CAC Tin Can Island Command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf

The Tin Can Island, Apapa Lagos command of the Nigeria Customs Service has collected a total of N237.26 billion for the 10 months covering between January and October 2017.

This is despite the sharp decline in the volume of goods imported into the country occasioned by the global economic meltdown as well as some peculiar socio-economic challenges facing the country.

This figure represents an increase of about N30billion when compared to the N207.9billion collected in the corresponding period of 2016.

Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, who spoke on the recent revenue feat, attributed it to the restructuring and repositioning of the command for greater efficiency, which has become an ongoing affair.

According to him, the command has developed operational templates, which were carefully articulated to include adherence to due process on the part of the stakeholders and entrenchment of professionalism and integrity on the psyche of officers and men of the command.

He also disclosed that the command relied mostly on capacity building, training and re-training to extract reasonable level of professional integrity from the officers which ultimately led to the increase in revenue collection.

He said: “You will recall that the command alone has recorded three different seizures  of cache of arms illegally imported from Turkey and had recently seized two container- loads of suspected regulated drugs (Tramadol) falsely declared as used vehicles and computer accessories”.

“Our new strategic focus has strengthened not only in statutory responsibility of revenue generation but also in terms of safety of lives by decimating the tendency of unscrupulous importers who bring in unwholesome drugs, particularly Tramadol, which consumption would naturally have a negative consequential effect on our large population of youth, thereby ultimately affecting their educational pursuits and socio-economic wellbeing amongst other negative effects”.

The CAC therefore assured that the command has undoubtedly diminished the capacity of such unpatriotic importers through several measures aimed at nipping such issues in the bud.

He also attributed the several seizures to the high profile intelligence with the deployment of Information Communication Technology ICT as a major tool.

Recall that recently President Muhammadu Buhari had visited Turkey in company of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali alongside other top government functionaries, where they held diplomatic dialogue on the issue of repeated illegal importation of arms into the country.

This led to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding MoU between both countries with a view to ensuring that such illicit imports are curtailed.

Speaking further, the Controller applauded the improved compliance of stakeholders to international trade rules and procedures and urged them to maintain the path.

On his plans for the ember months, he re-assured that no stone would be left unturned in his efforts to ensure a sustained increase in revenue generation and facilitation of legitimate trade.

In the same vein, he expressed appreciation for the support of the Comptroller General of the service, Col. Ali and his management team and promised to re-double his efforts at this time of the year when business activities are expected to be on the increase.

He also assured that the command will continue to leverage on the change ideology of the CGC by ensuring that all loopholes for revenue leakages are blocked, while also applying sanctions for false and under declarations, insisting that compliant stakeholders would be reasonably supported through expeditious access to cargo clearance in line with global best practice,

“We will continue to re-jigg and re-strategize to ensure that we remain on top of our statutory functions with a view to ensuring that the confidence reposed on us by the CGC and the Customs Management is not taken for granted”, he further pledged.

“It is instructive to note that the Nigeria Customs Service is putting measures in place to curb the influx of arms which is why the Service recently unveiled plans to introduce the Authorized Economic Operators (AEO) programme, a platform that will enhance the streamlining of cargo clearance”.

AEO is a programme introduced by the World Customs Organisation WCO, to facilitate trade, given the security situation associated with the Import and Export businesses across international borders.