Addressing the press and some federal commissioners of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission led by Barrister Umaru Farouk Abdullahi visiting the port on a working tour, as well as some other stakeholders in the Area Command, the Customs Area Controller of TinIsland Area Command, Comptroller Musa MBA, reported the activities of the Command in terms of revenue collection, anti-smuggling operations, and trade facilitation for the period spanning January to June 2021.
He reported that as of June 2021, the area command had generated the sum of 229.32 Billion Naira, which is N50 Billion Naira higher than the revenue generated for the same period in 2020, thus representing a 28% increase over last year’s revenue sum of 179.32 Billion Naira for the same period. He attributed the progressive improvements in revenue collection and the greater ease of doing business at the port to the deployment of ICT tools such as the ASYCUDA 2.7 in 1998 which was migrated to ASYCUDA++ 34.0 in 2006 and later further upgraded to the NICIS Platform I & II of which NICIS II is the latest and current platform in use by the Customs Service. “This NICIS I & II platforms have resulted in a cumulative increase of 100 Billion Naira representing about 35.22% increase in collected revenues cumulatively between 2018 and 2020 when they were deployed”, he said.
Comptroller Musa also reported that in line with its mandate to protect the society and its citizens against the evils of smuggling, illicit drug trafficking, and counterfeit goods, the Command made various sizable seizures of prohibited goods which included imported rice, used clothing, and fake drugs.
Of note are cases in point of recent collaborations of the Command with NDLEA which resulted in the seizure of 36.25 kilograms of cocaine and detention of a vessel and its crew for smuggling Cannabis Sativa in a container carrying used vehicles, pirated printed books, and light arms.
He went on to commend the immense contributions made by the officers and men of the command without whom the achievement of these lofty goals would have remained a pipe dream. He also acknowledged the contributions made by sister agencies like the Police, Department of State Securities, NAFDAC, NDLEA, SON, and the NPA as well as another stakeholder such as Clearing Agents, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Barge Operator, Shipping and Terminal Operators towards achieving and exceeding set goals. “I look forward towards strengthening the already cordial relationship we have been able to establish and nurture; all of these were much instrumental to the command’s singular honor of having won the prestigious World Customs Organization award for three consecutive years – 2018, 2019, and 2020, for rendering excellent service to the International Customs Community. This will ginger us on to continue to raise our operational standards to meet global best practices.”: he said.
The Comptroller used the occasion to highlight the various operational constraints such as poor access rods, Lack of Government warehousing facility, Lack of cargo handling equipment, nonconducive working environment, laxity of security, Old unserviceable vehicles, and inability to take advantage of water transportation in cargo movement that the government needs to look into to make operations easier and more efficient.
He thanked everyone present at the press briefing, especially the team from the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission led by Barrister Umaru Farouk Abdullahi, which will report back to the commission, the successes and challenges of the command to help the command to greater heights.