By Chinonye Anyatonwu
The Controller in charge of the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS), Comptroller Steven Oloyede has up-scaled activities at the command, leading to seizure of 206, 000 pieces of machetes suspected to be for violent and criminal purposes, loaded in eight containers and wrongly declared as vehicle spare parts.
The command has also collected a whooping N135.4billion revenue for the first quarter of 2022, which ended March 31, as against the N112.7billion collected in the comparative period of 2021, representing an increase of N22.7billion or 20.18per cent growth rate.
Speaking to the journalists at his maiden press conference at the Command, the Comptroller disclosed that in addition to impounding the machetes, the command during the review period (January-March, 2022) also seized 145kg of Colorado Indian Hemp concealed in two units of ridgeline trucks and two pieces of Toyota Corolla cars and 640 bales of used clothes.
Others were 236, 500 pieces of used shoes, 62, 500 pairs of brand new lady’s shoes, 1, 814, 400 pieces of (500mg/5ml) Novalgen injection, 48, 850 rolls of cigarettes and 23, 800 tins of bromate and baking powder; all with a duty paid value of N1.04billion.
The import of these products contravenes section 46, 47 and 161 of Customs and Excise Management Act CEMA 2004.
The Customs boss assured that the command under his watch would continue to up-scale activities at the command using all the Information Communication Technology (ICT) mechanisms at his disposal and a robust stakeholders’ engagement.
“My arrival here signalled a new dawn in the overall performance of the command and this is simply in view of the fact that I was emphatic and categorical on my vision for a renewed enthusiasm in the areas of discipline, trade facilitation, and revenue drive devoid of extortionist tendencies.
“Tin Can Port Command’s operation for the first quarter was significantly aligned with the statutory responsibilities of the service in the area of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement/anti-smuggling activities.
In addition to the above, my mandate also included putting modalities in place to boost export and increase revenue through the use of risk management mechanisms in identifying areas of revenue leakage with a view to blocking them.
“It is also instructive to note that the command’s operations drew inspiration from the theme of the International World Customs day: Scaling up Customs digital transformation by embracing a data culture and building a data ecosystem.
“The command continues to leverage on this theme to harness such facilities that have been made available on the NICIS ii platforms such as the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report PAAR, Advance Manifest, Selectivity Engine and data analysis, which to a large extent enhanced our Risk Management Processes, culminating into trade facilitation, expedited Customs processes and ensuring collection of appropriate duty and taxes”, Comptroller Oloyede said.
Compt.Oloyede expressed appreciation to the Comptroller General and the entire management of the service for the support and clear sense of direction and their relentless efforts towards strengthening the capacity of the service to its statutory functions in line with international best practice.
He also appreciated the stakeholders including the media, noting that his appointment coincided with the crisis that greeted the introduction of the Vin valuation module, adding that the command under his watch would continue to embrace a robust stakeholders’ engagement in order to achieve the vision of the management.
Oloyede however assured that the command would continue to put out more efforts towards a better performance and is also optimistic that the e-Customs agenda of the service and the recent deployment of non-intrusive technology such as scanners, the command would be able to achieve more in its core responsibilities in revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement of the fiscal policies of the government.
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