The Comptroller General, Nigeria Customs Service, Dr Bernard Shaw Nwadialo last week flagged-off electronic payment system in the twin Rivers ports of Onne and Port Harcourt where he warned banks to rid their system of fraudulent personnel who may want o take advantage of the new system.
The exercise involves all the commercial banks.
It was a twin-event as the Customs boss also commissioned the much- delayed Automated System for Customs Data (otherwise called ASYCUDA++) and urged the officers of the two Customs command that with the two commissioning, their revenue collection should be stepped up.
With the commissioning of the e- payment system in the two strategic eastern axis commands, it means that Customs in both Port Harcourt and Onne ports has joined Customs commands in Lagos which has since stopped manual collection of revenue.
At the briedf ceremony which was witnessed by stakeholders in the two ports, the host controller, Mr Dan Ugo of Port Harcourt Area One command described the event as epoch making in the history of the modernization process of the Nigeria Customs Service.
He also reiterated the need for to train stakeholders on the workings of the ASYCUDA++ and disclosed that already his command has embarked on that adding that affected were: customs agents, shipping agents, Bonded terminal operators, bank officials as well as personnel of the service. This training, according to him, will help to facilitate trade and revenue collection.
Giving an insight into the command’s revenue collection profile for the first half of 2009, the controller singled out the month of June during which the command collected #2.75 billion, which according to him, was an appreciable improvement over the past months.
He however expressed optimism that with the upgrading of the system to ASYCUDA++, the revenue figure of the command will increase further because of what he termed as the attendant benefits of the new system.