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Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared support for an upward review in remuneration of personnel of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to enhance their performance.

Osinbajo expressed this at the graduation of NCS officers from the Senior Division Course O1, on Thursday at Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada, FCT Abuja.

According to him, the role of NCS is dynamic, as it is an important public resource for the control of the movement of persons and goods across our borders and revenue collection. “It has performed these roles exceptionally in the past few years.

“It recorded the highest revenue collection ever in the nation’s history of over one trillion naira in 2017. “This is despite the recession in the preceding year and low volume of imports and restrictions placed on 41 items from accessing Forex.

“In May, the service collected N100 billion in revenues, the highest figure in one month. “Besides, we are all witnesses to the very many seizures of contraband goods, and especially arms in the past two years.’’

Osinbajo said; “to that, I add better pay. I agree that an enhanced remuneration structure is deserved.’’ According to him, it is also obvious that the service recognises the pivotal role of technology.

The vice president said like the deployment of the E-auction and other electronic platforms, the NCS would play a greater role as an economic investment facilitator.

“In the past 18 months, the Comptroller-General of customs has sat with us at the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC, and the EMT not as a revenue generating agency but as a critical player in creating an enabling environment for business.

Osinbajo noted that with the active collaboration of the Comptroller-General, “we have reduced processes and documentation required for import and export’’. “We are also on the threshold of launching the National Trade Platform,’’ Osinbajo said.

According to the vice president, the platform is the integration of all ports, Customs processes and documentation through a single window.

Osinbajo said “this will remarkably cut down processing time for all inward and outward trade, increase revenues, and introduce visibility and of course transparency to all transactions.’’

He said this was in line with the role of Customs as an economic facilitator. “We are taking a more robust approach to the anti-smuggling drive.

“Smuggling has been clearly identified as a major economic problem, especially on rice. “The new approach combines technology enabled surveillance of our borders with vigorous manual surveillance and active diplomacy.

“We are also working with Customs, Immigration and other forces to take a second look at our approach on the movement of livestock and herders from our neighbors under the ECOWAS free movement of goods and persons,’’ he added.

According to him, the protocol allows livestock movement but the checks and certification required are hardly ever done.

“It is clear that the challenges we have today are significant and our good fortune is that we have the right leadership and a well-trained and competent service

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NEWS

N65,000 Minimum Wage: Labour Begins Nationwide Strike Thursday

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The organised labour has served to warn of an imminent nationwide strike which will kick off on Thursday over Federal Government delay in the implementation of a new National Minimum Wage.

Mr Joe Ajaero, President, United Labour Congress (ULC) gave the warning in a communique issued after its meeting on Monday in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the organised labour, made up of the NLC, TUC and ULC had on Sept. 12 issued a 14-day ultimatum to the government to state an amount to enable the minimum wage committee to conclude its sitting.

Labour had collectively demanded for N65,000 per month as the new National Minimum wage for all Nigerian workers as harmonised by organised Labour.

Ajaero said that if the government failed to meet their demand on the expiration of the ultimatum, it would collaborate with other labour centres and Civil Society Organisations to embark on a nation-wide strike.

”We shall no longer be obliged by this time to give any further notice to the government before embarking on the action.

”By this communiqué, we order all our affiliates and state councils nation-wide to move to the final level of alert in their preparation for the proposed nationwide strike,” he said.

The labour leader said that a new national minimum wage was desirable and possible, adding that lack of patriotism, greed and corruption was the bane of a reasonable wage.

Meanwhile, the Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) has empowered the National Administrative Council (NAC) and its leadership to carry out all necessary actions in conjunction with other stakeholders to ensure the achievement of the minimum wage. (NAN)

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NEWS

FRSC Screens 300,000 Applicants For 4,000 Jobs

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About 324,000 job applicants nationwide have commenced screening exercise for a slot of 4,000 positions in the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC).

Speaking on Monday during an assessment tour to the screening centres in Abuja, its Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, said only 400 vacancies are made available for the officer cadre but have about 105,000 applicants were jostling for the job.

He said 3,200 vacancies were made available for Road Marshal assistants while 1000 vacancies were made available for Marshal Inspectorate cadre.

Oyeyemi said that they would go through different levels of screwing exercise ranging from credentials screening which has commenced, aptitude test to be conducted by the Joint Admissions Matriculation Board (JAMB), interview screening and drug test.

He noted some irregularities ranging from the presence of married women who were not supposed to participate in the recruitment exercise.

He also frowned at the presence of pregnant women and applicants below the height limit required for the job.

Oyeyemi appreciated the military and the Department of State Security Services (DSS) for their support in ensuring the smooth conduct of the screening exercise.

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LIFESTYLE

You Can Now Apply For A Free Retail Stall At The 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend [DETAILS HERE]

Gbemileke Ajayi

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Do you make or sell fabulous fashion apparels and accessories? Can your fashion brand stand out at the biggest fashion event in Africa? Then, the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend is calling for you!

Now in its third year, the GTBank Fashion Weekend has become the premier consumer-focused event that places African fashion on the global stage and helps small businesses in the local fashion industry thrive. The first and second editions of the event, which held in November 2016 and 2017 respectively, brought together over 250,000 people to interact with some of the best minds in the global fashion space and directly patronize more than 200 indigenous small businesses in the local fashion industry.

Organized with an overall vision of Promoting Enterprise, the 2018 GTBank Fashion Weekend will provide more than 130 small businesses with free stalls to showcase and sell the finest ensemble of apparels and fashion accessories. Applications for free stalls at the event are now open and will close on Saturday, September 29, 2018.

To apply for a free Retail Space at the GTBank Fashion Weekend, kindly visit; https://fashionweekend.gtbank.com/apply

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