Tincan Customs introduces new tools to increase revenue generation
By Silas Onuoha
The Public Relations Officer ,PRO, Tincan Island Port Command of Nigeria Customs Service ,NCS, Uche Ejesieme, has disclosed the strategies behind the huge revenue of N76.7billion and significant difference of N14.9billion realised by Tincan in 2018, notwithstanding the fact that economic activities are usually very slow in the first quarter of the year, thereby making many businesses and organisations struggle with revenue generation.
Speaking with Business Update, the PRO revealed that Tincan generates between N1.3billon and N1.8billion daily, even as the current Customs Area Controller ,CAC, of Tincan Command, Comptroller Mohammed Abdullahi Baba Musa, has introduced over five new trade facilitation tools, which serve as new innovations in stimulating revenue collection for the Federal Government.
The PRO pointed out, “The new tools include, rewarding importers complying with government fiscal policies in making honest declaration, the use of Time Release Study ,TRS, which is an important component designed to achieve speedy cargo clearance within 48hours, the use of a valid bank Indemnity to prevent importers from incurring unnecessary demurrage at the port, ensuring that the Dispute Resolution Committee sits every day as issues arise in the clearing chain, formation of a Help Desk to handle complaints from importers, streamlining of documentation units to reduce the number of documentation tables in the Command.”
Giving more details on how the new trade facilitation tools work, he analysed, “The CAC is rewarding compliance, by ensuring that goods and raw materials imported into the country by honest traders are cleared expeditiously. The Command rewards such compliance traders after first checking their profiles over time, to ascertain that their integrity is not in doubt. If an honest importer has issues with valuation or PAAR, the CAC allows him to carry his goods after issuing a valid bank indemnity, as a collateral, so that his business can go on, while the Dispute Resolution Committee looks at the issue.”
“Effective use of these tools facilitate trade and will not allow an importer to incur unnecessary demurrage in the port, by delaying his containers. Therefore, his production will not stop, especially if the goods are raw materials imported for production in a factory”.
The PRO further explained, “Issuing a valid bank indemnity becomes imperative to secure government’s revenue. At the end of the Committee’s investigation, if any infraction is found against the importer, we convert the bank indemnity to cash for government, if otherwise, we vacate it. So, through this measure, we facilitate trade and at the same time generate more revenue for government”.
He continued, “That is why in the first quarter where economic activities are usually slow, Tincan Command achieved tremendous increase in revenue with a huge amount of N76.7billion raked into government’s coffer. We are likely going to surpass this amount in the second quarters of 2018 economic year, particularly with these new tools introduced by the CAC. So, you can see that Tincan Command currently encourages willing compliance, which has enhanced more income flow for government”.
He went on, “For instance, the use of TRS in the clearing chain also paves the way for self assessment in the cargo clearing process, to easily identify when there are issues and resolve them accordingly”.
“In the same vein, streamlining documentation activities ensure that the Command does not have multiple documentation tables. The creation of Help Desk, where complaints by traders/importers are instantly looked into, contributes greatly in fast tracking cargo clearance, in order to achieve our mandate of 48 hours cargo clearance requirement.”
“The CAC himself is the Chairman of the Help Desk and the Public Relations Unit serves as deputy Help Desk department. This Desk functions Monday to Friday daily, from 8am to 5.30pm. Aside from working as the Chairman of Tincan Help Desk, the CAC also checks the system daily to ensure everything goes on smoothly”.