BY YUSUF BABALOLA, Lagos
The Onne Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) yesterday said the deployment of cargo scanners at the port has increased duty collected on cargoes imported to the port.
Speaking to newsmen, the customs area controller of the command, Compt. Auwal Mohammed, also disclosed that the command collected a total of N128 billion as revenue from January to September 2021.
The area controller expressed optimism that more revenue collection, increased trade facilitation and time saving advantages will be achieved in the command with the introduction of a recently procured mobile scanner.
He said: “Before the arrival of the scanner, examinations of cargoes were usually done manually and physically, whereby containers were positioned by the terminal operators. Then, a gang of labourers will discharge the goods before Customs and other agencies will carry out the examination. Customs must also cut off the seal manually. This takes time because of the unpacking of the goods in the container,” he explained.
He stated further that virtually everything in the container had to be moved out of the container and then back into the container before examination was concluded, which made the process cumbersome and time consuming.
“With the coming of the scanner, which is a non-intrusive apparatus, cargo examination will now be conducted with the use of x-ray. We can now double our daily container examination which saves time, increases revenue, detects infractions easily and facilitates trade,” Mohammed said.
The command also said it collected a total of N128billion as revenue from January to September 2021.
According to the Customs boss, the revenue collected this year is higher than the amount collected in Q3, 2020 by N46billion.
A comparative breakdown of the third quarter collections between 2020 and 2021 indicated steady increases which contributed to the cumulative 55.4 percent difference.
For July, August and September 2020, the Command collected N10.9billion, N12.2billion and N13.1 billion respectively which were overtaken by 2021 figures of N14 billion, N17.8billion and N18.2billion respectively.
Mohammed attributed the steady monthly increases to volume of trade, strict adherence to extant customs procedure, blocking of possible areas of revenue leakages and zero tolerance for infractions capable of undermining national economy and security.