By Bayo Bernard
Barely two months after assuming office as the Controller in charge of Nigeria Customs Service, NCS Tin Port command, Comptroller Mohammed Baba Ahmed said the first task before him is to generate N354 billion target set for the command by the NCS headquarters in Abuja. Already, the command has generated N62 billion into the coffers of the federal government. He took over from Comptroller Bashir who has now been transferred to the NCS headquarters in Abuja.
Enthusiasm is very high among officers that the command will surpass the set target despite the low imports in the country caused by recent economic depression. The thinking among men and officers of the command is that the new controller is coming with a vast knowledge in the customs valuation process which has earned various laurels in the service, and therefore will bring this experience to fore in plugging all revenue loopholes.
The controller seen by many as square peg in square hole has already mapped out strategy on how to achieve the revenue target. “We shall block all revenue leakages to collect the appropriate duties and meet our target of N354 billion,“ he said in a chat with newsmen in Lagos.
Baba Musa’s deployment came at a time when the command has deployed a cutting edge technology, Nigeria Integrated Customs Information System, NCIS 11 to harmonize database for all imported vehicles into the country. The deployment, many say will bring to end discrepancies in the issuance of value for vehicles by various customs command.
According to the controller the NCIS 11 is an advanced technology that is capable of changing the process of vehicle valuation, because it will give value to all those concerned in the vehicle importation chain. The NCIS was deployed to fast track vehicle clearance procedure, he stated.
There is need to move from the riotous past where various commands issued different value for imported vehicles, leading to constant disagreement between officers and agents but with the NCIS 11”the valuation database will be automated in such away that using the VIN number which gives you all the necessary description of the vehicle,” he said
The NCIS 11 he further stated “gives you the capacity of the vehicle, country of origin of the vehicle, type, and brand and then it gives you the value. Meetings are going on to harmonize this position before deployment of NCIS in no distant time, transparency will definitely come in the clearance of vehicles,” the controller said.
His other preoccupation in the command he also stated is to fast track dispute resolution process in the command. Therefore, he has directed that all disputes should be resolved within six hour time line, in line with his quest to rejig the dispute resolution mechanism in the command.
“Before my redeployment to the command, the dispute resolution committee was meeting twice a week to deliberate on conflicts arising from valuation, clarification, Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) and so on. As a pointer to our renewed enthusiasm for trade facilitation, I have directed that all issues arising from dispute must be attended to with dispatch.
“Meaning, no dispute should remain unresolved after six hours and the dispute resolution committee had been directed to sit on daily basis for quick resolution of issues,” he stated.