The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has recorded more strides in the first half of the year in Port Harcourt Area 2 Command, Onne, Rivers State.
The report showed that in spite of the fact that there is a drop in the number of treated declarations in the period under review, there was an increase in the revenue collected by the command.
It disclosed that the revenue it collected in the first half of 2017 stands at N44.6 billion, making it N177.8 billion higher than the total revenue it collected for the same period last year.
The NCS attributed the increase to what it called â€œproactive effortsâ€ of the officers and men of the command in the blocking of revenue leakages.
It also stated that the command has been very alive to its anti-smuggling responsibilities and in its determination to up hold fiscal policies and guidelines on imports.
Within the period under review, it has made 20 seizures which includes 18 x 20 containers and 2 x 40 containers carrying various items including margarine, cooking oil, rice, used cloths and other items with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N422,770,096.
According to its Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Abubakar Bashir, who disclosed this in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the command, Mr. Kenneth Oroegbu, the command anti-smuggling activities in the first half of 2017 outstrips that for the same period last year by a very wide margin as only two seizures with a DPV of N140, 700, 000 were made in the first half of 2016.Â Also in January, this command made seizures of 11 containers of illegally imported pharmaceuticals which have since been handed over to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for evacuation and destruction.
On exports, Bashir revealed that various items including kaolin, cashew nuts, semi processed prime wood, and granular urea were exported through the command.
â€œThe total cost and freight (CF) value for these exports amounted to $64.048 million for the period under review. The figures for export also reveal a clear improvement in export activities in the command.
While the C&F value for export increased by $23.544 million. The charge on the Nigeria Export Supervisory Scheme (NESS) also increased from N33.722 million in 2016 to N102.045 million. This is a clear improvement over and above the performance of the command for the same period in the previous yearâ€, he added.
Describing Port Harcourt Area II Command, Onne as the flagship of the NCS in the South-South/South-East zones, Bashir stated that as the hub of international trade, it is strategically positioned to meet the needs of the business community since its activities has a direct impact in the region in particular and on the Nigerian economy in general.
According to him, the scope of activities of the command is wide and its effects are far reaching. Its operations spans the conventional port facilities which encompasses the Federal Lighter Terminal (FLT), the Federal Ocean Terminal (FOT), theÂ Oil and Gas Free Zone, an out station in Bonny Island and the various Bonded terminals located close to the port complex and around the Port Harcourt metropolis.
He explained that the command in carrying out its statutory functions have had to interact closely with other government agencies.
These include the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Navy, Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) and NAFDAC.
â€œIndeed as a result of these collaborations, the command was able to detect, detain and hand over to NAFDAC, 11 containers of illegally imported pharmaceuticals and two containers suspected of containing contaminated fishâ€, he said.