By Steve Agbota 

The Nigeria Customs Service, Port Terminal Multiservice Limited (PTML) Command collected N256.363 billion as revenue and processed over N49.980 billion exports in 2023.

The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Saidu Abba Yusuf, said the 2023 collection is N26.889 billion higher N229.473 billion collected in 2022, representing an increase of 12 per cent.

Comptroller Yusuf said 2023 was a successful one for the command considering it’s accomplishments in the discharge of the service core mandates of revenue generation, facilitation of legitimate trade, anti-smuggling activities and ensuring national security.

In a statement signed and made available to newsmen by the Command Public Relations Officer, CSC Muhammad Yakubu, the Command also processed export goods amounting to a total tonnage of about  159,314.23 metric tons, with a total Free on Board (FOB) value of N49.980 billion only in the year 2023.

This is even as the Command’s anti-smuggling activities recorded numerous seizures including the interception of arms and ammunition, expired tomato concentrates, used tyres and used fridges, amongst others.

Giving the breakdown of the seizures, Comptroller Yusuf listed the items to include a 1x40ft container with registration number ACLU9715690, containing used household items such as used mattresses, used chairs, used tyres and used electronics falsely declared as three used vehicles; 1x40ft container with registration number ACLU9715690 laden with 2,958 pieces of used tyres and used fridges, falsely declared as two vehicles and used household items.

“The seizures include 1x40ft container with registration number ACLU9680248 used to conceal 10 fire arms, Three (3) Empty Magazines, and 442 rounds of live ammunition; also carrying 140 bags of foreign parboiled rice, Three (3) used vehicles and used household items; and 2x20ft containers found to have been used to conceal expired Tomato concentrates; and 1x40ft container with registration number GCNU4720167 discovered to contain three (3) cartons of Co-codamol,” he said.

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According to him, while the seizures has a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of  N158,403 million and a total of five (5) suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures, noting that the suspects have been granted administrative bail.

In trade facilitation, the PTML Customs boss disclosed that the Command sustained its average of three hour clearance time of vehicle for compliant traders, noting that his office is on top of developments as it regards robust facilitation of trade.

“An efficient and accessible dispute resolution committee has been put in place to regularly brief the Customs Area Controller with a view to quickly resolving all trade disputes. This committee contributed immensely to the success recorded during the year under review.

“Comptroller Yusuf personally monitored transactions and interventions by the various units daily to sustain our standard of ease of doing business and trade facilitation,” the statement reads.

He explained that the command also maintains a robust stakeholder’s engagement and participation in strategic process strengthening.

“The Command has continued to maintain a cordial relationship with the various government agencies like the NDLEA, NAFDAC, SON, NPA, NESREA, NAQS, e.t.c. We have effectively functioned as the lead agency towards ease of doing business in the port. This has greatly contributed to the efficiency in service delivery. Regular meetings were held with our critical stakeholders where issues affecting various segment of the supply chain were well discussed and solutions proffered.

“Furthermore, the forum served as a platform through which compliances was being preached and feedback received. Through these engagements we shared ideas and pursued government objectives without compromising our respective mandates as enshrined in our enabling laws. We met to share intelligence, prevent and detect crimes in the national interest and on our part as NCS we prevented revenue loss,” he added.

The Customs Area Controller on behalf of the officers and men of the Command thanked the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi, and his entire management team for their inspiring leadership support, direction and guidance, which he noted has continued to impact greatly on productivity.