… As Service saves Nigeria over N36 billion in CISS charges in one year!
The Customs Area Controller, Apapa Area 1, Charles Edike on Wednesday indicated that the introduction of the Pre-Arrival Assessment Reports (PAAR), was seriously affecting the capacity of unscrupulous importers or their agents to escape paying Government realistic Customs duty.
Edike gave the indication at the Rockview Hotel, Apapa, Lagos, while delivering a talk on PAAR, at the inauguration of the newly elected executive members of the Maritime Reporters Association of Nigeria (MARAN).
The Apapa Customs command boss who also identified compliance and poorly functioning technology as the current major challenges of PAAR, equally taunted those making dishonest declarations to think twice, stressing that with PAAR, Customs was now at par, with their sharp practices.
“I can, to a very large extent, indicate whether or not you are lying, once I come in contact with your documents. And so, are all the other experienced officers”, he said, describing PAAR as a home grown device, evolved to remove bottlenecks in the ports, while boosting Government revenues.
“It has helped immensely in the fight against smuggling, because it enables the Service to keep a vigilant eye, on every container and its location.
“PAAR takes a maximum of six hours to issue, unlike the several days that the RAR (Risks Assessment Reports) to obtain”, he explained, adding that the introduction of the platform has increased Customs revenue by 23.4 percent; while the endorsement of the Customs to perform the task had also, in addition, saved the Government N36. 94 billion, within only one year, a whopping sum that would have been paid as Comprehensive Inspection Scheme.
Edike highlighted that the success of PAAR regime had enabled the World Customs Organization (WCO), to commend Nigeria’s ingenuity as a regional power, prompting several African countries, including the South Africa to come on closer study.
He lauded the doggedness and un-spared commitment of the Comptroller General of Customs (CGC), Dr. Dikko Inde Abdullahi to the platform, noting that when it was first confronted by severe teething problems, most officers had given up, with some even suggesting its abrogation, but for the CGC’s unwavering determination which saved it.
He charged importers and agents to imbibe the spirit of equity, fairness and honesty, stressing that those who must come to equity, must do so with clean hands.
Meanwhile, the President of MARAN, Mrs. Ifeyinwa Obi has assured industry operators of objectivity of coverage, saying that her administration would emphasize journalistic ethics, to the letter.
She enjoined the Government, particularly the Nigerian Ports Authority, the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Federal Ministry of Works, to forge a better collaboration, in an aim of urgent rehabilitation of port’s access roads, particularly the Tin Can Island Ports areas.