The Nigerian Customs Service has announced that it would go digital once it concludes its automation system by 2022. The announcement came from the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hammed Ali during the International Customs Day at the NCS headquarters, Abuja.
Ali explained that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved the e-Customs Project for the service. He said that when fully functional, any customs officer, who cannot handle the computer would be out of service.
The customs boss said that he had started to create awareness in the service so that every official would know how to handle the computer. He said that once the platform is put in place, the latest in two years, every activity in Customs would be paperless and digital compliant.
‘‘It is our hope that once that platform is put in place, latest in two years, every activity in Customs will be paperless and digital. That is why we have been notifying our officers that everybody must know how to manipulate Computer, otherwise, in the next two years, anybody that cannot handle computer is out of custom.’’
What you should know: The e-Customs Project is a Digital platform and is an all-encompassing automation system that has to do with administration, payment, border management, export and import processing designed to migrate the Service from paper to paperless system of operation.
While commenting on the service’s revenue generation plans, Vanguard reported that Ali said the officials were seriously working on the revenue target for 2020.
‘We are working on the target given to us by the Federal Government based on lots of parameters. We are looking at economic development, prosperity before we decide how much we should be generating.’’
Recall that Customs had generated a total of N1.341 trillion in revenue in 2019 as reported by Nairametrics. The service exceeded its target of N937 billion by N404 billion.
The amount generated was attributed largely to the land border closure policy of the Federal Government, which is also N139.24 billion more than the N1.20 trillion generated in 2018.
According to Ali, other achievements of the Service in 2019 include the seizure of prohibited goods worth over N32.83 billion, the interception of illicit cash flows through airports and the increasing gains of the ongoing border drill in collaboration with other security agencies.
FCMB shuts contact centre locations due to COVID-19 scare
Other banks have recently had to shut down their branches due to public health concerns caused by COVID-19.
First City Monument Bank (FCMB) Limited informed its customers, yesterday, that its contact centre locations have all been temporarily shut down following COVID-19 scare.
A brief statement that was issued via Twitter emphasised that the general shutdown of the physical locations is only a temporary and precautionary measure aimed at preventing further spread of the contagious virus. The statement, however, did not clarify whether there have been any reported cases of infection at these contact centre locations.
“Dear Customers, we trust you are doing well and staying safe. We would like to inform you about the temporary closure of one of our Contact Centre locations as a precautionary measure to curtail the spread of COVID-19 and protect our employees,” part of the statement said.
Meanwhile, customers were informed that FCMB’s contact centres will remain active in the meantime, albeit virtually. However, customers may experience delays prior to being attended to. Customers were also advised to explore the self-help options offered by the bank’s electronic banking channels in order to resolve their challenges.
As a result, even though our Contact Centre remains functional, you may experience longer wait times when reaching us. We sincerely apologize for every inconvenience.
— FCMB (@MyFCMB) July 5, 2020
Nairametrics understands that some of the bank’s customers have been experiencing some ‘not so great’ customer service over the past few weeks. One of these customers, who chose not to be named, confirmed this to Nairametrics. Reacting to the statement by the bank, the customer said:
“This statement explains why the bank has not been responding to complaints across all its channels. For at least 4 weeks now, they don’t respond to emails, WhatsApp messages or DMs. I have some funds that they have not reversed in like 4 weeks now. If you check Twitter, you will see so many similar complaints.”
Recall that some other banks have had to close down their branches due to the same reason given by FCMB. Just recently, Jaiz Bank Plc shut down its Ikeja branch for disinfection. Weeks before that, Wema Bank also confirmed that two of its branches were temporarily shut down after two staff became infected with the virus.
NSE Masks for All Nigerians Campaign receives boost from private sector
The Exchange will distribute 100,000 face masks through different cities in Nigeria.
The rapid rise in confirmed cases of Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Nigeria demands more collective, decisive, coordinated and inclusive action in the fight against the virus. Now is the time for government, private sector and well-meaning individuals to come together to flatten the curve.
In light of this, The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE or The Exchange) on Monday, 06 July 2020, redeemed its pledge of Sixty Million Naira to the Capital Market Support Committee for COVID-19 (CMSCC) with the donation of ambulance and Twenty Million, Seven Hundred Thousand Naira cash to the committee. The CMSCC is a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) led initiative set up to stimulate the capital market ecosystem to play an active role in curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria. The donation was received by the Chairman, CMSCC, Mr. Ariyo Olushekun and the Director, Lagos Zonal Office, SEC, Mr. Steven Falomo.
In furtherance of its commitment to support the fight against the virus, The Exchange launched the Masks For All Nigerians campaign with the aim to galvanize responsible corporate citizens and individuals to donate 400 million face masks to Nigerians, especially low-income households. The NSE kicked off the campaign with an anchor donation of 100,000 face masks that are being distributed in areas where it has operations and areas that are greatly affected by COVID-19.
As part of the Masks For All Nigerians campaign, The Exchange executed a nationwide awareness campaign on social media and radio to educate Nigerians on the need to wear face masks, practice social distancing and maintain good hygiene. It also involved its Good Cause Ambassador, Innocent ‘TuFace’ Idibia, to amplify the need for Nigerians to wear and donate face masks via www.masksforallng.com, as well as adhere to the guidelines put in place to keep our communities safe. As part of its Employee Giveback Programme, members of staff are also donating 500 masks per week to Nigerians.
Speaking on the initiative, the Chief Executive Officer, NSE, Mr. Oscar N. Onyema, OON said, “We are facing an unprecedented crisis that requires us to adopt a more collaborative approach in fighting this pandemic especially as economic activity and social interactions resume. As we work to encourage the use of reusable face masks and adherence to other safety guidelines, we call on responsible corporate citizens and well-meaning individuals to support this initiative by wearing a mask when in public settings and donating masks especially to those at the bottom of the pyramid so as to protect lives.”
In response to the call, several private sector players have sprung to action bringing the total number of masks donated under the Masks for All Nigerians campaign to 216,300. Opay was the first to partner with a donation of 100,000 face masks to Lagos State University Teaching Hospital on Thursday, 4 June 2020. Also, Morbod Group donated 13,000 masks to residents of Lagos and South-Eastern part of Nigeria. The two most recent donors are Babalakin & Co Legal Practitioners and AIICO Insurance who donated 1,300 non-medical face masks to the Ikoyi Custodial Centre, Nigerian Correctional Service and 2,000 non-medical face masks to the Nigerian Red Cross Society, Lagos State Branch, respectively. AIICO Insurance has also made a commitment to donate another 7,000 face masks.
In fulfilling its commitment to donate 100,000 face masks, The Exchange will distribute 33,000 face masks in Lagos; 7,000 in Oyo; 5,000 in Ogun; 5,500 in Anambra; 5,500 in Rivers; 3,800 in Edo; 14,500 in Abuja; 18,000 in Kano; 3,900 in Borno; 3,800 in Kaduna; and 10,000 to capital market stakeholders.
The Exchange has displayed remarkable resilience during this pandemic and continues to support the fight against COVID-19 in line with the strategic pillars of its Corporate Sustainability and Responsibility (CSR) strategy – community, workplace, marketplace and environment. The Masks For All Nigerians campaign and the attendant mask donation will provide immense support to the Government in reaching communities who have hitherto been left vulnerable. The Exchange also continues to sustain market activity through remote working and trading; promote market deepening activities; create an enabling regulatory environment for stakeholders; and recognise the efforts of public and private sector players in raising awareness, ramping up testing and increasing the capacity of the health sector to slow the spread of COVID-19.
AfDB appoints new acting Vice President as Jennifer Blanke steps down
Wambui who joined the AfDB in 2018 currently supervises the Bank’s water sector program.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has announced the appointment of Wambui Gichuri as Acting Vice President- Agriculture, Human and Social Development, with effect from 5 July 2020.
This follows the resignation of the erstwhile Vice President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Dr Jennifer Blanke, about 4 weeks ago.
This was disclosed by the bank in a press statement on July 4, 2020.
Wambui who joined the African Development Bank Group in 2018 as Director, Water Development and Sanitation, currently supervises the Bank’s water sector program of over $ 4.5 billion covering 44 countries and multinational projects.
Wambui has a supervisory role over two divisions, namely the Water Development, Coordination and Partnerships, and Water Security and Sanitation divisions, as well as the African Water Facility divisions, a project preparation facility. She also leads the development and coordination of the technical program, manages the department’s human resources and budget, and the development of extensive partnership activities. Her leadership role includes water sector policy dialogue, strategy and business development, and spearheading innovations.
Before joining the African Development Bank, she worked for the World Bank where she served in various capacities for twenty years, including 17 years in water resources management, supply, sanitation, irrigation and drainage, with vast experience in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean.
Wamgui holds a Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Nairobi, Kenya (1988); a Bachelor of Philosophy degree in Economics (1986) and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from (1983) from the same university.
The President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, expressed his delight in having Wamgui in that role due to her wealth of experience and leadership skills
Adesina said, “I am very pleased that Wambui agreed to step into this role as Acting Vice President. The Vice Presidency Complex on Agriculture, Human and Social Development has some of our largest programs and flagship initiatives. With her extensive experience, leadership, people management skills, and strong execution capacity, I am confident that she will help strengthen the team and accelerate execution on critical programs and initiatives”.
Nairametrics had reported that the former vice president for Agriculture, Human and Social Development, Jennifer Blanke, stepped down from her role with effect from July 4, 2020, on purely family reasons, she said that she intends to rejoin her family in Switzerland after a very fulfilling time at the bank.