As part of measures put in place by the Tincan Island Command to remain a force to reckon with in Revenue collection, the Customs Area Controller, Compt. Bashir Yusuf recently met in different sessions with the Officers in-charge of the Terminals as well as the Valuation personnel in the Terminals.
According to press statement sent to Platform Reporters and signed by Uche Ejezieme, the command’s PRO, the meeting was to further reiterate his stand on zero tolerance for inappropriate examination of cargo, comparative analysis of declarations on the SGD (Single Goods Declaration) with the system declaration and appropriate valuation of goods to guide against transfer of value amongst others.
In his opening remarks, the Area Controller drew the attention of the sectional heads to the role of the Service in National development and the implications of failure to meet with expectations and its concomitant effect on the Economy of the Nation.
He reminded them that the Command was given a Revenue Target of 25.8billion a month, translating to 306.8billion in a year, which necessitated his directive for a daily target of at least 1billion. He noted that the goals cannot be achieved without a practical commitment of all Officers/Men. Speaking further, the Controller admonished terminal heads to ensure thorough system checks on declarations are carried out to identify goods which value may have been transferred for regularization.
In view of the above, the Controller directed that beyond the weekly target, the various terminals will also be placed on serious surveillance to ensure zero tolerance for any corrupt tendency.
Similarly, the Controller on Friday 4th August, 2017, while declaring closed an ICT training in the Command charged participants to make integrity, professionalism and due diligence their watch word while stating that ICT is an enabler, he pointed out that the participants are expected to drive the process through a renewed commitment and vigor tailored towards raising the Revenue profile of the Command.
He noted that his passion for capacity building prompted him to establish the training centre which in future will serve the training needs of the Service and the WCO noting that whoever passes through the facility will have a comparative advantage of out-pacing their contemporaries in all aspects of 21st Century Customs Operations.
In his words, to the Releasing Officers, he stated this “we have found you worthy in Learning & Character and that is why we gave you Password.” “As the Area Controller, I want to state for the umpteenth time that I do not have a preferred Importer, nor agency which is why I have never compelled any one of you to exit any cargo based on such preference”. May I remind you to guard your pass words jealously as flimsy excuses of in deliberate mistakes will not be tolerated.
Generally speaking, he charged stakeholders to key into the change mantra / Ideology of the Comptroller-General of Customs as their sacrifice to nation building, stating that Tincan Island under his watch will remain a choice and preferred port for patriotic importers in view of her penchant for the facilitation of legitimate trade.
On the issue pertaining to the presidential enabling business committee on Ease of Doing Business, the Controller stated that the Command had been at the Vanguard of ensuring that honest declarations are given expeditious access though there could be occasional hiccup, the Command is ever ready to face such challenges. He described stakeholder engagement, inter-personal skills and the concept of change Management as part of the building blocks to functional and effective Customs Operations.
“your driving force should be to out-pace your contemporaries through upping the ante in all aspects of your official engagements. We will develop more rigorous and comprehensive training program after the official commissioning of the facility. Our ultimate task – Revenue Generation and Collection, therefore we have a responsibility as officers/men to demonstrate integrity and commitment in the discharge of our official functions”.
Your performance must be seen to have a significant effect on our Revenue, attitudinal change and self transformation is also key. “My style is to use ICT to control the behavior of officers and those who are found wanting will be sanctioned to act as deterrent to would be offenders”.