The Tin Can Island Chapter Chairman of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) Mr. Azubuike Ekweozor has commended the Controller of the Tin Can Command of the Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Zakari Jibrin for realizing a whooping N284, 290, 462, 153.00 as revenue in 2014.

In an interview with Shipping Position Daily, Ekweozor attributed the successes of the Tin Can Customs to the cordial relationship it had maintained with NAGAFF and other freight forwarding associations at the chapter.

The NAGAFF chairman noted that the customs has been very supportive to freight forwarders, and that they have been very diligent in their duties. He said that this was why stakeholders volunteered to flow with them, especially on the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) introduced by the Comptroller General of Customs, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi Inde.

Ekweozor further observed that PAAR has helped in reforming the Tin Can Customs because according to him, during the Risk Assessment Regime (RAR) regime, customs has never realized this much revenue at Tin Can Port.

“We must commend the CGC for introducing such measure with has helped our system to flow”

“NAGAFF at Tin Can Island Port and the customs at Tin Can have a very cordial relationship and we are working as partners, NAGAFF is part of the revenue generation while the Tin Can Customs collects the revenue”

“If there is no mutual understanding and cooperation, I don’t think what is happening in the revenue and the rate it is increasing at Tin Can would have been achieved. This only shows that NAGAFF and our sister association are assisting customs, otherwise something good would not be happening” Ekweozor reiterated.

Continuing, he said “My goodwill message to the Customs CG is that he should keep up the good work, he is a God sent, he tried this PAAR and he never failed, people never knew that this is a system that will help everybody, I pray that God will give him more wisdom to take us to the promise land”

While giving his 2015 projections, Ekweozor appealed to importers to make genuine declaration in order for them to have a perfect documentation, according to him, importers must help themselves so that customs can help them.

“Be reasonable in your duty payments so that customs will be reasonable to you, if you are out to cheat government, the customs is out to protect government revenue, so alerts should not be seen as a bad measure”

“It is only when you don’t pay well that you get alerts, agents commit a lot of blunders which are uncalled for” he said.

Image Maker of the Tin Can Customs Command, Mr. Chris Osunkwo also told our correspondent last week that the revenue realized at the command in 2014 was higher than that of 2013 by a whooping N?44, 135, 290, 570.00.

Osunkwo however attributed the increase in the command’s revenue to the quality leadership of the Area Controller of the command, Mr. Zakari Jibrin, as well as the successful implementation of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Report (PAAR) at the command.

He commended the Comptroller General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Alhaji Dikko Abdullahi who according to him provided an enabling environment for officers to operate. Osunkwo noted that officers of the command now operate in high spirits.

“PAAR and quality leadership led to the increased revenue, since the PAAR started, our revenue has been on a steady increase” he said.

He pointed out that the Crisis occasioned in the maritime sector as a result of the auto policy introduction in 2014 has not in any way affected the commands’ revenue.

“Increase in volume of cargoes does not translate into high revenue for us, there are smaller imports which pay higher revenue than big loads of containers with no high value, the auto policy did not affect our revenue, Government was trying to use it to stop our ports from being turned into a dumping ground”

“We can make more revenue if only importers will comply with the rules of the game, volume of cargoes does not translate to high revenue” he reiterated.

Speaking further, the customs image maker told Shipping Position Daily that the management of customs had thought it wise in 2014 to streamline cargo alerts in such a manner that it will define those who are authorized to place alerts on cargo declarations, thereby stopping it from being an all comers affair.

He said that “there was no time that it affected our revenue position, instead it increased it”

He explained that management had seen unauthorized alerts as huddles to easy clearance and working against trade facilitation and this was why it was pruned down.

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