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Customs Corner

Customs Reacts to Viral Video on Alleged Smuggling of Petroleum Products

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Author: Lucy Ulugbe; Lagos.

The Nigeria Customs Service has responded to a recent video making the rounds on social media of a half-clad Individual recording himself while claiming to have arrested trucks carrying premium motor spirit across the border.

In a statement signed by the National Public Relations Officer of Customs, DC Timi Bomodi on Thursday revealed that the person in the video is indeed an officer of the Nigeria Customs Service attached to the Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’ in Adamawa, but the state in which the officer depicted himself in the video is a characteristic of a person with an unstable mind.

According to the statement, the said Officer has since been withdrawn by the Controller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’, who instructed his detention pending medical evaluation.

“The person in the video is indeed an officer of Nigeria Customs Service and he is currently attached to the Federal Operations Unit Zone D in Adamawa. This incident occurred on Wednesday 2nd of November 2022 at Malabo Checkpoint on Belel Road, Adamawa state. It is important to note that 55 kilometres separate this location from the nearest border”. He noted.

According to Bomodi, there are fully operational petrol stations. between the place where the incident occurred and the border. Preliminary investigations also indicated that the drivers on the trucks were in possession of duly signed product distribution sheets for consignments allocated by PPMC for filling stations within that vicinity.

Furthermore, the vehicles in transit, are considered to be well within city limits and therefore can neither be accused of nor arrested for transporting goods across the border”

“All our officers are compelled by a strict dress code to not only be in uniform while on duty, but to adorn their name tags for easy identification by members of the public. The state in which this officer depicted himself in this video, his comportment and his speech suggests a level of incoherence associated with people of an unstable mind. Indeed, his actions led to his immediate withdrawal by the Controller Federal Operations Unit Zone ‘D’, who instructed his detention pending medical evaluation”. He emphasized.

In his words “The NCS seriously frowns at any action that is inimical to the economic well-being of our nation. Our battle with smuggling has been unequivocal and unyielding. Our checkpoints are usually manned by a team of officers all of whom are assigned specific responsibilities. The levels of checks and counter-checks created as part of the NCS strategic enforcement initiative have made it extremely difficult for breaches to occur”.

The Nigeria Customs Service hereby assured members of the public of the commitment of its officers and men to securing the borders. “We ask for your understanding in this endeavour even as we seek your prayers for those whose health and well-being may have been compromised by stress while carrying out their onerous assignment” He concluded.

Customs Corner

Minister Of Finance Zainab Ahmed Commissions Customs Scanners In Lagos

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Author: Cynthia Idowu; Lagos.

In order to aid fast clearance of goods at the Port and generate more revenue for the Federal Government, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed Commissioned three 500 maximum capacity ultra-modern Scanners in Lagos.

The Minister of Finance also disclosed at the APM Terminal in Apapa, that one hundred and twenty Customs Officers and Men have already been trained to man the scanning machines and the scanners will further upgrade the operations of the Nigeria Customs Service in line with international best practices.

According to the Minister, the present process of physical examination of cargo is time-consuming thereby causing loss of revenue for the Federal Government, unlike the new scanners that can scan cargo in minutes and detect concealed goods in cargo.

“This process enables more cargoes to be scanned and brings about the desired efficiency and effectiveness in Customs cargoes examinations.

“I, therefore implore the Management of the NCS to collaborate with the contractors to ensure proper maintenance and full utilization of the Scanners within the thirty (30) months provided in the contract agreement, as well as enhanced capacity building and training of one hundred and twenty (120) Customs scanning officers.” She said.

Similarly, the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) said, the Service is ever ready and will ensure good use of the new equipment.

“Unlike previous attempts at managing scanners, our officers have been trained up to level 2 maintenance capability. This ensures that the day-to-day management of these machines will be proficiently handled by our officers who have been trained and certified by the manufacturers to carry out basic maintenance.

“We appreciate our partners the terminal operators, who have taken the pains to adjust their operations to suit the innovations of the moment. Our continuous collaboration will ensure that cargos are promptly delivered for scanning and evacuated from the ports as soon as they are certified to be compliant by our officers and other regulatory agencies.” He said.

Considering the usefulness of the scanners, the CGC said, it will further aid full compliance with extant laws and facilitate trade for compliant traders.

“We know that this equipment will be of special benefit to manufacturers who import homogenous items in large volumes. We also know that importers of high-risk goods will no longer have any place to hide. So we are hereby putting recalcitrant traders on notice. They either change or be ready to face the full consequence of their actions.” He emphasized.

Speaking further, the CGC noted that, the cargo scanning process will not only reduce the stress associated with positioning, offloading and taking inventory of containers. It will store recorded images in a safe format easily accessible by all agencies from the comfort of their offices.

Another advantage is, it will make the auditing of transactions using images easier and will checkmate attempts by non-compliant traders to cheat the system.

“The challenge of security is of immense concern to all well-meaning citizens. Since we know that a good number of items that pose a threat to national security find their way through our various entry points, we believe that the equipment that is being commissioned today will greatly enhance our capacity to defend our dear nation.” He also stated.

“As we approach phase one of the customs modernization, we shall see the deployment of scanners to all sea ports, airports, and approved land borders. We shall also witness the launch of a central data management system when live feeds from our ports and borders can be viewed and monitored from our headquarters” He added.

The three Scanning machines were installed in Apapa Port, Tincan Island Port, and Onne Port respectively.

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Customs Corner

Customs PTML Command Records N199 Billion In Ten Months, Welcomes Students of Junior Course 14

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Author: Cynthia Idowu; Lagos.

The Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has generated a revenue of N199,468,482,842.00 as revenue from January to October 2022.

This was made known by the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Suleiman Bomai in a Press Release signed by the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Superintendent of Customs Muhammed Yakubu.

According to him, Bomai tasked the Officers and men not to compromise their duties as it will not only guarantee maximum revenue collection but will also promote national security and overall citizens’ protection.

“The collected revenue translates to a 7.7 percent increase, which is an appreciation of N14.247.021.754.00 from the N185,221,461,088.00 during the same period in 2021”, he explained.

He further stated that Comptroller Bomai recently assumed Office in August 2022 with a mandate to improve revenue generation, suppression of smuggling, and trade facilitation.

In another development, the Command played host to the student of Junior Course 14 from the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada on an operational study tour.

The visit which focused more on enlightening and educating the students also broaden their knowledge on certain critical challenges in the Service, as the students visited the scanning site and Customs Processing Centre (CPC). The students are expected to also carry out research and proffer solutions to the identified problems.

Addressing the students, the Customs Area Controller said, that 21st Century Customs is based on training and retraining, as it is the bedrock for Officers developing on both Customs and inter-agency related courses.

While presenting a paper on, “the use of non-intrusive inspection technology challenges and prospect” He harped on the growth of international trade as a result of globalization.

“Over the last decades, many modernization programs in Customs used varying degrees of automation to support core functions. The Facilitation drive by the government and fight against the proliferation of illegal arms could not have been achieved without the deployment of Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology (NIIT)”, he said.

The Junior Course 14 students appreciated the CAC and members of his team for the warm reception and knowledge gained from the tour, which according to them, will help in their research work. The team leader, CSC JH Ephraim presented a souvenir on behalf of the college Commandant.

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Customs Corner

Customs MMIA Command Records Over N1 Billion In October 

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Customs MMIA Command Records Over N1 Billion In October 

Author: Cynthia Idowu; Lagos.

As part of the mandate set by the Comptroller General of Customs,  Col Hameed Ali (rtd) in raising the revenue collection of the Nigeria Customs Service, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Command (MMIA) has recorded success in October 2022.

This is coming after,  the Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Mahmoud Gidado assumed Office as the new CAC in August 2022.

In a Press Release issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Command,  Superintendent of Customs Juliana Tomo said, the Command collected the total sum of One billion, six hundred and eight million, nine hundred and thirty-six thousand, six hundred and seventy-three naira, ninety-five kobo N1,608,936,673.95.

In export duty, the Command also recorded, nine hundred and eighty-two million,  six hundred and forty-five naira. The PRO said, it’s a remarkable revenue collection after the COVID-19 lockdown that placed restrictions on travelers and drops in importation coupled with high inflation.

“The Command also facilitated the formal export of locally manufactured goods although in low volume due to the peculiarity of the Command as airport terminals to the tune of one million, nine hundred and thirty-five thousand, one hundred and sixty-nine naira (#1,935,169.00).”

“This achievement was through due diligence with the application of extant laws such as Sections 72 and 145 of the Customs and Excise Management Act CAP C45 Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 2004 (CEMA CAP C45 LFN 2004).”  She added.

The Command reiterated its resolve, in pursuing the given mandate of trade facilitation and collection of revenue as well as suppression of smuggling within its jurisdiction while ensuring an efficient and friendlier traveler clearance procedure ahead of the year end festive season. “Once again, we assure all voluntary compliance persons a good travel experience in the clearance of their shipment.” She concluded.

PTML Customs Generates N117.5b Half-Year Revenue, Surpasses 2021 Collection by 12%

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