Onne Customs rakes in N128.3b in nine months
• Officers urged to embrace technology
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area II Command Onne Port, Rivers State, has collected a total of N128.3 billion as revenue from January to September 2021.
This figure, as released through the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Ifeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, shows an increase of N45.7billion above the N82.5 billion collected in the same period of 2020. The increase represents 55.4 percent.
Giving a comparative breakdown of the third quarter collections between 2020 and 2021, the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Auwal Mohammed, said the command collected N14 billion, N17.8billion and N18.2billion respectively in July, August and September, 2021, as against the N10.9 billion, N12.2 billion and N13.1billion within the same period in 2020.
Mohammed attributed the steady monthly increases to the volume of trade, strict adherence to extant customs procedure, blocking of possible areas of revenue leakages and zero tolerance for infractions capable of undermining national economy and security.
On anti-smuggling activities, Mohammed said the command made 29 seizures totalling N9.7 billion Duty Paid Value (DPV) within the period under review.
The Controller gave a breakdown of the seized items as follows: 3,057 bags of 50 kg rice; 89 bales and 3,200 pieces of textile fabrics; 37 cartons and 4,824 pieces of wine/alcoholic beverages;1,650 cartons of tomato paste; 7,560 pieces of raw hides/unprocessed leather; 2,230 cartons of beers/spirits; 1,387 cartons of Tramadol; and 124 cartons of tapentadol.
Other seizures made include: two units of Used Mitsubishi buses; 210 bales of second hand clothing; 4,029 pcs of used tyres; 16 units of Used engine gear box and auto spare parts; 310 pallets of laser ketchup; 956 Jerrycans of 25litres of vegetable oil; 750 cartons of supergold candle; 2,970 cartons of foreign soap; and 500 cartons of medicaments.
He said so far, nine suspects have been arrested in connection with the seizures and are at various stages of investigation and prosecution in courts of competent jurisdiction.
On export, the Controller said the command processed commodities and products including sesame seeds, ginger, cocoa beans, hibiscus, fluorite ore, lead ore, palm kernel shell, cotton, float glass and others.
He said the exported commodities and products totalling 767,089.53 metric tonnes with free onboard value of $250.7million also has a total Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) value of N463.08 million.
Mohammed urged port users to keep abreast with extant import and export guidelines to avoid their cargoes being seized and them facing arrest or prosecution in accordance with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
While commending the uncompromising disposition of the officers and men of the Command, the Area Controller expressed optimism that more revenue collection, increased trade facilitation and time saving advantages would be achieved in the command with the introduction of the recently procured mobile scanner.
“With the coming of the scanner, which is a non-intrusive apparatus, cargo examination will now be conducted with the use of x-ray. We can now double our daily containers examination, which saves time, increases revenue, detects infractions easily and facilitates trade,” Mohammed said.
MEANWHILE, the Customs Area Controller has enjoined the newly promoted officers of the Command to embrace Customs related technology and acquire more knowledge to perform better in the face of modernisation.
Speaking in Onne at the decoration ceremony of 115 newly promoted officers of the command, Mohammed said every officer should show interest in the ongoing modernisation of the service operations through the e-customs project.
The CAC said using artificial intelligence for customs purposes have been noted to be time saving, helps in achieving accuracy, prevention of mistakes and increasing overall productivity
According to him, the newly promoted officers of the command should see themselves as shining examples of an evolving modern Customs organisation that will be comparable with their peers across the globe.
“This promotion will cause some of you to take superior responsibilities. Make it a point of duty to transfer knowledge to junior officers for ease of transition and seamlessness of our operations at all times
“Keep up the good work and dedication to service that earned you these elevations and always be worthy examples as leaders wherever you find yourselves. For those who did not get it this time around, I urge them to brace up with hope. There is always another opportunity for promotion” he said.
The newly promoted officers are three comptrollers, six deputy comptrollers, four assistant comptroller and 13 chief superintendent of customs, 22 superintendent of customs, 39 deputy superintendent of customs, 18 assistant superintendent of customs 1 and 10 assistant superintendent of customs ll.