- Compt. Musa
- 151 containers, others worth N607.3m seized over trade infraction
By Anthony Nwachukwu
With a success story attributed to an array of enabling indices, the Tin Can Island Port (TCIP) Area Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it recorded an approximate revenue collection of N493.8 billion for 2021.
The figure exceeded its assigned revenue target of N350.1 billion by N143 billion (41.05 per cent) for the year, and indicates an increase of N108 billion (28 per cent) over the N385.8 billion generated in in 2020 financial year.
Compt. Abdullahi Musa, who disclosed these during his review of the command’s 2021 activities, added that export goods totaling 1,725,987.02 metric tons, with an approximate total Free On Board (FOB) value of N142 billion, were also facilitated by the command.
According to him, in the area of trade facilitation, a new terminal, Classic III Bonded Terminal, was opened under the Tin Can Island Container Command, which improved its cargo throughput and revenue collection.
In that vein, he stated that a total of 30,441 containers were transferred under the fast track, while 58,234 containers and vehicles were approved for transit from the mother port to bonded terminals.
Also, 36,496 containers were transported by barge from Tin Can Island Port Command to bonded terminals and Free Trade Zones (FTZs) following the successful implementation of a Standard Operational Procedure (S.O.P.) on barge movement.
Under compliance monitoring activities, Musa reported a significant improvement rating, with 2,484 (1.5 per cent) interventions from 166,903 SGDs registered in 2021 – about 63.4 per cent improvement on the 2019 compliance rating of 15,295 (9.4 per cent) out of 162,110 registered SGDs.
Equally, the command, in collaboration with the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), reported the seizure of cocaine weighing 43.110kg, concealed in 40 bags of raw sugar packaged in bulk aboard the vessel, MV SPAR SCORPIO, adding that 20 suspects and the vessel were detained in connection with the seizure.
According to him, the command has handed over the casefile, vessel and suspects to NDLEA as directed, and in line with the S.O.P. It also seized and handed over to the Department of State Services (DSS) two automatic rifles with 164 rounds of live ammunition, which were intercepted in a 1x40ft container, MEDU 49022/5.
Also, a total of 151 containers comprising 149 (40ft), two (20ft) and nine uncontainerised cargo, with an approximate total Duty Payable Value (DPV) of N607.3 million were intercepted and seized by the enforcement team.
Compt. Musa attributed these successes to the command’s “effective implementation of the World Customs Organisation Trade Recovery Guidelines,” which assisted in restoring and maintaining operational activities for continuity in the trade supply chain, trade facilitation and steady revenue generation.
He listed the guidelines to include the fast track facility and installation of scanners to minimise human contact and expedite the customs release process, especially for high priority consignments of essential medicaments and other life-saving supplies.
Additionally, existing and supplementary measures helped to achieve the command’s strategic goals, he explained, while the TCIP management devised and implemented strategies that enhanced and sustained the command’s ability to mitigate threats of non-compliance, and challenges of inadequate logistics and infrastructure at the ports.
It also built on the gains of the previous years’ operational activities, such as compliance monitoring, deployment of NICIS II, one-stop-shop, as well as dispute resolution committee and stakeholder-engagements, which helped the command in meeting its revenue target.
These also facilitated legitimate trade and enforcement of government’s fiscal/monetary policies, and were in line with the Import Guidelines & Documentation Requirements, and WCO SAFE Framework of Standards.
The command appealed for sustained major repairs of the port access roads, a more organised exit and entry system for cargo trucks, as well as provision and installation of scanners at the ports.
It noted that these will mitigate infrastructure and logistics challenges and create a more user-friendly seaport that matches international standards and enables facilitation of legitimate trade.
Meanwhile, it urged dedicated attention to the lack of government warehouses close to the port, and terminal operators’ lassitude in applying extant customs laws on the treatment of overtime cargo.
“Timely transfer of overtime cargo from the mother port and some bonded terminals to government warehouses, and the application of due process as provided by law, will not only decongest the port of abandoned or overtime containers but will also improve the cargo throughput and ultimately increase revenue collection,” it stated.
Meanwhile, banking on the approval and implementation of the e-Customs project and digitisation of all customs processes and procedures, the command has projected improved performance in revenue collection, facilitation of legitimate trade, and enhanced capacity and skills of its officers and men this 2022.