Customs at KLT Command hits N15.7bn revenue despite poor access road
* As officers go to work daily on motorcycles
By Udeme Clement :
The Customs Area Controller of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT) Command, Comptroller Morenike Oladunni (Mrs) and her officers deserve accolade for their resilience in collecting a huge sum of over N15.7billion for government, at a terrain where access road poses great danger and health hazards.
Comparatively, the N15.7 billion realised from January to September, 2020, by Comptroller Morenike and her formidable team shows 42 percent increase, as against N11.1 billion generated the same period in 2019.
On anti-smuggling drive, Mrs. Morenike and her officers swiftly intercepted 16 containers concealed with prohibited items such as Tramadol tablets; used-tyres; foreign rice: salad cream; hydro-generated coconut oil; shawarma bread; body-spray; Indomie and other items, worth over N229 million in Duty Paid Value (DPV).
Most news worthy is their toughness and unwavering zeal in carrying out their statutory functions at such ambience despite the dangers.
The major challenge facing operatives of KLT Customs Command remains the bad condition of access road to their office.
Our investigation revealed that officers of KLT Command go to work daily on motorcycles (popularly known as Okada), because the only access road, which is in a very bad shape is permanently blocked by trailers and tankers going to the seaports, such that, smaller vehicles cannot drive freely to the Command.
Our Correspondent, who visited KLT Command observed that accessing Customs office at that location either through TinCan port axis or Mile-2 road requires great effort and perseverance, as Okada riders carrying passengers have to go through very narrow paths between the tailers in such a risky manner that can cause fatal accident in any slightest error.
More so, responding to questions on what motivates her and other officers to remain focused in their work, Mrs Morenike said, “We have a responsibility to Carry out our assignments at all times irrespective of the challenges we face.
“We also believe strongly in building a good working relationship with relevant stakeholders in the maritime industry without compromising standards. As such, we engage in constant enlightenment of traders to raise the level of compliance.
“We encourage importers and traders to comply with government trade policies, in order to enhance trade facilitation and more revenue collection for government.
For instance, “The Tramadol tablets were uncovered by the eagle- eye of our officers through intelligence. The containers have been here for sometime and we waited for declaration, which never came. So, we brought down the containers for examination to confirm based on intelligence we had. When we opened, we found the Tramadol tablets concealed with other medicaments.
”At first, we found 143 cartons of the Tramadol tablets, another 86 cartons and 25 more cartons, making 254 cartons of Tramadol (100mg) each, concealed with other pharmaceutical products”.
She pointed out, “Also we seized 40ft container loaded with used -tyres but falsely declared as chemicals. During examination, we discovered it was false declaration, among other containers intercepted by the Command.”