Sokoto/ZMF Command: ‘’Agents Play Vital Role In Customs Trade Facilitation, Revenue Generation  -Compt. Omale

By Stephen Ubanna

For the first time time, over the last seven years, importer, exporters and agents , are being given a sensense of belonging by a serving Customs Comptroller at the Command. Comptroller Omale, who had spent much of his time as a Headquarters, as a growing officer, and who had replaced, Compt. Abdulhamid Ma’aji, who had been redeployed into Establishment at the Customs Headquarters, as the new Area Controller of the Command, which is basically an interventionist unit may have known that there is no way he can succeed in his mandate in the Command without carrying everybody along.

H e may have taken a cue from Compt.  Mahmud Ibrahim, another senior Customs officer, who had spent much of his time at the Headquarters and now Area Controller, Port Multi-services Terminal,       Limited, described as a one ship terminal, who is making appreciable impact in revenue collection by blocking all areas of revenue Leakage by ensuring that importers with their agents shun dubious jobs by making correct declarations and appropriate duty payments.

At the first meeting with the Leadership of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders, NAGAFF, National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents, Sokoto/ ZMF, Chapters, Compt. Omale, who is a hurry to succeed,  had told the Customs Licensed Clearing Agents  to be trade compliant to the extant Customs Laws making correct declarations and ensure payment of appropriate duty to avoid running into trouble with the new Management of the Command.

Compt. Omale Holds Meeting With Represenattives Of Agents In Command Premises, Sokoto

He was said o have reminded the agents that as major stakeholders who are intermediaries between the service and importers, exporters, they should be honest in their dealings with Customs people. He noted that agents role in trade facilitation, and Customs revenue generation   cannot be over-emphaisised’’, urging all hands to be on deck to sustain the tempo of revenue generation in the Command.

He may have gladdened the heart of the agents when he explored of their continuous support   which has always assisted the Command, described as a dry area, in achieving its monthly and yearly revenue generation  target  set by the Headquarters . He knew that there  may be areas of friction between the two parties at different times that  he has advised them to be open at all times to lodge their complaints with the management  and wait for response instead of taking the Law into their own hand  which may do them no good. He was to have told the agents that his office is open for any suggestions on ways to improve on engagement with the service personnel for more synergy and understanding.

Many believe that the deployment of Compt. Musa, who I Media-friendly, appear to have brought the activities of the Sokoto/ZMF, Command to limelight. It was gathered that efforts by some senior officers of the Command to convince him to show case what the Command is doing in its revenue drive and anti-smuggling operations proved abortive.  It was not surprising why the officers are happy that he is I the Establishment Unit where he actually belong to be attending to files instead of being involved in overseeing operations of a Customs Command which is alien to him.

A senior Customs officer who spoke to Value News on condition of anonymity, disclosed that he coming of Compt. Omale, as the new Area Controller, of Sokoto /ZMF, Command brought out the best  in Adbullahi Tsafe Abubakar, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs, to exercise his responsibility as the Command spokesperson. There is no gain saying the fact, that over the last three weeks, DSC. Abubakar, with the support of the Area Controller, has brought the Command to Limelight as people who never knew about the it in the past have come to know about it and what it can do, particular, export cargos.  Informed sources told The Online Magazine that virtually on a daily basis there are enquiries by people who want to engage in export business and to know the items that are approved for export in the country’s Fiscal policy and are getting response.

Many of the traders  may have come to understand that  that maize, timber, rough or sawn, Raw Hides and Ski, including  Wet Blue  and all unfnished Leather,  Scrap metals,  unprocessed  rubber latex and rubber lumps,  Artifacts and Antiquities,  Wildlife animals  classified as endangered species and their products.

The traders were said to have also come know that they  can export Ginger, Palm Kernel Oil, Textiles and Grment,  Coa Butter, Gallstone Rubber, Sesame Seed, Honey, Shrimps, Garlic, Yam Tubers, Cotton, Casava flower, Cashew Nut, Snail Chili pepper, Fruit juice, Cosmetics and Soap, without contravening the Economic Community of West African States ECOWAS, Common External Tariff, CET,  2022=2026, policy , wh has been adopted by the Federal government for implementation  in the 2023, Fiscal policy.  

Given the Customs Comptroller , revenue drive, those who know him When he was  Deputy Comptroller , overseeing the Valuation Unit, at the Federal Operations Unit, FOU, Zone C, Sokoto,  some years ago,  believes that he will effective effectively make use of the 2022/2026, ECOWAS CET,  which had introduced   the Import Ajustment  Tax, IAT, LIST , with additional  taxes(levy), on 172 tariff lines  extant ECOWAS CET, to improve on the Command monthly revenue.

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