The Nigerian Custom Service Adamawa/Taraba Command has recorded significant progress in its revenue generation, which has impacted positively on the morale of the officers and men of the command.
Speaking to journalists in Yola on the activities of the command between January and July this year, the Area Command Comptroller, Mr. Kamardeen Olumoh, said the command had generated about one hundred and six million naira within the period under review.
Mr. Olumoh said the figure represented 44.66% increase over the corresponding period last year, which marked an increase of 22.17% of its annual target.
He attributed the increase to the introduction of the Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System in April and May this year, saying it played a major role in encouraging importers to make declarations.
“This increase in revenue generation is not unconnected with our stakeholder sensitization that has encouraged traders to come forward and make proper declarations of their imported items, mostly agricultural produce. The introduction of NICIS, i.e. Nigeria Integrated Customs Service Information System in May/April this year is playing a major role in encouraging importers to make declarations because of its flexibility, which is in tune with the Federal Government Policy on the Ease of Doing Business,” he said.
It said the service remained a vital trade facilitator for Nigeria’s economic growth, hence its frequent engagement with stakeholders in tackling the issues that could hinder trade.
Success against smuggling
Mr. Olumoh said the command held interactive sessions in February, April and June that engaged the border communities of Gurin, Wuro Bokki, Wuro Alhaji, Mubi and Genbu, in an effort to encourage the communities to partner with Customs in the battle against smuggling.
Mr. Olumoh said the customs command was also having strategic and operational collaboration with the Customs Administration of Nigeria and Cameroon on how to manage the security challenges along their common border, as well as encourage mutual exchanges and sharing of cross border trade data.
This has led the command to achieve 71.26% of its annual target by the end of July, 2019.
He said the command had also stepped up its anti-smuggling war, which had led to several seizures of various items.
“They include 2,527 X50kg of foreign per-boiled rice, 12 motor vehicles, 22 motorcycles, 240bales of second hand clothing, cartons of spaghetti, Elephant Tusks, Buffalo Horns, used tyres and tricycles. The most recent being the seizure of 52 drums petroleum product, with each containing 230 litres of petrol, bringing the total to 1, 960 litres. The Duty Paid Value for all items seized is 80, 598, 476.23 million naira,” Mr. Olumoh said.
Among the challenges identified by the Mr. Olumoh was the shortage of officers to patrol the vast border line of the command, which is a major obstacle in manning the expansive borders in the command whose territory lies across Adamawa and Taraba States.
Mr. Olumoh also identified bad roads as major obstacles to trade between Nigeria and Cameroon which has affected revenue generation.