By Godwin Oritse
DESPITE stiff opposition put up by licensed agents, the Management of the Onne Port Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has generated over N34.996billion for the first half of the year January – June 2011, surpassing last year’s collection by over N10billion
The agents recently protested the administrative style of the Command’s Comptroller, Mr. Dan Ugo which they described as too strict for them (agents) to remain in business.
Statistics made available showed that about N17.125billion was collected in the first quarter (January l-March) while another N17.871 billion was collected for the second quarter (April-June) as against N11.2billion and N13billion in the first half of last year
A breakdown of the figure also showed that over N21billion was paid into the Federation account as against N13.7billion into the non-Federation account during the period under review.
Besides the impressive revenue profile of the Command, over 43 cases of seizure, 76 detention and 5 arrests were also recorded between January and June 2011.
A further break down of the figure showed that while N3.2billion was collected in January 2010, N6.1billion was collected in the same month of 2011.
For February 2010 and 2011, N3.2billion and N4.8billion was collected respectively while in the months of March and April, 2010 and 2011 N4.4billion, N4.2billion, N6.077billion and N5.2 billion was also collected during the period under review.
For May 2011 and 2010, N5.3billion and N3.048billion was collected.
In the months of June 2010 and 2011 the command recorded the highest amount of revenue collection as N5.8billion and N7.3billion respectively.
On seizure, while 25 cases were recorded in the first half of 2010, 43 cases were recorded for first half of 2011 and the Duty Payable Value stood at N232.5million and N860.9million respectively.
It would be recalled that when agents operating within the Onne Port noticed that Management had blocked all revenue leakages, they then came up with some demands.
Among other requests, they also demanded that the gate manned by officers of the Central Intelligent Unit be dismantled.
In his reaction to the agents’ opposition to management efforts to ensure that all revenue due to government are collected, Comptroller, Dan Ugo warned that only honest importers and agents will be entertained in Onne port.
Ugo who expressed surprise over t the attitude of the agents over his moves to ensure proper payment of duty also warned fraudsters to keep away from the port, adding that anybody caught in an attempt to defraud government will be dealt with accordingly.
The agents under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) demanded that the Customs Area Comptroller Task Force be dismantled and that only one exit gate be created.