• Begins Self Assessment in Lagos Ports
The Customs Comptroller General, Mr Abdullahi Dikko has disclosed that the service has intercepted 80 container load of furniture in a fresh clampdown on smuggling activities in the country.
The Customs boss told journalists in Abuja last week that the contraband may be distributed to schools, orphanages and homes for the less privileged, even as hen disclosed that five ships laden with assorted contraband were also impounded in Warri, Calabar and Port Harcourt.
He expressed hope that the seizures will deter smugglers: “This will serve as a deterrent to the smugglers and to encourage local manufacturers to redouble their efforts in the production of their furniture. I would
like to assure all other productive sectors that generate employment
that we shall intensify efforts at curbing smuggling to encourage
local production in the country to stimulate our economy”.
The disclosure also coincided with the flag-off of the new self assessment and upfront payment method on October 19 in Lagos ports.
Customs sources confirmed that the introduction is aimed at further boosting the plan to achieve 48-hour cargo clearance time at the ports and reduce personal contact in the processes leading to final exit of imported consignments.
Customs public relations officer, Mr Wale Adeniyi explained that under the new system, importers or their agents are expected to carry out self assessment of their consignment, generate accurate assessment slips and proceed to make payment at any of the customs duty collecting banks. The banks, thereafter confirms the payment electronically into the Customs ASYCUDA, leading to registration of the transactions by the Nigeria Customs Service.
At the media chat the customs boss also disclosed that his men have in he last few weeks recorded about 306 different seizures with a total duty value of about N1. 249billion
He also added that two ships loaded with banned exiles were impounded in Calabar port and that the ships were loaded with about 7,812 tonnes of
Explaining the size of the seizures, he said that “it took about 16 days for six trailers that we deployed to off-load the wares from one of the ships. The other one contained 6,316 tonnes which took our trailers about 13 days to offload”.
“We also seized three ships containing groundnut oil, one in Port Harcourt and two in Warri. These goods are usually from Malaysia but they would lie that they were from the ECOWAS region because of an existing ECOWAS treaty”, he added.
According to him, importers of the textiles wanted to take advantage of the ECOWAS Treaty on free movement of goods to circumvent Nigerian law on prohibition.