Declining Volume: Customs now examines only one container per day at PTML

The PTML Area command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has lamented the continuous drop in its revenue profile occasioned by the drop in volume of vehicles imported through the terminal.

Speaking in a chat with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY in his office in Lagos, Public Relations Officer of the Command, Steve Okonmah said the command currently examines, on the average, only one container per day as against an average of 98 containers examined daily examined “in previous months”.

He said the command had never experienced such dip in its revenue collection describing it as the worst since inception.

Giving a breakdown of vehicles imported through PTML, he said only 66,000 vehicles were imported in 2015 as against a total of 224, 000 in 2014 and 278, 000 imported in 2013.

He said while 93 containerized cargoes were imported through the terminal in 2014 only 23 were imported in 2015.

He noted that due to the implementation of the auto policy, vehicle imports meant for the Nigerian market are now imported through Republic of Benin where importers are required to pay only N600, 000 as duty for clearance as against N2.5 million customs duties in Nigeria including charges for Cost Insurance Freight (CIF).

“Cotonou relies only on import and 99 percent of the imports find their way into Nigeria. All you need to clear a car in Cotonou is N600, 000 while an importer is required to pay N2.5million surface duty here. In Cotonou there is no CIF,” he said.

Okonmah said the command has since been in talks with the terminal operator who assured the new controller, Comptroller Olubiyi Ronke of opening up the terminal for other forms of imports and according to him had commenced importation of general cargoes.

“There is nothing we can do about the situation because we (customs) don’t import. Ours is to generate revenue for the government but we have been discussing with the terminal operator and we are happy they said they are going to diversify. They told us they have opened up to China for more cargoes,” he said.

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