PH Customs’ N18bn 1st quarter revenue signals port activities pick-up
Port activities have picked up in Port Harcourt and this is reflected in the revenue surge recorded in the first quarter of this year.
The Customs in the area recorded N18.17bn revenue in the first quarter of 2021 compared to N16.18 billion and N13.23bn recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2020 and 2019, respectively.
Yusuf Garba, Customs Area Controller of the Command, who disclosed this via a press statement made available to journalists in Port Harcourt, said the Command collected the sum of N6.43bn in January, N5.03bn in February, and N6.70bn in March 2021.
The importation of bulk cargoes into the port was the major source of revenue collection, Garba said, attributing the increase to the gradual return of port activities after the disruption caused by the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A breakdown of the bulk cargoes berthing in the port shows they include bulk wheat, frozen fish, oil well supplies, bulk corn, amongst others.
Garba said the Command also generated the sum of N1.15bn from the payment of excise duties through the International Breweries Limited, compared to N891.1m collected from January to March 2020.
He pointed out that international passenger flights were yet to resume at the Port Harcourt International Airport. However, he said the airport only receives the Allied Cargo Airline which mainly imports oil well equipment that are mostly destined for the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) and the Repair and Return of Company equipment, which usually attracts the payment of import duty on the value added to the equipment at the point of return.
Garba said that the Command has been at the forefront of promoting trade facilitation and anti-smuggling activities by creating an enabling environment for ease of doing business and having regular engagement with stakeholders, especially the Customs Licensed Agents.
This, he informed, has proved positive as importers and their agents have been complying with trade guidelines.
Garba stressed that the Command kick-started the 2021 fiscal year on a sound footing.
He appreciated the leadership of the ANALCA, NAGAFF, and all other relevant stakeholders and government agencies for their high level of professionalism and cooperation.