The Area ll Command, Nigeria Customs Service in Onne Port, has achieved a record-breaking revenue collection of N188.6 billion (N188,643,692,057) from January to December, 2021.
This was disclosed on Monday in a statement by Mrs Ifeoma Ojekwu, Customs Public Relations Officer, Area ll Command Onne Port, Rivers.
Ojekwu stated that the Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Auwal Mohammed, who made the announcement, described the feat as the highest in the history of the command.
The statement also quoted the Comptroller Mohammed as saying that the command’s revenue generation in 2021 surpassed the 2020 collection by N69.6bn (N69, 684,478,058).
According to the statement a total of N118, 959,215,999 were generated as revenue by the command in 2020.
On enforcement and anti-smuggling activities, the CAC also revealed that 34 seizures were made in 2021 with a total duty paid value of N11, 983,429,216 for such seizures.
“Prominent among the seizures is 1,387 cartons of tramadol falsely declared to evade detection. Other seizures include rice, engine parts, vegetable oil and other concealed items with intent by defiant agents and importers to evade accurate duty payments.’’
Mohammed said that the command also processed 1,083,846 metric tonnes of cargo with a total Free On Board (FOB) value of $402,367,568 on exports within the period under review.
According to the statement, the Nigerian Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) value of the total export is N764,462,724 within the period.
Mohammed, who commended the officers of the command for their relentless commitment to ensuring facilitation of legitimate trade and preventing smuggling of any form, urged them to intensify efforts in carrying out all NCS functions in the command in 2022.
He advised them to brace up with technology as the procured scanners would be deployed soon for faster cargo clearance and easier detection of concealments.
He assured that the command would continue to build on achieved successes recorded through customs community relations effort.
Also, the CAC in an end of the year interaction with senior officers commended them for the feats jointly achieved in revenue collection, enforcement and trade facilitation.
“They are indeed laudable milestones that we must not only sustain but also improve upon for the benefit of our country’s economy and national security.
“Indeed, our various meetings with stakeholders and port users paid off in 2021 because we have noted remarkable improvements in compliance levels. As we enter 2022, let us continue to blend our enforcement capability with intelligence, to always detect all attempts at circumventing the law through false declarations, under declarations and concealments.
“In 2022, whoever attempts doing the wrong thing, like smuggling through Onne Port, will get his cargo seized and risk facing arrest for prosecution in accordance with the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA).
“We cannot afford to compromise our positions or disappoint on the trust reposed on us. I hereby advise once again, that all importers and agents using this area for their businesses stay on the part of compliance at all times,” he said.