The Lilypond Export Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says it processed 688,097 metric tonnes of export goods with Free-On-Board (FOB) worth $701.8 million in 2023.
The Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Ajibola Odusanya, said this at a news conference on Thursday in Lagos.
Odusanya also said that 18, 407 containers of 20 feet and 40 feet were processed for export weighing 688,097 metric ton.
The customs boss explained that within the period, N2.2 billion was paid into the Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) levy account.
Odusanya said that the Lilypond Export Command had significantly contributed to the national economic growth, noting that the feat was achieved through meticulous planning, efficient operations and collaboration with stakeholders.
He noted that a surcharge of N97.2 million was recorded based on the 2.5 per cent levy on the export of previously imported goods, in line with the 2022 fiscal policy of the Federal Government.
“The Lilypond Export Command of NCS was created in November 2022 as a key player in facilitation and promoting exports, contributing significantly to Nigeria’s economic growth.
“The command with a commitment of excellence and collaboration, strives to optimise export processes and uphold the highest standards in international trade,” Odunsanya said.
He said the command had successfully processed export of various items and commodities.
According to him, these are categorised into classes such as agricultural products, extractive and solid minerals, miscellaneous items, and manufactured goods.
This, he added, was to ensure ease of classification for national planning and statistics.
He pointed out that for agricultural produce, cocoa, sesame seeds, hibiscus flowers, cashew nuts and others are considered as highest activity and account for export earnings of $315.99 million
For the extractive and solid minerals, he said that iron, aluminum, copper, manganese, lead, zinc, lithium ores and ingots amount to $182.38 million.
“Miscellaneous items which include assorted locally sourced foodstuffs, personal effects and previously imported items amounted to $118,941,832.85 cents.
“The manufactured goods which consist of exports of locally produced good such as cigarettes, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, household goods recorded an export earnings of $84,469,055.93 cent on these items,” he said.
The controller also aappreciated the collaborative efforts of sister agencies and stakeholders in promoting and sustaining the growth of exports.
He added that the successful outcome recorded in 2023 underscore the vital role of data and statistics in strategic planning for national economic development.
“Building on the successes of the previous year, our focus remains on delivering even greater efficiency, transparency and collaboration to benefit all stakeholders involved in the export process.
On operational procedures, Odunsanya said that efforts were made to streamline processes, including the establishment of multiple export points.
These, he said, include Ikorodu, Okokomaiko, and others, with the aim of improving efficiency and reducing the need for exporters to physically visit the command for assistance.
“We have officers resident in those areas so that there would not be any delay in jobs,” he said.
He said that one of the challenges the command faced had to do with making people to be aware of the existence of a one-stop-shop command dedicated to export.
“The state of the road initially was chaotic, it took a long time for export cargoes to enter the port.
“Export is a very sensitive business; there are perishables, time bound cargoes and Nigeria is not the only players in the export business. We have other countries there like Ghana and others, and nobody wants to listen to talks about local problems in the country.
“With the sanitisation of the road, and the introduction of the e-call-up system, movement to the port is freer.
“Presently, the movement of containers from the Diamond Star Terminal is an average of 70 or more everyday, unlike before they were not able to push 10 when the road is chaotic,” he said.