The Nigeria Customs Service, has lost about N16.2 billion to negative impact of the novel coronavirus at the Tin Can Port after earning N31.2 billion for the month of March, against N47.4 billion projected income of the command.
The Tin Can Island Port Command of the Nigeria Customs Service had in January taken a target of N540 billion, culminating in N47.4 billion monthly.
The earning figures for the command was released Wednesday, showing that the command collected a total of N31.21 billion in March 2020.
However, the command’s March earning was N5.3 billion higher that the sum of N25.9 billion collected during the same period of 2019.
With about 144,000TEU cargo throughput, per month, the Tin Can Port is Nigeria’s biggest Customs revenue zone taking up over 25 percent of the service’s total revenue target of N2 trillion for 2020.
Coronavirus infections in Nigeria hit 200 by end of March from the country’s index case recorded on February 28, showing a significant progression in number of people getting down with the novel virus, which has infected over 300,000 people and killed over 11,000 in the world.
“You will recall that the Customs area Controller, Comptroller Musa Baba Abdullahi, had indicated and created a clear roadmap for the actualisation of his mandate, bearing in mind the enormous expectations from the command,as one of the epic areas for revenue generation,” the command said in a statement to announce its March earnings on Wednesday.
According to Uche Ejesieme, spokesman of the command, who signed the statement, part of the controller’s strategy is the mobilisation of critical stakeholders through series of roundtables and consultations towards ensuring that trade facilitation is given a boost,in line with global best practices.
He said, “The customs area controller at those parleys solicited the support of all parties in the Trade value chain,particularly on the issue of compliance with the fiscal and monetary policies of the federal Government and the need to adhere strictly.
Further to this is the removal of all manner of bureaucratic bottlenecks and obstacles which might hinder access to information and intervention in critical areas.This is exemplified in the open door policy of the customs area controller as well as establishment of Trade facilitation and Dispute Resolution Platforms for expeditious Resolution of Disputes arising from the various transactions.
“We are optimistic that all things being equal,the operational templates that has been put in place by the customs Area controller, will surely lead to monumental Revenue collection.
On the issue of the Global pandemic, we are glad to inform you that our Sensitization campaign on the subject, began with the news of the outbreak of the disease in Wuhan China in November 2019, following a circular from customs headquarters, which compelled customs commands to commence awareness and education on ways of containing the virus.
“Following the report of the Index case in Nigeria, the command began even more intensive and aggressive campaign,with the visit by the Zonal medical personnel of the service, led by Dr Bello,in collaboration with our Resident Medical personnel.
Lectures were delivered on the safest measures which officers and stakeholders should adopt to keep safe. Participants were also advised to always maintain Social Distancing, use of Latex gloves, sanitizers and Regular handwashing, amongst other safety measures.
“Beyond all of this, the area controller directed the erection of signages at strategic places in the command, that conveyed very salient information to Stakeholders on additional measures we have adopted to ensure the safety and health of our employees and other stakeholders.”