By Innocent Orok
Seme border Command of the NCS in September 2023 has surpassed it’s revenue target of N1.96bn with a total collection of N2,088,578,048.03k as at Friday 15th September, 2023.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, made this known to newsmen while handing over to Comptroller Timi Bomodi as the new Customs Area Controller of the Seme-Krake border Command.
Nnadi also lauded the various anti- smuggling strides achieved under his watch at Nigeria’s busiest land border during his eight months stay to include seizure of fake Six million US dollars equivalent to N2.7billion from trans -border smugglers; 9500 units of 50kg bags of rice equivalent to sixteen (16) trailer loads of foreign parboiled rice with Duty Paid Value of N312,242,064.93k; 15,094 x 30 liters Jerrycans of Premium Motor Spirit equivalent to 455,850 litres or 15 petroleum tankers with a Duty Paid Value of N738,276,461k; and 15,389 units of General Merchandise Goods.
Others are hard drugs and narcotics seizures made within the period which include; 594 parcels of Cannabis Sativa; 4,900 Tablets 225mg of Tramadol Tamol-X; 3,600 Tablets 225mg Tramadol Royal 225; 157 Tablets of Heineken Ecstacy; and 864 Packs of Cigarette.
He also commended his officers, sister agencies of government, the business community and members of the host communities for their support, while asking that more of such support be given to his successor.
On his part , the incoming Comptroller Timi Bomodi gave assurances to sustained the seamless trade across the border and diligence in implementing the recently signed pact between Nigeria Customs and the Benin counterpart of clearance of goods.
Speaking on the outcome of a recent meeting in Abuja between the Customs administrations of both Nigeria and Benin Republic, Bomodi said “If what was proposed would come into fruition, it means that the functions of Nigeria Customs Service is going to extend beyond the borders and it is going right into the corridor of Benin Republic, vis-a-vis the operations of Benin Customs would also extend beyond its borders right into our ports
“It is going to be a symbiotic relationship and we cannot expect anything less than what we give, we expect excellence on both sides of the divide and hopefully, it would be transformative.
“Once you enhance trade, your capacity to generate more revenue is also enhanced, once people can move freely, goods can move freely, if services can move freely in this corridor, we are talking about the African Continental Free Trade Agreement and what this entails is generating revenue in trillions of dollars, it is totally transformative for Africa and we need to trade more along this corridor.
“We cannot trade more, if our processes and systems are not properly aligned, and thinking of both sides of the divide must be properly synchronised”.
Speaking, on the numerous checkpoints along the Seme border road ,Bomodi said “There would be a concerted effort to ensure that those who are not supposed to be on this corridor do not come back, either temporarily or long term. This was one of the issues addressed by both administration, it is not economical for trade, if you travel from Cotonou to Cote-de-ivore, I am sure you cannot find these.
“In no distance time, those responsible for managing these sister organisations would take the bull by the horn and ensure that multiple check points are eliminated.
We have not doubt that with the resolve at the highest level of the presidency, it would come to fruition in no distant time.
“The best form of inter agency collaboration is having regular interactions. This also forms part of the agreement we have had, to be meeting on Quaterly basis on anything that affects trade on this axis”.
“We would also never forget what our primary responsibility are, which is facilitation of legitimate trade, collection of revenue for government and enforcement of government fiscal policies.
These are critical roles we intend to play without undermining the well-being of people living and doing their work in the border areas” Bomodi said.