The Tin-Can Island
Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has said that it generated N61.6 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2015.
The Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Chris Osunkwo, stated this in an interview with reporters in Lagos.
Osunkwo said that the amount was higher compared to N59.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period of 2014.
“ For first quarter 2014, we had N59.8 billion, and then for this year first quarter, we have N61.6 billion; and the difference is attributable to quality leadership .
“Both in the command and at the headquarters levels, because when you provide the right leadership every other thing falls in line.
“Nothing is static in life. Is all about dynamism. We make efforts daily to block, identified and suspected revenue leakages and all these impact on our revenue profile.
“In Tin Can Island Port, we deal with two categories of cargo imports. They are from general cargo and packed and unpacked vehicles.
“Bulk of the general cargo that comes in here forms source of our revenue.
“There is nothing apart from prohibited items. All of us know that we run an import-oriented economy. So, almost everything you find in the market that we use here are imported.
“So, and as these come in, customs collect maximum revenue.’’
He said that the new automotive policy had adversely affected the volume of vehicles imported, but, however, did not affect revenue collection.
“The new auto policy has drastically affected the volume of vehicles that come in, because that is exactly what government objective is to do; whatever is possible to reduce.
“They are trying to establish auto-manufacturing. The new auto policy has really achieved this objective, because if you check our RORO facilities, they are almost without vehicles now. The volume has really gone down.
“Government definitely has an objective before they came up with the new auto policy and I think it is achieving its desired goal by reducing the volume of imported vehicles.
“As we learnt, government intends establishing auto- manufacturing industries here to encourage local production, so that we can expand our production base.
“It could be painful initially, but in the long run when you look at the short term, you look at the medium term, you look at the long term dividends of this policy.’’
He said that in the long run, Nigerians would enjoy the benefit of the automotive policy, adding that it would make Made-In-Nigeria cars to be cheaper than imported ones.
Osunkwo said that the command sometimes faced some challenges with the stakeholders in the implementation of government policies, in spite of the sensitisation programmes carried out by the service.
According to him, the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) on goods by Customs is designed to ensure integrity in order to drive business climate.
This, he said, had made the cost of compliance to be cheaper than non-compliance.
The revenues generated by the command in the first quarter were from Import Duty, Excise Duty, Fees, Common External Tariffs (CET), five per cent Value Added Tax, seven per cent Levy and National Automotive Council (NAC).
The command also generated its revenue from the Comprehensive Import Supervision Scheme (CISS), ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS), Sugar, Rice, Wheat Flour, Wheat Grain, Iron and Cigarette Levies.
NPA Frowns Against Extortion Of Truck Drivers
The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has threatened to sanction any staff that indulges in extortion of money from truck drivers at Apapa Port.
The Acting Managing Director, NPA, Muhammed Bello-Koko, disclosed this shortly after a meeting with Governor Babatunde Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State.
Koko expressed optimism that the agency’s collaboration with the state government would bring an end to the perennial gridlock within and around the Apapa area.
The NPA boss emphasised the need to strengthen enforcement of traffic laws along the roads leading to Apapa and Tin Can ports, which are the two busiest ports in the country.
He said NPA had been inundated with complaints of extortion from truckers, especially by security operatives, demanding money from drivers before accessing the ports.
He described the practice as a major disincentive to the smooth implementation of the truck call-up system.
“One of the complaints of the truckers has to do with extortion by security operatives, the Army, the Police, the Nigerian Navy and even NPA security staff.
“This is one of the areas we require the intervention of government, because we have police officers deployed from the State Command who are allegedly involved in this. We at the NPA have resolved to take the right punitive measures against any of our staff involved in this.
“We have moved some of them out of port locations, and we will do further reviews. Whoever is found involved would be appropriately sanctioned”, he said.
The NPA boss acknowledged that the Lagos State Government had been a close partner in terms of enforcement, but asked for more intervention to end the menace.
“NPA has reached out to the Federal Ministry of Works, we have been speaking with the Director of Works in the State, and we have asked that they should provide some palliatives around Sunrise Bus-stop.
“We were made to understand that the contract for that section of the road has just been awarded, but because of the rains, work has been delayed”, he added.
MWUN Tasks NIMASA, NIWA On Boat Drivers’ Training
The Maritime and Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has called on the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) to train and retrain boat drivers in the country to reduce incessant accidents on our waterways.
MWUN said training and retraining of boat drivers would enhance their capability and efficiency in the industry and save lives.
Chairman, MWUN, Rivers State Chapter, Comrade Jonah Jumbo disclosed this during a telephone interview with The Tide.
Comrade Jumbo also advised NIMASA and NIWA to sanction any boat driver involved in over-speeding, overloading and reckless driving to reduce boat mishaps.
The chairman who regretted that most boat drivers lacked the skills and technical know-how to navigate the waters, said their human errors often caused accidents.
Comrade Jumbo insisted that regular training for boat drivers would enrich their skills and enable them to read the tide while on transit.
He frowned at the increasing rate of boat mishaps on the nation’s waterways and urged all stakeholders to check the trend.
The MWUN boss called on the Nigerian Navy and the Marine Police to arrest and prosecute any driver indulging in alcohol and overloading of passengers while on transit, adding that the act caused over seventy percent of water accident.
He appealed to drivers to desist from acts capable of causing accident, noting that many families have lost their loved ones through reckless driving and unholy acts caused by human errors on the waterways.
By: Chinedu Wosu
Sokoto To Boost Water Transport With Motorised Boats
The Sokoto State Governor, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, says his administration will boost water transportation with motorised boats.
He also said his government would make life jackets available to all travellers and other water users to reduce boat mishap.
The governor stated this while commiserating with the people of Shagari Local Government Area that recently lost their loved ones in a boat mishap in the state.
He regretted that the state had lost many lives to boat accidents and prayed God to grant the deceased eternal rest and their families the fortitude to bear their loss.
Also speaking, Chairman, Shagari Local Government Council, Aliyu Dantine Shagari, said eight of the victims were married women while five were children and elderly men.
He attributed the cause of the boat mishap to overloading.
“But there are other causes of boat mishap including strong wind. We are still investigating the matter to know what actually led to the accident”, he said.
The chairman advised boat drivers to desist from overloading and over speeding, noting that the community lost over six people in a similar accident last year.
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