The Customs Area 2 Command, Onne Port in Rivers State, has announced a revenue growth from N13.11 billion in September 2020 to N19 billion in the month of October 2021, as it has reiterated its commitment to value addition through increased revenue.

The trend in the monthly revenue generation profile of the command showed a steady growth on a monthly basis since September 2020.

This disclosure was made by the Customs Area Comptroller, Auwal Mohammed, during an interactive session with the Business and Maritime Writers Association of Nigeria (BUMWAN), on Thursday in Onne, Eleme Local Government Area in Rivers.

What the Customs Area Comptroller for Onne Port is saying

Mohammed said, “Precisely in September 2020, when I took over, the command generated N13.11 billion, the highest since its creation. It had since then continued on a steady upward growth to N16 billion and N19 billion recorded in October 2021.

“When we eventually release our annual report, possibly by the second week in January 2022, I assure you, we are going to surprise almost everybody and our efforts in this command will be further appreciated.’’

According to NAN, the comptroller expressed serious concerns over the poor state of the Port Harcourt/Onne axis of the East-West road, adding that movement of consignments were being delayed as a result of bad road.

“Our major challenge here is that we don’t have a motorable road linking Onne Port with other parts of the country. This is because anybody assessing the Onne Port must drive by the Eleme road which is currently in a deployable state.

“The road is our major challenge because no matter how many containers and trucks released, the rate at which import goods move in and export goods move out of the port is largely determined by the nature of the road.

“Although survey works, seismic vulnerability assessments and other technical measures in highway construction have begun. We look forward to a commendable stage of work in the coming months as this success would further impact positively on our overall operations.’’

On the issue of clamping down on smugglers, Mohammed expressed the command’s readiness to stem the tide and reduce the incidents to the barest minimum, which has made the Onne Port a restricted zone for smugglers who over the years had engaged in unwholesome trade using the Port as its gateway.

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Recall that a few days ago, the Apapa Area Command of the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS announced that it collected a total of N86.02 billion as revenue for the month of October, despite some initial hiccups that slowed its operations. A breakdown of the collection from the command shows amounts collected from federation and non-federation figures including the Value Added Tax (VAT).

The Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Malanta Yusuf, said the tempo of increased revenue collection is being sustained through the volume of trade, strategies raising stakeholders’ compliance level, and inter-agency collaboration between the Command and other government agencies.