at the updates briefing on military operations in August across the country on Thursday in Abuja.
Enenche explained that Nigerian Navy Ship SOROH in one of its operations in August intercepted a speed boat with 13 foreigners made up of seven Russians and six Ukrainians alleged to have been kidnapped by pirates in Lome waters.
He said that four Nigerians were also on board of the speed boat.
“The objective of the operation was to protect critical installations, key points and vital points as well as combat all forms of illegalities and crimes in the area.
“The operation is conducted to maintain conducive environment for oil and gas industries as well as other economic activities to thrive,” he said.
“It was during the course of the operation that on Aug. 19, Nigerian Navy Ship SOROH intercepted a speed boat with 13 foreigners made of seven Russians and six Ukrainians alleged to have been kidnapped by pirates in Lome waters.
“The 13 kidnapped foreigners as well as four Nigerians on the speed boat have been handed over to Defence Intelligence Agency for further necessary action,” he said.
He said that in the course of other subsidiary Operations CALM WATERS II and Operation SWIFT RESPONSE on Aug.16, Nigerian Navy Ship VICTORY patrol team intercepted and arrested seven men suspected to be smugglers at Agbana-West by the Nigerian-Cameroun maritime border.
“The suspects were arrested with a medium size wooden boat laden with 203 bags of foreign parboiled rice and 62 empty drums suspected to have been used to smuggle Petroleum, Oil and Lubricant products to Cameroun.
“Accordingly, the suspects, bags of smuggled parboiled rice and the medium-sized wooden boat were handed over to Operation BORDER DRILL for further investigation and prosecution in line with extant regulation,” he said.
“Cumulatively, a total of 1,309,000 litres of stolen Automotive Gas Oil (AGO), 1,824.04 barrels of stolen crude oil and 302,000 litres of stolen Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) were recovered in the month of August 2020 in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta and Rivers.
“Additionally, a total of 344 bags of smuggled parboiled rice were impounded in the zone.
“From these successes, it is clear that troops of Operation DELTA SAFE and other security agencies working together remain resolute and dedicated in their endeavor to end the fight against economic sabotage,” he said.
Edited By: Wale Ojetimi (NAN)https://nnn.ng/military-rescues-13-kidnapped-foreigners/
COVID-19: Another 13 Nigerian returnees from Canada, Germany, France arrive Seme Border
Another batch of 13 Nigerian returnees from Canada, Germany and France arrived in the country through Seme Border Post in Lagos State on Thursday.
The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the 13 returnees landed in Benin Republic by Air France on June 10 and came into Nigeria through Seme land border around 8 a.m. on Thursday.
A Port Health Services (PHS) official in Seme, who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that the Nigerian returnees, comprising eight males and five females, had been screened by health officials.
“They arrived at 8:30 a.m. today from Canada, Germany and France through Cotonou Airport.
“We have collected their contacts and relevant information for follow up on their health status.
“This will be forwarded to officials of Lagos State Ministry of Health and NCDC who will be having random checks on them peeiodically.
“After all the checks, we will allow all of them to go to their different destinations since Lagos State Government no longer isolate them in Badagry again,” he said.
NAN recalls that that 53 Nigerian returnees from Ghana and Benin Republic arrived Seme Border on Saturday, May 16.
With the latest returnees, the number of Nigerians from foreign and neighboring countries that arrived through Seme border is now 166.
Edited By: Mustapha Lamidi/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)
Spotlight: Europeans continue to heal economic wounds, infections top 2 mln
As markets and industries lick their wounds from the impact of the coronavirus crisis, European governments are turning their focus to reopening and rescuing the battered economy.
France on Tuesday unveiled a major recovery plan to revive the country’s auto industry, which has been crippled by the loss of sales and production during the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown aimed to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Meanwhile, an online dashboard maintained by the WHO European Region showed that 2,044,870 confirmed COVID-19 cases had been reported in 54 countries, with 175,184 deaths as of 10:00 a.m. CET (0800 GMT) on Tuesday.
“HISTORIC PLAN” IN FRANCE
Following a visit to a Valeo car parts factory in northern France, President Emmanuel Macron announced an 8-billion-euro (8.78 billion U.S. dollars) rescue plan to help the recovery of the auto industry.
“The state will provide more than eight billion euros in aid to the sector,” Macron said.
The president, who met with industry bosses early in the day, said the “historic plan,” which aims to “face a historic situation,” was based on a support package and a scrappage scheme to shift towards less polluting vehicles.
“We need to defend our industry and make France Europe’s top producer of clean vehicles,” with an output of one million electric and hybrid cars per year by 2025, said Macron.
“Bankruptcies should be avoided at all costs,” he said. To help promote clean cars, he also announced a higher state bonus for the purchase of a clean vehicle by individual consumers and businesses, from 6,000 euros to 7,000 euros.
According to figures released by the French Automobile Manufacturers Committee, sales of French vehicle brands plunged by 84.2 percent in April.
France’s massive rescue plan came one day after Deutsche Lufthansa AG said the German government’s Economic Stabilization Fund (WSF) has approved a 9-billion-euro rescue package for the airline.
Lufthansa said the WSF would provide up to 5.7 billion euros in the form of “silent participation” in the company’s assets, of which nearly 4.7 billion euros would be classified as equity in accordance with related financial rules.
Lufthansa was operationally healthy and profitable before the pandemic and has good prospects for the future, but it came into an existential emergency due to the coronavirus crisis, the WSF Committee, which consists of representatives of several federal ministries, said in a statement.
EASING BORDER CONTROLS
In a phased approach, European countries are cautiously easing their border controls, as part of their efforts to reopen the tourism industry, which is one of the hardest-hit sectors and accounts for about 10 percent of the European Union’s economic output.
On May 13, the European Commission had offered a tourism and transport package, recommending that EU member states with “similar overall risk profiles” on the pandemic should open to tourists from each other’s countries. Two days later (on May 15), Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania became the first EU nations to reopen their shared borders.
Starting on Tuesday at midnight, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will reopen their respective borders to each other’s citizens for stays of no more than 48 hours without quarantine, Hungary’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said on social media.
Also on Tuesday, the Czech Republic began reopening its border crossings with neighboring Germany and Austria.
“From Tuesday, we are opening all railway and road crossings with Germany and Austria, as well as the Hrensko river crossing, and we are abolishing comprehensive border controls,” Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said on Monday in a statement, adding that proof for a negative COVID-19 test will still be mandatory and border checks will be random.
But crossing borders in non-designated areas will still be prohibited until June 13, and the external borders of the Schengen area will be closed until at least June 15, Czech media reported.
Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia had already reached an agreement to allow tourists from the three countries to travel without a quarantine period of 14 days, starting from June 1.
Meanwhile, the German government is planning to lift a travel warning for tourists from 31 European countries from June 15, ending an unprecedented directive against all international travel, German news agency DPA reported on Tuesday.
Alongside Germany’s 26 fellow EU member states, the warning will also be lifted for Britain and the four non-EU members of the borderless Schengen area — Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein, DPA reported.
Germany’s plans, which are contingent on continuing positive trends in the coronavirus pandemic, could be approved by Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet as early as Wednesday, DPA said.
Border closure: OYSG seeks stakeholders’ cooperation
Oyo State Government has sought the cooperation of security agencies, traditional rulers and other stakeholders to halt illegal migration into the state amidst the ongoing fight against COVID-19.
Dr Wasiu Olatubosun, the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, made the call during a sensitisation drive on the COVID-19 pandemic in Oke Ogun area of the state.
Olatubosun’s call is contained in a statement issued by Mr Taiwo Adisa, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor on Saturday in Ibadan.
Olatunbosun, who led other members of the state COVID-19 taskforce’s media team, said that the concerted efforts of the stakeholders and the state’s security architecture in border towns were necessary to prevent illegal entries, which might pose threat to public health.
He added that both conventional and non-conventional security apparatuses were important in the bid to check illegal entry into the state.
The commissioner said that many towns and villages in the Oke-Ogun area share boundaries with neighbouring Kwara and the Benin Republic.
“In order to check the influx of illegal migrants, who might have contracted COVID-19 into the state, it has become imperative for all stakeholders to work together.
“Both conventional and non-conventional security agencies have roles to play in stopping the illegal immigrants through the borders,’’ Olatunbosun said.
He said that the state task force, under the leadership of Gov. Makinde was doing everything possible to fight the pandemic.
The commissioner remarked that the sensitisation was aimed at enlightening the people of the areas on how they could prevent COVID-19.
“Apart from sensitisation, the state government has been distributing face masks to residents of the areas.
The COVID-19 task force media team and the Nigeria Red Cross Society, represented by Mrs Adekunbi Oladipo, visited some markets and palaces in the Oke-Ogun communities to enlightening the people and distributed face masks freely to the people.
The residents were urged to adhere to all government’s directives on physical distancing, hand washing, the use of sanitisers and wearing of face masks.
Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/border-closure-oysg-seeks-stakeholders-cooperation/