•Seizes two containers laden with cartons of Analgin injection,Fireworks with other items
By Silas Onuoha
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Area 2 Command Onne, said it has generated a total revenue of N54.9 billion which translate to 16.3 percent of the target for the Command, for the year 2023.
Addressing journalists on the activities of the Command on Tuesday, the Area Controller, Comptroller Baba Imam informed.
“I am delighted to showcase our successes since I assumed duty as the Area controller of the Command in January this year. As a foundation to successful discharge of our mandates and responsibilities of Revenue collection, Suppression of Smuggling, Trade facilitation and implementation of other Government fiscal policies, I started by receiving briefings on the workings of the Command from my predecessor, my Officers and Stakeholders, I embarked on courtesy visits to various sister agencies to seek for their cooperation in terms of collaboration, synergy and information sharing.
“The Command in its various visits and meetings was emphatic, that it would only welcome complaint traders who are willing to operate in accordance with import and export guidelines. The evidences of these visits and meetings is what you are seeing now.
According to the CAC , in revenue generation the Command was given a target of 336 Billion naira as revenue target for year 2023. “As at today the Command has generated a total revenue of N54,992,123,687.15which translate to 16.3 percent of the target. When compared to the same period last year the Command had an increase in revenue of N1,132,925,556.82
This figure realized is inspite of not having vessels berth in Onne Port for some time due to the Election atmosphere, we look forward to continuous rise in revenue generation in the coming months as we expect vessels to berth on our coastline within the next few weeks,” he said.
In anti-smuggling, Compt. Baba added. “Activities, within the past few weeks, since I assumed office,has been a harvest of seizures justifying our committed resolve to facilitating only legitimate trade in line with the provision of extant laws. This is made visible with the display of a total number of 27 containers which comprises, 26 seized Containers and One detained container for violations or contraventions of various customs laws and breach of procedures as provided under the revised import prohibition guidelines (by trade) Schedule 3 Article 4 of the Common External Tariff 2022-2026, as well as Sections 46 Paragraph (b), (d), (e), (f) and 169 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended.
He went on.”These seizures and detention were made base on infractions related to import guidelines, which includes:
- Contraband Goods
- False declaration
- End user certificate requirement from the office of the National Security Adviser
- NAFDAC permit/license among others in line with the Federal Government fiscal policies.
These containers are currently in our Government Warehouse.
“The seized items are as follow:
- Twenty-Four (24) containers laden with refined vegetable oil comprising a total of 24,860 gallons of 25 and 10 litres La-Jonic vegetable oil. i.e (19,800 gallons of 25 litres and 5,060 gallons of 10 litres) with duty paid value of N833,172,538.42. (Based on false declaration and contravention of Schedule 3 Article 4 of C.ET)
- Also seized were other Two (2) containers laden with 1,165 cartons of Analgin injection and Fireworks with other items. i.e (286 cartons of Analgin injection I.M.V) (2/5g/5ml) (Based on contravention of revised import prohibition guideline) (210 cartons of Banga, 273 cartons of W.Tail, 216 cartons of Coloured flowers, 180 cartons of Pops) (Based on absence of End user certificate).
The total duty paid value for the two (2) containers is N94,652,168.39. Put together, the total duty paid value of the 26 seized containers stands at N94,652,168.39. The seized cartons of Analgin injection will be handed over to NAFDAC in the spirit of interagency collaboration. “We shall continue to build on this robust relationship with other sister agencies to rid the society off criminal elements that are working against the interest of the Country,”the CAC said.
The Command also seizes one 20 ft container of machete detained on documentation grounds pending provision of End user Certificate.
Speaking further, Compt. Baba emphasized that synergy, collaboration and intelligence sharing is crucial, as the above seizures were made purely with intelligence gathering and 100% physical examination. “Nevertheless, I want to state here that investigation is still ongoing through our legal/intelligent unit to arrest the culprits and bring them to book as soon as possible.
It is worthy of note that importation of certain controlled items like Fireworks and machete requires End-User Certificate which is under the purview of the Office of the National Security Adviser, such importations without the Certificate are to be seized and forfeited to the Nigerian Government.
“The federal Government bans the Importation of refined vegetable oil in order to promote local production by our local industries, which in turn creates employment for Nigerians and to boost foreign exchange through export of such products.
The seized containers would be filed for condemnation at the federal High Court Port Harcourt and shall subsequently be forfeited to the Federal Government.
“The Command shall continue to blaze the trail in trade facilitation and revenue generation activities through the deployment of intelligence gathering, collaboration and synergy with other critical stakeholders for the actualization of our statutory mandate. These deliberate and concerted efforts will guide us in contributing our quota towards realizing remarkable results in line with Vision and Mission of the Comptroller General of Customs and His Management Team,”he said.
Compt. Imam continued: “For complaint traders of legitimate trade we assure you of trade facilitation while we would in accordance with the provision of the law deal with importers and agents who manifest a recalcitrant attitude to obeying the law.
“In conclusion, I want to bring to your notice that, in line with the global best practice and the Controller General of Customs resolve in trade facilitation, the Command reconstituted the dispute resolution team headed by the DC Revenue in order to facilitate trade and give fair hearing to stakeholders and importers with genuine or legitimate complaint about their consignment.
“Additionally, in order to bring stakeholders involved or engaged in importation and exportation up to speed with the best International practice and knowledge required for such operation, our compliant stakeholders who believes the Command should have a conducive training and meeting center initiated as part of their cooperate social responsibility to assist in the construction of a conference room that will serve a dual purpose. I am glad to inform you that work on the Conference/ training center is almost completed, and within the next few weeks we shall be commissioning the center”.
The CAC noted that the media has a critical role to play especially in the area of sensitisation and enlightenment of stakeholders and society at large, in order to achieve willful compliance to trade laws,
as he urged them to continue educating the public, while the Command continues to re-invigorate strategies that will enhance its performance