By Omenihu Alfred fibmn

The energetic, proactive and strategical prowess of the quintessential Customs Area Controller AAS OLOYEDE at TINCAN IIsland Port Command, Apapa Lagos has received massive commendation by the Maritime media practitioners and industry stakeholders. The recent press conference held at Tincan Island Customs command yesterday, revealed the huge results of the CAC”s efforts. It was also an opportunity for first quarter revenue and performance report of the command from 1st of January to 31st March in 2022 fiscal year.

You will vividly recall that his resumption in office at Tincan Island command coincided with the mass protest by the freight forwarders following the deployment of the VIN Valuation platform aimed at harmonization of value across board and also for security reasons. It is on record that CAC AAS OLOYEDE was able to handle the situation because he has a comparative advantage of having participated actively in the formulations and eventual deployment of the module consequently activities were normalized.

From all indications, his arrival brought about a new dawn in the overall performance of the command. He was emphatic and categorical in his vision for a renewed enthusiasm in the area of discipline, trade facilitation and revenue drive devoid of extortionist tendencies. Talking about the first quarter report the in-depth civil engineer and proficient ICT expert noted that the January-March 2022 report significantly aligned with the statutory responsibilities of the service in the area of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement/anti snuggling activities. Continuing, the CAC said, ” In addition to the above, my mandate also included putting modalities in place to boast export and increase revenue through the use of risk management mechanisms in identifying areas of leakages with a view to blocking same. It is also instructive to note that the command’s operations drew inspiriation from the theme of the international customs’ day, ” Scaling up customs digital transformation by embracing 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 ll platform such as pre- arrival assessment report ( PAAR), advance manifest, selectively engine and data analysis which to a large extent enhanced our risk management processes culminating into trade facilitation, expedited customs processes and ensuring the collection of appropriate duties and taxes”.

Going further, he stated that in the area of Revenue generation for the first quarter January-March 2022, Tincan Island Port achieved a revenue collection of one hundred and thirty-five billion, four hundred and forty three million, two hundred and twenty three thousand, two hundred and eighty three naira and thirty one Kobo (135, 443, 223, 283, 31).This is an improvement of twenty two billion, seven hundred and forty seven million, five hundred and thirty thousand, one hundred and twenty four naira and sixty five Kobo, ( N22, 747, 530, 124.65) translating 20.18% increase from the first quarter of 2021 collection of one hundred and twelve billion, six hundred and ninety five million, six hundred and ninety three thousand, one hundred and fifty eight naira, sixty six Kobo, (N112, 695, 158.66).

With regards to export, it was reported that the total tonnage of goods exported through Tincan Island port for the period under review January- March 2022 is seventy one thousand and ,fourteen metric tonnes (71,014.4 MT) with a total FOB value of fifty six billion, two hundred and five million, nine hundred and one thousand, two hundred and ninety five naira (N56, 205, 901, 295.00) while in the preceding year January to March 2021, the total tonnage of goods exported through the command was forty four thousand, five hundred and two Metric tonnes ( 44,502.9 MT)vwith a total FOB value of thirty one billion, three hundred and seventy one million eight hundred and twenty five thousand, nine hundred and fifty four naira, (N 31, 371, 825, 954.00). Comparing the two statistics presented here, it will be observed that the total tonnage increased from 44, 502.9 metric tonnes to 71,014 representing an increased of 62.67%. The FOB value in naira increased from N31,371, 825, 954.00 to N56, 205, 901, 295.00 representing an increased of 55.82% within the period under review. The commodities exported through the command include the following, copper, ingots, stainless steel ingots, sasame seeds, cashew nuts, cocoa beans, rubber, cocoa butter, leather, ginger, frozen shrimps etc.

In the area of enforcement/anti smuggling activities, the CAC informed the press that the seizures made include 145kg of Colorado (Indian hemp) concealed in two units of Ridgeline trucks and two units of Toyota corolla vehicles, 206,000 pieces of matchers, 640 bales of used cloths, 236,500 pieces of used shoes, 62,500 pieces of new ladies’ shoes, 1,670,400 pieces of chloroquine injections (5mg/5,ml), 1,814,400 pieces of Novalgin injection (500mg/5ml), 48,850 rolls of cigarettes and 23,800 tins of sodium bromate and baking powder. The import if these products contravenes section 46,47 and 161 of the customs and excise management act (CEMA) cap 45 LFN 2004 . The duty paid value of these seizures amounted to N 1, 48,810, 569.00.

Furthermore, on overtime cargo, the CAC reaffirmed that not withstanding the the huge success of the command, there are still challenges in the area of treatment of overtime cargoes because of the non- implementation of the extant laws guiding uncleared cargoes. Additionally, the lack of government warehouse at close proximity to the port has led to difficulties in logistics and handling cost.
Reacting to the implementation of 2022 fiscal policy, CAC OLOYEDE noted that the federal Ministry if finance has recently published the 2022 fiscal policy with an effective date of April 1st 2022. However, he informed that a grace period of ninety days has been given for the implementation of the new duty and excise rate which is to take effect from June 1st 2022. He pointed out that the delay being experience in the full implementation is because the system is not desgned to be retroactive.

On another development, the CAC promised that the command will continue to put more effort for better performance. He expressed optimism that the e-customs aganda if the service and the recent deployment of non- intrusive technology such as scanners would be able to achieve more in the core Responsibility of Revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement of government fiscal policies.

Finally, the CAC appreciated immensely, the support and clear sense of direction of the Comptroller General and the management of Nigeria Customs Service for their relentless efforts towards strengthening the capacity of the service to perform it’s statutory responsibilities in line with the international best practices. He equally appreciated the press for their invaluable support through via objective reportage.