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‘Secured Border Raises’ Seaports Optimal Performances’ – Compt Nnadi


Area Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni, has said the revenue generation drive of seaports is naturally designed to remain efficient and optimal if the land border posts are well secured.

Compt. Nnadi middle speaking while taking stakeholders and participants round the seized items. To his right is ACE 11 Michael Wetkas of EFCC, and to his right, Director NNAFDAC Seme, Dr. Nurudeen Audu

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Comptroller Nnadi who dropped above hint while briefing reporters of the activities of the command for the first quarter in his office yesterday said the command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social/economic implication of smuggling as well as performing its statutory function of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.

He handed over seized fake $600million, ten international passports, six international driver licenses and other sensitive seizures made by his officers and men to representatives of sister government agencies including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC).

He disclosed that the revenue generation of the command dipped between January and March when compared to the figures realized for the corresponding period for 2022, a development he attributed to a number of factors, including the after effects of the prolonged border closure that last almost three years.

This is even as he reiterated his worries earlier in the year about the negative effects of the economic policies of neighbouring states on the optimal performances of Nigeria’s cross border trade.

He also lamented that competition between Dangote Cement being one of the major export product and regional brands accounted for drop in the projected export for the period under review.

Briefing reporters he said, “I wish to once again welcome you to Seme Area Command, this time to brief you on the performance of the Command in the first quarter of the year 2023. It is exactly two months and two weeks today since I resumed duty in the Command as the Customs Area Controller.

“Upon my resumption, 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 the ECOWAS protocols on free movement of goods and persons.

“I promised to encourage compliant traders along the corridor while enforcing the law against inflexible offenders who will wish to test our resolve.”

According to him, in line with his promise, the command facilitated the movement of ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), totaling 425Trucks with fees amounting to N314, 720, 938.71.

He gave the breakdown to include 412baggage declarations with duty amounting to N58, 844,382, noting that the items imported under above arrangement include food products and beverages produced within the sub-region.

For exports, he said the command facilitated “1,243 trucks bearing 40,096.47metric tons of made in Nigeria cargo declared on 165 Single Administrative Documents (SAD) with Free On Board value of N4,291,322,887.19 kobo and National Export Supervision Scheme Fes of N21, 456,551.83K.

“During the same period in 2022, 3006 trucks bearing 116,053.9 metric tons of cargo with FOB value of N6, 597, 506, 993.28K with NESS Fee of N32, 989,006.16 was recorded.

“Regrettably there is a shortfall in export to the tune of 75,000 metric tons of cargo due to competition between Dangote Cement and competitors in the cement market at Togo.”

Nnadi identified fees collected from the auction sales of seized items especially petroleum products and other perishable items as other source of revenue for the command.

“To this end, the Command generated a total of Three Hundred and Fifty Million, Ninety-Nine Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty-One Niara Seventy-One Kobo (N350, 099,541.71) in the first quarter of 2023.

“The above is One Hundred and Five Million, Ninety-FiveThousand, Seven Hundred and Eight Niara Seventy-Six Kobo (N105,095,708.76) or 23.09 percent  short of Four Hundred and Fifty-Five Million, One Hundred and Ninety-Five Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Naira Forty-Seven Kobo (N455,195,250,.47) collected in the corresponding period in 2022.

“The deficit could be attributed to lull in activities during the cashless policy and the wait by the traders for the outcome of the general election. Also recall that I had earlier informed you that the economic policy of the Republic of Benin who charge fees on goods in transit to Nigeria constitute tariff barriers to trade along the corridor. These affected the Commands revenue and need urgent review.”

Speaking further, he said that whereas the core mandate of the service in Seme as elsewhere being trade facilitation, he notes that “the command is conscious of its strategic location as the foremost frontier for trade and tourism in West and Central Africa particularly the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Tade Area (AfCFTA).

“Nigeria has lots of potentials in both trade regimes considering its GDP, population and industrial capacity which is the highest in the West and Central Africa subregion and indeed Africa.”

An uncommon strategic planning officer,  Nnadi indicated that traders that have been identified as still reeling from the effects of the last border closure may consider making representation to the appropriate official quarters to seek needed considerations.

“However, I wish to repeat as I had earlier mentioned in my previous interactions with the media that the major source of revenue of the Command (import/export) have not been enhanced since the opening of the land Borders as directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the traders are still bracing with the challenges of having been out of business for over two years.

“Where few have embraced the reality of the circumstances, they have requested and appealed for a review of the process of obtaining approvals for re-exportation which requires that they go to Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning at Abuja for every application for re-exportation.”

He further advised traders and stakeholders operating at Seme Border to urgently align with AfCFTA as the next level trading dynamics in the subregion and beyond.

“For this we are once more calling on stakeholders in the Seme Krake Corridor and beyond to prepare to embrace AfCFTA while consolidating on the gains ETLS.

“I thank our stakeholders for their support.  It is gratifying to note that we are all on the same page on the need to improve on our relationship with a view to maximize the opportunities offered the proximity of the State to the border and develop trade in Lagos State.

“Let me at this interval, appreciate the collaborative efforts of other sister agencies in the fight against smuggling and appeal for their continuous support. It is important to note that activities embarked upon by the Command is a patriotic duty in the interest of national security and economic wellbeing of Nigeria. NCS operatives in observance of the rules of engagement will continue to carry out its legitimate duties as prescribed by the law.

“We thank the CGC and management of Customs, officers and men of the Command, community leaders and partner government agencies who are showing concern and are collaborating with the Service for their continuous support.”



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