BY MIKE OCHONMA
…Customs revenue hits record N238billion
Despite the negative impact of Covid-19 infractions which created dip holes for many, appetite among individuals and businesses in Nigeria to add more numbers in their vehicular fleet is on the rise as Ports and Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML), a port mainly designed to handle Roll-on-Roll-off (Roro port) cargo (vehicles, machinery and equipment), says 80 percent of cargo handled in 2021 in its terminal were vehicles.
Area controller of the Roro command, Festus Okun who disclosed this disclosed this, adding that the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) also recorded N238, 224,920,038.88in 2021. “For us as a Command, the year 2021 was a successful year considering our accomplishments in the discharge of our service core mandates of revenue generation, facilitation of legitimate trade, anti-smuggling activities and ensuring of national security.
The Nigeria Customs port controller explained that the port is mainly designed to handle Roll-on-Roll- off cargo (vehicles, machinery and equipment), hence, in the year under review, about eighty percent of the cargo handled in the terminal were vehicles. The command handled export goods with a total tonnage of about 199,487 metric tons, with a total Free on Board (FOB) value of N132, 451,819,641.62 only.
In the area of anti-smuggling activities, Okun stated that the command made some seizures in the year under review. The seizure comprised of four containers; (3x40ft & 1x20ft) which were found to contain bags of rice, vegetable oil, drinks, vehicles, pharmaceutical product and among others with a duty paid value of N55, 529,285 only.
The seizures were effected because the importations were done in contravention of extant laws. Vegetable oil is listed under Schedule III of the Common External Tariff (CET) Prohibition (Trade). On trade facilitation, he said that his command sustained and improved on various measures put in place to enhance the facilitation of legitimate trade.
“Some of these measures were in the area of capacity building for officers, strengthening of the dispute resolution committee and building a strong team for quality service delivery, thus engendering ease of doing business. We have a functional help-desk while we keep our doors open to stakeholders for direct access,” he pointed out.
The controller declared that the command attaches so much importance on the issue of national security; hence, officers carefully conduct a physical examination of cargo to make sure that all importations are done in strict compliance with extant laws, especially in the area of compliance with regulatory requirements for controlled items and enforcement of import prohibition laws.
He stated that, there is robust relationship existing among the various government agencies operating in the Command like the Nigeria Police, NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, NESREA among others. “We have effectively functioned as the lead agency towards “ease of doing business” in the port. This has greatly contributed to the efficiency in service delivery,” he stated.
The controller said the command has continued to maintain a cordial relationship with the various stakeholders like importers, exporters, licensed customs agents, freight forwarders and others. Regular meetings were held with our critical stakeholders where issues affecting various segments of the supply chain were well discussed and solutions proffered.
“Furthermore, the forum served as a platform through which compliance was being preached and feedback received. Through these engagements, we were able to operate in an atmosphere that was conducive for trade and accomplishment of our Service goals”, the NCS Roro port command boss concluded.