NCS MANAGEMENT RECONSTITUTED

Following the statutory retirement of some members of Management, within the last three months, the Management of the Nigeria Customs Service has been reconstituted with appointments of five (5) Ag. Deputy Comptroller-Generals and seven (7) Ag. Assistant Comptroller-Generals. 

While re-constituting the new team, the Comptroller-General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) also approved slight redeployment of 8 Comptrollers to re-engineer the management of the Service for efficient service delivery. ..
The new NCS Management members include: 
1. ALU SULE ROBERT ACG T&T- Ag. DCG T&T 
2. OLUBIYI RONKE (MRS) ACG FATS – Ag. DCG HRD 
3. DANGALADIMA AMINU ACG E, I & I – Ag. DCG E, I & I 
4. IFERI PATIENCE (MRS) ACG SR & P – Ag. DCG SR & P 
5. CHIDI AUGUSTINE ACG EX. FTZ & I.I – Ag. DCG EX. FTZ & I.I 
6. HAMZA LADAN COMPT INV. – Ag. ACG FATS 
7. EKEKEZIE KAYCEE (MRS) COMPT. VAL. – Ag. ACG T & T 
8. HARUNA MAMUD COMPT. FOU “A” – Ag. ACG E,I & I 
9. SARKI-UMAR F. M (MRS) CAC ED/DT – Ag. ACG EX. FTZ & I.I 
10. FATADE, A. O.B CAC PTML – Ag. ACG (ZONAL COOR) ZONE “D” 
11. ENWEREUZOR FRANCIS (MRS) CAC EN/AN/EB – Ag. ACG SR & P 
12. DAHIRU AMINU CAC FCT – Ag. ACG (ZONAL COOR) ZONE “B” 

DCG UMAR IYA ABUBAKAR who was formally in charge of Tariff and Trade now moves to Finance Administration and Technical Services. 

In the same vein, eight (8) Comptrollers of Customs were redeployed as follows:
1. MOHAMMED, U.G COMPT FOU C- COMT FOU A 
2. AMAJAM, B. A COMPT. TECH. SERV- COMPT FOU C 
3. UMAR, D (MRS) COMPT. WELFARE- CAC FCT 
4. DIXON, F.O (MRS) COMPT. POSTING- CAC EDO/DELTA 
5. AREMU, A. M (MRS) CAC LAG. IND- CAC PTML 
6. SULAIMAN, M. S. J COMPT. ESTAB- CAC EN/AN/EB 
7. GIMBA B, U COMPT. HQTS- COMPT TECH. SERV 
8. OLADUNMI, M.O (MRS) COMPT. L & P- CAC LAG. IND 

As the new members of Management come on board, the CGC charges them to bring their experiences to bear in the administration of the Service. 

He said the modest achievements of the ongoing reform agenda in the areas of revenue generation, anti-smuggling operations and trade facilitation must be sustained and improved upon in the interest of the nation. 

Signed 
Joseph Attah 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Comptroller-General of Customs 

NIGERIA CUSTOMS SERVICE MOVES TO REFORM IMPORT AND EXPORT PROCESSES

By Joseph Attah 

One of the most crucial functions of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) is the promotion and facilitation of trade and competitiveness. We will be the first to admit that the reality at the Nigerian ports is challenging and can be improved upon. 
Depending on who one asks, what you are likely to hear is that, export processes average between two (2) and three (3) weeks in Nigeria, compared to only four (4) days in Kenya etc. Nigeria requires up to fourteen (14) documents for imports, compared to just five (5) in Rwanda. Factors like these are responsible for the country’s lowly rank of 14th out of 15 ECOWAS economies and 182nd out of 190 economies worldwide in the “Trade Across Borders” indicator on the most recent World Bank “Doing Business” Rankings. 

Nigeria’s desire to restore growth through economic diversification, as enunciated in the recently released Economic Growth and Recovery Plan (EGRP) of the Federal Government requires a holistic reformist approach. Reforming procedures is required to stimulate important sectors of the Nigerian economy like agriculture and manufacturing, which contribute 23.1 and 13.3 percent respectively to its Gross Domestic Product. 

On February 21, 2017, the Comptroller-General of Customs (CGC), Col. Hammed Ali (Rtd.), was among several heads of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) who gathered at the Conference Room of His Excellency, the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) for the launch of the 60-Day National Action Plan on Ease of Doing Business by the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC). 

As a key stakeholder in the FG’s quest to make businesses work, the NCS joined other MDAs in making commitments towards delivering reforms that would progressively make it easier for businesses in Nigeria to start and thrive. Our commitments at the NCS are focused on “Trade Across Borders”, where a target was set to reduce import and export time by up to 50 percent, and ensure that import procedures adhere to international standards. 

A major first step was taken to achieve the target when the Department of Home Finance of the Federal Ministry of Finance revised Nigeria’s Import and Export Guidelines following a directive from the Honourable Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, to streamline current procedures. 

The Guidelines addresses some of the issues causing inefficiency and delays at the ports. Several of the newly inserted clauses in the Guidelines relate directly to the operations of the NCS. I will attempt to explain the stipulations and implications of the revised Guidelines in this piece as it pertains to the NCS. 

The NCS is now required to schedule and coordinate the Mandatory Joint Examinations and sign-off Form to ensure that there is only one point of contact between importers and officials. 

Before this intervention, the burden was on importers to reach out to all relevant agencies and the Terminal Operator to schedule a suitable time for the joint examination of cargo. We have however decided to take this tedious process off the backs of the importers and coordinate same. 

Similarly, the minimum cargo placement notice time for examination required by Terminal Operators has been reduced from twenty four (24) hours to a maximum of twelve (12) hours. This means that after the NCS agrees with all parties on a suitable time for physical examination, Terminal Operators now only require a twelve (12) hour notice to place the cargo for examination. 

Under the revised Guidelines, Shipping Lines are required to electronically transmit advanced manifest of their cargoes to the NCS and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) as soon as the vessel departs the last port of call – this is to ensure there is enough time for risk assessment, profiling and optimised placement of cargo. NCS Officers will then circulate the cargo manifests to other examination agencies and the Terminal Operators as soon as same are received from the Shipping Lines. Shipping Lines which fail to transmit the advanced cargo manifest may be denied berthing rights. 

The above guideline is critical because one major reason for delays at the ports is the less than optimal cargo placement and offloading processes. Most times, Terminal Operators are unaware of the contents of a container and are thus unable to determine if same requires physical examination or not. With prior knowledge of contents, Terminal Operators can ensure that containers which do not need physical examination and would consequently require less time to offload are placed ahead of those that will require examination in order to prevent delays and pileup of cargo. 

Another reason for the delays at the ports during the import process is the haphazard manner in which goods are packed in containers. Different types of goods are just dumped in the container and imported into Nigeria, slowing the pace of physical examination and making it impossible for modern equipment to be used to examine containers. 

To solve that problem, Shipping Lines are now required to ensure that imports into Nigeria are well arranged in pallets. Shipping Lines which fail to “palletise” cargo will be sanctioned and and maybe asked to take back on board the non-palletised cargo. 

Even beyond the 60-Day Plan, which came to a close on April 21, 2017, the NCS is already collaborating with other stakeholders to further reform the import and export processes. Our efforts are strengthened by the complete support of the Federal Government, through the PEBEC, chaired by His Excellency, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; the Federal Ministry of Finance; and other stakeholders. 

Reduction of documents required for the import and export process will continue to engage the attention of relevant authorities in recognition of the fact that Nigeria presently requires more documents than most of its peers. 

Finally, the on going move by FG towards the establishment and launch of a National Single Window (NSW) will contribute to the attainment of seamless interface by all stakeholders in the import and export chains. It will achieve an electronic, one-stop shop portal for Nigeria’s cargo clearance procedures. 

The strong steering committee co-chaired by the Comptroller General of the NCS, Col. Hameed Ali (Rtd.) and the Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman demonstrates government’s desire to entrench more business friendly environment for importers, exporters and investors wishing to do manufacturing business in Nigeria. 

We intend to show Nigerian exporters and importers through our actions that the NCS is not just a “tax-collecting” agency, but a progressive partner determined to make it quicker, cheaper and easier for exporters and importers to trade and carry out their legitimate business operations through the Nigerian ports. 

Attah, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs and Public Relations Officer of Nigeria Customs Service writes from Abuja

CGC GRANTS GRACE PERIOD FOR DUTY PAYMENT ON SMUGGLED VEHICLES

The Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) has approved a grace period of one month, between Monday 13th March to Wednesday 12th April 2017 for owners of all vehicles within the Country whose customs duty has not been paid, to do so. 

Consequently, all motor dealers and private owners of such vehicles are advised to visit the nearest Customs Zonal Office to pay the appropriate Customs Duty on them. 

The Four Zonal Offices of the Nigeria Customs Service are: Zone A Headquarters, No. 1 Harvey Road, Yaba, Lagos; Zone B Headquarters, Kabala Doki, Kaduna; Zone C Headquarters, Nigeria Ports Authority, Port Harcourt and Zone D Headquarters, Yelwa Tudu Road, Bauchi State. 

The CGC therefore calls on all persons in possession of such vehicles to take advantage of the grace period to pay appropriate duties on them, as there will be an aggressive anti-smuggling operation to seize as well as prosecute owners of such smuggled vehicles after the deadline of Wednesday 12th April, 2017. 

For the avoidance of doubt, all private car owners who are not sure of the authenticity of their vehicles customs documents can also approach the Zonal Offices to verify with a view to complying with the provision of the law. 

SIGNED 
Joseph Attah 
Ag. Public Relations Officer 
For: Comptroller-General of Customs

TIN-CAN ISLAND PORT COMMAND COLLECTED OVER ₦256 BILLION AS REVENUE IN 2016

The Tin-Can Island Port Command of Nigeria Customs Service has recorded Two Hundred and fifty-six billion, four hundred and sixteen million, seven hundred and eight thousand, eight hundred and forty eight naira, sixty eight kobo only (₦256,416,708,848.68) as revenue in 2016. 

The achievements of the Command in the year under review are: 

Interception of large quantity of arms & ammunition based on well profiled intelligence On 15th February, 7th March And 4th April 2016 Respectively And Handed Over To DSS. 

Infrastructural face-lift of the office complex which was hitherto in a deplorable condition. 

The establishment of a well equipped clinic to serve the health needs of both officers and other members of the public. 

Oversight visit of the senate committee on customs to the command on Thursday 27th October 2016. 

Seizure Of Thrity-One (31) Containers of 50kg parboiled rice, falsely declared as bread improvers/flavoured yeast disodium on 19th August, 2016. 

Seizure of 27 X 20ft Containers of Vegetalbe Oil In 25kg Kegs At Emog Terminal on Thursday 3rd November, 2016, another case of false declaration which was entered as disodium chemicals. 

Interception of One Thousand Three Hundred And Ninety Five (1,395) Cartons of Nau Nau Ready to Eat Food Preparations Imported from India. Such as Egusi Soup, Porridge Yam, Beans, Fried Rice, Jollof Rice etc. 

Spectacular Interception of 8 Bags of Unmanifested Substances in 1 X 20ft Container. The 8 Bags Consisted Of 200 fully compressed substances which was handed over to NDLEA and later confirmed to be cocaine with a street value of 2 Billion naira. 

Handing over of suspects To Standard Organisation of Nigeria (Son) For Falsification of SONCAP. 

Handing over of expired medicaments on the 31st of August 2016 and Expired Sweets to NAFDAC on The 11th of November, 2016. 

Establishment of ICT Centre with 30 work-station, fully networked for training/re-training and capacity building of officers and other stakeholders. 

While appreciating the remarkable performance of the Officers and Men of the Command, the Area Controller of the Command, Compt. Yusuf Bashar said the Command has received 4 commendation letters from the Management of the Service in a space of two months. A milestone which the Command will sustain in the New Year and beyond.

“The Command is determined and poised to forge a better synergy and collaboration with the critical stakeholders and other Sister Agencies for the implementation of the Fiscal Policies of the Federal Government. However, we wish to reiterate our zero tolerance for false declaration or other deliberate infractions.”- Compt. Bashar. 

He further state that all areas of Revenue leakages will be identified and blocked, and any attempt by an importer/and or his agent to circumvent the process will be viewed seriously. He assured all honest declarants of the Command’s readiness to facilitate trade in line with global best practices. 

SOKOTO/KEBBI/ZAMFARA COMMAND SURPASSES 2016 REVENUE TARGET: NETS OVER ₦2 BILLION

Sokoto/Kebbi/Zamfara Command has collected ₦2,094,428,602.00 billion naira representing 122.13 percent of the 2016Annual Revenue Target. This represents a surplus of ₦379,484,162 million naira above the annual target given by the Service Headquarters. The Command collected ₦1,291,328,712.22 billion naira in 2015. The performance of 2016 represents an increase of ₦803,099,889.78 million naira or 62.19 percent over what was collected in 2015. 

The Command also made 161 seizures of various smuggled items including 6000 bags of foreign rice, 5200 Jerri cans of vegetable oil,1150 bales of secondhand cloths, mosquito repellant and used vehicles with total Duty Paid Value of about 200 million naira. 20 suspects arrested in connection with the seizures were granted bail while investigation is on going with a view to prosecuting them. 

The CAC further wish to use this medium to reiterate the ban on the importation of foreign rice and vehicles through land borders and call on legitimate importers to comply with the Federal Government Fiscal Policies and explore other legitimate alternatives and windows available for importation of the restricted items. 

Signed 
Musa, Adamu Yusuf 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Customs Area Controller 
Sokoto/Kebbi/Zamfara Command

FOU ZONE “A” NETS IN OVER ₦1.3 BILLION IN DECEMBER 2016, ARRAIGNS TWO CHINESE MEN IN COURT

The Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Operations Unit, Zone “A” Ikeja, Lagos in the month of December 2016 alone having intensified its anti-smuggling operations intercepted various contrabands with a duty paid value (DPV) of Eight Hundred and Ninety Three Million, Eight Hundred and Seventy Three Thousand, Two Hundred and Fifty Naira only (₦893,873,250.00).

2. In same vein, the unit through its interventions recovered Four Hundred and Ninety Four Million, Four Hundred and Sixteen Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy Five Naira, Ninety Two Kobo only (₦494,416,975.92) from duty payments and demand notices on vehicles and other general goods that tried to beat the system from seaports, airport and border stations in the guise of false declaration, transfer of value, and shortchange in duty payment that are meant for the Federal Government of Nigeria, making a cumulative of One Billion, Three Hundred and Eighty Eight Million, Two Hundred and Ninety Thousand, Two Hundred and Twenty Five Naira, Ninety Two Kobo (₦1,388,290,225.92).

3. This huge recovery in the history of the Unit just in one month was attributed to the leadership by example and motivation the Comptroller gave to the Officers and Men of the Unit when he assumed duty and some appreciable compliance levels of some patriotic Nigerians who voluntarily paid appropriate duties on their goods and vehicles before the deadline on the ban of vehicles through the land borders which was January 1, 2017. 

4. While commending the Officers and Men of the Unit for living up to their statutory responsibilities in suppression of smuggling and enhancing trade facilitation towards sustaining best international standards, the Controller, Federal Operations Unit “A”, Comptroller Haruna Mamudu thanked the Comptroller General of Customs Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) for his effort in appreciating hard work and diligence to duty, and for always been there in giving helping hands when the need arises. 

5. In another development, the Unitalso arraigned two Chinese smugglers Mr. Shu Xiang Quan and Mr. Wu Sheng He and One Nigerian Mr. Ugochukwu Frank before Hon. Justice Mohammed Hassan of the Federal High Court, Ikoyi Lagos State on Thursday 29th December 2016 on four (4) counts charge of storing and exporting prohibited items. (Court charge attached for ease of reference).

6. The three suspects have been remanded in Ikoyi Prison for trial as the case was adjourned to January 5th and 23rd, 2017 respectively. Badejogbin David ESQ who led the legal team of the Nigeria Customs Service prayed that the court expedite the legal proceedings to serve as deterrent to others.A total of 22 Suspects were arrested in the month of December. 

7. You will recall that part of the responsibility of the Federal Operations Unit is to enforce different International protocols and conventions that have continued to increase the responsibilities of the Nigeria Customs Service most especially in area of trade facilitation. Notably, the Controller Federal Operations Unit, Zone A Comptroller Haruna Mamudu said that the United Nations chatter on preservation of endangers species entails that Customs Administrations globally protect wild life by intercepting illegal trade on such animals. 

8. The comptroller said that the seized tusks and unprocessed animal scale would be handed over to the Nigeria Environment Standards and Regulatory Enforcement Agency (NESREA) for further action. He said his Unit would not relent in its effort in intercepting all contrabands from either going out or coming into the country. 

9. In the month under review, 126 different seizures were recorded comprising Raw Hide/Skin, Elephant tusks, foreign parboiled rice, frozen poultry products, smuggled vehicles, Indian hemp and various general merchandise. 

SIGNED 
Jerry Attah 
Public Relations Officer 
For: Controller FOU A.

CUSTOMS REDEPLOYS SENIOR OFFICERS

In a bid to strengthen operations and reposition the Service to meet the challenges of the new year 2017, the Comptroller-General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ibrahim Ali (Rtd) has approved the redeployment of 8 Assistant Comptrollers-General and 238 Deputy Comptrollers with immediate effect. 

Assistant Comptrollers-General affected are: 
– ACG Charles Edike from Zone A to Human Resource Development (HRD) 
– ACG Ahmed Mohammed from HRD to Zone B 
– ACG Aminu Dangaladima from Zone B to Enforcement 
– ACG Francis Dosumu from Enforcement to Zone D 
– ACG Augustine Chidi from Zone D to Excise, Free Trade Zone and Industrial Incentives(Ex,FTZ, & I I) 
– ACG Monday Abueh from Ex,FTZ, & I I to Zone A 
– ACG Umar Sanusi from HQ to Zone C 
– ACG Abdulkadir Azerema from Zone C to HQ 

The redeployment of Deputy Comptrollers of Customs affected the Service Public Relations Officer, DC Wale Adeniyi, who is now posted to Apapa Customs Area Command, Lagos. 

As all the affected officers report at their new Zones and Commands, the Comptroller-General reiterated Federal Government ban on importation of Rice and Vehicles through the land borders. He charged all Officers and Men of the Service to ensure maximum collection of revenue and strict implementation of fiscal policy of Government. 

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