Swomen Legacies at KLT Customs : Raises Revenue by 21%, Establishes 3 New Terminals

Ag. ACG Swomen
  • 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.