Nigerian Customs to Extend Operations Beyond Seme Border Into Cotonou Port—Compt Bomodi

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The new Customs Area Controller, Seme Command, Compt Timi Bomodi taking over the reins of the command from his predecessor, Compt Dera Nnadi

…As Compt Nnadi Surpasses N1.96b Revenue Target

By DAPO OLAWUNI

There are indications that the Nigeria Customs Service would soon extend its operations beyond Seme Border Into Benin Republic and vice versa, following a bilateral agreement recently agreed upon by the Customs administration of both countries.

Compt Dera Nnadi (right) and Compt Timi Bomodi exchange “handing over” and “taking over” notes at Seme Customs Command on Monday

Customs Area Controller, Seme Command of Nigerian Customs Service, Compt Timi Bomodi dropped the indication while taking over reins of the command from Compt Dera Nnadi on Monday.

He hinted that once this is done, the Customs administration of both countries would generate revenues in Trillions of dollars.

Speaking on the outcome of the meeting in Abuja recently, Bomodi said “If what was proposed would come into fruition, it means that the functions of Nigeria Customs Service is going to extend beyond the borders and it is going right into the corridor of Benin Republic, vis-a-vis the operations of Benin Customs would also extend beyond its borders right into our ports ”

“It is going to be a symbiotic relationship and we cannot expect anything less than what we give, we expect excellence on both sides of the divide and hopefully, it would be transformative.

“Once you enhance trade, your capacity to generate more revenue is also enhanced, once people can move freely, goods can move freely, if services can move freely in this corridor, we are talking about the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and what this entails is generating revenue in trillions of dollars, it is totally transformative for Africa and we need to trade more along this corridor.

“We cannot trade more if our processes and systems are not properly aligned, and thinking of both sides of the divide must be properly synchronised”

Comptroller Bomodi also raised hopes that the hydraheaded monster of multiple security checkpoints along the Badagry expressway would soon be eliminated with the newly signed agreement between Benin Republic and Nigeria.

Speaking, he said “There would be a concerted effort to ensure that those who are not supposed to be on this corridor do not come back, either temporarily or long term. This was one of the issues addressed by both administration, it is not economic for trade, if you travel from Cotonou to Cote-de-ivore, i am sure you cannot find these.

“In no distance time, those responsible for managing these sister organisations would take the bull by the horn and ensure that multiple checks are eliminated.
We have not doubt that with the resolve at the highest level of the presidency, it would come to fruition in no distant time.

“The best form of inter agency collaboration is having regular interactions. This also forms part of the agreement we have had, to be meeting on Quaterly basis on anything that affects trade on this axis”

“We would also never forget what our primary responsibility hwre would be, facilitation of legitimate trade, collection of revenue for government and enforcement of government fiscal policies. These are critical roles we intend to play without undermining the well-being of people living and doing their work in the border areas” he said

Bomodi described his predecessor, Compt Dera Nnadi as a thorough bred officer who has proven his capacity over and over again. He expressed confidence in Compt Nnadi performing better at his next assignment as the Controller of Tin Can Island Command.

Speaking earlier, Compt Dera Nnadi said the Seme Customs Command under his watch exceeded its revenue target for 2023 by N122million as it has collected N2,088,578,048.03k in less than 9 months, surpassing its N1,966,000,000 target.

While handing over the command to his successor, Compt Nnadi said “As at Friday the 15th of September, 2023 the Command has collected N2,088,578,048.03 only. By this, the implication is that we have surpass our N1,966,000,000 allotted target for the year 2023 by N122,578,048.03 only, which represent 6.23% increase. In the corresponding period under review for year 2022, the revenue was N885,543,098.11 only,”

In the area of anti-smuggling operations, he observed that there were headline seizures such as; fake six million US dollars equivalent to N2.7billion; 9500 units of 50kg bags of rice equivalent to sixteen (16) trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice with Duty Paid Value of N312,242,064.93k; 15,094 x 30 liters Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit equivalent to 455,850 liters or 15 petroleum tankers with a Duty Paid Value of N738,276,461k; 15,389 units of General Merchandise Goods

Hard Drugs and Narcotics seizures included; 594 parcels of Cannabis Sativa; 4,900 Tablets 225mg of Tramadol Tamol-X; 3,600 Tablets 225mg Tramadol Royal 225; 157 Tablets of Heineken Ecstacy; and 864 Packs of Cigarette.

The former Seme Area Controller thanked his leadership team, Command officers, host community and other stakeholders for the robust collaborations which led to the notable accomplishments at the border even as he solicited the same support for his successor.

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