By Okezie Nnadi
The Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has released the revenue generation scorecard of the Command from January to November 2022.
Giving a comparative analysis of the revenue collection within the period under review at the Command Headquarters in Lagos, the Customs Area Controller of the PTML Command, Comptroller Suleiman Bomai said, A total sum of N213,405,461,873.00 was collected as revenue between the months of Jan-Nov, 2022, compared to Jan-Nov, 2021, which was N205,157,478,605.00 an appreciation of N8,247,983,268.00 translating to an increase of 4%.
“In is words” He said that the Command is equal to the task, and I would have loved to double that figure, which we can do, but the volume is another thing. If the volume could have remained the way it was, I would have generated at least N1b in this command. But because of the volume, I also interfaced with Grimaldi, and they told me about the external and internal factors which limited the import of vehicles.” He revealed.
Similarly, the CAC while Engaging the Stakeholders harped on need for constant engagement as directed by the CGC, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd). This he said, is imperative to look always at any loopholes and attend to them immediately.
“Since the inception of this regime, the CGC has directed that there must be engagement because we have looked at the gaps which stemmed from lack of engagement between the NCS and the stakeholders. We also have strategic partners, who have some government agencies that work together with us, and there must be cooperation and synergy, and we cannot achieve that without engagement. The idea of engagement is, let us review what we have done, issues at stake, challenges, and strategies to move forward, and it has to be constant because trade is dynamic.” The CAC reiterated.
Speaking further he said, Nigeria used to be dependent on forex from oil, as over 90% of the Country’s revenue was generated from it, but was taken aback by the global shock which affected prices and values of the oil.
“We had to think out of the box. Any economist knows that it is export that finances import, in that sense, when you export forex, you then use it for the importation of raw materials, semi-finished goods, and finished goods. Now that there is a scarcity of forex as a result of lack of inflow due to the drop in the price of oil and so many factors, Nigeria could do better if we encourage our non-oil export to grow in such a way that it can then contribute to the forex inflow into the country because it is through the forex that you get access to it before you can import. That is why I said it is export that finances import, and this time around, it is the non-oil export that we want to grow so they can add to the oil export, thereby increasing the forex. That is why I emphasized export.” He noted.
Also on VIN valuation, the CAC said, NCS is one of the most automated government agencies. “We have the capacity and officers to roll out any product, and when we rolled out the VIN valuation, we sensitized the stakeholders; to me, it is a success story. At the same time, it was not 100% complete because there are what is called the standard and non-standard, and I hope that the latter will soon be automated. If we can do that, then we would have completed the automated process of vehicles.”
“The automation process does not stop there, as even the enforcement aspect is also being automated. The era of someone clearing their vehicle from the port and being stopped along the way by an officer for value checking is gone; now, they have a tab on which they can check if the duty is standard, which takes less time. Some of the beautiful things about the VIN valuation are that we have reduced the cost of clearance, and we have maximally reduced contact because that is the most dangerous thing during the clearing process; it ushers in what I call bilateral tax evasion. When there is contact, the taxpayer and the tax collector connive to cheat 200 million Nigerians.”
“Today, from the comfort of your house, you can pay your duty, do your assessment at the clearing zone and other procedures, and all that will be left is the examination and picking your vehicle, and once it is standard, you have no issues. The only issues we usually have are from the non-standard aspect, where the management is trying to automate, and once that is done, we are good to go.” He explained.
The General Manager of Grimaldi in charge of Commercial, Chioma Ayanonu seconded the CAC’s stance, according to her, Nigeria needs a paradigm shift from oil as there are many untapped potentials in Green energy, Electric cars, etc.
“The need for export cannot be overemphasized, it’s more important now than ever, Nigeria has been heavily dependent on oil. For every seven import containers we bring in, only one goes out as export, there is a huge stock of containers that go out empty when they can load them with export. The more export we can send, the lower we can charge as freight.” She added