- Records N4.1bn seizures
(Report by Udeme Clement):
Area ll Command, Onne Port of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has made impressive performance in revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti-smuggling operations in the first quarter of 2021.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command, Ifeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, disclosed this in details made available to news men.
She informed :
“The Command collected N38.8billion revenue, pursued Zero Tolerance for Infractions With N4.1b Seizures
“The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, urged officers and men to be unrelenting and uncompromising in collection of revenue and implementation of government directives on trade.
“Comptroller Mohammed said this when he released figures showing a total of N38,877,314,286.12 (approximately N38.9billion) revenue collected for the Federal Government in first quarter of 2021.
“The revenue is 69.4 percent higher than N22,950,780,163.43 (N22.9billion) realised
fromJanuary to March 2020.
” A breakdown of 2021 monthly collections shows N12,123,024,011.82 for January; N12,760,546,062.07 for February and N13,984,744,212.23 for March . All monthly collections for this year surpassed those of the first three months of 2020 with remarkable increase of N7billion monthly.”
“On anti smuggling, the Command recorded a total of 12 seizures, with a cumulative duty paid value of N4,120,882,608.03 (4.1billion).
The seizures comprises of two units of Used Mitsubishi buses; 210 bales of second hand clothing ; 1,435 used tyres ;Used engine gear box and auto spare parts ;310 pallets of laser ketchup and 20 bales of fabrics.
“A month by month breakdown of the seizures indicated that four seizures were made in January, which includes three containers with duty paid value of N85,987,936.05,
and two suspects were arrested .
In February, the command made three seizures involving four containers with total duty paid value of N45,527,836.00, while in March 2021 it made five seizures involving seven containers with duty paid value of N3,989,366,808.89″.
“On export, the Command processed 207,749.614 metric tons of cargoes with free on board value of $70,838,025.68, comprising of cashew nuts, ginger, hibiscus flower, sesame seeds, zircon sand, palm kernel, tiger nuts and many more.
Mohammed, under whose watch the Command has recorded it’s highest monthly revenue collection of N13 billion in 38 year-old history of the Command, also urged officers to avoid being complacent and keep doing more to improve on national economy, security and trade facilitation.
Mohammed said: “We are doing well but I believe there is still room for improvement in revenue collection, anti smuggling, trade facilitation and robust stakeholders’ engagements.
Every identified area of government revenue leakage should be blocked for us to sustain the tempo of maximum collection.
” We owe Nigeria a duty to make smuggling of prohibited items impossible through this Command.Our ability to detect attempts at duty evasion and issue demand notices to collect complete revenue from importers and their agents will be improved upon relying on technology and hands-on experience.
“Duty evaders must be warned, as they are likely to be arrested and their wares seized in accordance with extant provision of Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
While we await the deployment of scanners to aid our job, due diligence employed in physical examinations to achieve outstanding results will be sustained and improved upon.
“I hereby urge importers, exporters, licensed Customs Agents and freight forwarders interfacing with Customs in Onne Port to see compliance as key to unlocking many benefits derivable from their trade and investments.”