The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Area II Command, Onne Port, Rivers State has announced that it generated a total revenue of N107.336 million from duty paid on imported goods in 2019. This, it stated in a statement, surpasses its annual target of N95.711 million for last year by N11.642 million.
The Customs Area Command of the Command, Comptroller Aliyu Galadima Saidu in the statement said a total of 24 seizures with Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N1.278 billion were also recorded in the area of anti-smuggling.
"The seizures include 99 containers comprising vegetable oil, detergents, bags of foreign rice, scraps metals, corrugated aluminium sheets, furniture, tin tomatoes (tomato paste), insect repellent/killer, bales of fabrics and wax materials. The seizures were made due to wrong documentation, false declarations, wrong classifications, concealments and non-provision of end user certificates for the imported machetes.
"Preliminary investigations carried out by the Service revealed that the primary motive for the items being smuggled was to evade paying the correct duties. On export, a total of 255,407 metric tonnes of goods with a total Free On Board (FOB) value of $78,402,057 which is equivalent to N28.420 billion at N362.5 per dollar was processed through the area last year. Also, in comparing the revenue generated between year 2018 and year 2019; the total sum of N94.044 billion was realized in Year 2018. This shows 14 per cent increase in revenue generated in year 2019 as against year 2018, "he said.
Saidu, who frowned at the continued menace of smuggling across the ports and borders, also lamented the detrimental effect it has on the nation's security, social and economic well-being.
He advised those involved in such unpatriotic behaviours to desist from it, and warned that the command will not spare anyone as efforts will be intensified in locating and investigating the economic saboteurs, no matter how they hide.
He also urged genuine business men to continue being law abiding and run their businesses with utmost compliance with the law as a way to build trust and integrity in their dealings.
Saidu, also expressed appreciation to the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd.) and his management team for their consistent encouragement and support, while reassuring continued resilience and diligence of officers and men of the Command in carrying out all statutory responsibilities without compromise.
He extended a hands of fellowship to stakeholders including sister agencies, the business community and other organisations, thanking them for their support and cooperation with the command, while commending the resilience and diligence of all the officers last year. He also urged that the effort be sustained and improved upon.
He equally thanked members of the press for their continued partnership with the command, and assured of an open door policy for conveying information to the public.
Saidu said: "2019 has come and gone. I want to commend you all for your effort in revenue collection, trade facilitation and anti-smuggling. We can do better than we did last year by staying more vigilant against smuggling, duty evasion, concealment, under declaration and other unlawful acts.
"Those involved in trade related malpractices will be looking for ways to beat the system, but we have deployed our trainings to productivity through diligent profiling, uncompromising examination, improved trade facilitation, strategized intelligence and tact exhibition for this year 2020 and beyond."