April 10th, 2006 Media Report #6

The relative peace being experienced in Warri and environs has started yielding good results, as the Nigerian Customs Service, Delta/ Edo Command collected the sum of ₦1.136 billion as revenue in My 2005.

BUSSINESS DAY learnt that of the amount ₦836.5 million was paid into the federation account, while other items such as ECOWAS Trade Liberalization Scheme accounted for the balance of ₦300 million. The ₦836.5 million paid into the federation account exceeded the monthly target of ₦717.012 million by the sum of ₦114.5 million. Delta/ Edo Command has a yearly revenue target of ₦8.604 billion this year against the ₦7.9 billion of last year.

In the month of May this year, Warri Port’s users paid the sum of ₦623.447 million s Import Duty, while Excise Duty accounted for ₦212.85 million and other fees ₦226,200. Of the total revenue for the month under review, ₦43,644 million was realized as seven percent surcharge, ECOWS Trade Liberalization (ETL) ₦23,336 million and ₦2.626 million for National Automobile Council. Other collections include five percent sugar levy valued ₦754,000 CISS ₦68.149 million and VAT ₦162.499 million.

Our source said revenue figures are looking up because of increasing activities at the ports following the relative peace in the area. According to the service, if the prevailing peace in Warri and environs is sustained, then revenue figures are expected to step up in the remaining part of the year. Hitherto, the ethnic crisis that rocked Delta State since 1999 imparted negatively on the port’s operations as its facilities were grossly under-utilized. During the crisis, many ships that wanted to berth at the Warri Ports could not do so, therefore, they were diverted to other ports, amounting to loss of revenue for the Customs Command. Meanwhile, one of the greatest problems restraining large vessels from venturing into the costal water of the Delta Ports have been the shallowness of the channel at the Escravos Bar, which needed to be dredged. 

Story By John UWE, Warri

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