- Collects N44.3bn In 2022 , Attracts Vessel to Command, Floats Clinic
By Shola Fadeyi
In spite of the challenges posed by the Russian- Ukraine war, the dip in the exchange rate of the naira to the dollar among other factors , which led to reduction in the level of imports in 2022, , Hammi Swomen. as the Controller of the Kirikiri Lighter Terminal (KLT), Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), during the period, still surpassed, the 2021 revenue by 21 percent.
The Command generated N44.3 billion in 2022 as against N36.69 billion in 2021, despite the aforementioned issues ,including the difficulty in accessing the KLT, due to traffic congestion, which Swomen who has just been promoted as an Ag. Assistant Comptroller General (ACG) said all the challenges affected the Command’s operations.
ACG Swormen who made the observations while giving an account of his stewardship for 2022 as the Controller of the Command, stated that the revenue rise was due to the effective examination carried out on containers , the recovery of unpaid duties and other measures put in place along with other security agencies.
He said the Command as part of its achievements, during the period ,also recorded nine seizures of 29x40ft and 03x20ft of assorted items with a duty paid value of N737,578,939. .
Swomen disclosed that, he and his officers likewise ensured that the number of the terminals in the Command were increased by three, putting the names of new terminals as Bestaf , Tenzik and Sundial , which he said handles imports and exports.
According to him, two of the terminals are exclusively for exports , while the third which also deals in imports, was responsible , for bringing into the Command, last November, a vessel ladened with containers.
He said the berthing of a vessel in one of the additional terminals was a departure from the tradition, where the Command has been depending solely on transfer of containers to it, from sister Commands such as Apapa, Tin Can and the Port Terminals Multi services(PTML).
Swomen expressed the hope that his successor would ensure that more vessels are brought into the Command in future as well as take other steps that will increase activities at the Command and boost its revenue generation.
The ACG stated that the rationale behind establishment of a the Staff Clinic in the Command , which he said is expected to increase in size in future, is to have a healthy officers and men , who would be in good health of mind and body to work and increase the Command’s revenue.
Swomen disclosed that the fact that the Command during the period was able to put in place a Dispute Resolution Committee/ One Stop Shop , comprising strategic Units also went a long way at ensuring that issues arising from compliance were addressed and as such assisted in increasing revenue and facilitating trade.
He said it was also a credit that the Command was able to create an harmonious working relationship between it and government security and other agencies and stakeholders ,as the development assisted it in its operations .
Swomen had earlier said 2022 proved to be challenging for the Nigerian economy, with attendant adverse effects for revenue collection by the Service generally, and the Command in particular ,adding that the year witnessed a sharp decline in the value of the National Currency against other international currencies.
According to him other negative effects resulted from the Russian Ukraine War, which affected countries around the world with increased inflation and prices of goods and services.
Swomen said the traffic congestion, dilapidated sections and ongoing road construction on the Oshodi – Apapa Expressway, Lagos posed a big challenge to transfer of containers from the Mother Ports to KLT, making the Command to rely almost exclusively on transfer by barge.
The new ACG stated that he assumed duties in December, 2020 with a mandate to plug revenue leakages, enforce extant Import and Export regulations and facilitate trade for all international trade actors , adding that the results of the steps he took manifested in the various achievements that were recorded.
Already the National Public Relations Officer(PRO) of the Customs , Timi Bomodi , who has just been promoted as a full Comptroller has been designated to take over from Swomen , as the latter moves to the Customs Headquarters in Abuja to assume his new position as the ACG, EXCISE and Free Trade Zone.