Tin Can Customs seizes tramadol consignments imported from India …Nets N105bn revenue in four months
Customs Area Controller, Tin Can Island Port, Comptroller Abdullahi Musa flanked on the right by Deputy Comptroller in charge of Enforcement, DC Dera Nnadi and on the left by by the Chief Regulatory Officer of NAFDAC, Kingsley Oduma while briefing newsmen on the seizure of two containers of Tramadol illegally imported from India and other contraband goods intercepted by the command in Lagos, Tuesday.
BY FRANCIS EZEM
The Tin Can Island Port Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted two consignments of 225mg of Tramadol Hydrochloride comprising one 40-foot and another 20-foot container of the prohibited drug falsely declared on the manifest as electrical static converters and Ciprofloxacine imported from India. One suspect has been arrested in connection with the illegal imports.
The drug, specifically marked as export without the name of the manufacturer, was intercepted following intelligence review carried by operatives of the command alongside officers of the National Agency for Food, Drug Administration and Control NAFDAC and those of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency NDLEA, both of which confirmed that the drug was harmful to the citizens.
Also seized were three pieces of 40-foot containers laden with e-wastes, which are toxic and therefore harmful to the health and environment. The command is currently liaising with the officials of the Nigerian Environmental Standards Regulation Agency NESRA, with a view to unearthing the reasons behind the import.
The command also intercepted five pieces of 40-foot containers of second hand clothing, which consist of 1,239 bales, prohibited under the absolute prohibition list, even as it seized one unit of 40-foot container laden with used tyres, listed under the import prohibition list of the Federal Government. All the seized goods have a Duty Paid Value of N124million.
Meanwhile the command has collected a whopping N104.5billion for the period covering January-April, 2018 as against the projected N116billion, which represents a performance rate of 90.09 per cent. This revenue figures also represents an increase of N22.7billion or 21.61 per cent when compared to the N82.2billion collected in the comparative period of last year.
Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Abdullahi Musa, who briefed newsmen in Lagos Tuesday on the activities of the command, attributed its impressive revenue collection to the establishment and strict adherence to the Standards Operating Procedure SOP and strong revenue drive, which has plugged leakages.
He also said that the command was committed to further transformation of its revenue collection procedure and reporting systems with the implementation of Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System NICIS II platform, which is an improvement of the NICIS I.
It was gathered that in addition to upgrading to the NICIS II platform, the command has also commenced the implementation of Biometric Access System and the introduction of a one-stop shop, which will enable the treatment of declarations with valuations, classification and other related clearing issues and queries with a view to enhance speed in the release of cargo.
The command is also working towards the automation of its cargo examination and assignment process where examination officers are assigned examinations automatically, which is designed to enhance transparency in cargo inspection processes.
Other giant strides by the commands towards promoting efficiency is the improvement of the vehicle valuation system with the attachment of the Valuation Note issued to the Single Goods Declaration SGD documents in the systems, designed to enhance quick verification of assessment and duty payments, among several other innovations.
While further commenting on the seized items, the Comptroller assured that the command would investigate the illegal importations with other relevant sister agencies while the seized goods would be handed to relevant authorities for necessary actions on the completion of the investigations.
Recall that the Command had recently reinvigorated its internal mechanisms on the resolution of disagreements arising from cargo declarations in terms of valuation, classifications, and Pre-Arrival Assessment Report PAAR-related issues arising between designated officers of the command and the trading public, especially importers and their agents in the course of international trade transactions.
This is with a view to removing all encumbrances in trade documentations at the port by enhancing timely release of cargo in line with the Federal Government’s policy on promoting ease of doing business, not only in the port industry but also across all segments of the national economy.