By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Ports Terminal Multservices Limited (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service has assured that vehicles can be cleared within four hours of entry into the terminal, even as he urged smugglers to desist from passing through borders and unapproved routes.
Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Festus Okun also declared that the command recorded N46,850,639,870.00 as total revenue collection for the first quarter of 2021
Accprding to a press statement signed by the Customs Public Relations Officer PTML Command, Lagos, Muhammad Yakubu, the total collection for first quarter in the command hss a difference of N1,446,991,000.1 above the N45,403,648,869.90 that was collected between January and March 2020
A month by month breakdown of first quarter collections with 2020 comparison shows N15,205,823,545 collected in January 2021 which was -7.6 percent lesser than the N16,456, 582,954.22 collected in January 2020.
In February 2021 the command collected N11,706,947,150 which is -11.9 percent lesser than the N13,300,872,189.64 collected same period last year and in March 2021 there was total collection of N19,937,869,175 which is 27.4 percent higher than the N15,646,193,726.4 collected in March last year.
The earlier shortfalls recorded in the first two months of this year is attributable to low volume of trade occaissioned by the lull in economic activities due to Covid19 pandemic.
Accprding to the statement, the PTML Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Festus Okun enjoined importers and agents using the PTML port for their businesses to imbibe and sustain good business etiquettes like sincere declarations, prompt duty payment and keeping to all other extant rules as contained in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) and other guidelines.
He advised that they continually acquaint themselves with import and export prohibition lists and seek appropriate clarifications where necessary on areas like Harmonised System (HS) code to achieve flawless classification of their cargoes.
Comptroller Okun reiterated at the beginning of the year that with compliance with the rules, cargoes can be exited from customs control within four hours of entries in PTML.
The CAC also advised dealers in vehicular cargoes to avoid smuggling through the borders as PTML being a roll on roll off (RoRo) port can meet their demands and expectations.
“With compliance and prompt duty payment, vehicles can be cleared within four hours from our port. This is faster than importing through any neighbouring country and later attempting to smuggle such vehicles into Nigeria through land borders.
“I wish to remind members of the business community, particularly those involved in vehicle importation, that the ban on bringing in vehicles into the country through the land borders subsists. People doing this are at risk of their vehicles being seized and them being arrested.
“Our hands on trade facilitation drive makes PTML user friendly and cost effective for users and will continue to meet importers and agents expectations without compromising national security” Okun said
While thanking officers and men for their commitment and dedication to duty, Comptroller Okun added that the command will always strive to ensure maximum collection of revenue due to the government by preventing areas of leakages and issuing demand notices to make up for discovered shortfalls.
He also advised stakeholders to keep to the Covid19 protocols of regular hand washing, usage of sanitisers, proper wearing of masks, keeping physical distancing ,observing safe cough etiquette and obeying all other advice given by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to prevent spread of the virus.