By DAPO OLAWUNI
The Seme Border Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has lamented a huge shortfall in it’s revenue at the borders, especially on export of cement, as it recorded shortfall of 75,000 metric tons of cargo due to competition between Dangote Cement and competitors in the cement market at Togo.
Speaking at a press conference at Seme Border on Tuesday, Customs Area Controller, Compt Dera Nnadi said the command in the first quarter of 2023 recorded revenue collection of
According to him, this is N105,095,708.76 or 23.09 percent short of N455,195,250,.47 collected in the corresponding period in 2022.
“For export, 1,243 trucks bearing 40,096.47 metric tons of made in Nigeria cargo declared on 165 Single Administrative Documents (SAD) with Free On Board value of N4, 291,322,887.19 kobo and National Export Supervision Scheme Fes of N21, 456,551.83K.
“During the same period in 2022, 3006 trucks bearing 116,053.9 metric tons of cargo with FOB value of N6, 597, 506, 993.28K with NESS Fee of N32, 989,006.16 was recorded.
Apart from Dangote Cement meeting competition in Togo, Compt Nnadi said the deficit in the revenue could be attributed to lull in activities during the cashless policy and the wait by the traders for the outcome of the general election.
“Also recall that I had earlier informed you that the economic policy of the Republic of Benin who charge fees on goods in transit to Nigeria constitute tariff barriers to trade along the corridor. These affected the Commands revenue and need urgent review”
“I wish to repeat as I had earlier mentioned in my previous interactions with the media that the major source of revenue of the Command (import/export) have not been enhanced since the opening of the land Borders as directed by the Federal Government of Nigeria as the traders are still bracing with the challenges of having been out of business for over two years.
“Where few have embraced the reality of the circumstances, they have requested and appealed for a review of the process of obtaining approvals for re-exportation which requires that they go to Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning at Abuja for every application for re-exportation” he said
However in terms of anti-smuggling prowess, Compt Nnadi said the command recorded milestones in the first quarter of 2023 with the seizure of fake $6m (equivalent of N2.763 Billion at exchange rate of N460.52 ) which he subsequently handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
Also seized in the first quarter is 2, 242 bags of 50kg rice equivalent to 112,100 kg or four trailer loads of foreign par boiled with Duty Paid Value of N72, 700, 480.
Others are; 7, 587 by 30 liters of Premium Motor Spirit equivalent of 227,610 liters or Seven Tanker loads of PMS with duty paid value of N51, 075, 684.
550 pieces of donkey skin with duty paid value of N10, 689,504.
Also seized are 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.
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.
“These achievements (progress) so far, were not made on a platter of gold. It took the painstaking efforts of the officers who spend hours on patrol and surveillance to record the seizures. We wish to reiterate that we will not relent on this effort and for this reason, the officers are being commended.
“The Command will continue to dialogue, engage, sensitize and educate the public on social/economic implication of smuggling as well as performing statutory function of enforcing compliance in line with government fiscal policies.
“For this we are once more calling on stakeholders in the Seme Krake Corridor and beyond to prepare to embrace AfCFTA while consolidating on the gains ETLS”
Compt Nnadi thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Col Hameed Ali (rtd) and management of Customs, officers and men of the Command, community leaders and partner government agencies who are showing concern and are collaborating with the Service for their continuous support.