Headlines Customs Kano/Jigawa Command suppresses smuggling, rakes in N52.7bn in 2023 By maritimemag January 5, 2024 ShareTweet 0 By Abiodun OBA The Nigeria Customs Service has been able to achieve voluntary compliance by its stakeholders following regular sensitisation and proactive engagement with the business communities in Kano and Jigawa states. This is as the Kano/Jigawa Command generated N52.7 billion revenue for 2023. The Customs Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Ibrahim Chana, said this in a statement on Thursday in Lagos. “Vigorous enforcement actions by men of the command have resulted in several seizures, which contributed to suppression of smuggling in the two states. “Some of the seizures made were handed over to sister government agencies, which the command has been cooperating with in the spirit of interagency collaboration,” he said. “If you can recall, a few weeks ago, we had course to invite heads of sister agencies to hand over huge confiscated contraband items to them. “We handed over 665 pieces of donkey skins to the Northwest Zonal Coordinator, Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Services, while 450 blocks of Cannabis Sativa were handed over to the State Commander, National Drugs and Law Enforcement Agency. “Also, 1,290 cartons of expired and unregistered pharmaceuticals were released to the State Director, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Kassim Ibrahim. “The continuous synergy and collaboration between our organisation and our esteemed partner agencies exemplify our shared dedication to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for all citizens of the country,” he said. Chana said the N52.7 billion revenue for 2023 represented an increase of 26.4 percent when compared with the N41.7 billion collected in 2022. Chana, however, commended the various organisations for their support to the service. He listed the seizures made last year to include donkey skin, marijuana, expired and unregistered pharmaceutical products which were handed over to the concerned agencies of government. On trade facilitation, Chana made several visits since assuming leadership of the command to improve overall compliance levels among the various stakeholders engaged in customs trade activities. He added that these visits were part of a broader strategy to streamline processes and foster a more efficient and transparent trade environment. He noted that they were engaged on wide array of topics including regulatory adherence, accuracy of documentation, and were educated on being efficient in terms of adherence to trade procedures. On the recent Comptroller General of Customs (CGC) Conference held in Lagos, which centred on data analytics, Chana said the initiative on a data driven customs service was highly commendable. He pointed out that this was considering its importance in effective review and planning to streamline customs operations. Chana said the command deploys data to forecast, analyse, and digest information relating to seizures, revenue generation, and anti-smuggling efforts to improve on its mandate and predict the future. “For the CGC conference theme to cascade down at the command level, there is a need for continuous stakeholder engagement with a view to ensuring compliance and seamless operations. “Earlier in November, we coordinated a training session for enterprises operating at the Kano Free Trade zone, and there are plans in motion to meet with all of them within the first quarter of 2024, especially members of Kano Market associations and the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria,” he said. Chana noted that his visit to the Governor of Jigawa, Malam Umar Namadi, in 2023, was primarily focused on the development and advancement of the Maigatari Free Trade Zone within the state. “I promised the governor an open-door policy and promotion of enabling environment for business owners who want to relate with the service. “The areas of proposals and ideas on various strategies aimed at improving economic prospects, attracting investments, and fostering sustainable growth, with special emphasis on the state’s export potential, will be enhanced from the customs perspective,” he said. © 2024, maritimemag. All rights reserved.