The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Tin can Island command has generated a total sum of N21 million in the month of March, 2015 as against a target of N28 given to it for the month by the service.
The command Public relations Officer (PRO), Chris Osunkwo said that business at the ports since the beginning of the year has been at its lowest ebb as a result of the elections taking place in the country.
He explained that because the major players in the maritime industry are either sponsoring a candidate or being sponsored and a lot of interest has been in that direction which has also affected the command’s revenue generation.
He however said that the effect had not created any negative impact as the command was able to make N20 million in January, N19 million in February and N20 million in March.
In his words, “To God be the glory, it has not really affected our revenue generation that much because we made N20 million in January, N19 million in February and in March, we made N20 million, it has been functioning,”
Mr. Osunkwo pointed out that the downward turn in the cargo throughput is not only associated with election but also the high exchange rate of dollar to naira.
According to him, “We hope that by the time the elections have been concluded and the government fiscal policies and budget passed and ratified and the new administration comes on board, everything will get back to normalcy.”
Speaking further, the PRO said he distanced himself from the school of thought that believes that the volume of cargoes determines the ability of the customs to generate revenues.
He said, “Customs deals with value and not quantity or volume because you may bring in a ship load of an item that may after all not pay as much as a pick up load of another more valuable and dutiable items.
“You may have a shop load with one thousand containers and the entire value is not up to one million dollars compared to another pick up load of consignment that is more valuable with CIF value of up to ten million dollars. So, the hood does not make the monk.
“That is why most times, I disagree with cargo being a culprit in revenue generation. It is not as important as the ability of the service to block the identified or suspected revenue leakages or loopholes to maximize collectable revenue for government,” he added.