The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) TinCan Island Command has recorded various seizures of Contrabands and concealed goods in the first quarter of year 2022.
The Command intercepted eight containers loaded with 206,000 pieces of machetes, 145kg of Colorado (Indian hemp) concealed in 2 units of Ridgeline trucks and other contraband items worth 1.048billion.
The Customs Area Controller in charge of the command, Comptroller Adekunle Oloyede who made this known while showcasing the seizures to press men at the command on Wednesday disclosed that the machetes which was valued at N1.2billion were imported into the country from Ghana.
Comptroller Oloyede hinted that machetes do not fall under prohibition list but it was seized because the importer failed to present an End User Certificate from the office of National Security Adviser (NSA).
He disclosed that the machetes are not blank but ready to use, adding that importation of such large quantities of machetes poses great risk to the security of Nigerians at this point in time.
In his words “Machetes/cutlasses need an End User Certificate. You can imagine these machetes are on Ecowas Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) coming from Ghana. I don’t know how many farms that we have that somebody will now bring in these kinds of machetes at this time.
“There is an ETLS certificate but this is a regulated item. The importation must come with a permit from the office of the NSA so that we can know those who are to use the item and then we can be able to follow up because of the security of the country. If this should get to the hands of hoodlums, you can imagine the security implications.
“So, no matter the revenue the importer pays, it is not as important as the lives of the citizenry. Whoever wants to import a weapon such as machetes must go to the National Security Adviser’s office and get an End User Certificate and that is why we are clamping down on this”.
Other items seized by the command were listed to include 48,850 rolls of cigarettes, 1,814,400 pieces of Novalgen injection (500mg/Sml) falsely declared as vehicle spare parts, 1,670,400 pieces of Chloroquine injections (Smg/Sml), 2 units of Toyota corolla vehicles, 640 bales of used clothes, 236,500 pieces of used shoes, 62,500 pieces of new lady’s shoes and 23,800 tins of sodium bromate & baking powder.
Speaking on revenue generation for the period under review, the command boss said the total of N135,443,223,283.31billion was recorded making an increase of N22.7billion and 20.18 percent in comparison to N112.695 billion collected same period of 2021.
On export for the period under review, he hinted that 71,014.4 metric tons with a total Free on Board (FOB) value of N56.205,901,295.00billion went through the Tin Can Island Port as against the corresponding period of 2021 where the total tonnage of goods exported through the Command was 44,502.9 metric tons with a total FOB value of N31.371 billion.
This he said to represent an increase of 62.67% while the FOB Value in Naira of the above-mentioned tonnage also’ increased from N31,371,825,954.00 to N56,205,901,295.00 representing an increase of 55.82% within the period under review.
He listed the commodities exported through the Command to include Copper, Ingots, Stainless Steel Ingots, Sesame Seeds, Cashew Nuts, Cocoa Beans, Rubber, Carona Butter, Leather, Ginger and frozen shrimps among others.
The commands helmsman who took over the mantle of the command barely six weeks ago amidst the mass protest by freight forwarders following the deployment of VIN Valuation platform aimed at harmonization of value across board and for security reasons were able with his men and officers manage the situation as he had a comparative advantage of having participated actively in the formulation and eventual deployment of the module and activities.
He disclosed that his arrival signaled a new dawn in the overall performance of the command.”This is simply in view of the fact that I was emphatic and categorical on my vision for a renewed enthusiasm in areas of discipline, trade facilitation and revenue drive devoid of extortionist tendencies.
“Tin Can Island Port Command’s operations for the first quarter of 2022 significantly aligned with the statutory responsibilities of the Service in the areas of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement/anti-smuggling activities. In addition to the above, my mandate also
included putting modalities in place to boost export and increase revenue through the use of risk management mechanisms in identifying areas of leakages with a view to blocking them.
“It is also instructive to note that the Command’s operations drew inspiration from the theme of the International Customs Day, “Scaling up Customs digital transformation by embracing a 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 I1 platform such as the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), Advance Manifest, Selectivity 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,” Comptroller Oloyede quipped.
Speaking on overtime cargo, he disclosed that despite the successes, the command is still facing challenges in the movement of overtime cargo because of the non-implementation of the extant laws guiding uncleared cargo adding that the lack of government warehouses at close proximity to the port has led to difficulties in logistics and handling cost.
He however pledged that the command will continue to put in more effort towards better performance just as he expressed optimism that with the e-Customs agenda of the Service and the recent deployment of non-intrusive technology such as scanners, the command would be able to achieve more in its core responsibilities of revenue generation, trade facilitation and enforcement of government’s fiscal policies.