By Adedapo Adesanya
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) of Area ll Command, Onne Port, has disclosed that its revenue generation grew by 69.4 per cent as a total of N38.9 billion was collected in the first quarter of 2021.
This was disclosed by the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, who noted that N38,877,314,286.12 was revenue collected for the federal government compared with the N22,950,780,163.43 generated between January and March 2020.
A breakdown of the 2021 monthly collections showed that N12,123,024,011.82 was collected for January; N12,760,546,062.07 for February and N13,984,744,212.23 for March .
According to the agency, all monthly collections for this year have so far surpassed those of the first three months of 2020 with remarkable differences from which hovered at slightly above N7 billion monthly.
He said on anti-smuggling, the command recorded a total of 12 seizure with a cumulative duty paid of N4,120,882,608.03
“The seizures comprises of 2 units of used Mitsubishi buses; 210 bales of secondhand clothing, 1,435 pieces of used tyres, used engine gearbox and auto spare parts, 310 pallets of laser ketchup and 20 bales of fabrics.”
A month by month breakdown of the seizures indicated that four seizures were made in January which includes 3 containers and 2 suspects with duty paid value of N85,987,936.05.
In February, the command made 3 seizures involving 4 containers with total duty paid value of N45,527,836.00 while in March 2021 it made 5 seizures involving 7 containers with a duty paid value of N3,989,366,808.89.
On export, the command processed 207,749.614 metric tonnes of cargoes with a free on board value of $70,838,025.68 comprising cashew nuts, ginger, hibiscus flower, sesame seeds, zircon sand, palm kernel, tiger nuts and many more.
Mr Mohammed, under whose watch the command has recorded its highest monthly revenue collection of N13 billion in the 38-year-old history of the command, also urged officers to avoid being complacent and keep doing more to improve on the national economy, security and trade facilitation.
He said: “We are doing well but I believe there are rooms for improvement in revenue collection, anti-smuggling, trade facilitation and robust stakeholders’ engagements.
“Every likely or identified area of government revenue leakages should be blocked for us to sustain the tempo of maximum collections. We owe Nigeria a duty to make the smuggling of prohibited items impossible through this command.
“Our ability to detect attempts at duty evasion and issuing demand notices to collect complete revenue from importers and their agents will be improved upon relying on technology and hands-on experience.
“Duty evaders should steer clear from this area as they are likely to be arrested with their wares seized in accordance with extant provision of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA)
“While we await the deployment of scanners to aid our job, the due diligence employed in physical examinations to achieve outstanding results will be sustained and improved upon
“I hereby urge importers, exporters, licensed customs agents and freight forwarders interfacing with customs in Onne Port to see compliance as a key to unlock the many benefits derivable from their trade, investments and professions,” he said.
He also urged officers and men in the area to be unrelenting and uncompromising in the collection of revenue and implementation of government’s directives as they pertain to trade.
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