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Strike: Customs Revenue Not Lost, Only Delayed, Says Nnadi, Tin Can Controller


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Customs Area Controller of Tin Can Island Port Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi has disclosed that the Tuesday and Wednesday nationwide strike that grounded activities at the nation’s ports has not resulted in revenue loss for the Nigeria Customs Service(NCS) .
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Locked Access Gate to Tin Can Island Port on Wednesday during the strike
Responding to  journalists’ inquiry on how the strike has affected the NCS revenue collection, Nnadi said the cargoes for which revenues are to be collected are in the port and the due customs duties will be paid on them when work resumes and the importers or agents come forward to clear them.
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Deserted road to PTML confirming inactivity at the port on Wednesday
According to him, the revenue on all the trapped cargoes in the port is only delayed , which is a temporary setback but not a loss to the NCS as it’s personnel are always on the ground to perform their duties of revenue collection, suppression of smuggling and trade facilitation.
The customs Controller listed stakeholders who may have incured  losses in the port system as a result of the strike that paralyzed port activities to include importers who may either be made to pay demurrage on terminal charges for additional days ; exporters whose contanerised cargoes of perishable items transiting into the port are trapped.
He said some imported food items that are subjected to refrigeration through reefer containers but have exited the access point to electricity may also result in losses to the importers and the country because scarce foreign exchange have been used to buy the itemsIMG 20231115 WA0041 1
He added that those who render various services like food vendors in the ports , private artisans dispensing ancillary duties and others that depend on daily incomes to survive are adversely hit by the strike action.
While expressing optimism in meeting his command’s 2023 target of N801b, Nnadi said the command has stepped up action to facilitate trade, achieve faster turn around time and save money for importets in the face of unfriendly exchange rate.
This improved customs service delivery, according to him, is in sync with Adewale Adeniyi, the Comptroller General of Customs drive to make the service responsive to the needs and realities of a globally inclined customs administration that consciously supports timely cargo clearance from quayside through examination and final exit after due diligence.
Abubakar Usman, a Chief Superintendent of Customs and Public Relations Officer of Apapa Area Command told our reporter that the presence of customs operatives at the port was not in any way affected by the strike.
Usman said the command collected over N5b on Tuesday when the strike began adding that it’s daily target of N8b is severely affected by the rise in exchange rate which had resulted in lesser volume of importation.
At the Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command, Chief Superintendent of Customs Muhammad Yakubu told our reporter that as at Tuesday when the strike started only 41 single goods declaration (SGD) forms were processed which is a sharp drop from the average of over 300 SGDs daily.
Yakubu said the command collected less than N400m revenue on Tuesday which indicates a sharp drop from its N800m daily target. He added that the command usually collects as much as N1.8bn daily depending on the volume and value of cargoes processed.
Port activities are expected to peak on Thursday as the Nigeria Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress have announced suspension of the indefinite strike following a federal government intervention through the National Security Adviser, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu.
Ribadu, had on Wednesday, announced that suspects in the assault of NLC President, Joe Ajaero, have been arrested

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Ismail Aniemu

Ismail Aniemu, Publisher of JournalNG and ghost writer, is a maritime journalist of over two decades' of practice with multidisciplinary background. He holds a masters degree in Transport Management from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH) with bias for logistics. He is also an alumnus of the Times Journalism Institute where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Journalism. Email: ismail.aniemu@aol.com

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