Q4 Report: How Customs, NIWA, Shippers’ Council Fared

Q4 Report: How Customs, NIWA, Shippers’ Council FaredMMS Plus presents the scorecard of transport sector agencies based on their performance in the last quarter of 2018 with regards to their core functions. In this week’s appraisal we x-ray the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

For the grading system: A =90-100%, B+ = 80-89%, B =70-79%, C+ =60-69%, C =50-59%, D =40-49% and E = 30-39%, F = 0-30%. Enjoy it:

 

Nigeria Customs Service (NCS)

Nigeria Customs Service is one of the most prioritized government institutions when it comes to the issue of revenue generation but it also has the crucial role to facilitate trade, among other duties. For this rating, we would score the agency based on its performance of four (4) statutory functions:

 

•         Collection of Revenue (Import /Excise Duties & other Taxes /Levies) and Accounting for Same:

NCS set a new record for revenue generated in a single year with the sum of N1.2trillion as revenue for the 2018 fiscal period an increase of N164.89bn over the 2017 revenue collection of N1.03trn.

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) described the revenue collected as the result of various reforms implemented by the service in 2018 and a great deal of these commendable efforts was seen in the last quarter as all commands made efforts to shore-up their revenue base and most commands exceeded their targets.

Ali says the reforms were anchored on the dogged pursuit of what was right rather than being populist and the fact that NCS makes available its accrued revenue on regular basis is a sign of transparency and accountability in the system.

Score = 23/25

 

•         Anti-Smuggling Activities:

In the last quarter of 2018 NCS recorded massive seizures as officers distinguished themselves with unparalleled integrity and patriotism. The case of the amiable Area Controller at the nation’s foremost port, Apapa Port, CAC Abubakar Bashir deserves commendation as officers under his leadership displayed high degree of national interest, swinging into the action of saving lives and rejecting mouth-watering bribe of N150 million in dollars for the first time in the history of NCS. In that incident, 40 containers of Tramadol worth N7.3billion in duty paid value were seized in Apapa.

In another incident also in the period under review, FOU Zone A CAC, Comptroller Comptroller Aliyu Muhammed rejected N50 million also in dollars as he recorded a seizure he described seizure as the biggest in the history of FOU Zone A. The command intercepted 3,792 parcels of Indian hemp of worth over N379 million, smuggled into the country from Ghana.

New strategies were successfully adopted to combat the menace of smuggling with most Commands adopting the “media-Customs partnership model” with journalists where seizures and other activities are brought to the notice of the masses on regular basis.

However, despite these successes, it has been reportedly observed that Customs officers at the ports and border stations aid sharp practices and in turn alert their colleagues at other commands, most especially FOU to intercept the same consignments.

 Score = 17/25

•         Trade Facilitation/ Engaging in Research, Planning and Enforcement of Fiscal Policies of Government:

Trade cannot be said to be properly facilitated within the period under review mainly as a result of the absence of scanners which led to the burden of physical examination. The status quo remains the same in terms of operations despite the deployment of NICIS II in the last quarter of 2018.

Nothing of note has been reported in terms of Research and Planning.

Score= 2/25

•         Working In Collaboration With Other Government Agencies In All Approved Ports and Border Stations:

Customs’ inter-agency collaboration with sister agencies such as the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Standards Organization of Nigeria (SON), Nigeria Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC, the Nigerian Army in ensuring compliance, anti-smuggling and other forms of crime combats which includes illegal commercial activities and illicit trade acts is acknowledged.

 Score= 8/25

 Conclusion:

The performance of the Customs in 2018 was impressive, especially in the aspect of revenue collection and the recent anti-smuggling vendetta of the agency since the last quarter of 2018 has been commendable. Customs gets 50% based on the recent upturn in its activities. However, the burden of scanners remains a major challenge and Customs management should address this issue expediently because of the security implications to the country as well as the time lost in the process of physical examination.

Grade = C (50%)

National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)

The law establishing NIWA gave it the following statutory roles:  Provide regulation for inland water navigation;  Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for a national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges; Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation. For the purpose of this report each of the core function carries 25points while the other functions carry another 25 points.

Provide regulation for inland water navigation:

Although the NIWA boss, Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora assured the maritime community that he intends to develop on the existing regulatory framework for inland water navigation in the country, nothing of note could be reported in the quarter under review.

Score = 3/25

 Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges;

The agency was able to develop Baro port and equip it with a Mobile Harbour Crane, Transit shed, Administrative block, fire hydrant system, water treatment plant, Reach stacker, 100KVA power generating set, and three numbers forklifts of various tonnages, but the agency is expected to make giant strides in 2019 as it concludes plans to build a modern bonded terminal at Oyingbo Jetty, Lagos  from where containers can be moved from Apapa and Tin can Ports on badges and transported by either rail or road to destinations or move by water ways to Onitsha and Warri at the eastern part of the country.

There are plans to transform the agency’s Lagos office at Marina into an ultra-modern superstructure as a terminal where sea going vessels can berth and  off-load cargoes.

Score = 18/25

Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation:

The Authority has held several summits with indigenous operators but must of the meetings have been to sensitize the operators on the requisite standards and reemphasis the need to adhere to safety regulations. Not much strategic efforts have been recorded with regards to training in this aspect.

Score = 8/25

Other functions and powers of the Authority include: – undertake capital and maintenance dredging;
 undertake hydrological and hydrographic surveys: design ferry routes:  survey, remove, and receive derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from in land waterways;  operate ferry services within the inland waterways system;  undertake installation and maintenance of lights, buoys and all navigational aids along water channels and banks; etc.

NIWA was only able to attack some of these responsibilities. However, the commissioning of the Waterways Ambulance in December is a notable achievement under this function.

Score = 8/25

Conclusion:

After settling in as the Managing Director of NIWA, Senator Mamora has been able to guide NIWA to unfold an inland waterways transportation master-plan capable of providing the platform for the much anticipated multi-modal transportation system in Nigeria. The commissioning of waterways ambulances and the Baro port are notable achievements for the agency as the new Managing Director strives to leave his name in the agency’s sand of time. Expect more success stories from the agency in 2019.

Total Score=37/100

Grade: E (37%)

Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC)

For the purpose of this report, only the functions of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator would be analyzed. There are ten (10) functions and each carries 10points;

•         Provide guidelines on tariff setting in order to guide against arbitrariness

The Council did negotiate with shipping lines on the need to curb arbitrary charges among other fiscal issues at the ports. Following the recent disclosure that shipping companies were set to introduce new charges due to the bottlenecks at the nation’s port the Council also moved to negotiate with the shipping companies and the problem was averted.

Score = 8/10

•         Monitor and enforce standards of service delivery to ensure availability, accessibility, affordability, stability, predictability and adequacy of services

Shippers’ Council was not have been able to negotiate or standardize freight rates for trucking, trains or carriage of goods via the waterways, despite holding several meetings with port stakeholders on this issue. Score =3/10

•         Encourage competition and guard against the abuse of monopoly and dominant market positions; This role has received more attention by the Council; with the Council striving to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders Score = 5/10

•         Perform mediatory role among stakeholders;

The Council was able to perform the role of an intermediary and an unbiased umpire amongst the industry stakeholders Score = 6/10

•         Establish accessible and modern dispute resolution mechanism

The Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) and Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs) initiated by the Council in 2016 were tipped to ease dispute resolution and provide seamless accessibility for all port stakeholders but these benefits are yet to materialize. Score = 3/10

•         Regulate market entry and exit

Nothing to report on this aspect Score = 0/10

•         Promote efficiency in the provision of port services

The Council has been able to engage several service providers like freight forwarders, truckers, Customs, terminal operators, etc on the need to promote efficiency but few improvements were recorded because inefficiency earns some stakeholders like terminal operators, shipping lines and dubious Customs officers more money. Score = 5/10

•         Minimize high cost of doing business and prevent its inflationary effect on the Nigerian economy

 This role has received a massive push by the Council with NSC engaging several service providers on the need to minimize cost.

Score = 6/10

•         Encourage private sector investment in the port sector

The Council was seen to play this role actively in soliciting sponsors and facilitators for the Inland Container Depots and Truck Transit Parks with the Kaduna Dry Port the most recording the most significant development in 2018. Score = 5/10

•         Monitor and ensure compliance by all parties with the provisions of the Port Concession Agreements

There is nothing significant to report in this area at the moment. Score = 2/10

Conclusion:

Several efforts have been made to engage stakeholders ranging from port service providers, security agents, Inland Dry Port operators, Truck Transit Park facilitators, among others. The Council clamped down on erring companies and dishing instructions for the economic good of the nation as well as investors in the last quarter of 2018. The Council should thrive to build on this modest success in 2019.

Grade = D (43%)

Check Also

AfCFTA: Experts Dissect Nigeria’s Prospects As Customs Reach 81% Preparedness

AfCFTA: Experts Dissect Nigeria’s Prospects As Preparation Reach 81%

By Kenneth Jukpor Despite the COVID-19 pandemic leaving effects Africa’s economy in rumbles like other …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

× Get News Alert