By Roland Ekama
Improper packaging and inadequate knowledge of export guidelines are impeding non-oil exports, the controller Tin Can 2 command of the Nigeria Customs Service has said.
This may have affected yam export as only four shipments of yam have been processed since the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh, flagged off the exportation of yams at the command in 2017.
The inability to get the right market at the right time and place for the commodity is responsible for the drop in the volume yam export.
To improve the quality of export goods, the federal government has been urged to embark on enlightenment programme and increase the awareness of the business community on market availability and adherence to modern packaging techniques.
Dalhat Mahmud, controller of Tin Can 2 command of the Customs made the call on Tuesday in Lagos.
"We need to do a lot of campaigns to sensitize people to make sure they know the importance of the business and it will help government in terms of foreign exchange earnings. “So far, so good, export has been going on smoothly. I think our major problem here is how to package: what is the chemical analysis used in fumigating the containers,” Mahmud said.
He called on the federal government to increase the level of awareness campaign in favour of export as this will enhance the foreign exchange earnings of the government.
On the command's revenue drive, Mahmud said it collected a total of N2.3 billion revenue in May 2018 compared to N1.6 billion realized in April. The N2,267,965,574.00 represents 158 percent surplus of the N1,432,773,836.56 monthly target of the command.
Mahmud said, "90 to 95 percent of the revenue of the command comes from the free trade zone though we don't have some vessels that come once or twice in a year."
He said the command will continue to surpass its monthly revenue target as long as duty is collected from the Free Trade Zone (FTZ). Discussions are in progress to convince AP Moller to stem containers to the terminal, he revealed, adding that duties collected from the trade zone and base oil have changed the fortunes of the command in recent times.
According to him, the success of the collection was anchored on enlightenment, enhanced monitoring as well as adherence to trade facilitation by the officers and men of the command.