ACG Katherine Ekekezie, Zone A Coordinator, NCS.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The Assistant Comptroller-General and Coordinator of Zone A of the Nigeria Customs Service, Kathrine Ekekezie, has said that very soon the duty rate on cars and other vehicles would come down.
Ekekezie made this known while receiving executive members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in her office in at Yaba, Lagos.
She said that the zone is waiting for the Federal Ministry of Finance to issue the circular for Customs to implement the policy.
She noted that the service was now fully automated, saying that importers could no longer come with doctored Bill of Laden.
She urged importers to be compliant with import rules and regulations.
“If you have brand new vehicles, you must have the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR),’’ Ekekezie said.
On donated items coming into the ports, she said that the Federal Ministry of Finance had automated the grant of Import Duty Exemption Certificate (IDEC).
The Customs chief explained that the consignee would write the Federal Ministry of Finance for IDEC.
According to her, the next thing is to walk to the Customs Service and make proper declarations.
Ekekezie, however, suggested that for the border communities, there should be good roads in the border communities; more hospitals and schools as well as cottage industries to create employment.
On African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) she opined that industries can be sited along the border areas. “If government can do this within a short period of time, smuggling will no longer be attractive,’’ the customs chief said.
She described the media as friendly and a very important part of the service.
Ekekezie added that customs intervention units were meant to check revenue leakages, curb smuggling, ensure security of lives and property as well as trade facilitation.
The Chairman, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos State Council, Mr Adeleye Ajayi, commended the service for exceeding the N1 trillion mark since 2017.
He lauded the service for recording a total revenue of N1.5 trillion in 2020 and exceeded the target of N1.38 trillion target set for the Service in the period under review.
Ajayi also commended the customs management for the ongoing reforms in the service, automation process, Nigeria Customs Integrated System (NICIS 11) software platform, robust stakeholders’ sensitization and the commitment of officers to work.
The NUJ Chairman also lauded the service for speedy deployment of scanners at the ports and border posts.
Ajayi commended the zonal coordinator for effective administration of the 13 commands and units under her jurisdiction.
He solicited the assistance of the service in terms of training and retraining in order to effectively report the activities of the service and avoid being misquoted.
Ajayi also called for the assistance of the service in completion of the ongoing remodeling of the secretariat of the union in Ikeja, Lagos.
ACG Ekekezie with CAC Abba-Kura commissioning the clinic and gym.
ACG Ekekezie also in line with her duties as a zonal head Commissioned the newly renovated clinic and gym at the Apapa Command of the NCS. At the commissioning, ACG Ekekezie praised the work ethics and the achievement of the outgoing CAC, Mohammed Abba-Kura who she described as a hardworking, competent and clean person.
According to ACG Ekekezie, ‘the Apapa Command is in the forefront when it comes to revenue generation, trade facilitation, health care and cleanliness’. She advises officers especially those above 50 years of age to regularly use the clinic and to check their blood pressure and blood sugar level at intervals in order to ascertain their health status.
The outgoing Command head, CAC Abba-Kura who has just been promoted to the rank of the Assistant Comptroller General on his own part said that doctors at the Command suggested the need for a new clinic to treat patients before evacuation to the main clinic at the Warehouse road and that he has seen to its realisation.
ACG Ekekezie with CAC Abba-Kura at the press conference.