Customs: How Technology- Driven Initiative improves Ogun II Command’s Revenue Generations

By Stephen Ubanna

 Between October 2022 and now, DC. Ahmadu Shuaibu, Area Controller, Ogun 11, Command, with its operational base in Abeokuta, Capital of Ogun, home state of former President Olusegun Obasanjo has drawn a roadmap to improve the Command revenue generation from the 36 functional excise factories scattered all over the state and the two Free Trade Zones, FTZ, located at Ibesa and Ceeplas a Shagamu.  Note that there are 57 identified excised factories in the state but only 36 are still production, 11 undergoing documentation while 10 others are moribund

A Free Trade Zone, FTZ, ,In Ogun State

As a prelude to ensuring that the excise factories operating in the state   pay their appropriate excise duty and other charges, he was said to have deployed modern technology to maximize the revenue generation from the 36 excise factories in the state by blocking areas of leakages used in the past to shortchange the government.

  Recall that he has appealed to the compliant traders on assumption of duties in the Oun II, Command, last October,  to do more in the discharge of their respective responsibilities while the non-compliant traders were told to watch it as it may no longer be business as usual. He was said t to warned that the non-compliant traders  risk  being slammed with heavier excise duties and charges to pay  or having their factories closed as punishment  as a lesson to others who might want to indulge in  an act in the future.

There was an incident in which an excise factory operator  who was said to have been paying  N18 million  as excise duty  over the years in the state   was given a shocker as the duty was jerked up  to N40 million after a thorough scrutiny of their monthly  operations, based  on the volume of production  and their sales  to calculate the exact  duty that ought to be paid by the company to the Federation account on a monthly basis using the technology deployed for its operations.

There was also another  discovered case   of a Multinational Company, MNC,  which was said to have been paying  N11 million  as excise duty into the Federation account  but raised to N100 million  by the Command after thorough scrutiny of its operations while the company that was paying N5 million as its its excise duty  was asked to pay N90million.  The good news was that the defaulting companies had paid the bills without complaint.

An Excise Factory, Brewing Non- Alcoholic Beverages

An Excise Factory

 Even the aggrieved firms officials who were said to have tried to raise their voice were said to have be counseled to channel their complaints and grievances over the new excise duties slammed on them to the Customs Headquarters.  But none of the officials of the aggrieved Companies have had the courage off doing so for fear that they may be asked to pay more which may not be good for them.

The Leadership of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN, had said that the excise factory operators across the country may be paying through their nose as duty, including other charges  because of the hike  in excise  duties for locally processed and manufactured goodswhich was  to have been contained  the 2023  and 2024,  Fiscal policy, as released by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration and still being implemented by the present Administration of Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who incidentally was a former governor of Lagos state.

The excise factory operators may have been given the impression by Hajia Zainab Ahmed,a former minister of Finance Budget and National planning,, last March , that  the additional excise duty slammed on locally processed and manufactured goods  would be stepped down until further consultations  on the Finance Bill before the National Assembly for consideration and subsequent transmission to the Katsina state born former Nigerian President for his assent. 

The erstwhile  minister of Finance may have gladdened the excise factory operators heart when she disclosed  that  that the ministry  has notified the Ali led , NCS,  that the existing Fiscal policy  meaures  for 2022 as they relate  to the alcoholic  beverages  andtobacco products, will take effect  from June 1, 2023 and and June 1, 2024 as approved  in the 2022 Fiscal policy Measures roapmap for 2022-2024.

Thi may have informed  why the  companies under the umbrella of MAN,  which pay excise duties  and other charges , as recommended in the  Customs and Excise Management Act, CEMA,  were said to have reviewed  their yearly strategies  and projections  while the export –oriented companies  were said to have concluded  pricing  Negotiations  for orders to end the 2023, Fiscal year , on the strength  of the agreed excise duty and  the other charges roadmap .

Many believe that the 50% on ad valrem to the value of products churned from the excise factories   and 75% on specific duty rates as contained in the 2022-2024, Fiscal policy being implemented by the Customs Excise Commands, including the Ogun 11, under Acting Comptroller Shuaibu, has increased their monthly revenues.

This is evident going by what the Ogun II, Command has generated, put at  over N9.260 billion in five months, and described as record breaking in the Command over the last eight years, confirming Deputy Comptroller Shuaibu, as a revenue mobilizer in a difficult terrain..’’ It is an unprecedented increase of 25.44% compared to what the Command realised within the same period in 2022’’, an officer remarked.

The Ogun II, Command, Customs Area Controller, was emphatic that the remarkable increase that had accrued to the Command from January to end of May, 2023, was the first of its kind in the history of Ogun II, Command, which was said to have been confirmed by stakeholders.

In achieving the feat, he had said that  ‘’ in a bid to  promote  excise factories compliance to the government Fiscal policies’ on payment of  excise duties and other approved charges , the Command had prioritized  constant stakeholders engagement’’.

He noted that the Command has also ensured efficiency in the service performance by promoting officers working conditions and prioritizing training and sensitization programs for the officers attached to the excise factories in the state to ensure they do the right thing.

Indeed, the Command revenue generation may have further gotten a major boost in the period under review because of the enhanced the collaboration among the various security agencies and other industry  stakeholders in the supply chains, in the state which was said to have translated in ‘’improving its performance  and operational relationship’’ with the companies  since Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General , Nigerian Customs Service, NCS, deployed him to the Command last October.   

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