Chris Steven, Abuja
The Nigeria Custom Service (NCS), Tin-Can Island Port Command Lagos said it collected N237.26 billion revenue between January and October 2017, an increase over the N207.93 billion recorded in the corresponding period in 2016.
Bashar Yusuf, Controller of the command, who made this known in a statement on Monday in Lagos, said that the command had been repositioned for greater efficiency.
He said that the command had developed operational templates which were carefully articulated to ensure adherence to due diligence by stakeholders and entrenchment of professionalism and integrity by officers.
Yusuf said that the command relied mostly on capacity building, training and re-training of officers which ultimately led to the increase in revenue collection.
“You will recall that the command alone recorded three different seizures of arms and recently seized two containers of suspected controlled drugs (Tramadol) falsely declared as used vehicles and computer accessories,’’ he said.
The controller said that the command had diminished the capacity of unpatriotic importers through several measures.
He said that the seizures were made through high profile intelligence using Information Communication Technology (ICT) as a major tool.
“Our new strategic focus has strengthened not only statutory responsibility of revenue generation, but also safety of lives by decimating the tendency of unscrupulous importers who bring in unwholesome drugs.
“Just recently our President was in Turkey with the Comptroller-General of Customs alongside other top government functionaries on a diplomatic visit and the issue of arms were discussed after which a Memorandum of Understanding was signed to ensure that such illicit imports are curtailed,’’ the controller said.
On plans for the ember months, the controller gave assurance that efforts would be made to ensure sustained increase in revenue and facilitation of legitimate trade.
He commended the Comptroller-General of Customs, Retired Col. Hameed Ali, and the management for promoting five officers of the command as a result of the recent arms seizures.
“It is instructive to note that the Nigeria Customs Service is putting measures in place to curb the influx of arms.
“ This is why the service recently introduced the Authorised Economic Operators (AEO) programme, a platform that will enhance the streamlining of cargo clearance,’’ Yusuf said.
The controller described AEO as a programme of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) to facilitate trade across international borders.
Yusuf said that the command had leveraged on the change ideology of the comptroller-general by ensuring that all revenue leakages were blocked and applying sanctions against false and under-declarations.