Despite the malfunctioning of Electrical Control Cabinet and the electricity control plant of the Scanning Machine,the Seme Customs Area Command generated Nine Hundred and Ninety Four Million Eight Hundred and Thirteen Thousand, Six Hundred and Forty Seven Naira Six Kobo (N994, 813,647.06) for the month of October 2016.
The Command also made Sixty Eight seizures (68) with a Duty Paid Value of Thirty Five Million Three Hundred and Two Thousand Nine Hundred and Fifty Seven Naira Ninety Kobo (N35, 302,957.90).
The revenue generated for the month of October clearly exceeded the amount generated in the corresponding year with over N60, 884,291.76.
The challenges that hampered the higher collection of revenue in the period were the new policy introduced by the Republic of Benin on movement of goods from the ports to their Bonded Terminals before been transferred to the park.
The prevailing high exchange rate (CFA) and the dilapidated nature of the road diversion from the Republic of Benin has contributed immensely in slowing down economic activities at the border.
The CAC Mr Victor Dimka said that the revenue figure showed that the zeal and determination of officers and men to succeed all the time and at all cost is paying off,
Mr Victor Dimka however was quick to point out that there is still room for improvement to surpass the amount generated.
The Customs Area Controller noted that if the command must dare to be different and remain in total compliance as a change agent, the command must be ready to face criticism and public condemnation among many unpatriotic Nigerians.
Dimka said “no amount of criticism, campaign of calumny and unprofessional publications of baseless and unverified news on the pages of newspapers against Seme will stop the Command from working strictly in compliance with the mandate of the Comptroller General of Customs”.
He re-stated that anything short of actualizing the mandate of the Service will not see the light of the day.
Dimka further stated that he will continue to spur his officers and men to put in their modest contribution to actualize the service mandate.
It could be recalled that on resumption of Victor Dimka in January last year he disclosed that, for Seme Command not to remain the same, officers and men of the Command must get it right and have a complete moral rebirth in discharging their statutory obligations.
Dimka “reiterated that the only way officers and men can complement the relentless effort of the Comptroller General of Customs is to maintain a high level of discipline, integrity and excellence while discharging their core functions of revenue generation, suppression of smuggling and facilitating legitimate trade”.
In his monthly forum with stakeholders, the host communities and the registered Association of Clearing Agents at the border,Dimka attributed the improvement in the revenue of the Command to the cooperation of the stakeholders.
He said despite the difficult times and policy changes, the stakeholders still comply and cooperate with the Command in doing legitimate business that is in line with the Federal Government policies..
The Command’s helmsman re-stated that as a vanguard of change, he stands fulfilled because the major stakeholders in the Command are in compliance with the change policies and are adhering to the standard operational procedures in the border Command.
Dimka said that it is only through compliance to guidelines and procedures that problems are avoided and the service core mandate realized.
He cited an instance where members of the Odua People Congress who came for the annual worship of their deity almost took advantage of the occasion to smuggle rice into Nigeria, but were resisted by the Enforcement Unit of the Command.
The Comptroller warned that no association or group of people under any platform or guise are above the law.
He urged officers not to be intimidated by any unlawful union or gathering that will dare the might of constituted authority at the border.
Mr Victor Dimka however appealed to all officers and men to intensify more efforts geared towards suppression of smuggling and generating maximum revenue in an atmosphere of peace that will facilitate legitimate trade across the frontier.
Achike Bosah, Lagos