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Freight Forwarders applaud Customs over new VIN valuation

—- as reworked policy comes on stream Friday
Eyewitness reporter
In a rare show of satisfaction and mutual agreement, the highly critical freight forwarders have applauded the Nigeria Customs Service over the new Vehicles Identification Number (VIN) valuation policy.
The new vehicle valuation, which was first introduced about two months ago, was greeted with uproar from the freight forwarders who described the policy as inhuman and unrealistic due to the high values it placed on vehicles.
This led to the suspension of the system by the customs authority which thereafter reworked and improved the policy by accommodating the observations and grievances of freight forwarders.
At the second stage of the demonstration and sensitization of stakeholders on the new VIN valuation held at the Apapa Customs command Thursday, the freight Forwarders were full of praises for the customs over the improved valuation system which they all agreed has addressed and accommodated their views.
“This is very good. The new VIN valuation system has accommodated all our observations, even though there is room for improvement.
“It has taken care of the savage vehicles and accidented vehicles, which the first VIN didn’t consider”, Kayode Farinto, the Acting President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) and one of the most critical voices of the system, said.
Earlier, the Customs Area Controller of Apapa Command, Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, who is the host, enjoined the stakeholders to take full advantage of the automated system which he said would make goods clearance procedure seamless and faster.
While welcoming the stakeholders to the sensitization meeting, Comptroller Yusuf urged them to be compliant with the extant guidelines to enable them to enjoy the benefits of the new system.
He assured them help desk would be created in each of the commands to help resolve the teething problems that are bound to crop up, adding that there would be continuous engagement and improvement on the new valuation policy.
He told the appreciative stakeholders that the VIN valuation policy is irreversible and will be deployed this Friday, May 20th, 2022.
Comptroller Festus Okun, the Customs Area Controller of Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command said the Customs, through the VIN valuation, has imbibed basic principles of taxation which include predictability, neutrality, simplicity, and efficiency.

Comptroller Kunle Oloyede of Tin Can Island Port,  described VIN as a platform for robust gathering of statistical analysis and data for national economic purposes relying on the template of accuracy that will further integrate NCS with other ministries, departments and agencies.

Comptroller Hammi Swomen of Kirikiri Lighter Terminal Command, who sought more cooperation from all stakeholders, stated that sincere declarations without tampering with relevant information contained in Single Goods Declaration or mismatching information will aid in quicker clearance and seamlessness of the VIN system.

Comptroller Anthony Udenze of the Tariff and Trade Department at Customs headquarters urged vehicle importers and their agents to avoid acts that would delay the process of clearing.

He explained that the process of identifying salvage and accident vehicles under the VIN regime would be very transparent as the declarant would be expected to attach photos showing the accidented vehicles.

He further explained that for vehicles to be treated as accidented, the chassis must be affected by the accident not just by removing fenders, bumpers and headlamps.

However, Farinto called for true declaration and compliance on the part of freight forwarders. w2hivh he said will facilitate their clearance of goods and also made the Customs to introduce more changes such as auto release for used vehicles.

Comptroller Yusuf promised that the issue of auto release of used vehicles, which is not yet accommodated in the new system, will be looked into by the Customs High Command.
The new improved VIN valuation policy has therefore addressed most of the major concerns of stakeholders who said they couldn’t wait to start using the system.
The new system has been given a human face as the assessed values are adjudged as fair and the process transparent by the freight forwarders.
It has also considered the two options of salvage vehicles and accidented vehicles.
It is harmonisation and unification of all the hitherto isolated different values at the commands.
According to Comptroller Udenze, the new VIN valuation considers all the variants and series of all vehicles.
The technological system, which is expected to promote trade facilitation, has also been amended to reflect the reduction in the value of vehicles..

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Customs

Nnadi, Tin Can CAC, makes historic visit to MARAN to deepen mutual working relationship.

Funso Olojo 
Apparently acknowledging the pioneering status of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria(MARAN) as a leading light in maritime journalism, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Area Controller of the Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, storms the International Press Centre of the flagship maritime journalists group Friday, July 12th, 2024.
Nnadi’s visit to the Secretariat of MARAN on 13c Marine Road, Apapa is geared towards forging a strong bond and mutually beneficial working relationship between his command and MARAN.
MARAN hopes to, among other issues, engage the Controller of Tin Can Island Customs Command on the activities of the Command in boosting trade for the overall benefit of the nation.
Comptroller Nnadi has remained a dedicated officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) with visible impacts in various Commands he has presided over in the past.
He also has a shining antecedent as an articulated and astute public relations person when he held sway as a public relations officer of Apapa command as a middle-cadre officer before his deserving string of promotions and eventual elevation to his present enviable status as a command’s helmsman.
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Customs

House of Representatives beams searchlight on bonded terminals, free trade zones over influx of arms, ammunition into Nigeria

—as Customs realises N2.742 trillion in six months 
Funso Olojo 
Apparently alarmed by the avalanche of seizures of arms and ammunition made by the Nigeria Customs Service recently, the House Committee on Customs and Excise has vowed to scrutinize the operational activities of the country’s bonded terminals and free trade zones.
This decision was made in the belief that these facilities are being used as conduit pipes to smuggle these dangerous weapons into the country.
Revealing the move of the lawmakers on Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 while on an oversight visit to the Customs Headquarters, Abuja, the Chairman, House Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon. Leke Abejide, said the probe was aimed at identifying the complicit operators and eradicating their nefarious activities.
It would be recalled that the Customs, in quick succession, make seizures of large caches of arms and ammunition at Tin Can Port, Onne Port and Lagos ports, the quantity of which alarmed the Nigerian government.
While leading other members of the committee to the Customs headquarters, Abejide commended the vigilance, efficiency and dedication of men and officers of the customs for these seizures and their impressive record of revenue generation
 “We will scrutinise the activities of Bonded Terminals and the operations of the Free Trade Zones (FTZ) facilities across the country to identify and eradicate any illegal businesses and activities”, the lawmaker declared.
 Abejide applauded the outstanding revenue generation, trade facilitation and the Service’s recent achievements in the seizures of arms and ammunition in a Bonded Terminal in Onne Port, Rivers State.
The Chairman also commended a similar seizure made by the officers of NCS Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos  State, which, according to him, is a testament to Customs vigilance and effectiveness.
He observed that the seizures have potentially saved countless Nigerian lives, demonstrating the exceptional skills and dedication of NCS personnel in protecting the nation’s borders.
He urged the NCS officers not to relax, stating that “Every weapon and illicit item seized is a victory, but every attempt to smuggle them into Nigeria is a call to redouble our efforts.”
Responding, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, said the service is indeed grateful for such commendation, recognition, and applause from the House Committee on Customs and Excise.
The CGC stated that the presence of the House committee underscores the critical role that legislative oversight plays in ensuring the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of NCS operations and project implementation.
According to him, as committee members, their dedication to scrutinising and supporting NCS activities is invaluable.
 “The insight you bring into the oversight function and the guidance you have always provided helps Customs to serve the nation better, facilitate trade and secure the borders while collecting revenue, vital to the economy.”
‘’In all aspects of our work and projects, I want to assure you that we submit wholeheartedly to legislative compliance, and we will be willing to implement directive resolutions given to us in the day-to-day operation of the Nigeria Customs Service.
“Your feedback and recommendations are crucial to our efforts to streamline our processes to improve our efficiency and uphold the highest standard of integrity and services,” he stated.
Giving a breakdown of the success stories of the NCS, Caroline Niagwan, the Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Tariff and Trade, said the service was able to generate 2.742trillion naira within the first half of 2024, surpassing the first half of the year’s expected revenue target of 2.539trillion naira, representing 54 percent of the revenue target for the year.
She said, “In the period under review, the average daily revenue collection has been N27.5 billion daily, surpassing the target of N19.460 billion
“The service has achieved a 126.64 percent increase within the first half of the year due to teamwork and measures put in place to block revenue leakages.
“We have an outstanding 2.168 trillion to collect.”
She noted that for the service to align with international best practices, trade facilitation tools have been upgraded to Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) Programs where reliable and compliant traders are rewarded for taking their goods with little or no customs control when they meet specific safety and security standards.
Also speaking, Deputy Comptroller-General in charge of Enforcement, Inspection and Investigation, Bello Jibo, revealed that ‘Operation Whirlwind’ had made a lot of seizures of petroleum products.
 He revealed that NCS is collaborating with the NNPC to achieve so much.
“On the issue of security, the CGC held a press conference in Onne, Port-Harcourt, where a container fully loaded with arms and ammunition was arrested by our officers, which was later handed over to the Office of the National Security Adviser (ONSA).
” We collaborate and exchange intelligence among ourselves to enhance our activities.’’ DCG Jibo stated.
Furthermore, the Assistant-Comptroller General in charge of Information and Communication Technology, Kikelomo Adeola, revealed that unit officers built the application for the e-auction.
She stated that capacity-building programs are ongoing as part of the deliverables of the Trade Modernization Project, in addition to the provision of software and hardware components of the exercise.
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Customs

Adeniyi, CGC, performs groundbreaking ceremony of 30-bed ultra-modern reference hospital in Bauchi

 Funso Olojo
The Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Adewale Adeniyi, on Monday, 8 July 2024, performs a groundbreaking ceremony for a 30-bed ultra-modern reference hospital donated by  Abdul Samad Rabiu (ASR) Initiative for Africa in Bauchi.
Speaking at the event, CGC Adewale Adeniyi expressed profound gratitude to the ASR Initiative for their generous contribution, emphasising the project’s significance in enhancing the welfare of customs officers and the local community.
“We are happy to be a recipient of this great project. It will immensely help our officers and the entire community,” he stated.
Dr. Ubong Udoh, CEO of the ASR Initiative for Africa, extended his appreciation to CGC Adeniyi for honouring his commitment by attending the ceremony.
He highlighted the enduring nature of the partnership between the ASR Initiative and the NCS, noting the limitless potential of their collaborative efforts.
“I believe the potential of what we can achieve as partners is limitless,” Dr. Udoh remarked.
Hon. Tanko Dutse, representing the local community, thanked the CGC for supporting the NCS office in Bauchi.
He acknowledged the office’s positive impact on security and other local issues.
“The community and state at large appreciate the presence of the NCS. This hospital will allow our people who lack the means to access other medical facilities to receive necessary healthcare.
“We appeal for more of such Corporate Social Responsibilities,” he said.
Architect Muktar Aliyu, the project manager,  assured attendees of the hospital’s potential to revolutionise healthcare services in the area.
 “This 30-bed ultra-modern hospital is a commitment to healthcare and the community’s future.
“Together, we can build a legacy of resilience and quality healthcare,” he stated.
The groundbreaking ceremony marks a significant milestone in the NCS’s efforts to enhance the welfare of its personnel and contribute to the community’s well-being, reflecting the strong partnership between the Nigeria Customs Service and the ASR Initiative for Africa.
In a separate engagement, the CGC addressed the officers and men serving in  Zone  D Headquarters, Bauchi/Gombe Area Command and Federal Operations Unit Zone D,
“I am here to encourage you to do more by effectively discharging the statutory functions of NCS in this Zone.
“Make sure you utilise the opportunity at your disposal to improve yourselves intellectually in preparation for future challenges. “
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