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Seme Customs Records N4.4bn in November, Targets N5bn for December

The Seme – Krake border Command of the Nigerian Customs Service(NCS) said it has generated over N4.4billion for November, 2023.

The Controller of the command, Comptroller Timi Bomodi who made the disclosure in a chart with our correspondent in his office at Seme said the command will continue to sustain the tempo in revenue drive elicited by the Comptroller General of Customs, Bashir Adewale Adeniyi with a projection of generating over N5 billion by the month of December, 2023.

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The export proceeds of the command within the same period he said stood at over N8 billion.

Meanwhile, the Comptroller, maintained that documenting cross-border activities is crucial for business growth, fostering data-driven decisions and attracting businesses seeking specific products moving through Seme.

He said, ” When I assume office on September 18, the command had collected about N1.9bn which was in excess of what was expected. The command had reached its target for the year by September 18.

“But am glad to report that by the end of November, the command would have collected about N4.4bn.
“In addition to that which is about N2.1bn against September and November. Hopefully, by the end of the year we will be doing over N5 billion.

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“Ultimately, we are believing that by the end of the year, we will be doing between N11 billion and N12 billion. With trade being boosted on this command Seme has the potential of generating well over N25 to N30 billion.

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The controller expressed optimism that with the coming onboard of the current CG, the service has experienced many strategic reviews, with an unprecedented results in just a short while, even as things are beginning to pick up at all levels, human relations not left out.

Bomodi said simplified, automated processes will enhance trade facilitation, enabling smoother duty payments and examinations. Their goal he said includes having Nigerian customs officers stationed at Benin ports, reducing transit time and ensuring efficient movement of goods without redundant checks.

Seme he emphasised holds a pivotal role in regional trade, serving as the critical passage along the Lagos corridor, connecting trade routes from Lagos to Abidjan and beyond, he stated.

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“Seme is fundamental to regional trade. When you talk about Lagos corridor, you are actually making reference to Seme Command. Seme is the major artery through which goods move from Lagos, all the way down to Abidjan and other routes and countries.

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“A Lot needs to be done, a lot being done and hopefully we want to see an increment in trade. to this extent, We are paying attention to critical infrastructure. We have interacted with members of the Economic Community of West African States(ECOWAS). We feel there are certain things that need to be put right within the confines of trading brotherhood. We will strive to enhance our functions with all government agencies here.

On exports, Bomodi said the Customs have simplified processes for exports, therefore called on all exporters to follow the simplified processes and document their exports no matter how small it is,which would generate data for government planning.

“Our CG has simplified many things, and has removed those considerations that would negatively impact on trade.

“Potentially we hope that by the time fiscal policy is reviewed along with other exclusions, especially regards to the importation of cars taken out, We we no doubt aspire higher.

“We are all aware that presently we don’t import cars through the land borders, but if the government decides to change that policy, Seme we believe will be high in her revenue.We are also hoping that will happen,” he stated.

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On fight against smuggling, Comptroller Bomodi said the Command looks beyond focus seizures, particularly of items affected by monetary policies, such as petroleum products, protected animals, and endangered species adding advocacy efforts underscore the importance of preserving these species for a sustainable environment, highlighting the balance between mankind and nature.

“A lot of positives have been made. We have made a lot of seizures regards to certain items that before now were affected by monetary policies. Seizures regarding petroleum products that people try to move across the borders, such that runs into billions.

“Also, seizures on animals protected under national protection from illicit trade and endangered species. Those seizures were significant to the extent that to sustain over a period of time and we kept on doing advocacy concerning these kinds of animals.

“A lot of people don’t understand why they need to protect them, and why trading in them is considered illegal Internationally. But it’s a job we must do, if we must talk about a sustainable environment in which there is a balance between man and nature.

Joshua Okoria

Joshua Okoria is a Lagos based multi-skilled journalist covering the maritime industry. His ICT and graphic design skills makes him a resourceful person in any modern newsroom. He read mass communication at the Olabisi Onabanjo University and has sharpened his knowledge in media practice from several other short courses. 07030562600, hubitokoria@gmail.com

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