Customs Area Controller of Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi has described the first hundred days in office of Acting Comptroller General of Customs, Adewale Adeniyi, as action packed and filled with results.
He said within a short period, the customs boss has stepped up the service engagement with various stakeholders, rebuilt the confidence of his officers and has through various area controllers achieved commendable feats in revenue collection, anti smuggling and setting the NCS on the path to success through a fast track modernisation process.
Nnadi who was responding to reporters’ question on a recent freight forwarder opinion that the Acting CGC has not done anything spectacular within the short period opined that hundred days in office is not a standard yardstick to access the CGC’s performance
While underscoring the relevance of NCS to Nigeria’s economy, Nnadi said the service is involved in over 80 percent of activities concerning the nation’s economy, especially in the implementation of government policies concerning importation, export, protection of local industries and collection of excuse duties from manufacturers of excisable items in the country.
Nnadi said his command has raises total collection to 62.8 ℅ as at October 12 , 2023 from the 58% collection which he met when he took over barely one month ago leaving 37.4% as the revenue to be collected this year
” I will be surprised if somebody says not much has been achieved in the first 100 days of the Comptroller General of customs. Being a serious stakeholder engager, one of the first things that we’ve achieved is engaging the rest of the stakeholders. I’m surprised that people still think that customs is going to work in silos. That’s very wrong.
“Nigerian Customs Service is responsible for over 80% of activities that happen in our national economy. Practically speaking, government agencies like Ministry of Finance, Budget and Economic Planning, Ministry of Trade and Investment, whereas Federal Government, for example, come out with policies on economic development, who implements those policies?
“As a customs administration, we cannot just sit in one place and talk to documents? No. We have to talk to our major stakeholders, who are Nigerians, who are major players, whom our activities impact on, either negatively or positively.
” The second one is to restore the confidence of customs officers who have been under the leadership of a non-customs officer, who, to his credit, also did so much to develop our capacity, develop our environment. So, that’s a transition period. And people expect that you just wake up one morning and then you announce, boom, revenue is now 100%.
“Don’t forget that we are also being affected by other economic policies in the country. Take, for instance, Nigerian customs service is being affected now by the exchange rates.
Cargo throughput has gone down and the same CG is managing it effectively. Our trade modernization project is an ongoing process. We have partners in the system that we are partnering with to continue to maintain the project. Officers are still being trained just next week they are going to attend promotion examination. So, the system didn’t shut down.
100 days is just a creation by Nigerians. Because in a dynamic environment like the port industry, you don’t use 100 days to assess somebody. You use every day. And so long as this system is still working and loading and revenue is being collected, of course, the CG of customs is performing through the area controllers and zonal offices.
“Taking my own command, for instance, yes, I’ve said the same thing when I reported here on the 14th. Our revenue collection was at 58%. As of yesterday, it was at 62.8%. So, there’s a lot of improvements that we are making. I was worried when I addressed to people before. I said, how do I achieve maximum collection of my target in three months when I’m supposed to collect 42% in three months? Now, we’ve brought it down to 37.4% to be collected in three months. That means we are making progress
I want to believe that, well, before the end of the year, we will be able to meet up with the 37% of total revenue left to be collectedand then surpass it. That’s an achievement. That’s an achievement replicated all over.
But specifically, this is a man that just launched Authororised Economic Operator (AEO) for compliabt traders. He has revived the fast track. These are indices that are going to help manufacturers to produce more. We have optimized our free trade zones. These are foundations for economic
“During his last visit to Lagos, he emphasized the need for us to optimize exports. That is what people should count on. Not ceremonies. Not blowing the wind. That’s not what we’re talking about. Adeniyi is laying a foundation for the development of the Nigerian economy. For a sustainable future and that’s what we’re doing with him at the command level” Nnadi said during the interview