The Customs Area Controller (CAC) of Tin-Can Island Port Command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Comptroller Dera Nnadi mni has clarified that the recent two-day strike action led by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) did not cause revenue loss to the Service.
Addressing inquiries from journalists regarding the strike’s impact on the Command’s revenue generation, Comptroller Nnadi explained that the revenue might experience delays due to importers and freight agents’ inability to settle duties promptly during the bank closure period.
He assured that cargoes awaiting duty payments are securely stored at the port.
Nnadi emphasized that the Customs duties on these cargoes will be collected once operations resume, and importers or agents proceed to clear them.
Highlighting the situation, he stressed that the revenue from the detained cargoes merely faces a temporary delay, constituting a setback rather than a permanent loss to the NCS. The Customs personnel remain on-site, ensuring their obligations encompassing revenue collection, smuggling suppression, and trade facilitation.
However, Comptroller Nnadi noted the potential stakeholders affected by the strike’s halt in port activities. Importers may face additional demurrage charges, while exporters with perishable goods stranded at the port encounter losses. Additionally, imported refrigerated food items reliant on electricity access might lead to losses for importers and the country due to power disruption.
He also highlighted the impact on other port-dependent service providers, including vendors and artisans, whose daily income was significantly affected by the strike action.
Remaining optimistic about meeting the command’s 2023 revenue target of N801 billion, Nnadi reiterated the command’s commitment to expediting trade, reducing turnaround time, and lessening costs for importers, particularly amidst challenging exchange rates.
Comptroller Nnadi stressed that these Customs Service improvements align with the vision of Adewale Adeniyi MFR, the Comptroller General of Customs, aimed at creating a globally-oriented Customs administration that prioritizes efficient cargo clearance and due diligence from quayside to final exit.
Abubakar Usman, Chief Superintendent of Customs and Public Relations Officer at the Apapa Area Command, affirmed that the strike did not disrupt Customs operations.
He mentioned the Command’s Collection of over N5 billion on the first day of the strike, despite a decrease in daily Revenue targets due to currency fluctuations and reduced cargo activity.
At the Ports Terminal Multiservices Limited (PTML) Command, Chief Superintendent of Customs Muhammad Yakubu highlighted a significant drop in processed goods declarations (SGDs) and Revenue Collection during the strike, signaling a notable decrease from the usual throughput.