By Stephe Ubanna
For years, the Nigeria Customs Service, NCS, had been losing billions of naira to importers with their clearing agents through transfer of value, and under declaration at the seaports, airport s and Land border stations over the years forcing Abdullahi Dikko, the then Comptroller General to move for the automation of Customs Operations.
Ivestigation by the Magazine shows that the revenue loss was more at the seaports , mostly Apapa and Tincan Island ports. But the development of a software for systems alerts was said to have saved the situation as billions naira was said to have been recovered for the government.
It was learnt that Musa M. Abdullahi , then a middle level officer and now Comptroller, Tin can Island Command, who was a system analyst at the Customs Headquarters Ruling Center, was said to have recovered over N400 billion for the government alone through alerts on false declaration, Concealment and underpayment.
As a revenue and Classification expert, many believe that importer and agents who are used to shady deals at the port are in for trouble as he has given his word to block all areas of revenue leakages. One major area of revenue leakage that had been at the port over the years was valuation on vehicleimportsPerhaps, to stop the mess, Musa, had set in motion the machinery to introduce into the Command operations a new software that would give all the necessary description , country of orign,Classification , value and duty of the vehicle import.
As at Wednesday, March 14, 2018, the Tin can Island Customs boss confirmed that the Command had generated over N6o billion for the government. He is optimistic that the Service migration from NCIS I TO NCIS II and training of officers on the use of the software would a go way to enhance the monthly revenue collection of the Command.
A are of the major the complaints of importers with their agents over the delay in the release of cargoes at the port, Musa was said to initiated a trade facilitation tool dubbed” time Release tool” that could guage performance of the Command. This innovation, according Uche Ejesieme, a Deputy Superintendent of Customs and Public Relations of the Command, is ”meant to monitor the flow of clarations -Single Digit Declarations, SGD, Forms from the point of lodgments , Capture, examination to release ”, with a bid to idenfying the gaps in the trade value chain.