Seme Customs Makes N4.4billion Nov, Projects N5bn In Dec ‘23
BY FUNMI ALUKO
The Seme Border Command of the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) said it generated over N4.4billion in revenue receipt for November, 2023; even as the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Timi Bomodi says the prospect of hitting N5 billion in December 2023 is bright, going by the officers present high motivation and operational momentum.
In the area of export, the command according to Bomodi processed export items worth over N8billion within the period under review, noting that documenting cross-border activities is crucial for business growth and fosters data-driven decisions, in view of product markets seeking to ply the Seme Krake axis and beyond.
He said the customs service have simplified processes for exports and called on all exporters to follow the simplified processes to document their exports no matter how small it is, noting that the documentation also serves other purposes like generating data for government to aid planning.
“Our CG has simplified many things, and has removed those considerations that would negatively impact on trade. Potentially we hope that by the time fiscal policy is reviewed along with other exclusions, especially regards to the importation of cars taken out, We we no doubt aspire higher.
“We are all aware that presently we don’t import cars through the land borders, but if the government decides to change that policy, Seme we believe will be high in her revenue.We are also hoping that will happen,” he stated.
On revenue collection, he said, “When I assume office on September 18, the command had collected about N1.9bn which was in excess of what was expected. The command had reached its target for the year by September 18. But am glad to report that by the end of November, the command would have collected about N4.4bn.
“In addition to that which is about N2.1bn against September and November, hopefully, by the end of the year we will be doing over N5 billion.
“Ultimately, we are believing that by the end of the year, we will be doing between N11 billion and N12 billion. With trade being boosted on this command, Seme has the potential of generating well over N25 to N30 billion”, Bomodi said.
He stated matter of fact that with the coming onboard of the current CG, the service has experienced many strategic reviews leading to unprecedented impressive results within the shortest period the administration has been in charge, noting that things are generally looking up across board.
He assured that the prevailing regime of simplified, automated processes will continue to enhance trade facilitation, ushering in a sustainable atmosphere of efficient documentation and classification, duty payments and examinations amongst other innovative goals.
Accordingly, he explained that the command’s goal includes having Nigerian customs officers stationed at Benin ports, which according to him will reduce transit time and ensure efficient movement of goods.
“Seme is fundamental to regional trade, when you talk about Lagos-Abidjan corridor, you are actually making reference to Seme Command. Seme is the major artery through which goods move from Lagos, all the way down to Abidjan and other routes and countries.
“A Lot needs to be done, a lot is being done and hopefully we want to see an increment in trade. To this extent, we are paying attention to critical infrastructure. We have interacted with members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), we feel there are certain things that need to be put right within the confines of trading brotherhood. We will strive to enhance our functions with all government agencies here.”
On anti-smuggling, the Seme Customs boss said the command is looking beyond mere seizures, particularly of items affected by monetary policies, such as petroleum products, protected animals, and endangered species.
He said that advocacy efforts underscore the importance of preserving these species for a sustainable environment, highlighting the balance between mankind and nature.
“A lot of positives have been made. We have made a lot of seizures regarding to certain items that before now were affected by monetary policies, seizures regarding petroleum products that people try to move across the borders; such that runs into billions.
“Also, seizures on animals protected under national protection from illicit trade and endangered species. Those seizures were significant to the extent that to sustain their preservation over a period of time, we kept on doing advocacy concerning these kinds of animals.
“A lot of people don’t understand why they need to protect them, and why trading in them is considered illegal , internationally. But it’s a job we must do, if we must talk about a sustainable environment in which there is a balance between man and nature.