The Zonal Coordinator, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) Zone A, ACG Charles Edike, last week visited 13 excisable factories in Lagos in a bid to ensure that the duty accruable to government is paid especially by defaulting establishments.
Addressing newsmen during the weeklong tour, the Zonal Coordinator said the visit to the industries became necessary given the low container traffic in the ports and the sharp fall in import duty.
He said the Zone, which accounts for about 75% of the total customs revenue had to re-strategize and innovate on ways of supplementing for the downturn by focusing on other sources of revenue permissible by the law.
He expressed optimism that the effort would shore up revenue from NCS to government, considering the lull at the seaports, the major revenue source.
“This initiative to visit the excise factories is to encourage the excisable factories and at the same time ensure that every kobo owed government is paid.
“With import volume down due to the general business outlook, we decided to intensify efforts in this regard to get the revenue from factories producing alcoholic beverages.
“The customs has been collecting revenue from the identified excise factories, but doing this is to make them live up to date with paying their duty,” he said.
Various factories however complained of scarcity and skyrocketed price of ethanol, a major raw material used for the production of their products.
They complained that the scarcity of the material had caused them to produce epileptically, and some times on orders only.
Some of the factories also complained of scarcity of packaging materials like bottles, resulting from complaints by such producers who consider the high production cost.
At one of the factories located in Iyana-Oworo, Edike frowned at the filthy environment where drinking water is produced.
“I have instructed that the CAC of the area writes NAFDAC (National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control) so they can come and inspect this premises, because the environment is not healthy for production of what people consume,” Edike said.
In another development, the Zonal Coordinator also addressed heads of Central Intelligence Unit, Valuation, Terminals along with all Area Project Mangers in commands under Zone A.
He stressed the need for the officers to be alert to their jobs, ensuring that every avenue for revenue leakage is blocked at the nation’s seaports and borders.
He charged officers of the CIU to up the ante in intelligence gathering, as it is crucial national security and revenue generation.
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