Customs surpasses 2021 revenue target, collects N2.3trn
Few days to the end of the year 2021, the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has collected the sum of N2.3 trillion as revenue into the federation account in 2021.
The figure was higher than the 2021 target of N1.679 trillion.
Timi Bomodi, the Deputy National Public Relations Officer of the service make this disclosure at a stakeholders/media engagement on trade facilitation in Lagos on Monday.
Bomodi spoke on the topic: “Trade facilitation, a tool for enhanced revenue generation: The NCS perspective.”
“2021 has been eventful for NCS, as it achieves major milestones, in spite of the debilitating effect of COVID-19, which has had negative effects on the socio-economic lives of people around the globe.
“The year began with high expectations with regards to revenue generation and the enforcement of fiscal policy and based on 2020 target achieved was given the onerous task of collecting N1.679 trillion.
“In the current year, the NCS has already exceeded expectations in revenue generation by going beyond the target set for it by the government, achieving N2.3 trillion,” he said.
He added that in its anti-smuggling activities, the NCS had made landmark seizures of prohibited items and items prohibited by trade.
“In August, the service made seizures of 17,137 kg of pangolin scales, 44 kg elephant tusks and 60 kg in pangolin claws all valued at over N22 billion.
“This was made possible through active collaboration between NCS, U.S, the UK, and German officials who helped in tracking the suspicious shipment and led to the arrest and prosecution of some foreign nationals and their local collaborators.
“In October, FOU operatives in zone A seized 751 bullets concealed in Garri sacks, while arms, ammunition and military uniforms were intercepted at Tincan port Lagos in September just to mention a few.
“Our warehouses in all border formations are overflowing with seizures of rice, groundnut oil, used clothing, used vehicles and others,” he said.
Bomodi said that at Apapa Area I Command, through collaboration with sister agencies and the Nigerian Navy, a landmark seizure of cocaine with a DPV of 54 million dollars was made.
He said that the arrests and seizures were daily features in the activities of customs officers nationwide, and they underscored the fact that they operated in a highly non-compliant environment.
According to him, the Customs is looking forward to a work environment where respect for principles and practice of international trade are the watchwords.
“We hope in 2022, importers, exporters and their agents will comply willingly and take full advantage of the opportunities NCS offers for expedited clearance,” he said.
Bomodi said that to enhance trade facilitation, NCS had integrated and automated over 90 percent of its activities.
He pointed out that the e-customs project taking off in 2022 would also provide end-to-end automation aimed at eliminating physical contact.
Meanwhile, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, the Area Comptroller of the Apapa Command, noted that trade facilitation cannot be harnessed and enjoyed without ensuring the compliance level of traders.
Yusuf explained that trade facilitation had to do with harmonisation, standardisation, modernisation and automation of trade procedures in the supply chain by deploying minimal resources in order to get great output.
“NCS has deployed tools to ensure that trade was being facilitated for people to carry out their goods on time without it accumulating demurrage, deploy scanners to ensure the use of selectivity in inspection of containers,” he said.
He said that in complying, traders must declare the actual cargo carried the duty, quantity and value of the cargo.
“You cannot hide under trade facilitation and conceal things in the container and NCS will not facilitate such trade,” he said
Dog eats dog as Customs officer shoots colleague at border
The spokesman of the Nigeria Customs Service Kano/Jigawa Area Command, SC Nura Saidu, confirmed the incident in a statement.
“Our hearts go out to all those affected by this tragic event, and we extend our deepest empathy to the family and friends of the victim,” he said.
“Our top priority is the well-being and safety of the victim and the larger community at this difficult time.
“We would like to remind everyone that the Service rests utmost importance on responsible firearm handling.
“We will continue to provide updates as the investigation progresses and more information becomes available,” Mr Sa’idu said.
It was gathered that other victims in the vehicle were admitted at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, and are responding to treatment.
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Exclusive! KLT capacity is underutilised by 80 per cent through low cargo volume—-Bomodi
The Eyewitness reporter
The new Customs Area Comptroller of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal(KLT), Comptroller Timi Bomodi, has identified gross under-utilization of the command as one of its core challenges that his administration is tirelessly working to correct.
Bomodi, who resumed duties in the off-dock facility as its CAC in February 2023, said the terminal has an installed capacity for over 6000 20-footer equivalent units but currently doing less than 10 percent.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with our reporter in his office Wednesday, Bomodi lamented that despite the strategic position of the terminal for ease of cargo evacuation, poor communication of its benefits to importers and their agents has rubbed the facility off the required patronage from would-be customers.
He also identified apathy among the shipping companies to use the terminal despite its inherent advantages of speed and cost-effectiveness, a situation he blamed on the low cargo inflow to the terminal.
” Kirikirio Lighter terminal is mainly an off-dock facility. It doesn’t receive vessels directly, nor does it receive cargo through transfer from other ports. Occasionally, we get transfers by Lighters through one of our bonded warehouses.
”The major challenge we have here is a challenge of traffic, getting more cargo into the terminal.
”The total capacity of the command is over 6000 20-footer equivalent units. But right now, we are not even doing up to 10 percent of that. And when you have facilities that are vast but underutilized, then it is an issue.
”I feel there is poor communication of the strategic importance of the KLT
”A lot of importers and their agents don’t know that it is easier to import through KLT than most other ports.
”It is easier in the sense that after all Customs procedures, which are the same at all Customs Commands, it is easier for trucks to come into the command and take the goods out, which is not so with most ports in Lagos due to the chaotic transport situation and the queueing system.
”You have an electronic call-up system in the other two major ports and that creates a lot of time lag before your trucks come in and you take your goods out. We don’t have those challenges here and because of that, we believe importers will be better served in a place like KLT because of the short time it takes to get your goods out” disclosed Bomodi.
He lamented that despite these inherent advantages, the command is experiencing a low volume of cargo. This according to him leads to underutilization of the terminal and underperformance of the officers whom he said are well-trained, equipped and properly motivated.
”The officers we have here are just like other officers we have in other commands: well-trained, well equipped and highly motivated to work but grossly underutilized. So as far as Customs procedure goes, we are just like any other conventional port.
”The only thing we don’t have here is a scanning machine. Everything is done manually, physical examination. But that is not an impediment to the facilitation of trade because as I said, we have the space, equipment and well-motivated officers to make the examination process fast and seamless.”, the CAC claimed.
He also claimed that the command has a well robust export terminal which is now operational and connected to the Customs server.
”We also have an advantage for exports. As I mentioned earlier, it is easier for people to come into the terminal and take out their cargo because, in this command, traffic is not so bad on this axis compared to others. So if somebody wants to export his goods through the command, it is a lot easier to do so.
”Right now, we have an export terminal called Tesic that is now operational and connected to the Customs server. This export terminal has the space, they have the capacity to process large volumes of exports through the command.
So there are so many advantages that you get from using this place and we want a lot of people to know about it so that we can have an increase in traffic.
Bomodi however said it is not in his place as a Customs officer to woo importers to the command as his main job is to facilitate customs processes.
”It is not in my place to woo anybody. As a Customs officer, my primary responsibility is to attend to the business of Customs in this Command.
”We only highlight the challenges such as the underutilization of the critical assets in the command because we know we can do a lot more than we are presently doing.
”And that the importers and their agents need to be aware of the advantage of doing business in the command and that they need to know that they will save cost and time by using the command.
”The longer it takes to take goods out of the port, the more expensive it is because of the charges such delays will accrue on the goods from the shipping companies and terminal operators”
Bomodi thumbed his chest that it takes a maximum of 48 hours to exit goods outside the terminal after all customs processes have been completed without any issue.
”In KLT, the significant amount of such extra costs can be eliminated because it only takes a maximum of 48 hours to clear your goods from the command if there are no issues.
He, however, believed that the decision to move cargo from one point to the other is not necessarily that of the command, but that of shipping companies.
”The shipping companies, by virtue of their work processes, value time and want a quick turnaround of the vessels and return of their containers. So all these factors will be taken into consideration before they ship cargo into any port.
”Then you wonder why the shipping companies are not taking maximum advantage of a place like KLT because ordinarily, they should. It makes more sense for them to do so.
”Why are they not making use of the command? Well, that is the question you should ask them because I don’t know.
”We have quite a few shipping companies servicing this place such as MSC, Maesrsk and others and you know a good number of them come in by transire and they do this in trickles. If we can get them to do a lot more, then everybody will benefit from it.”
”Shipping companies make their money from the hiring of their boxes, containers are like buildings. They make more money from the high turnover of how the containers are rented out to more people rather than tying them for a longer period with few customers.
”The business process of these shipping companies encourages the use of such places like KLT but I don’t know why they are not using it and that is what you have to ask them”Bomodi bemoaned.
He however acknowledged the negative impact of the low traffic volume on the revenue profile of the command
”Of course, it does. The fewer the cargo, the less revenue we are likely to generate. But this does not mean we are not working tirelessly to block all revenue loopholes.
”Our poor revenue generation is a reflection of the low level of cargo at the command and that is what we have to deal with.
Bomodi disclosed that the command has a revenue target of N60 billion for the year 2023 but was hopeful of meeting the projection despite the daunting challenges confronting the KLT.
”We do believe that as the traffic improves, so also our revenue will scale up.
”Our revenue target for this year is about a billion. We can only be optimistic about meeting the target in the face of the daunting challenges I have just enumerated.
”We can’t afford not to be optimistic. We do hope and pray that things will change for the better because the year so far has been very turbulent in terms of trade, especially between January to this period, a lot of things have taken place which have affected cargo volume in particular and the economy in general and our operations cannot be separated from these economic challenges in the country.
”Hopefully, by the time the new administration is sworn in and there is stability in the system, this will likely lead to an upsurge in the economic activities in the county which will in turn positively affect our operations, Bomodi enthused.
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