Newly deployed Customs Area Controller (CAC), Port Harcourt Area ll Command Onne, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed has set an unprecedented record, raking in a total of #13,106,025,050.24 (thirteen billion, one hundred and six million, twenty-five thousand, fifty naira and twenty four kobo) for the month of September 2020.
Mohammed who resumed duty on the September, 01, 2020, is on record as the first CAC to take the command through this Olympian revenue leap in its over 37 years of creation.
The new area controller according to a statement made available to our reporter by the Command Public Relations Officer, Ifeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, said the feat was the result of collective diligence in ensuring total compliance and meticulous customs formalities in cargo documentation and release by officers and men of the command.
Similarly, the command recorded a total value of 18,085.96 Metric Tonnes (MT) of processed export, with Free On-Board (FOB) value of $6,441,850.67 and ₦10,595,944.43 NESS. In addition, the command’s anti-smuggling operation recorded a total seizure of 13 containers in two (2) operations under the period under review.
The items seized comprise of 400 bundles of used tyres, 100 pieces of motor radiators, 264 logs of raw hard wood, 100 pieces of car fans and 4 units of bed trailer trucks with a total Duty Paid Value of #99,917,043.80.
Speaking on the superlative performance, Mohammed said, “The revenue outcome is also a confirmation of my observation on my first day in office here that I am taking over a very functional command with systems for revenue generation, trade facilitation and suppression of smuggling.
“In my interactions with officers and port users, I harped on the need for compliance and reiterated my insistence on due process at all times by everyone interfacing with customs in the course of trade.
“I am whole heatedly committed to achieving maximum collection of all revenue due to government through customs duties in Onne Port and to prevent any form of leakages. Where shortfalls are detected, I pursue uncompromising recovery through demand notice (DN) to prevent revenue loss.”
He assured that his officers and men are ever vigilant and will not allow the feat achieved so far within the short interval get on their way; adding that under his watch, smugglers and economic saboteurs should have all the reasons to be apprehensive, and therefore should embrace legitimate trade.
His words, “Even though our over N13b September revenue generation is considered a laudable feat, it doesn’t call for complacency on our part. It is only a reminder to do more in our national interest to support the country’s economic well being.
“We will continue to make this command a no go area for perpetrators of smuggling, concealment, duty evasion and any form of illegality by seizing those illegally imported and prohibited goods, arresting perpetrators and getting them prosecuted in accordance with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).”
A firm believer in inter agency corporation and standard operation procedure(SOP), the Onne Customs new boss said the command under him will hand over to the respective agencies, whose cases falls within any operation undertaken by the customs.
”We will continue to make this command a no go area for perpetrators of smuggling, concealments, duty evasion and any form of illegality by seizing those illegally imported and prohibited goods, arresting perpetrators and getting time prosecute in accordance with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA),” Comptroller Mohammed said.
For optimal inter agency cooperation, Mohammed paid courtesy visit to the leadership of various organizations within Onne and the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, where he had useful interaction with everyone of them on the way to go in enhancing government job.
Those he visited includes Port Manager, Nigeria Ports Authority; Nigerian Navy; Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command; Commissioner of Police, Eastern Ports Command; Controller Nigeria Immigration Service, Rivers Marine Command; 6 Division Nigerian Army Port Harcourt; Onne Port Director Department of State Security Service; Nigerian Air Force.
Others include customs sheds and bonded terminals and organized private sector stakeholders like West African Container Terminal (WACT) and BRAWAL Shipping.
In the same vein, Mohammed have had the privilege of playing host to the leadership of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) Onne; Association of Heads of Federal Government Establishment Rivers State Chapter; Nigeria Correctional Services; Association of International Traders; Association of Nigeria Customs Licensed Agents (ANCLA) and National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), and many others.
Central to their discussion is the collective resolve to fight criminality, protect law abiding Nigerians and ensure seamless information sharing and operational synergies whenever or wherever the need arises.
He said the command under his watch will operate within the general and specific mandate given by the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) and his management team, with an eye for zero tolerance to all illegalities.
He appealed to importers, agents and stakeholders to operate within the limits of the extant laws in order to achieve friendly port operations friendly and trade facilitation.