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The Onne command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has generated N39billion as revenue for the federal government for the first quarter of 2021.

In a statement made available to newsmen by the public relations officer of the command, Ifeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, yesterday, the command exported cashew nuts, riger nuts, Sesame seeds, ginger, among others worth $71m between January and March 2021.

The import figure collected was 69.4 per cent higher than N23billion collected between January and March 2020 by the same command.

A breakdown of the 2021 monthly collections showed that the command generated N12.1billion for January; N13 billion for February and N14billion for March . All monthly collections for this year have so far surpassed those of the first three months of 2020 with remarkable differences from which hovered at slightly above N7 billion monthly.

On export, the command processed 207,749.614 metric tonnes of cargoes with free on board value of $71million comprising of cashew nuts, ginger, hibiscus flower, sesame seeds, zircon sand, palm kernel, tiger nuts and many more.

On anti smuggling, the command recorded a total of 12 seizure with a cumulative duty of N4.1billion paid.

The seizures comprises of 2 units of used Mitsubishi buses; 210 bales of second hand clothing ; 1,435 pcs of used tyres ;Used engine gear box and auto spare parts ;310 pallets of laser ketchup and 20 bales of fabrics.

A month by month breakdown of the seizures indicates that 4 seizures were made in January which includes 3 containers and 2 suspects with duty paid value of N86million while in February, the command made 3 seizures involving 4 containers with total duty paid value of N46million and in March 2021, it made 5 seizures involving 7 containers with duty paid value of N4billion.

Speaking, the customs area controller (CAC), Area II Command, Onne Port, Compt. Auwal Mohammed urged officers of the command to be unrelenting and uncompromising in collection of revenue and implementation of government directives.

To him, “we are doing well but I believe there are rooms for improvement in revenue collection, anti smuggling, trade facilitation and robust stakeholders’ engagements. Every likely or identified area of government revenue leakages should be blocked for us to sustain the tempo of maximum collections. We owe Nigeria a duty to make smuggling of prohibited items impossible through this command.

“Our ability to detect attempts at duty evasion and issuing demand notices to collect complete revenue from importers and their agents will be improved upon relying on technology and hands-on experience. Duty evaders should steer clear from this area as they are likely to be arrested with their wares seized in accordance with extant provision of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA)

“While we await the deployment of scanners to aid our job, the due diligence employed in physical examinations to achieve outstanding results will be sustained and improved upon

“I hereby urge importers, exporters, licensed customs agents and freight forwarders interfacing with customs in Onne Port to see compliance as a key to unlock the many benefits derivable from their trade, investments and professions,” the CAC said.

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