The Tincan Island Port Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it has collected a total of three hundred and forty-six billion, five hundred and eight million, eight hundred and thirty-six thousand, four hundred and eighty-six Naira and fifty four Kobo (N346, 508, 836, 486. 54).
The command Public Relations Officer, Mr. Uche Ejesieme who disclosed this in a statement in Lagos recalled that the command was given an annual revenue target of three hundred and forty-two billion, three hundred and six million, eighty thousand, four hundred and ninety-six Naira, sixty-three Kobo (N342, 306, 080, 496. 63).
“Accordingly, the command met its revenue target and exceeded it by a total sum of four billion, two hundred and two million, seven hundred and fifty thousand, nine hundred and ninety Naira and fifteen Kobo (N4, 202, 750, 990. 15), a performance of 101.2%. A comparative analysis of the revenue against the preceding year 2018 shows an improvement in the collection by N2, 970, 333, 281.03 where three hundred and forty-three billion, five hundred thirty-eight million, five hundred and three thousand, two hundred and five Naira and twenty-four Kobo (N343, 538, 503, 205.24) was collected.
“Also, comparative analysis of compliance level indicates an improvement by 4% in 2018. This performance came on the heels of implementation of series of transformational agenda and Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) developed to facilitate trade without compromising the extant provisions. The fact remains that the command was able to create templates and blueprints that guided its actions in line with the mission and vision of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (rtd.) and his management”, Ejesieme said.
In the area of anti-smuggling, he noted that the command during the year under review strengthened its anti-smuggling operation for optimal performance which he said resulted in seizure of 16x40ft, 37x20ft (53 containers) and three non-containerized cargoes.
He revealed that the seizures included rice, used tyres, pharmaceuticals, vegetable oil, military accoutrements among others with a Duty Paid value of five billion, eight hundred and seventy-six million, four hundred and sixty-five thousand, six hundred and forty Naira (N5, 876, 465, 640.00).
“If compared with 2018 seizures, it indicates a recorded improvement from the seizures of 14x 40ft, 2x20ft (16 containers) and five non-containerized others ranging from bales of second hand clothings, furniture, children toys, used bags and shoes, expired medicaments, used tyres, used fridges among others with a Duty Paid Value of two billion, eight hundred and eighty-three million, five hundred and thirty-one thousand, five hundred Naira (N2, 883, 531, 500.00) recorded during the prevailing year 2018”, he added.
On export, the Tincan Island Port customs command spokesman noted that the command also embarked on sensitization of stakeholders and would be exporters on the need to take advantage of the potentials inherent in export which incidentally culminated to an increase in the quantity of export recorded by the command in 2019.
He pointed out that the command facilitated the export of items with a total tonnage of two hundred and sixty-nine thousand, eight hundred and nineteen point five (269, 819.5) tons with a total FOB value of one hundred and thirty billion, one hundred and eighty-six million, eight hundred and ninety-four thousand, four hundred and eighty-one naira (N130, 186, 894, 481.00) in 2019 as against the total tonnage of two hundred and fifty-four thousand, seven hundred and sixty-two point seventy-seven (254, 762.77) tons with a total FOB value of one hundred and forty-five billion, three hundred and twenty-two million, nine hundred and ninety thousand, three hundred and ninety-six naira (N145, 322, 990, 296.00) exported in 2018.
He continued, “The command will continue to sensitize and encourage exporters as a means of attaining balance of trade for the interest of the nation.”
On trade facilitation, Ejesieme maintained that the command articulated various trade facilitation initiatives which according to him had been instituted as part of its Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) including the use of barge for movement of cargo even as he added that the command developed a more cordial working relationships with critical stakeholders through constant engagements.
According to him, “a re-invigorated Dispute Resolution Committee was constituted to deal expeditiously with disputes arising from Valuation, Classification, PAAR, Rules of Origin etc. importers or their agents are encouraged to take advantage of the availability of Bond facility to take delivery of their consignments where disputes persist.
“Further to the above is the Time Release Study, a means of assessing the performance of officers in the 48 hours Cargo Clearance Trade Value Chain with the aim of identifying areas of avoidable delays by the personnel and ways of forestalling it. Added to these is a re-engineered help desk domiciled in the office of the PRO where enquiries are channeled and when such enquiries are beyond the scope of the PR Unit, it is escalated to the CAC.
“The last but not the least is the one stop shop, a facility where all alerts/interventions emanating from Q&A, CIU, Valuation, Compliance/Strike Force would be synchronized with a bid to ensuring that issues are resolved without going through unnecessary bureaucratic bottlenecks.”
Speaking on capacity building, he said, “As part of measures to increase the efficiency and capacity of the operations, the command took steps to develop a training curriculum that is germane to the operations of the Service. Some of the trainings includes but not limited to Data Analysis, NICIS II Awareness, Skill GAP and Profiling training, End User Certificate Requirements and Documents, Bond Seats training, Valuation and Classification courses etc.
“In the light of the above, another set of newly promoted 13 Deputy Comptrollers and 13 Assistant Comptrollers in the command are currently undergoing a training programme that is targeted at familiarizing them with their new schedules and developing the needed skills sets. Such trainings will remain regular.”
The PRO observed that part of the challenges facing the command was the issue of poor access road and road infrastructure, lack of Government Warehouse facility, non-availability of operational equipment by the terminal operators among others as well as lack of scanners.
He further listed the removal of some terminals that were hitherto under the command as part of the challenges adding that the development affected the volume of cargo handled by the command and by implication, the revenue accruable to it.
Photo: Customs Area Controller, Tincan Island Port Command, Comptroller Musa Baba Abdullahi.
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