By Eguono Odjegba & Ebuka Oko
THE Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, Area II Command, Onne Port, Rivers State, has surpassed their annual revenue target by 12 per cent from duty paid on imported goods in 2019.
The record shows that the Command collected N107.3 billion in 2019, as against the N95.7 billion annual revenue targets within the period under review. The record further revealed that the 2019 figure collection showed a 14 per cent increase over the N94 billion realized in 2018.
The record equally showed that a total of 99 containers were seized during the period under review.
The items seized include 15,317 jerry-cans of 25-litres of vegetable oil; 20 x 20 ft containers loaded with tin-tomatoes paste; 13,306 cartons of Eva complexion soap; 1 x 20 ft container comprising 715 bales of fabric/textile (wax materials); 1 x 40 ft container loaded with scrap metal of various sizes and types; 4 x 20 ft container loaded with 160 logs of hardwood; 1 x 40 ft container loaded with 1,014 cartons of machetes, 1300 sacks of shovel, 100 carton of sickle, 172 packs of digger; 4,566 bags of 50 kg parboiled rice; 540 bundles of corrugated aluminium sheets, among others.
The record also showed that a total of 255,407 metric tonnes of goods with a total Free On Board, FOB, value of $78,402,057 which amounts to N28 million was processed through the Command last year.
In a statement made available to Vanguard Maritime Report, through the Public Relations Officer, PRO, Area II Command, Onne, Ifeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, the Customs Area Comptroller, Aliyu Galadima Saidu, said that a total of 24 seizures with Duty Paid Value, DPV, of N1.2 billion were also recorded in the area of anti-smuggling.
Saidu also revealed that the seizures were made due to wrong documentation, false declarations, wrong classifications, concealments and none provision of end-user certificates for the imported machetes.
He added that preliminary investigations carried out by the Service revealed that the primary motive for the items being smuggled was to evade paying the correct duties.
Comptroller Saidu, who frowned at the continued menace of smuggling across the ports and borders also lamented on the adverse effect it has on the nation’s security, social and economic well being.
He advised those involved in such unpatriotic behaviour to desist from it, and warned that the command will not spare anyone as efforts will be intensified in locating and investigating the economic saboteurs, no matter how they hide.
He also urged genuine businessmen to continue being law-abiding and run their businesses with utmost compliance with the law as a way to build trust and integrity in their dealings.
Saidu also expressed appreciation to the Comptroller–General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (retd.) and his management team for their consistent encouragement and support; while reassuring continued resilience and diligence of officers and men of the Command in carrying out all statutory responsibilities without compromise.