CAC Okun stressing some points during an interview.
Story by Dili Utomi.
The Port Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command of Nigeria Customs Service has collected a total of N205,157,566,605 as total revenue from January to November 2021 with a charge by the Customs Area Controller, Festus Okun, to all stakeholders to continually increase their compliance level.
The collected figure is twenty one percent higher than the N169,160,504,980 collected from January to November 2020 with a difference of N35,997,061,062.
According to the Area Controller, the increase in revenue collection is due to a combination of higher volume of trade, improvement in compliance level and strategies put in place to achieve prevention of leakages.
He lauded the stakeholders for taking advantage of the improvement in cargo clearance, especially vehicles that are exited from the customs zone within four hours. It is of noteworthy to point out that the CAC has always pointed out that his Command has been keeping to the four hour cargo clearance period and that no freight forwarder has come forward to debunk the claims.
It should be emphasised that a lot of the regular cases of infractions being taken to enforcement for appropriate sanctions when the CAC Okun resumed newly are said to have become things of the past.
The CAC said “It is pertinent to remind the agents that they make more profit and save time for their businesses when they comply and this strategy is paying off for them.
“What we do to non-compliant people is to give them the maximum Demand Notices concerning their infractions with the appropriate penalty, which is 25% of total duty accessible.
“When we discovered that this was not even punishing them enough, we introduced a system where we make sure that you go through series of processes that might keep you probably a week or two longer in the system. By this, you incur more expenses for your importer who may not likely to give you another cargo to clear, which means that you’re sending yourself out of the market.
“So, we ensure that if you comply, you get the best of the services possible within 24 hours which promotes you as an efficient operator. But when you try to circumvent the system and you’re delayed, it sends a signal that you’re not a transparent agent or cargo handler, so you will be losing in the market.
” Since nobody wants to lose in the market, people are queuing into the system, and now we’re almost achieving an equilibrium where everybody knows the right thing to do. This is a win, win for them and the government” the CAC concluded.
The CAC at a recent meeting with officers of the command commended their commitment to work and urged them to keep making the PTML user friendly as they have always done. He also commended the CGC, the media and the general populace for their support and cooperation in all the Command’s activities and promised the rededication of the Officers and Men of the Command to the task of discouraging smuggling and the encouragement and facilitation of genuine trade.
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