Tony Iju Nwabunike, the National President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) has expressed ignorance about the claims by the Nigeria Customs that the ports are currently experiencing a giant leap in customs revenue and cargo throughput.
It would be recalled that Hameed Ali, the Comptroller-General of Customs, recently claimed that following the continued closure of Nigeria’s borders, the Nigerian ports are now recording increased volume of cargo which now translates to higher customs duties.
Ali further claimed that as a result of the border closure, Nigeria Customs now collects between N4.5billion and N5billion daily as revenue.
But in a statement which tends to cast a pall of doubt on the claims, Nwabunike declared that his office is yet to get statistics that will either confirm or repudiate such claims.
Speaking at a roundtable discussion with Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN) last week, the ANLCA president said that until he gets hold of relevant statistics, he would not be able to confirm the claims.
“I can neither say yes it’s true or not, because my office is not in possession of relevant statistics to confirm the veracity of the claims.
“By the end of the year when all the statistics are collated, we shall know the true position of the revenue”, he noted.
Nwabunike, who was only short of dismissing the CGC claims as unfounded, however declared, “from all indications, I cannot say”.
However, it is instructive to note that the Nigeria Customs Service generates its revenue through the payments made by Customs Licensed Agents as Customs duties.
It then sounds curious if the agents could not confirm if they get more clearing jobs which is a function of increased volume of cargo that will automatically translate to higher revenue for customs.
“We are not collecting revenue, so we cannot say if the revenue is increasing or stagnant.
We hope by the time CRFFN gets to work, they will have a database where we shall know what volume of imports and exports and revenue we generate each year.
“But for now I cannot categorically tell you what is happening”, Nwabunike concluded.
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