Seme Customs makes landmark achievement in revenue generation
…As Compt Nnadi rakes in N1.9bn
The Seme Border Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has made a landmark achievement in revenue collection for the Federal Government, with a whopping sum of over N1.9billion realised from January 23 to September 8, 2023.
More so, the N1.9billion revenue collection so far represents 97.2% of N1.960billion allotted target for 2023, which the Command has achieved in just 9 months.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Seme Command, Compt Dera Nnadi mni, disclosed the details of impressive performance in revenue collection by his team, during a press conference.
He informed : “The revenue already generated by the Command is (N1,904,459, 390.77). This represents 97.2% of N1,960,000,000 allotted target for the year 2023.
“In the corresponding period under review for year 2022, the revenue was N885.5million. The reality is that the Command’s revenue profile witnessed a tremendous increase of N1, 018,916, 292. 33 (51.98%).
“This was a result of painstaking efforts made by the leadership of the Command in partnership with our stakeholders to ensure compliance with our revenue generation agenda.”
Compt Nnadi went on : “In the area of anti-smuggling operations, you are already conversant with our past headline seizures (fake six million US dollars equivalent to two billion seven hundred million (N2.7 B). This is in addition to other notable seizures recorded from January to August 2023, as shown below: “9500 (50kg) bags of rice equivalent to 16 trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice with Duty Paid Value of N312, 242, 064.93;
13, 835 x 30 litres Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit equivalent to 415, 050 litres or 13 petroleum tankers with Duty Paid Value of 738,276, 461;
15,389 of General Merchandise Goods.
Hard Drugs and Narcotics:
“41 parcels of Cannabis Sativa;
4,900 Tablets (225mg) of Tramadol Tamol-X 3,600 Tablets 225mg; Tramadol Royal 225; 157 Tablets of Heineken Ecstacy; 864 Packs of Cigarette
“In the same vein, Officers and Men of the Command acting on credible intelligence intercepted 40,800 litres of PMS, over one Tanker Load, with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of (N24, 663, 355), at the early hours of Friday September 8, 2023 along Badagry Coast. The duty paid value for items seized from January to Septmeber 8, 2023 is N1.8billion.
“In line with Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) policy of encouraging its officers, operatives of the Command that were involved in the seizures of fake Six million USD ($6,000,000) currency, Fifteen (15) fake international passports and Ten (10) Driver’s license, and that of Donkey skins in January, 2023 have been commended by the Comptroller-General of Customs, CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR.
“The commendation letters and congratulatory letters from the Command would be presented to the beneficiaries today.”
He enthused : “Let me appreciate the Comptroller General of Customs for his support to the Command and also appreciate the Seme Badagry Community for their cooperation. I appreciate officers and men of the Command for their gallantry and patriotism. Our greatest appreciation goes to the media for highlighting our modest effort in Seme Area Command.”
Giving more details on activities of the Command under his watch, Compt Dera Nnadi said : “Seme Area Command is advantageously on Abidjan-Lagos Corridor (ALCO), which connects Lagos-Cotonou-Lomé-Accra-Abidjan.
“With a population of over 350 million people, this corridor and indeed the Command accounts for about 70 percent of the transit traffic in ECOWAS sub-region.
“This route is also a component of the Lagos-Kano-Jibiya (LAKAJI) corridor, which extends from Lagos through Ogun, Oyo, Kwara, Niger, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa and Katsina states in Nigeria.
“The LAKAJI corridor complements the trade route from Abidjan through Cotonou to Niamey and even to Libya, as well as Egypt.
“The significance of this corridor as economic, cultural and political platform for regional integration of West Africa cannot be over- emphasized.”
He pointed out : “Seme Area Command is the platform for sustenance of regional integration expected to be driven through ECOWAS Protocol on free movement of persons, goods and services. The implementation of various trade policies of the sub-region and the continent, especially ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA).
“The objective of ETLS and AfCFTA is to liberalise trade by abolishing customs duties and fees on imports and exports, as well as elimination of non-tariff barriers among member states.
“It is intended to achieve unhindered market access to the countries of the sub-region. Seme Area Command has worked assiduously to ensure that the region optimises this expectation.
“Among the trade blocks in Africa, ECOWAS region has a population of 428.6 million people and ranks second in Africa after East Africa region with a population of 474.9 million people. It is expected that the potential inherent in this advantageous position will be translated to increase trade among countries of the ECOWAS subregion, especially between Nigeria and Republic of Benin with a combined population of nearly 250 million people.
“Sadly, ECOWAS ranks fourth at 10 per cent when it comes to trade within the African Continent. Southern African Development Community (SADC) with a population of 69.2 million people ranks first in trading among themselves at 32. 12 percent, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) at 20.32 per cent, and Community of Sahel-Saharan States (CEN-SAD) at 16.59 per cent.
“This is an indication that ECOWAS region is yet to maximize the gains of ETLS. Again, this underscores the level of our limited preparedness for the African Continental Fre Trade Agreement.
“Several factors have been adjudged to hamper trade (between Nigeria and her proximate neighbour) within the sub-region, especially transit trade across the countries and along the corridor. There have been several complaints by operators against closure of borders, non-adherence to transit agreements signed under ECOWAS, World Trade Organisation (WTO), World Customs Organisation (WCO) and the General Agreement on Trade and Tariff.”
His words : “Upon my assumption of duty on January 23, 2023, I pledged to adopt new strategies to boost trade while enforcing the nation’s anti-smuggling laws along the Abidjan Lagos Corridor (ALCO) in line with ECOWAS protocols on free movement of goods and persons.
“I also promised along with officers and men to encourage compliant traders along the corridor, bearing in mind the challenges of Joint Border Post (JBP) as one that is still recovering from the effects of border closure. We kept faith with that.
“It is important to note that the Nigeria 2022 Fiscal Policy Measures by the Federal Ministry of Finance lifted the ban on export of goods imported into Nigeria hitherto prohibited under item 8 Schedule 6 of the Common External Tariff. We hope that our stakeholders will take full advantage of this gesture while our brothers from other countries in the sub-region, particularly Republic of Benin will reciprocate this gesture where there are existing trade barriers.
“It is gratifying to note that the CGC, government of both countries and the stakeholders are all on the same page regarding the need to improve our relationship, with a view to maximising the opportunities offered by the proximity of our two countries to the border and develop trade along the corridor.”