By Adegboyega Oni
Conscious of the impact of timely release of cargo on the nation’s economy and revenue generation, the Nigeria Customs Service, Tin Can Island Port Command, Lagos, says the use of the Time Release Studies (TRS) has helped to boost its revenue generation.
The command attributed the N11.7 billion revenue it generated between January and April 2020 into the Federal Government coffers to the successful use of the TRS.
The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of the command, Comptroller Musa Abdullahi, disclosed this in a statement released by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Uche Ejesieme, last week Friday in Lagos.
Abduallahi noted that the TRS tool was beefed up for strategic planning in determining the actual time required for the release and clearance of goods, right from the time of arrival to physical release from Customs’ Control.
He added that the TRS was a strategic tool that was capable of identifying bottlenecks in the trade value chain and creating an enabling environment for effectiveness and efficiency in operations.
“It is on the strength of this and other parameters that the command generated a total of N117, 839, 418, 332.16 between January and April in spite of the global pandemic which has posed a great challenge.
“The figure is against the sum of N106,644,643,917.25 generated same period in 2019, reflecting a difference of N11,194,774,414.91,’’ he said.
The controller responded to issues bothering on challenges amidst the COVID-19.
He reiterated the readiness of the command to ensure adherence and compliance with the extant protocols by Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and World Health Organisation (WHO) toward containing the spread of the virus.
Abdullahi noted that prior to the declaration of the virus as a pandemic disease, the command had conducted series of seminars and awareness campaign, targeted at sensitising the officers/men as well as stakeholders on measures to adopt in dealing with the menace.
According to him, these measures will be sustained even after the post-COVID-19 era.
“Even at the onset of this pandemic when pressure, anxiety and general apprehension was the order of the day, the command demonstrated resilience, sagacity and compassion in its approach to the novel pandemic.
“Such that tension was reduced from the psyche of the operatives with confidence inspired that enabled them to attend to their functions without let or hindrance.
“With this pandemic, the command will upscale her sensitisation on the need for Nigerians to fully take advantage of the operations in export trade, especially at this moment when it has become compelling for diversification of the economy for national development,” the controller said.
Abdullahi said that with the Time Release Study tool, the command had generated statistical data on the actual time declarations were made, up till the time of release from Customs’ Control.
He noted that it was on the basis of this that the command realised that the NCS was only involved in two major functions in the Trade Value Chain – Examination and Release of Cargo from Customs’ Control.
He pointed out that the commitment of the command necessitated the need to work assiduously toward ensuring that all operational bottlenecks were removed from the value chain for effectiveness and efficiency in accordance with global standards.
“The command will continue to support and encourage the culture of compliance with fiscal and monetary policies, while also rewarding compliant traders.
“We have developed a framework and different layers for channeling of official complaints, including the Help Desk for speedy resolution of trade disputes.
“Efforts are also being made to ensure continuous `Stakeholder Engagement’ and collaboration for the actualisation of the joint responsibilities of creating a friendly business environment that will encourage trade and investments as well as boost the morale of stakeholders,” Abdullahi said.
The controller noted that in spite of the few challenges mitigating against performance, the command would not `let its guards down’ in the pursuance of its official mandate.
He appreciated the support and counsel from the Customs management led by Retired Col. Hameed Ali and his management. The controller applauded the renewed enthusiasm of the officers and men which was reflected in the operational profile of the command