Nigeria Exports N29b Worth of Agric Products in Q1 2018
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
About 45,462 metric tons of agricultural commodities with free on board (FOB) value at N29.2 billion were exported out of Nigeria between January and March 2018, the Customs Area Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin Can Island Command, Mr Musa Abdulahi, has revealed.
Addressing newsmen in Lagos a moment ago, Mr Abdulahi attributed this to the Federal Government’s initiative on export.
He explained that this represents an appreciable improvement of 558.46 percent in terms of volume and 402.24 percent in terms of FOB value when compared with the 8,140 metric tons valued at N7.3 billion recorded between January and March 2017.
Before now, crude oil had remained the main product Nigeria take out of the country to earn foreign exchange.
However, the present administration has made efforts to diversify the economy, with agriculture the main focus.
According to the customs’ boss, during the first quarter of 2018, agriculture produce exported included cashew nut, rubber, hibiscus flower, cocoa butter, sesame seeds, processed wood, frozen shrimps and processed leather while the manufactured products were; empty bottles, biscuit, cigarette, polyethylene, billets, soap, hair cream and tissue paper.
“We have made some gains in the 48 hours cargo clearance time. Some categories of goods are being cleared from the customs zone within six hours.
“Trade facilitation structures have been strengthened to sustain the gains here as follows: Fast track facilities-provided to compliment trader/importers, dispute resolution committee working as scheduled, help desk for enquiries and operational support, time release studies and securing of government revenue in disputed area through the use of bank guarantee/indemnity as provided in the import guideline,” Mr Abdulahi.
He added general improvement in compliance with laid down standard operating procedures has resulted in fewer intervention due to voluntary compliance.
He said Tin Can Island Command is committed to the transformation of its revenue collection and reporting system with the implementation of NICIS11 with additional functionality, “which is an upgrade of the NICIS1.”
“As part of the specific gains with the implementation we have the biometric system and introduction of a one stop shop, which will enable treatment of declarations of valuations, classification and other related clearance issues/queries. In the meantime, the renovation of the space for the one stop shop is in progress.
“There is also the automation of cargo examination and assignment process where examination officers are assigned examination automatically, this is designed to ensure transparency in the process. The vehicle valuation system is being further improved with the attachment of the valuation note issued to the SGD in the system, this will enable a quick verification of assessment and duty payment,” he added.