The Acting Controller at the Federal Operations Unit, Mr Usman Yahaya has said that within the last two months, the command seized 15 containers of faux and expired drugs and other banned products in Lagos State on Friday.
He expressed grave concern over the activities of some erring importers at the port, also as smugglers who he argued have adopted new tactics and have constantly threatened the lives of consumers as a results of their refusal to try to to the proper thing.
This was even as House of Representatives urged President Muhammadu Buhari to issue an Executive Order for the utilisation of a part of the revenue generated by the Nigeria Bureau of Customs (NCS) to hold out repairs on the access roads resulting in the port with the view to reinforce non-oil revenue.
Chairman of the House Technical Committee on Customs and Excise, Hon. Leke Abejide who gave the charge during an oversight function to Customs formations in Lagos State argued that Nigeria is losing tons of revenue to the shortage of access roads to the ports.
He said if the roads to the port are constructed, the state will haven’t any reason to require a far off loan to finance its annual budget because the money required would be generated from the ports.
While expressing displeasure over the state of affairs in Customs formation within the Lagos area, the lawmaker decried the shortage of facilities by the varied Customs formations in Lagos, adding that if properly equipped the service can generate most of the cash needed to fund the country’s annual budget.
Hon. Abejide who reiterated the Committee’s resolve to help the Service to enhance revenue generation lamented that despite successes recorded by various commands on improved revenue generation, tons remains being lost to congestion.
He said there was no need keeping the Presidential Task Force put in situ to decongest the roads resulting in the ports, saying the task force has did not achieve the aim that it had been put in situ .
He said with the varied Commands within the area generating about N100 billion monthly, it’ll not be out of place to issue an executive order to use one-month revenue of the Customs to repair the roads saying “how much will these roads cost to construct. i’m unsure the roads will cost quite N100 million to construct.
“Even if the quantity is quite , we will dedicate three months revenue to construct these roads once and for all since doing which will enhance our Revenue generation.”
In her remarks, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs responsible of Zone A, Kathleen Ekekezie said officers and men of the Service were able to work for the interest of the country and generate more revenue, but lack of facilities and lack of an encouraging working environment was hindering their performances.
She complained about the activities of terminal operators and shipping companies whom she said are milking Nigerians dry and making them buy delayed clearance of containers within the port.
While urging this administration to revisit the difficulty of concessioning of terminals and government warehouses at the port, the Assistant Comptroller General of Customs argued that “when the terminals were concessioned, we weren’t consulted.”
She also frowned at the spate of abandoned containers being imported into the country, against the standard practice of leaving the country with the empty containers after discharging their content.
She also complained of access roads for officers of the service add the port to access their offices, saying some Customs Officers have died in an effort to urge to the office.
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