The deployment of new digital technology by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), has tremendously increased compliance by the clearing agents and triggered revenue generation from duties and taxes on imported goods.
Indeed, the NCS ‘Zone A’, which covers the South-West geopolitical zone generates about N5.5 billion into the Federal Government coffers on daily basis.
Customs ‘Zone A’ Command covers the South-West jurisdiction including the Tin-Can Island Command, Apapa, Murtala Muhmmed Int. Airport, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, Lilypond, Lagos Industrial, Seme, Ogun, Oyo/Osun, Ondo/Ekiti commands.
Last year, the agency raked in over N1trillion nationwide, but the recent revelation is an indication that a much higher revenue would by made this year.
The Assistant Comptroller General of Customs (ACG) in charge of the Zone, Mrs K C Ekekezie, who disclosed this during a courtesy call on the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), in Lagos, adduced the huge collection to increased compliance by freight forwarders and officers and men of the Service.
She said: “the role that freight forwarders play in release of goods are part of every government trade policy formulation. The Ease of doing business policy started at the Apapa Port March this year is working.
“The Customs have deployed Internet Technology (IT) to meet the policy target. Today, there is higher compliance with Customs regulation in declarations, we make N5.5 billion every day because people are beginning to comply.
“Customs earnings is part of what is used in paying the security agencies too.
“Customs made N1 trillion under the new regime. Before, it was not up to that. Through proper documentation and correct declarations we will achieve higher goals together with you.
“To consolidate on the good work to achieve this, we must adhere to all extent regulation as provided by the government. And this will not be a problem when we put mechanism in place.
“This will lead to improved national economic system. We must avoid cutting corners and encourage integrity at all levels of the business,” she said.
Ekekezie frowned at the number of operational transaction alerts at Tin Can Command particularly, which the agents complained was delaying clearance of goods.
She directed that the number of alerts be reduced from nine to facilitate trade, just as the Comptroller. Mohammed Aliyu of the Federal Operations Unit (FOU) ‘Zone A’ agreed that it was unnecessary, as the reasons adduced for them could be handled even at a point.
Ekekezie also agreed to look into the agents’ request to decentralise the issuance and resolution of licensing and other issues that could be handled by the zonal coordinator.