Onne command”s Customs Controller, Baba Imam says of the N336 billion target given the command this year, almost N55 billion has been generated between January and March.
Briefing newsmen today, he said this is 16.3 percent of the total target and that when compared with the same period of last year, it has an increase of N1,132,925,556.82.
Imam stated that this figure realised was inspite of not having vessels berth in Onne port for some time now due to the elections, noting that they are looking forward to continuous rise in revenue generation in the coming months “as we expect vessels to berth on our coastline within the next few weeks’
In anti-smuggling activities, within the past few weeks, since I assumed office, it has been a harvest of seizures justifying our committed resolve to facilitating only legitimate trade in line with the provision of extant laws. This is made visible with the display of a total number of 27 containers which comprises, 26 seized Containers and One detained container for violations or contraventions of various customs laws and breach of procedures as provided under the revised import prohibition guidelines (by trade) Schedule 3 Article 4 of the Common External Tariff 2022-2026, as well as Sections 46 Paragraph (b), (d), (e), (f) and 169 of Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004 as amended.
These seizures and detention were made base on infractions related to import guidelines, which includes:
1. Contraband Goods
2. False declaration
3. End user certificate requirement from the office of the National Security Adviser
4. NAFDAC permit/license among others in line with the Federal Government fiscal policies.
These containers are currently in our Government Warehouse and would be shown to members of the press shortly.
The seized items are as follow:
Twenty-Four (24) containers laden with refined vegetable oil comprising a total of 24,860 gallons of 25 and 10 litres La-Jonic vegetable oil. i.e (19,800 gallons of 25 litres and 5,060 gallons of 10 litres) with duty paid value of ₦833,172,538.42. (Based on false declaration and contravention of Schedule 3 Article 4 of C.ET)
Also seized were other Two (2) containers laden with 1,165 cartons of Analgin injection and Fireworks with other items. i.e (286 cartons of Analgin injection I.M.V) (2/5g/5ml) (Based on contravention of revised import prohibition guideline) (210 cartons of Banga, 273 cartons of W.Tail, 216 cartons of Coloured flowers, 180 cartons of Pops) (Based on absence of End user certificate).
The total duty paid value for the two (2) containers is ₦94,652,168.39. Put together, the total duty paid value of the 26 seized containers stands at ₦94,652,168.39. The seized cartons of Analgin injection will be handed over to NAFDAC today in the spirit of interagency collaboration. We shall continue to build on this robust relationship with other sister agencies to rid the society off criminal elements that are working against the interest of the Country.
Similarly, One 20 ft container of machete was detained on documentation grounds pending provision of End user Certificate.
Gentlemen of the press, we cannot but underscore the necessity and imperativeness of synergy, collaboration and intelligence sharing, as the above seizures were made purely with intelligence gathered and 100% physical examination. Nevertheless, I want to state here that investigation is still ongoing through our legal/intelligent unit to arrest the culprits and bring them to book as soon as possible.
It is worthy of note that importation of certain controlled items like Fireworks and machete requires End-User Certificate which is under the purview of the Office of the National Security Adviser, such importations without the Certificate are to be seized and forfeited to the Nigerian Government.
The federal Government bans the Importation of refined vegetable oil in order to promote local production by our local industries, which in turn creates employment for Nigerians and to boost foreign exchange through export of such products.
The seized containers would be filed for condemnation at the federal High Court Port Harcourt and shall subsequently be forfeited to the Federal Government.
The Command shall continue to blaze the trail in trade facilitation and revenue generation activities through the deployment of intelligence gathering, collaboration and synergy with other critical stakeholders for the actualization of our statutory mandate. These deliberate and concerted efforts will guide us in contributing our quota towards realizing remarkable results in line with Vision and Mission of the Comptroller General of Customs and His Management Team.
For complaint traders of legitimate trade we assure you of trade facilitation while we would in accordance with the provision of the law deal with importers and agents who manifest a recalcitrant attitude to obeying the law.
In conclusion, I want to bring to your notice that, in line with the global best practice and the Controller General of Customs resolve in trade facilitation, the Command reconstituted the dispute resolution team headed by the DC Revenue in order to facilitate trade and give fair hearing to stakeholders and importers with genuine or legitimate complaint about their consignment.
Additionally, in order to bring stakeholders involved or engaged in importation and exportation up to speed with the best International practice and knowledge required for such operation, our compliant stakeholders who believes the Command should have a conducive training and meeting center initiated as part of their cooperate social responsibility to assist in the construction of a conference room that will serve a dual purpose. I am glad to inform you that work on the Conference/ training center is almost completed, and within the next few weeks we shall be commissioning the center.
I recognize the critical role the media can play especially in the area of sensitization and enlightenment of all stakeholders and society at large in order to achieve willful compliance to trade laws of all imports and export through this axis. Please continue to educate the public while the Command will continue to re-invigorate strategies that will enhance our performance. Thank you for coming and God bless.