By Aisha Cole
The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Seme Area Command generated N10. 50billion from January to December 2016.
The Customs Area Controller of the Command, Comptroller Victor Dimka, disclosed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday by the Public Relations Officer of the command, Mr Selchang Taupyen.
Dimka said the revenue was generated from general cargoes and vehicles, adding that Duty and Taxes accrued from escorted transit vehicles accounted for 56 per cent of the total revenue generated in the 12 months of the year.
The controller said the command recorded 848 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N608.21 million in the period under review.
“There is a corresponding decline in smuggling activities occasioned by the aggressive anti-smuggling operation of the command.
“This is in order to ensure total compliance with the policy thrust of the Comptroller General of Customs and the Service extant laws,’’ NAN quotes Dimka as saying.
He said that the command collected N1. 52 billion in December, 2016, up from N101.12 million collected in the corresponding period of 2015.
Dimka said, “It is worthy to note that the Command has consecutively surpassed its monthly target for the month of November and December respectively.’’
He said the command also recorded 74 seizures with a Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N55.64 million in the month under review.
According to the controller, the Enforcement Unit of the command has succeeded in suppressing smuggling activities to the barest minimum.
“The anti-smuggling operation of the command in recent times is evident by the number of seizures made and the revenue generated by the command in December, 2016.
“The command replicated the unprecedented feat recorded in the month of November, 2016, in spite of obvious challenges that would have ordinarily crippled the revenue drive of the command in the month of December.
“The repeated success was attributed to the doggedness and unflinching commitment of officers and men of the command, who were prepared to succeed at all cost despite the many challenges that militated against revenue collection in the Command,’’ NAN quotes Dimka saying.
The controller said that apart from the commitment of his officers and men, the feat recorded could also be attributed to the recent policy of the Federal Government banning the importation of new and fairly used vehicles through the land borders.
He said the policy statement on the restriction of new and fairly used vehicles through the land borders brought about an upsurge in the number of vehicles escorted into Seme border, which translated to increase in the command’s revenue.
Dimka said that the quest of the command to remain passionate and resolute in enforcing the fiscal policies of the Federal Government could not be over emphasised.
Responding to the ban on new and fairly used vehicles, the controller said the command was battle ready to implement the Federal Government’s policy to the letter.
He said that the command had strategised and “is still re-strategising toward the implementation process; bearing in mind that the dare-devil smugglers can be brutal and deadly’’.
The controller, however, said that the command was battle-ready and equal to the task.
Dimka said that presently, the vehicle seat in Seme Border Command had been disbanded and its officers re-deployed to beef up border patrols for effective implementation of the Federal Government’s policy.
He said the way smuggling of rice was drastically suppressed by the command, “it is also fully committed to implementing same for vehicles that will be smuggled through the land border after Jan. 1, 2017.’’
Dimka urged the general public, stakeholders to be adequately sensitised and stay away from buying vehicles through the land borders to avoid loses.
The controller said that “facilitating legitimate trade is one of the score mandates of the service.’’
He said that legitimate trade in new and fairly used vehicles into Nigeria iis now strictly facilitated at the seaports.