From Tomy John, Port Harcourt
The Port Harcourt I Command of the Nigeria Customs Service said it has rakes in the sum of ₦18,170,597,798 from January to March, 2021.
Customs Area Controller of the Command Comptroller Yusuf Garba disclosed this in a statement made available to journalists in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
Garba noted that the figure was against ₦16,180,827,894 and ₦13,237,465,044 recorded in the same period of 2020 and 2019, respectively.
He said the revenue collected in the first quarter of 2021 represented an increase of about ₦ 2 billion from that of 2020.
The statement revealed that the Command collected the sum of ₦6,433,037,926.11 in January, ₦5,031,701,309.59 and ₦6,705,858,563.36 in the months of February and March, respectively.
The Comptroller further said the importation of bulk cargoes into the port was the major source of revenue collection and attributed the increase to the gradual return of port activities, following the disruption caused by the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic.
In highlighting some of the bulk cargoes berthing in the port to include bulk wheat, frozen fish, oil well supplies, Bulk Corn among others, he added that the Command also generated the sum of ₦1,158,083,726.00 from the payment of excise duties through the International Breweries Limited.
‘This figure surpasses the ₦ 891,134,979.00 collected from January to March, 2020.’
He pointed out that international passenger flights are yet to resume at the Port Harcourt International Airport.
According to him, the Airport only receives the Allied Cargo Airline, which mainly imports Oil Well Equipment that are mostly destined for the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and the Repair and Return of Company equipment, which usually attracts the payment of import duty on the value added to the equipment at the point of return.
Speaking Further, Comptroller Garba said that the Command had being at the forefront in promoting trade facilitation and anti-smuggling activities by creating an enabling environment for Ease of Doing Business and having regular engagement with stakeholders, especially the Customs Licensed Agents.
He informed that this has proved positive as importers and their agents have being complying to trade guidelines.
In his submission, he stressed that the command kick-started the 2021 fiscal year on a sound footing, noting that the Port Harcourt I Command was yet to receive its expected revenue target for the year, expressing optimistic to surpass it.
He appreciated the leadership of the ANALCA, NAGAFF, and all other relevant stakeholders and government agencies for their high level of professionalism and corporation.