Customs: MMIA Command Collects Maximum Revenue From Courier Companies And Passengers Accompanied Baggage

By Stephen Ubanna

Barely four years after the unboundling of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Command alongside seven other Area Commands by the Nigerian Customs Board under the Chairmanship of Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, with Headquarters at the MMIA, It is no longer business as usual for Passengers and the Courier Companies who shortchange the government in the past.

Recall that past Area Controllers of the MMIA, had tightened up security at the Airport to collect maximum revenue from the courier companies and the travelling public.  Comptroller Mohammed Malami Gidado, Area Controller of the MMIA, Command, was said to have sustained the tempo of improving the revenue generation of the Command inherited from  Compt. AB. Abdullahi, the immediate past Area Controller.

Many believe that the unboundling of the old MMIA, ‘’ has actually enhanced the service’s revenue collection and optimized its Human capacity   over the last four years. Until the unboundling of the old MMIA Command, smuggling at the MMIA, was a common sight at the Airport that the government was losing billions of Naira annually to the Passengers, and the courier companies, over unpaid duties.

Compt Gidado: MMIA Area Controller

Informed sources told The Values that since the resumption of Compt. Gidado, described as an ”all-round officer”, by Colleagues, because of his expertise in Enforcement and revenue generation, as the MMIA, Area Controller, last August and working according to the mandate given to him by Hameed Ali, a retired Army Colonel and Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, NCS appears to to be guided by the core values of the service: ‘’suppressing smuggling, improve the service revenue collection and trade facilitation’’.

  It is not surprising why there have not been any incidence of smuggling or theft at the MMIA, over the last four months as passengers and the Courier companies have seen the need to do the right thing to avoid playing into Compt. Gidado’s hands.

 Some of the identified  courier  companies  that were said to have continued  to make the relevant statutory   payment to the government coffers without being reminded to do so after taking delivery of their Consignment  included  DHL Worldwide Express, Fast –Track Logistics International Limited,  NGEX Logistics, Kwik,Okiki Courier Services, Red Star Express plc, Skynet Worldwide Express Nigeria,  and UPS.

  This is in addition to Afrilinks EXpress Services Ltd, AMDS Nig.Ltd, eExpress Ltd, EMS Speed Post, Exalt Logistics &Courier Ltd,and Fast  Express Couriers, and GIG logistics Domestic Courier Solutions, Green Speed Logistics,GWX, Heart  Desire Logistics LTD, and KALSAID Nig. LTD, and Ose’s  Transactions Ltd,Rightway Logistics, Signature Parcel LIMITED, Whole Deliveries, OPay, among others.

 The International Airlines that carry passengers, and their accompanied Baggage into the MMIA terminal I and II,  included  Air Afrique, PAN African Airlines,  Air France,  KLM,  Air India,  Atlantic Express,  Alitalia,  British Airlines,  Emirates,  Egypt Air and Ethiopian Airlines, expected to manage  Air Nigeria, flouted by the Nigerian government.  Other prominent International Airlines , carrying Passengers in and out of Nigeria, included  Ghana Airways,  Luthansa German  Airlines,  Kenya Airways, Middle East Airways, Qatar  Airways,   Saudi Air,  South African Airlines Virgin Atlantic, Arik Air,  Air Peace, Allied Air, to name but a few.

The Command officers may not have done any serious job at the Airport for five months in 2020, due to the closure of the country’s air space due to the emergence of the Asian country of China emerged coronavirus, popular, COVID 19.

  This is because the Customs and other relevant security agencies personnel were not on ground to attend to the Passengers brought in by the airlines. The situation appears to have changed for thebetter since 2021, as normalcy had returned to the airport with the Customs officers doing their st statutory job.    

The fallout was that between January, 2021, and now, the Command, which was not known to be  making impressive revenue generation ,  has suddenly  began to witness impressive revenue collections as  all Areas of revenue Leakage  used by Passengers and the courier companies to shortchange the government have been blocked.

 A senior Customs officer who spoke to the Magazine on condition of anonymity disclosed that the ability and of Compt. Gidado and his men to fully restore orderliness at the MMIA at the departure hall at the old and new terminals speaks volume. An Insider told The online Magazine that the control of the Passengers at the airport starts from ‘’disembarkation from the aircraft’’.

Aware of the tight security at the Airport and to forestall the Passengers from checking in their luggage without being properly checked by the Compt. Gidado’s men on ground many have informed why the Passengers, who were not used to doing the right thing in the past have turned a new Leaf to avoid losing both their Baggage  and money  to the government and even  delay their trip.

 According to Destiny Tomo, a superintendent of Customs and the Command spokesperson, the MMIA’s Area Controller policy of ensuring that ‘’the right thing is done and the improved integrity of the Passengers and the high level of compliance towards voluntary payment of Courier parcels by Passengers accompanied by Baggage’’ was said to have boosted the Command monthly revenue generation in the recent time.

 The seamless  Passengers ’’clearance  procedure’’, that was said to have been   initiated by the Customs Comptroller and  the new strategies adopted   by the  Command  between  August to December 2022, in measuring its performance and challengers, was said to have been very ‘’impressive’’.

 Take for instance, in the month of December alone, the Command was said to have collected and paid into the Federation Account N1,758, 585,087.54. Comptroller Gidado, had said that between January and December 2022, the Command had collected from the courier Companies, and Passengers accompanied Baggage, N20,898,557,880.11, as against N19,048,810,614.26  in2021, showing an increase of N1,849,747,265.85.

The Magazine findings shows that the revenue generation by Compt. Gidado led MMIA, Command appears to have stabilized between N1. 6 billion and N2 billion billion. This may not be unconnected to the fact that the Command sources of the revenue base are well known: money paid by courier Companies for  parcels and Passengers accompanied Baggage.  It is unlike the seaports operations where the Ships laden with cargoes and RORO Vessels are regularly coming into the terminals to discharge .

There is no gainsaying the fact that over 70% of the MMIA, Command, monthly revenue are collected  from the Courier Companies, particular, DHL, while the remaining  are generated from the Passengers accompanied Baggage.

Given the structures that have been put in place by the new Management of the MMIA, to improve on the Command daily and monthly revenue collections, there are indications, that more revenue will be collected by the Command this 2023 as evidence by reports making the rounds of its   daily revenue generation in the month of January which is still a closely guided secret.  

Aviation experts had said that the MMIA Command could generate much more revenue in 20222,  because   some International Carriers  at the old MMIA, have  relocated  to the  new Terminal   to end  months  of under-utilisation  of the $100 million  facility, meaning more Passenger traffic at the Airport which was said to translated to improved revenue for the government.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *