Social Integrity Network (SINET) has appealed on the Sultan of Sokoto to make effort capable of resolving lapses in the duties Nigerian Customs Services in securing Nigerian ports.
In like manner, the group also urged the monarch, Alh. Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III, to address fallouts activities of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON).
SINET, in a letter signed by its National Co-ordinator, Mallam Ibrahim Isah, accused the two government bodies of sabotaging positive efforts of the current administration through aiding insecurity and anti-economic activities, thereby calling on Sultan of Sokoto to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly leadership to take needed action.
The group also urged the Federal Government to challenge SON to defend allegations levelled against it by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), which borders on how sub-standard roofing sheets are imported into Nigerian markets.
Read full letter below :
SOCIAL INTEGRITY NETWORK
No. 19 Missisipi Lane, KUBWA Phase IV, FCT, Abuja, Nigeria
22nd August 2019
Alhaji (Dr.) Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III CFR,
Sultan of Sokoto,
Sultanate Council, Sokoto,
Save Our Souls: LETTER OF COMPLAINT/APPEAL FOR EFFECTIVE MONITORING OF NIGERIA PORTS BY THE NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE AND REGULATION OF ACTIVITIES OF STANDARD ORGANIZATION OF NIGERIA (SON).
We members of the above named association humbly write to express our deep sadness and concern on the state of Nigeria’s economy vis-à-vis wellbeing of the innocent citizens of this great nation.
The Social Integrity Network, (SINET) was established some years ago in response to high demand for better attention on the standard of living of Nigerians especially youths and women who constitute larger percentage of Nigeria’s growing population.
It is pertinent to put on record that while the insurgency in some parts of Nigeria is ongoing, youths, women and children are the major victims of the day to day attacks on the sovereignty of this great nation, circumstances which are quite unfortunate.
As patriotic Nigerians, we consider it imperative to officially register our grievances against certain happenings in Nigeria affecting the welfare of average Nigerians as well as some factors threatening the peaceful co-existence and unity of the nation.
The source of these concerns is traceable to the activities of the Nigeria Customs Service and the Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON).
INSECURITY: Nigeria is on the verge of disintegration due to the ongoing insurgency in some parts of the country which has claimed lives of innocent Nigerians as well as the recent socio-political uprisings, religious protests, ethno-religious crises, kidnapping, herders/farmers attacks and gross economic sabotage to mention a few. All the aforementioned cases have in the recent time caused Nigeria unredeemable embarrassment in the International space.
In addition to the careless loss of valuable souls, Nigeria has spent significant sum of Tax Payers’ money to combat insurgency with no end in sight, this is so worrisome, saddening and condemnable. Before your own very eyes, Your Eminence, Northern Nigeria which was known to be the unifying terrain for all and sundry, has been devastated and become a no-go-area for whosever that values his/her life due to lack of adequate security mechanism.
Consequently, findings have revealed that all the menace confronting Nigeria are avoidable in the opinion of this noble movement, if necessary actions are taken before it is too late. Perpetrators of ungodly acts against Nigerians have their feet deep rooted in the abnormalities precipitated by officials of government agencies and parastatals.
One of the sure processes in curtailing these felonious acts are the need for Your Eminence to convey a Northern Security Summit and among questions to top the agenda should be;
i. What are the geneses of the lingering crises in the region?
ii. Who are the sponsors of the crises and how are they getting ammunitions and other dangerous weapons being used?
With the benefit of hindsight, the escalation of insurgency began immediately after the cancellation of Pre-Shipment Inspection by the Nigeria Customs Service during the tenure of the former Comptroller General, Alhaji Dikko Inde Abdullahi.
Therefore, a quick win to countermand insurgency is the restoration of Pre-Shipment Inspection services to forestall many containers which are supposedly to be carrying legal items/goods of different kinds being loaded with dangerous weapons and brought into the country without adequate attention.
As at now, little or no inspection is carried out on containers at the points- of-loading, thereby, subjecting the lives of Nigerians to serious threat and uncertainty. The people of Zamfara, Yobe, Borno, Adamawa, Kaduna and Benue among other states in the North would not be grateful to the Federal Government if the legacies of the past Heroes of the region are left unprotected.
Over the years, Nigeria is facing serious socio-economic crises which has over the years left the nation in drastic economic recession while larger percentage of her citizens continue to live in extreme abject poverty below USD1 daily which is against the United Nations proposition.
It is globally accepted that government alone cannot do it alone, especially in the areas of job creation, Internally Generated Revenue and maintenance of law and order among others, there is need for the Federal Government through its various parastatals and agencies to wade into the ugly state of smuggling, importation of substandard goods as well as victimization of indigenous manufacturers through various means, thereby undermining the growth of locally produced goods in the global market.
Consequently, the conspiracy being perpetrated by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service and personnel of Standard Organization of Nigeria, (SON) with smugglers at the various ports across the country is creating serious economic threat to Local Manufacturers who have invested their lives through bank loans and workers’ salaries commitments to mention a few.
Many local industries have in the recent time shut down their operations while other existing ones are in the process of laying off over 20,000 workforces as released by the umbrella body of industrialists nationwide.
In addition, the unpatriotic acts of smuggling have proven to be responsible for the unending war against insurgency as smugglers import undisclosed items in the country unchecked at the premier ports and the private jetties. All these are attempts to frustrate His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR’s efforts to restore probity into the nation because the carnage has led to high level of tax evasion in Nigeria.
If the activities of the NCS and SON are left unchecked and the protocol of African Conference on Free Trade Agreement comes into force, the consequences will setback the economy of Nigeria by 50 years.
• Last week, we organized a peaceful rally in Kaduna to express our stance on the irregularities going on in the Nigerian Customs Service and SON in the interest of national security and economic prosperity. We hereby humbly request Your Eminence to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR, and the leadership of National Assembly, under the leadership of Senator Ahmad Lawan and Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila to take actions on the matter before we advance our protest to the nation’s capital territory in Abuja.
• The Federal Government should urgently engage the Standard
Organization of Nigeria to defend the many allegations against it by
the manufacturers and give detailed account of how substandard roofing sheets are finding their ways into the Nigerian markets despite the MANCAP and SONCAP fees imposed on importers and exporters. SONCAP is the instrument proposed by SON to replace Pre-Shipment Inspection but it has failed woefully.
• If the Nigeria Custom Service and the Standard Organization of Nigeria cannot fish out the Smugglers, the Federal Government of Nigeria should command the Department of State, The Nigeria Police and the Presidential Committee on Trade Malpractices to join hands together to deploy the machineries in their arsenals to move into the matter and detect those behind the menace of smuggling in Nigeria.
• Appeal to the Local Manufacturers to save our souls by considering their decision to lay-off over 20,000 workers as an oncoming catastrophe to the Nigerian government.
Your Eminence, we recognize your high value contributions and concern towards the peaceful co-existence of Nigerians irrespective of tribe, religion and cultural affiliation. It is on this note we implore Your Eminence to identify with us in our plight and urgently convey a stakeholders meeting in a bid to addressing our requests.
By this means, it is our belief that we are speaking to all the traditional rulers in Nigeria through your highly respected and enviable position as the Sultan of Sokoto.
Your loyal subjects
Mallam Ibrahim Isah