The Port Harcourt Area ll Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has declared a total of ₦118,959,214,999.53k as generated revenue for 2020 with a total Duty Paid Value of 37 seizures amounting to ₦1,008,266,282.53; making a cumulative sum of ₦119.9billion.
Above collected revenue figure is over and in excess of the ₦107,336,142,824.29 during the corresponding period of 2019 by ₦11,623,072,175.04. The Customs Area Controller, Auwal Mohammed said the above was due from the command’s 2020 activities, that the command recorded its highest monthly collection of N13b under his watch, despite challenges of Covid-19 and EndSARS protests that affected businesses, nationally and globally.
On export, the customs area boss said the command recorded a total quantity of 2,577,803.31 metric tons of cargoes with Free On Board (FOB) value of $63,497,688.03; in addition to ₦278,883,780.13 collected under the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS).
He commended all stakeholders, including terminal operators, freight forwarders, customs brokers and others operating at the port for their support towards increased revenue and efficiency. He specially commended the management of West African Container Terminal (WACT) operational efficiency in cargo handling and crane operations, saying “it is the best in Nigeria.”
Speaking on the reported purchase of scanners for some of the seaports, the Controller said the plans to install scanner in Onne will increase the command’s productivity, efficiency and capacity to detect concealment, faster.
He said, “In the face of several challenges that impacted on shipping and port activities last year, our operatives were resilient, being at work always, even during the Covid19 Pandemic outbreak and the nationwide lock down that followed.
“We thank our Comptroller General, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.), for providing the result oriented leadership that has helped us to excel in many ways. Last year, this Command collected a total of ₦118,959,214,999.53k. This figure is ₦11,623,072,175.04 higher than the ₦107,336,142,824.29 collected from January to December of 2019.
“We have also made remarkable increase from our ₦94,044,676,428.17 that was collected in 2018. It is worthy of note that under my watch, the Command achieved ₦13 billion naira monthly collection for the first time in its 37 years history.”
Mohammed described its anti-smuggling activities as top efficient with a total of 37 seizures and DPV of ₦1,008,266,282.53, further noting that its general duty has been characterized by strategic improvements in all fronts.
“This increase in collection is a fallout of due diligence and zero tolerance for compromise on the part of our officers and men, who were always at work in full observance of the Covid19 protocols. We have never let our guards down even before the announcement of a second wave of the virus and we didn’t allow it impact adversely on our functions.”
He listed items seized to include tramadol, vegetable oil, rice, second hand clothing, shoes, used tryres, vehicles, aluminums, unprocessed woods etc; adding that two suspects were arrested in connection with some of the seizures.
Speaking further on stakeholders’ engagement and the level of compliance, the area controller said, “We have strengthened our relationship with importers, exporters, freight forwarders and other port users whose function interface with Nigeria Customs Service in Onne Port.
“Within the period I took charge, I have met with them separately and collectively even as we all have resolved to consolidate on our relationships in the interest of the government and our economy. We have seen marked improvement in compliance level continual promotion of due process in all we do.
“Our engagements have reinforced the promotion of ease of doing business, trade facilitation with emphasis on sincere declarations as a way of saving time and making legitimate profits”, noting in particular the robust cooperation he has enjoyed from the military and other sister agencies of government.
“I must put on record that we have enjoyed very robust inter agency collaboration with sister government agencies like the Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Immigration Service, Department of State Service, National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control, National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, Nigerian Ports Authority and Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
“Our relationships have resulted in information sharing, crime prevention, promotion of national economic interest and security. It is imperative I use this opportunity to inform our stakeholders, particularly port users that compliance is vital for seamless cargo clearance, exit, import and export.
“This is how importers will enjoy trade facilitation, ease of business by following the due process. I urge them once again to keep abreast with the extant import and export prohibition lists, avoid duty evasion and imbibe the virtue of transparency at all times”, he said