Controller of the command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, who disclosed this a press briefing on Tuesday said the command generated N350million revenue from imports, representing N105million or 23.09 percent short of N455 million collected in 2022.
According to the Customs boss, the deficit is attributable to the lull in activities during the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) cashless policy and the wait by the traders for the outcome of the general election.
He added that the economic policy of the Republic of Benin that charges on goods in transit to Nigeria constitute tariff barriers to trade along the corridor, which also affected the command’s revenue.
Under the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS), Comptroller Nnadi said the command facilitated 425 trucks with fees amounting to N314,720,938.71 as well as 412 baggage declarations with duty amounting to N58,844,382.
He said the items imported under this arrangement include food products and beverages produced within the sub-region.
“One of the core mandates of the Service in Seme as elsewhere is trade facilitation. The command is conscious of its strategic location as the foremost frontier for trade and tourism in West and Central Africa particularly the ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme (ETLS) and the emerging African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA). Nigeria has lots of potential in both trade regimes considering its GDP. population and industrial capacity which is the highest in the West and Central Africa subregion and indeed Africa,” he explained.
On export trade, Comptroller Nnadi said the command facilitated 1,243 trucks bearing 40,096.47 metric tonnes of made-in-Nigeria cargo declared on 165 Single Administrative Documents (SAD) with free on-board value of N4.3 billion and the National Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) fee of N21.5 million.
Within the same period in 2022, he said 3,006 trucks bearing 116,053.9 metric tonnes of cargo with FOB value of N6.5 billion with NESS fees of N33 million was recorded.
He lamented the shortfall in export to the tune of 75,000 metric tonnes of cargo, which he attributed to competition between Dangote Cement and competitors in the cement market in Togo.
He noted that other sources of revenue of the command are fees collected from the auction sales of seized items, especially petroleum products and other perishable items.
On the command’s anti-smuggling activities, he said the command recorded seizure of $6million fake notes (equivalent to N2.7billion) which has been handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said the command also recorded seizure of 2242 bags of smuggled rice, 7 tankers of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), among others in the first quarter of 2023.
Other high-profile seizures recorded within the period under review include; 550 pieces of donkey skin with duty paid value (DPV) of N10,689,504; 227,610 liters of PMS with DPV of N51,075,684; six (6) Maltese International Passports with the same picture of a lady but bearing different names. Two (2) Senegalese International Passports.
“Three (3) Togolese International Passports; Four (4) Republic of Benin International Passports, One (1) Republic of Niger International Passport and Ten (10) International Driving License of these various countries were seized and will be handed over to the Nigeria Immigration Service on the orders of the CGC and in line with the Service desire to consolidate the synergy between NCS and partner agencies”
“Also seized by the Command is 1160 pieces of dead rats, 1102 pieces of dead tiny birds and 34 pieces of monkey skin and 14 parcels of cannabis sativa,” the Customs boss said.