The Port and Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has so far between January to September 2019, collected a total of N116.5billion out of a target of N123.28b for 2019.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Florence Dixon who spoke through the Command’s Public Relations Officer, Yakubu Mohammad in this interview is optimistic that the Command will surpass its target for the year, while also urging stakeholders to remain compliance for faster clearance of their Consignments.
Can you give us an overview of your Command’s activities in the last nine months of this year?
Looking at what we have generated based on the comparative analysis between last year and this year, in the last nine months of this year, between January to September, we were able to generate N116,524,304,684. So looking at the difference from 2018 and 2019 within the same period, the surplus is N28,915,886,401.
So far so good , looking at the percentage value, we have 33% revenue increase for this year, within the period.
What is the percentage increase of vehicles importation at the command, since the ban of vehicles imports from the land borders?
Actually, I don’t have the actual figure, but looking at the closure of the land borders, I think we have increase in vehicles imports into the Command and that is what leads to our increase in the revenue.
I can remember there was a time the NPA said we have an increase of, I think 80% or so . So there is increase in vehicles imports to the command.
Aside from vehicles imports, what are the other items that comes through the PTML Command?
As you know PTML is a modern port , almost 80% of what comes in here are vehicles, is RORO, Roll- On-Roll- Off for vehicles.
Mostly also, what comes in through the containers are containerised vehicles. We also have some other items apart from the containerized vehicles.
Sometimes like supermarket items and other minor items .But like I said before, most of what comes to this terminal are vehicles.
We have observed that since the Controller took over, we have not heard of protest from Importers or Agents in the command, unlike before, what did she do different?
Since my Controller came onboard, that is Comptroller Dixon Florence, she has engage all stakeholders. She has been sensitising all stakeholders telling them that once you do what you are suppose to do at the right time without somebody watching you, actually you will get your cargo within six hours.
We have tested it already, if you do what you are suppose to do , lodged your documentation properly, pay what you are to pay without short payment or other infractions , you get your cargo within six hours. My Controller has been emphasising on this, which I think they are complying.
Being emphatic, how long does it take a compliance importer to clear his goods from this terminal?
Everything being equal, with no infractions, short payments, false declaration or maybe you have a 2018 vehicle, you want to take it as 2013 vehicle. If you have a 2018 vehicle, declare it as 2018. If you declare what you have and at the appropriate time, I think within a short period of six hours you get your consignment. It is tested and it is happening.
Talking about trade infractions we have not heard of any seizure here, does it mean there are no infractions here?
So far so good, we have not recorded any seizure here. Just as I told you, once you do the right thing,which I think the stakeholders and agents are complying.
Though you cannot have 100% of people complying, but up to 75% of Agents are complying and they are also trying to do the right things.
If you visit here when my Controller is in the office, she is always looking at her computer system, checking what is going on . Once she sees any infractions, she will alert the gate,if the good has been released. But if not release yet, she will send it to the releasing officer to take note and get back to her and a Demand Notice must be raised on the consignment .And even if it has been released and exited the gate ( terminal) we are not going to leave you, we have Post Clearance Audit and that is their job, they will called you and you have to pay the correct duty.
Is getting to the end of the year and during this period vehicles imports increases, what assurances are you giving importers of prompt clearance of their goods?
Just what we have said, we want to draw the attention of our Importers and Agents to continue to do the right thing. Once you do the right thing and at the right time , you get your consignment on time. Do the right thing even if somebody is not watching you. And looking at our revenue collection so far, you can see in the remaining three months, we are likely to meet and surpass our target.