CAC, Tin Can Customs, Compt. Musa Abdullahi

The Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service generated a total of N179. 3billion between January and July 10, 2019. This is against the N172.5billion recorded in the comparative period of last year, representing an increase of N6.8billion.

 The command also within the review period intensified its anti-smuggling campaign, which led to the seizure of some classes of contraband goods worth over N1.2billion as well as arrest and detention of some suspects.

Details of the revenue figures released by the command show that it collected a total of N29.7billion in January 2019 as against the figures of N29.5billion collected in the comparative period of last year, representing an increase of N220.9million while it collected N23.2billion in February 2019 as against the N23.5billion collected in the corresponding period of last year, showing a marginal decrease of 249.4million.

In the month of March 2019, the command generated N25.9billion, which shows an increase of N2.1billion when compared to the N23.9billion, generated in the comparative period of 2018 which rose astronomically to a total of N27.8billion in April 2019 when compared to the N28.1billion generated in the comparative period of last year.

The command’s revenue grew to N32.8billion in May 2019, which however showed an increase of N2.3billion when compared to the N30.1billion generated in the comparative period of 2018 while it collected N28.9billion in June 2019 as against the N27.6billion in the same period of last year, which represents a decrease of N1.4billion even as a total of N11.4billion was collected within the first 10 days of July 2019 as against the N10.1billion collected in the comparative period of last year, bringing to a total of N179.3billion in the period covering January to July 10, 2019.

Speaking on the operational activities of the command, Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Musa Baba Abdullahi, noted that the command has gone beyond revenue collection to creating enabling environment for legitimate trade to thrive in line with the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari on ease of doing business.

According to him, this directive coupled with the resolve of the command to enhance efficiency has led to the achievement speedy clearance of cargo from the ports and also reduce the cost of doing business, a development that has partly projected the command as a hub and most business- friendly command.

It was further gathered that the command is also leaving no stone unturned in its anti-smuggling campaign in view of the devastating effect of smuggling on the nation’s economy as well as its implications on lives and security.

It was in the light of this resolve that command seized five pieces of 40-foot containers and another four units of 20-foot containers laden with contraband goods such as used tyres, used rims, bags of rice, cartons of Tramadol and other pharmaceuticals with a total Duty Paid Value DPV of N1.2billion.

“Deliberate and concerted efforts are being made to ensure that examination and releasing officers remain proactive in the discharge of their statutory functions”, the CAC said.

The command had also in line with Federal Government’s non-oil export drive as part of efforts to enhance the nation’s balance of trade during the period under review embarked on full automation of its export procedures to enhance seamless transactions. 

To this effect, the command achieved a total of 150,930.7 metric tonnes of non-oil export  with free on board FOB value of N68.9billion against the 118,452.87 metric tonnes handled by the command in the corresponding period of last year with FOB value of N63.1billion.

Stakeholders believe that these milestones recorded in the area of non-oil export clearly indicate that the awareness campaign on the need to take advantage of the automated export procedures mounted by the command is yielding good results.

The CAC however assured that the command under his watch will continue to sensitise and encourage would be exporters.

He also assured that the command will continue to adequate attention to the issue of facilitation of legitimate trade, a development, he said necessitated the creation of various platforms for expeditious resolution of disputes and issues related thereto, which include regular stakeholders’ engagement and feedback, setting up of Dispute Resolution Committee, facilitating time release studies, creation of a help desk, promoting one-stop shop in cargo clearance and encouraging the use of fast track facilities by importers.

It was gathered that this approach has led to the speedy resolution of disputes arising from valuation, classification, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report PAAR, among several others.

Another giant stride being planned by the command is the use of barges for transferring cargo to off-dock terminals with a view to reducing port congestion by speeding up cargo delivery considering the fact that cargo volumes are increasing, thus overstretching existing road infrastructure.