Maritime activities closed on Friday with Comptroller Victor Dimka, Area Controller, Seme Border Command of Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), saying the command generated N160 million between Monday and Tuesday.
Mr. Dimka made the disclosure while receiving the Zone `A’ Coordinator of the NCS, Eporwei Edike, in the command.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Mr. Dimka, who assumed office in the third week of January, said the exchange rate was affecting the command’s revenue.
He added that cars that were supposed to come through the border were being diverted to illegal routes.
“We are facing a lot of challenges which had resulted in low activities because of the issue of valuation of vehicles.
“We have tried to live up to expectation by issuing what is approved by the Customs Headquarters,’’ the controller said.
Mr. Dimka noted that officers of the command had become “change agents” and assisting the Comptroller-General, Hameed All, in achieving his mandate.
In his remark, the zonal coordinator said that the service had no doubt that there would be “change” in Seme command.
Ms. Edike said that he noticed a “change’’ on his way from Badagry to Seme where he saw only two check points.
He commended the efforts of the controller in reducing the check points, adding that officers should be more committed to intelligent surveillance within their environment.
“Smugglers are watching out for your weak link either from Seme command or Idiroko, so you must be active always,’’ NAN quotes Ms. Edike as saying.
“As you are generating revenue, you are also working for national security.
“If you allow one bullet to pass into the country unlawfully, it can harm the country,’’ he said.
Ms. Edike advised the officers to collaborate with other security agencies for assistance on intelligence information.
The zonal coordinator told the officers not to take any kobo belonging to government, adding if they do that, it could lead them to prison.
In a related development, Comptroller Wanidu Multafu, the Customs Area Controller, Ogun, said that the command generated N536 million in January.
Multafu said this at Idiroko, Ogun, on the sideline of the visit of the zonal coordinator.
NAN reports that the command generated N1.2billion between January and February 2015.
The controller said that he had designated some officers to mount surveillance in some of the bush paths in the area, while some officers were designated to be at the checkpoints.
“We have porous border which has been affecting us in generating more revenue because the smugglers escape through the various routes in the area.
“We have appealed to the rice dealers in the area to form a group and clear the rice through the border station to avoid being seized,’’ NAN quotes Multafu as saying.
He said that he had closed the border three times since his resumption in the last few weeks due to illegal operations.
In the week under review, the Area Controller, Apapa Area 1 Command of the NCS, Comptroller Willy Egbudin, said the command collected N23.4 billion in January 2016.
NAN reports that the command recorded N20.7 billion in the corresponding period of 2015.
Egbudin stated this at the monthly stakeholders meeting organised by the command in Lagos.
He urged clearing agents and importers to be transparent in all their transactions.
Egbudin said that the command collected N288 billion in 2015 in contrast to N301 billion collected in 2014.
“We will pray that this year, we should be able exceed N500 billion and that is our expectation.
“So far, I do not think we are doing badly; even though we are not meeting the target,’’ NAN quotes the controller as saying.
Egbudin said that there had been a sharp drop in importation and noted that with honest and transparent declarations, the target of N1.1 trillion set aside for the service would be achieved.
Also during the week, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) said that it had saved the nation 2.7 billion dollars (N531.9 billion) in the last five years for preventing overcharging and leakages in freight (shipping) operations.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr Hassan Bello, made the disclosure on the sideline of the visit of the House of Representatives Committee on Marine Transport to the council’s headquarters in Lagos.
Bello urged the committee to support the council to achieve its mandate as the port economic regulator.
“We confirm the reasonableness of freight trade. Each time there is a request for forex, for foreign exchange to be paid; it comes to us and we check it.
“It was during the course of checking, that we discovered there were incidences of overcharging and there were incidences of exaggeration of freight.
“There were incidences of freight rates that were paid for services that were not rendered; and that was what gave us 2.7 billion dollars,’’ the executive secretary said.
“Which means we were blocking the leakages, we were blocking the wastage,’’ NAN quotes Bello as saying. (NAN)