Revenue recorded by the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) from all its activities at the Port Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) Command, Tin Can , Lagos between January and February this year rose by 44.3 per cent compared to the level in the corresponding period of 2018.
Statistics collated at the Command showed that it realized a total sum of N24,874,827,875 during the period as against N17,235,057,697 in January and February last year.
The Public Relations Officer of the Command, Muhammed Yusuf said that N14,850,154,616 was realised as revenue by the Command in January this year while N10,024,673,259 was recorded in February.
Yusuf attributed the revenue increase to the rise in the cargo throughput, that is the number of vehicles and containers imported into the country through the PTML Terminal and the Command during the period and the efforts of the Controller of the Command, Comptroller(Mrs) Dixon F.O including the diligence and commitment of the officers and men at collecting the requisite revenue on the imports.
It was discovered that revenue realised in January 2019 surpassed that of the corresponding period of 20118 by 49 per cent while that of February exceeded that of the same period of 2018 by 38 per cent.
However, It was learnt that the increase in the level of revenue recorded in January over that of February is due to the spillover from the last quarter of every year that is characterized by rise in the importation of cars by Nigerians living abroad who always use the proceeds from the sale of such automobiles for the Yuletide or investment during their stay in the country for such celebrations.
The Command derives its revenue from vehicles imported into the PTML Terminal , which has Roll on Roll off(RORO) facilities for the handling of vehicles. The Terminal accounts for an appreciable percentage of automobiles imported into the country .
The PTML Terminal and by extension the command had experienced a sharp decline in the number of vehicles shipped into the country through it up till 2016 due to the negative impact of the fiscal policy of government in the guise of the imposition of high tariff of 35 per cent and another 35 per cent levy on vehicles , both used and new as part of the automobile policy meant to encourage the assemblage/ production of cars in Nigeria.
The high tariff had scared most importers away from the patronage of Nigerian Ports for the use of other countries seaports like those in Cotonou , Benin Republic , Lome, Togo and Accra, Ghana among others while most of the vehicles they import through these seaports are subsequently smuggled into the country .
But the Command’s fortunes changed for good when the Federal Government directed that from January 2017 all vehicles should henceforth be shipped into the country through the seaports, making it illegal since then for any vehicle to be imported through the border posts with the the intent of wanting to pay duty on them and thus forcing most of the legal importers to resume their patronage of the Command.