The latest duty exchange rate has since been reflected on the Customs portal.
Before the latest increase, the exchange rate for customs duty in June was N420 per dollar before it was jerked up to N775 per dollar in July.
Shortly after that, it jumped to N778 per dollar before the latest increase to N951.941 per dollar.
However, the customs has explained that it would ensure that there is a minimum delay in the customs process in order to ensure customs agents take delivery of their cargo without incurring demurrage.
Explaining the position of the customs on the increase yesterday, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, the Tin Can Customs Area controller, said there was little the customs could do over the fiscal and monetary policies which he said are within the purview of the federal government while the customs merely implements them.
Nnadi, however, promised that the customs, especially his command, Tin Can Island Port, would try to optimise its service delivery by facilitating trade to minimize the anticipated delays and resultant demurrage in order to mitigate the effects of the sudden increase.
“We are all affected, including the customs officers, by the increase.
“There is no separate supermarket where they sell customs bread”
” We as Nigeria Customs officers, just like other Nigerians, woke up this morning( Yesterday, December 7th) to find out that the exchange rate, which is the yardstick for the collection of customs duty, has been jerked up.
” Before June/ July, it was 420 per dollar, by July, it jumped to N775 to dollars, shortly after, it jumped to N778 to a dollar and this morning (yesterday, December 7th), it was increased to N951.941per dollar.
” We understand the implication of this on trade, bearing in mind letters of credit have been opened, contracts have been signed, supplies have been made, and people have negotiated business transactions based on the previous exchange rate.
” And we recognize the import of this exchange rate on trade.
” We recognize what the Nigeria business community is going through but there is little we can do as customs service about the fiscal and monetary policies.
” Our role is to implement them, we do not make these policies and we align ourselves with government decisions.
” Every decision taken by government is for the collective interest of the nation and we expect that we must all abide by it.
” As Customs, what we can do to mitigate the impact of what the trading public is going to go through in the next few days because of the increase in the exchange rate is to optimise our service delivery where there are expected delays in customs process to make up for this sudden increase.
“We will try to facilitate trade so that whatever little money you would have paid on demurrage, you can now use it to make up for this sudden increase and that is what I can manage.
“We do this because if the agents go back to their importers and ask them to raise additional funds to augment the one they have paid because of the sudden increase, the importers may find it difficult to raise the money and there will be delay and the attendant demurrage.
” So what we can do as customs service, is to minimize these expected delays through facilitation of trade.
” The Nigeria Customs Service cannot manage the other aspect of price increase because that is the function of federal government directive” Comptroller Nnadi explained in a very comprehensive manner to exonerate the customs service from these sudden increases in the exchange rates.
He however believed that most of the trade activities in Nigeria are being heavily subsidized by the government which makes citizens of the neighbouring countries cross the borders to Nigeria to buy goods in Nigeria.
” But I am by no means justifying the incessant and sudden increments in tariff.
” But Nigerians must be patriotic enough to obey government policies when they are issued because every government policy is issued in the best interest of the people” the Customs chief sermonises.
Customs gives importers of improperly imported vehicles soft landing
The giant stride of Comptroller Kolade as anti-smuggling czar
One year after Comptroller Kayode Kolade assumed office on the 25th January 2023 at the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) Zone C of the Nigeria Customs Service, it has not been business as usual for economic saboteurs who ply the Eastern region to perpetuate their enterprise.
The FOU Zone C in Port Harcourt is the South East and South South Region including Bayelsa, Port Harcourt 1 and 2, Edo, Delta, Cross River and Akwa Ibom.
Compt Kolade was enlisted into the Superintendent Cadre of the Nigeria Customs Service in 1989, making tremendous progress by rising recently to the rank of Comptroller of Customs in 2024.
He has worked in various Customs Formations in different capacities.
To mention but just a few, he was DC in charge of the SIFAX bonded terminal in Apapa Port, he was D/C B1 Tincan Island Port, a position he occupied before he got appointed as the Acting Comptroller, Federal Operations Unit Zone C Owerri-based on his track records in revenue and anti-smuggling exploits.
He was also the Coordinator of, the Joint Border Patrol Team, Code-named: Border Drill Sector 1 Port Harcourt in 2018. Earlier in his career path, he has worked at Seme Border, KLT, FOU A and Headquarters respectively
Kayode Kolade was appointed to pilot the affairs of the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘C’ Owerri since January 2023 where his giant record speaks volumes.
Under the cerebral anti-smuggling czar, the Federal Operations Unit FOU, Zone “C” seized goods worth over N 5 billion in the total Duty Paid Value (DPV) category in the 2023 fiscal year.
Some of the items seized were pangolin scales, foreign parboiled rice, cannabis sativa (AKA Indian hemp), fake pharmaceutical products, tramadol, used vehicles, used tyres, used clothing and explosive raw materials among others.
As a result of the interventions of officers of the zone under Comptroller Kolade’s watch in checkmating the activities of fraudulent agents at the seaports, lots of revenues, hitherto lost, amounting to over N152 million were recovered.
Within the first three months of his resumption at Zone C, Comptroller Kolade dealt the first blow on smugglers with the interception of contraband goods valued at N2.8 billion between January 25 and March 25.
The seized items include five sacks of pangolin scales, 398 sacks of Indian hemp, weighing 8,756kg and another 2,308 compressed parcels of Indian hemp of 1kg each.
The five sacks of pangolin scales weighing 413.1kg and the 11,064kg of Indian hemp are the highest if not arguably the first seizure of such endangered species and hard drugs in the history of the zone.
Other seizures were 2,600 bottles of codeine-based cough syrup packed in 26 cartons, three exotic bulletproof vehicles, 931 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing and 484 bags of smuggled rice.
Also intercepted were 31 cartons of various medicaments including tramadol; 32 jerry cans of petrol and 540 pieces of used tyres.
Between July 25 and September 23, 2023, the FOU Zone C dealt another major blow on smugglers with the interception of cannabis sativa, raw materials for the production of explosive devices, as well as other contraband with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.6 billion.The Zone also arrested nine suspects in connection with the seizures.
Eagle-eyed officers of the command also intercepted nine sacks of 50kg each of explosive materials namely fertilizer, device cables and superpower chemicals.
The Superpower 90 which was intercepted by the unit is designed for priming applications and as a column explosive in surface and underground mining and general blasting
Other items seized include 1,329 bags of 50kg smuggled foreign rice; 417 sacks of cannabis sativa weighing 9,194kg and 627 compressed parcels of the same substance totaling 627kg.
Also impounded are one unit of an armored bullion van, 761 jumbo bales of second-hand clothing, and 883 cartons of various.
unregistered/expired medicaments, 192 packets of 225mg of tramadol, 100 cartons of wine, 5,737 pieces of used pneumatic tyres and 335 cartons of smuggled foreign tomato paste.
Meanwhile, freight forwarders operating in the maritime sector have commended the sagacity of Comptroller Kayode Kolade as a disciplined officer and a fine gentleman.
He has attended many courses as Nigeria Customs representative both locally and internationally, worthy of mention includes: INDIA trip courses on enforcement of Government Fiscal policy and Revenue, among others.
He is a recipient of many Awards in recognition of his outstanding achievements.
The most cherished is the commendation letter for outstanding performance in anti-smuggling operations from the former Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) in 2017 while he was the coordinator of CGC Strike Force Team Zone ‘C’ covering the South-South/South-East States.
He also received a lot of Merit Awards as Best Enforcement Officer at the various Customs formations where he worked from the media, too numerous to mention.
Customs suspends officer, hands over to Police over alleged collection of N.5 million bribe from car buyer
The Eyewitness Reporter
He added that “The Comptroller General of Customs Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and his Management team frowned at such unruly behavior as such, the disciplinary committee will be diligent and firm.
Comptroller Chedi thereafter handed over the suspected Officer to the APM Customs Police Unit for further investigation.
“This unprofessional and ungodly act will not be condoned. A thorough investigation has just commenced,” concluded the irate Comptroller.
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