The Ports & Terminal Multipurpose Limited Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said that the introduction of Vehicles Identification Number for clearing of imported vehicles led to a 40 per cent drop in imported vehicles in 2022.
The outgoing Controller of the command, acting Assistant Comptroller General, Suleiman Bomai, who disclosed this on Tuesday while briefing journalists on the activities of the command for the year, said that the command generated N229bn as revenue into the Federal government’s coffers in 2022.
He said that the figure represented 96 per cent of the revenue target of N238bn set for the command for the period under review.
Bomai said the revenue generated was N5bn higher than the N224bn revenue collected in the corresponding period of 2021.
“There was a drop in 2022; there was a drop of almost 40 per cent of roll-on-roll-off importation. The shipping lines can also confirm that there was a drop but despite the drop, look at the revenue we got.”
He reiterated that some government policies such the VIN affected automobile importation into through command within the year under review.
“In the year under review about 80 per cent of the cargoes handled in the terminal were vehicles. As a customs command, we employed dialogue with our strategic stakeholders on the need to understand the basis of VIN valuation and engaged them severally to solicit their cooperation. We also strengthened our relationship with our strategic partners who are sister government agencies in the port. Our robust interface with private sector stakeholders and government agencies is ongoing in 2023 and beyond in line with our extant standard operating procedures. It is important to state that implementation of all government policies and directives are ongoing with increasing degree of compliance being recorded so far.”
Bomai said that the absence of scanners in the command was one of the major challenges the command faced in 2022.
“The absence of non-functional scanners in the command is one of our major challenges. This will reduce the issue of 100 per cent physical examination of containerised cargo.
“As the customs modernisation project progresses, we are hoping to have a scanner for faster cargo examination. Available space within the command is very limited and we are managing that currently. We anticipate that in future the PTML management and our various bonded warehouse operators will expand our spaces to enhance customs operation,” he added.
Bomai said that the command handled exports of commodities such as cocoa, sesame seeds, palm oil and other foods items with 178 metric tonnes with a free on board value of $249m in 2022.
“Compared to 2021 when we had a total tonnage of about 147 metric tons, with a total FOB value of $1.4bn.
“In the year 2022, the command generated total revenue of N229bn. This represents about 96 per cent of the revenue target of N238bn set for 2021 adopted by the command in 2022.
“This shows an increase of N5bn when compared to N224bn collected within the period under review in 2021. This represents an increase of 2.2 per cent. Despite the recorded downtime occasioned by agents strike and alleged inability by some importers to clear their vehicles from our control, we were able to surpass 2021 revenue collection last year.”
According to him, as a result of diligent 100 per cent cargo examination and deployment of intelligence, the command was able to uncover attempts to smuggle arms and ammunition into the country concealed in imported vehicles.
“In the period under review, four seizures were recorded which include 1X40ft container containing three vehicles used to conceal two fire arms, One used Ford Edge containing fire arm and 30 rounds of live cartridges; one used Toyota sienna containing fire arm; one used Toyota corolla containing 90 rounds of live ammunition. A total of six suspects were arrested in connection with these seizures and have been granted administrative bail. The total duty paid was N36m,” he explained