By Shulammite ‘Foyeku
Despite a drop in the volume of cargo coming into the country due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the general harsh business environment, the Tin Can Island Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) said it has generated N229.3billion as revenue posted into the federation account in the first six months, January to June 2021.
The revenue, according to the command, grew by N52billion when compared to N117.2 billion generated within the same period in 2020.
A breakdown of the revenue profile, which was obtained by Maritime Today Online shows that in January, the command’s revenue grew by 19.08 percent to hit N41.2billion from N34.6 billion recorded within the review period in 2020.
In February, the command raked in N31.7 billion, an increase of 23.35 percent from N25.7 billion collected in 2020. N39.6 billion was generated in March as against N31.2 billion collected in the corresponding period of 2020.
In April, N45 billion was collected; N36.7 billion was recorded in May while N34.8 billion was generated in June.
Controller of the command, Comptroller Musa Baba Abdulahi, who disclosed this while speaking with Maritime Today Online in his office attributed the growth in the command’s revenue to measures put in place to block all revenue leakages and increase in level of compliance especially by importers who are members of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
“Import flow has reduced but because it is a gradual thing it has not affected our revenue. We may start observing it in the next two months if the situation does not improve. But at the moment, we are N52 billion above last year’s collection from January to June. The Tin Can port is gradually becoming the manufacturers’ port, they are compliant and they pay their duty because they know the importance of time,” Comptroller Musa said while responding to questions on why the command is generating more revenue despite the decline in cargo volume.
Also speaking, Public Relations Officer of the command, Uche Ejesieme said despite the lull in cargo volume, measures adopted by the command including the use of ICT and intelligence to profile consignments contributed to increase in the command’s revenue profile.
“Because of the global recession and other challenges, cargo throughput has actually dropped but we are lucky, it has not affected our revenue because the command has created a lot of platforms to check revenue leakages. For us, we have the compliance and monitoring team and we also have the Customs Intelligence Unit (CIU) supplying intelligence and working with the terminal heads, examination and releasing officers which also help in shooting up revenue by the time the intelligence is converted.
“The Controller has brought his experience to bear being an ICT savvy person, he knows how to use ICT to profile consignment. The whole essence is just for us to add value on any SGD because non-compliance is still an issue but we thank God with the kind of stakeholders we have and how we have been interfacing with them. We have recorded a paradigm shift such that people are beginning to understand that there is actually a reward for compliance.
“The most important is the monetary and compliance unit. Part of the chuck of revenue we have gotten so far is also attributable to their resilience and professionalism in trying to block to some reasonable extent areas that revenue ought to have gone into private hands,” he said.
Ejesieme said the command also gave priority release of consignment to compliant traders who are beneficiaries of the fast track scheme including members of MAN.