59 Independence: Nigeria Customs beyond the eagle’s eye
.CGC Ali is reforming Customs for greater efficiency-Says Comptroller Uba
The Nigeria Customs Services, NSC, was established in 1891 by the previous British Colonial organisation.
In 1922, it became the Department of Customs and Excise with the core functions of revenue generation for the Federal Government, Anti-smuggling drive, as well as trade facilitation.
Thus, over the years, the Service has made enormous contributions to economic growth and development in Nigeria and within the West African Sub-region.
In a chat with Customs News, on achievements of the Service at 59 years of Independence, the Customs Area Controller, CAC, of Seme Command, Comptroller Mohammed Uba, said the Service under CGC Ali Hameed is the most outstanding.
Use of intelligence to uncover concealments:
Describing the high level of intelligence brought to bear in Customs operations, Comptroller Uba said the symbol of eagle’s eye on Customs logo signifies ability to see very far away and observe keenly, but to him, the Service under CGC Ali sees even beyond its eagle’s eye by uncovering concealment of prohibited items smuggled into the country.
Creation of Customs Police/Eight new units of Customs:
He enthused, “In reality, the Service has achieved so much over the years looking at Nigeria at 59 Independence. However, the innovation and new thinking brought to the system under the leadership of CGC Ali are more remarkable.
“For example, the creation of Customs Police, to act as internal mechanism in instilling discipline among officers and strategic posting of officers to enhance productivity in the Service.
“Additionally, the creation of eight more units of Customs to enhance trade facilitation, revenue generation and anti-smuggling drive”.
Comptroller Uba went on, “Also, looking at revenue collection for government, it is quite apparent that the Service has done well. For instance, Customs under CGC Ali generated over N1.2trillion in 2018. The Service also recorded seizures with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of over N61.5billion in the same period.”
He informed, “Enforcement is another area that Customs under CGC Ali has scored very high in performance. This can be seen in the number of arms and ammunition seized in the last few years.
“Record has it that over 2671 arms and ammunition have been seized by Customs under CGC Ali from Turkey alone. We equally made seizures of Tramadol from India, Army uniforms, security vehicles, (Bullet proof cars), seizures of large quantity of Cannabis Sativa and foreign rice, among many others.
“It could be recalled that CGC Ali launched the e-auction platform on July 3, 2017, to eliminate abuse previously associated with the manual process of doing auction in the past and to ensure maximum revenue collection from the bidding process.”
Effective use of Information Communications Technology for Customs operations, capacity building for officers at various categories and welfare are among the numerous feats recorded by Customs under CGC Ali.
The use of NICIS 11 platform for trade facilitation:
The use of Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System, NICIS 11, which is an upgrade of NICIS 1 enables Customs to block revenue leakages in the system. NICIS 11 also allows trade facilitation through efficient and functional capabilities for quick cargo clearance at the ports within 24 hours.
Now, with NICIS 11, Customs operations at the Airport are so efficient, because the modules for e-manifest, e-payment, an electronic form ‘M’, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report, PAAR, and even Passenger baggage entry declaration are all incorporated into the platform, to fast track procedures.
Allocation of relief materials for IDPs/Orphanages:
“At present, CGC Ali has gone outside his mandate to assist Internally Displaced Nigerians and orphanages through donation of relief materials to such indigent ones across Nigeria.
Most recently, the CGC commissioned two sea-going vessels for patrol on waterways.
However, looking at the Service 59 years after Independence, we can rightly conclude that Nigeria Customs is taking the lead in intelligence, innovation, capacity building, ICT and modernisation in the sub-region”, he enthused.