6 November 2017

Nigeria: Customs Decries Declining Economic Activities in Lagos, Abidjan

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme command has described as daunting, the challenges of drastic downturn on economic activities through the Lagos, Abidjan corridor.

That notwithstanding, the command said it generated a total of N5.3 billion from January to October, 2017.

An evaluation of the command's performance indices for the last 10 months showed that it performed creditably in the face of many limiting factors and hiccups that militated against its performance.

Commenting on the total revenue generated for the period under review, the Customs Area Controller, Mohammed Aliyu disclosed that the feat was achieved with the cooperation of his officers and men, whose resilience and doggedness could not be compromised in implementing the policy of the federal government banning the importation of rice and vehicles through the land borders.

"With the adoption of a more inclusive approach in the fight against smuggling activities, the collaborative effort with other relevant security agencies and the stakeholders has led to a tremendous result of decline in smuggling activities and increase in revenue generation.

"The anti-smuggling unit of the command made a total of 469 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of 508,469,776.32 for the period under review, "he said.

Furthermore, he said that the intensified and aggressive anti-smuggling operations in the command have led to a drastic reduction in revenue leakages, resulting in the curbing of most cross border crimes perpetrated through the land border.

Meanwhile, the command generated the sum of N678,237,118.22 as revenue for the month of October, 2017 while 123 seizures were made with a duty paid value (DPV) of N184,366,505.00 for the same month under review.

"The seized items range from fairly used vehicles, rice, second hand clothing, shoes, frozen poultry products, mosquito repellent coils, expired fertilizer and used tyres among others, "he said.

Commenting further on the movement of goods through the ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), which was adopted to promote regional trade and integration, the Customs Area Controller said that under his watch, the command was committed to the implementation of extant laws regarding transit scheme, he affirm that no import goods meant to pay duty is allowed to pass through the ECOWAS scheme.

He stressed that the rule of origin and the enterprise list were strictly used to ensure that infractions to evade duty through false declaration are avoided, while legitimate ECOWAS goods within the West Africa sub region are facilitated through the scheme.

"For the period under review, the ECOWAS compliant goods with CIF value of N11,192,249,590.01 were cleared through the corridor, the one percent comprehensive import supervision scheme fee amounted to N111,694,121.61 with revenue loss of N3,141,661,339.47, " he said.

The Customs Area Controller noted that the command in compliance with government policy of encouraging the export of home made goods has facilitated the export of made in Nigeria goods with FOB value of N9,919,324,238.49 and a total NESS collection that amounted to N49,598,169.64. The command, he added, also meticulously supervises the corridor to ensure that none of the export prohibitions is allowed to pass to another country.

Commenting on the activities at the Non-Intrusive Unit (scanner site), the Customs Area Comptroller reiterated that security and trade facilitation is strictly enhanced under the scanner unit.

He restated that the performance of the functional scanner machine has save the command from sponsored petitions of alleged smuggling of weapons into the country through the land borders.

He affirmed that the scanner which is in good working condition is helping in protecting the Nation's territorial integrity as suspected images noticed during scanning process are subjected to 100 per cent examination.

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