Connect with us


Customs intercepts dried shark fins, donkey genitals worth N1.23bn in Lagos



The Murtala Muhammed Airport Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has intercepted items suspected to be dried shark fins and dried donkey genitals worth N1.22 billion at the Lagos airport.

The command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Muhammed Yusuf, said this in a news conference in Lagos on Thursday.

Yusuf noted that this was through coordinated anti-smuggling activities in synergy with critical stakeholders.

Yusuf while briefing the media on the scorecard of the command from January to July, said one suspect each was apprehended for the seized items and investigation ongoing.

He noted that the suspect intercepted for the shark fins was a Nigerian and the item was heading to China while that of donkey genitals was a Chinese heading to Hong Kong.

According to him, the six packages of suspected dried shark fins has a Free on Board (FOB) value of N221.9 million, while the 25 packages of donkey genitals has an FOB value of N1.01 billion, both totalling N1.23 billion.

“These items were seized mainly because of various forms of infractions on export guidelines and failure to comply with CITES Law on endangered species as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act.

“From the number of fins we have here, the implication is that we have over a thousand sharks that have been endangered. We cannot go on with this illegal trade because at the end of the day, it will be problem for us.

“Animals in the sea have a role they play, endangering them will affect the ecosystem and for us officers at the NCS, we will always make sure that these items under export prohibition list cannot go out,” he said.

The customs boss noted that this was the first time the command intercepted such and it was nabbed at the exit point after all documentation.

He said that the shark fin was declared as such while that of the donkey genitals was declared as animal cow genitals.

Yusuf added that the items would be handed over to a unit in customs for further investigation and eventually they would unravel more information.

On the scorecard from January to July, Yusuf said the command generated N47.25 billion, representing 83.24 per cent of target met.

“When compared to the same period in 2022 of N40.335 billion, a progressive difference of N6.914 billion, representing 17.14 per cent increase,” he said.

Yusuf appreciated officers and men of the command for their dedication to the service and urged them to always adhere strictly to the rules of engagements while discharging their statutory duties.

He also appreciated the acting Controller General of Customs, Mr Adewale Adeniyi, and his management team for always giving them the leverage to perform.

“I appreciate our critical stakeholders and sister agencies who are showing concern and are collaborating with the service for their continuous support,” he said.


Kalu tasks NDDC to extend developmental projects to Abia community



Benjamin Kalu

The Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rep. Benjamin Kalu has tasked the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure even spread of developmental projects to Ukwa community in Abia State.

He further said that the nine states making up the NDDC should not be neglected

Kalu said this during an interactive session with the delegation from Ukwa People’s Consultative Council led by its President General Don Ubani in Abuja

The states are Abia, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Imo, Ondo and Rivers.

Kalu expressed worry over the concerns raised by the delegation on the “undue marginalisation of Ukwa as an oil producing Community”.

He said there was need to ensure equal spread of intervention projects of the NDDC across the nine states.

According to him, the area is known for oil production and the status of Abia State as a member of NDDC came as a result of its ability to produce oil and gas from Ukwa.

“Interestingly, some of the things you mentioned have been my concerns in the 9th Assembly, in regards to the spread of intervention programmes of the NDDC across the nine states.

He said this led to the first visit of the acting MD that toured Abia, Imo and other states.

Kalu said he insisted that the tour was necessary, to have a proper update of their presence in various parts of the states.

This, according to him, is to be able to establish whether or not, the report they see on papers is the same thing on ground.

“I totally agree with you that, what we have in Abia, as an oil producing state and as a member of NDDC, comparatively speaking, is below average, in terms of developmental interventions.

“A call from the stakeholders that an improvement should take place, is definitely not a wrong call.

The deputy Speaker commended the leadership of Ukwa community for holding their youths and in spite the fact that the development interventions were below average.

He said they kept their heads peacefully and allowed all the IOCs handle their operations peacefully in those communities.

Earlier, Ubani who led the delegation, solicited the support of the House leadership towards ensuring equity and fair distribution of developmental projects to Ukwa community.

He said a time had existed in this system where the entire South East was shut-out, but under the present administration, at least the people have been given a sense of belonging

He said farmers in Ukwa federal constituency could not farm effectively because the fertility of the soil had been diminished due to oil exploration and exploitation.

“Let there be manifestation of concern on the part of NDDC. Nothing so far has given us course to be happy as oil producing area.

“We need to avoid situation that will create youth restiveness and the best way to do it is to make sure that there’s development, ” he said.

Continue Reading


LUTH denies late doctor worked 72-hour call duty



The management of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has denied allegations that one of its house officers, Dr Michael Umoh, died after a 72-hour call.

This is contained in a statement issued by LUTH management team in Lagos on Thursday.

“LUTH management understands the fact that the family of Dr Umoh is presently mourning the death of their beloved son and requested the foreclosure of any media engagement regarding the death of their son. It is important for us as a management to make clarifications regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.

“Dr Umoh died on Sept 17 while in church with his parents. The management was informed, and the death was later confirmed by one of the Consultants in his unit (Neurosurgery).

“The death of Dr Umoh is unfortunate but the narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false.

“The record from Neurosurgery unit shows that the last time he was on call was 13th and 14th September, 2023.

“He was not on call on the 15th, 16th and 17th (the day he died), contrary to the insinuations on social media. He was at home with his parents on Sept. 16 and Sept. 17,” the management said.

Prior to this time, the management said, he was on call on the Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.

”This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of four days in September, 2023.

“A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday to commiserate with the family and to get more details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

“The parents gave the details of what they thought must have contributed to his death but pleaded that the wish of the family be respected and that the narrative is not for public consumption,” it said.

The management described Dr Umoh as a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man.

It said he will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues.

“May his soul rest in peace, and may the Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss” LUTH said.

Continue Reading