The Nigeria Customs Service, Area II Command Onne Port, has collected a total of N128.3 billion as revenue from January to September 2021.
In a statement, Public Relations Officer of the Command, Ifeoma Ojekwu, said that the amount, which is over N45.7 billion above the total of N82.5 billion, represents a 55.4 per cent increase when compared with the revenue collected within same period of 2020.
A comparative breakdown of the third quarter collections between 2020 and 2021 indicated steady increases which contributed in the cumulative 55.4 per cent difference.
For July, August and September 2020, the Command collected N10.9, N12.2 and N13.1 billion respectively, which were overtaken by 2021 figures of N14b, N17.8 billion and N18.2billion respectively.
Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, attributed the steady monthly increases to volume of trade, strict adherence to extant customs procedure, blocking of possible areas of revenue leakages and zero tolerance for infractions capable of undermining national economy and security.
The Command’s improved interface with stakeholders in an enhanced Customs community relations system has also paid off with remarkable degrees of compliance by the port users in Onne.
While commending the uncompromising disposition of the officers and men of the Command, the Area Controller expressed optimism that more revenue collection, increased trade facilitation and time saving advantages will be achieved in the command with the introduction of recently procured mobile scanner.
“Before the arrival of the scanner, examinations of cargoes were usually done manually and physically, whereby containers were positioned by the terminal operators.
“Then, gang of labourers will discharge the goods before Customs and other agencies will carry out the examination. Customs must also cut off the seal manually. This takes time because of the unpacking of the goods in the container,” he explains.
He said that virtually everything in the container must be moved out of the container and then back into the container before examination is concluded, which makes the process cumbersome and time consuming.
“With the coming of the scanner, which is a non-intrusive apparatus, cargo examination will now be conducted with the use of x-ray,” he said.
We can now double our daily containers examination which saves time, increases revenue, detects infractions easily and facilitate trade, Mohammed said.
On anti-smuggling activities, the Command made twenty-nine (29) seizures totaling N9,763,129,216.00 Duty Paid Value (DPV) within the period under review.
The breakdown of the seized items is as follows: 3,057 bags of 50 kg rice; 89 bales and 3,200 pieces of textile fabrics; 37 cartons and 4,824 pieces of wine/alcoholic beverages;1,650 cartons of tomato paste; 7,560 pieces of raw hides/unprocessed leather; 2,230 cartons of beers/spirits; 1,387 cartons of Tramadol; and 124 cartons of tapentadol.
Other seizures made include: 2 units of Used Mitsubishi buses; 210 bales of second hand clothing; 4,029 pcs of used tyres ; 16 units of Used engine gear box and auto spare parts ;310 pallets of laser ketchup; 956 Jerrycans of 25litres of vegetable oil; 750 cartons of supergold candle; 2,970 cartons of foreign soap; and 500 cartons of medicaments.
So far, nine (9) suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures and are at various stages of investigation and prosecution in courts of competent jurisdiction.
On export, the command processed commodities and products including sesame seeds, ginger, cocoa beans, hibiscus, fluorite ore, lead ore, palm kernel shell, cotton, float glass and others.
The exported commodities and products totaling 767,089.53 metric tonnes with free on board value of $250,789,911.39 also has a total Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) value of N463,085,649.23kThe Controller reiterated his advice to port users to stay on the path of compliance and obedience to laws.
He urged that they keep abreast with extant import and export guidelines to avoid their cargoes being seized and them facing arrest or prosecution in accordance with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
To achieve concerted efforts of all stakeholders in the port community in achieving seamless cargo movement, Comptroller Mohammed recently convened a forum where they jointly agreed to work together more harmoniously.
Key actors in the recently convened meeting included terminal operators, shipping companies, licensed customs agents, freight forwarders, haulage operators and others.
Their robust interactions have resulted in a new resolve for enhanced cooperation aimed at developing on their existing cooperation.
While commending newly promoted officers in the Command, Comptroller Mohammed admonished that they should see their elevations as renewed calls to more service.
He urged them to continually justify the confidence reposed on them and advise them to see their new ranks as positions of higher responsibilities in the NCS and national interest.