The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said it collected a total of N256.4 billion revenue for the 2016 fiscal year irrespective of the global recession that has negatively affected international trade business volumes across the globe.

This though represents a decline of N9.7billion when compared to the N266.1billion collected in the comparative period of 2015.

A statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, Uche Ejesieme, says that the Customs Area Controller in charge of the Command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, would more than ever before provide quality leadership with a view to enhancing brilliant performance by the command both in terms of its core functions of enforcing government’s fiscal policies, checking smuggling, revenue collection and facilitating legitimate trade

“The command’s remarkable performance during the period under review attracted eulogies and encomiums especially from the Customs hierarchy. These commendations which were communicated in four different letters at the instance of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali bore testimony to the appreciation of the service. It is remarkable to state that at no time in the history of the service has any command received four letters of commendation in a space of two months. That to us is a milestone which the command will sustain in the New Year and beyond”, the PRO said emphatically.

While expressing appreciation to the Almighty God for His grace and the CGC and his management team for providing effective leadership to the service, he assured that the issue of integrity, transparency and due diligence which is encapsulated in the change mantra of the CGC, has provided the needed impetus for the service to thrive.

He also said: “We are operationally ready to cope with whatever challenge that we might encounter in the New Year and beyond. As a benchmark command, we are not leaving anything to chance in ensuring operational efficiency. At the Tin Can Island Command, we have resolved to consolidate on the gains and achievement of the past year and to do even more”.  

He however reiterated the command’s zero tolerance for false declaration and other deliberate infractions designed to shortchange the system and cause the government to lose revenue.

“In this regard, all areas of revenue leakages will be identified and blocked, and any attempt by an importer and his agent to circumvent the process will be viewed seriously. We also wish to assure all honest importers of our readiness to facilitate trade in line with global best practices”, he had assured.

It was gathered that based on performance of the previous year, the command is working towards further strengthening its relationship with other relevant government agencies, especially in the area of intelligence gathering and sharing, which helped the command in no small measure to make major seizures including those of arms and cocaine, which earned it several commendations from the Customs management.

A highlight of the command’s operational activities within the year under review shows that it intercepted large cache of arms and ammunitions at different times, which were handed over to the Department of State Security Service DSS. This is in addition to carrying out ome infrastructural upgrade, which was in deplorable condition before the new CAC took over about eight months ago.

It also impounded a total of 31 containers of 50 kg bags of parboiled imported rice falsely declared as beard improvers and yeast as well as seizure of 27 pieces of containers laden with vegetable oil packaged in 25kg jerry cans.

Others include interception and seizure of ready to eat jollof rice imported from India, bags of un-manifested substances suspected to be cocaine, which was promptly handed over to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, interception and seizure of military uniforms, bulletproof vests, gas mask and other ammunitions declared as personal effect from the United States of America, among several others.