From left: Chairman of the Committee, Dr. Casmir Anyanwu and Customs Area Controller in charge of Tin Can Customs Command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf during the visit to Apapa recently.

 The Nigeria Customs Service Tin Can Island Command has significantly grown its revenue by N28.8billion in 10 months covering January-November 2017, despite the dwindling volume of imports and exports at the seaports and land borders.

Recent revenue figures released by the command show that it generated a total of 262.3 billion between January and November 2017 as against the sum of N233.5 billion generated in the corresponding period of 2016, which represents a growth rate of N28.8billion.

Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Comptroller Bashar Yusuf, who made this disclosure in Lagos, spoke while playing host to a delegation of Federation Account Allocation Committee FAAC Post Mortem Sub-Committee recently.

He attributed this feat to intensified capacity building, especially among officers and men of the command, which has helped to plug revenue leakages.

The delegation, made up of senior government officials from key revenue generating ministries and parastatals was led by its chairman Dr. Casmir Anyanwu.

The chairman, while speaking at the event, pointed out that the primary objective of the committee is to examine across board contributions into the Federation Account, which services the three tiers of government comprising the Federal, State and Local Governments with a view to ensuring that all accruable revenue to the Federal Government’s coffers is duly accounted for.

He stated that the committee, as part of its oversight function, had obtained the approval of the Comptroller-General of the service, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd) to visit all Customs commands to ascertain their strength, weaknesses and challenges with a view to appropriately advising the Federal Government on their findings.

He described Tin Can Island Port as a major gateway to the resources of the country and therefore very crucial to the Nigerian Project.

The chairman and members of the delegation expressed delight at the achievements of the command in the past18 months, having gone through the financial records particularly in the areas of consistent progress in revenue generation, capacity building for officers/men of the command as well as remarkable seizures, and urged the Controller to remain as focused as ever.

Meanwhile, Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Yusuf, while speaking at the event, expressed appreciation to the committee for the visit. He stated that the timing was apt considering the fact that the country is gradually sliding out of recession and the need to sustain the tempo.

He also disclosed that the command has made significant and steady progress in the areas of its core functions in the past 18 months when he took over the reins of the command.

Going down memory lane, he informed members of the committee of the various reforms he instituted shortly after assumption of duty, which included but not limited to the construction of a training facility with 30 workstations to take care of the training needs of not just the officers but also other critical stakeholders.

According to him, the command has started reaping the benefits of such trainings in terms of the volume of revenue generated over the period and level of compliance by traders with regards to the fiscal policies.

“We recorded remarkable seizures of cocaine with a street value of over N2billion according to report from the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA. We also handed over stolen exotic Sports Utility Vehicles SUVs to Interpol Nigeria for onward repatriation to the United States as well as seizure of cache of arms, pump action riffles totalling 2,010 which eventually necessitated the recent visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Turkey with other top government officials to see ways of curbing the menace”, he said emphatically.

While speaking on what the government can do to enhance the efficiency of the command in revenue generation, the Controller opined that infrastructural upgrade, especially the road networks to the ports, scanners and other equipment will surely enhance the output of the service.

He however assured the committee that the command will not lower its guards in all aspects of her statutory functions and promised to raise the standards of operation through renewed enthusiasm and deeper commitment from the officers/men of the Command.