Comptroller Bashar, CAC, Tin Can Island Command

The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has collected a total of N106billion between January and May, 2017, despite the economic recession in the country that has drastically reduced the volume of goods imported into the country.

The command was at the beginning of the year given a revenue projection of N300billion for the 2017 fiscal year, which translates to N25 billion per month.

Reports say that the volume of goods imported into the country through the nation’s seaports has declined by more than 50 per cent as a result of the economic recession in the country that has reduced the consumers’ purchasing power in the face of skyrocketing prices of most essential goods, services and raw materials.

A report of activities of the command released by the Public Relations Officer, Uche Ejesieme, show that a total of N106billion was collected as revenue covering import duty, fees and other import levies charged by the Federal Government and its agencies.

Details of the revenue figures show that a total of N19.8billion was collected in the moth of January, which increased marginally to N21.1 billion in February.

Other details show that a total of N20.9billion was collected in the month of march, which represents a marginal decline when compared to the figures recorded in the previous months of February.

Similarly, a total of N20.3billion was collected for the month of April, while N23.9billion was collected in the month of May, which represents the highest revenue collection for the five –month period.

Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Comptroller Bashaar Yusuf, who commented on the impressive revenue performance despite the dwindling economic fortunates attributed it to the diligence of the officers and men of the command.

According to him, the command is doing everything humanly possible to plug all avenue revenue leakages by ensuring that all monies due to the government as revenue was collected.

He also said that while plugging revenue leakages, the command maintains a zero tolerance on unnecessary delays on the release of cargo as officers are monitored to ensure that no one unduly delays cargo release in line with the policy of the current management of the service to facilitate and promote genuine trade.

The Tin Can Customs –boss also argued that this policy of zero tolerance on delays has made the command customer-friendly as importers and agents route their consignments through the Tin Can Island Port.

Recall that the command had recently impounded a large cache of arms imported into the country through the port, less than six months after it made a similar seizure of 600 arms and ammunition.

The arms numberng a total of 440 units of pump action guns and other components were concealed in a 20-foot container declared as Plaster of Paris POP, and cement.

The pump action guns, which are of various categories and species including the single Barrel type, are of the magnum brand and were said to have been manufactured in the United States and Italy but imported from Turkey.

The CAC had told newsmen that the interception and eventual seizure of the arms follows an intelligence report made available to the command, which it made optimum use of report, leading to the interception and seizure of the consignment.

It was further gathered that the agent, who was to clear the consignment has already been arrested even as the identity of both the agent and importer has been kept under wrap which full investigations go on.

The CAC, who sounded a note of warning to importers of such dangerous products should look elsewhere, arguing that the interception and seizure of the consignment was an indication that it is no longer business as usual since the service would continuously live to its responsibilities.

He further disclosed that the Customs Administration of the 21st century would have to do with a lot of intelligence and profiling of importers, arguing that the role of the service is to ensure that it does not wait for the crime to be committed, which he said was the case in the current seizure, as the agent was yet to make his declaration before he was caught.

The CAC further disclosed that due to the discovery of other units of the components and accessories of the guns, the command would ensure that it deepens its investigations with a view to establishing whether there is an assembly plant in the country.