Intercepts 206,000 matchetes without End-User Certificate
By Kenneth Jukpor
Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded over 62 percent increase in export trade at the Tin Can Island Port with 71,014 metric tons of goods exported in the first quarter of 2022, while 44,502 metric tons were exported in the first quarter of 2021.
The Command’s Area Controller, Comptroller Olakunle Oloyede revealed this in his maiden press briefing earlier today, even as he noted that the Free on Board (FOB) value of the exports also increased by over 55 percent from N31.3billion in 2021 to N56.2billion.
According to the Area Controller, one of the marching orders he was given when he was posted to Tin Can was to make Tin Can Island Port export friendly.
He stated that he swiftly had a strategic meeting with the Tin Can Island Port Manager of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA). “We designed a winning formula. I also looked at the operational procedures of our officers and did some changes. That’s why we are having this increase of over 62.6 percent in exports, he said.
Commodities exported through the Command include; Copper Ingots, Stainless Steel Ingots, Sesame seeds, Cashew nuts, Cocoa beans, Rubber, Cocoa butter, Leather, Ginger, Frozen shrimps, among others.
Meanwhile, the Command also intercepted some cargoes that could have worsened the security challenges in the country with eight containers of matchetes imported from Ghana containing 206,000 pieces, 145 kilograms of Colorado, and others with a Duty Paid Value of N1.048 billion, were seized.
While the Colorado was concealed in 2 units of Ridgeline trucks; other seizures include 640 bales of used clothes, 236,500 pieces of used shoes, 62,500 pieces of new lady’s shoes, 1,670,400 pieces of Chloroquine injections (Smg/Sml), 1,814,400 pieces Novalgen injection (500mg/Sml), 48,850 rolls of cigarettes and 23,800 tins of sodium bromate and baking powder.
Showcasing the seizures to newsmen, the Comptroller Oloyede said that the machetes were seized due to security issues in the country and there was no End Users Certificate from the office of the National Security Adviser for the importation of such items, adding that import of these products contravenes Sections 46, 47 and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) Cap 45 LFN 2004.
The Area Controller also revealed that the Command generated N135.443 billion in the first quarter of 2022, which is an improvement of N22.747 billion only, translating to a 20.18 percent increase from the first quarter of 2021 collection of N112.695 billion.
Oloyede stressed that the Command drew inspiration from the 2022 World Customs Day theme, “Scaling Up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem” to harness facilities made available under NICIS II platform, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR), Advance Manifest and others to enhance risk management processes at the Command.
He highlighted some of the challenges at the Command to include; treatment of overtime cargoes because of the non-implementation of the extant laws guiding uncleared cargo and lack of government warehouses in close proximity to the port leading to difficulties in logistics and increasing handling costs.