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Customs Corner

President Buhari’s Guidance, Key to Customs’ Transformation- CGC, Col. Hameed Ali

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President Buhari's Guidance, Key to Customs' Transformation- CGC, Col. Hameed Ali

By: Bashir Mohammed

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) CFR has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for being the ‘harbinger’ of the new Customs, through his hyper-focus on transforming the Service to a more developed entity.

CGC Hameed Ali who made this known on Tuesday during the inauguration ceremony for the new customs Corporate Headquarters in Maitama, Abuja said, “The Service has witnessed remarkable milestones that revolutionized its operations and brought it closer to its goal of becoming a world-class customs administration, through President Muhammadu Buhari’s guidance.”

Speaking further, the CGC also appreciated President Buhari for signing into law, the Customs Bill, which according to him, will bring an end to the old law which has been in force for the past 63 years.

“This landmark legislation represents a significant achievement for the Nigeria Customs Service and the entire nation. It provides us with a comprehensive legal framework that aligns with international best practices, strengthens our regulatory capabilities, and fosters trade facilitation.” CGC Hameed Ali said.

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He further said that the Service is reaching the skies and attaining remarkable stages due to President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to creating an enabling business environment, and promoting transparency and accountability in customs operations.

He commended the President for making a giant stride in eradicating corruption amongst the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service and leading it to the path of integrity, by approving the 100% increase in their remuneration.

The CG also applauded President Buhari for actualizing the Customs Modernisation Project (CMP), which he described as “a transformative initiative that aims to modernize all aspects of Nigeria Customs Service operations through the innovative use of technology.”

“With Your Excellency’s backing, we have embarked on a journey to digitalize our processes, enhance efficiency, and improve service delivery. The CMP will not only streamline our operations but also contribute to trade facilitation, revenue optimization, security and the overall economic growth of our nation.” He said.

“Our gratitude equally goes to the Honourable Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, for your support throughout your tenure. We remain appreciative of your role as Chairman of the Nigeria Customs Service Board in setting broad policies and guiding their implementation. Through you, we are also thanking your Colleagues in the Federal Executive Council, for their support to the Service.” CGC Hameed Ali added.

The Customs Boss however, said the efforts being made by the Officers and Men of the Nigeria Customs Service will not go unnoticed, adding that “their effort, unwavering commitment, professionalism, and sacrifices have been instrumental in shaping the success of our organization.”

“I commend their dedication to duty, particularly in safeguarding our borders, combating smuggling, and ensuring compliance with customs regulations. This milestone would not have been possible without their tireless efforts.”

He also expressed gratitude to the partners and stakeholders of NCS, including trade associations, private sector partners, and international organizations for their continuous collaboration and support.

“Their invaluable contributions have been instrumental in shaping our strategies, enhancing trade facilitation, and promoting a culture of compliance.” He added.

The CGC who expressed resilient commitment that the Service will remain resolute in delivering on its mandate with the utmost professionalism, integrity, and efficiency, also pledged to leverage the newly commissioned headquarters, equipped with modern infrastructure and technology, to drive its transformation agenda forward.

“Let me express our heartfelt gratitude to Your Excellency, Mr President, for your exemplary leadership, guidance, and support. Your commitment to the development of the Nigeria Customs Service and our nation as a whole is truly commendable. We stand ready to fulfil our responsibilities and contribute to the socio-economic progress of our beloved nation.” He concluded.

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Customs Corner

Customs MMAC Surpasses Revenue by 111.7%, Intercepts Donkey Genitals, Others Worth N5.7b

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Author: Femi Anamelechi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command has raked in a total sum of N45,232,483,538 as revenue for the 1st quarter of 2024, indicating a 111.7% increase when compared to the N21.3 billion collected in the 1st quarter of 2023.

While briefing newsmen at the command on Monday, 8th April, 2024.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Mohammed Yusuf, noted that the Command remains resolute in meeting its revenue target despite daunting challenges.

He said, “2024 is fraught with numerous global challenges, and Nigeria is not exempted; important sectors of the economy are adversely affected due to the unstable exchange rate.

“However, for us in the Nigeria Customs Service, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command remains resolute at ensuring that we collect the much-needed revenue for the Federal Government and also ensure the safety and well-being of the citizenry through curbing smuggling to its barest minimum while facilitating legitimate import and export trades”.

On Anti-Smuggling, the CAC stated the command recorded an appreciable increase in its anti-smuggling drive, which led to the interception of fifty 50 pieces of 9mm live ammunition, discovered in a joint examination conducted by the Service and the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The items seized in the first quarter include 1,164kg of sea cucumbers, 58kg of donkey genitals and 17 packages of Tramadol, with a cumulative Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N5,794,099,371.12k.

According to Comptroller Yusuf, “all the seized items contravene some of the provisions of extant laws as enshrined in the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCS Act) 2023.”

Regarding stakeholder engagement, the Area Controller said the Command has maintained its open-door policy and resolved many issues of common interest with concerned stakeholders.

He appreciated critical Stakeholders and Sister Agencies for their collaborative efforts and synergy. At the same time, the command carried out its statutory mandate in the state, also urging officers and men of the command to remain focused and steadfast in discharging their assigned responsibilities.

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Customs Corner

Apapa Customs Collects N489b in First Quarter, Assures of Meeting N2trn Target for 2024

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…..As Comptroller Jaiyeoba Harps on Benefits of Compliance

Author: Lucy Nyambi.

The Nigeria Customs Service, Apapa Area Command, has collected N489,614,095,022.15 as total revenue for the first quarter of 2024, which is over a hundred per cent higher than the N212.5b collected for the same period of 2023.

This was contained in a press release issued by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abubakar Usman, on Saturday, 6 April 2024.

The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the Command, Comptroller Babajide Jaiyeoba, described the Command’s first quarter collection as a bold step towards the realisation of the target and reminded all port users about the importance of compliance, which, according to him, comes with multiple benefits.

According to him, the almost N2trillion target the Command is expected to collect in 2024 is attainable through diligently abiding by the service books of instructions like the Nigeria Customs Service Act (NCSA) 2023, government import/export prohibition lists, Common External Tariff and Federal Government approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

The CAC commended the Officers and port stakeholders for their cooperation towards attaining the laudable feat and called for sustained compliance by government and private sector stakeholders.

Jaiyeoba said, “I want to urge all stakeholders in Apapa Port to keep supporting us in achieving an efficient system where everyone plays by the rules to achieve smoother, seamless, and faster import/export cargo clearance”.

“I will continue my weekly engagement of stakeholders at various levels to sustain the tempo of our achievements and consolidate on the gains from regular enlightenment of every member of the port community.” He added.

He reminded them that the Apapa Command of the NCS is playing a critical role towards the realisation of the N5.7tr annual target of the NCS in 2024, and as such, all hands should be on deck to achieve it.

Comptroller Jaiyeoba emphasised that the present customs management has created room for multiple benefits for those who operate in compliance with the rules. He stated that the recently launched AEO is one of such benefits.

“Making honest declaration puts the declarant at a vantage position to have a credible reputation and enjoy the benefits of earned integrity such as fast track and possible migration to the authorised economic operator(AEO)”.

“Such attitude of compliance saves time and money as examination officers would find the cargo less cumbersome to process, and other service units, including sister government organisations, would not need to flag such cargo for seizure or arrest of the importers/exporters. The cargo gets cleared on time, and payments for penalties after demand notices are not necessary as no DN is issued on compliant import/export. ” The CAC emphasised.

While thanking the Officers for their punctuality, diligence, and non-compromise in discharging their responsibilities, Jaiyeoba reminded them of the CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi and Customs Management confidence vested in them.

He expressed optimism for better performance in the second quarter of 2024, saying, “As we step into the second quarter to end the first half of 2024, I am convinced we will do better in revenue collection, facilitate more trade through our port and prevent smuggling under any guise.”

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Customs Corner

FOU ‘A’ Customs Seizes Unmarked Drugs Worth N2.8bn, Warns Citizens of Negative Effects

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FOU 'A' Customs Seizes Unmarked Drugs Worth N2.8bn, Warns Citizens of Negative Effects

By Lucy Nyambi

Comptroller Hussein Ejibunu, in charge of the Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone A, has warned citizens on the grave danger of unmarked drugs to public health and safety.

Comptroller Ejibunu gave the warning during a press briefing at the Unit’s headquarters on Friday, 5 April 2024.

According to him, consumption of unmarked drugs poses a grave threat to public health and safety, as their origins and compositions are unknown.

He said, “We are telling Nigerians to be wary of what they consume; drugs not certified by our regulatory agencies should not be patronised under any guise. We have seen and heard cases where people consume some of these drugs, and they die. ”

He further emphasised the negative impact of smuggling, saying, “It is a criminal offence against the state; participating in it has legal consequences such as hefty fines, imprisonment, or other legal sanctions”.

“Smuggling impacts society negatively by short-changing the economy through tax evasion, affects public health and safety, distorts the balance of fair business competitiveness, and serves as an instrument for the achievement of other criminal activities”. He emphasised.

Highlighting the unit’s activities in the 1st quarter of 2024, Ejibunu noted that seizures recorded were due to violations of various sections of the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 and the federal government import and export prohibition guidelines.

He stated that 206 seizures were made with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N2,877,049,777, while 29 suspects were arrested.

Some of the items seized are 365 cartons of unmarked drugs, 2,705 kegs of premium motor spirit, 3,510 pieces of pneumatic used tyres, 12,278 X 50kg bags of foreign parboiled rice (equivalent to 21 trailer loads), 40 units of used vehicles, 2,230 kg of Indian Hemp.

Others are 286 cartons of rubber slippers, 1,220 cartons of foreign tomato paste, 330 bales of used clothes, 1,569 cartons of foreign frozen poultry products, 104 units of Haojuo Motorcycle, 566 cartons of slippers.

On Revenue Generation, Comptroller Ejibunu stated that the revenue recovery made within the period under review was N305,310,010.44. “This represents 67% collection of the N455,202,073.97 revenue target for 2024”.

He encouraged importers and traders to be compliant with all relevant regulations and laws, as non-compliance has consequences of costly fines and penalties.

Ejibunu noted that compliant importers can access the Service’s preferential treatment through preferential trade programs.

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