Economic benefits of PAAR
By Udeme Clement & Silas Onuoha
The Pre- Arrival Assessment Report ,PAAR, platform was officially unveiled in 2013 by Nigeria Customs Service, NCS. Before the introduction of PAAR, the Service used to collect about N2billion yearly from the government as subvention, but that stopped with the introduction of PAAR.
Increase in revenue generation for government:
As an indigenous platform for Customs automation in clearing of cargo, PAAR has increased revenue generation for government in various ways. For instance, in 2014, just a year after PAAR was introduced, the Service raked in over N1trillion, and revenue generation by Customs continues to increase with the use of this platform. Also, in 2017 economic year, the Service realised over N1.3trillion, using the same plaform.
Another economic benefit of PAAR is that revenue earns from import and export duties has increased by over 20 per cent, since the Service stopped collection of subvention.
PAAR fast tracks cargo clearance:
Accordingly, with the introduction of PAAR, clearing of cargo reduced first to six hours from its initial six days, which was the practice with Risk Assessment Report ,RAR. Today, clearance of cargo from the ports can be as short as 24 hours.
At present, PAAR has been well modernised with ICT experts manning the Ruling Centre. The process is so simplified that once an importer lodges his SGD online and it has no issues with other agencies of government involved in cargo clearing processes, he will get his PAAR within the shortest possible time.
Capacity buildng and technology transfer:
Since the introduction of PAAR, the Service has embarked on capacity building programmes within and outside the country. In the process, a lot of Customs officers benefited from training programmes that have broaded their skills on the job. For instance, the Service has trained its personnel at the facility of Smith Detection in France, makers of the scanner machines in use in Nigeria, among other places.
Today, the Servive has PAAR application scrutiny officers, final documents verification officers, officers in charged of valuation and classfication as well as personal handling the risk profile. These are some of the measures put in place to enhance efficiency in the system.