By Eguono Odjegba
The Area Controller (CAC) Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area ll Command Onne Port, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed has attributed the collection of N242,090,629,309.60k revenue for 2022 to three key operational indices.
Mohammed listed the factors to regular stakeholders engagement, increased compliance level of the port users and non compromise on the part of his officers.
Speaking on the performance of the command in 2022, the CAC said the command engaged its stakeholders regularly on the need to abide by extant laws guiding import and export.
He said the periodic meetings with importers, exporters, terminal operators, licensed customs agents and freight forwarders afforded his command the opportunity of regularly enlightening them on the import and export fiscal guidelines and prohibitions.
He explained that things like unprocessed wood and charcoal which fall under export prohibition have been regularly brought to the knowledge of all concerned with emphasis that ignorance regarding violations are not excuses before the law.
While lauding the stakeholders for their commendable compliance level, Comptroller Mohammed urged them to sustain and improve on it.
The CAC said revenue collection in the command has been on the increase since he assumed duty in 2020, in comparison with the prior years of 2020 and 2021, when he assumed control.
According to him, the command collected N118.959,214,999.48bn in 2020 and N188.666,483,199.10bn in 2021 under his watch.
He explained that alerts on cargo were meant to put customs officers in check and not necessarily targeted at the agents and importers, as it is erroneously assumed.
On anti smuggling, he disclosed that the command made seizures in the fight against smuggling in 2022. This feat, according to him , was achieved through meticulous hundred percent physical examination of cargoes.
“Antics by smugglers to conceal prohibited items by hiding them at the end of containers with the hope that customs officers won’t get to the end of during examination failed as all such concealments were uncovered and seized”, he said.
He listed the seizures made to comprise of machetes brought into the country without an end-user certificate, military wears, vegetable oil, whisky, soap, and used clothings.
Other seizures include used tyres, foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, used vehicle parts, and other items either classified as prohibited or for which attempts were made to evade duty payments.
The Onne Customs Controller said the command recorded a remarkable increase in export worth N2,713,884,004.19 collected under the Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS). The 2022 figure represents over 300percent above the 2021 figure of N881,011,957.22.The NESS Fee is a statutory payment to the Federal Government on all legitimate goods exported from Nigeria.
The export items were majorly agricultural produce such as sesame seeds, ginger, hibiscus flower(zobo), palm produce.
According to Auwal, the command’s export profile is being supported by the Domestic Export Warehouse (DEW) terminal initiative put in place by the federal government to ease the processing of export cargoes on transit to shipment stage.
For trade facilitation and ease of cargo examination, the CAC said the command has received a mobile scanner that is currently undergoing installed and that it will be connected to the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System (NICIS II) for synchronizing, upon being fully installed.
He said when the scanner begins operation after configuration, the examination capacity of the command will increase to between 300 and 350 containers daily from it’s present range of between 200 and 300 containers.
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