Onne: Compt.  Mohammed Keeps To His Promise Of Generating More Monthly Revenue From Onne Port

By Stephen Ubanna

 In spite of the delay in release of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, approved 2022 Fiscal policy and Tariff Amendments by Hajia Zainab Ahmed , the minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning, to the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, for implementation, Auwal Mohammed, Comptroller, Port Harcourt II , Command, Onne, appears to have kept to his promise of generating more more monthly revenue for the government this 2022, fiscal year.

Comptroller Mohammed may have known that he have no reason to give any excuse not to meet the Command monthly revenue target and even surpass it by a wide margin compared to the month revenue generation of  2021, that he had blocked  all the areas of revenue leakage at the port. Deputy Comptroller Ibrahim Mahmood and his officer at the exit gate, were said to have tightened up security at the exit gate to checkmate the fraudulent importers with their agents.  The strategy  appears to have been paid as the Fraudulent importers  and agents who are not used to doing the right thing  were said to have been wiped  to shape to make correct declarations, do proper Classification of their imports and avoid Concealment. They were said to have turned a new leaf as majority of the importers with their agents now make correct duty payment.

Informed sources told The Value News that unrepentant agents with their clients who were not ready to contine losing their Consignment to the government  may have surprised  many with their correct duty pay to exit their cargo from the port without being transferred to Enforcement Unit for  re-examination  that may result in outright seizure or issuance of Demand Notice.

 A source had informed The Magazine that the Command Valuation, examination and releasing officers, Enforcement and the Exit gate officers were so committed and dedicated in the job that the Command made impressive revenue generation in the month of January 2022, notwithstanding the fact that the scanner equipment which the Management had supplied the Command last September has not been deployed for operations.

An insider informed The Magazine that Examination officers, comprising of Customs and other security Agencies personnel through the 100 percent examination of cargoes had doubled the January revenue target . Recall Compt. Auwal Mohammed, the Command Area Controller had said if the Command was examining 100  Containers , both  20 ft and 40ft  Containers manually daily but with deployment of the scanner equipment thy would be able to scan 200 ‘’20’’ and ‘’40’’ Containers daily. 

 Note that Saidu Galadima, an Assistant Comptroller General of Customs, in charge of the CCustoms Information Communication Technology, ICT / Modernisation had said that the Commands using the scanner equipment would be able to scanner 400 Containers daily. Comptroller Mohammed may have cue into this to ensure the Command March revenue would that of its January and February, 2022.

His major concern at the Command is to ensure trade facilitation. Given that that he has been able to whip the importers with their agents at the port to do the right thing without cutting corners of involving in wrong classification of their cargoes, false declaration, concealment and underpayment, this was said to have reflected  on the Command revenue generation in the month of March.

There is no gain saying the fact that the total revenue collection of the Command in the first three months of this 222, fiscal year, bear eloquent testimony to the uncompromising efforts of Compt. Mohammed, the PortHarcourt Area II, Controller and his officers at the exit gate who carry thorough routine checks o the importers Bill of Laden to ensure that was declared by the importer corresponds with  what was loaded in the container that was released to exit the port. Some Containers were said to have been stopped at the gate and transferred to the Enforcement unit for physical examination.

 The Command was said to have generated a total of N58,059,198,130.33 billion between January 1, 2022 and March 31, 2022, for the government , which  Ijeoma Onuigbo Ojekwu, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs and the Command spokesperson , had said  was  about N20 billion  higher than the  amount collected within the same period last year.inance, Budget and National Planning , had

Many believe that if Hajia Zainab Ahmed, the minister of Finance , Budget and National Planning had released the 2022 Fiscal Policy Measure  and Tariffs Amendments, which contained the Supplementation Protection Measure for the implemation of the ECOWAS CET and the additional Taxes and Levies , on 172 , selected items, the could have collected more money for the government from the cargoes imported into the country which did not fall into the import prohibition list.

Maritime analysts are optimistic that with security measures  put in place at the port, blockage of areas of revenue leakage and deployment of the scanner for operations , the Command between the months of April and the end of June, 2022, would compete favourably with the second quarter revenue generation of PTML, described as a major vehicle terminal in the country.

Besides the impressive revenue generation of the Command in the first quarter of 2022, it was said to have als made appreciable impact in the area of anti-smuggling operations within the period. This is evident with the nine major Contraband seizures at the port   to suspected Containers seized at the examination bay for contravening the government fiscal policy  of 2017 to 2021, which was a  carry -over of President Muhammadu Buhari, a retired Army General, approved  Economic Community of West African State Common External Tariff , CET, for implementation between 2022-2026.

 The Command was said to have 18,555 pairs of footwear, valued at about N about N27 million,  270  pieces  of Machinery and parts worth about N2,212 billion,, 3,825  pieces of used  tyres, with a street market value of  N26.215 million  and eight bags of foreign par boiled rice of ‘’50’’ each, with a market value of  N171,961.00. This is in addition to foreign Soap and Detergent, bales of foreign textile fabrics and 72 cartons of tomato paste worth about N1.43 million. There is no gain saying the fact that seized items had contravened the ECOWAS CET as they are on the 2022, import prohibition list of the 2022, fiscal policy measures and tariff Amendments regime.



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