Following an outbreak of CoronaVirus in China, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says steps are being taking to checkmate its possible infiltration into the country through passengers at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
This is coming as the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Wednesday convened an emergency meeting to determine whether it should be declared a Public Health Event of International Concern (PHEIC).
Mrs Victoria Shina-Aba, FAAN’s Regional Manager, South-West, gave the assurance on Thursday in Lagos.
Shina-Aba said a breakdown of activities were meant to control the Coronavirus if detected at the Port of Entry (MMIA), adding that the primary screening was ongoing.
She advised passengers and airport users to comply with all quarantine procedures and submit themselves for routine quarantine checks whenever they were asked to do so at the nation’s airports.
FAAN official explained that the airport authority, along with health personnel, were monitoring the temperature of all arriving passengers and also carrying out enhanced visual observation for obvious signs of communicable disease.
She said: “Passenger with any of the following fever, such as temperature above or equal to 38 degrees Celsius, jaundice, skin rash, persistent diarrhea and persistent cough would be referred to secondary screening.
“Others are difficulty in breathing, complains of headache, neck stiffness; decreased consciousness, lethargy, unexplained bleeding, as well as persistent vomiting.”
Shina-Aba said passengers would be referred to secondary screening, where the secondary screening form was used.
She noted that if there was an obvious public health threat, the passenger would be transferred to the designated hospital (Lagos State Mainland Hospital) following appropriate protocols (SOP) for further evaluation.
Shina-Aba said collaboration and observance of basic infection prevention and control measures by stakeholders was important and being strengthened.
Commenting, a Medical Official at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Wilfred Haggai, explained that the areas for enhanced surveillance included the Point of Entry ( POE), on board the aircraft and the Passenger Handling Service on the arrival queue.
Haggai added that others were within the terminal building and within 400 metres radius of the POE and outside the POE.
He said, at the state and local government levels, health facilities must be informed to always take travel history of patients and the state must do a lot of work with the health facilities.
The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Coronaviruses are zoonotic, meaning they are normally transmitted between animals and people.
Some coronaviruses can be transmitted from person to person, usually after close contact with an infected patient.
The first case of a novel (new) coronavirus (2019nCoV) strain was confirmed in China on Jan. 7, 2020 while several people have died from the virus in China following an outbreak in the Central City of Wuhan.
NAN also reports that the NCDC had advised Nigerians to protect themselves from the risk of this disease by washing their hands regularly under clean running water.
People were also advised to cover their mouths and noses properly with handkerchief or tissue paper while sneezing or coughing; or also, cough into the elbow if handkerchief is not available.
Edited By: Vivian Ihechu/Olagoke Olatoye
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tincan Island Port Command, has generated N346 billion as revenue in 2019.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mba Musa, said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Tuesday.
The statement issued by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Uche Ejesieme, said that the command was however limited by challenges that hindered its operations in terms of revenue and others.
He explained that part of the challenges experienced had to do with poor access road infrastructure, lack of government warehouse facilities and non-availability of operational equipment by the terminal operators, among others.
He added that not minding the challenges, the command also surpassed its revenue target for 2019 which was N342 billion.
“Tincan Island Port (TCIP) is one of the key ports in the country.
“TCIP custom command is charged and entrusted with the responsibility of revenue generation and accounting for same, suppression of smuggling, promotion/facilitation of trade and enforcement of the physical monetary policies of the Federal Government.
“It is in the realisation of the foregoing that deliberate and concerted efforts were formulated for the realisation of this onerous task.
“The command during the period under review, year 2019, generated a total of N346 billion and remitted same into the federation account.
“The command was given a target of N342 billion. Accordingly, the command met its revenue target and exceeded it by a total sum of N4.2 billion, a performance of 101.21 per cent.
“A comparative analysis against the preceding year 2018 shows an improvement in the collection by N2.97 billion where N343 billion was collected.
“Also comparative analysis of the compliance level indicated and improvement by 4 per cent from the compliance in 2018,” he said.
Musa said that this performance came on the heels of implementation on series of transformational agenda and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) developed to facilitate trade without compromising the extant provisions.
He pointed out that the command was able to create templates and blueprints that guided its actions in line with the mission and vision of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali, Rtd. and his management.
He noted that as regards anti-smuggling, the command during the year under review, strengthened its anti-smuggling operations for optimal performance, consequently, the command effected a total seizure of 16×40ft, 37×20ft (53containers) and three non-containerised cargo.
He listed the seizures to include rice, used tyres, pharmaceutical, vegetable oil, military accoutrements with a total Duty Paid Value of N5.9 billion.
He added that when compared with 2018 seizures, it indicated a recorded improvement from the seizures of 14×40ft, 2×20ft(16 containers) and five non-containised others.
He said that the non-containised ranged from bales of second hand clothing, furniture, children toys, used bags and shoes, expired medicament, used tyres, used fridges, with a total DPV of N2.9 billion from year 2018.
The comptroller said that for export, the command embarked on sensitisation of stakeholders and would be exporters on the need to take advantage of the potential inherent in export and this yielded an increase in export in 2019.
He pointed that the command exported items with a total tonnage of 269,819.5 tons with a total Free On Board (FOB) value of N130 billion in 2019 as against 254,762.77 tons with a total FOB value of N145 billion exported in 2018.
He said that the command had articulated various trade facilitation initiatives in their SOP which included the use of badges for movement of cargoes.
“A re-invigorated Dispute Resolution Committee was constitutes to deal expeditiously with disputes arising from valuation, classification, PAAR, rules of origin and others.
“Importers or their agents are urged to take advantage of the availability of bond facilities to take delivery of their consignment where disputes persist.
“There is also the ‘Time Release Studies’, a means of assessing the performance of officers in the 48-hours Cargo Clearance Trade Value Chain, with the aim of identifying area of delay by personnel.
“Also is the re-engineered help desk where inquiries are channeled, and also a ‘One Stop Shop’, a facility where alerts/intervention emanating from Q/A, valuation, compliance will be synchronised with a view to resolving issues,” he said.
He added that as part of measures to increase efficiency and capacity of operations in the service, the command developed training curriculum in data analysis, NICIS 11 software, skill gap and profiling training and others.
Musa also commended all stakeholders that ensured that they complied with the regulations thereby making their work easy.
He urged those that did not comply to take be patriotic in their dealings.
Edited by: Ekemini Ladejobi/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
The Head of Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) Unit in Kogi, Mrs Falilat Abdulrazaq, said 62, 160 beneficiaries had been captured in the state under the Federal Government’s CCT Household Uplifting Programme (HUP).
Abdulrazaq disclosed this on Saturday in lokoja at a three-day Stepdown training programme “Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)’’ On Household Information Update, organised for all the 294 Cash Transfer Facilitators (CTFs).
The training representatives were drawn from all the 21 local government areas of the state.
She said over 27,000 beneficiaries were recently added to existing figure, making it a total of 62, 160 indigent households on their database who would be receiving N10, 000 each from the Federal Government every two months for the household uplifting programme.
She said that the CCT programme which had been in operation in Kogi for three years, was put together by the present Administration to address poverty at the households level.
“It is targeted at uplifting the lives of the poorest of the poor and the vulnerable; that is why it is referred to as the household uplifting programme.
“The first major objective is to improve household consumption, improve enrollment and retention in schools.
“To ensure that children from age 0 to five in Kogi have access to quality healthcare, and ensure that the beneficiaries have sustainable source of livelihood when they exit the programme,’’ the official said.
She said there had been lots of success stories from the CCT beneficiaries across the state, saying the programme had been in operation for three years in the state.
“Beneficiaries have saved money to build houses for themselves, established businesses and empowered themselves through the programme.
“It has been quite impactful and helpful to the beneficiaries; it has uplifted a lot of them from poverty,’’ she said.
Abdulrazaq advised the CTFs to pay rapt attention and listen very well and ensure that they delivered what was expected of them on the field.
The Resource Person, Mr Adams Muhammad, the Enrollment Officer, National Cash Transfer Office (NCTO) Abuja, said the stepdown training was simply to train the CTFs on information update of the beneficiaries on the field.
“When the information of enrollment of beneficiaries is updated, it gives them the opportunity to benefit from all the CCT packages.
“At the end of this three-day training, we expect the CTFs to be able to use KoboCollectApplication effectively, which is an application that is used to update the household information,’’ Muhammad said.
Two of the Participants, Mr Abdulsalam Muktar, Desk Officer, Okene Local Government Area, and Mrs Florence Achoba, Desk Officer, Idah Local Government Area, told NAN that they now had a better knowledge on how to effectively update households information.
They commended the Federal and the State Governments for the initiative, while urging them to sustain the programme, saying it had lifted many households out of poverty.
“This CCT programme should not die, we want it sustained because it has helped a lot of rural women,’’ Achoba said.
Edited by: Cecilia Odey and Abdullahi Yusuf
Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says corruption discourages investment and growth of the country.
Peterside told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that corruption impacted negatively on the society and should not be encouraged.
Now the other dimension of corruption which our people keep ignoring is that it discourages investment in our country and without investment we cannot grow.
It is investments that create jobs, wealth, investment and opportunities for our people. It also enhances the quality of living of the people.
In an atmosphere of corruption, commerce cannot thrive; commerce is another catalyst for growth.
If commerce do not thrive the people suffers, they don’t even have access to goods and services produced in other parts of the world they think they need.
And they lose their sense of dignity because their labour does not give them reward of self-worth. So corruption must be of interest to every well-meaning Nigeria,’’ Peterside said.
The director-general reiterated that Moody, the global rating agency, recently downgraded Nigeria from stable to negative, adding that it called for concern.
He said the rating would impact on the money we can get from multilateral agencies, foreign direct investment, our ability to access loans and other aspects of our national life.
Peterside commended the present administration under which he said the country’s corruption perception index improved.
He, however, said that the position of Nigeria is not where it ought to be, advising that Nigeria should thrive more to ensure complete eradication of the menace in our society.
On the Israeli contract, Peterside said there was no contract for the Israeli to come and man Nigerian waterways.
According to him, there is a deep blue project, a code name for an integrated water ways surveillance and infrastructure project.
He said a firm was hired to provide surveillance and infrastructure as well as necessary assets needed to build our intelligence capability and respond to threats in our maritime environment.
He said: “the second aspect of their work is to help us re-train our forces so that they can fight on sea and man our waterways. Now, I chose my words, Nigerians will man our waterways, Nigerians will man the assets we use in fighting on our waterways.’’
On audit of agencies, Peterside commended the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for the initiative while expressing the agencies commitment to support the course.
He said: “we are public institutions. It is not about us being ready to open our books. Our books are permanently open. We have done much to stem corruption and to run a transparent and open system.
That is why we are automating our entire process in NIMASA, so that it becomes easier for anybody to access our books.
We are public institution, the only power we have is because the Nigerian people donated their power through the National Assembly and the National Assembly made an Act to establish NIMASA.
We are not powerful because of whom we are, we are powerful because the Nigerian people gave us the power to act on their behalf.
“To ensure that we minimise risk in the maritime sector, regulate the sector and promote the participation of Nigerians in the sector, that is our mandate.’’
The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki said that corruption was a global phenomenon, adding that the Ministry of Transportation was working to contain it.
“We have deployed the Ports Support Services Portal (PSSP) and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which are not only valuable tools in the ease of doing business but will minimise human contact, thereby reducing the prevalence of corruption.
Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Ismail Abdulaziz
Malaysia will not become the world’s solid waste dumping ground, following China’s ban of scraps imports, Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment Minister, Yeo Bee Yin, said on Tuesday.
Malaysian national news agency, Bernama, cited the minister as saying that the government has taken a drastic move to assure the country not to turn into the plastic waste bin.
According to the report, the minister has introduced new sets of Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and regulations for the application of solid waste import license and revoked the 114 existing licences with immediate effect.
Licence holders need to re-apply for the licence, meet the new SOP and criteria to ensure that there will be no violation of standards and regulations.
Yeo added that China’s ban on foreign waste has forced some developed countries to send their waste to other Asian countries.
Citing a report from the British National Audit Office, Yeo said Malaysia was the largest importer of plastic solid waste from the UK.
“Malaysia has taken in 17 per cent of the total 250,000 tonnes of solid waste from the country just in the first quarter this year,’’ the minister said.
Edited by: Abiodun Oluleye/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Thursday accused the policeof harassment and disturbance.
The police, deploying more than a dozen of SUVs, sedans and police trucks, on Wednesday night raided several
places in relation to Najib, including a private residence and two luxury condominium in Kuala Lumpur.
Several personal items such as handbags, clothes and gifts were seized, reported the Malaysian state news agency
Bernama on Thursday morning.
In a statement, Najib’s lawyer Harpal Grewal said police harassment continued for almost 18 hours though Najib
indicated his will to cooperate fully.
“Nothing meaningful has come from the search and seizure of what would appear to be insignificant personal items,”
At one point, he said the police even tried to drill open a safe which “had been locked for two decades as the key
had been misplaced.”
Najib also complained abouthe timing, saying the operation on the eve of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan denied
his family’s right to properly conduct their religious obligations.
However, Mahathir Mohamad, the new prime minister who ordered a probe into Najib, at a press conference described
the search as “police SOP (standard operation procedure)”, saying they have good reasons to do so.
But even some politicians in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition raised some concerns.
Najib was accused by Mahathir of corruption in relation to 1MDB, the state development fund he created in 2009.
Since coming to power, Mahathir has removed the attorney general who cleared Najib of offence, replaced head
of the anti-corruption head and declassified an 1MDB financial report.
He also set up a team to reopen the investigation called off by Najib.
There are no formal charges filed against Najib but Mahathir has banned Najib, his wife and a number of former
government officials from leaving the country.